Healthy, tasty and quick-to-cook food!
For the last couple of years, there has almost been a revolution in kitchens across America. People who are bored with cooking on a daily basis have discovered a renewed interest in turning out marvellous meals. Aspiring chefs have found out that they can also turn out gourmet quality dishes. And, people who have always disliked cooking, have found out that cooking can be done, quickly and easily…there’s no pain, just all gain! Theirs! Why all this brouhaha? The American people, and now others across the globe, have started a love affair with Instant Pot – the wondrous, magical pot that is fast taking over in the kitchen.
The Instant Pot. A slow cooker that is also a pressure cooker, a rice cooker, a steamer, and a yogurt maker. An electric pot that lets you cook quickly (with the pressure-cooking function) or slowly (with the slow cooking function). Everybody loves it because it’s a convenient, time saving, labour saving device that allows you to quickly cook dinner, lunch, breakfast – whatever – without having to keeping an eye on the stove. The praise it astounding and goes on and on…So, we tried it out and discovered the many benefits of this kitchen wonder.
As far as menus and types of cooking are concerned – you can do just about anything and everything with it. We just threw everything in it – and it came out done to a turn. No stirring and no messy dishes – very few, at any rate. Much, much less than we would normally use. We were seriously astonished at how many foods can be cooked in this appliance! Just one look at the programs on the LED panel shows the host of functions the Instant Pot offers. Ant the many types of foods it can handle…
Chicken: We cooked a whole chicken and it just fell apart when done. It was excellent. At six minutes per pound + two minutes – it was done in a jiffy! Chicken thighs were done in 10 minutes with some chicken broth and seasoning to taste. Sounds good. And was very good!
Meats: Tried pot roast, turns out great as long as the meat isn’t too lean and has a thin rim of fat so it stays moist and melt in the mouth.
Eggs: Hard boiled eggs turn out perfectly, every time. We were told that 30 eggs could be hard boiled at one go! We didn’t try that but did try a dozen. Turned out perfect and so easy to peel! The whole process is quick and easy!
Steel cut oats: We used the PIP (pot in pot) method. We put some water in the bottom of the pot, then placed the trivet in it , then the steel cut oats in a Pyrex glass dish with the appropriate amount of water. 10 minutes of manual high pressure did the job. Perfectly… The only dish that has to be cleaned is the Pyrex bowl. The metal inner pot just needs rinsing out since it didn’t touch any food.
Soups: We tried chicken noodle soup. The noodles did not turn mushy!
Yogurt: Another truly amazing feature. We made a gallon of organic yogurt – for a fraction of what it would have cost at the store. It takes a bit of patience, but the prep time is only about 20 minutes. The end result is super!
Sides: We tried a mac and cheese that we all loved. The best part? It’s only needs five ingredients – pasta, heavy cream, butter, salt and cheese. It only takes 20 minute from start to finish. We did spaghetti with meat sauce, with excellent results. Again, only took about 20 minutes from start to finish.
Veggies: Any number of vegetables can be cooked in this pot. Even delicate ones, like broccoli. Corn on the cob is truly amazing. Much quicker than any other way.
Desserts: Crème Brulee turns out a treat, the best we have tasted in a long while… So does the cheese cake!
Spaghetti squash: Normally, this is one food that is harder to make than most others. And takes so much longer. But, not so in this pot! Just 20 minutes without cutting it. When we opened the pot the squash was intact, with just the skin peeling off. All we did is cut it in half, scoop out the seeds and separate it.
We realised that first time users tend to get intimidated by the Instant Pot. Don’t be. Once you have started using it, you’ll go from strength to strength. We experimented a lot. There are Instant Pot groups on Facebook. Join them! There are recipes galore…made for the Instant Pot…but you can use your own recipes with slight adjustments for amounts of water and the timing. It’s good idea to get a couple of cook books and find recipes on Pinterest.
Couple of tips
Recipes generally don’t include time to come to pressure. It’s the same as the oven warming up… Once the food goes into the pot it has to pressurize, then the timer starts counting down. Turning on the sauté first, it speeds things up.
If there are issues with getting anything to work check out the individual parts first. Is the silicone ring in place correctly? Can the pin move up and down freely? Is the valve set to “sealing”? Is there enough water or fluid in the pot for the pressure to work?