Professionals and students alike find it hard to whip up home-cooked meals here and there. Take for example career students. They are facing a budget constraint where their meals are limited to home-cooked meals or purchase food from the cheapest takeaways.

When it comes to home cooked meals or Do-It-Yourself meals, hot pots are a nutritious and budget friendly meals to be considered. A hot pot is a meal prepared through boiling and simmering with oven pots or pressure cookers. The ingredients for a hot pot meal could be a mixture of vegetables, meat, fish and other flavourful ingredients with spices. Hot pots can also contain rice that absorbs the flavour of the ingredients tossed with it.

Hot pots come in various sizes: small ones are used for cooking single portions, while the big ones can cook hefty amounts that contain meat and vegetables. There are also hot pot peripherals that come with various accessories to add many ways in cooking hot pot based meals. Hot pots today can be cooked through the gas stove, electrical stove, steam cookers and specialty boiling pots.

For students or professionals who want to have access to home-cooked meals faster, cooking with hot pots allow you to prepare endless combinations of meat and vegetable dishes that are good for a well-balanced diet. Aside from the convenience of cooking, hot pots also offer a wide array of cooking methods such as steam cooking, boiling, braising and simmering. Hot pots definitely save space, costs and time for home-cooked meals.

So, if you’re interested in getting one and cook with hot pots, we’ve provided ways on how to cook like a professional.


Do your research

First off, start looking for recipes that can be cooked with your planned hot pot appliance. In the age of the internet, your sources for recipes will be mostly based on Youtube videos, cooking forums, mobile apps as well as family recipes and cookbooks available in bookstores.


After gathering your recipes, find a hot pot meal you want to replicate and compare different recipes to have an understanding of the different ratios, cooking times and techniques the book authors used in making the dish.


Get hands-on

Since there are hot pots that were built with various functions, there are 7-in-1 or even 10-in-1 hot pots function thanks to special accessories that allow you to boil, simmer, toss, marinade and steam cook a variety of food. It gives you additional options in the ways to prepare and cook your food.

With all the presets available, you might get lost on which preset to be used on beans or meat. This will help you have an idea of how each function works as well as understand the outcome of each.

Aside from learning, dabbling with the functions of the hot pot appliance also help improve your creativity through experience. But, remember that there are definitely Do’s and Don’ts in cooking with a hot pot:


  • Don’t use the lid when you’re on sauté or grill mode.
  • Place at least a cup of water in the hot pot appliance before securing the lid.
  • When in pressure cooking mode, cook the food first before adding milk or cheese because these dairy products tend to foam and scorch.
  • The same should be done with the roux, which is the flour and fat cooked together to make thick sauces, and as for thickeners, add these when the soup and stew are already cooked.
  • In cooking pork or beef roasts, cut large chunks into quarters or smaller pieces to help the hot pot cook the meat faster and better.


Understand serving ratios

The recipes can be either be doubled or halved as long as you make sure there’s water in the hot pot — which is usually at least a cup or the water doesn’t fill over half of the appliance. Filling the hot pot more than half often clogs the pressure release valve. This could severely damage your appliance.


Invest in food containers

Often times, we tend to cook more than we thought we could consume in a day. Because of this, it’s essential to invest in durable food containers in order to stock up excess food to consume later. There are many types of food containers; make sure to buy stackable containers that can be stored in the freezer or can be heated in a microwave to use in your convenience.


Control the heat

There are hot pots that continue to insulate the heat after you’ve finished cooking, it is a factor when it comes to the tenderness and doneness of your prepared meal. If you are cooking food that does not require delicate simmering, such as quinoa or other grains, you can press the “cancel” button or turn off the appliance beforehand to avoid overcooking.

Cooking using a hot pot can make life easier, especially when you’re in a hurry or live in a dorm. With its different presets and ability to cook food in a variety of ways, it has helped a lot of people become creative in their meal preparation with the least amount of effort and time spent.

As for cooking, it won’t look or feel like a chore when you are passionate when it comes to dishes, meal preparation and the culinary arts. Channel your passion and love for food into a career through MCIE’s Certificate IV Commercial Cooking in Melbourne and get work in the kitchen of famous restaurants someday.

For enquiries, contact MCIE today: Call: 1300 737 004 or Email: email or visit the Contact Us Page:

Melbourne City Institute of Education (MCIE) is a vibrant and innovative registered training organisation, which offers a range of courses in Melbourne to help students to fulfil their career goals.

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