Tips for using the multi-function rice cooker
1. Sealing and ventilation
My first mistake was forgetting to turn the steam release handle to the "seal" position before I started. This means the pan is in vent mode and will not be under pressure. So the first step for me is always "set the steam release handle to sealing!"
2. Set a timer
I always set a timer twice. For about 10-15 minutes at a time make sure the multicooker is actually getting pressurized and cooking. Then I set a timer for the remaining cooking time. My Instant Pot does beep when the cooking time ends, but unless you're within four feet of the machine, or you have bionic ears, you probably can't hear it because it's so soft.
3. Don’t overfill
Most multi-cookers have a fill line, obey that, my friends! While modern multicookers have many, many built-in safety features, our safety also depends on following the rules. Overfilling your multicooker can lead to overpressure, and...boom! Well, that probably won't happen due to other safety features, but overfilling can cause trouble.
4. Don’t underestimate cooking time
Your multicooker will take 10-15 minutes to come up to pressure, and many recipes will also need some rest time to release the pressure, so the 8-minute chicken probably spent a total of about 30 minutes in the pot.
5. Preheating with the "saute" button You can slightly speed up the pressure time by preheating your multicooker. Just press the "Saute" button when assembling the ingredients, adding the liquid first.
Sometimes the "quick release" of the pressure can cause what I call a "squirt" - meaning that not just steam but cooking liquid is ejected from the valve. I'll never forget the first time I made corned beef in the Instant Pot. I flick the steam valve for a quick release and divine. hell. I have steam, cooking liquid, and corned beef fat all over the place. This sucks, my friends. I basically had to steam clean my kitchen after that, which wasn't as much fun as it sounded. So two things: If you're going to pressure cook meat, do a natural release for at least 10 minutes. If it does "squirt," carefully close the valve again and wait a few more minutes.