Saturday, August 30, 2014

Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker

I was perusing Mother Earth News one morning and read a review for the Instant Pot. Have you heard of it? It is an electric pressure cooker. It is the only one on the market that does not use a Tephlon coated insert and instead has a stainless steel insert. Reading the review, I became intrigued. I own a pressure cooker, a stove top large one that I use for canning beans and stock. It is a pain in the butt to be honest. I have to closely monitor the pressure gauge so the idea of making beans or actually cooking in it has never interested me. Learning more about an electric pressure cooker, where like my crockpot I could set and walk away, I was intrigued. I began checking out the new model. Don't tell my husband but I decided to buy it as soon as I saw that it was a yogurt maker. This was prior to reading the reviews singing its praises. I ordered it from Amazon for $134 and tried not to wince at what I was spending on something I wasn't sure I would even use. (Did you read about my $94 chick? My recent spending was cramping my budget.)

The first thing I made was chicken stock. I had read about the technique over at the Elliott Homestead and knew I had to try it. One hour after putting all the ingredients into the pot, the stock was ready. I put the stock into a pot to simmer while I used the Instant Pot to sanitize my pint jars. Then I filled my jars - it can process 4 pint jars at once - and put the lids on. Next I put 1 cup of water into the bottom and the metal trivet with the jars on top. I used the Manual setting on High Pressure and set the timer to 20 minutes. It takes a few minutes for the pressure to build, then the timing begins. The best part is that I can walk away. When the set amount of time has finished, the pot goes into a natural cool down (you can choose to vent it quickly but you shouldn't for processing) and 10-15 minutes later you have canned stock. Amazing.


After my success with the stock, there was no stopping me. In the first 5 days I made two batches of yogurt (it comes out very thick), hummus, black beans and rice, rice, stew meat and dry beans and a ham.

On week two, I had made another couple of batches of yogurt, straining one to make cream cheese, which I turned into cheesecake. *Note: the cheesecake is made with sugar. I like to try a recipe the original way if I am unsure of the cooking technique and then alter it.

The cheesecake was a perfect texture, although I will have to refine the crust and make it a graham cracker one but first I have to made homemade graham crackers, which I have been procrastinating for some reason. The only hitch in the cheesecake is that you must use a 7 inch pan. I was unable to find one locally so I purchased Instant Pot IP-DUO60 7-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker with Stainless Steel Cooking Pot and Exterior, 6-Quart/1000-watt, Latest 3rd Generation Technology. I am really happy with the quality of the pan and look forward to making more cheesecake. (We ate it pretty quickly so there isn't a picture, maybe next time.)

I have made the most fantastic ribs (no need to go out for these ever again!) as well as pork chops, chuck roast and ricotta cheese.

This is one of the best purchases I have ever made. I am confident in saying that I have used it at least once every day since I got it. If you are in the market for an electric pressure cooker, I highly recommend this one. For my family, the yogurt maker alone make it worth while. The slow cooker and rice cooker options are a huge bonus. And the pressure cooking? That means that when I don't start think about what I am going to serve for second course until an hour or so before dinner, I can pull a frozen piece of meat out, drop it in and have it perfectly cooked in less than 1 hour.

Have you ever used an electric pressure cooker for cooking (i.e. besides canning)?

*This article contains affiliated links.

5 comments:

  1. Wow, I didn't know you could pressure can in these! Is there something special about the Instant Pot that lets you do both or are all pressure cookers able to do canning too?

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    1. A regular pressure cooker can also do all these things. The difference, at least for mine is that with the stove top version, I have to watch the gauge and make adjustments to my burner. With the electric cooker all I do is set it and walk away.

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  2. Sorry if I duplicate - I don't usually post.

    Thank you very much for your post. I was given this in July for my birthday from my honey since I have wanted to get into canning and big batches are really a bit much for me starting out and we just don't have that volume of food or need bigger than pint containers at single time. I have not used it for canning yet, but the 1 cup water suggestion in bottom is very helpful since I was not sure what a good start was and didn't even think about using it for sanitizing first. Also, broth is something we make so that gives me an idea on something I can start canning with.

    But on other note, I have really not done any pressure cooking either. Do you know a good starter book that can help me get started on that? I know crock pot cream of mushroom, chicken & potatoes works great but just not sure cream of mushroom might become burned mess if I try to pressure cook it so I am looking for book that can give me workable options that I can than modify as needed.

    I was so excited to see your post on Homeacre hop since it was Mother earth news article that I put this on my wish list.

    Thanks again

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    1. Thanks for visiting! I am not sure about the cream of mushroom soup either. A great place to start is:
      http://www.hippressurecooking.com/pressure-cooker-recipes/

      I used it for corn on the cob last night. Another thing I have been doing is making rice in the bottom and using the trivet on top of the rice to hold up some meat and making everything in one big pot.

      I just made ricotta in mine:
      http://www.themessyorganicmum.com/2014/09/ricotta-in-instant-pot.html

      As for a book, I do not know of one. I have been feeling my way around with recipes I find online and have been finding that you can do almost anything with the pressure cooker.

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  3. I have an Instant Pot and love it! I am subscribing to your blog hoping for more tips and recipes for it specifically. Although I do appreciate the Hip Pressure cooking site.

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