Behold the mighty Instant Pot. If you follow me on social media then you are aware that I love it… I mean, okay, it is bordering on an obsession. My Brother and Sister-In-Law gave me the Instant Pot DUO80 for Christmas and I could not wait to get back home to use it. It came out of the box a couple of days before the New Year and it has taken up residence on my kitchen counter ever since. It is used almost every day and sometimes multiple times a day. It seems to do EVERYTHING. It is part pressure cooker, part yogurt maker, part rice maker and part slow cooker. You can even saute (best feature!), steam and just keep things warm. The one that I have (link above) came with a steamer rack (which is useful) and some utensils.
What I love about it.
It is super simple to use. I was a little tiny bit nervous about the pressure cooker aspect at first. I may have pressed the button and run out of the room. It obviously didn’t explode (I mean people think that right?). But the cooking function panel is very straight forward and clearly labels.
It is FAST. I am talking about risotto in 6 minutes. Fall off the bone BBQ Ribs on the table in under an hour. Perfectly creamy steel cut oats in 10 Minutes. Meatballs in 5 minutes! In case you missed that post check out my Instant Pot Meatballs Marinara , we have already made these half a dozen times and everyone loves them! Rice comes out perfect, like restaurant/take out perfect. Hard-boiled and soft-boiled eggs are easy to peel and evenly cooked. Yogurt… it makes yogurt!!! There is a post forthcoming on my favorite method for using the Instant Pot to make yogurt (Stay tuned for the upcoming piece: Yogurtnomics); I don’t think I will ever buy big containers of yogurt at the store again! Beans, DRIED beans are done in 30 minutes or less. No soaking, no boiling for hours. That is pretty much magic in my opinion. I also received a gift basket of Rancho Gordo beans for Christmas. Best beans I have ever had! You can get them here:
I don’t really have any complaints about it. It is easy to clean, the silicone sealing ring is removable and dishwasher safe as in the stainless steel insert and steaming rack! The one thing users have to keep in mind is a recipe can take longer then just the time set for pressure cooking. It needs to build up to pressure and then also release, sometimes naturally on its own time, sometimes manual. So that adds to the cooking time a bit. But the fact that you cook (sauté and then pressure cook!) everything in one easy to clean pot makes that all okay. In my opinion.
So food. Let’s talk about what recipes I have made and a few things I plan to make soon!
I bought the Melissa Clark Dinner In An Instant cookbook which was featured in my My Favorite Cookbooks post. It is stellar, every one of the eighteen (!!!) recipes I have made from the book are excellent!
The New York Times Food Section featured a few of her recipes from the book. Tamarind Baby Back Ribs, Garlicky Cuban Pork, Bone Broth, Indian Butter Shrimp and Garlicky Beans with Broccoli Rabe all made their way into our Instant Pot and all are delicious.
Coco Morante’s The Essential Instant Pot Cookbook is also on my shelf but I haven’t had time to dive into completely. The few recipes I have tried have been great! I am planning on making this recipe for Momo Meatballs with Cilantro Chutney next week.
Juli Bauer of PaleOMG has a few Instant Pot recipes on her site, I tried out two.
Buffalo Chicken Soup was so very pretty to look at and smelled wonderful… but if I am being honest (you guys want me to be honest right?) it was not my favorite. I love that the base of the soup was all vegetables (cauliflower) and I will take that idea and see what else I can create with it. The soup was simply too spicy for this household, that said if you are a huge Buffalo fan I bet you will LOVE it.
I also tried out her Chicken Tinga Tacos, they were quite good! I knew going in that she likes spice so I tweaked the recipe a bit. I added just one chipotle pepper and it was still a touch too hot for my kids so I tempered the sauce with honey and some homemade bone broth. Perfect. My kids loved it and we even transformed it into taco soup the next night as pictured at the top of the post!
On my menu for this weekend is Nom Nom Paleo’s Korean Short Ribs, she has a bunch of wonderful recipes I need to work into my menu plan in the coming weeks!
There are a few extra things I love and would recommend having if you plan on using the Instant Pot a good amount.
Extra silicone sealing rings come in handy because they can pick up flavors/odors during the cooking process. I use a separate one for yogurt, heavily spiced recipes and sweets.
A second insert for the pot, one that is nonstick. It is so helpful to have a second pot if you are making back to back recipes, who wants to stop and clean? The nonstick has been awesome for rice, oatmeal really anything that may have a tendency to stick.
If you plan on making yogurt, which OBVIOUSLY I highly recommend, you need a thermometer. This is the one works like a charm!
Instant Pot DUO80 8 Quart is what I’m using, which I love because it gives me the room to use a gallon of milk to make yogurt, but there is also a Instant Pot DUO60 6 Quart as well if you worry the 8 Quart is too big!
The Instant Pot should be called the Magic Pot. It is magic how it has allowed me to push my culinary boundaries. I would have never dreamed of making yogurt before or attempted to make what seemed like a complicated Persian rice dish (tahdig). It’s fun to try new things and I don’t think this little machine is leaving my kitchen countertop any time soon!