The Best Thing to Make in Your Instant Pot This Summer Is Also the Easiest

published Jun 11, 2023
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

I try not to heat my tiny kitchen when it’s hot out, so my Instant Pot has been working overtime this summer. Besides helping me feed my kids and making more oven-less family dinners in minutes, the Instant Pot has really earned its keep in one particular way this summer.

I’ve counted myself as a Southerner for 12 years, so I was a bit flabbergasted when I saw this suggestion in one of my online Instant Pot communities. But after seeing so many positive responses, I decided to give it a try. Y’all, I’m never making sweet tea any other way after trying it in the Instant Pot.

Sweet Tea in the Instant Pot Is Stronger but Less Bitter

Sweet tea is so simple, right? Boil water, steep tea, add sugar — you hardly need a gadget to do it. So I was skeptical when I started seeing recipes for Instant Pot tea online. Here’s the thing, though: The Instant Pot boils the water and extracts the flavor faster, making the tea stronger but less bitter.

Credit: Meghan Splawn

How to Make Instant Pot Iced Tea

Here’s how I’ve been making iced tea in my Instant Pot this summer: Combine 12 cups of cool water and 3/4 cup of sugar in the Instant Pot’s insert. You can use less sugar, but my Southern husband prefers his tea super sweet. Set a steamer basket in the pot and then put 3 family-sized tea bags in the water. The steamer basket makes removing the tea bags much easier.

Use the manual function to set the Instant Pot to HIGH pressure for 2 minutes. Press start and walk away. Let the cycle run — it will take about 10 minutes to come to pressure, and then cook. Then let the pot naturally release for 30 minutes. Quick release boils the water and makes for a bitter brew and busted tea bags.

Release the pressure valve and remove the lid, then remove the steamer basket (with tongs if you need to) and move the tea to a pitcher and chill — or serve over ice. Yes, really! Because this tea is stronger than traditional brewed tea, diluting it a little by pouring directly over ice is no problem.

This post was originally published on Kitchn. Read it there: The Best Thing to Make in Your Instant Pot This Summer Is Also the Easiest