My sweet in-laws gifted me an Instapot for my birthday last year.
I was so excited.
And terrified. All at once.
You see I had just gotten over my pressure cooker fear earlier that year and the instapot presented a whole new set of challenges. But I had seen all these drool-worthy pictures of succulent beef and chicken dinners, even cakes, made in this shiny little contraption. And I was up for the challenge.
Now, I am no instapot expert by any means. I have made a few of my own recipes, but they are not tweaked enough to share with the world. Maybe someday…. a girl can dream, right?
But I do have enough experience under my belt to confidently share these 5 Instapot Truths with you. Word of warning: don’t be a scaredy-cat after ready #1.
Read till the end.
1. They are not instant
Here’s the deal. It sounds like all you have to do is throw everything in, press the buttons for 35 minutes and in 35 minutes it’s all ready to go.
Set It and Forget It! Oh wait… wrong small appliance.
You do get to set it and forget it till it beeps informing you that your delicious ribs, etc. are ready. But before the 35 minute countdown start, you have to wait for it to pressurize. Then after the cooking time is up you have to wait for the pressure to release before enjoying. You can manually do this, but I usually wait 10 minutes then manually vent it. Less mess that way. If you are venting starchy foods they can tend to erupt a bit with the steam. Lovely.
So really all in all for a 35 minute meal it will be at least an hour. (At least that’s been my experience.)
2. There is a bit of a learning curve.
If you’ve used a pressure cooker you may think you’re all good. Oh no. I tried beans in the instapot the same way I do in the pressure cooker. The liquid dried up, the beans were partially raw and I had a burnt bean smell permeating the house just as company arrived.
Don’t even ask me about the rice fiasco.
Different food, same outcome. Ugh.
So till you have learned the ratios of the instapot, stick closely to the recipes. When it comes to the spices/flavors, go crazy and mix it up. But watch those measurements or else… burnt bean essence.
3. If you need crock-pot tenderness without cooking all day, instapot is for you.
Just the other night I had a small roast that had not been unthawed in time for dinner in the crock-pot. Instapot to the rescue! In 1 hour and 10 minutes ( including sealing/venting) I had a perfectly tender roast, with veggies and enough broth to make gravy.
Felt like a good ol’ Sunday supper that had been in the oven all day.
Except it was Wednesday.
And I had been working all day and homeschooling with my little girl.
And had forgotten to take the roast out of the freezer on time.
No biggie. Instapot has got your back.
4. It makes all kind of crazy noise until it seals.
You will freak out the first few times. It’s all good. Double check that the valve is on “seal” and not “vent.” Also be sure to vent properly and completely before releasing the lid away from your face. That’s it! All that noise is…. Well just hot air. It’s blowing steam.
OK enough with the puns.
5. Once you get the hang of it, it will become a regular in your kitchen.
It will never replace my pressure cooker or crock pot. Partly because I enjoy kitchen small appliances/gadgets. But also because they each have their strong suit in the kitchen arsenal.
It most certainly has the ease and resulting tenderness of the crock-pot (set it and forget it!) with the speed of the pressure cooker (no babysitting the stove needed).
And that my friend is the best part of all!
Here are 2 of my favorite instapot recipes to date
Baby Back Ribs (I used beef ribs too. Yum.)
What are your instapot woes or hesitations?
What are your favorite recipes for the instapot?
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Unless otherwise noted, all photos are taken by yours truly and are exclusive content of this blog.