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Instant Pot: How to use jarred braising sauce?

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  • Larry Grover
    Club Member
    • Mar 2017
    • 332
    • https://pitmaster.amazingribs.com/forum/grills-and-smokers/charcoal/460226-bbq-guru-pit-viper-fan-to-pk360-tutorial

    Instant Pot: How to use jarred braising sauce?

    Sometimes when Williams-Sonoma has sales I'll pick up some of their braising sauces for quick lazy meals. I usually cook them in a dutch oven but my wife just brought home a 6qt Instant Pot. So now I want to try to cook it up in that.

    Did a little research and found that WS also sells similar sauces made for pressure cookers but they have poor reviews (sauce burned etc.)

    The plan is to brown 3 lbs of chuck & veggies to go with the sauce. The jar has 2.75 cups of liquid and instructions call for adding 1.5 cups water to dutch oven/slow cooker. Any advice here on cook times and how much water to add?

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  • EdF
    Club Member
    • Jul 2016
    • 3186
    • Atlantic Highlands, NJ
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    I'd toss the jar in and add the full amount of water recommended. Keep the level of the food below 2/3.

    More water isn't going to hurt, since you can always uncover and reduce it a bit after the pressure cycle. But if it sticks to the pot bottom because it was too thick, that's not going to be nice.

    This recipe may give you some inspiration for the amounts. Some of this is going to depend on how thick the sauce is, but you will get more liquid from the meat and veggies. https://www.hippressurecooking.com/t...ked-beef-ribs/

    The above is assuming you're using it as a pressure cooker rather than a slow cooker.
    Last edited by EdF; December 7th, 2018, 12:37 PM.


    • Larry Grover
      Club Member
      • Mar 2017
      • 332
      • https://pitmaster.amazingribs.com/forum/grills-and-smokers/charcoal/460226-bbq-guru-pit-viper-fan-to-pk360-tutorial

      Thanks, I'm also curious if you all find searing to be satisfactory inside the IP or do you transfer from skillet/DO?


      • EdF
        EdF commented
        Editing a comment
        I don't have the Instant Pot - I have the Breville competition. For the Breville, searing works great. I've seen people talk about using the Saute (I think) setting on the IP with good results. Guess you'll just have to try it out!

      • EdF
        EdF commented
        Editing a comment
        Be sure to let us know how it turns out!

      • Bkhuna
        Bkhuna commented
        Editing a comment
        I have a 6 and an 8 qr IP and still use a large skillet to soar. It's easier and you can search more at a higher temp.
    • shify
      Club Member
      • Jun 2017
      • 383
      • Westchester County, NY

      Searing works fine on the IP. Set it to sauté and let it heat for a few minutes and then add oil and the meat and sear away. Then deglaze with the sauce add back the meat and set it up to pressure cook it. The amount of time would be based on what you are cooking. If you cube up the chuck to about 1-2 inch cubes it should take around 30 min on high pressure. I don’t know how long it would take if you left the roast whole.


      • Larry Grover
        Club Member
        • Mar 2017
        • 332
        • https://pitmaster.amazingribs.com/forum/grills-and-smokers/charcoal/460226-bbq-guru-pit-viper-fan-to-pk360-tutorial

        I did a little digging on why pre-made sauces burn in the IP. It sounds like a crapshoot because if the sauce is too thick, or there's ingredients like corn starch or tomatoes it can scorch.

        Looks like you need a minimum of 1 cup thin liquid to build pressure. So now I'm thinking pot-in-pot method. Insert water under the steam rack then put a 7x3 cake pan or Pyrex glass bowl with the meat, veggies and (un-diluted) sauce on top of the rack.

        I'll definately post up results when the cook is done.


        • EdF
          EdF commented
          Editing a comment
          That approach definitely has possibilities.
      • lonnie mac
        Club Member
        • Jul 2016
        • 1324
        • Bacliff, TX
        • Motovlogging for the freedom of old Hippies...


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        I make a LOT of beef stew in the ole instant pot. I'm thinking for the last two years we have had beef stew at least once a month or more. I'll plop my recipe down below just for fun and comparison.

        There are a few "key" things to learn with the Instant pot. You can brown in it just fine. Actually, it works great! Just make sure you totally deglaze afterwards. You don't want anything stuck on the bottom once you start your cook. If there is anything still stuck on the pot, sometimes it will fool the thing into thinking that something is burning. How the hell it knows this I have no idea but it does.

        Start with the liquid that you want to end up with. There is no boiling off of the liquid so what you start with, you will likely end up with a tad more.

        I don't use jared gravies, but I would not be scared to give it a go. your meat and veggies will have a LOT of juices that will mix in and thin it out in the end.

        Stir it all well before you put on the lid, poke everything down below the gravy, have "JUST" enough gravy to cover everything. I'll bet it comes out great.

        Heres mine just for fun... Actually making this tomorrow.

        IP BEEF STEW
        Start prep 1 hour

        2 LB beef stew meat floured and browned
        with salt and pepper and 2 tsp Kitchen Bouquet

        To pot:
        2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
        1 TBS red wine
        1/2 tsp Aged Balsamic Vinegar
        2 med potatoes cut up
        3 large carrots cut up
        2 celery stalks cut very small
        1 yellow onion cut up small
        3 garlic minced
        1 TBS ground mustard
        1 bayleaf
        1 6oz can tomato paste
        1 Bunch Thyme
        1/2 tsp Cayenne
        1 bottle Johnnys Slow Cooker sauce
        2 cans beef broth
        2 TBS butter
        2 TBS salt

        All in pot after beef browned stirred.
        Cook on stew setting, 35, NPR
        Add 2 TBS roux to thicken


        • Larry Grover
          Club Member
          • Mar 2017
          • 332
          • https://pitmaster.amazingribs.com/forum/grills-and-smokers/charcoal/460226-bbq-guru-pit-viper-fan-to-pk360-tutorial

          Thanks for the recipe, I'll give it a try next time. Johnny's slow cooker sauce is something I'll probably have to order but it sounds good.

          Turns out you were right, I should've just put the sauce in the inner pot - maybe add 1/4 cup water to play it safe. The pot-in-pot thing didn't work out, it was undercooked after 45min and the steam added water to it anyway. Also, I had to do veggies in a separate batch due to limited space in the 2qt container I used. At that point I removed all the water and dumped everything else in the inner pot and cooked for another 20 min. Nothing burned on the bottom and the end result was fine, the William's Sonoma sauce was really good.

          I was pleased with the searing as it browned the chuckies nicely. I thought I had a defective unit because after 5 min warm up on max heat saute I was only seeing around 130 degrees.

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          But the meat turned out fine and the bottom heated very evenly.

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          • fzxdoc
            Founding Member
            • Jul 2014
            • 4807
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            I haven't had much success with PIP (pot in a pot with the IP) unless I lengthen the cooking times. I like to make quickie meals with frozen chicken breasts or thighs (only if I haven't had the time to defrost them) and jarred Indian sauces, like Sharwood's Butter Chicken Sauce. Turns out that most jarred sauces are way too thick to allow the IP to come up to pressure properly, and the sauce burns on the bottom of the pot. Besides, you end up boiling/braising the food for the programmed cooking time if the IP doesn't actually come up to pressure.

            So now I add about 1.5 cups of broth or water (preferably home made chicken broth) to the chicken and the sauce. This thins the sauce enough for it to cook properly in the IP. Stir well. Cook on High Pressure for 20 minutes if the meat is frozen and 10 minutes if it is not. I usually add par-cooked potatoes to the pot before cooking.I let it do the Natural Pressure Release for about 10-15 minutes. If the sauce needs thickening, I add a roux. I'm a roux kind of gal anyway. Love the stuff.



            • Larry Grover
              Club Member
              • Mar 2017
              • 332
              • https://pitmaster.amazingribs.com/forum/grills-and-smokers/charcoal/460226-bbq-guru-pit-viper-fan-to-pk360-tutorial

              My user manual says to use a minimum of 2.25 cups of water/thin liquid to make the thing work. However, a food blogger went on IP's Facebook page and cornered a rep on this. Their response was "about a cup will do unless your cooking an absorbent food."

              The sauce I used was reasonably watery. My next cook will be pork butt with their 'Apple Cider Sage' sauce. I'll estimate how much water is in it and add enough to ensure I have at least a cup.


              • fzxdoc
                fzxdoc commented
                Editing a comment
                It's not as much about the volume (as long as it's a cup or more) but the consistency of the sauce. It just can't be too thick, I've learned from experience.

            • Larry Grover
              Club Member
              • Mar 2017
              • 332
              • https://pitmaster.amazingribs.com/forum/grills-and-smokers/charcoal/460226-bbq-guru-pit-viper-fan-to-pk360-tutorial

              Just an update I cooked a 3.25 pound pork butt with Williams-Sonoma "Apple Cider Sage" braising sauce. After browning the meat I deglazed with white wine. When there was about 2 ounces remaining I placed the butt in whole then dumped the sauce on top. High pressure for about 45 minutes and it came out great - fork tender, stupid simple.

              I noticed with their Instant Pot starter sauces either water or broth is the #1 ingredient, while those are further down the list in their braising sauces.

              I bought a couple IP cook books at Costco and one author often doesn't use any water or broth in her recipes. Gets it from the meat and small amounts of soy sauce or ACV etc. The other author mentioned you can get pressure with as little as a few tablespoons of water. She recommends if a sauce looks too thick putting a little water at the bottom, then the meat and sauce last. And by the way, both of these books were approved by Instant Pot.

              Finally, I read a tip on the internet from a guy who uses thick sauces. He said he gets the machine hot first by using the slow cooker function then switches to pressure. By doing this it coaxes the sauce and pressure builds faster. I think he used SC high then LP.

              Also, I noticed these sauces are on sale right now for $6.99.

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              • EdF
                EdF commented
                Editing a comment
                Thanks for reporting back!
            • samried
              Former Member
              • Jul 2019
              • 2

              I was Looking for the pressure cooker so i found this discussion.I want some suggestions that which will be best pressure cookers 2019?


              • Potkettleblack
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                I have the Breville, and use rick Bayless slow cooker sauces with about half to a quarter of the additional liquid requested on the sack or sauce. Because there’s no evap you don’t want too much liquid in there. And because of the format, reducing in the thing is maddeningly slow.




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