How to steam in an instant pot

How to Steam in an Instant Pot

So you’ve been wondering how to steam in an Instant Pot? Many people don’t think of the Instant Pot when they plan to steam food. However, the Instant Pot is actually a very useful tool when you want to steam, or even just cook, your food quickly while maintaining all the nutrients. Steaming in an Instant Pot can be tricky at first, but by using the steps below, and a lot of practice, you can learn how to steam in an Instant Pot in minutes.

How to Steam in an Instant Pot: Research

steamed broccoli and carrots in a pan

The first step to steaming in an Instant Pot is to research how to cook in your Instant Pot. Lucky for you, you’re doing that right now! Steaming time is important when cooking in a pressure cooker because it’s easy for food to go from perfectly cooked to a mushy mess in mere seconds. Instant Pot provides cooking times on their website and it’s a great first place to start when researching how long to steam your food. There are lots of food you can steam in an Instant Pot such as fruits, vegetables, fish, chicken, eggs, or even condensed milk (which makes caramel!). 

Doing your research on the type of food you’re cooking before you start will help you be more confident once you actually start. Some rules of thumb to go by is to realize that not all foods, and not all meals will cook the same. This is especially true if you prefer to eat fresh, organic vegetables. Fresh vegetables and fruits can vary on how they steam depending on the day and the freshness of the produce. 

How to Steam in an Instant Pot: Prep

After you finish your research, take the time to make sure that your Instant Pot is prepped correctly. First, before you do anything, be sure that you have at least a cup of water at the bottom of the inner liner pot. This ensures that you will be steaming your food, and if you’re cooking chicken or fish, the drippings from the meat will drip into the water and make a nice stock or broth for later. 

Next, make sure that you have a steamer basket and a trivet in the liner pot so that your food is steaming and not boiling. Nobody wants to think they’re steaming their food, and then find out later that they ended up boiling it. The steam basket ensures that you’re cooking your food the way you want it. The trivet makes sure that the steam basket stays in place once you place it in the liner. Many steam baskets have a trivet, or something similar to a trivet, included with them so make sure to research those before you buy.  

Lastly, if you would prefer to see your food while you’re steaming it, Instant Pot sells clear lids on their website so you can keep an eye on how your food is cooking. 

How to Steam in an Instant Pot: Steaming

a pot with a steamy clear lid on the stove

Now that you’ve done your research and prep work, you can now begin steaming your food. Double-check that your water is in the bottom of your liner pot, and let’s begin!

Steaming Steps

  1. Place your steam basket or trivet into the bottom of your inner liner pot.
  2. Put the food that you plan to cook into the basket or trivet.
  3. Put the lid on the Instant Pot and double-check that the lid seals.
  4. Set your timer for your desired cooking time. (Remember to check and make sure you put in the right time!)
  5. Press the steam button to begin cooking your food.

When your food is done, your Instant Pot will beep to signify the end of cooking. Be sure to use the quick release on your lid and take your food out of the Instant Pot as soon as possible. This is so the food doesn’t keep cooking due to the pressure seal of the lid. 

How to Steam in an Instant Pot: Conclusion

Steaming in an Instant Pot is easy once you get the hang of it. The Instant Pot has preset cooking times if you’re not sure exactly how long to cook your food. However, it’s always best to look up the times to see if you need to make changes to them based on how tender or soft you would like your food. Also, Instant Pot sells a variety of Instant Pots that vary in size, depth, and settings. Make sure to find the best Instant Pot for you so that your cooking experience goes as smoothly as possible.

Remember, cooking is what you make of it, so have fun while researching and figuring out what will be the best way to steam in an Instant Pot for you!

Written by: Nina Rachal

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