How to Sauté in the Instant Pot – Easy Guide

Summary – To Saute in the instant pot, turn on the Instant Pot and select the “Sauté” function, then add your ingredients to the pot. Next, add your food to the pot and cook for the desired time. Once the food is cooked, press the “Keep Warm” function to keep it warm until serving.

How to Sauté in the Instant Pot

If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to cook a delicious meal, you need to learn how to sauté in the Instant Pot! This cooking method is perfect for those busy weeknights when you don’t have much time to spend in the kitchen.

Plus, the Instant Pot cooks food evenly and efficiently, so you don’t have to worry about under or overcooking your food. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to sauté in the Instant Pot:

So How does the Saute Function In the Instant Pot work?

The saute function in the Instant Pot allows you to cook food quickly without turning on the oven or heating up the stove. This feature lets you use the pot like a skillet, adding ingredients directly into the bottom chamber. You can even add liquids such as broth, wine, stock, water, coconut milk, or coffee.

Sauteing helps to seal the contents inside, helping to keep the flavors intact while cooking. When done correctly, there are no burnt edges or overcooked areas.

You can use the saute function to make everything from pasta dishes to soups to stir-fries. However, It works best with meats, vegetables, and seafood.

For example, you could sauté onions and garlic over medium heat to infuse the oil with flavor. Then, pour some tomato paste, red pepper flakes, and chicken stock and let simmer until the liquid reduces slightly. Add cooked penne noodles and toss to combine. Top with Parmesan cheese and serve immediately!

Step-by-step Guide on How to Sauté in the Instant Pot

Step 1: Press the Sauté button on your Instant Pot

Press the Sauté button on your Instant Pot

The pot comes with a default sauté time of 30 minutes. If you need to reduce the time based on your recipe, you can press “Cancel” anytime to turn the sauté off.

Step 2: Add the Ingredients

Add all of the ingredients to your pot. The recipe may vary depending on what type of food you want to cook. For instance, if you are making a soup, you would probably add meat, veggies, and seasonings to the pot.

Step 3: Close the Lid

Close the lid after adding all of the ingredients. Ensure that none of the ingredients fall out of the pot during this process.

Step 4: Start Cooking

Press the “Start” button to begin the cooking process. Depending on the size of your pot, the cooking time may take anywhere between 15 and 30 minutes. Once the cooking cycle ends, the pot will automatically switch back to its original setting (saute).

Step 5: Open the lid

Open the lid instant pot after cooking with sauté

Once the cooking cycle has ended, open the lid by pressing the cancel button. Make sure that none of the ingredients fall out.

Step 6: Serve

Serve the dish right away. However, if you are not ready to eat your meal, ensure you use the keep warm setting on your Instant Pot.

Additional Tips & Tricks

  • Use the saute mode to create flavorful meals less than half the time.
  • If you don’t have enough liquid, you can always add more. Just be careful when opening the lid because steam will escape.
  • Be mindful of the temperature settings. They are very sensitive, so try not to touch them unless absolutely necessary.

When to use the Sauté button on your Instant Pot

Browning or Searing

The saute function allows you to brown or sear food without high heat quickly. This feature can be very helpful for bringing out the flavors of certain ingredients, like onions or garlic, before adding them to the pot. You can also use it to add color to your dish, whether it’s vegetables, meats, fish, seafood, or even tofu.

Thickening Sauces

Adding thickener to sauces while pressure cooking in an Instant Pot can lead to scorching, and you might end up with a burnt sauce. This happens because the heat inside the pot gets too high during the process.

To avoid this problem, try adding the thickener to the sauce after the pressure cooking is done. Also, sauteeing the sauce after pressure cooking can help it thicken naturally.

Preparing Vegetables

Sautéing vegetables is a great technique for quickly preparing them. In addition, this method allows you to cook vegetables at lower temperatures than boiling, which preserves nutrients and flavors.

Cooking Seafood

If you’re planning to make seafood dishes, sautéing is one of the best ways to prepare it. It helps bring out the seafood flavor and makes it easier to eat.

You can sauté shrimp, scallops, mussels, clams, squid, lobster, crab, and other shellfish.

No Stove Available

Having the ability to sautee is great for those who do not have a stovetop burner. An instant pot is a great way to make meals without having a stovetop burner. You can use it in many different ways to cook food, such as making scrambled eggs, cooking a bacon or hotdog breakfast, making a stir fry, or even making soup.

Reheating Food

After pressure cooking, you can reheat your meal in the same pot. Then, simply press the “Saute” button again to re-heat the food. This mode ensures that your food doesn’t burn, prevents any flavor loss, and ensures that your dish turns out perfectly every time.

Precautions To Take When Using The Instant Pot Saute Function

The instant pot saute function is one of my favorite features because it allows me to cook meals without standing over the stovetop. I love how versatile it is, too. You can use it to make everything from soups and stews to rice dishes and even desserts. But there are some things you should know about the saute feature before you start cooking.

Don’t Overfill Your Instant Pot.

Don’t fill up the pressure cooker when making something like chili or soup. If you do, the food won’t come out evenly cooked. Instead, just add enough liquid to cover the ingredients. For example, if you want to make a beef stew, you’ll need to add a cup of water.

Use A Sauté Pan Or Other Heatproof Vessel On Top Of Your Pressure Cooker

If you’re using a regular pan on top of your pressure cooker, don’t put anything directly on the bottom of the lid. This could cause the contents to explode. Instead, place the pan on the side of the lid where the steam vents are located.

Start Cooking with sauté

Keep An Eye Out For Leaks

Leaking isn’t necessarily dangerous, but it does mean you’ve got a problem. So keep an eye out for leaks while using the sauté function. Look for bubbles from the lid’s sides and around the base’s edges. If you see any of those signs, immediately stop what you’re doing and fix whatever caused the leak.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Sear and Saute the same?

Yes! They both refer to the process of heating food until it starts to brown. However, they differ slightly. In sear, you heat the food until it begins to caramelize. Then, you turn off the heat and let the food rest. In saute, you continue to heat the food until it reaches the desired temperature.

How long does it take to Saute?

It depends on the size of the item being sauteed. Small items will be done faster than larger ones. Also, the type of meat or vegetable matters. Some foods require more time to cook than others.

Can you Saute with Instant Pot open?

Yes! Just remember to close the lid after you’re done. Otherwise, the steam inside the pot will escape, causing the food to dry out.

What Heat Setting is Saute

I recommend that you set the saute function to high. That way, you get the best results. However, it all depends on your recipe as well.