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Instant Pot is known for being something of a Swiss Army Knife of cooking devices. Reviews rave about its speed and the latest technologies that are incorporated into it.
How are we going to even begin to use this device to its fullest potential? Simple, we explore one function at a time, and here we shall take a closer look at one function that can be used on its own or used with other functions to cook dishes.
Let us take a look at the different uses for the sauté function. Then, we will go over some of the basic steps to sauté using Instant Pot and look at a quick list of delicious suggestions to try. Lastly, we will answer a few FAQs before wrapping things up.
When can you use the sauté button on your Instant Pot?
You can cook a wide variety of different dishes with it. The Instant Pot sauté button converts it into a stove burner. Use low and medium sauté heat for vegetables and high to sear meat.
Let’s explore some uses.
Brown or Sauté Ingredients
Instead of browning or sautéing ingredients in a separate pan, just do it in the Instant Pot and enjoy the convenience. Start cooking vegetables before activating another function of the Instant Pot to finish the dish.
Thicken your sauces and the broth in your soups and stews after your finish pressure cooking by using the sauté function. Add some thickener if the recipe calls for it and stir as needed while the dish simmers and reaches the right consistency.
Finish Cooking Food
Maybe you went “off recipe” with some new ingredients, and they are not quite done after pressure cooking. Put the finishing touches on your food when it doesn’t quite cook all the way through. Consider adjusting the time and heat the next time you make the dish.
Sauté onions, garlic, and aromatics with the sauté function’s low setting.
Adjust the sauté setting to “High” and sear meat in your Instant Pot. This is an excellent option when you need a stovetop but are not in your kitchen, such as cooking at a venue or outdoors.
Basic Steps to Sauté Using Instant Pot
Press the sauté button on the Instant Pot and select the heat setting with the “adjust” button. Some models/versions lack the “Adjust” button, but pushing the sauté button should toggle between settings. The time setting is irrelevant as you can turn it off with the “Cancel” button when you are done with the function.
Add oil to the pot. Some ingredients like ground beef and other fatty meats do not require oil (they bring their own).
Wait for the display to read “Hot” before you start cooking the ingredients you wish to saute or brown.
Cook the ingredients according to your recipe.
Allow meats to develop that nice, brown crust before removing them. This prevents them from sticking to the bottom of your pot.
Push the “Cancel” button when your food is cooked to perfection.
Pour a small portion of your cooking liquid into the pot to deglaze it if you plan to cook further with the pressure cooking function. Gently scrape any bits of meat from the bottom to avoid getting the “burn” message when pressure cooking. It means your inner pot is too hot, and the Instant Pot has stopped heating to prevent burning, and you can troubleshoot the problem.
What are the best things to cook in your Instant Pot?
- Soups of all kinds.
- Mashed potatoes.
- Carnitas, Barbacoa for delicious tacos.
- Indian or Thai Curries.
- Plain, everyday rice reaches new levels of deliciousness.
Does the Instant Pot sauté as well as a pan on the stove?
No, it does not do as well as a pan on the stove. Meat will take a little longer to brown, and your veggies will take a little longer to stir fry. If you dislike cleaning off a small mountain of pots and pans, the convenience is more than worth the small tradeoff.
Do you sauté with the lid on?
You can, but it is largely unnecessary. Lids prevent splattering, but consider how deep the inner pot is compared to the height of a typical pan when you sauté. You shouldn’t be filling your pot to the brim when you sauté anyway.
Your Instant Pot is a highly versatile little appliance. We use this Jack of all trades cooking device to cook in so many different ways. Though it may be overshadowed by other cooking equipment for certain tasks, its real strength is the ability to seamlessly take on so many roles.
We have covered the basics of how to sauté with your Instant Pot, but the truth is that this is just the proverbial tip of the iceberg. Use the device to try new recipes or cook old dishes in new ways.