You Can Cook Pasta In The Instant Pot, But You Shouldn't

An Instant Pot is an electric pressure cooker and much more, also doing the jobs of a slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, sauté pan, and even a yogurt maker. With the power to cook hard-boiled eggs, chicken, casseroles, stews, vegetables, and even cakes and pies in a fraction of the time as the conventional methods, it's a game changer for meal planning and food prep. This has helped the set-it-and-forget-it cooking appliance become a mainstay in American kitchens since it was introduced in 2010 — and rack up its own official Facebook community page with 3.2 million members.

Also unique for its more unexpected benefits that include energy efficiency and killing harmful pathogens and toxins, the Instant Pot may seem like the be-all and end-all of kitchen appliances. However, it does have some disadvantages. These include its clunky size and weight, the time it takes for it to heat up, and, of course, the fact that it's not the best way to cook certain kinds of essential foods, including pasta.

Pasta goes too soft in the Instant Pot

Different types of pasta have their own unique cooking times, and one of the mistakes you might be making with your Instant Pot is using the appliance to cook pasta with a short cook time. For example, delicate stuffed pastas like ravioli and tortellini are likely to soften too quickly and fall apart in an Instant Pot. The same goes for thin pastas like capellini and vermicelli, which can easily become mushy and overdone in the pressure cooker. Food Network explains that this happens because the pot is highly insulated, and the trapped heat continues to cook the pasta even after it is uncovered.

According to Kitchn, cooking pasta in an Instant Pot also goes wrong when it is left to cook in an inadequate amount of liquid, or if it's cooked under pressure for too long. While you're better off preparing longer-cooking pasta shapes — like bucatini or rigatoni — in the Instant Pot if you absolutely must do so, you'll have far more control over your meal if you stick to boiling it the regular way. Or, if you're really itching to use your pressure cooker, there are several Instant Pot recipes you can easily try out without the fuss and frustration.