Instant Pot 101: Tips, Tricks and Must-Have Accessories.

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Ok, so you scored an awesome deal on a new Instant Pot….. Now what? Where should you start? Well, that’s why I’m here. On Prime day, a few weeks ago, I got in on an awesome deal on the sweet Instant Pot DUOPLUS 9-in-1. Since it was such a good deal, I ended up ordering a pot for my sister too as a wedding gift since she doesn’t have one. So, now I have two Instant Pots and She (understandably) has had lots of questions. I have been walking her through everything and she has done GREAT! Helping her got me thinking, I should write a post for the newbies to come to when they’re starting out. I was a newbie once too and I know how intimidating it can be. Hopefully this is helpful to you, if it is, feel free to share it with your other Instant Pot friends.

If you haven’t gotten an Instant Pot yet, read this: Which Instant Pot is best?

First of all, what’s an Instant Pot? It’s an electric pressure cooker. No, not like the one that blew up in your grandma’s kitchen when you were younger… It has tons of built in safety features to help keep you safe. If you’re new to the Instant Pot, click HERE to read about the different models of Instant Pots that are available and a description of each.


If you already have your Instant Pot, the first step is taking it out of the box. Yes, it seems simple but I’ve read about people waiting months to use their Instant Pots…. So, take it out!! Remove the packaging, place the silver inner pot into the Instant Pot (Look how shiny, ooooh) Be careful to ONLY put food and liquid inside the removable inner pot and never put food and liquid in the Instant pot without the inner pot. Next, plug the power cord in. Depending on which model you have it may be a removable cord, always make sure that it is securely connected to the instant pot and plugged into the outlet.



The next step is to do the water test. Some people skip it but I recommend doing it, it’s a helpful test run to learn how to use your new Instant Pot and to make sure everything is working. Once you place the inner pot inside the Instant Pot, add 1 Cup of water and put the lid on. The Instant Pot will NOT come to pressure without liquid. Notice the silicone ring in the under side of the lid, make sure it is secure before every use. When you put the lid on and turn it to close, check the sealing knob to be sure it’s pointing at “Sealing.”


The Instant Pot will not come to pressure if it’s not sealed. Once you’ve made sure the knob is correct, push “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” depending on which model you have. Using the + or – buttons, move the timer to 2 minutes. You have a few seconds to change the settings or time for what you’re cooking, then you’ll hear a beep and it will begin to come to pressure. Now, we wait. It will take your pot 5-10 minutes to come to pressure, depending on how full it is. For the water test, it shouldn’t take that long. When your Instant pot reaches pressure, the “pin” next to the sealing knob will pop up. Shortly after, the timer will begin. When the two minutes is up the timer will go off. Now it’s time to release the pressure.  There are two terms for how to release the pressure, Quick/Manual pressure release means when the timer is up, you carefully move the knob from “sealing” to “venting” BE PREPARED, IT’S VERY LOUD AND IT WILL SCARE YOU THE FIRST TIME! Haha! I’ve made a quick video so you will know what to expect.




The other, less-scary way to release pressure is to allow it to release on it’s own. When the timer goes off,  the Instant Pot will automatically turn to the “Keep Warm” function and begin the natural pressure release. The natural pressure release takes anywhere from 15-45 minutes. Some recipes call for a natural pressure release for a certain amount of time before quickly releasing the remaining pressure. When cooking meat, a natural pressure release is usually best. You will know that all of the pressure has released when the silver pin drops back down. Only at this time will you be able to open the lid.


Now that you’ve completed the water test, you’re ready to make whatever your heart desires! 😊 I suggest starting with something simple such as hard boiled eggs or yogurt.


Here are some basic helpful cooking time charts:




Learn how to make your own Yogurt here: Instant Pot Yogurt

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Here’s an Instant Pot cookbook to help you get started! 🙂
Now, let’s talk accessories. The Instant Pot comes with a measuring cup and a trivet. I don’t use the measuring cup often because I have others that I prefer. The trivet, however gets used daily. It’s perfect for stacking eggs on or for putting meat on to keep it above the liquid if you choose.


If you’re wanting to make cheesecakes, pies, lasagna, taco pie, etc. I recommend grabbing a Springform Pan. These are the ones I recommend. The 7 inch pan fits perfectly in a 6 quart Instant Pot.



For steaming veggies or making eggs, I love to use this steamer basket. The handles can be easily removed and it fits in the 6 quart Instant Pot.



An extra trivet is always helpful too!


To help you make more than one thing at one time, such as chicken and rice, meat and veggies etc… These stackable pans are wonderful!



Other useful accessories:


Instant Pot Mitts


-Instant Pot Sillicone Springform Pan


-Stainless Steel steamer basket


-Instant Pot glass lid


Extra Steel Inner Pot


Extra Ceramic, Non-Stick Pot


-Instant Pot Silicone Cover Lid


-Instant Pot Cover/Carrier

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I absolutely love my Quick and Carry Transport Bag!!!! It has been a life saver when traveling with my Instant Pot! There is a 6 Qt option as well as an 8 Qt option. You can order yours here: Pressure Cooker Transport Bag


For Accessories for the Instant Pot Mini 3 Qt:

If you don’t have an Instant Pot Mini 3 Qt, you can grab it here: Instant Pot Mini 3 Qt


Isn’t it ADORABLE?? 🙂

Instant Pot Inner Pot 3 Qt


Instant Pot 3 Qt Glass Lid


Stackable Steaming Pans for Instant Pot 3 Qt


Instant Pot 3 Qt Silicone Lid


Now that you’ve conquered the water test, it’s time to actually cook something 😉

Start with this one: Easy Hard Boiled Eggs- Instant Pot

For more recipes, click here: Instant Pot Recipes

There is so much to learn when becoming an Instant Pot owner, I hope you have found this helpful. Feel free to contact me with any questions. I’m happy to help in any way! 😊


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Check out this list of Instant Pot recipes. Updated daily!


36 thoughts on “Instant Pot 101: Tips, Tricks and Must-Have Accessories.

    • fromarvadawithlove says:

      It should just click into place. There is a spot on the back of the IP that it hooks into. Hope that helps!

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