For Models: IP-ULTRA
Instant Pot’s newest model, ULTRA, not only re-designs the way we interact with a pressure cooker – but it puts the power of creating a nearly unlimited number of programs right in your hands. In this review we reveal what the new functions do, take an ULTRA for a spin and solve the riddle about why some people can’t brown in their Instant Pot ULTRA.
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This cooker has two pressure settings (high and low). Maximum operating pressure (high pressure) is 11.6 psi or 80kpa – some recipes and ingredients will require time adjustments for non-standard cookers. The minimum liquid requirement is two 180 ml measures ( the plastic cup that comes with the cooker) or 1 1/2 standard (8oz) measuring cups.
Steam is released vertically from the steam handle. Release pressure when the cooker is not underneath upper kitchen cabinets.
Unfortunately, the manual does not include any information on how to use the included programs. Here are the tutorials that will guide on how to use each program.
Pressure Cook Program
This function should be used when following a recipe that asks for a specific pressure cooking time. After selecting the program, tap the knob again to adjust the cooking time according to the recipe. Make sure to use the minimum required amount of liquid and not to fill the pressure cooker more than the 1/2 full mark if the recipe is primarily rice, grains or beans or more than the 2/3 full mark for any other ingredient. If you’re new to pressure cooking, we highly recommend watching the Pressure Cooking School video series.
Soup/Broth, Meat/Stew, Bean/Chili Programs
These are pre-set pressure cooking times for these kinds of recipes. Simply select the program and press “start” to use, or tap again to change the cooking time according to the recipe or the main ingredient’s cooking time (see our ingredient cooking time chart).
This program can steam food conventionally or using high or low pressure. This program should be used with at least two cups (8oz) of water and any steamer basket (see our steamer basket recommendations) or directly on the provided rack (if it is one large item). Select the steam program and then scroll (twist) through the options as needed.
Slow Cook Program
This program can be configured t slow cook at low, medium or high-temperature settings. Because this is a thermostat-controlled slow cooker (not voltage as the traditional crock-pots) in order to reach and maintain temperature we recommend bringing the contents to a boil using Saute’ setting (see below) before starting the desired Slow cooking program. This can be used with or without the lid. To preserve the most heat use the pressure cooking lid with the valve closed. Be aware that there will be less evaporation as compared to a traditional slow cooker.
This program is designed to sear, brown, saute’, simmer and reduce. To start the default program simply select it and then press start. To adjust the temperature up “to sear and brown” or down “simmer and reduce”, after selecting the program push on the knob again to choose the correct option. When the screen displays “Hot” it means that the cooking surface has been pre-heated.
This program is designed to keep food, or beverages warm during a party or event -the settings are the same as in the Slow Cooking program so remember that while the food is going to be kept warm it will continue cooking on this setting.
Rice and Multigrain
Pressure programs designed to cook rice and grains. Because of the decreased evaporation, conventional rice recipes (water to grain ratios) will need to be updated for use in the cooker. We have written a comprehensive guide for pressure cooking rice and grains with the appropriate ratios and cooking times. If the “Rice” setting won’t let you adjust the cooking time, use the “Pressure Cook” setting and adjust the pressure to Instant Pot’s recommended “low” following the same cooking times and ratios recommended in our guide. Remember not to ever fill the inner pot more than the 1/2 full mark with rice/grains and their cooking liquid.
This is a pressure program designed to pressure cook oatmeal and other mush. It is not safe to pressure cook oatmeal directly in the pressure cooker because foaming could gum-up the valves and safety systems. However, it can be cooked directly in a bowl – which reduces foaming and makes clean-up a snap. Here are our directions for safely pressure cooking oatmeal.
Pressure program to steam cakes. This requires at least 1 1/2 cups of water in the base fo the cooker, the steamer rack and a small heat-safe container (see our heat-proof container recommendations) containing a cake batter. The size of the container typically dictates 1/2 of a conventional cake recipe or you can follow one of our pressure cooker cake recipes.
Pressure cooker program to steam eggs, please watch our pressure cooker egg video tutorial on how to do this.
A program designed for a variety of tasks including boiling-water canning, milk-scalding, and steam cleaning baby bottles. At the time of this writing, Instant Pot could not cite based on what data, sources or processes they designed the proposed processing timings and temperatures. Hip Pressure Cooking does not recommend using this setting until more information becomes available (see the ULTRA Revie for details and updates on this issue).
A program designed to scald milk, make yogurt – or another ferment (though it is too hot to ferment Kefir in our experience). Please read our detailed guide and video on how to make yogurt using the Instant Pot.
A program that can be set to be used with high pressure, low pressure for up to six hours or no pressure with custom temperatures (104 to 208°F) from 0 minutes to 99.5 hours. Because of the 5° temperature fluctuation, Instant Pot does not recommend using this setting – or any setting – for sous vide.
How To Use The Delay Option
Each program will offer the additional option to “delay” cooking and allow you to enter a specific time. Keep in mind that this setting delays the start of cooking. So if, for example, you’re going to be home in four hours and the recipe requires 45 minutes to cook, you’ll want to delay the cooking time for three hours – otherwise, the cooking will start when you get home!
For any program, the cooker will need to pre-heat before the cooking time starts counting down, so add an extra 15 minutes of delay for non-pressure programs to pre-heat and an extra 30 minutes of delay time for pressure programs to pre-heat and begin releasing pressure (the actual pre-heat and release times will vary depending on how full the pressure cooker is).
So, to figure out how long to delay cooking:
- Decide how long from now you want the meal ready (i.e. four hours),
- Subtract from that time the cooking time (i.e. 45 minutes),
- Also, subtract any pre-heat (approx .15min) and pressure release (approx. 15min) time.
- To ensure the meal is ready on time, over-estimate how long it will take to preheat, cook and release – and ensure that the automatic “Keep Warm” is set to be on so it remains hot until it is time to serve.
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