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Can you sear food in the Instant Pot?

The Instant Pot has taken the world of cooking by storm in recent years, and for a good reason. It is a versatile kitchen appliance that can replace multiple outdated ones like rice cookers, slow cookers, pressure cookers and more. But, can you sear food in the Instant Pot? This is a question that many people still ask. In this blog post, we will explore the answer in detail and explain how you can perfectly sear your food in an Instant Pot.

What is Searing?

Searing is a process of cooking meat at high temperatures to develop a brown crust on the surface, adding flavor and texture to the final dish. Searing does not cook meat thoroughly, but it’s a crucial step that every chef or home cook should follow before braising or roasting.

Can You Sear Food in Instant Pot?

The answer is yes, you can sear food in your Instant Pot using the “Saute” function. The Saute function is a feature present in most Instant Pot models, and it can be used to sear your food before cooking it. The temperature of the Instant Pot can reach up to 320°F, which is excellent for searing meat. Searing meat on the Instant Pot will help to seal in the juices, and the flavor will develop in the meat as it cooks.

Steps to Sear Food in an Instant Pot

Here are the simple steps you can follow to sear food in an Instant Pot:

Step 1: Preheat the Instant Pot

To sear meat or vegetables, you need to preheat the Instant Pot to the right temperature. Press the “Saute” button, and select the temperature. The Instant Pot will take a few minutes to preheat to the desired temperature.

Step 2: Add Oil

Once the Instant Pot is heated, add oil, and let it get hot. You can use different types of oil depending on what ingredients you are using. Vegetable oil, Canola oil, Grapeseed oil are great options.

Step 3: Add Your Meat or Vegetables

Once the oil is hot, add your meat or vegetables, and let them cook for about two to three minutes on each side until a brown crust forms.

Step 4: Remove Meat or Vegetables from Instant Pot

Once you’ve seared your meat or vegetables in the Instant Pot, remove them from the pot and set them aside. You can continue cooking them using any method you prefer.

Step 5: Deglaze The Instant Pot

Once you have removed the meat or vegetables, deglaze the Instant Pot. Deglazing is the process of adding a liquid (broth, wine, etc.) to the hot pot to remove the browned bits of food. Use a wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the pot to release the flavor.

Step 6: Add any other ingredients

After you deglaze the pot, add any other ingredients you may need for your recipe. You can use the pressure-cooking feature of your Instant Pot instead of boiling or simmering your ingredients.

Benefits of Searing in an Instant Pot

Searing your food in an Instant Pot will add flavor and texture to your dishes. It also helps to lock in the juices, resulting in moist, tender, and delicious meat. In addition, it reduces the amount of oil you need to cook your food, making it a healthier option than frying or sautéing.


The Instant Pot is an essential addition to any kitchen, and now you can sear food in it. Follow the steps above and sear meat or vegetables to perfection, enhancing the flavor and texture of your dishes. As with any cooking method, be sure to experiment and adjust the temperature and cooking time according to your recipe and personal preference.


What pressure cooker is best for searing?

When it comes to pressure cookers, not all are equal in terms of searing capabilities. If you want to sear your meat before pressure cooking it, you need a pressure cooker that has a robust heating element with high-temperature settings. The best pressure cooker for searing should be durable, easy to use, and provide a high-quality sear on your meat.

After researching various pressure cookers, the Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus stands out as the best overall pressure cooker for searing. It offers a wide range of functions, including pressure cooking, slow cooking, sautéing, and more. The inner pot of the Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus is made of stainless steel, making it robust and durable. Additionally, it has handles that enable you to lift and remove the inner pot, which is also compatible with stovetops.

The redesigned base of the inner pot ensures that your food makes proper contact with the cooking surface, so it is easier to sear, brown, and sauté in the Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus. Additionally, the Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus has a high-temperature setting that enables it to sear meat quickly, providing you with excellent results.

Another option is the Cuisinart CPC-800, which is a 6-quart electric pressure cooker that features a non-stick cooking pot for easy cleaning and a browning function to sear meat before pressure cooking. The Cuisinart CPC-800 has various cooking programs that allow for versatile meal prep, making it an excellent investment for anyone looking for a pressure cooker that can also sear meat.

If you want the best pressure cooker for searing, the Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus stands out as the ideal choice. Its robust heating element, handles, highly durable and redesigned base ensures perfect searing results.

Should I sear before pressure cooking?

When it comes to pressure cooking, one of the most common questions is whether or not to sear the meat before cooking it. While it may seem like an extra step, searing can greatly enhance the flavor and texture of the finished dish.

Searing the meat before pressure cooking has several benefits. First, it helps to develop a layer of flavor on the surface of the meat. When meat is seared at high heat, it undergoes a process called the Maillard reaction, which creates new flavor compounds that are not present in the raw meat. This can add a depth of flavor to the finished dish that would not be present if the meat were not seared.

In addition to adding flavor, searing also helps to create a texture that is more pleasant to eat. When meat is seared, the surface becomes crispy and browned, which can create a pleasing contrast with the tender interior of the meat. This can also help to enhance the visual appeal of the finished dish.

While searing is not strictly necessary when pressure cooking, it is generally recommended because it can greatly improve the overall quality of the finished dish. However, it’s important to note that the searing process should be performed before the meat is pressure cooked. Some pressure cookers have a browning or sauté function that allows you to brown the meat directly in the cooking pot, which can save time and reduce the need for additional dishes.

While searing may seem like an extra step, it is definitely worth the effort for the enhanced flavor and texture it can bring to a pressure-cooked dish. So, if you’re wondering whether to sear your meat before pressure cooking, the answer is a resounding yes.