Instant Pot Zero Minute Cooking - myth or reality? We are here to tell you how it works!
You read it absolutely right! You can actually set your Instant Pot to zero minutes and you'll have perfectly steamed veggies. And before you ask, it is possible to set the timer to 0! Read on to find out how we are going to use this setting, and what you need to know.
Have you had to steam your veggies over the stovetop? It’s a pretty tedious process right! If you have an Instant Pot consider yourself lucky cause this hack is going to up your vegetable game! Steamed veggies - quick, easy and done just right.
We are going to take you through how to steam vegetables the right way and what to do with them to make a wonderful side dish.
How Zero Cook Time in the Instant Pot works
In the Instant Pot, the timer starts only once the pressure inside has built up. However, the cooking process starts as soon as it turns 'ON'. This is why for some foods, zero cook time can be sufficient. We saw this hack all over the internet and decided to test it.
The way it works is simple -
- Place 1.5 cups water in the steel insert that comes with the pot. Place a trivet and and place your steamer basket with prepped vegetables in it, making sure that the water does not touch the veggies.
- Set the timer to '0' - select 'manual' or 'pressure cook' on high pressure and set the timer to zero on the instant pot. Turn the pressure valve to Sealing.
- As the pot comes to pressure, steam is created and the veggies start cooking. Once the Instant Pot has built up pressure it'll beep because the timer is already set to zero. It'll switch to 'keep warm' mode, but the steam inside will continue cooking
- Release Pressure - We tested this, and released pressure immediately, after 5 minutes, 7 minutes and 10 minutes and here's what we noticed:
Immediate pressure release: Most veggies were still firm though they had steamed slightly, so they weren't completely raw, but still a little hard for eating as a side. So IP Zero Cook Time + Immediate Quick Release does not work!
Pressure Release at 5 minutes: We let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes and then a manual quick release. Veggies such as beans, green peas and sweet corn were cooked with a slight bite but others such as carrots, broccoli, cauliflower and asparagus needed more time
Pressure Release at 7 minutes: We let the pressure release naturally for 7 minutes and then a manual quick release.In our opinion, this was perfect. Everything was perfectly cooked. Veggies were tender, but still firm and not falling apart. They still had colour on them and looked fresh.
Pressure Release at 10 minutes: We let the pressure release naturally which took approx 10 minutes. The veggies were overcooked and completely mushy. The cauliflower for example, could be mashed with a fork. Definitely don't recommend leaving them in it for so long, except for baby food.
Once cooked, immediately remove the steamer basket and rinse under cold water for 5-10 seconds to prevent further cooking. Season with salt and pepper, or saute it with some olive oil and chopped garlic and serve away!
Which Veggies work
The following vegetables work perfectly:
- Green Beans
- Sweet Corn Kernels
- Frozen Green Peas
We’ve noticed that starchy vegetables such as potato, pumpkin, squash and so on can not be used with zero cooking because of their dense structure. Bummer, I know.
Keep in mind that the veggies were cut into relatively small to medium sizes, chunkier sizes would require more time.
Technically, even though it says zero cook time, it's not exactly cooking for zero minutes. In fact, at 7 minutes of pressure release we found the vegetables nice and tender, but at 10 minutes they were already mushy. So be sure to keep an eye out for the time!
As amazing this simple hack is we figured we could work better with an actual cook time for some common vegetables, followed by a quick Pressure Release. We like our steamed veggies soft but still able to hold shape. To figure out the time, we used the same method and changed the cook time and also instead of a natural pressure release, we did a quick pressure release. We liked this much better if we were to consume our veggies with some light salt and pepper seasoning. Listed below is the cooking time we followed:
- Broccoli - 2 minutes
- Frozen Corn - 2 minutes
- Spinach - 0 minutes
- Frozen Peas - 1 minute
- Green Beans - 2 minutes
- Zucchini - 3 minutes
- Baby Corn - 4 minutes
- Carrot - 4 minutes
- Potatoes - 6 minutes
- Beetroot - 10 minutes
Regardless, we found that Instant Pot Zero Minute Cooking is a great way to get the veggies started for a side. Get a grasp on cook time in the Instant Pot and you’ll be able to rule your kitchen, we promise!