Instant Pot - Questions, Techiniques & Results


Oh please. It was a source of fantastic cooking info that this site is just not much interested in.

Re dogfood I made it for my old girl for about a year and a half. I cooked a chicken in the PC with plenty of water and rice in the rice cooker. The chicken made incredible stock and I would freeze what I didn’t need for her food. Maybe an hour total.


@boogiebaby You make your own dog food? That’s pretty cool…and something I’ve never considered. Is there a recipe you’d like to share?


I got an Instant Pot in February. If I had it to do over again I’d get one of the models that lets you disable the keep warm function, since I almost always do not want it to do that.

I use it braise things like pork or lamb shoulder, trotters, or shank, usually just 3/4 teaspoon of salt per pound and maybe a quarter-cup of water, sometimes none, 90 minutes on the Meat / Stew setting. I get much more consistent results than I did on the stove or in the oven.

I also use it to cook beans that take a while, such as chickpeas and French lentils, again, much more consistent results. Chickpeas still need to be cooked overnight to come out right. Useful timing chart:

I’ve done the 1:1 water to wet rice, it’s good but not the texture I’m used to. I’ll keep experimenting but if I were cooking for company I’d stick with one of the two stovetop methods I’ve been using for decades. One exception is maybe brown basmati rice, that comes out nice at 22 minutes. Note that the Rice mode is only for white or parboiled rice, other kinds should be on Manual.


I’m a long time pressure cooker user. I bought the Instant Pot because my wife was always a little uneasy using a stovetop pressure cooker. I thought I’d end up giving it away after a few months.
I’ve been very surprised by how often I use the IP.
It makes better stock than stove top methods.
It makes braises that are 90% as good as a traditional braise but at 30% of the time.
It cooks beans very nicely and very quickly.
I don’t use it for white rice, but for hearty grains I prefer the IP.
And pressure cooker polenta is superior to stove top methods in very little time (clean up can be more of a chore).
Since a pressure cooker cooks at higher than 212 degrees, food can develop more roasted and caramelized flavors than a slow cooker.
All those points are true about ALL pressure cookers.
The IP also has a sautée function and slow cooker functions, though. You can program it to start cooking and keep things warm if you like. The IP requires no supervision so it’s just way more convenient than the stovetop pressure cookers, even though those units are very easy to use.

There isn’t a single instance in which a slow cooker isn’t outclassed by an IP, that I know of. And I’m using my IP much more often than I use my Kuhn Rikon stove top pressure cookers.

As for time, you may have more than most, but an IP gives you options. You get to decide that you want galbi jiim an hour before you plan to eat dinner. And it’s easy.

If none of that appeals, skip the IP and move along!


So I have a chocolate lab, and she’s got all sort of fun allergies. We’ve figured them out with a lot of trial an error. So she is allergic to: chicken, fish, corn, wheat, rice, and we just realized a couple months ago that she’s allergic to eggs. We feed her a good quality limited ingredient dry food, but we were mixing in a tablespoon of wet canned food into it for added fat to help with her dry skin, along with some coconut oil. The food was chicken and grain free, but it had egg whites in it, causing her to itch. I’ve always made her stock with leftover bones to add to her food as a treat (cook, freeze in ice cube trays), but now I’m making her food to replace the canned wet food.

I buy beef soup bones from Sprouts, and then added in any bones from home cooking that I tossed in the freezer. So I put ~2 lbs bones into a pot along with a piece of meat (maybe 1lb worth, sometimes less) and would simmer for 3-3.5 hours or so to reduce it down, then pull the bones out, pull off any meat/cartilage on the bones, and scoop out all the marrow and add all that back to the stock. I chop up all the meat too and add that back in. Then I add in about a cup of red lentils, chopped carrots, couple handful of peas, and if I have them on hand, some chopped spinach or kale. Cook another hour or so until thickened. I cook into almost a paste, because it takes up less room in the fridge/freezer. We add water to her food when we feed her. This makes enough for about 2-2.5 weeks. I freeze half and put half in the fridge in plastic containers.

With the instant pot, I did 50 minutes for the bones/meat, released the pressure, and then 15 min after I added the lentils and veggies. Then I turned it to saute for a few minutes to reduce it down a bit more.

ETA: Forgot to mention I also add a teaspoon or so of ground turmeric in with the lentils. It has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial benefits for dogs, just like it does for humans.


I haven’t been thrilled with the results of cooking barley, farro, or oatmeal.


Interesting. What are you not liking?
I mostly cook my farro with green lentils into kind of a porridge. Works for me, but for that dish I’m looking for a softer state for the farro.
I still will just boil my farro on the stovetop if I’m looking for something with more bite or if I’m cooking the farro in a risotto style.
I don’t do oatmeal in the IP. I do an overnight that works great for me. A friend swears by it, though.


By themselves, the grains come out gummy.

No problem if they’re part of a soup, though I’d rather do that on the stove.


With my one dog we were just trying to put some weight on her without putting too much fat in her diet. So I would use IIRC 4C stock, 2C chicken and 2C rice. In the FP (she was a fairly small dog) and then frozen in portions that would last several days. Our recent dog that we lost needed more fiber so we just went with - horrors! - canned beans, carrots and yams with rice.


I can see that. It’s possible the texture is due to the high temperature, but I think it’s more likely due to overcooking. Overcooking is really easy in a pressure cooker.


I usually boil barley or farro in a lot of water, like pasta.


Thanks, @boogiebaby! That was super educational…your dog is really lucky to get a specialized diet to live well. Ours is getting older in years, and adding something like this can definitely help her out.


You shouldn’t compare an instant pot to a slow cooker (which is a waste of money) but a pressure cooker which is a very helpful tool everybody should have in the kitchen


I probably always have an issue with the word “shouldn’t.” Regardless, I have a PC, a slow cooker (which I disagree with your “waste” assessment) and a rice cooker. I’m very appreciative of today’s input on this subject.

Here’s the Rick Bayless pork tinga recipe I do. But his “Everday” book doesn’t have you brown the meat and it doesn’t suffer at all.


My new kittens can’t have grains, and the food is so expensive! You’ve inspired me to research making my own pet food.


If you have a pressure cooker, rice cooker and a duch oven you really don’t need an IP.

re slow cooker - I often don’t agree with Kenji but here he is complete correct - slow cookers produce inferior quality food.


It’s honestly so easy. And you can do a big batch and freeze. I once made and froze a month’s worth in small’ish containers.


I use mine so seldom that I’ll defer to Kenji.


I have a conventional pressure cooker that I haven’t used in years. I’d pull it out once in while to make chile verde. The Instant Pot I use all the time.


Call me a Luddite, but I prefer manual labor when it comes to cooking.

Pizza dough, breads, dumpling skin, noodles, hamburger meat, etc., all prefer to do manually sans machine or motorized equipment.

This includes things like dicing, chopping, julienning, mincing (with mortar and pestle or knife and hand), dicing, etc.

Crazy, I know. But it’s therapeutic.

Not here to recruit acolytes but sometimes I cook to make something to eat but many other times I cook just for the sake of cooking.