So your Instant Pot is still in the box…
…maybe you purchased it on Black Friday or just a couple weeks ago.
I know it can be intimidating. If you open it, then you'll be committed…
…and you're not ready for that yet.
Because you're 1) scared it's going to blow up, 2) overwhelmed, and/or 3) don't have enough time to learn how to use it.
It doesn't matter that everyone says it's so easy and fast.
Right now, it's not fast for you because you have no clue how to use it.
Can you relate? (I can, too, because it took me at least a month to unbox my first one!)
I feel strongly about helping you get over the hump and so you can actually use (and feeling comfortable using) your Instant Pot.
I have 3 tips to share on today's #AskWardee that will help you get it out of the box and use it — conquer it!
If you do these 3 things, you'll be off to the races… no more fear, no more overwhelm, no more wondering if you have time (you do). I promise. 🙂
Judy B. asks:
I ordered an Instant Pot over Black Friday and I'm embarrassed to say… it's still in the box! I'm scared of it. Also life is so crazy I don't think I have the time to learn how to use it. Can you help me get over the hump, so I can actually start using it and benefitting from it like everyone else is? Thanks so much, Wardee!
My Answer: You Bet…
A few days after we moved in to the house we're currently living in, our new neighbor arrived with a plate of cookies. A few days later, I popped over to her house and guess what I saw in the corner of the dining room?
Yep, you guessed it… an Instant Pot still in the box.
She had bought it months before!
I can't fault her because… my Instant Pot? It took me at least a month to open it up and use it.
All those buttons! Which one do you push? What if it explodes? What if the food doesn't turn out? How do you find the time to read the manual and learn more about it?
Forget all those questions. (Though I do want to assure you, the Instant Pot is completely safe and won't explode. It comes with safety features to prevent this.)
Instead of getting overwhelmed by what-ifs, let's instead focus on you getting used to the Instant Pot so it's not so scary or unknown.
This will take just 30 minutes, tops.
Surely you can find 30 minutes for these 3 things. If you already spend time cooking, you have time for this. Plus you're going to save time down the road, so it's worth it.
1. Get The Instant Pot Out Of The Box
Look… nothing's going to change if it doesn't get freed from the box.
You can't use it if you don't open it. 😉
So do that. After you pull out the Instant Pot and all its parts, put the box in storage (if you keep appliance boxes as we do). Wash the lid/silicone ring, stainless steel insert pot, and the condensation cup.
Now put it on the kitchen counter.
If you need to take a day to get used to its presence in your kitchen… that's fine.
Otherwise, move on…
2. Do A Test Run With 2 Cups Of Water
Yeah, yeah, it sounds boring. You're going to use your fancy schmancy Instant Pot to boil water?
Yes. This is going to help you a ton.
First, it will clean the machine and help you test it to make sure it seals properly.
And, without having to prep any food at all, you're going to actually use it for the first time to see how it operates.
Here's what you do (so easy!):
- Put 2 to 3 cups of water in the stainless steel insert pot.
- Make sure the silicone ring is tucked well into the lid, the valves are clear, and the condensation cup is in place on the back.
- Put the lid in place, lock it, and turn the knob to the “Sealing” position.
- Press the “Steam” button.
- Press the (-) button to adjust the time down to 2 minutes.
- Sit back, wait, and observe…
- Do a quick pressure release.
The Instant Pot DUO manual describes what will happen now:
“In 10 seconds, your Instant Pot® will go into the preheating cycle (display showing “On”). Within a few minutes, steam will release for a minute or two until the Float Valve pops up to seal the cooker. Once working pressure is reached, which may take a few minutes or up to 10-13 minutes, the countdown timer will begin. When the countdown is finished, the Instant Pot® will beep and automatically switch into the “Keep Warm” mode. The test is now complete. Press the “Keep-Warm/Cancel” button and/or unplug the unit.”
So all you have to do is watch to see that what happens is what the manual says happens.
- Does it reach pressure (the float valve pops up)?
- When it reaches pressure, does the display change from ON to 2 and then 1 (as it counts down the 2 minute cycle)?
- Does it automatically switch to “Keep Warm” mode?
If so, you're good to go! It's time to cook something!
3. The Best First Thing To Make In The Instant Pot
Should be simple… simple… simple…
To get your confidence that you can do this, you need to cook a simple food.
(By the way, when I mean simple, I'm telling you to ignore most of the buttons on the machine — all you need is Manual which defaults to High pressure, +/- to adjust time, and Cancel to turn it off.)
I suggest cooking hard-boiled eggs.
Or, here are super simple instructions:
2. Stack fresh, raw eggs on the trivet or in a steamer basket. I use a steamer basket like this so I can do up to 18 eggs at a time!
3. Put the lid on the Instant Pot and check that all the parts and seal are in good condition and the sealing valve is in the sealing position.
4. Hit the Manual button. It will default to HIGH pressure. Use the +/- buttons to adjust the number displayed to 5 (for 5 minutes).
(now it will do its thing…)
5. When it beeps that it’s done, leave it alone on the keep warm cycle for another 5 minutes. Keep watch on the timer; it will count the 5 minutes for you.
6. Release pressure quickly by switching the sealing valve to the venting position.
7. Remove the eggs and immediately plunge them in cold or ice water to cool down fast.
8. Peel and eat. Or refrigerate for later.
See how easy they are to peel and how easy that was to do? You did it!
You just got your feet wet, didn't you? That's a good thing!
You got the Instant Pot out of the box, you tested it, and then you made easy-to-peel hard boiled eggs! Way to go!
Wasn't it easy? Let me tell you — it was the hardest part of using the Instant Pot, I promise. This is because the hardest thing is to get over the hump of using it for the first time. Now that you've experienced it for yourself, you know for real that it's not scary and that you no longer need to find extra time to use it. Use your normal cooking time from here on out.
You probably want more recipes, though, right?
For a free Instant Pot (or any pressure cooker) sourdough cornbread recipe, go here: TradCookSchool.com/ipcornbread
Also, check out my Pressure Cooking eBook & Video Package which includes dozens of recipes and 5 Master Class Videos.
And there's also the Instant Pot / Pressure Cooking category of recipes right here on this blog.
- Instant Pot
- Steamer basket
- Pressure Cooking eBook & Video Package
- Free Instant Pot Cornbread Recipe
- Our Instant Pot / Pressure Cooking recipes
What Is The #AskWardee Show?
The #AskWardee Show is the live weekly show devoted to answering your niggling questions about Traditional Cooking: whether it's your sourdough starter, your sauerkraut, preserving foods, broth, superfoods or anything else to do with Traditional Cooking.
I share tips and resources, plus answer your questions about Traditional Cooking!
When: Wednesdays at 10am Pacific / 1pm Eastern
What If You Can't Make It?
Don't worry. You can catch the replays or listen to the podcast!
- Come back here to AskWardee.TV; all replays will be up within hours of airing live; the print notes are always posted at the same time I go live.
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Is your Instant Pot still in the box, unopened? Post below if you're committed to doing these 3 things to finally begin using it! What would you say is the best first thing to make in the Instant Pot?
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