Pot-in-Pot (PIP) Cooking Tips
The Casa Verde Advantage
Pot-in-pot (PIP) cooking with the Instant Pot and other pressure cookers uses an amazing variety of cooking techniques. Considered a “must have” accessory, Casa Verde is a top-of-the-line pressure cooker insert that takes PIP to a new level with its multifunction Stackable 2-Pan insert. It was carefully designed by and custom manufactured for Casa Verde and is made from heavy, food-grade, 24 gauge, 304 stainless steel to give you years of service. The pans and accessories work in concert with and enhance all PIP cooking methods. You can cook and reheat two foods simultaneously, avoiding the microwave and retaining nutrients, texture and flavor.
Advantages of Pot-in-Pot Cooking
- SIMULTANEOUS COOKING: cook multiple items at the same time.
- SLOWER COOKING: for delicate items slower cooking prevents overcooking, e.g. delicate vegetables like cauliflower and broccoli, fish, shrimp, greens.
- WATER BATH COOKING: a natural bain marie environment for cooking custards, flan, eggs, cheesecakes, and steamed puddings that require a water bath.
- BAKING: any baked item that you want to remain soft and moist, e.g. crustless pies, carrot cake, apple cake, muffins. If an item needs to be browned, finish it under the broiler in your oven.
Pot-In-Pot Cooking Principles & Techniques
RAINIER 10-IN-1 CONFIGURATIONS: There are at least 10 cooking configurations of RAINIER pans and accessories, including other bowls and pans.
COOKING TIME IS LONGER: Cooking times for the pot-in-pot cooking style will generally be a little longer than cooking directly in the Instant Pot. Cooking in the Instant Pot puts the food directly on the heat source like cooking in a saucepan on the stovetop. With pot-in-pot cooking, the pans are above the heat source and require slightly more cooking time.
TOP PAN VS. BOTTOM PAN: The bottom pan will get more heat than the top pan. So, when cooking two foods simultaneously, put items that take longer to cook in the bottom pan (meats), shorter cook times in the top pan (vegetables).
SOLID LID VS. PERFORATED STEAMING LID: Use the solid lid for waterless cooking (casseroles, entrées, desserts) and the perforated lid for steaming (vegetables, fish, etc.).
SMALLER THINGS COOK FASTER: If you want something to cook faster, make it smaller. For instance, diced potatoes are going to cook faster than a whole potato.
TWO CHEESECAKE SCENARIO: If cooking the same thing in both pans, like cheesecakes, at about the midpoint of the cooking cycle release the pressure, open the pressure cooker, and swap positions of the pans – put the top pan on the bottom and the bottom pan on the top. Then finish the cooking time so both will be evenly done.
COOKING THICK FOODS/SAUCES: Thick sauces and gravies, oatmeal, canned tomato sauce, or ingredients with tapioca starch or corn starch can cause scorching and prevent your Instant Pot from reaching pressure. Using your RAINIER pans is a great way to cook these types of foods without having to thin the food/sauce with water or broth.
SIMILAR COOKING TIMES: The best results for simultaneously cooking two foods is achieved when you cook two things with similar cooking times such as rice and chicken bites, white rice and dal, potato cubes and eggs, fish and spinach.
CHECK FOR DONENESS: If you get to the end of the cooking cycle and something is not done enough, just put it back into the Instant Pot and cook a little longer. This also works for cooking dissimilar items simultaneously. Say you are cooking food #1 for 25 minutes and food #2 for 10 minutes. Place food #1 in one RAINIER pan and cook for 15 minutes. Manually quick-release the steam, place food #2 in the other RAINIER pan, place it on top of food #1, and cook both items for another 10 minutes.
USE PARCHMENT PAPER LIBERALLY: We suggest using parchment paper in your pans. Just crumple up a piece of the paper, working it into a ball. Then thoroughly wet the paper and mold it to the inside of your pans before you place your food in. This makes cleaning up quick and easy, and allows you to more easily remove the entire content of the pan in one piece, like a cheesecake or lasagna.
Why Pot-in-Pot (PIP) Cooking?
Here is a good perspective from Garam Marsala Kitchen:
- Cooking entrée and side in the same pressure cooker. For example, chicken in the main pot, and rice in a smaller pan, placed on a trivet.
- Cooking multiple items that have the same cook time. For example, broccoli and cauliflower in one pan, peas and carrots in another.
- Steam-cooking foods that don’t need to touch the main pot or liquid, for example, boiling eggs or chicken breast, salmon fillets etc.
- Making desserts like cheesecake or lava cake, which turn out great when baked in a water-bath.
- Re-heating food is a lot easier when you can set two or more pans in the Instant Pot, to re-heat everything at the same time.
- Cooking a smaller quantity. If making 1/2 cup of rice, you need 1/2 cup of water or broth for that, and that’s not enough liquid for the main pot to come up to pressure. Cooking PIP takes care of that. Rice cooks evenly without scorching the bottom of the pot.
- Cooking foods that stick. For example, lasagna, or any recipe with a cheese as an ingredient has a higher tendency to burn if cooked directly.
Follow these links for great tutorials: