The Instant Pot Thread...because

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Lil, Jan 24, 2019.

  1. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member


    I figured...WHY NOT?
    I have had my Instant Pot for a while now...before Thanksgiving, but not before Halloween, so...November I guess. I don't even remember where I got it or why, other than I had wanted one and found a good buy. I really like it!

    So far I've made: eggs and potatoes for potato salad, roast with potatoes a couple of times, meat loaf and mashed potatoes, chicken and mashed potatoes, chicken bone broth, chicken tiki masala, chicken chili, beef stew, mostaccioli with meatballs, eggs and frozen chicken breasts for salads, jambalaya...I'm sure there's more. I also took frozen berries from my freezer and extracted the juice using it - worked like a charm! Tried "baked" potatoes last night, but the recipe wasn't specific on times and they had to be microwaved to finish them off. We'll try that again.

    There is an Instant Pot app you can download to your phone or tablet with lots of recipes.

    Anyone else got an Instant Pot?
  2. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Oh WOW, Lil. This all sounds delicious. I am afraid of my instant pot. What kind of thing would you start with? The chicken bone broth sounds great. I have wanted to do bone broth, but did not think about chicken bones. Beef bones here where I live are as expensive as meat, it seems. Gosh. The meat loaf and mashed potatoes and the chicken and mashed potatoes sound delicious. What was the most delicious thing you've made? Do you get your recipes on pinterest? I don't really understand pinterist except that they seem to have colonized the world.
  3. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    I belong to an instant pot for beginners facebook group. There is a guy on YouTube who's channel is PressureLuck. His stuff is really good. I get recipes from all over. I do have a pinterest board of instant pot recipes.

    Unpack the pot, read the manual, do the water test. If you have facebook, join a group like the one I'm in. It's hosted by OneHappyHousewife. The first thing I did was potatoes and eggs and made potato salad from it. Eggs are apparently one of the first thing people like to do. They peel SO easy when you cook them this way instead of boiling them. I've also done ribs! Almost forgot about them. Beef or pork, ribs are great. You just stick them under the broiler after. I did carnitas too! Same thing.

    Bone broth: I just save the bones from any whole chicken I cook. Most people say "Only Organic" but I don't worry about that. I even save the bones from the rotisserie ones from the grocery store. Stick them in the freezer until you have enough.

    When it's lunch time here I'll post some recipe links. :)
  4. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    I use mine all the time, particularly for soups. We roast a chicken most Sundays and then I make broth from the bones in the Instant Pot and use the broth to make a soup for lunches for the week. It is so fast! I can make the broth AND the soup on Sunday evening after dinner. I've made lots of different soups, but the usual has the leftover chicken meat and whatever combination of veggies we have on hand from the week, along with fresh herbs (in pots in the kitchen for the winter) and maybe a little splash of lemon juice added at the end to brighten it up. But I've done borsht, chicken corn chowder, fish stew, tomato and red pepper (blend with an immersion blender at the end), butternut squash (also blended)...lots of options.

    We used to use it for rice and chicken for Lady D all the time. :( She was on a specialized diet of half prescription dog food and half shredded chicken and white rice mixture to control digestive issues. It makes really tender, shreddable chicken (or any meat, I suppose) that would be great for BBQ or throwing on salads, fajitas, etc. We don't eat any red meat and don't do a lot of poultry beyond the Sunday chicken, but I've heard people make great ribs in them.

    And if you eat rice, it's a great rice cooker - comes out perfect every time, in just 12 minutes. We don't eat a lot of starches, but maybe every other week we'll make brown rice for Buddha bowls.

    The great thing about the instant pot is it has the saute setting in addition to simmer/slow cook/pressure cook options. So anything you would make by browning on the stove first and then adding a sauce and simmering for a while does great in the instant pot. You don't have to dirty another dish for browning like you would with a regular slow cooker, and it cooks things a lot faster with the pressure cook setting. You don't have to keep an eye on it or stir it to keep the bottom from burning. And in the summer, it's really nice not to turn on the stove or oven.

    I did a vegetarian tikka masala in mine last night.

    I do a lot of homemade veggie-packed sauces (which we put over spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles).

    I've cooked butternut or acorn squash in there - lots faster than the oven!

    I haven't gotten adventurous with trying to cook multi-part meals in there or bake bread or cakes or whatnot in it.

    Most weeknights we just do some combination of fish and vegetables, and I don't use it much for those. But I've heard you can cook fish in 3 minutes in there! Haven't tried it yet. Fish is already pretty fast and easy.
  5. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    I almost forgot - Yogurt! I made it using the cold start method with ultra pasteurized milk and sweetened condensed milk...yum.
    Cheesecake! Yep. Cheesecake. I got a little 6" springform pan at Aldi and it works perfectly in my 6 quart pot.

    I've also made ham and navy beans and plain pinto beans. You can make dried beans without soaking them! I admit though, I like the ham and beans better in my crockpot.

    I'm going to point out here that instant pots aren't really "instant" in that they are NOT as quick as it all sounds. They have to come to pressure. So when you see a recipe like the pinto beans that says "40 minutes" it actually is more like an hour+ because it will take about 10-20 minutes to come to pressure and start cooking. Then if you have to let the pressure naturally release (especially meats) you have to add another 10+ minutes there (10 is usually long enough to keep moisture in).

    pinto beans:

    potato salad:


    mashed potatoes and meatloaf (I followed my own meatloaf recipe, but otherwise used this:



    pasta and meatballs:

    Some people don't like the pasta. They think it's too mushy or too al dente. Jabber and I liked the pasta and meatballs. We used mostaccioli. It wasn't amazing...but it was good and very fast and convenient.

    Now...I don't always follow recipes and opinions differ on how things cook. I love that you can cook from frozen. A frozen chicken doesn't take substantially more time than one thawed. A frozen roast, start to finish, in like 2 hours? That's worth it!
  6. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    You know...I take it back. I think I got it in September because I gave my rice cooker to the kids when we went to visit in October, because now I have the instant pot.
  7. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    It is not so much the rapidity of the Instant Pot, it is the time factor combined with not needing to monitor it and to be there doing this or that, as in stirring, changing pots, covering, putting into oven, reducing heat, etc.

    Although I can't actually vouch to this as I have made zero things. It is just there on my counter looking like the hulk because I got the 8 liter (qt?) size.
  8. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Do you like things like chicken tacos? Try a cup of chicken broth and some frozen chicken breasts just in the bottom of the pot, without the trivit, then put some taco seasoning and put some salsa on top - DON'T put tomatoes on the bottom...they'll give you a burn notice and stop cooking. Seal, set timer for 7 minutes. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes after it's done then release the rest of the pressure. Shred the chicken and use it for whatever, tacos, burritos, salads, etc.

    Can you do it in the slow cooker or whatever? Of course. But cooking from frozen is fast and easy and good.

    With all those buttons, it is kind of intimidating. But really, other than the pressure cook/manual and sauté buttons, I don't think I've used any of them except yogurt.

    Oh - you can also raise bread dough in the pot using the yogurt holds the temp at 110 degrees. Perfect for bread dough in a cold kitchen! :)
  9. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Hi Lil. Do you bake bread? I bake bread!!! When I am acting like a normal person. Which has not been since I have been trying to lose weight. So this would be a real boon for me. I made that kind of bread that was all of the rage, with the wet dough. Oh yeah. No knead bread. I am wondering if that could be done in the instant pot, too.

    I am getting really, really tired of the food regimen I am on which summarized into one sentence is: Don't eat anything you like, so that you will not be tempted to eat. Which translates into eating very little because who would like to eat foods they don't much like. A few months ago I began to worry I had an eating disorder, because food no longer appealed to me. Duh.

    But this thread and Tired's has perked up my appetite. I do LOVE food. And I love to cook it. And to eat it. It is just my cockamamie thinking and behavior that has fouled things up.

    I think I will begin to give myself one good meal a day. Thank you.

    I have a lot of pork loin in the freezer. I wanted to make carnitas. And I have a frozen turkey which I could use to experiment with and freeze. Too bad I did not cut it into pieces before I froze it or I could cook from frozen. (This instant pot thing really transforms how you think about food preparation.) Thank you, Lil.
  10. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    You can do a whole pork roast. If it'll fit, it'll cook. :)

    I do no-knead bread too!!! I LOVE it. I don't make it often, because we tend to eat homemade too fast. LOL But it's the BEST. Put it in the bowl overnight, by the time I get home from work it's bubbling over the top and ready to make into something awesome. Can't imagine why you'd need to keep it warm though, it takes so long to rise anyway. But maybe you use a different method.

    This is virtually no knead too. You must try this bread.
  11. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Oh WOW. Lil. I can't wait to make this bread.

    Do you go to that website for the flour...I can't remember the name of it. Sorry. The famous flour. I will look for it. They have fabulous recipes for all manner of breads, yeast breads, cakes, etc.
  12. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    It's funny how you remember what you've cooked in your life, over and above other way more important things. I could write my life story through my recipe drawer. But what I meant to say here is that I made sourdough rye bread once. It was truly an old world bread. Like more than 40 years ago, I made this. I remember it like it was yesterday, and I still have the recipe, I hope. It was so impossibly delicious I will never ever forget it.

    You are inspiring me. It is so easy to get pleasure in life. It is just to decide to do it.
  13. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Even as a teenager I baked. And canned. I made jam. And my mother freaked out because there was sticky sugar all over the kitchen and floor. I didn't try that again.

    Gosh. Can you make jam or preserves in the instant pot? I will google that.

    Lil. Why did you extract the juice from the berries? I have a bag of berries in the freezer.
  14. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    King Arthur. :) My mom was a Gold Medal lady all the way though. :D

    I think you can make them, but you can't can in the pot. I saw a recipe the other day for strawberry preserves made in the instant pot.

    I have never canned anything. I'd love to. I'm going to use the berry juice to try to make blackberry and elderberry jelly I think. I should be able to can those in a water bath just using my stock pot.
  15. Tired out

    Tired out Active Member

    Hint..when you are going to be adding water to get the steam-- add the water and turn the instapot on saute while getting the rest of the items ready to go in...example--the lava cakes go on the little platform over the water, while I was mixing up the lava cake batter I had the water heating set at saute.
  16. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    True...but I've had people say the heat generated during the time it takes to come to pressure also cooks the food some, so they consider that when deciding the cooking times for some you do have the possibility of undercooking some things when you do that. Lots of stuff, lava cakes for instance, it wouldn't matter. Not sure I'd start chicken or eggs in hot water though.

    But I am pretty new at this.
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  17. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Lots of good information here. However. I am still working on successfully turning the machine on with a food item in it.
  18. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    What model do you have?
  19. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I have a Fagor 8 qt.
  20. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Oh! So not an Instant Pot brand. I'm totally unfamiliar with that brand, but they should all work about the same.