Instant Pot safety in a Nutshell
Ever since its initial introduction to the market in 2010, Instant Pot has obtained unbelievable popularity across the world. Everyone values their time, and thus, people have always been looking for the efficient ways to spend less time in the kitchen, spending it with their families and friends instead.
Moreover, modern dietary science highlights the importance of consuming nutritious and wholesome meals everyday as part of nutrition-based efforts to prevent health disorders and embrace proper health and wellness. With the help of Instant Pot, you may achieve both your health goals and save much-needed time on cooking. And this might be exactly the reason why the introduction of Instant Pot has virtually changed the world – it offers literally a myriad and more quick, delicious and healthy recipes that anyone may easily make in own kitchen in a matter of minutes.
There is no device that brings more comfort and user convenience than Instant Pot. Equipped with all the latest cooking functions, this device truly fits into our food-preparing requirements. And despite Instant Pot is a relatively small cooking gadget, it combines the functionality of many traditional kitchen devices, such as the yogurt maker, rice cooker, pressure cooker, sauté pan and slow cooker, which makes it an all-in-one kitchen tool with diverse cooking functions intended for the user’s ultimate comfort.
At the same time, Instant Pot prepares the food 70% faster than a traditional slow cooker. It seals in the juices and flavors, delivering all the vitamins and micronutrients straight to your table.
This groundbreaking cooking device brings the meals that turn out tender, rich and cooked to perfection. Cooking couldn’t become any simpler with your brand-new Instant Pot on hand. All you have to do is select a proper cooking mode, prepare the ingredients and place them in your pot. After that, let your Instant Pot do its magic. It can literally save you from spending hours in the kitchen and help avoid cooking complexities as well.
In addition, you can also prepare the meals, then freeze them and simply re-heat when you need them. Meal-prepping has never been easier than it is now with Instant Pot, and you will appreciate all the benefits of healthy foods for sure.
History and Operation Features of Instant Pot?
The Beginning of the Modern Era in Pressure Cooking
The first pressure cooking appliance was invented in 1679 by a French scientist Dennis Papin, and though it was more looking like a giant steam digester, the modern pressure cookers took roots from this invention.
The first stove-top pressure cookers were introduced to the market in 1960s, while the Instant Pot was developed and later patented in 2006, and clearly caused a revolution not only in pressure cooking, but in cooking in general, as it offered people across the world an opportunity to save a lot of time on cooking, and raised user’s convenience to an entirely new level.
The latest generation of Instant Pots brings some unprecedented hi-tech features like
Bluetooth connectivity, automatically-controlled heating source, a wide variety of pre-set cooking functions, digital timer, temperature & pressure sensors, built-in microprocessor, and many other advanced features.
All available models of Instant Pot are equipped with a housing unit, inner pot, top lid, safety valves and smart control box. Below, we are going to have a look at the major parts of any Instant Pot.
A Housing Unit
One of the most important elements of any pressure cooker, the housing unit comprises common temperature & pressure sensors, a heating element and a control box.
A control box is in charge of maintaining the proper levels of pressure and temperature in the inner pot during the cooking process by means of special sensors. Equipped with advanced microprocessors, it controls complex cooking cycles, as well as heating and cooking duration. It also adjusts diverse cooking parameters in order to achieve accurate cooking conditions. While in case of unsafe events it automatically cuts off the power supply and turns on the alarm.
In addition, the control box helps suggest and select correct cooking cycles for preparing different types of foods. For example, for dry beans it suggests a 40-minute cooking cycle, while it takes only 1 minute to prepare broccoli or cauliflower.
The Inner Pot & Lid
The inner pot, is a removable pot made of stainless steel or aluminum. The lid is equipped with a sealing ring which helps create an enclosed space in order to build the necessary level of pressure and thus cook the foods in a proper way. The user should always make sure that the lid is in the locked position before starting the cooking process to maintain safe cooking experience.
All the latest models of Instant Pot come with float valves that automatically keep the lid in the locked position once the timer is set in order to prevent accidental opening of the lid due to high internal pressure during the cooking process. In addition, Instant Pots are equipped with safety power switch which hampers the beginning of pressure building in case the lid is not locked properly.
Instant Pot is equipped with a unique pressure-release mechanism, which makes it stand out from all the other pressure cookers that have traditional float valve. While in simple pressure cookers the float valve might get damaged in case of abnormally high pressure, the Instant Pot has an innovative push-down feature for pressure-release that helps to effortlessly release the abnormally high pressure and prevent any possible breakage. The latest multi-level safety valves system practically eliminates all the disadvantages associated with pressure release risks.
The 3rd Generation of Instant Pots
Instant Pot contributes to the utmost cooking convenience by means of its latest technological solutions and features. The pressure-cooking technology has been through a real revolution since its commercial patent was approved in 1991.
The 1st generation of pressure cookers which were introduced in 1990s was equipped with pressure and temperature sensors, mechanical timer, and several basic safety features. They become best friends for many people across the world in their cooking needs.
The 2nd generation of pressure cookers came to the market with a digital controller and a technology of electronically-connected pressure sensors, therefore guaranteeing safe and more precise detection and prevention of high pressure building up.
Equipped with ground-breaking functions, the 3rd generation of pressure cookers, including the Instant Pot, provides inimitable safety, as well as other user-friendly features, that would be discussed below.
Smart Programming in the 3rd Generation Pressure Cookers
The 3rd generation models provide a variety of innovative features for a safe, convenient, and truly effortless cooking experience. With built-in hi-tech functions, like microprocessors, the latest generation of Instant Pots has the most precise temperature & pressure sensor accuracy to offer.
Enhanced safety is ensured by the advanced microprocessor software. The most wide-spread error the users of pressure cookers usually make is leaving the steam release valve open, which prevents the pressure from being accumulated inside the pot. The latter might not only contribute to evaporating all the liquid, but also affect the food which is supposed to be prepared. The modernized safety system of the 3rd generation technology impedes these incidents by detecting prolonged pre-heating stage. In that case it would automatically stop the heating process and switch on an alarm signal to notify the user.
Temperature and pressure sensors ensure advanced accuracy, while the microprocessor is programmed to fulfill complex cooking programs. Smart programming features help the user to adjust the pressure & temperature, heating intensity and cooking time for any type of food, making Instant Pot a perfect device for optimal cooking performance. For instance, you can soak all sorts of beans at nearly 86 degrees F to get them softened up, before actually getting to the cooking stage.
How Do the Smart Cooking Features Function?
The advanced cooking functions built in the 3rd generation of Instant Pot are designed to guarantee the best cooking experience. They help to cook the food to perfection by focusing on 4 vital parameters: Temperature, cooking time, pressure, heating intensity.
When the liquid (broth, water etc.) inside the Instant Pot reaches its natural boiling temperature, the heat inside the pot is rising and the pressure is gradually created. Necessary level of pressure inside the pot is being controlled automatically and with the application of certain laws of thermodynamic. Most often Instant Pot cooks the food using the standard pressure of 10.15-11.6 psi.
The automatized cooking makes the process easier for you since Instant Pot adjusts the cooking duration according to certain parameters, such as the amount and type of foods to be prepared. For instance, it would prepare 2 cups of rice in 14 minutes (while the pressure keeping time is 8 minutes), whereas more than 2 cups would be prepared in 28 minutes for (and pressure keeping time would be 10 minutes).
Pressure keeping time would vary depending on the type of food to be prepared.
The highest cooking temperature varies between 239 degrees F to 244 degrees F. The internal temperature ranges throughout the cooking process while the sensor system keeps adjusting as needed.
The heating element (typically of 100W power rating) of Instant Pot generates the heat with varying intensity to comply with the different cooking programs, and prevents the food from burning at the bottom. For example, when you choose the “Soup” function, it would heat the ingredients in a gradual and slower manner, while it changes to steep and fast for “Steam” function.
up the process. Just turn the vent valve into open position to start the process.
Instant Pot: Effortless, Safe and Convenient
The Instant Pot brings out inimitable cooking experience, together with superb cooking convenience while ensuring effortless and totally safe cooking process.
Benefits of Cooking under Pressure
Pressure cooking using your Instant Pot offers many amazing benefits. Let us examine how beneficial the pressure cooking might become for you:
- Nutritional value of various types of foods tends to lower the longer the cooking process is. For example, protein is a heat- sensitive nutrient which means its nutritional value decreases under prolonged heating. Instant Pot prepares your food within just several minutes. It needs dramatically less time than conventional cooking methods which in its turn helps in maintaining the nutritional profile of the cooked dishes.
- Nutritional value is preserved better when the foods are cooked in less liquid as water-soluble minerals and vitamins may get washed away in the leftover cooking liquids. Instant Pot requires less amount of liquid to cook the dishes (in contrast to boiling in a regular pot on a stove) and makes use of the most part of the liquid without the necessity to discard the leftovers. Therefore, pressure cooking using your Instant Pot may prevent the elimination of the essential nutrients including minerals, proteins, and vitamins, allowing you to enjoy maximum nutritional benefits from your meals.
- Moreover, with the faster cooking cycle, the ingredients maintain their delicious flavors and are less likely to lose their natural colors, especially when it comes to vegetables.
- The water is heated to extremely high temperature inside the pot and therefore, kills the most of harmful micro-organisms, including bacteria and fungus from various grains and vegetables which may trigger severe health complications. Therefore, Instant Pot serves wholesome meals to your dining table with the help of advanced pressure-cooking technologies.
- Pressure cooking contributes to maintaining your optimal wellness by helping you prepare wholesome, nutrient-rich and delicious meals every day.
- Pressure cooking using Instant Pot enriches the texture and flavor of the meals. It also allows you to enjoy your meals and their natural flavor which is preserved to the maximum possible extent. Thus, meats remain juicy, while vegetables become crispy and tender.
- And finally, Pressure cooking under closed lid prevents the splashes and dirt and spreading on your kitchen surface, in contrast to frying. Thus, it keeps the kitchen clean and prevents spending time on cleaning a lot of utensils after cooking.
The Main Benefits of Using Instant Pot
Perfectly Cooked Dishes
With the Instant Pot, you can cook all types of foods like pot roast or meat stew in one pot. Consider getting yourself a small meat grinder that grinds bones if you’ll be making bone broth. You may then use the “keep warm” function using the 24-hour programmable timer to enjoy warm meal when you want to. It also spares you from using a skillet to brown your meat, as it can sauté and sear in the juices.
In addition, you won’t need to be home to switch on the “keep warm” setting after the cooking cycle is finished, since your Instant Pot will do that on its own, thus giving you the opportunity to come home to a perfectly cooked dinner that is tender and warm.
No Mess on the Kitchen and Quick Cleaning
You will end up having almost no mess to clean and wash after the cooking process is over because you needed just one pot for everything, which is so easy to clean on your own or in a dishwasher.
Instant Pot comes with a removable stainless-steel cooking pot. Just simply remove it and let it wash in the dishwasher or simply rinse it with soapy water and soft cloth. A quick wipe-down with a cloth on the outside and it is ready to use again. Thus, It spares you from heavy cleaning of skillets and pans.
Better than Simple Pressure Cooker
Simple pressure cooker is a thing of the past now. Although a pressure cooker is very convenient to use, it might be quite dangerous too, especially if you have kids as it releases enormous amounts of hot steam. Instant Pot is designed for fully automatic cooking process that spares you from all the guesswork and cooks perfect meals in almost time.
Energy Efficient & Eco-friendly
Instant Pot is capable to prepare your foods quickly using high-pressure steam. Generating high temperature and shorter cooking cycle, it may reduce electric consumption by 70%. The device has been designed to use energy only during the cooking process, preventing the energy waste.
If you always lack free space in your kitchen, then Instant Pot is a perfect find for you. Since you can cook under pressure, sauté, slow cook, and use various cooking programs mentioned earlier, you don’t need to purchase various devices as owning one Instant Pot for all cooking tasks is just enough. Its compact design requires less space and you can easily store it in your kitchen cabinet when it’s not in use.
Ensuring Safety with Instant Pot
Whereas it is very easy to use your Instant Pot, issues may still arise especially if you do not operate it in a proper way. Here is a list of practical safety tips and recommendations to ensure comfortable cooking experience.
Don’t use your Instant Pot for frying
You can’t use your Instant Pot for prolonged frying since high temperatures may lead to burning of the oil and cause burns. Instead you can sauté your foods for a few minutes using the corresponding program.
Quick Pressure Release Safety
When using the quick pressure release feature, ensure that the valve is facing opposite direction, as otherwise the hot steam might scald your face and body.
Do not Overload your Instant Pot
Do not overfill your Instant Pot with too large quantity of ingredients since there won’t be enough space for pressure to build up. Leave enough space for air to circulate inside your pressure cooker.
Adequate Cleaning is Necessary
When cleaning your Instant Pot, pay attention to cleaning the lid. You have to clean it after every cooking session to prevent build-up of food particles on it during the cooking cycle or pressure release process. So, when you will be using your Instant Pot next time without cleaning, it might contribute to worse pressure release or even affected the quality of the prepared food. Therefore, make sure to clean your Instant Pot after every usage with a cloth and warm water in order to remove the particles that got clogged up in the vents or lid.