August 9, 2016

I’m a Sheeple or Why I Own an Instant Pot and You Should, too!

I make no bones about how much I love Amazon. I’ve been a happy Amazon shopper since 2000. I ordered two Harry Potter books and a Creed CD. We won’t talk about that last part. We’ve been Prime members since the very beginning and even at the increased price, we still feel as though we get great value. We own a handful of Kindles. My point is, we are all in on Amazon and the point of that is Prime Day.

So, we can call agree that last year’s prime day was a bust. I bought three things that I thought were a decent price, but it was no Black Friday. This year, though, was better and the price on the Instant Pot was too good to pass up. I’d been eyeing the Instant Pot for a while and while I have no problem spending money on kitchen gadgets, the $110 usual price tag was just too rich for my blood which is slightly stupid because I’m hardly ever cheap.

But, at $70 I felt like it was a good buy and like thousands of other people bought the Instant Pot on Prime Day and waited for it to change my life.

And it has.

A crock pot is nice. I’ve used one for years and years and years and I consider it a kitchen staple, for sure. I love the convenience of dumping food in the crock pot in the morning and eating dinner later. I love not having to expend time preparing a meal on busy nights. But, the downfall of the crock pot is that it requires an advanced decision and sometimes that doesn’t happen for me. The Instant Pot removes that problem. Don’t have an idea for dinner and the meat is all frozen and it’s 5:30? So. Dump that shit in the Instant Pot and eat 30 minutes later and no, I’m not kidding.

Now, before I get into a couple of recipes that we tried and enjoyed, I want to say that the Instant Pot has three shortcomings. First, you cannot can in an Instant Pot, so if that’s important to you this won’t replace your stove top pressure cooker. Second, like a crock pot, the Instant Pot turns out a certain kind of dish. While you can cook nearly anything at all in it, you’re going to be mostly dealing with braised meats and that sort of thing. Lastly, I don’t find the meat that comes out of the Instant Pot to be as flavorful, though I am working on that. It’s good. It’s tender. It could use a little.

So, what is the Instant Pot good at?  Perfect rice in about 13 minutes (that includes 3 minutes cooking time and 10 minutes natural pressure release to allow the rice to continue cooking), hard boiled eggs in F-I-V-E minutes (quick released pressure and an immediate cold water bath) and these things peel like you cannot imagine.  They almost jump out of their shell.  I’m making a handful of hardboiled eggs for lunch to have with salad.  Why?  Because why not?  They’re that quick and easy.  We had a one pot pasta dish in the Instant Pot that we all loved and best of all, we didn’t have to heat the house up in the midst of the July/August heat.  What could be better?

Lastly, last week I made barbecoa.  Ladies and Gents, I dumped a frozen chuck roast into my Instant Pot and STILL had dinner an hour later.  A FROZEN ROAST.

Sometimes I can be scattered and it can be easy for me to lose time on weeknight afternoons and evenings because the time is so short and there’s a lot to do.  There have been plenty of time when we are staring down six o’clock with no dinner planned and everything frozen.  Now?  So.  Drop it in the Instant Pot and eat in an hour!  That is a miracle!

This past weekend, I made ribs.  So, let me confess that I kind of overloaded the pot a little bit and when I released the pressure it sprayed foamy pork around a little bit.  I do not necessarily regret this except for having to clean up foamy pork off of stuff.  I was able to fit two racks of baby back ribs inside the pot along with the recommended cooking liquid.  It was under my maximum line, but apparently the pot had different ideas about what equals maximum.  Anyhow, once the ribs got up to pressure (which takes about 10 minutes) they only needed 35 minutes of cooking time to be fall off the bone tender.  I finished them, per the recipe, by basting them with barbecue sauce and baking them in a hot oven for about 10 minutes.


So, as a lady who has a husband that is super into meat, I will give a nod to the fact that the ribs themselves were over done by meat smoking standards.  While rib meat should release easily from the bone, they shouldn’t disintegrate like this.   You give up something for the complete and total convenience of having two racks of ribs done in less than an hour from start to finish.


We also made macaroni and cheese for a side.  This was a huge pot of pasta done in about ten total minutes.


The quality of the macaroni and cheese was excellent.  Not over done at all and while I decided not to dirty another pan by broiling it with some breadcrumbs, that would have improved it overall and I doubt my family would have been able to tell the difference between this recipe and my usual stove top and then oven baked macaroni that takes easily an hour.  For me, this post is a great investment for our upcoming busy season and knowing what I know now, I DO think the $110ish list price on it is still a good buy.

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