By Melissa Fassel Dunn.
Random Review Wednesday: The Ubiquitous Instant Pot
A back-to-school life (and money) saver
I’ve had my Instant Pot for a few years and only recently have I started to fully realize its potential. I bought it in February 2015, in between blizzards. My husband and I were crosseyed with stir-craziness as we we rapturously watched the Instant Pot informercial.
“We need that,” I said, mouth agape. He agreed. Unfortunately, we didn’t call RIGHT NOW to get the 37 extras, but we did order it later that day on Amazon.
Admittedly, once it arrived, we didn’t immediately jump in and cook something awesome. It sat for a few days – probably because we were too busy shoveling. The first thing we did cook was standard issue rice.
After that, we never wanted to cook rice in a regular pot ever again.
We marveled at how perfectly “al dente” our rice was – and how quickly it cooked (22 minutes), especially because brown rice usually takes a solid 45.
Next, we tried frozen chicken, which was advertised on the informercial.
We olive oiled, salted and peppered our frozen boneless breast, and popped it into the Instant Pot for 22 minutes, which seems to be a magic number of sorts. It came out tender and tasty – another win.
We moved on to move “advanced” eats including Instant Pot deviled eggs, which take 10 minutes to cook – and no cracks!, (I also recommend using this basket to prevent slippage when retrieving the eggs).
This summer, annoyed with the prospect of overcooking the corn AGAIN, it dawned on me that I could use my Instant Pot for corn on the cob! I broke each piece of corn in half and ended up with about 10 halves in the pot. I used the handy basket above to avoid burning myself. It took about five minutes. Here’s how I did it:
- Pour 1 cup of cold water in the Instant Pot
- Place the basket in the Instant Pot, then place corn on the cob in the basket (4-5 pieces, broken in half).
- Close the lid and cook at High Pressure for 1 – 2 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and Quick Release.
- Open the lid carefully.
- Let corn cool off for a few minutes with lid open.
- Remove and drown in butter.
This recipe for Spring Vegetable Instant Pot Brown Rice Risotto has been a huge hit in our family, and I make one or two batches a week, varying the vegetables, which may include any combination of leeks, chives, mint, peas, asparagus, pea shoots, corn, or peppers.
I also recently asked Milton Neighbors for their recommendations. Here’s what came up:
- “Pretty much anything pressureluckcooking.com does.
My very favorite is his Moo Shu Chicken (or pork). His garlic soup is also a standout. Another favorite is the BBQ Chicken Chili from skinnytaste.com.”
- “nomnompaleo.com – She has a TON of delicious healthy instant recipes!”
- “I like dadcooksdinner.com, anything by Melissa Clark or Coco Morante. Also hippressurecooking is solid. Oh, there are excellent Indian sources like twosleevers.com or ministryofcurry.com.”
- This Golden Instant Pot Chicken and Rice recipe is highly recommended and gluten and dairy-free.
- And finally… what would this list be without a Pressure Cooker Macaroni and Cheese recommendation!
The Instant Pot is excellent for back-to school Chaos Cooking:
The Instant Pot is currently less than $100 and the basket is about $14. We use ours all the time and it paid for itself in about a week, when our family skipped a day of take-out and replaced it with quick homemade food. The 6 quart option works great for 4-6 people, but there is also a mini 3 quart option as well as a larger 8 quart option.
I highly recommend adding one to your kitchen arsenal.