Have you heard of an Instant Pot? A magical cooking device that people everywhere are raving about? Not quite sure what it is? How it works? Have you heard horror stories about pressure cookers? (Our own Dr. Dan once had to throw a stovetop pressure cooker out the window… but that’s a story for another time…) I’m here to tell you, while this pot may not be magical, it is a game changer in my kitchen (and could be in yours, too!).
Unlike the old school pressure cookers, the Instant Pot (or IP) is electric. It has several different functions, making it the most convenient and versatile kitchen appliance by far (in my opinion – and I’m not getting paid to say that J).
Are you asking yourself, why do I need an IP when I already have a slow cooker? Great question! If you’re like me, getting up early enough and finding the time in the morning to get the slow cooker going doesn’t happen on a whim – it takes some pre-planning. The great thing about the instant pot is you can throw the ingredients in (even frozen meat) and have a complete meal on the table in under a half hour.
Another wonderful feature (and possibly my favorite) is the sauté function. It always annoyed me that I had to use a stovetop pan to brown meat or sauté veggies before putting them in the crockpot. Who needs extra dirty dishes? You can brown your meat and sauté your veggies right in the instant pot! When they’re ready, you add the rest of the ingredients and voila: One pot meal made easy!
So what can you make in the Instant Pot? Really, the options are endless! In addition to delicious, tender meat and chicken, you can also make many of your side dishes. Rice, potatoes, vegetables, soups, beans, and pasta all turn out great. Some recipes allow for meat & sides to be cooked together using a pot-in-pot method. We’ll delve into that further in future posts. Some other interesting things it can make: hard boiled eggs, homemade yogurt (some IP versions), and cakes!
There are a few notes to mention about this magical kitchen appliance. You will be using high pressure and certainly don’t want to skimp out on reading all of the directions prior to use. I would say there’s a bit of a learning curve, but once you practice a bit it’s easy peasy. Also, there is a “slow cooker” function but I prefer to pull out my old school crockpot when making a slow cooker meal. Unlike a slow cooker where the heat is distributed all around, the heat in the Instant Pot comes only from the bottom. I find that the meals I make using the “slow cooker” function usually aren’t done all the way. So I stick with pressure cooking functions.
I’m not lying when I say the meals are delicious, quick, and easy. It saves SO MUCH TIME in the kitchen. My family uses it several times a week and I don’t even remember the last time I turned our oven on.
Here are a few great recipes to get you started!
Breakfast Steel Cut Oats: https://recipes.instantpot.com/recipe/three-minute-steel-cut-oats/
Turkey Chili: https://www.wellplated.com/instant-pot-chili/
Beef Stew: https://www.budgetbytes.com/2017/01/instant-pot-beef-stew/
Be on the lookout for other blog posts featuring some of our tried and true IP recipes!