How an Instant Pot Works: A More In-Depth Explanation

Hi friends! Dr. Brad here again with a new talk :). I recently acquired an Instant Pot (which I used today to cook a sumptuous tomato soup), and was intrigued by the principles behind its…


  1. Thanks for the in depth explanation. I think you are right that pressure cooking is not well understood. There are a few additional dynamics I think that happen during pressure cooking that are worth mentioning. Pressure cooking foods with water content (unlike rice grains) help to retain the moisture inside the food heating the food inside thoroughly rather than losing that energy via boiling it off. I think this is what makes the cooking process so fast since you are cooking at high temp on the inside and not just the outside. In stove-top cooking, you can't use too high heat for too long as it will cause surface burn before the inside is cooked.

    In addition at higher pressures, more water molecules are exchanging between the food and the surrounding steam tenderizing them which breaks down the food faster (at least by a little). And flavors from the steam do get into the food like meats in bbq smoker. A pressurized smoker would probably be even faster. These exchanges distribute energy evenly and you can afford high heat at low cook times.

  2. Impressive science, but what about the mechanics? I was hoping you’d be pulling apart an instant pot and showing us how it functions.

  3. So just curious and following the equations and wrapped up by the final thoughts in the video, but I would take that the cooker does ultimately cook faster due to raising the cooking temperature only, the pressure affects the boiling points and I know this is a hazy area but does “not affect the food” I ask that because like you it was hard for me to believe that the nominal increase in temp speeds things up so much

  4. I was looking for how the instapot works mechanically but I know enough chemistry and physics to follow along. The math was boring as usual but required if you want the final answer of why hotter is faster.

  5. I dislike it very much when an American scientist sullies his work by using Pascals, Celsius and the like.
    I think you should make a video about why Mr. Fahrenheit created his great temperature scale, or a video about why round numbers were popularized by imbeciles & the benefits of using fractional inch measurements & other square numbers.

  6. Our house was built in the 1950's, it still had the original electric range / oven when we bought. It had one heating element that worked like a normal one, but it also could be pushed down into a cylinder in the range top. A special pressure cooker pot and lid came with the range that fit into that cylindrical recess. The range also had a timer that controlled that element. In essence, the range had a built in instant pot, and it was made in the 1950's.

  7. Peace be to you Dr.Braddley! I'm a new subscriber! This is great! I got one of these for my wife! I sent you a message on your "Useless majors" video! I'll be following you closely! Peace!

  8. I use an Instant Pot about every day for my meals.
    I also have a hydronic boiler at home for radiant heat during winter.
    I'm also a boiler operator for the U.S. government.

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