Instant Precision Dutch Oven Guide: A Beginner's Guide

Learn how to use your Instant Precision Dutch oven with my step-by-step instructions and pictures. Find out all about each function, and what you should know about taking care of your new enameled cast iron pot. I'll walk you through where to start, and what to expect as you start using your new Instant Dutch oven.

front view of instant Dutch oven
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What is an Instant Dutch Oven?

The Instant Dutch Oven is a 5-in-1 electric multi-cooker with a high-quality enameled cast iron insert. The functions are sear/saute, braise, slow cook, manual mode, and keep warm. It cooks using a direct heat source on the bottom of the appliance in the cooker base.

One of the great things about this is that you can also use it on the stove, and go from the cooker base directly to the table or transfer it to the oven to bake bread. Be sure to check out my Instant Dutch Oven Conversion Guide next.

The enameled cast iron insert can be used to cook in the cooker base, the stove, and the oven. It currently comes in three colors: red, blue, green, and black. At the moment it is only available in a 6-quart size. The price point for this is about $149 USD on sale up to the regular price of about $229 USD.

What's in the box

instant dutch oven in the box
  • Dutch oven - a 6-quart enameled Dutch oven with lid. It is dishwasher safe but just like with all enameled cast iron it's best to hand wash to prevent discoloration of the enamelware over time.
  • Cooker base - this is where the magic happens. The cooking base should be hand washed only, and never submerged into water.
  • Silicone handle covers - slide over the cast iron handles so you can safely remove your pot from the cooker base.
  • Silicone protective pad - large round silicone pad to protect your counter tops and tables from the hot cast iron of the pan once you are done cooking.
  • Guides and booklets - just like with your other Instant products this comes with a getting started guide, a safety and maintenance guide, and a small recipe booklet to get your started.

Be sure when you get your new Dutch oven that you wash the cast iron pot and lid in warm soapy water before you use it. Also be sure to check out my accessories guide.

The control panel & functions explained

control panel

On the control panel above you can see the time display in the middle. There is a message bar just like on some Instant Pot models that will tell you when the function is warming up, cooking, and warming after it's done cooking. The large dial is to adjust time and temperature. It will alert you through sound and a message on the display when it's ready for your to add your food.

The sear/saute function is located at the top left of the display. It is not adjustable and heats to 400 degrees. This is very hot and since cast iron retains its heat very well you may find it necessary to cancel the function to prevent burning your food. It can be toggled off and on very quickly. It works very quickly and produces a superior sear for your meats.

creamy chicken and mushrooms

The slow cook function is located at the bottom left of the time display. This function has a cooking temperature of 203 degrees Fahrenheit. Slow cooking on this device is suitable for long periods of cooking. It is comparable to the high setting on a traditional slow cooker. The heat source is on the bottom, so be sure to layer your ingredients from large to small as much as possible.

Times vary for recipes so be sure to get to know your unit well and how it behaves on the slow cook function. Smaller cuts of meat like chicken breasts have taken me 3-4 hours to cook. Large roasts typically have taken me 8-10 hours.

brats nestled in sauerkraut in red handled Dutch oven

The braise function is at the top right of the display. Braising is basically cooking a tougher cut of meat in liquid gently until it is super tender. The default time is two hours. The minimum time is one hour and the maximum time is three hours.

The manual mode is at the bottom left of the time/temp display. There are two manual modes. Push or toggle the Manual Mode button to switch between 1 and 2.

Manual mode 1 goes up to 203 degrees and can be used for up to 12 hours. Manual mode 2 gets very hot going up to as high as 400 degrees with a max cook time of 3 hours. Food can burn on manual mode 2, and should be monitored.

The keep warm function is intended to keep food that you have already cooked warm until you are ready to eat.

The Start button like most Instant Home products starts your chosen function to start cooking any of the programs you've selected.

The Temp/Time is how you will adjust the temperature and length of time of the cook. This can be changed mid-cook cycle if you find the temperature is too high or too low. No need to press cancel and start over.

Cleaning and care

enameled cast iron pot and lid

Enameled cast iron does not require any seasoning like traditional non-coated cast iron. Enameled cast iron is great for cooking foods that have a high acidity like tomato-based dishes. The enamel coating is slick and resistant to food sticking to it. A high-quality pot with the proper care will last for years.

While you can put your enameled cast iron pot and lid in the dishwasher it is recommended that you hand wash in hot soapy water. The dishwasher may make the coating fade over time.

Since the enamel coating on your Instant Dutch oven is a glass-like coating that is fired onto the pot you will want to be careful not to scratch or dent the coating. Use wooden, plastic, or silicone utensils when cooking to prevent scratches and dents. If you are using metal utensils then avoid striking or scraping hard on the surface of the pot.

The best way to clean your Instant Dutch oven if food is stuck on is with boiling water and a wooden scraper to remove food and residue. If there is staining on the coating then you can also clean with boiling hot water, soap, and two tablespoons of baking soda after a 15-minute soak. First bring the water to a boil, and then remove from the heat. Add the soap and baking soda then allow it to soak prior to cleaning.


Is a Dutch oven the same as a pressure cooker?

A Dutch oven is a versatile coated cast iron pot that is commonly used for slow cooking, braising, roasting, and soup making. A high pressure cooker cooks food using high-pressure steam in a moist environment.

Do I really need a Dutch oven?

A Dutch oven is an essential heavy pot that is essential for cooking large cuts of meats, braises, stews, and chili.

Can a Dutch oven be used on a stovetop?

Yes, a Dutch oven can be used in the oven and stovetop.

More Instant Dutch Oven recipes

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  1. Hi Tina. I'm looking into getting this device. I see bread recipes and as I will be new to bread making, can sourdough bread be made in this, too? If not, could I use the dutch oven portion separately and put it in the oven to bake the sourdough bread?
    Thanks in advance.

  2. I am confused about the slow cooker function. The directions state a temperature range. Does this mean I can change the temperature for slow cook mode? Or does it mean this unit starts at the lower temp and increases it's temperature during the cook time automatically?

    1. I have not found a way to adjust the brightness. I have heard of a few others that have had this issue. They had to call in to Instant Brands.

  3. Tina, i would like to sign up & be notified by emails for the new instant Dutch oven recipes when published. Your instant pot precision Dutch oven beginners guide has been really helpful.
    Thank you

    1. I am currently working on a way to do this, and will email you once I have everything set up so you can sign up. Thank you!

    1. I have not found a way to adjust the volume yet for this product. Instant Brands might have a solution though.

  4. Hi! My husband just purchased this unit for me to use for Christmas because we don’t have access to an oven at this time. Unfortunately, I’ve never used a slow cooker ever, so I am really confused by these machines and what seems basic and intuitive to others really just does not make sense. Anyway, this is the recipe I make every Christmas, and I have no idea how to translate that to this machine: I don’t even know how much of the recipe I can fit into the machine. (I used to do 9lbs of meat in the oven and double to triple the sauce. I have fewer kids at home now and don’t HAVE to have leftovers…though I think they taste soooo good.) I would be very grateful if you have a moment to offer advice for me. I know we are only a few days from Christmas and down to the wire (I’ll have to make a shopping list and do the grocery shopping still once I know what I can make).Thank you so much in advance, and Merry Christmas if you don’t get this question on time or have a chance to answer.

    1. Merry Christmas to you! I usually do a 2-3 pound brisket in my 6-quart Instant Pot. Since the Instant Dutch Oven is 6-quart it can probably fit the same, although you may be able to do a 4-pound. I do 4-pound chuck roasts in it all the time. I haven't done a brisket, but I would suggest following step one, and then cooking on manual mode 2 at 225- to 235-degrees which should give you a good simmer for 3 - 4 hours or until the meat is fork tender and falling apart. I would let it rest prior to serving for 30 minutes. The beauty of this is you can do the last step with the mushrooms and cranberries in the oven per usual as well. The recipe sounds amazing and I wish you the best of luck! If you try it I would love to hear how it turned out. I also have a Facebook group just for the Instant Dutch Oven.

  5. Just used my pot for the first time and was very happy with the browning function and the ability to then cancel and go to slow cook. My problem is it looks like broth dribbled out of the pot and under the metal heat plate the pot sits on. Even after looking at the instructions I have no clue how to get under there and don’t want to break anything by forcing. HELP please!

    1. You might want to turn down the temperature. Cast iron retains heat and how hot each unit gets can vary from unit to unit. 🙂

  6. My question is about braising and the temperature that it uses. I really like your information and am very grateful you share this. Thank you so much!

    I am so glad you are giving us information on how to use the Dutch oven. I like it but was very disappointed that the instructions only came in foreign languages!

  7. I’m cooking a marinara sauce in my new Dutch oven and I put it on slow cooking is that my best option? Or, is it just keeping it warm. Please advise thank you.

  8. All the information that came with my Instant Pot precision Dutch Oven are min a different language. Where can I find it in English??

  9. I have not had good luck with this item. Please tell me if there are any other instructions for me to use. Sad I spent so much and it sits in the closest. I was hoping to use it like a crock pot and for other recipes I would normally do in the oven.

  10. So far, I am enjoying this new appliance. I've made some delicious dishes with it!

    Can I use it to make rice? (I had a Black n Decker rice maker for 28 years (no lie) and it bit the dust last month. ?) I was looking at rice makers to replace it, but it would be better if I could make rice in my new Instantpot Dutch oven appliance. If you know how please share directions so I can give it a go.

    Thanks so much!!

    1. I've done a couple of dozen at a time. I imagine just like with regular eggs you can fill the pot with the same cook time. 🙂

    1. There are two manual modes. To get to manual mode 2 hit the button twice, and then you'll be able to adjust the temp/time over the 203 degrees. I hope you're enjoying your new Instant Dutch Oven! 🙂

    2. I just came across the answer. Push the Manual Mode twice. There is a Mode 1 and a Mode 2. You will see the two display numbers change. The Mode 2 temperature goes higher (I think to 350.° The time only goes to 3 hours, but that may be enough for your recipe. If not, you can reset after the first cycle is finished for another hour if you need to.

  11. Please comment in more detail about slow cooking and braising in the Dutch Oven using Manual--temperature setting and time. I have found the presets are too high. I hope your conversion guide comes out soon (along with more tasty recipes). The stuffed pork chops were great.

    1. Thanks, I'm so glad you enjoyed the pork chops! I am working on more posts and hope to have more up soon. I'll be sure to add more information on braising and slow cooking. Thank you for the feedback!

    1. It's important to keep that part dry, but you could try a damp cloth with a little vinegar and water or the same with a toothbrush to see if it will come up. Just be careful not to get the heating element wet in any way.

    1. Hi, Kim! We are working on a conversion guide to publish on the site now. But just as a rule of thumb you'll want to keep most recipes at around 275- to 300-degrees and note the cooking time will likely be a lot less since the heat is concentrated to the cooking base. You can always adjust the temperature while cooking if it is to hot on manual. Hope this helps! 🙂

  12. What's the yummy looking recipe in the middle of this post? Looks like chicken in mushroom gravy? I just got my Instant Dutch Oven a couple weeks ago and I'm looking for more recipes. I'm ready to try your pork chops this week.

    1. Congratulations on your new Dutch oven! I'm so excited for you to try the pork chops! The chicken recipe is coming soon to the blog, so be sure to join our Facebook group or sign up for our emails to get notified when it's published. Here is the link to the Facebook group, Instant Dutch Oven Recipes.

  13. Have been using mine for about 2 weeks. As with all my pans and casserole dishes the easiest way to clean is a hot bath w dish soap and Vinegar. Let soak for 10 to 15 minutes then wash. Works like a miracle.

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