Thursday, February 23, 2017

Amazing Things You Can Do With an Instant Pot

Power Pressure Cooker

Like many moms, I am always on the lookout to make cooking and cleaning easier.  I got an Instant Pot for Christmas.  I absolutely love it!!  Everyday I am learning something new by searching online or experimenting myself.  This appliance is so much more than an electric pressure cooker.  That, in itself is quite the feat.  I hope this doesn't come across as an infomercial, I just really love this appliance.  If you look through my blog, this is the only product review to date.

I remember my mom cooking with a pressure cooker as a kid.  It was so scary!  The pot would shake and make scary sounds.  I don't know about you, but I always secretly wanted to play with the steam release.  That is until my mom told me it could explode.  WHAT?! EXPLODE!

Well, after we got married my husband bought one and we used it once.  I think my childhood experiences still creeped me out.  Then, I saw an infomercial about another brand of electric pressure cooker.  Well, it looked amazing, they sucked me in.

A friend of mine joined a Facebook Instant Pot Group and invited me.  Well, these Ladies (and Gents) were making all kinds of cool stuff from yogurt to cheesecake.  So, I decided to do some research and buy one.  I decided to go with the Instant Pot mainly because it had a stainless steel pot.  The other brands seemed nice, but the nonstick lining was commented in the reviews section as flaking off.  Well, with all the talk about how unhealthy that is for you, I thought I would have to replace the pot often.  Plus, the Instant Pot's Stainless Steel  pot was dishwasher safe.  There's nothing I hate more than the dishes.  I make it a point to only buy kitchen supplies that can be thrown in the dishwasher.  Yes, my lazy secret is out! 

Which brings me to another plus about the Instant Pot, it has a sauté button.  Unlike a slow cooker you can sauté your meat or onions in the same pot before you cook it.  Seriously, love that.  It's one less pan to wash and I don't need a stove top or hotplate to cook.  This makes it perfect for camping, vacationing in a hotel room, or even a college dorm.  I have friends that freeze meals in round plastic wear, take those meals in a cooler to cook in an Instant Pot right in their hotel room.  Another friend bought one to send with their daughter to college.  She can cook up meals using the sauté feature or warm up canned foods.  Her friends thought it was weird at first, but when they came back from Christmas break they had one too.

The Instant Pot can be used as an electric pressure cooker, rice cooker, slow cooker,  a steamer, yogurt maker, limited hot plate, baking and for stockpot cooking.  There are a variety of options to suit your needs.  The 8qt DUO, 6 qt DUO, 6qt LUX, 5qt DUO, and the new blue tooth model.

I have the 6qt LUX.  I am wanting the 8qt. DUO.
We have a family of five, the 6qt is large enough to feed the family, but we like to eat leftovers for lunch.

I love to make rice in the Instant pot, it only takes 10 minutes and the rice comes out perfect.

The slow cooker feature works just like any other slow cooker, except the pot is larger than most of the slow cookers on the market.  Again, I love how you can sauté ingredients or brown your meat right in the same pot.

There are many steam inserts you can buy or might already have at home to use with your instant pot.  These two are my favorite inserts stainless steel steamer and this steaming rack (check the dimensions of your particular pot).  You can stack them if needed on your included rack.  Besides the obvious vegetable steaming, the Instant also makes great boiled/steamed eggs.

I use this insert most often for steaming vegetables and hard boiled eggs.

I love this one too, because you can stack it inside your Instant Pot.
I bought this one at a thrift shop for $.75, sorry no link.
I highly recommend checking out your local thrift shop for accessories for your Instant Pot.  I was told, pretty much anything that you can use in your oven and will fit inside your Instant pot can be used.

The included rack.

I haven't yet tried to make yogurt, but on the Facebook sites I follow, this and making cheesecake are a favorite.  Here are instructions I am wanting to try to use on your LUX model, that doesn't come with the yogurt feature button.  Your thinking "why buy an Instant Pot that doesn't have the yogurt feature?" It's cheaper!

The use of the Instant pot as a hot plate can be a little tricky.  You MUST always use the pot as a liner that came with the instant pot.  But, after that you can warm up your leftovers instead of using a microwave or sauté like you would your frying pan.  You can also use this feature to cook like a stock pot when making soups, etc. that you do not want to bring to pressure. *It is very dangerous to try and deep fry, so please do not try this.

Many people love to use a 7-8" spring form pan for baking.  They put a cup of water in the bottom of the pan.  They place their rack inside the Instant pot liner and stack the spring form pan on top of the rack.  If you are worried too much moisture will get into your baking, you can cover the spring form pan with foil.  Lasagna, cheesecake, and banana bread are some favorites using this method.

The Instant pot has several settings.  Some will come to pressure and some will not, so even if you are still frightened about pressure cooking there are so many other uses for the Instant Pot.

Some other fun stuff I like to make with my Instant Pot include:
and the list goes on and on.

Other brand pots have features for canning, but Instant Pot doesn't feel comfortable to make that claim saying it might be dangerous.  By dangerous, I mean they are worried that canning is a precise technique, and they don't want their customers to get sick if the pot didn't reach the desired temperature and length of time.  So, please do your research before using any electric pressure cooker to can.

The only thing I don't like about my Instant Pot is the sealing ring can get a bit smelly.  I have never had the smell transfer into the food I was cooking before.  Here's a tip I picked up to help with the smell.  Soak the seal ring in denture cleaner overnight to help get the stink out. Or you can always buy another one.  One for sweet and one for savory dishes.

If you burnt your inner pot, try Barkeepers Friend for an easier cleanup.

These are the reasons I love my Instant Pot, I hope you found this blog post helpful. 

If so you might also like:

Instant Pot Taco Soup

slow cooker ham and cabbage

slow cooker peanuts