Today I want to tell you all about one of my most frequently used kitchen essentials. What is an “instant pot”? It is essentially an electric pressure cooker, but it is so much more than that too because it can also act as a rice cooker, yogurt-maker, steamer, and slow cooker.
I have the 7-in-1 6 quart version, but they recently came out with an 8 quart version. The 6 quart is perfect for my family of four, though the 8 quart would be great for those who like to freeze extras for later. I have never used a pressure cooker in my life until I started with this one. I was always scared of pressure cookers, and felt much more comfortable using my trusty slow cooker. But when I saw a Black Friday deal I could not pass up, I had to give it a try!
These are all the reasons why I love it:
- Set and forget – I don’t have to keep watch over my food like I would with stovetop. I just set it for the amount of time I want, and go about my day!
- Doesn’t stink up the house – The aroma is really contained in this pressure cooker. Unlike stovetop, it doesn’t heat up the entire house or make it smelly.
- One pot meals – Because it has a sauté function, I brown my proteins directly IN the pot, then switch it over to pressure cooker mode and seal the food in to finish it off. If I want to reduce a sauce after the food is pressure cooked, I just release the pressure, and switch it back over to sauté again to let the liquids boil and evaporate. This little pot is so versatile in that way! I would never be able to do this with a slow cooker.
- Time Saved – It is so much faster than a slow cooker, and I do a lot of 30-45 minute meals with it. However, it does take time to build up pressure. It’s akin to waiting for water to boil In order for the pressure cooker to do its magic, there needs to be some liquid in the pot, and you need to account for at least 10 minutes of “building pressure” time before it even starts cooking But the benefit of using the pressure cooker over boiling and steaming is that you don’t have to monitor anything.
Some of my favorite things to make in the instapot include beans (no need to presoak!), boiled eggs, braised short ribs, pho, bone broth, mac ‘n cheese, spaghetti, and all kinds of soup. I even made a whole “roasted” chicken in the pot before!
This past Thanksgiving, I made the majority of our sides in the Instapot!… mashed potatoes, butternut squash soup, mac ‘n cheese, sweet potato casserole, and creamed corn. It was a game changer.
Needless to say, I am a huge fan of this electric pressure cooker!
Anyone else a pressure cooker convert?