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How to Set Up Your Instant Pot Tutorial {VIDEO}

Have you bought an Instant Pot yet? Here’s the best Instant Pot set up video made by my own kids! They’ll help you set up your Instant Pot and get cooking in no time. 

how to set up your Instant pot

Even though my kids now use my Instant Pot to make things like homemade mac and cheese, I am totally “one of those” people who left their brand new Instant Pot in the box for over 6 months when I first got one a few years ago.

But when we added a new IP to the family, I wanted to show people how EASY it is to unbox an Instant Pot and get it all set up to use.

We made an Instant Pot Set Up Video that will help you get ready to cook faster, make easy-to-peel hard boiled eggs, and even convert your favorite slow cooker recipes for the Instant Pot.

Let’s get your new favorite kitchen appliance out of the box and making your dinner!

Instant Pot Set Up Tutorial Video

If you can’t see the video above, click how to set up an Instant Pot to see it directly on YouTube.

You’re Just *7 Days* Away From Easier Meals with Your Instant Pot

Whether you have a few fav meals in your Instant Pot or still aren’t using it regularly yet, I can show you the secrets to SAVE time (and money) with my favorite appliance!

May I send you my best hacks to maximize my fav appliance so you can spend more time with your family AND nourish them well?

Get IP hacks in short emails and transform the way you serve dinner:

Step by Step List to Unbox and Set Up your Instant Pot

kids instant pot unboxing

To help you unbox your own Instant Pot, print this checklist and make it happen! The process should be the same or doggone close no matter what model/size you have. Wait, what? You don’t have one yet??? Grab this one as a great starter; the 6-quart is big enough for our family of 6, and this 8-quart is the one in the video.

Instant Pot Set Up: Unboxing

  1. To start your Instant Pot set up, take it out of the box and take the packaging off.
  2. Take all the parts out of the pot and the plastic off.
  3. Get the little paper out from under the pot by lifting up the pot.
  4. Pull the valve straight up to take it off (you won’t break it!) and get the string/tag off if it’s there.
  5. Put the valve back on.
  6. Check the sealing ring for cracks or issues by pulling it out of the lid. Just pull hard, it’s not fragile but it might be tight!
    checking the ring of the Instant Pot for cracks
  7. Put the ring back in. Promise, it’s not rocket science and there isn’t an “up” or “down” side.
  8. Slide the condensation collector on. Look on the back side of your Instant Pot under the part that sticks out for the lid, and slide the thin, clear plastic cup thingy straight on. If it stays and it’s straight, it’s correct.
  9. Peel the clear covering off the button panel. It won’t hurt to leave it on, but a lot of people (me included) forget this part and then later as it gets condensation under it, they think their machine is having a big problem. #notfun

Instant Pot Set Up: Testing

  1. Put the inner pot back in the machine. Pour in 2 cups of water. (We teach pouring skills to 2-5-year-olds with video cooking lessons in our Kids Cook Real Food eCourse!)
    kid pouring water into an instant pot
  2. Lock in the lid – just line it up in that larger section of the appliance and twist clockwise. You’ll hear a fun noise and know you’ve done it right.
  3. Make sure the valve is closed (pointing to “Sealing”).
  4. Press the “Manual” button and use the minus button to reduce the number to 2 minutes.
  5. Most Instant Pot models will start on their own after that, but some have a start button as well.
  6. After about 10 minutes, the Instant Pot will release steam out of the valve and pin area. That’s normal.
  7. When the pin stays up and the steam stops, the unit is up to pressure and the timer begins counting down.
    pin up sealed on an Instant Pot
  8. The IP will beep (for a long time!) when the timer is up.
  9. You can choose to release the pressure with a “quick release” which means opening the valve (carefully!) like my 12-year-old son does in the video, or you can just let it sit for about 15 minutes and the pressure will naturally release (called a “Natural Pressure Release” or NPR or NR in recipes, by the way). Releasing the pressure is definitely only a job for older kids or adults.
  10. Either way, you cannot open the lid until the pin is down and the pressure is released – the unit won’t let you turn it. (Safety feature!)
  11. When you twist the lid and open it, be cautious of the steam that will come out. We use a technique called “Pac Man the lid” in our cooking class for kids.
  12. Note: Always read the manual that comes with your appliance fully.

That’s it! Your Instant Pot set up is done! 

How to Use Your Instant Pot

Now your Instant Pot is ready for recipes like:

Or start with some basic techniques made easier in the Instant Pot, like:

See all my Instant Pot tips and recipes HERE.

That really wasn’t too hard, was it?

Where to Buy an Instant Pot

This is the 6-quart Instant Pot I started out with. After a few years, we added an 8-quart partly because I knew I would use two at the same time often enough, partly because it was the Prime Day sale, and also because I wanted more space for certain recipes. Both are a pretty basic model and you don’t need more bells and whistles than that!

If you’re deciding on size, most people say it’s better to get a deal on the 6-quart and just have 2 rather than go big, BUT if your family has 5 or more people or you really like to batch cook or do more than a pound of beans, the 8-quart may be the best choice. My full Instant Pot review and buying guide for features, size, and model.

If you’d like to shop directly at Instant Pot’s website instead of Amazon (or just compare prices), check them out here.

You can even get a carrying case to travel with it! See my review of the Instant Pot carrying case we have.

If you’re still on the fence about adding an Instant Pot to your kitchen appliance arsenal here are my Instant Pot pros and cons.

Have you set up your Instant Pot? Now we all want to hear – what is the first thing you made?
=Traditional Cooking School Instant Pot Sourdough Cornbread Pressure Cooker Recipe

My dear friend Wardee at Traditional Cooking School can do just about anything with her Instant Pot – cakes, bread, main dishes, veggies, even “stacking” multiple kinds of food at once!

She’s offering a free sourdough cornbread Instant Pot recipe!

This cornbread is delicious, nutritious, super easy to make, and it only needs 12 minutes of cook time.

setting up an instant pot
Unless otherwise credited, photos are owned by the author or used with a license from Canva or Deposit Photos.

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7 thoughts on “How to Set Up Your Instant Pot Tutorial {VIDEO}”

  1. I happened unto your recipe to
    pressure cook frozen hamburger..5lbs! It was perfect!
    Thanks for sharing!! Love my instant pot! Ready to
    Try making yogurt!!

  2. I may be an idiot but… you may want to add to pour the water into the inner pot. I was following each step and an early step says to remove everything but you never say to put the pot back in. I poured in the water and it ran out the bottom! Only after that did I see the picture of your son pouring water with the pot in!

    1. Oh dear, Tanya, I’m so sorry! I’m adding that step to the checklist now! We’ve had one long enough that there are some things that we don’t even think of. I hope you were able to get everything safely dried out and tested it with the pot? Thank you for helping other rookies! –Katie

  3. So glad to see this. Mine has sat in its box for about six months also. Now I am going to use these instructions and set mine up. since I live alone, I got the six quart size rather than the eight quart size, but you did say the instructions should work for all sizes. First thing I want to do is hard boil some eggs. I love hard boiled eggs and have for whatever reason, a mental block on cooking them. Can never remember how to do it, no matter how often I do it. Have to call a friend for directions each time. Feel like the village idiot. In fact, have gotten to where I have been buying hard boiled eggs at the store, at the price for two hard boiled eggs that would pay for an entire carton of a dozen eggs. I love to use my egg slicer and make sandwiches out of them. I think I read you can cook a lot of meats from frozen in this thing. Really do want to give it a try.

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