Could your Instant Pot finally help you kick your microwave out of the house for good?
Ann A. is wondering the same thing! She asks, “How do I reheat food in an Instant Pot? Can it possibly replace my microwave so I can finally get rid of that unhealthy appliance?”
The answer is… you bet you can!
While everyone talks about what an amazing pressure cooker or slow cooker the Instant Pot is…
…one of the things I do the most with my Instant Pot is to reheat foods!
We haven't had a microwave for years. I adjusted pretty easily to reheating leftovers on the stovetop or oven.
Yet now that I have an Instant Pot and use it for reheating foods, I feel like I have a microwave again! I can benefit from all the good things — like that it's fast and easy and that I can reheat multiple dishes at the same time without mixing them…
…with none of the downsides! (I do believe it's unhealthy to use a microwave.) However, rather than get into all of the downsides today, instead I'm going to show you how to use your Instant Pot to reheat foods. It's fast and so easy!
Below, you can watch the video replay of today's #AskWardee where I show you how to do it with leftovers from my fridge… or listen to the episode or just read the quick notes. Whatever works best for you. 🙂
Ann A. wants to know:
How do I reheat food in an Instant Pot? Can it possibly replace my microwave so I can finally get rid of that unhealthy appliance?
My Answer: How To Reheat Food In The Instant Pot
Liquid — There should always be some liquid present. This can be in the dish itself (such as a stew) or by adding a few tablespoons (like to pasta that you're reheating). If you're stacking multiple containers inside and using the Steam function, make sure that a cup or two of water are inside the insert pot.
Fat — Some foods will re-heat best with added fat (such as grains or pasta). So add a tablespoon or so for reheating. Clean-up and serving will go much easier!
Containers — For single dishes, the insert pot is the reheating container; for multiple dishes, use stacking containers or glass bowls on top of the trivet. (This principle is called Stacking and we discuss it more in our Pressure Cooking eBook & Video Package.
Separators Between Containers — Stacking containers are designed to separate themselves; if you're cobbling together various containers from your kitchen, put hard items such as trivets in between them so they don't collapse on each other.
Covers — For multiple dishes, each container should be covered to maintain separation. Stacking containers are designed with covers; otherwise, use pot lids or parchment paper/foil.
Sling — If you are using containers that don't have handles, be sure to use a “sling”. It's a piece of aluminum foil folded lengthwise into a strip. You put it underneath and up the sides of your cooking containers to help get them in and out of the Instant Pot. (See video replay if you're having trouble visualizing this.)
Cooking Times — Foods that need longer cooking times go on the bottom. More tender foods (like noodles) need less re-heating time. Frozen foods need more re-heating time than unfrozen.
Now here are instructions for how to use each function to reheat food in the Instant Pot.
Reheating — Steam Function
This is the function I use most often.
Remember to have some liquid (and fat if it's a food that will stick otherwise) with each dish — either in the dish itself or added dishes. And, if you're stacking multiple containers inside, make sure that a cup or two of water are inside the insert pot.
Put the food in the Instant Pot (single or multiple containers such as this 7-cup pyrex bowl or stacking containers like this). Put the regular lid on, and put the venting knob in the sealing position. Press the Steam button. Adjust the time up or down accordingly.
Usually, 5 minutes is about right for most non-frozen cooked dishes you're re-heating, from a grilled salmon fillet to leftover stew. Noodles need 1 to 2 minutes. When the cooking time is complete, quick release pressure.
Check dishes to see if any need more time (if so, repeat steps with a few more minutes reheating time).
When the dish(es) are ready, serve!
Reheating — Sauté, Slow Cook, Or Keep Warm Functions
Here are instructions for using the other 3 possible Instant Pot reheating functions –Sauté, Slow Cook, or Keep Warm. I don't prefer these as much as Steam (discussed above) because they are either more hands-on (Saute) or slower (Slow Cook and Warm). The Steam function allows you to be both hands-free and fast! 🙂
The optional glass lid is very helpful when using any of these functions. Remember to include a bit of liquid so your food reheats moist instead of dry! (The liquid can be in the dish itself.)
Here's how to do each one…
Sauté Function — Add a tablespoon or two of liquid (and fat if the food is sticky) to the insert pot. Add leftovers to the pot. Press the Sauté button. You can also warm soups this way; just make sure to watch the pot and stir the soup frequently while it re-heats. Use the glass lid as needed.
Slow Cook — Use this feature to re-heat soups, casseroles, sides, and even rolls or bread that you would normally bake to warm up. You put them either in the insert pot itself (soups) or in a container inside (rolls). Timing is equal to what you'd normally do in a slow cooker; it's on the slower side. Use the regular lid or glass lid to cover the dish while it's reheating.
Keep Warm — This is great for casseroles or baked dishes, especially when you want to warm them more slowly. Put the food in the pot or inside a container in the pot. Press the Keep Warm Button. Use either the regular lid or glass lid to cover the dish while it slowly re-heats.
Want To Do More With Your Instant Pot?
For more information on stacking and pressure cooker recipes galore (all Instant Pot-friendly), check out my Pressure Cooking eBook & Video Package.
For More Information:
- Instant Pot
- Instant Pot Glass Lid
- Stainless Steel Stackable Pans
- 7-cup Pyrex Bowl
- TCS Pressure Cooking eBook & Video Package
- Free Instant Pot Sourdough Cornbread Recipe
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Did you know you could reheat leftovers in the Instant Pot? Have you tried it yet?
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