6 Things You Should Never Cook in an Instant Pot

Not even the Instant Pot can do it all.

If you’re anything like us, the Instant Pot has become your go-to gadget in the kitchen. After all, the pressure cooker makes it unbelievably easy to whip up weeknight dinners, grab-and-go breakfasts and decadent desserts. However, even the best things have their limits — and the Instant Pot is no exception. These six dishes are best prepared outside the pot.

Photo by: Armando Rafael

Armando Rafael

1. Creamy Sauces

If there’s one food group you should avoid in the Instant Pot, it’s dairy. The high heat and pressure can cause milk and cheese to curdle, separate or clump together. Instead, try adding in the dairy after the pressure cook cycle is complete, like we do in this 5-Ingredient Instant Pot Mac and Cheese.



Food Network Kitchen’s Air-Fryer Chicken Tenders for NEW FNK, as seen on Food Network.

Photo by: Renee Comet

Renee Comet

2. Fried Chicken

The best fried chicken is crisp on the outside, juicy on the inside and perfectly golden brown. When you’re cooking in an enclosed, moist environment like the Instant Pot, that crave-worthy classic quickly becomes a pale, soggy mess. Though nothing beats a deep fryer for fried chicken, you can use the Air Fryer to make easy, mess-free chicken tenders.



Chef Name: Food Network KitchenFull Recipe Name: Simple Chocolate Chip CookiesTalent Recipe: FNK Recipe: Food Networks Kitchen’s Simple Chocolate Chip Cookies, as seen on Foodnetwork.comProject: Foodnetwork.com, FN Essentials/Weeknights/Fall/HolidaysShow Name: Food Network / Cooking Channel: Food Network,Chef Name: Food Network Kitchen Full Recipe Name: Simple Chocolate Chip Cookies Talent Recipe: FNK Recipe: Food Networks Kitchen’s Simple Chocolate Chip Cookies, as seen on Foodnetwork.com Project: Foodnetwork.com, FN Essentials/Weeknights/Fall/Holidays Show Name: Food Network / Cooking Channel: Food Network

Photo by: Renee Comet ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Renee Comet, 2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

3. Cookies

Desserts that are steamed or baked in water baths, like cheesecake, can flourish in the Instant Pot (case in point: this mind-blowing Instant Pot Cookies-and-Cream Cheesecake). However, because pressure and moisture build up inside the pot, cookies won’t get the chewy edges and pillowy insides that make them so delicious. Plus, you can’t fit a lot of cookies on the bottom surface of the pot. Our advice? Stick to the oven next time you want a big batch of chocolate chip cookies.


Photo by: Teri Lyn Fisher

Teri Lyn Fisher

4. Burgers

Technically, Instant Pot burgers can be done. However, there’s not a big benefit to using your pressure cooker for this barbecue staple. Pressure cooked burgers won’t have the outside sear or smoky flavor that we typically enjoy in hamburgers — and since they only take a few minutes to grill, you really won’t save any time.

5. Pie

Similar to cookies, pie crust requires dry heat to develop its firm, flaky texture — which means the moist interior of an Instant Pot is not the best match for the delicate dessert. Plus, the scent of fresh-baked apple pie just can’t be denied. See for yourself with Food Network Magazine’s five-star apple pie recipe.

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Bobby_Guy_Story_2010 138515.tif

Food Stylist: Anne Disrude Prop Stylist: Meghan Guthrie ,Food Stylist: Anne DisrudeProp Stylist: Meghan Guthrie

6. Steak

Your juicy rib-eye and buttery filet mignon are best left outside the pot. Why? Like burgers, pressure cooking a steak won’t develop the caramelized texture that you can get by grilling or searing the meat. Even worse? It’ll most likely take longer to cook! If you’re craving red meat, use traditional cooking methods, like Bobby Flay’s Perfectly Grilled Steak.

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