The Instant Pot performs miraculously in the kitchen when it’s crunch time to get dinner on the table, but that doesn't mean you can cook everything in it.
We all love a good Instant Pot recipe that makes dinner come together with little effort, and even less cleanup. It’s no wonder this super appliance has developed a cult following—the Instant Pot saves you valuable cabinet space as it acts as a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, and even yogurt maker. It’s smart features allows you to choose from a multitude of settings for fast, even, and fully cooked foods.
Our best Instant Pot recipes include everything from sandwiches and soups to savory chicken thighs. There’s even a Facebook group dedicated solely to the mighty Instant Pot, providing the self-proclaimed “pot heads” a forum to share recipes and tips. Clearly, the Instant Pot is a multifaceted gem of kitchen tools, but as much as we admire its powers and enjoy utilizing them to save time in the kitchen… there are in fact a few cooking tasks that the IP just can’t do. While some of these may be somewhat obvious to the seasoned home cook, we’ve heard the phrase, “You can make ANYTHING in it!” enough times to feel compelled to clarify everything you should not attempt with your Instant Pot.
An Instant Pot will not get hot enough to deep-fry foods uncovered; as much as it can do, it isn’t meant to function as a fryer. If you are looking to make classic breaded fried chicken, a Dutch oven or deep-fryer is best. However, you can use your Instant Pot for shallow “pan frying.”
Again, if you want to achieve super hot and crisp stir-fried dishes, an Instant Pot is not be the best tool to use. You need a wide, shallow pan with high sides, like a wok, placed over a heat high in order to accomplish a great texture/stir-fry experience. An Instant Pot is more apt to simply steam your stir-fry components, leaving you with soggy veggies.
If you are looking for signature charred grill marks on your food, you most definitely cannot accomplish that with an Instant Pot (obviously). If you’re trying to bring your “grilling” indoors, reach for a cast-iron grill pan rather than the IP. Your pan grill is an excellent option for producing perfect charred grill marks in the comfort of your kitchen. Just make sure you have a ventilation hood running or crack a window to deal with any smokiness.
Sorry to break it to you, but you will have to crank up your trusty, real-deal oven if you want crunchy on the outside,chewy on the inside cookies. Cookies need to be baked on a flat cookie sheet with space to spread while baking. Typically, anything else that requires baking on a baking sheet, should be left out of your Instant Pot.
It is not recommended to can foods with an Instant Pot. Despite its “pressure cooking” abilities, the pot does not get hot enough and the pressure provided is not intense enough to safely can foods. In other words, your Instant Pot cannot provide the necessary conditions to kill botulism spores that develop in canned foods with improper canning.