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An Instant Pot is a kind of electronic cooker. It is capable of handling a huge variety of functions, including cooking eggs, cooking rice, and making yogurt. It is a hugely useful device that can do almost anything.
Having an Instant Pot in your kitchen will save you masses of space and time, making meal prep a breeze.
Instant Pots combine a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, and more. They can steam, saute, and warm foods all at once.
Not only are they super simple to use, but Instant Pots also do all of the work for you with next to no washing up!
What is the timer function for?
The timer function on your Instant Pot is so that you can delay the cooking period for a pre-determined amount of time.
This can be for any length of time up to the maximum of 24 hours. This means that if you have a long day at work you can prep your ingredients for dinner in advance.
Say you started early in the morning, you could place all of your ingredients inside the Instant Pot the night before you go to work.
Set the timer and forget about it. By the time you make it home from work, you will have a warm meal ready to be plated up and enjoyed. An Instant Pot is the perfect accessory for a busy life.
How to use the timer on an Instant Pot using presetsYour first step is to select the cooking method that you wish to use. The timer function works for all settings with the exception of saute and keep warm.
Choose a cooking program from the preset options. Working quickly, press the timer key to set the time period for the delay. This will alter the number of hours it is to be delayed. Use the + and – keys to adjust the number of hours displayed.
After you have done this, press the timer button again. This will allow you to adjust the minutes shown on the display. Again, use the + and – buttons to do this.
Wait 10 seconds. The timer function should begin. You will know this is happening as the LED display will begin decreasing as the time elapses. There will be a flashing green light on the timer key to begin with. Once the timer has been set correctly, this will become a solid green color.
If you wish to cancel the timer function at any point, press the keep warm / cancel button. Once the countdown has run out, the Instant Pot will immediately begin to cook the food inside.
Once the cooking is done, the Instant Pot will automatically go onto the keep warm cycle for a further 10 hours.
How to Set the Timer on an Instant Pot Manually
This is useful if you are not following an Instant Pot recipe and have made your own modifications.
You will first need to press the button marked manual, once your pot is filled and the pressure valve has been sealed.
After the manual button has been pressed, you can use the + and – buttons to adjust the time setting. The timer begins to count down from the point the contents of the pot have reached the correct pressure. This usually takes somewhere between 5 and 10 minutes.
Additionally, the Instant Pot cannot be opened until a sufficient amount of pressure has been released. This means that you should add anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes of cooking time to your dish when using the Instant Pot.
When should you not use the timer function?
Meat and fish dishes are not very suited to being sat at room temperature for hours. This is because they contain large amounts of bacteria and could perish if not refrigerated.
There is a huge opportunity for bacterial growth when foods are left at an ambient temperature for hours and the risk is too high with these types of food.
Foods such as rice, which take on water, are also unlikely to turn otu well when using the timer function. This is because they will be left sat in moisture for a long time and may become super soft and soggy.
There is also a chance that there will be a burnt layer of rice on the base of your Instant Pot. This would occur if you left your machine in keep warm mode for a long time as there is no way to stir the rice automatically. This means that the base layer would heat up more than the rest and will likely burn to the base of the pot.
It is also not a good idea to use this function for foamy or sticky foods, such as oatmeal. This is because they could coagulate or congeal over the float valve inside the Instant Pot. this could damage it and cause it to not seal, meaning that your Instant Pot will overflow.
For this reason, the manufacturers do not suggest leaving it alone as it is preheating for these food types.
If you ever get a CL6 error on your Instant Pot, here’s how to fix it.
What are the benefits of using an Instant Pot?
They are very energy efficient, the manufacturer’s claim that they can reduce cooking time and energy consumption by almost 70%! This is because the interior is fully insulated, meaning that the heat is locked in.
Instant Pots help to lock in vitamins, minerals, and other micro nutrients more than other cooking methods.
Boiling and steaming can lead to water-soluble vitamins to escape from the food into the water that is then thrown away. According to the manufacturer, Instant Pots can retain 90% of water soluble vitamins in food.
Cooking food in an Instant Pot can also help to keep the colors of your food bright and vibrant. This is becayse they are not exposed to oxygen whcuh can cause changes in color.
Their airtight design helps to lock in flavors and help them to develop faster and more intesnsley. The heat contained within also helps to effectively kill harmful bacteria.
Richmond Howard started Meal Prepify in 2019 and has helped over a million people learn how to meal prep, get better at meal planning, and create a kitchen they love to use. He’s an avid home chef and loves to bbq, grill out, and make awesome food for family and friends. He’s been featured on MSN, Renaissance Periodization, and Good Financial Cents.