Like thousands of people this year, I got an Instant Pot for Christmas. When I first started hearing about the cooking appliance, I was skeptical. I have a Crockpot, and figured that's all I really needed for a cooker in addition to my stove/oven. After hearing more about it though, I was intrigued.
I've been on winter break since Christmas so once the holidays were over, I have spent a little time rying to get to know the new pot.
The Instant Pot is an electric pressure cooker. I know a lot of people who were raised in families who used an "old school" stovetop pressure cooker. I was not raised in one of those families, so don't have (fond) memories of it exploding all over the kitchen. With that being said, I don't really understand the concept of pressure cooking and all its ins and outs. Therefore, I have not made anything from my imagination - I don't understand enough yet just to throw something in and figure out how to cook it. However, I've been having a lot of fun just trying it out using yummy recipes I find on the internet.
I started off slow with basic chicken breast (shredded, portioned, and put in freezer for quick meals) and macaroni and cheese. Both were super easy and worked just like the recipe said they would.
Last night I made beef stroganoff, and it was delicious. Stroganoff isn't the prettiest meal, so I'm not sharing pictures, but I couldn't have been happier with how it turned out. The round steak that I used was so tender after just 15 minutes cooking time. When I make it on the stovetop I leave it simmering for at least an hour after browning to make it tender.
So this is my take on the Instant Pot so far...It's similar to a slow cooker/crockpot in that you throw everything in and wait until it's finished without doing anything while it cooks. This frees you up to make additional parts of the meal (pasta, veggies, etc) or to do something else not even related to cooking. But the most important differences are that it is FAST, and it doesn't over cook the contents. At first, I was a little annoyed by the time it takes to come to pressure as it can take upwards of 20 - 30 minutes, but now that I'm aware of that I can factor the time in. It's still much faster than a lot of other cooking. While a crockpot has it's place for certain types of meats that you want falling apart - pulled pork for example. Most things I would cook in the crockpot all day came out falling apart, and sometimes that isn't want you want. The IP cooks fast while making things tender and juicy, but not overcooked.
I'm kind of a kitchen appliance/gadget geek. The Instant Pot is making me geek out hard!
for the next week...
18 hours ago