Instant Pot Functions: Do you feel overwhelmed by all the functions or buttons on your pressure cooker? You are not alone! Learn EVERYTHING you need to know about each function and how to use them! Detailed information of what each function means and how to use it on the different instant pot models.
When my Instant Pot first came in the mail, I was a bit baffled at where to begin.
I had purchased the Instant Pot Duo model and there were SO many buttons!!! Even after completing the initial water test, It took me a bit of time (and a few mistakes) to realize that there is really only a few functions I need to utilize when pressure cooking to make delicious instant pot recipes.
Instant Pot Functions
At first glance at your electric pressure cooker, it looks like you can cook just about anything with a simple touch of a button.
What do all these Buttons Mean?
I only use 7 buttons on my instant pot–manual, pressure, adjust, saute, yogurt, timer, and slow cooker.
The rest of the buttons are really unnecessary in my opinion–and truthfully, unless you want to make yogurt in your instant pot, the yogurt button is not necessary either.
Manual/Pressure Cook Button
Manual function allows you to set the cook time to whatever you would like. This is by far the MOST utilized function on the instant pot.
To Use the Manual Button:
- Hit Manual.
- If you need to adjust pressure, hit the pressure button until high or low pressure is lit up (if you have the Instant Pot Lux–it only cooks on High pressure)
- Hit the plus or minus sign to adjust time
This function adjusts pressure for high to low–not an option on the Instant Pot Lux.
To use the Pressure Button:
- After you hit manual, hit pressure to adjust to high or low pressure.
- Set your timer on for manual cooking as needed.
The adjust button is to adjust the temperature of the slow cooking, function of yogurt button, and saute modes between less, normal, and more.
To use Saute Function:
- Press the “Sauté” function key.
- Select a temperature with the “Adjust” key for “Normal”, “More” or “Less”.
- When Instant Pot reaches the given working temperature, it displays “Hot” and you can start sautéing.
- One full “Sauté” session will run for 30 minutes.
- Normal is like medium heat on a stove top and More is like high heat on a stove top and less is like low heat on a stove top.
The yogurt function is only used only to make yogurt.
The yogurt button is able to be adjusted by hitting the “adjust” button until it says “boil” or 8:00 or 10:00. These functions are unique to yogurt recipes. Get FULL details on how to make yogurt in your instant pot here.
The timer function is used to Delay Cooking Start Time.
To Use the Timer Function:
- Select either manual (pressure cooking) or slow cooker mode, as these are the only two modes compatible with the timer function.
- Set your cooking time.
- Within 10 seconds of setting the cooking time, press the ‘timer’ button.
- Use the +/- keys to set your delay time.
- Note: You are setting the timer as to when you want your pressure cooker to START cooking. Therefore, if want dinner ready in 2 hours but it takes 20 minutes to come to pressure, 20 minutes to cook and 20 minutes to release pressure set your timer for 1 hour.
Slow Cooker Button
The Instant Pot Slow Cooker function is not equivalent to the temperatures on a slow cooker.
- Low on the Instant Pot Slow Cooker Function is like keep warm on a traditional slow cooker.
- Medium on the Instant Pot Slow Cooker Function is like low on a traditional slow cooker.
- High on the Instant Pot Function is more like medium high on a traditional slow cooker.
To use the slow cooker function on your instant pot:
- Hit your Slow Cooker Function on your Instant Pot.
- Hit the adjust button to change the setting to “low, “normal” or “high.”
Other Instant Pot Buttons
Depending on the instant pot model you have, your electric pressure cooker may have buttons for meat, chicken, rice, cake, eggs, sterilize, steam and/or soup/stew. These are functions that I do not use or recommend. It is much better to cook on high or low pressure and manually adjust the temperature yourself based on what you are cooking.
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My Favorite Instant Pot Tools
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