If you haven’t heard of an Instant Pot yet I can only assume you live someplace that doesn’t have TV, Internet, or the ubiquitous Kohls/Target/Walmart circulars that show up at my door at least once per week. Because they’re advertised constantly in all these places.
What is an instant pot? Basically, it’s a pressure cooker. It’s also a slow cooker, but… I don’t care? I’ve only used the pressure cooker feature so far because if I wanted to spend 8 hours cooking dinner I’d buy a $20 crock-pot. It’s NOT the kind of pressure cooker your gram-gram owned where she blew up the kitchen that one <insert random family get-together here>. Nope. These bad boys were built with safety in mind. You know this, because I’ve now used it nearly a dozen times and haven’t burnt, steamed, or blown myself up.
What can you do with it? I haven’t even been able to scratch the surface if the possibilities. My BIL can do all kinds of crazy stuff in his. He made Vanilla, Cheesecake, as well as more traditional meals. My successes to date have been limited to:
- Chicken Wings – OMG so much good. Finished them in the broiler to give a little crispy exterior and caramelize the bbq sauce. Ridiculous.
- Chicken Drumsticks. Same as above. They come out obscenely good. Finish in broiler
- Chicken Casserole – One of our favorites. Lots of leftovers for the week!
- Beef Stew – Another winner. Perfect with some french bread.
- Orange Chicken – Maybe a little too much orange zest? But still delicious with some brown rice!
- Beef with Broccoli – NOM NOM NOM
- Baby Back Ribs – Another big winner. Finished in the broiler.
- BBQ Country Style Boneless Pork Ribs – This was my most recent meal. They came out AWESOME. Also took the longest. 45 cooking time for 2.6 lbs meat.
- Pot Roast – This was my first attempt and I think I used a bad recipe. Should have put the meat in first, then added potatoes and other veggies later. Still came out good, but not great.
And like I said, haven’t even scratched the surface. Need to make some chili soon and give the pot roast a second attempt.
Now I hear what you’re saying, “Why does every picture of the pot have whiskey in it?” That’s an excellent question. The answer is simple. I’m not much of a cook. The whole process stresses me out. I need simple recipes and simple cooking tools. The Instant Pot seems complicated at first, especially with all the buttons. I use… maybe… 4 of them? Pressure Cook, Pressure Level, Saute, Cancel. The rest of them are basically presets. The whiskey is MY “pressure release valve” so I don’t explode during the process.
When you get right down to it, maybe that’s why I like this thing so much? We have a lot in common. We both get hot under pressure. We both love food. I like pushing buttons, and it has buttons to push! It has a pressure release valve, and so do I.
Ultimately, it goes like this: You put raw food in the pot, and a relatively short time later, delicious cooked food comes out. During the cooking process the lid is locked and secured so it can’t be opened. We really only have the Instant Pot company’s word as to what’s going on in there. It’s like Schrodinger’s Pot. Think about it. Mind-bottling*.
Living the Dream,
*I know you’re thinking, “Did he mean “mind-boggling?” The answer is no. Per the ancient wisdom of men’s pairs figure skater Chazz Michael Michaels, “You know, like when things are so crazy you get your thoughts trapped, like in a bottle.” – Blades of Glory