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My Year and a Half as a Pot Head

Friday, August 16, 2019

No, not *that* kind of pot… an Instant Pot­®

(Look, I am not above using clickbait to draw a reader in - if this bothers you, I won't be offended if you simply scroll to the bottom and leave a "LOL" comment just to get your daily SparkPoint)

About a year and a half ago, I received an Instant Pot for my birthday. On the surface, I thought, "okay, an electric pressure cooker, that's nice." Getting one wasn't on my radar and, to be perfectly candid, had I not gotten one then I suspect it *still* wouldn't be on my radar. It's just not my style of cooking.

Or so I thought.

Since I had it, I figured I may as well see what all the hubbub was about and tried a few dishes in it. Didn't take long before I was a committed pot head (a self-applied term of endearment many of us devotees use).

From a "healthy cooking" perspective, there's a lot to be gained by using this device. Like with the sous vide post I wrote (
) one of the biggest advantages is that it's a sealed environment so you don't lose a food's natural juices like you would in a traditional oven or stove top cooking method. When the instructions are followed, food comes out fare more moist than usual techniques.

Then there's the time factor. Because you can heat water past the boiling temperature inside a pressurized vessel, the liquid inside the IP can reach upward of 250 degrees F. With the pressure forcing that heat into the food, your food will be done much faster. More than once I've thrown a couple of frozen chicken breasts right from the freezer into the IP and set it for 16 minutes. At the end , the chicken breasts are cooked perfectly. Imagine - 16 minutes from frozen solid to cooked and piping hot! (in the interest of transparency, that's 16 minutes at full pressure. It can take 10 minutes to come up to pressure and another 5-10 minutes for the pressure to release naturally so that you can take the lid off. But still...)

Hard boiled eggs - I can do hard boiled eggs with a 4-4-4 method: 4 minutes at high pressure, then let the IP rest for 4 minutes before manually releasing the remaining pressure, then 4 minutes in an ice bath to stop the cooking. These eggs practically fall out of their shells. But here's the real advantage - I can do a dozen eggs with merely one cup of water. The IP uses less energy than the stove top, I use far less water, plus I can walk away and ignore the IP while the eggs cook.

But my favorite???


I love ramen. Not the craptastic instant coronary packages from our college days, but thick, luscious broths with a proper al dente noodle (to mix my food nationalities) noodle, a properly soft-boiled egg, a couple of pork slices...

Oh wow, I just talked myself into a bowl of ramen - hang on, I'll be right back

(**muzak plays in the background**)

Okay, I'm back.

Making your own Tonkotsu ramen broth on the stove can easily take 10, 11, or even 12 hours. And you have to pay close attention. But, in the IP, it took only three hours (after roasting the veggies, of course). And even though it was only ¼ the time, because of the pressurized environment, all the flavor and texture was still extracted.

I need to wrap this up - I am not saying you need an Instant Pot so that you can spend hours making homemade broths or other exotic items, but if you find yourself lacking time - ESPECIALLY during the work week - give an Instant Pot (or other brand) a serious consideration. Last night I made a Miso Risotto that took a total of 20 minutes from start to sitting down with my family to eat.

It's easy to use, safe, and makes eating healthy food at home during the week an accessible activity again.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Aren't the new electric pressure cookers amazing! I'm off to make Instant Pot Stuffed Pepper Soup...
    574 days ago
  • no profile photo CD11945874
    I think you are very wise and smart to title the blog like you did. You are right to choose a title sure to hook the reader. Just like fishing, have to have a shiny lure. emoticon
    611 days ago
    Yay! Another pot-head!! I just told you in the other blog about the French spud vide whatever I can’t even remember how to spell it, that I love our IP! I got it for Prime day in 2016 I think? The first year that the 6 qt came out? before the 3 quarts and 8 quarts came out?

    You do know we have an Instant Pot team? (although I may go change the name to “Pot Heads”... hahaha ! Or likely I can’t change the name now. Oh well. Come by and see us!
    663 days ago
    Apparently you like your eggs far more soft-boiled than I do - and you must live at a much lower elevation (I go 8-8-8 for hard-boiled extra large eggs that are perfect)!

    My Instant Pot is used almost daily - for making yogurt, pulled meats, soups, stews, and - of course! - eggs. I've never been a ramen fan, but you make it sound almost tempting...

    Thanks for a great read - and a smile!
    664 days ago
    I'm Canadian, so your title caught my eye... as I don't smoke myself, I wondered what conclusiions you came to, LOL.

    However... on this we agree... I love, love, LOVE my Instant pot... so much so that all of our nieces and nephews get one as a wedding gift, LOL!

    I'm off to check out your sous vide post... I've been resisting getting one, but that beef picture got me curious all over again.
    666 days ago
    My Husband bought us a small instant I have just started to experiment with it . Your post has me wanting to use it more! Thanks!
    667 days ago
    I didn't even know what an insta-pot was. That is cool.
    667 days ago
  • MLAN613
    If you're on Facebook, there's a group called Weekly Dish Instant Potters. It's basically a support for IP curios and users. They share recipes and help when people have questions. I am in it but don't have an IP...yet. Happy cooking!
    673 days ago
    @mawmaw101 - I also have a... “traditional” pressure cooker that I still use for canning. What makes the Instant Pot so good are the safety features. No chance of finding your dinner on the kitchen ceiling! Lol
    674 days ago
  • MAWMAW101
    I’m old enough to still have an old pressure pan in the back cabinet and so not let myself get in the line for an Insta-Pot. However my hubby of many years just got new teeth and I thought about it again. To get the old one back out would mean finding parts (new ring to hold in steam and giggler to let it out) so a new pot would make more sense.
    Looking forward to your blogs!

    674 days ago
  • LINDA7677
    I have toyed with the idea of getting an Instapot. After reading your blog, I just may ask for one for my birthday.
    674 days ago
    674 days ago
  • no profile photo CD18072298
    I've been experimenting with my Instant Pot for about 3 months and my favourite is black beans from scratch in about an hour!
    674 days ago
    Looks Delicious! emoticon emoticon emoticon
    674 days ago
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