Amanda got me an Instant Pot for Christmas! I’ve used it now for about a month and I love it.
- I use this so much more than I ever used my stovetop pressure cooker. The stovetop one needed babysitting and I was never completely convinced that it wouldn’t explode. The Instant Pot doesn’t need babysitting, has safety features and failsafes, and is more exact than the stovetop one.
- It takes at least 15 minutes to come up to pressure and another 5 to come down with the quick release. Plan accordingly.
- It cooks rice like a charm. I couldn’t justify getting a rice cooker because we don’t eat THAT much rice, but now that the Instant Pot can make great rice, I’m pumped. My first trial was successful.
- While it is great at curry and great at rice, cooking one and then cleaning it out to cook the other in the same night does not save time. Plan ahead accordingly. I tend to make stovetop curries anyway.
- It is great for hearty winter meals. I wonder if I’ll use it as much during the summer?
- It is great for meats, soups, stews, rice, beans, lentils, etc. Probably not worth the effort for things that would normally take just 10 minutes to steam.
Meals I’ve made with the Instant Pot so far:
- The Food Lab’s Pho Ga 🍲 🐓
- Nom Nom Paleo’s Kalua Pig 🐖
- The Food Lab’s Ragu Bolognese 🍝
- Nom Nom Paleo’s Curried Cream of Broccoli Soup 🥦
- Sausage, lentil, potato 🥔 , and kale soup (my own recipe, adapted for the Instant Pot – brown sausage, dump in everything else, high pressure for 30 minutes, quick release)
- Chicken, Wild Rice, and Mushroom 🍄 soup adapted for the pressure cooker (sear chicken first, dump rice in uncooked, 35 minutes on high pressure, quick release)
- The Food Lab’s Chicken Chili Verde
- Rice for a stovetop curry 🍛
One book that helped me figure out what the Instant Pot is best for (and gave me great recipe ideas!) is Dinner in an Instant by Melissa Clark. Our friends Tyler and Erin made a great braised pork recipe out of this book when they had us over for dinner in December and I bought the book right away.
Here is a great quote from the intro:
In this book, I focus on the machine’s strengths, writing not about what you can make in it, but what you should make because the electric pressure cooker does it better–faster or more flavorfully, or with less mess and/or stress. The key to successful pressure cooking is choosing recipes in which softness and succulence is the goal, and which traditionally take hours to get there. It can’t cook a whole chicken very well, and it doesn’t do crisp or crunchy. So don’t ask it to and you won’t be disappointed.
What I want to try making next in the Instant Pot:
- Black bean and ham soup
- Chicken and dumplings
- Elaichi gosht (lamb with cardamom)
I’ll post some of my own Instant Pot recipes soon, so stay tuned!