As someone who cooks multiple times daily, I don’t subscribe to trendy gadgets. My slow cooker is from 2009 and sits high on a shelf where I can’t reach it and frankly never need to. If given the choice between an easy slow cooked dinner in which I have to reach high on that shelf and get out a step stool or a difficult dinner cooked in a trusty (and rusty) dutch oven, to avoid all forms of climbing to get to difficult things, I would rather cook a difficult dinner. I have been using the same hand-me-down immersion blender I’ve had for ten years, and I refuse to buy a blender. So when the Instant Pot gained popularity, my first thought was “Great, another THING to add to my kitchen that will sit high on a shelf.” I am happy to report that I was dead wrong. Cut to me using this large, bulky device every day. You may be wondering why you need an instant pot and what all the hype is, but I’ve got you covered! I never thought I would use mine as much as I do, and now it’s an almost everyday staple. Here’s how I use my instant pot all the time. To buy the exact one I have, click here!
Use it as a Rice Cooker
This one is simple. The Instant Pot has a rice cooker function, making your life very easy. I was a perfect rice fanatic before, even going so far as to steam my rice in a very complicated way. But now I get the same texture by simply adding a cup of long grain rice with 1 1/2 cups of water and a pinch of salt and drizzle of oil, and hitting the rice button.
Make Pulled Chicken
I use this trick all the time. I can never poach chicken breasts without them still tasting dry, but doing it in the instant pot means they’re incredibly juicy. Just pressure cook them with a little water, broth, or wine for 10 minutes and you will have the best pulled chicken ever. Drain off the liquid and pull the chicken with two forks.
Pressure Cook Broth
I don’t do this quite as often because I usually cheat and reserve the broth from the pulled chicken and use that. But it doesn’t take hours of simmering to make bone broth in the instant pot. I love that you can just kind of throw everything in and pressure cook it.
Make Easy Dry Beans Without Soaking
Dry beans are something I used to never fool with. But now that I have an Instant Pot, no pre-soaking is required. To emulate the pre-soak just pressure cook each cup of dry beans in a quart of water for 4 minutes and let the keep warm function go to 10 minutes before releasing the pressure. Then you can use them in any recipe that calls for soaked beans. I like to pressure cook them with leftover vegetables and some rice for a tasty and simple beans and rice dish.
Make the Juiciest Whole Chicken
This was seriously the juiciest whole chicken ever. No, you don’t get the crispy skin, but if you’re not all about the skin or want to simply use it for lunches, salads, or pulled chicken, this is the way to go! That’s what that little round rack is for. Here’s a recipe for this that you should try.
Pressure Cook Not So Slow Cooked Meat
I have my beef with a slow cooker (noted above). Who on earth prepares food before work so it’s done after work? Not me. So this is a great alternative for you last minute people! You can “slow cook” meat in the pressure cooker in less than an hour with the same result. Here’s an easy recipe to try.
Pressure Cook the Most Flavorful Curry
I’ve noticed that curries in the pressure cooker just taste better! The texture will be runnier, but give it a little sauté time afterward to cook it down if you need. Also beware of the instant pot not coming to pressure if you use liquid that is too thick like tomato sauce. Add a little broth or water to prevent this.
Here’s some more recipes in the Instant Pot you can try: