Instant Pot Steam vs Manual Function: How To Use

Instant Pot Steam vs Manual: How Do They Work?
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Instant Pot Steam vs Manual: How Do They Work?

Instant Pot Steam vs Manual

Many people enjoy the steam function on their Instant Pot. Others avoid using this because it is easy to make mistakes and instead tend to steam on a manual setting. Instant Pot steam vs manual; which method is the best to use for steaming? In fact, both methods are fine. It comes down to what you feel comfortable with and which is the most convenient. If you have not tried the steam function, you should certainly give it a go because it is not complicated or difficult. That said, some people have struggled with it.

Instant Pot Steam

Using the Instant Pot steam function is easy. You just add your food to the pot, pour in the required quantity of water (as directed by the instructions), and hit the steam button.

Once the pressure cooker has got to temperature and the water starts boiling inside, it begins steaming your food. At this point, you should hit the timer so you can fully control the cooking time.  Interestingly, when you use the steam preset, your Instant Pot will not reach full pressure as it does in pressure cooking mode. Instead, it cooks your food by steaming at low pressure. This makes very little difference to you, the user. Both methods, pressure cooking or steaming, require that the lid is firmly shut.

Steaming is a great way to cook food because it seals in all the nutrients, but you do need to act quickly because it does not take very long. Broccoli, for example, can be cooked in this way in less than a minute. Once your food is cooked, you will hear a series of beeps that signify that the cooking cycle is over, and you then must immediately carry out a quick release, or it will lead the food to become mushy and spoiled.

Not everyone enjoys using the steam function. There is no room for error in timings, and even a minute too long will lead to your food being spoiled or overcooked. Instant Pot has provided cooking guidelines for steaming, and you can check these out on the Instant Pot app or the website.

Manual Function

You can also use your Instant Pot as a conventional steamer, meaning that you do not cook it under pressure. You do this by adding the water to the pot and placing the food in the trivet. You don’t close the lid, so the pressure cooker does not start building pressure. Instead, you hit the sauté button. Once the water starts boiling, you can close the pot with a glass lid. Because this method is not carried out under pressure, you can check your food to see if it is done. Once you are satisfied that your food is ready, you just hit the cancel button in order to stop cooking.

What can we conclude?

Either method works for steaming. The pressure steam method is more convenient, but it takes some getting used to. You can’t see whether your food is ready, and it is easy to make mistakes and overcook it. The conventional steaming method is easier but does require that you monitor the food carefully while you are cooking.


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