Monday, October 9, 2017

What's the Instant Pot?

I think I may be the last person to learn about Instant Pot. For the longest time I received annoying emails about recipes for my "new Instant Pot." Grrr. I didn't have one and what's more, I didn't know what it was. Then one day an email asked What's the difference between your crockpot and an Instant Pot? Now they had my attention. I am not the Queen of the Crockpot. I am the Court Jester of the Crockpot. Most of the time, my crockpot isn't even allowed to live in the kitchen. It's banished to the never-never land of the laundry room.

Just in case I'm not the absolute last person, to hear about the Instant Pot, allow me to explain what little I know. It was invented by clever Canadians. It can saute and slow cook, and it's a pressure cooker!

Do you remember your mother's ancient pressure cooker? Everyone was afraid of it. Each time my mom's pressure cooker made an appearance on the kitchen counter, someone in the family asked if it would explode. I never knew of a pressure cooker that actually exploded, but we always asked.

Since my Instant Pot arrived, I have cooked almost everything in it. Okay, mostly because it's new and shiny. But so far, I've only tried the pressure cooking side of it. Like Peg, the first thing in the pot was pork chops. They cooked in one minute! Okay, that's slightly misleading because the pot has to de-pressurize, so they really cook in about 10 minutes. But our chops were very good. I tossed carrots and minced garlic into the pot with them and they were cooked perfectly.

I wanted to bake a cake in it today. Apparently it's perfect for cheesecakes because it can steam. Yay! The downside is that new pans will be required (in my kitchen anyway) because few of my pans fit into the Instant Pot. So while it might be super for cooking stews, soups, and potatoes for a crowd at the speed of light, dessert is likely to feed four to six people. But that's okay, right?

However, the instructions for the cake option are limited to choosing a density. So I will take it upon myself to experiment with it and let you know how it turns out.

In the meantime, ta da! I share potatoes cooked in the Instant Pot. I make something similar in the oven at 475 degrees for about 25 minutes. This took 7 minutes in the Instant Pot and, even better, required not a single drop of oil.

I did include bacon. For the most part it was perfect, but a couple of pieces might have benefitted from a quick saute before adding the other ingredients, so I'll probably do it that way next time. The potatoes were absolutely perfect!

Instant Pot Potatoes with Bacon and Carrots

3-4 potatoes
3 large carrots
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 teaspoon paprika or smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
dash of pepper (to taste)
2 teaspoons water

3 slices bacon
chopped parsley

Cut the potatoes in 1-inch pieces. Peel and slice carrots. Mince garlic. Combine everything, except the bacon and parsley. Cut bacon into very small pieces.

Place bacon into the instant pot and saute very briefly (1 minute). Add remaining ingredients to the pot, stir to mix, close lid, and pressure cook for 7 minutes. Use the instant depressurizing technique. Open lid and serve.

Coming in less than a month!!!


  1. I bought a pressure cooker/pot about a month and a half ago. Hubby loves being able to hard boil a dozen eggs in 6 minutes, and also that I've made beef stew once a week now. I mean, how can you beat cooking everything in 38 minutes and even the gravy is perfect? I'm on the hunt now to find out how long to cook my spiral ham I picked up this week, of course we'll have stew again, I still have 2 cups of beef stock in the fridge I have to use. :)

  2. Exciting, I barely like my crockpot because I like cooking. Does the instant pot brown? I like saving energy too. Thanks

  3. Thanks for sharing this new to me appliance. Our micro died maybe I should look into one of these...

  4. You had me at cheesecakes!

  5. I am one of the last to discover this device as well. I will have to take another look. Most of the time I don’t look due to the gimmicks. Love your books!

  6. I inherited my MIL's pressure cooker and used it until it wore out. I'm intrigued by the Instant Pot--and not just because your recipe featured bacon, I swear!

  7. Is there somewhere I could get a loaner to experiment with? I don't hold with these newfangled gadgets--remember, I'm working my way backward to a 1950 cast-iron cooker, where you have to guess the temperature.

  8. I have been hearing about the Instant Pot but not yet tried one. It sounds interesting and I have been trying to add more beans and chickpeas to my general diet. Would love to be able to cook up batches of legumes quickly but have never tried a pressure cooker precisely for all the talk of the device potentially exploding. I am timid with such.

  9. I don't know.... Mom's pressure cooker always scared me. I kept waiting for it to explode. I don't think I'll be trying out the Instant Pot any time soon. I do haul out the Crockpot and use it from time to time. No fear of explosion!

  10. Wow now i know what one is I didn't know at all and when i tell my husband i know his next kitchen item is going to be !

  11. We bought one and haven't any recipes for it. But thanks to you and Peg now we do. Thanks, Krista! Whee!

  12. My husband's family still talks about the spinach on the kitchen ceiling at his mother's house thanks to the pressure cooker. Why, on earth, were they cooking frozen spinach in a pressure cooker!?

    Thanks for clarifying this new gizmo. Still don't think I'll run out to get one.
    I'm lobbying for a gas stove/oven. They are few and far between in south Florida.

  13. Just got mine two weeks ago once I realized IP was an electric pressure cooker. Love it. have made the squash soup, spaghetti squash and rice. We love it. I'll continue trying new things.