Safety, speed, and easy cleanup are just a few of the reasons for the rising popularity of these trendy kitchen appliances.
Unlike a regular pressure cooker, an Instant Pot is a true multi-cooker that can perform a variety of tasks, including searing, simmering, browning, and sautéing.
It can similarly steam delicate foods such as fish, eggs, and veggies. While most of us love the cooking option for its speedy pressure-cooking capabilities, few of us mind the “slow cook” button or rather the warm function.
Intelligent Instant Pot
One of the major highlights of an Instant Pot is the “Set-and-Forget” feature. Unlike other cookers, these machines usually come with a host of intelligent features that usually promote the overall safety experience.
An Instant Pot is programmable (Especially the instant pots that has wifi) and will automatically go to a Keep Warm mode if nothing is done to it after the pressure cooking is complete. Though the heat is usually much lower at this stage it’s still sufficient to keep your food more cooked.
Different models usually have different intervals that they can stay warm. Ideally, however, the Keep Warm function is supposed to maintain food above 140° F, which is okay, but in my opinion, it shouldn’t be used all day.
Though several factors contribute to the propagation of bacteria, most of the bacteria start to die off at 130 F, with the death rate escalating as you raise the temperature.
And so, you should have no issue with bacteria when the slow cooker or warm button is triggered. And this is one more reason why it’s safe to sous vide food for hours without no issues despite never reaching 140 F safe point.
However, it’s not recommended that food stays in the “danger zone”- anything less than 140 F for 2-4 hours. So, I wouldn’t recommend keeping the food below 140F for too long.
If you keep your food continuously at above 140 F, your food will be much safer, but it comes at a detriment.
Depending on the type of food you’re cooking, exposing your food to high amounts of heat for too long can result in the loss of texture, taste, and some times, some of the foods, such as pasta, will turn into a squishy broth, altogether.
In any case, Instant Pot Manual discourages using the timer function for perishable foods such as fish that may go bad when left at room temperature.
The timer function is not recommended for porridge, oatmeal or other foamy and sticky foods. Back to the question, whether you can leave your food overnight, it all depends on the type of food.
Meats with lots of connective tissues, for instance, would be fine, as would be many stews and soups. Starchy products, on the other hand, such as rice and pasta, would get softer overtime, and so I wouldn’t recommend leaving them overnight.
Is It Recommendable to Leave your Instant Pot Warm Overnight?
In theory, Instant Pots are designed to work unattended. If the reviews are anything to go by, many of the household owners have no problem leaving their pot unattended.
However, before you do, ensure you read your recipe and that you’re familiar with Instant Pot cooking. For pressure cooking,
I wouldn’t recommend leaving the Instant Pot unattended until I have made several recipes and familiar how long the recipe will come to pressure and what steps to take after it has cooked.