it's a wonder.
We have Grunt from The Blog of Monte Cristo to thank for the graphic. When I mentioned the Instant Pot in a previous post this is the first thing that popped into his head, which speaks volumes about who he is.
The Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker You need it! Really you do.
I've waited to review this wonderfully handy appliance until I had it for awhile. I use to have a regular stove top pressure cooker and used it quite often. The last time I used it many years ago, I stored it with the lid engaged. Think we could open it? Nope. We finally broke off the handle trying to get it open.
A number of weeks ago, I decided to get a new pressure cooker. My pressure canner doubles as a pressure cooker, but it's 23 qts – a bit big for a family of two (ya think?). While at Walmart I thought I'd cruise by and see what they had and spied an electric pressure cooker. My first thought was that the dumbest idea I've ever heard of (I can be scornful that way).
When I returned home, I logged on the Amazon and searched pressure cooker. The first one to come up was the Instant Pot. At that time it had over 11K reviews, the majority 5 star, and 800 or so answered questions. It's now over 12K reviews and over 1K questions. Hmmmmmmm, maybe I'd gotten this wrong (Noooooo!). After doing my due diligence, I decided to purchase one. It's become one of my all time best moves ever.
So far I've made roasts, both beef and pork, chicken, chili, beans, soup, rice, and steamed veggies in a fraction of the time of my old methods. A 4 lb roast takes about 45 minutes, not including coming to pressure and cooling off time which adds about 15 minutes. Rice? About 3 minutes at pressure and it comes out perfect.
There's no monitoring it like a stove top cooker. Just push a button and walk away. It automatically does it's job and shifts into keep warm mode.
If you've never used a pressure cooker before, there will be a small learning curve involved. If you've used a stove top pressure cooker, you'll catch on pretty quickly.
My mantra throughout life has always been, “There's got to be a better way”, which applied to most of the recipes I found online for the Instant Pot.
For instance, most will have you cook a roast and when it's done bring the pressure down with rapid release, take off the lid and quickly add the veggies and reset the timer. I made this much simpler by first browning the roast on the saute setting, adding broth, bringing to pressure, which usually takes about 5 minutes, and cook the roast. When it is done, I let it count down 10 minutes in warming mode, release the pressure, and remove the roast to a serving platter to rest. I add the veggies to the meat juices and set it for about 5 minutes pressure time. That way I'm not having to scrape up veggies from the top of the roast and it actually takes less time.
|Veggies waiting to be steamed|
Last night I used the steam function for veggies for the first time. I used a regular steaming rack and it took about 2 minutes for a load of broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, and carrots.
Imagine having a pot roast dinner and veggies ready to serve in not much over one hour. Compare that to 4 or more hours in a conventional oven which is sucking up electricity.
If you're like me and don't get something out of the freezer in time for dinner, you can kiss that problem goodbye. If it's a large item, I defrost it in the microwave and cook it in the Instant Pot. Smaller items can be cooked from frozen.
The Instant Pot can also be used as a slow cooker, but I wonder why anyone would want to do that, but that's just me.
The inner cooking pot is high grade stainless steel and a snap to wash.
The Instant Pot even makes yogurt, which is not on my list of things I want to do before I die, but if you like making yogurt, go for it.
If you grew up like I did with your mom screeching at you to not go near the pressure cooker because it could blow up, rest assured the Instant Pot cannot blow up. It does, however, lack the drama of a stove top model. No little rocking pressure thingy, no hissing, and no monitoring. The first time I cooked with it felt really weird. Push a button and walk away. Who ever heard of such a thing?
I also just discovered you can make soft or hard cooked eggs using the steamer insert. Whoa! And there's an Instant Pot Community on Facebook with over 159K members offering insights and recipes galore. Cheesecake in the Instant Pot? I'm all for that!
The model I have linked to, Instant Pot IP-DUO60 7-in-1 Multi-Functional Pressure Cooker, 6Qt/1000, is the most functional size for most families. One blogger (a man) who cooks for a family of 5 uses and recommends the 6qt. If you do a bunch of large batch cooking, you may want to get the new 8 qt model.
My Instant Pot was delivered in record time and was super well packaged. The shipping was free, but a word of caution: Be sure and check the free shipping option at checkout. The Amazon default setting is for $11.00 and some odd change for shipping.
Makes a great gift
Christmas is coming up and this would make a wonderful gift for the peeps in your life.
Disclaimer: If you purchase an Instant Pot, and I hope you do, through my links, Amazon pays me a small commission, which does not cost you one little penny.