The Instant Pot© hit the cooking world by storm and those that fell in love with it are constantly discovering new tips and tricks. Many of my favorite tips have been shared by people in my Instant Pot Beginners Veg Support group on Facebook. Still, sometimes things get lost in the shuffle so today I am sharing some of my favorite time-saving tips for the Instant Pot©.
1. Zero Setting
You know how sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know?
Well, someone in another group posted about being thrilled that she could finally cook her broccoli because she learned about the ZERO setting. On all Instant Pot© models, except the MAX (see my review of it), you can set the pot to 0 by pressing the minus button one more time past 1.
When you select the Zero setting, the Instant Pot© will come up to pressure and then immediately began a natural release process. I find this setting extremely helpful with fast-cooking vegetables like broccoli, summer squash, snow peas, and others.
2. Quicker Soaking Beans
The Zero setting is excellent for doing a “quicker soak” with beans (the traditional soak is boil on saute for 1 minute and let rest for 1 hour, drain and cook) . Yes, I am one of those: a soaker. I can make beans from dry. I have done it many times but I choose to soak for the following reasons:
- it cuts down the time, and time is energy (truly)
- the beans seem to cook more evenly
- I find that the beans are easier to digest when they have been soaked
Here is my method:
Place bean in the post and add water to approximately 3 inches above the beans. Seal the lid and set the unit to 0 and low pressure (yes you will get a chance to do that if you have any model but the LUX. If you have a LUX, still set it to 0 and proceed, pretending that it’s low pressure). When time is up, which will happen rather quickly, wait for a full natural release (often called NPR for natural pressure release). The whole thing takes about 25 minutes from start to finish for 1 cup of beans and a little bit longer for each additional cup that you soak.
Once soaked you can fully cook the beans. First, drain the beans then add your kombu seaweed, if using, any seasonings and add ½ to ¾ cup liquid for each dry cup of beans that you soaked. Cook according to timing charts. Many people say that my beans are “the best” and I credit the zero setting quick soak method!
3. Cooking Pot-in-Pot (Layering)
While we are on the subject of beans, I recently decided to cook both garbanzo beans and black beans at the same time in my cute little 3-quart Duo. This method can be done with other foods as well.
- Place your quick soaked beans that need the longer cooking time into the pot with their liquid
- Add the trivet rack and place a bowl with the faster cooking beans and their liquid on top of the rack.
I placed the garbanzos (also known as chickpeas) on the bottom with their liquid and then added the rack with a bowl and the black beans and their liquid. I cooked them together for 14 minutes. Black beans don’t need that long but whatever you cook on top of the other food can be cooked longer than “normal” and be fine, especially something like beans.
Sometimes I will cook black or red rice in the bottom and put the trivet with a bowl of soaked beans on top and cook it all for 15 minutes. I love cooking pot-in-pot because it makes me feel so efficient. Remember that time matters…
What time-saving tip do you have for the Instant Pot© or electric pressure cooker? Tell us in the comments and we may feature one in a future article!