I’m with you if you don’t want another kitchen appliance that collects dust and takes up space on the counter.
After hitting a cooking slump this winter I went for it, and bought an Instant Pot despite my inner resistance. How could I turn down a device that potentially will make cooking faster, clean up easier and be super healthy? Read on to find out about my experiences and conclusions.
We LOVE our whole chickens, but I want them to cook quicker!—I placed a thawed whole 6 lb chicken in the instant pot on top of the rack, pushed the poultry button for 45 min high—result, delicious, tender juicy but, pale and stringy. Pro:Amazing burritos and chicken pasta and pizza the second time around. Only one easy to clean pot that went in the dishwasher, Con: texture
2nd attempt whole 6 lb chicken: Same procedure but this time I took the chicken out, placed it on a roasting tray basted it and broiled it in the oven for 5-8 min. I deboned it and chilled it before carving. Looked sad, split down the middle, but tasted —Excellent! Nice and crispy and the meat texture was perfect, like Deli sliced chicken breasts. Make it ahead and chill if you want beautiful slices and reduce the recommended cooking time!
—Update— split the bird in 1/2 before broiling and reduce cook time by 5 min. Perfection!
Trial #2-Chicken Broth
Nice and clear, super quick, easy, easy, easy. But, the smell . . .not the broth itself, but the top of the instant pot when you take it off stinks, like burnt rubber chicken. Research says you need to deodorize it after making certain foods—-not what I wanted to hear. For the broth, I filled the 8 qt instant to the 2/3 mark with water, added the bones from the chicken, put in 2 TBS cider vinegar and pushed the broth button. 2 hours later it was done. I let it cool, strained it and bam. Ready—normally this process took me 24-48 hours so a major time savings. Pro: speed and palatability, Con: smell
Lundenburg brown short grain rice 1 cup, 1.5 cups SWF chicken broth. Multigrain setting. 35 min later, done, perfect creamy rice.Pro perfect consistency and no boiling over on the stove, Con: no time savings
Trial #4-Beef Chili
Followed a recipe, browned meat on the sauté function (use pot under stove hood while browning). Set it on Soup and 1 hour later the chili tasted like it had been cooking for days—delicious. Pro: flavor, speed
Trial #5-Broccoli Soup
Followed an instant pot recipe, used beef broth from a previous meal, put the fresh broccoli in and bam, amazing, the creamiest soup I’ve ever made and did not use the immersion blender, did not have cheese stuck all over my cast iron pan. Pro: flavor and consistency, Con: no real time savings and lots of steps to put the soup together.
Trial #6- Frozen Chuck Steak
2 cups chicken broth, garlic powder 1 cup red wine and frozen chuck steaks. 45 min high. Dinner ready in 1.5 hours, took the meat out, poured the cooking liquid out, took the fat off, put 4 TBs butter back in the instant pot on saute, added 1/4 cup flour and then slowly added the cooking liquid back, seasoned with mustard!! Amazing and the easiest ever. Pro: Flavor, texture, time savings
Conclusion: Is it worth it to cook with an Instant Pot? Yes, I think so
1. I like it because you can use it after work. Put your meal together when you get home and still have a one pot dinner in a little over an hour. Unlike a crock pot which takes all day.
2. Just leave it. I like to go outside and do things while my food is cooking. If the phone rings or your run takes longer than expected the food doesn’t burn on the stove it finishes and keeps at a food safe temp for up to 10 hours.
3. Fewer pots to wash. I love being able to start and finish sauces by browning garlic, onions etc in one pot.
4. I like things fast. Speed at which frozen meat is cooked, 4-10 hours in the crockpot or 1.5 hours with the same result!!! Also soups taste like they were cooked ahead.
***Be ready—It isn't Instant cooking, it is pressure cooking. It is way faster than braising or slow cooking, really tenderizes meat and preserves flavor. Some recipes have lots of steps and you have to be adventurous.
Contact me for recipes for any of my trials and share your own if you are a fellow instant potter.
See you at our first SWF Supper Club gathering for some family food and fun with Instant Pot demos. April 5th, 2019 6 pm at the farmhouse!See you there, Best, Amy
—update—5–5–5 hardboiled eggs. Place eggs on rack inside Instant Pot, pour in 1 cup of water. Pressure cook 5 min, let Instant pot release naturally for 5 min, Release pressure and place eggs in a ice water bath for 5 min and peel!