25 June 2018

Instant Pot Sweet Iced Tea Recipe

Use your Instant Pot to make sweet tea that isn't bitter. 

Summer just wasn't summer without my grandmother's iced tea.  She would make a gallon of sweet tea almost every day, so there was always a pitcher in the fridge  When I moved out on my own, I called her for the recipe.

For one gallon, she used 14 tea bags and 3 cups of sugar.  Needless to say, it was strong and sweet.  My husband loves real sweet tea, but he doesn't like bitter tea.

I've heard of the baking soda trick, but he hated it.  Yes, he could taste a quarter of a teaspoon in a gallon of tea.  He wouldn't drink my tea for about three years after I tried that.

I normally make sun tea just because it's easy and low maintenance.  It's not sweet though, and it tastes bitter.  

I've made infused water concentrate in my Instant Pot, so I thought why not use it to make sweet tea?  

Now I don't make tea any other way.  It was so easy because you can let the pressure cooker naturally release, so you don't have to babysit it.  Once you fill up the Instant Pot and turn it on, you can walk away without worrying about turning it off or having it boil over on the stove.

I was pleasantly surprised that making iced tea in the Instant Pot makes a smooth tea.  It's a gentle, smooth tea.  It's perfect for hot summer days.


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I never make less than a gallon of sweet tea because that will only last for a day in my house.  I knew I couldn't make a whole gallon in my Instant Pot, so I played with the recipe until I was able to make a strong enough tea that I could dilute with water to get just the right sweetness and strength.

Speaking of strength and sweetness, I don't like a super strong tea.  If you want your tea stronger, then you can use up to 14 tea bags or let the tea bags sit in the water longer.

Letting them sit longer could make your tea bitter.  My grandmother used to let the bags sit in the tea for several hours before she took them out.

As for the sweetener, well, that's personal preference.  I won't judge you if you use sugar.  

If you don't want to use sugar or can't use it, I've heard that sugar substitutes work well in Instant Pot iced tea.  You can also omit it completely.

I think coconut sugar would work well in this recipe.  It's my sweetener of choice because there's no bitter taste, and it has a lower glycemic index than sugar.  

I used regular tea.  You can use your favorite tea.  This recipe will also work with green tea or white tea.  If you're feeling spunky, try adding some raspberry or peach tea bags for some flavor.


You've probably been making iced tea on the stove for years, so why should you use your Instant Pot?

Well, for one, the Instant Pot doesn't heat up your kitchen in the summer.  Using the stove does put off heat.

Besides that though, the Instant Pot raises the water's boiling point.  When water with tea bags in it boils for too long, it can make the  tea taste bitter.  

Water normally boils at 212 degrees.  At 15 psi, water boils at 250 degrees.  This higher temperature allows the tea to steep without making the iced tea bitter.

I have a 6 quart 6-in-1 Instant Pot.  I use it several times a week for all kinds of foods.  It's the perfect size for a family of 5.




Remove the tea bags from their wrappers and remove the paper tag.  You can tie them together if you want, but I just threw them in my Instant Pot.  


Add 2 quarts water and sugar to your Instant Pot  Turn the valve to sealing and turn it on high pressure for 4 minutes.


Mine took around 10 minutes to get to pressure.  After it's cooked for 4 minutes, let it naturally release for at least 15 minutes.  You can let it naturally release completely.  It won't hurt your tea to let it sit.

If you do decided to release the pressure, always use a spoon handle or something else to turn the valve so you don't get splattered with hot water.  Do short bursts so the water doesn't boil out.  


Remove the tea bags with a set of tongs.  Squeeze them to get the tea out and set aside.  Let the tea cool until just warm.


Fill a gallon pitcher about half way with ice.  Pour the iced tea over it.  Then fill the pitcher with cold water.  I used less than 2 quarts because of the ice.

Save your tea bags.  I put the used tea bags in the fridge and use them again the next day.  Sometimes I'll add one or two new bags, but I usually just reuse the same ones.

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Cari Dunn
Cari Dunn

Cari lives on a small farm in Ohio with her husband, three kids, two dogs, two cats, five goats, several chickens, and homing pigeons. She loves Gilmore Girls, coffee, and her kids. Not in that order.