Instant Pot

I had heard about the Instant Pot and periodically thought about getting one for a year or so without acting on it.  I have been using the sous vide method for cooking short ribs for the last couple of years with great success, but my sous vide recipe takes 48 hours and there are times when I would like to decide today that I want some short ribs today.  The pressure cooking function on the Instant Pot should solve that issue.  I will find out later today.

I’ve had the Instant Pot for about a week and I thought I would share my impressions.  Although there are many many recipes and videos on the internet, I found the instruction book to be a little on the light side.  I was wanting something that would explain each of the pre-set functions, when to use them, how they work, etc…

I have to confess that I am generally against pre-set functions.  Give me functionality to vary the pressure/temperature and time to suit my needs and I’ll put in the settings I need for my particular product.  I ended up buying the 8 Qt Instant Pot Ultra so that I could get the versatility that I wanted.  I look at each of the pre-set functions as a starting place and go from there.

So far I have done a beef and peppers, meatloaf, Mexican chicken, chili and egg puffs.  So far, I am generally happy with the Instant Pot and will definately use it to take the place of my 8 Qt Calphalot pot.  It is easier to clean and dishwasher compatible.  It can also be used as a slow cooker, so one less small appliance for the kitchen.

Some of the other pre-set functions include yogurt, rice and porridge.  I really don’t see me using these functions too much, but I can see where they might be useful.  I’m not sure when you would use the porridge function and I generally use Minjute Rice for all of my rice dishes.

PS…. I wrote the above about three weeks ago, but didn’t post.  Since that time I have made a brisket and short ribs.  The brisket was nice a juicy and falling apart.  The ribs were on the dry side and the bones were very dry, so I could have used less time.

Two of my negatives:

  1. Cooking times can vary depending on the amount of food in the Pot.  Some experimentation is needed for each type of meal preparation at your altitude.
  2. I find seasoning dishes that are pressure cooked to be challenging.  It seems that a lot of extra seasoning is required if you use the pressure method.

This will definitely be a nice addition to the kitchen arsenal, but won’t replace my water bath or oven.

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