It’s a simple matter of customising the settings on your Instant Pot, but whether you’re making a stew or a meatloaf, you’ll need to master a few key steps.
How much pressure can you use?
The size of the pressure release depends on how much pressure the recipe calls for. To know the right pressure settings, you should test the range on the software in your Instant Pot and check pressure reading. If you are concerned about accuracy, select “countdown” and let it expire for five seconds before writing down the result. If you still have an issue with accuracy, re-test and enter a different food type to give it a fresh look.
WHAT YOU NEED TO DO TO MAKE NICE STEW OR MUSHROOM SOUP CUSTOMISH: In a large saucepan, heat a small amount of oil until shimmering. Add the onions and cook until softened, but not browned. Add the stock, which will quickly thicken the mixture, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook over a medium heat for 35 minutes or until the onions are tender. Add the mushrooms and stock, then cover and cook for another 10 minutes or until the mushrooms are tender. Remove from heat and let cool. Let stand for 15 minutes to allow flavours to infuse. WHEN YOU’RE READY TO SERVE: Place everything in the saucepan, covering ingredients evenly. Cover tightly with a lid and set it on a low heat. Cook on low heat for 2 to 3 hours or until vegetables are tender but not mushy. If you like your stew to remain slightly “refreshing” after cooking, remove lid after one hour. Watch from around 1.5 hours until the stew takes on a golden colour. Cover and continue cooking on low heat, turning the liquid at the midway point as it thickens. Replace lid, add more water if needed and allow the stew to simmer on low heat for an additional 1 to 2 hours or until flavours have fully penetrated. When all flavours have blended, season generously with salt and pepper. Enjoy or take off lid and finish in the microwave on High for 5 to 10 minutes or under pressure for up to 30 minutes. What You need to do to MAKE GOOD SOUP: The first step to ensuring the best stew is to let the stock sit in the pot for half an hour and add the onions to make a couple of onion puffs. As the stock cooks down, the onions will transform from crunchy to soft and sweet. Once your gravy is ready, you can begin adding sauce and increasing the volume while reheating the stew. DO: Use a steamer to cook your favourite soup or stew, then use extra sauce in the pot or bowl to extend the deliciousness of the finishing product. Use a steamer in the pressure cooker and you can simmer your stock with broth and more sauce. DON’T: Use your pressure cooker for simmering and steaming so you can preserve the flavour and texture of the sauce until you’re ready to enjoy it. If you don’t need every last drop of sauce, discard the stock, or if you use air pressure to cook soup, you might think that the sound of the steam will “blossoms” but, in fact, it’s just the column of hot, steam they call a bloom. OVER THE AIR: When pressure is applied to a pan, moisture condenses into a solid “blossom” within the container. What this means is that any moisture that exists in the pan when the pressure is applied must be emptied before it’s added to your soup or stew. In the same way, any oil that is added to the pot from a separate pan before the pressure is applied must be emptied before it’s added to the soup.
MORE: How to use salt as a kitchen ingredient
MORE: How to cook slow-cooked meat