Craving hot pot but don’t have a portable burner or tabletop stove? Don’t worry – you can still enjoy communal hot pot right from your Instant Pot! While it may seem unconventional, the Instant Pot’s heating element and spacious interior make it perfect for DIY hot pot.
The key is picking the right model size and accessories to transform your Instant Pot into a hot pot vessel. A 6-quart or larger Instant Pot provides enough space for ingredients and broth. You’ll also need a trivet and steamer basket that fits inside to hold ingredients.
To start, fill the Instant Pot with your broth of choice and select the Sauté setting to heat it up. Once simmering, add your raw ingredients in batches using tongs and a strainer. Swirl them gently until cooked through. Then transfer cooked items to dipping bowls and customize with sauces.
It may take some experimenting to get the hang of hot pot in the Instant Pot, but soon you’ll be hosting fabulous hot pot parties right at home. The best part? Easy cleanup since everything cooks in one pot! Let’s get started on how to master hot pot Instant Pot style.
Why Use an Instant Pot for Hot Pot?
Here are some benefits of using your multi-cooker for hot pot:
- Convenience – No need for specialized equipment like a butane burner.
- Smaller Scale – Perfect for intimate gatherings of 2-6 people.
- Temperature Control – The Instant Pot heats and maintains broth at a steady simmer.
- Built-In Timer – Helps prevent over or undercooking ingredients.
- Compact Storage – An Instant Pot takes up less space than a standalone hot pot setup.
- Easy Cleanup – No extra pots or dishes to wash up afterward!
While it may seem unorthodox at first, using the Instant Pot for hot pot is worth trying for an easy and fuss-free hot pot experience.
To transform your Instant Pot into a hot pot cooker, you’ll need:
- 6-quart or larger Instant Pot – Provides enough space for ingredients and broth.
- Stainless steel steam basket – Holds ingredients so they simmer directly in broth.
- Steaming trivet – Raises steam basket off the bottom of the pot.
- Long handled tongs – For grabbing ingredients out of the hot broth.
- Ladle – For filling individual dipping bowls with broth.
- Small strainers – Individual strainers for guests to use when cooking items.
- Cooking utensils – Chopsticks or cooking spoons for guests.
- Small bowls – For dipping sauces and custom broths for each diner.
Any pot-in-pot accessories that fit in your model Instant Pot will work. You’ll also need ingredients and sauces – more on that further below.
Prep the Broth
Just like traditional hot pot, the broth is what gives Instant Pot hot pot its flavor. Some tasty broth options include:
- Chicken, beef or vegetable stock
- Miso broth
- Spicy Szechuan chili broth
- Thai coconut curry broth
- Japanese dashi and kombu broth
- Kimchi and pork broth
Aim for 6-8 cups of broth in your Instant Pot to start. You can freeze extra broth in cubes to add as needed.
Pro Tip: Use a broth fat separator to siphon off excess fat from broths like chicken or beef for a healthier result.
Prep Hot Pot Ingredients
Part of the fun of hot pot is the variety of ingredients that cook quickly in the simmering broth. Think an array of thinly sliced meats, tofu, veggies, noodles and dumplings.
Here are some key ingredients to prep:
- Thinly sliced beef – Flank, sirloin or ribeye
- Thin pork slices – Loin or shoulder
- Sliced lamb or duck
- Chicken breast or thighs
- Shrimp, scallops or squid
- Tofu – Firm or silken cubes
- Fish balls or fish tofu
- Vegetables – Bok choy, choy sum, napa cabbage, mushrooms, bean sprouts, etc.
- Rice noodles, mung bean noodles or cellophane noodles
- Dumplings – Pork, shrimp or chicken
- Flat rice noodles for dipping in broth
Having ingredients pre-sliced and arranged on platters makes for easy cooking once guests arrive.
Sauce Bar and Seasonings
The dipping sauces are key to hot pot flavor. Provide small bowls for guests to mix and match sauces like:
- Soy sauce
- Chile oil
- Sesame oil
- Rice vinegar
- Chili garlic sauce
- Hoisin sauce
- Oyster sauce
- Peanut sauce
- Sesame seeds
Step-By-Step Instant Pot Hot Pot
Once you have everything prepped and ready to go, follow these steps:
- Heat Broth – Add broth to Instant Pot inner pot. Select “Sauté” and heat until simmering, about 10-15 minutes.
- ** Arrange Ingredients** – While broth heats up, arrange ingredients and sauces around Instant Pot for easy access.
- Add Steam Basket – Place trivet and steam basket into the simmering broth.
- Serve Broth – Use ladle to fill individual dipping bowls with hot broth.
- Explain Process – Show guests how to grab ingredients with tongs or strainers and swirl in broth until cooked.
- Start Cooking – Have guests cook vegetables first for 1-2 minutes, followed by sliced meats and seafood.
- Customize – Once ingredients are cooked, guests can add their choice of sauces.
- Continue Cooking – Let guests continue selecting and cooking items at their own pace.
- Monitor Broth – Check broth occasionally and add more stock or seasoning as needed.
- Enjoy! Keep cooking and dipping until the pot is empty!
The great thing about Instant Pot hot pot is how it keeps broth at the perfect simmer for cooking without worrying about temperature regulation. Be sure to supervise children around the hot pot and use cooking tools for handling ingredients.
Now that you know the basics, get ready to enjoy effortless, communal hot pot from your multi-cooker! Experiment with broth flavors and ingredient combinations for customized hot pot experiences.
Helpful Tips for Instant Pot Hot Pot
Here are some extra tips and tricks for hot pot success:
- For safety, plug the Instant Pot into an outlet separate from other appliances to avoid tripping a breaker.
- Have guests wash hands before cooking and swap out cooking utensils between uses.
- Use metal or silicone hot pad trivets under the Instant Pot to protect table surfaces from heat.
- For a clearer broth, refrigerate overnight and skim off fat before reheating.
- Cook rice, noodles or other grains on the side in a rice cooker or separate pot.
- Set the Instant Pot to “Keep Warm” mode to maintain broth temperature after ingredients are cooked.
- For easy cleanup, line the Instant Pot insert with parchment before adding broth.
- Don’t fill broth over the max fill line – splatters could trigger the pressure switch.
- Add fresh herbs right before serving for maximum flavor.
Troubleshooting Common Problems
Here are some tips for troubleshooting hiccups that can occur when using an Instant Pot for hot pot:
Broth isn’t getting hot enough – Make sure the Instant Pot is sufficiently preheated on Sauté mode before adding ingredients. Check that the steam release valve is in the Sealing position.
Ingredients are cooking too slowly – Increase heat to the highest Sauté temp to bring broth to a rapid simmer. Add a bit more broth for volume if pot seems crowded.
Ingredients are overcooked – Avoid overfilling the pot, which can drop the broth temp. Use cooking tongs to quickly remove items as soon as they are cooked through.
Ingredients are sticking – Lightly oil the steam basket and ingredients before cooking. Stir and move items frequently while cooking.
Broth is boiling over – Don’t fill broth past the max line. Lower Sauté temp as needed. Remove foam that accumulates with a spoon.
Burn or food stuck-on errors – Avoid direct contact between ingredients and pot bottom. Add a thin layer of broth before adding trivet and basket.
Just like traditional tabletop hot pot, it’s important to follow safety measures when using an Instant Pot:
- Keep hot surfaces away from edge of tables and out of reach of children.
- Use gloves or cooking tools to avoid direct contact with extremely hot broth.
- Don’t overfill pot with broth to avoid overflow accidents.
- Ensure the lid is securely sealed before turning on Instant Pot.
- Discard remaining broth within 2 hours after cooking due to bacteria risk.
- Store leftovers in refrigerator in smaller containers for quick cooling.
Follow these precautions and your Instant Pot hot pot party will be a safely delicious success!
Frequently Asked Questions About Instant Pot Hot Pot
Still have some questions? Here are answers to 5 common FAQs about making hot pot in an Instant Pot:
Q: What size Instant Pot is best for hot pot?
A: A 6-quart or 8-quart model provides enough room for ingredients and broth. Anything smaller may be too cramped.
Q: Can you cook ingredients directly in the Instant Pot instead of using a steam basket?
A: Not recommended. Direct contact with the inner pot bottom can lead to burning or sticking. Use a basket.
Q: How do you keep ingredients from sticking to the steam basket?
A: Lightly oil the basket first. Stir and move ingredients frequently while cooking. Immediately remove when done.
Q: Is it ok to cook raw meat in an Instant Pot hot pot?
A: Yes, as long as meat is in thin slices. Make sure to cook it thoroughly and discard leftover broth after 2 hours.
Q: Should the Instant Pot lid be on or off during hot pot cooking?
A: Off! You need open access to ingredients to cook them and add more as needed. Don’t seal the lid when using as hot pot.
So grab your Instant Pot and steam basket – it’s time to unlock a fun and fast way to enjoy hot pot from the comfort of home. Once you get the hang of it, hot pot in the multi-cooker becomes an easy and mess-free way to create a memorable dining experience with family and friends.