I (like many of YOU!) took the plunge on Black Friday and purchased the Instant Pot. I just couldn’t pass it up after hearing so many rave about it! I was curious and intrigued by the fact that it wasn’t just a safe and easy-to-use electric pressure cooker, but actually several appliances in one. It seemed to be a whole new way of getting a healthy homemade dinner on the table in record time. I’m all about simple and efficient cooking, and the Instant Pot is both of those things, so I was giddy about adding it to our kitchen.
I have had the Instant Pot a little over a week, and I’ve used it to make 7 things so far. I AM HOOKED. I cannot believe the versatility of the Instant Pot, and I can’t wait to make more with it. I could use it almost daily because it has so many different uses!
Different Uses of the Instant Pot
You can saute in it, use it as a slow cooker, a steamer, a yogurt maker, a rice maker, or simply as a safe and easy-to-use pressure cooker. You can make homemade beans, all types of meats, stews, and soups. You can make hard-boiled eggs or steel-cut oats in just minutes. I even saw a recipe for cheesecake made in it!
I am new to pressure cooking, but there is a surge in popularity thanks to electric pressure cookers like the Instant Pot, which means there is an abundance of resources.
Dishwasher Safe Insert + Steamer Basket
The Instant Pot comes with a stainless steel insert that is easy to clean and dishwasher safe. It also comes with a steamer basket, which I’ve already used to hold hard- boiled eggs, a sweet potato, and carrots.
For perfectly cooked ‘baked’ potatoes, you simply put a cup of water in the instant pot, insert the steamer basket, pile on the potatoes, and cook for 12 minutes. Just push a button and walk away! No heating up the oven. No more hockey puck potatoes that over-cooked in the microwave. No more waiting over an hour for them to bake. There is a new instant potato in town and it is a whole potato in an Instant Pot, not those dried up potato flakes!
Sauteing In The Instant Pot
Unlike the Crockpot, you can saute your aromatics (garlic, onions and herbs) and brown your meat right in the pot with the touch of a button, then add your liquid, and with the push of another button start pressure cooking or slow cooking. Dinner is served in minutes. Sure beats hours that the oven can take to roast meat!
Pressure Cooked Flavor
Pressure cooking is done all in one pot, and the flavors are pressed right into the food which makes it extra flavorful. I made beef stew and could not believe how great the flavor was. It tasted like it had slow simmered all day, but only took 45 minutes. The recipe I used had red wine in it, and after pushing the pressure button I walked away with a glass of the leftover wine in hand and sipped while reading a book while dinner cooked! It was the most delicious and easiest beef stew I have ever made!
Foods I’ve Made So Far
“Hard Boiled” Eggs – 8 minutes, manual release
How? Place 1 cup of water in the bottom of the cooker. Place steam basket in pot. Add however many eggs you want to cook. Place the lid on and hit the ‘Manual’ button, set it for 8 minutes. Right after the 8 minutes of cooking time, depressurize the cooker and add the eggs to a bowl of cold water. YOU WILL NOT BELIEVE how easy your eggs are to peel. The pressure cooking causes the shell to slide right off!
Instant Pot Apple Sauce – 3 minutes, manual release
This was so delicious and made the perfect after school snack for my girls. It was so much better than store-bought applesauce!
Macaroni n Cheese – 20 minutes
Balsamic Beets – 20 minutes, natural release
I am a newbie when it comes to liking beets. I can’t get over how good they are for the body, especially for cancer survivors, so I have worked hard at liking them. This recipe was easy to make and quite delicious! The skin rubs right off after steaming and running the beets under cold water. Beets are such a beautiful color, and the balsamic dressing gives them such great flavor and shine!
Instant Pot Beef Stew Recipe
Beef Stew – 45 minutes
1 T oil
2 lbs round beef cubes
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 T butter
1 can tomato paste
4 carrots, chopped
2 Yukon potatoes, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 T ground mustard
3 cups beef broth
3 cups red wine
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
Put flour on a plate. Season with salt and pepper. Toss beef cubes in the flour. Set Instant Pot to Saute. Add oil. When hot add seasoned meat and brown. Once browned, add a bit of beef broth to deglaze the pan. Add all the rest of the ingredients except for the peas. Make sure to include the excess seasoned flour left on the plate. Pressure Cook High for 45 minutes. Manual release. When finished stir in the peas while on the keep warm setting, they will cook in just a couple of minutes in the hot stew. Serve with crusty bread to dip and enjoy!
Glazed Carrots – 4 minutes
Peel and cut up your carrots. Add 1 T. butter to pot, 1 T honey, S & P, 1/4 t. baking soda. Pressure cook for 4 minutes. Manual Release. Stir and enjoy.
Baked Sweet Potatoes – 13 minutes
Add a cup of water to the bottom of Instant Pot. Add the steamer rack. Add whole sweet potatoes. Set using Manual for 13 minutes. Pressure cook on high.
Above is a great video introduction to the Instant Pot and how to do the initial water test.
Do you want to purchase an Instant Pot of your own? Use this link and I will receive a small percentage with no extra cost to you!