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Stir-Frying vs. Sautéeing

Stir-Frying vs. Sautéeing


Learn what separates these two fundamental techniques.

Stir-frying is similar to sautéeing, but amplified. With stir-frying, the heat is higher and the action is faster.

Sautéeing cooks large or small pieces of food in a wide, shallow pan in a small amount of hot fat over medium-high heat, turning often or just once. The fat may be a combination of butter and oil.

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Stir-frying increases the heat to high, and keeps the food in constant motion. The pan commonly used is a round-sided wok. The food is continuously turned, tossed, and stirred. Butter is not used because it burns easily at high heat. Food is cut in small, thin pieces for fast-paced cooking.


Essential Guide for Home Cooking Techniques

Do you know the difference between roasting and baking, or grilling and barbecuing? Whether you know or not, you’re in the right place! After all, even professional chefs need to brush up on their skills now and again.

In fact, using one cooking technique or another can change the taste and texture of your ingredients as well as the overall meal. So, if you’re an experienced home cook or just starting out, we’ll guide you through some basic cooking techniques that everyone should know and provide a few recipe ideas to get started.

Follow along as we guide you from the oven, to the stove top, kitchen gadgets and finally to the great outdoors! Feel free to jump around and learn as you choose, and most importantly, save this guide to keep coming back to later. Let’s get started.


So, how do Instant Pot SETTINGS work?

Each Instant Pot setting button is essentially a SMART PROGRAM option. Most smart programs, or buttons, simply set the pot to HIGH or LOW pressure for a specific period of time most closely aligned with the food it is meant to cook. For example, the default SOUP button sets the pressure cooker for 30 minutes at HIGH pressure, which you could use to cook any food that requires that much time and pressure.

If you press each SMART setting button more than once, it will toggle between Normal, Less or More options, which gives you more control of time, temperature or default pressure. For example, the RICE button can be set to Less or More depending on how soft or firm you like your rice or the type of rice you might be cooking.

Some buttons don’t use the pressurizing function of the Instant Pot. For example, Slow Cook and Sauté settings use the heating element that sits underneath the inner pot. They are programmed for heat level and time.

To keep it super simple, it is possible to use the Instant Pot for all recipes using just a few important buttons. With the Pressure Cook or Manual (on older models) buttons in addition to the Pressure Level and [-] and [+] buttons, you can control the time and pressure level which are otherwise preset for the rest of the buttons. This will work for any recipe that requires pressure. For non-pressure cooking, the Sauté, Slow Cook and Yogurt buttons help you accomplish a similarly custom cooking setting.

Instant Pot Duo CLASSIC, NoVA & other basic models

Let’s do a quick rundown of all the Instant Pot settings, as also known as “one-touch” or “smart” program buttons, on the control panel of Instant Pot Duo Nova & Duo Classic models. The Duo Nova is the recommended Instant Pot for beginners and that’s what we used to put together this guide.

Instant Pot MANUAL SETTING (Pressure Cook Button)

Depending on the model, the Instant Pot manual setting button will either say Pressure Cook or Manual. This is the setting you’re likely to use the most. The temperature, pressure level and cooking times can be adjusted on the control panel.

  • Turn the Instant Pot on. It should say OFF on the screen, indicating it’s in the Stand-By mode.
  • Select Pressure Cook button (Manual on older models). The default settings will be Normal mode (35 minutes cooking time) on High pressure. If you press the Pressure Cook button again, it will change from Normal mode to Less or More, which simply changes the automatically programmed cooking time. Less would be 20 minutes and More would be 45 minutes.
  • Use the +/- keys to change the cooking time in each mode. In most cases, you will leave it in Normal mode and simply adjust the time as needed.
  • Use Pressure Level button to adjust the pressure level press it to toggle between High and Low. For most recipes, you will use High pressure except for cooking more fragile foods like fish, seafood or fast-to-cook vegetables.
  • With the manual setting, you can use Natural Release or Quick Release or a combination of both once the cooking is done.

Instant Pot SOUP Setting (SOUP/BROTH BUTTON)

The default Instant Pot soup setting is pre-programmed to set the pot to cook at HIGH pressure for 30 minutes. The soup program brings contents of the pot to a slow simmer and results in a clear broth due to lack of boiling motion. Below is how to use the Soup/Broth setting on Instant Pot.

  • Turn the Instant Pot on, it will say OFF to indicate the Stand-By mode. Add all ingredients, seasonings and liquids to the pot and stir. Secure the lid on top. Press the Soup button. It will say Normal, 30 minutes at High Pressure. If you press the Soup button again, you can adjust the mode from Normal to Less or More (this simply changes the cooking time).
  • Normal mode – 30 minutes at High pressure – recommended for soups with meat.
  • Less mode – 20 minutes at High pressure – recommended for soups without meat.
  • More mode – 4 hours at High pressure – recommended for soups that require longer cook times such as rich bone broths. Release the pressure naturally.

Use the − / + buttons to further customize the time. The cooking time may be adjusted at any time during pressure cooking.

INSTANT POT SOUP COOKING TIPS

We find that most vegetables, including potatoes, don’t need the full 20 minutes at High pressure and will often overcook and get too soft, so for most vegetable-based soups, 5 to 10 minutes at High pressure is usually enough.

If you’re cooking something like a beef and vegetable soup, you may choose to pressure cook in two stages: set to cook the meat in a broth with some onions, carrots and celery on Soup/Less mode, then release the pressure and add the rest of the vegetables. Secure the lid again and set on Pressure Cook/Manual or Soup/Less mode and adjust the time to 5 minutes.

Most soups use a lot of liquid, so it is recommended that you release pressure naturally once the cooking timer is done. Simply leave the Instant Pot undisturbed. However, the foods inside keep cooking at a slower rate while the pressure is releasing. You can always release pressure naturally for 5-10 minutes and then use the quick release method.

Should you sauté first? In some cases, you may want to saute foods like onions, garlic, carrots and celery or to brown the meat first, which can add more flavor to the soup. In this case, press the Sauté setting first and cook off the vegetables in a little oil or fat for 3-4 minutes uncovered. Then add the rest of the ingredients and liquid, secure the lid and choose the Soup setting in whatever mode you like.

INSTANT POT Meat/Stew SETTING

The meat and stew setting is best for cooking large or tough cuts of meat at high pressure. This button can be used for cooking meat pieces in a little broth or stews that contain meat in them. Below is how to use the Meat/Stew setting on Instant Pot.

  • Turn the Instant Pot on, it will say OFF to indicate the Stand-By mode. Add meat, seasonings and liquids to the pot. Secure and lock the lid. Select the Meat/Stew button. The default Instant Pot meat setting is pre-programmed to set the pot to cook at High pressure for 35 minutes, which is suitable for most dishes like beef stew or pulled pork. If you press the Meat/Stew button again, you can adjust the mode from Normal to Less or More (this simply changes the cooking time).
  • Less mode – 20 minutes at High pressure – for soft texture meat great for diced steak, pork or lamb, pork or beef ribs, ground meat like when making taco meat or Bolognese sauce, and most stews that use diced or ground meat.
  • Normal mode – 35 minutes at High pressure – for very tender meat texture great for slightly larger pieces of meat and for stews that use tougher cuts of meat like Beef Bourguignon.
  • More mode – 45 minutes at High pressure – for fall-off-the-bone texture great for pork shoulder, beef pot roast or lamb roast.

If desired, use the − / + buttons to further customize the time. The cooking time may be adjusted at any time during pressure cooking.

COOKING TIPS

Allow meat to “rest” for 5-30 minutes, depending on size. It will reabsorb cooking juices for tender, succulent meat. Essentially, what this means is that you should allow the Instant Pot to release pressure naturally when possible.

Should you sauté first? In some cases, you may want to brown off the meat first or sauté foods like onions, garlic, carrots and celery, which can add more flavor to the dish In this case, press the Sauté setting first and sear the meat on both sides in a little oil or fat for 1-2 minutes uncovered. Then add the rest of the ingredients and liquid, secure the lid and choose the Meat/Stew setting.

INSTANT POT Bean/chili SETTING

The Bean/Chili setting button can be used to cook larger dry legumes such as beans and chickpeas in liquid or to cook chili or another type of stew that uses dry beans. The program settings (Less, Normal & More) use High pressure and result in different doneness of beans. When cooking beans, always use NR (natural release) to release pressure after cooking is done. Below is how to use the Bean/Chili setting on Instant Pot.

  • Turn the Instant Pot on, it will say OFF to indicate the Stand-By mode. Add dry beans, liquid and salt to the pot. Secure and lock the lid. Select the Bean/Chili button. The default setting is pre-programmed to set the pot to cook at High pressure for 30 minutes. If you press the button again, you can adjust the mode from Normal to Less or More (this simply changes the cooking time).
  • Less mode – 25 minutes at High pressure – for a firmer bean texture or to cook black beans, dry lima beans, Navy beans, black-eyed peas, Adzuki, anasazi, dry peas.
  • Normal mode – 30 minutes at High pressure – for a softer bean texture or to cook red kidney beans, white kidney beans (cannellini), Pinto beans, black-eyed peas (for softer texture).
  • More mode – 40 minutes at High pressure – for a very soft bean texture or to cook harder legumes like chickpeas and soybeans (increase time to 45 minutes).

COOKING TIPS

Ensure dry beans are completely submerged in water. Dried beans double in volume and weight after soaking or cooking. To avoid overflow, please do not fill the inner pot more than to the ½ mark to allow for expansion.

Although not necessary, soaking the dried beans can speed up cooking significantly. Immerse the beans in 4 times their volume of water for 4-6 hours. Cooking times for pre-soaked beans at High pressure can be halved from the program settings (on average).

Lentils (green and brown) only need 10 minutes at High pressure, so you could use the Less mode and manually adjust the time or use the Manual setting instead.

Note: You can also use the Multigrain setting to cook most beans.

INSTANT POT Poultry SETTING

The poultry Instant Pot setting is best for cooking…you guessed it…chicken! The mode you choose depends on the size of the chicken pieces and the cut as chicken breast needs less cooking time and is easily overcooked compared to chicken thighs. You can use this setting to cook chicken meat or a dish that contains poultry in it such as chicken and potatoes or chicken and rice (see more notes on this below). Poultry setting is only available on 6-quart and 8-quart models, not on the mini! Below is how to use the Poultry setting on Instant Pot.

  • Turn the Instant Pot on, it will say OFF to indicate the Stand-By mode. Add chicken, seasoning and liquids to the pot. Secure and lock the lid. Press the Poultry button. The default setting is pre-programmed to set the pot to cook at HIGH pressure for 15 minutes, which is suitable for larger pieces of chicken. If you press the Poultry button again, you can adjust the mode from Normal to Less or More (this simply changes the cooking time).
  • Less mode – 5 minutes at High pressure – for soft texture meat great for thinly sliced chicken breasts or diced chicken cubes (use Natural Release after cooking), diced chicken and rice or potatoes, vegetable soup with diced chicken, chicken wings.
  • Normal mode – 15 minutes at High pressure – for very tender meat texture great for whole chicken breasts, chicken thighs and drumsticks cooked in broth or on top of a trivet. For chicken breasts, you may want to reduce the time to 10 minutes to avoid overcooking and allow 5 minutes of natural release.
  • More mode – 30 minutes at High pressure – for fall-off-the-bone texture great for cooking a whole chicken on top of a trivet, which you can finish briefly in the oven for extra color, as well as for super-soft, braised chicken meat and chicken stock.

If desired, use the − / + buttons to further customize the time. The cooking time may be adjusted at any time during pressure cooking.

COOKING TIPS

Allow poultry to “rest” for 5-10 minutes, depending on size. It will reabsorb cooking juices for tender, succulent meat. Essentially, what this means is that you should allow the Instant Pot to release pressure naturally when possible.

Should you sauté first? In some cases, you may want to brown off the meat first or sauté foods like onions, garlic, carrots and celery, which can add more flavor to the dish In this case, press the Sauté setting first and sear the meat on both sides in a little oil or fat for 1-2 minutes uncovered. Then add the rest of the ingredients and liquid, secure the lid and choose the Poultry setting.

INSTANT POT Rice SETTING

This button is made for cooking medium and long-grain white rice. The Rice setting uses low pressure and a 10-minute natural release is recommended for perfect results, however, we found that 2-3 minutes natural release followed by quick release is sufficient. Below is how to use the Rice setting on Instant Pot.

  • Turn the Instant Pot on, it will say OFF to indicate the Stand-By mode. Add rice, water or stock and seasoning if you wish. Secure and lock the lid. Press the Rice button. The default setting is pre-programmed to set the pot to cook at Low pressure for 12 minutes, which is suitable for slightly larger rice kernels. If you press the button again, you can adjust the mode from Normal to Less or More (this simply changes the cooking time).
  • Less mode – 8 minutes at Low pressure – tender but firm to bite texture great for thinner white rice such as Basmati and Jasmine rice.
  • Normal mode – 12 minutes at Low pressure – for normal texture white rice great for regular medium to long-grain white rice and for more al dente Arborio risotto rice.
  • More mode – 15 minutes at Low pressure – for softer texture white rice great for slightly softer risotto.

If desired, use the − / + buttons to further customize the time. The cooking time may be adjusted at any time during pressure cooking.

RICE COOKING TIPS

1 cup of dry white rice usually yields 3 cups of cooked rice.

Depending on the volume of rice, cook time may range from 8–15 minutes. So, if 8 minutes is normally enough for 1-2 cups of dry Basmati rice, you may need to adjust to 10 minutes for say 3 cups of dry Basmati rice.

Unless you’re making risotto using Arborio rice, you should always rinse white rice 4-5 times under cold water. This will remove some of the starch and result in fluffier, more separated cooked rice.

The perfect grain to water ratio is 1 cup white rice to 1.25 cups liquid if cooking risotto rice, the ratio is 1 cup Arborio rice to 2 cups liquid (or even more depending on the consistency you like).

Brown rice and wild rice require much longer cooking times and are best suited to the Multigrain or Manual settings.

Instant Pot Multigrain SETTING

This setting is best suited to cooking tougher, whole grains like brown and wild rice, farro, millet and steel-cut oats it can also be used to cook dry beans and a mixture of grains and legumes. We find that this is one of the most confusing functions for people because some of the recommended manual cooking times for grains don’t match the pre-programmed setting times, so it’s hard to know when to use this function. Below is how to use the Multigrain setting on the Instant Pot.

  • Turn the Instant Pot on, it will say OFF to indicate the Stand-By mode. Add the grains, liquid and seasoning if you wish. Secure and lock the lid. Press the Multigrain button. The default setting is pre-programmed to set the pot to cook at High pressure for 40 minutes. If you press the Multigrain button again, you can adjust the mode from Normal to Less or More.
  • Less mode – 20 minutes at High pressure – use this mode for dry brown rice, wild rice, black rice and allow natural release after cooking. You will get slightly firmer to bite wholegrain rice. This button is also suitable for making rice congee/porridge. Farro, millet, and kamut grains will also turn out great with Multigrain Less setting and natural release. You can also choose this setting for cooking dry black beans, lima beans and black-eyed peas with natural release after.
  • Normal mode – 40 minutes at High pressure – use this mode for cooking brown rice, wild rice and black rice that will have softer texture when cooked. It’s also great for barley, spelt berries and wheat berries, ground coarse polenta, mung beans, chickpeas, soybeans and other firmer or larger-sized dry beans. Allow natural release when cooking is done.
  • More mode – 45 minutes warm water soaking + 60 minutes at High pressure cooking – this function is a little different in that it will first heat up the water in the pot and let the grains soak in it for 45 minutes, after which the pressurizing and cooking will begin for 60 minutes. This setting is suitable for cooking really tough grains or a mixture of grains and beans. More specifically, this is useful when you’re making a larger batch of grains like barley and wheat berries or chickpeas as the volume of the food might require slightly longer cooking time and pre-soaking can be beneficial. For example, this would be a good function to use to make a large batch of wild rice and beans together or say brown rice and chickpeas in one pot.

If desired, use the − / + buttons to further customize the time. The cooking time may be adjusted at any time during pressure cooking.

If cooking dry beans, ensure they are completely submerged in water the same if you’re making a mixture of grains and beans.

INSTANT POT Porridge SETTING

The porridge setting on the Instant Pot can be used to cook oatmeal using old-fashioned oats and steel-cut oats, rice porridge and congee or porridge-like dishes that use a mixture of grains that expand in liquid. Ideally, you should use natural release when cooking high-starch foods that expand or a combination of 5-10 minutes natural release and quick release to follow. Below is how to use the Porridge setting on Instant Pot.

  • Turn the Instant Pot on, it will say OFF to indicate the Stand-By mode. Add the grains, liquid and spices or fat if you wish. Secure and lock the lid. Press the Porridge button. The default setting is pre-programmed to set the pot to cook at High pressure for 20 minutes. If you press the Porridge button again, you can adjust the mode from Normal to Less or More.
  • Less mode – 5 minutes at High pressure – this is suitable for cooking rolled (Old Fashioned) oats and risotto-like porridge or rice porridge with slightly firmer to bite texture.
  • Normal mode – 20 minutes at High pressure – use for steel-cut oat porridge or rice porridge with a slightly softer texture and for making congee.
  • More mode – 30 minutes at High pressure – use for a porridge/congee that contains a mixture of beans or tougher grains.

If desired, use the − / + buttons to further customize the time. The cooking time may be adjusted at any time during pressure cooking.

Here are some suggested water to rice/oats ratios for porridge and oatmeal dishes:

  • Rolled oats (Old-Fashioned Oats): 1 cup oats to 2-3 cups water depending on how thin or thick you like your oatmeal. Porridge/Less Mode with natural release.
  • Steel-cut oats: 1 cup oats to 3-3.5 cups water. Porridge/Normal mode with natural release.
  • Arborio rice: 1 cup rice to 2 cups water. Porridge/Less mode with natural release.
  • Congee/rice porridge: 1 cup rice to 4-6 cups water depending on how thick or thin you like it. Porridge/normal mode with natural release.
  • Rice pudding: 1 cup short-grain or medium-grain rice to 3 cups liquid (water + milk). Porridge/Less mode with natural release. You can do 1 cup water + 1 cup milk for cooking and add an additional cup of milk or some cream at the end, together with some butter.

INSTANT POT STEAM SETTING

The Steam setting on the Instant Pot is perfect for cooking vegetables, fish and seafood, tofu and any other food that is suitable to steaming. This function uses Low pressure, which helps to avoid overcooking the food and means that the Instant Pot will come to pressure quicker. You need to use the trivet/steam rack provided to elevate food from cooking liquid. Always use QR (quick release) to prevent food from overcooking. Below is how to use the Steam setting on Instant Pot.

  • Turn the Instant Pot on, it will say OFF to indicate the Stand-By mode. Add a cup of water to the inner pot and place the trivet on top. You can place the vegetables or a piece of fish or thinly sliced chicken on top of the trivet OR you can use an additional steam basket or a round pan with holes that fits inside the pot. A steamer basket might be useful for smaller-sized vegetables or cut-up vegetables to prevent them from falling into the water.
  • Secure and lock the lid. Press the Steam button. The default setting is pre-programmed to set the pot to cook at Low pressure for 10 minutes. If you press the Steam button again, you can adjust the mode from Normal to Less or More.
  • Less mode – 3 minutes at Low pressure – use for steaming vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrots, peas, snow peas, bok choy, asparagus and so on. Also great for steaming fruit like apples, pears, peaches, apricots and plums. This mode is also a good setting for cooking fresh shrimp. Do not use for root vegetables like beets, sweet potatoes or white potatoes as take longer to cook.
  • Normal mode – 10 minutes at Low pressure – use for steaming fresh fish like salmon or white fish fillets, fresh clams and mussels, and for cooking frozen shrimp dumplings can also be steamed using this setting mode – use 10 minutes for frozen and reduce the time to 7 minutes for freshly-made or defrosted dumplings/potstickers.
  • More mode – 15 minutes at Low pressure – use for steamed sliced or cubed butternut squash, new baby potatoes, cubed beets. You can also use it to steam sliced chicken breast. For whole chicken breast, you will need to manually increase the time to 20 minutes. You can also steam condensed milk into caramel but you will need to increase the time to 40 minutes.
  • If desired, use the − / + buttons to further customize the time. The cooking time may be adjusted at any time during pressure cooking.

INSTANT POT SLOW COOK SETTING

The Slow Cook is a non-pressure cooking setting that is compatible for use with any common slow cooker/Crockpot recipe. The pot is heated but is not pressurized and the Less, Normal and More modes correspond to Low, Medium and High slow cooker settings but you will need to adjust the time manually.

You might want to use this setting for making dishes ahead of time while you’re away from home or overnight. There are times when slow-cooking might work better for certain recipes than quicker pressure cooking. Below are the steps for how to use the Slow Cook setting on Instant Pot.

  • Add food and liquid ingredients to the inner pot. You might choose to Sauté some foods first if specified in a particular slow cooker recipe. If you do, make sure to press Cancel to stop the Sauté function before you proceed with Slow Cooking.
  • Once all the food and liquids are in the pot, place and close the lid or use a glass lid with a venting hole. If using Instant Pot’s regular lid, press the quick release button down until it clicks and locks into the Vent position. This is important for slow cooking! On Duo Classic models, turn the steam release handle to the Venting position.
  • Press Slow Cook setting. You can press Slow Cook button again to cycle through the Less, Normal and More temperature options. Less is the same as Low (180-190F) on a slow cooker, Normal is Medium (190-200F) and More is High (200-210F) temperatures.
  • Use the − / + buttons to adjust the cooking time as needed for your specific slow cooker recipe. For example, if a recipe says 𔃶 hours on HIGH’, choose More setting mode and adjust the time to 6 hours.
  • After 10 seconds, the cooking timer will appear and will start counting down. You can choose to leave the Keep Warm setting selected (default) or press it again to turn it off. If left one, it will keep the food warm when cooking is done.

INSTANT POT SAUTE SETTING

The Sauté is another non-pressure cooking program that can be used in place of a frying pan or flat-top grill. For recipes that call for browned onions or garlic, it’s important to sauté them before adding liquid to the pot as you will release a lot of flavor this way. Another reason to sauté first is for browning meat. Lastly, sautéeing before cooking is a great way to increase heat and reduce the amount of time your pot will take to come to pressure.

  • Star the Instant Pot. Insert the inner pot into the cooker base. Do not use the lid for the next step.
  • Select the Sauté button. After 10 seconds, the cooker displays ON to indicate that it has begun heating. When display switches from On to Hot, add ingredients you want to brown. Note: You can add ingredients before the Hot message appears if you do, it may not appear at all. This is normal.
  • The control panel will display a 30-minute countdown timer as a maximum Sauté time, you can use it for reference if you like or adjust it using -/+ buttons.
  • The default temperature setting for Sauté function is Normal mode. Press Sauté button again to cycle through for Less and More modes (temperature options). Use Normal for general pan searing or sautéing, Less for simmering, thickening and reducing liquids and More for Stir-frying or browning meat.
  • Press Cancel to stop the Sauté process. It is recommended to deglaze the inner pot to ensure food items do not scorch during pressure cooking. To deglaze, add some liquid (e.g. water, broth, wine) to the hot pot. Use a wooden or silicone scraper to loosen anything that may be stuck to the bottom of the inner pot. If you brown meat, remove it from the pot first.
  • Add any other ingredients and liquids. Stir if needed or leave layered and continue with the manual or smart program settings to pressure cook the food.

USING SAUTE FUNCTION AFTER COOKING

The Sauté function is also useful for finishing the dish after pressure cooking is done. Once the pressure has been completely released, open the lid and then press Sauté button again. Press the button again to cycle through Less or More for lower or higher temperature.

  • Simmering the sauce or broth in the dish that needs to evaporate and reduce or thicken.
  • Adding more fragile or no-cooking-required ingredients like baby spinach, fresh tomatoes, fruit, cheese, milk or cream.
  • Thickening sauce with butter, cream or flour.

INSTANT POT YOGURT SETTING

The Yogurt button is a non-pressure cooking Smart Program made for easily fermented dairy and non-dairy recipes. The setting modes Less, Normal and More are used for different times of fermentation or for boiling (pasteurizing) the milk. Below are some basic steps and setting options for making yogurt using the Yogurt setting button.

PASTEURIZING/HEATING MILK

  • Add milk to the inner pot. A minimum of 4 cups of milk is recommended for a 6-quart Instant Pot (2 cups for 3-quart and 6 cups for 8-quart). Secure and close the lid. Make sure to press the quick-release button down until it clicks and locks into the Vent position. On Duo Classic, turn the steam release hand to point to Venting. Do this before you select the settings and make any adjustments.
  • Select Yogurt setting. The default mode is Normal. Press Yogurt again to cycle to the More option. The display indicates boiL. After 10 seconds the cooker begins heating. This setting mode can be used to pasteurize the milk but is also there for heating the milk before adding in the starter culture. When pasteurization/heating completes, the display indicates End.

ADDING STARTER CULTURE

  • Remove the lid and use a thermometer to check the temperature. Note: Milk must reach a minimum of 72°C (161°F) for pasteurization to occur (if that is what you’re after). Allow hot milk to cool to just below 43°C (110°F), you can transfer it to a bowl and place in an iced bath to speed up the process.
  • Once at the right temperature, add a starter culture to the milk according to package instructions. You can also use plain yogurt as a starter, ensure that it contains an active culture. Use 2-3 tablespoons of yogurt for 4 cups of milk.

FERMENTING YOGURT

  • Once your warm milk and culture mixture is in the inner pot, secure and lock the Instant Pot lid again, making sure the quick release button is clicked into Vent position (or steam release handle is pointing to Venting).
  • Press Yogurt again to cycle to the Normal option. The display indicates 08:00 hours. Use the − / + buttons to adjust the fermentation time if desired (up to 99 hours and 30 minutes). Longer fermentation will result in tangier yogurt. After 10 seconds the cooker begins heating. The display timer counts up to the set time from 00:00. When fermentation completes, the cooker beeps and displays End.
  • Transfer to storage containers cover and chill until cold, about 6-8 hours, or up to 10-14 days.
  • The Less mode is used for lower temperature fermentation (e.g. Jiu Niang, a sweet fermented glutinous rice dessert) and the default time is set to 24 hours. Use the − / + buttons to further customize the time according to the recipe.

HOW TO MAKE INSTANT POT YOGURT CUPS

Yogurt cups are a convenient way to portion out your yogurt into individual or smaller servings. After adding the starter culture to the pasteurized or warm milk, carefully pour the milk into your yogurt cups and seal them tightly. Clean the inner pot thoroughly and place the steam rack/trivet on the bottom of the inner pot. Place the sealed yogurt cups on the steam rack and add water to the inner pot until the cups are submerged halfway. Follow steps in “Fermenting Yogurt” above.

KEEP WARM SETTING

This setting keeps the contents of the pot at low temperature to maintain heat for serving. The Keep Warm setting turns on automatically after cooking on all Smart Programs (including Manual settings) except Sauté and Yogurt. It is set to count up from 00:00 to 10 hours and will then automatically switch off.

If you don’t want to keep the food warm after cooking, you can press the Keep Warm button again to turn it ON or OFF. Do this after you have selected one of the smart programs or manual settings, or at the end of the cooking process.

You can also change the temperature at which the food is kept warm. While in Stand-By mode (when the display shows OFF), press the Keep Warm button to cycle through Normal (145 F), Less (135F) and More (167F) temperature modes. Please note that the temperature will be remembered for next time.

Use the − / + buttons to set a warming timer up to 99 hours and 50 minutes.

DELAY START SETTING

This setting button allows you to set the Instant Pot to begin cooking later. It can be set to a minimum of 10 minutes or a maximum of 24 hours.

  • Select a Smart Program and adjust the settings as you desire, then press Delay Start. Note: Once Delay Start has been selected, there is no way to return to the cooking settings. To adjust Smart Program settings, press Cancel and enter new selections.
  • When the timer field flashes, use the − / + buttons to adjust the delay time. E.g., 02:00 indicates that cooking will start after 2 hours.
  • Press Delay Start again to toggle to the minutes field and follow the same process as the previous step.
  • Delay Start begins automatically after 10 seconds and the timer counts down. When Delay Start ends, the Smart Program begins, and the display indicates On.
  • Delay Start is not available with the Sauté or Yogurt Smart Programs

CANCEL/STAND-BY SETTING BUTTON

When the cooker is plugged in but not in operation, the display reads OFF to indicate Standby mode. Press Cancel to stop a Smart Program or Manual cooking at any time. The cooker returns to Standby mode.


Have You Tried: Grapeseed Oil?

Have you been missing out on this healthy fat? One try and this oil will quickly become a pantry staple.

Made from the same grapes used for wine making, grapeseed oil is extracted from the tiny inner seeds. Commonly imported from countries like France and Switzerland, this light and fresh oil is becoming more widely available in the United States.

Its clean and mild flavor makes it a better choice in dishes where you don't want the flavor of the oil to compete with the other ingredients.

Grapeseed also has an extremely high smoke point, making it ideal for high cooking temps in cooking techniques like stir frying, sautéing, baking and frying,

Just like all other plant-based oils, grapeseed contains 120 calories and 14 grams of fat per tablespoon. The majority of the fat comes from the uber heart-healthy polyunsaturated variety. It's also a plentiful source of the antioxidant vitamin E – each tablespoon has 25-percent of the daily recommendation. Grapeseed oil also contains a compound called OPCs (oligomeric proanthocyanidins), which only adds to its antioxidant and cell-protecting power.


Sesame Asparagus with Carrots

Heighten the flavour of fresh, spring asparagus with carrots and the light application of soy sauce, sesame oil, and sesame seeds.

Ingredients

  • 1 large bunch asparagus, about 3-4 cups
  • 2 large carrots, peeled
  • 2 tbsp. of chicken broth powder mixed with ½ cup of water, or ½ cup of liquid chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp. minced ginger
  • 1 tbsp. wheat-free soy sauce
  • 1.5 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp. sesame seeds

This dish requires a skillet that has a lid.

    1. Mix soy sauce and sesame oil in a bowl and put to one side.
    2. Break off woody ends of the asparagus and cut remaining spears into pieces about 1 inch long.
    3. Cut carrots into thin slices (about ¼ inch).
    4. Pour chicken broth-water mixture to skillet and place over medium-high heat.
    5. When bubbling, add minced ginger. Cook for 30 seconds.
    6. Add carrots and stir-fry for 30 seconds.
    7. Lower heat to medium.
    8. Cover skillet and let carrots steam until crisp (about 15 minutes). If the pan gets dry, add ½ cup of water.
    9. Add asparagus and mix with the carrots.
    10. Cover and let all vegetables steam until tender (about 10 minutes).
    11. Uncover and let water boil off.
    12. Remove from heat.
    13. Add soy sauce-sesame oil mixture and toss vegetables to coat.
    14. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and mix.

    For Weight Watchers: Overall point value in both the Points and PointsPlus is 2.5 points for the entire dish.


    4. Avocado Oil Smoke Point

    Smoke point: 190-205°C (375-400°F). High in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, it’s suitable for cooking in extreme temperatures frying, roasting, grilling, baking, and in salad dressings.

    Extra Virgin

    Smoke point: 248°C (480°F). Ideal for high-heat cooking methods like sautéing and roasting.

    Virgin

    Smoke point: 190°C (375°F). A very healthy oil but unsuitable for high-heat cooking.

    Unrefined

    Smoke point: 190°C (375°F). It has a strong avocado flavor, so it’s best suited in vinaigrettes.

    Refined

    Smoke Point: 270°C (520°F). It has a very high smoke point and is great for searing meats and frying food.

    Expeller-Pressed

    Smoke Point: 260°C (500°F). Ideal for searing, stir-frying, and baking at a high temperature.

    Cold-Pressed

    Smoke Point: 250°C (482°F). A good source of vitamin E, omega-9 fatty acids, and lutein – promotes vision.

    Common Questions

    Can You Fry With Avocado Oil?

    Avocado oil has a high smoke point, so it’s suitable for frying.

    Which Avocado Oil Is Best for Cooking?

    Cold-pressed (extra virgin) avocado oil is best since it retains all its nutrients and flavor during extraction.


    The Food ReFashionista

    A stir fry is a really easy and delicious way to fill up with vegetables. You can eat the dish as is or, if you want to add carbs, you can serve it over rice or noodles.

    Tips to superb stir frying:

    1. Use fresh ingredients. Unlike soup where you can get away with vegetables that have seen better days, a stir fry requires vegetables at their best.
    2. Peel, core, chop, dice, and slice all vegetables in advance. This dish cooks so quickly that you won’t have time to prepare them as you go.
    3. Use chicken, beef, or vegetable broth/bouillon rather than oil.
    4. Start with the vegetables that will take the longest to cook (onions, cabbage, green zucchini) and end with those that hardly need cooking (bean sprouts).
    5. Be creative. The wonderful thing about a stir fry is that you can use any vegetables that you want.

    Ingredients

    • ½ cup chicken broth
    • 1 yellow onion, diced, or 1 bunch of green onions, sliced (or both if you love onions!)
    • 2 tbsp. minced garlic
    • 1 tbsp. minced ginger
    • ¼ cup soy sauce
    • ½ head cabbage, diced (I prefer napa cabbage but any cabbage is fine)
    • 2 green zucchini, cut in half length-wise and sliced
    • ½ lb. mushrooms, sliced
    • 2 cups bok choy, chopped
    • ½ lb. firm tofu cut into small cubes (optional)
    • 2-3 cups bean sprouts

    Sautéeing Tip: Many recipes call for onions, garlic and other spices to be sautéed in oil to release their flavours. I mix 2 tbsp. chicken broth powder and ½ cup of water as a replacement for oil. This mixture will thickens as the onion and garlic cook.

    1. Put ½ cup chicken broth (see tip above) in a wok or large fry pan (that has a cover) over medium to high heat.
    2. When broth is bubbling, add onion or green onions, garlic, and ginger.
    3. Sauté until onion is soft (add a little more broth if onion starts to stick).
    4. Add soy sauce, cabbage, zucchini, mushroom, and bok choy.
    5. Mix and cover for 1 minute, then mix and cover again (this allows the vegetables to cook by steaming)
    6. Continue until vegetables are soft.
    7. Add tofu, if desired, and mix well.
    8. Add bean sprouts as a top layer.
    9. Cover and cook for approximately 2 minutes. Sprouts should be hot but crunchy.
    10. Serve with a slotted spoon (you may have more liquid than you need).
    11. Salt your serving to taste or add more soy sauce.
    12. Enjoy!

    For Weight Watchers: 0 points on both the Points and PointsPlus plan, unless you add tofu. If you do, calculate the total tofu points and divide by number of cups of stir fry you have made.


    What is the most healthiest fruit in the world?

    Here are the 20 healthiest fruits on earth.

    1. Grapefruit. Share on Pinterest. …
    2. Pineapple. Among the tropical fruits, pineapple is a nutrition superstar. …
    3. Avocado. Avocado is different from most other fruits. …
    4. Blueberries. Blueberries have powerful health benefits. …
    5. Apples. …
    6. Pomegranate. …
    7. Mango. …
    8. Strawberries.

    What limitations are there to sauteeing with water?

    I was recently helping with some recipes and was instructed to use water for "sauteing" onions, celery, garlic, etc. in place of oil (scare quotes on "saute" since it involves frying in oil or other fat by definition).

    The technique is meant to parallel sauteing in oil, water is measured by the tablespoon in a large pan, and although you replace water as it evaporates the vegetables are never submerged in water. Only enough water is ever used to inhibit sticking of the vegetables to the pan.

    The results were good and light but I haven't had much of a chance to push it further and experiment with the upsides and downsides (the three dishes meant to just soften the onions, garlic, celery and I had to follow the directions). Obviously, using oils imparts that flavors that you otherwise won't have present if using water. More importantly though, I would like to know which reactions would be inhibited in some way for instance, would browning and caramelizing happen at a different rate, or at all? Are there any other preparations that would be impossible without a fat to saute in? What are the limitations when using water to saute?


    The Best Cooking Methods to Keep Nutrients Intact

    News flash: There are plenty of ways to cook up juicy and flavorful food without adding tons of unnecessary extras. While most people know to ditch the fryer when cooking up healthy meals, many don&rsquot think about how their cooking method affects the nutritional makeup of their entrée.

    Heat can break down and destroy 15 to 20 percent of some vitamins in vegetables&mdashespecially vitamin C, folate, and potassium. And as you&rsquoll see below, some methods are more detrimental than others. This is why raw foodists cut out cooking altogether, claiming that uncooked food maintains all of its nutritional value and supports optimal health.

    But other studies suggest certain foods actually benefit from cooking. When cooking carrots, spinach, and tomatoes, for example, heat facilitates the release of antioxidants by breaking down cell walls, providing an easier passage of the good guys from food to body. Let&rsquos dive into the details.

    The Methods

    Microwaving

    Some research suggests that nuking may be the healthiest way to cook because of its short cooking times, which results in minimal nutrient destruction. Microwaves cook food by heating it from the inside out. They emit radio waves that &ldquoexcite&rdquo the molecules in food (read: make them move all round), which generates heat, cooking the food.

    While microwave cooking can sometimes cause food to dry out, keep things moist by splashing the item with a bit of water before heating, or by placing a wet paper towel over the top of your dish.Regardless, the way that microwaves cook food nixes the need to add extra oils (bonus points). The best part? You can microwave just about anything, from veggies and rice to meat and eggs (and studies suggest it may just be one of the best ways to preserve nutrients in veggies). Just make sure to use a microwave-safe container.

    Boiling

    Boiling is quick, easy, and requires nothing but water and a touch of salt. (Oh, and whatever food you&rsquore cooking.) But in addition to the high temperatures, the large volume of water dissolves and washes away water-soluble vitamins and 60 to 70 percent of foods&rsquo minerals.

    While this method can dissolve vitamins and minerals in some foods (especially vegetables), it&rsquos not the worst way to cook food. &ldquoSome antioxidants are more available when cooked. Lycopene in tomatoes, for example, is more readily available when cooked,&rdquo says Abbie Gellman, MS, RD, CDN. Carrots also fall into this category, and one study concluded that the level of beta-carotene increases after carrots are cooked.

    Steaming

    Steaming anything from fresh veggies to fish fillets allows them to cook in their own juices and retain all that natural goodness. (Again, no need for fat-laden additions to up the moisture.) It&rsquos always good to add a little seasoning first, whether that&rsquos a sprinkle of salt or a squeeze of lemon juice. If the carcinogen-fighting glucosinolates in broccoli are important to you, some research suggests steaming could be the best way to cook the little green trees. In the body, glucosinolates become compounds called isothiocyanates, which some studies suggest inhibit the growth of cancer cells.

    The only downside? Steaming doesn&rsquot always taste so great.&ldquoSo many people get steaming wrong, leading them to dislike veggies even more, so I don&rsquot typically recommend it,&rdquo says Sara Haas RDN, LDN. She admits that you don&rsquot get a ton of flavor from steaming and that can lead to reaching for excess butter or salt.

    Poaching

    The same goes for boiling&rsquos cousin, poaching&mdashno additions required. Basically, poaching means cooking the given food in a small amount of hot water just below boiling point. It takes slightly longer (which some experts believe can decrease nutrient retention), but is a great way to gently cook delicate foods like fish, eggs, or fruit. Plus, it&rsquos just about the most delicious way to cook an egg in our book.

    Broiling

    Broiling entails cooking food under high, direct heat for a short period of time. Broiling is a great way to cook tender cuts of meat, but may not be ideal for cooking veggies, as they can dry out easily. The hotter temperature also tends to degrade the enzymes in the produce, causing more nutrient losses.

    Grilling

    In terms of getting maximum nutrition without sacrificing flavor, grilling is a great cooking method. It requires minimal added fats and imparts a smoky flavor while keeping meats and veggies juicy and tender. While these are definitely healthy benefits, not everything about grilling is so peachy. Some research suggests that regularly consuming charred, well-done meat may increase the risk of pancreatic cancer and breast cancer.

    Cooking at high heat can also produce a chemical reaction between the fat and protein in meat, creating toxins that are linked to the imbalance of antioxidants in the body and inflammation, which can lead to an increased risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. This doesn&rsquot mean BBQs are forbidden&mdashjust stick with lean cuts of meat that require less cooking time and keep dark meats on the rarer side.

    Sautéeing

    While this method does require some oil in the pan, it should only be a moderate amount&mdashjust enough to get a nice sear on your meat and veggies. It&rsquos effective for bite-size pieces of meat, grains like rice and quinoa, and thin-cut veggies like bell peppers, julienned carrots, and snow peas.

    Some studies actually found that cooking veggies in a little bit of olive oil may increase the antioxidant capacity of the food. This may come as no surprise, as olive oil is a large part of the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet.

    No Cooking (Raw)

    Raw food diets have gained tons of attention, and for good reason. Many studies suggest there are benefits to incorporating more raw foods into the diet: Eating the rainbow consistently reduces the risk of cancer, but the jury&rsquos out on whether raw or cooked is really best overall.

    Plus, since the diet is mostly plant-based, more vitamins, minerals, and fiber are consumed with no added sugars or fats from cooking. And while some raw items might be super healthy, studies have found that cooking can actually amplify some nutrients, like lycopene in tomatoes and antioxidants in carotenoids such as carrots, spinach, sweet potatoes, and peppers.

    We say: Do your best to eat your fruits, veggies, and lean proteins, but don&rsquot always cook them the same way (besides, then your taste buds will get bored and nobody wants that).


    Watch the video: An Epic Wok-off: Wok Vs. Nonstick Skillet