If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to prepare healthy meals that taste great, try the Instant Pot (I hate that name, but whatever). Instant Pot uses high pressure steam to cook your foods faster, while taking less water so more flavor and nutrients are still retained. Once the cooking is over, all of that steam needs to go somewhere anyway, so why not just let it out? There are two ways of releasing it, that we will talk about below:
In order to release the steam, you want to set the Instant Pot to low, but not to fully lower it. The reason you want to do this is because when the cooking process is completed, you’ll have less liquid in the pot and it will take longer to come out. Once the Instant Pot is at the lowest setting, add water to the top, but only enough to cover the food inside. Stir to help prevent any splashing. You want to keep the lid closed while the food inside cooks for about an hour, but you don’t need to use any other tools or utensils to assist you.
A higher setting is desired when cooking on high, and therefore using a low venting knob and a long flexible steam wand will help keep the lid closed. To release the pressure, simply open the top venting knob and release all of the steam upward. Keep the lid closed while it cooks for another thirty minutes, then open the lid and let it cool. When your instant pot natural release button is blinking, that’s the time to remove the lid, carefully lifting it up and placing it back onto the heat source. Be very careful with the process, as even a light touch can cause the valve to fly up and out of the venting tube.
The next step is the same as if you were preparing a traditional pot. Use the long flexible steam wand to pry off the lid and the metal clips to detach the natural release handle from the top of the pot. Take note that if the float valve is not attached to the lid by clips, you will need to use the quick release handle to pull the valve down to the base of the pot. Then, using your fingers or other non-sharp objects, slowly pull on the handle to lower the pot into the dishwasher.
If your Instant Pot is of the glass design, then after removing the lid you should check to make sure there are no cracks or breaks in the glass. Otherwise, if the pot has been accidentally dropped or chipped, then you may need to wait until it is completely cooled off before attempting to crack or chip the glass. If you accidentally puncture the glass, then you will need to immediately remove the contents and place them in a zip lock bag to avoid introducing bacteria into the cooking area. Then you should wash any wet towels you may have used and dispose of them. When washing the pot, make sure all the soap residues are removed; this will prevent you from introducing bacteria into the cooking area.
Lastly, if you feel like the contents inside the pot are a bit hard (or too dense) you can pour them into a glass bowl or into a mesh stocking. You can then pour them into your compost bin. Keep in mind that some stoves or crock pots have a built-in quick release handle; however, you should still follow the directions listed above. Once the contents are completely cooked, you should always put them directly into the compost bin.