As I write, my Instant Pot has been in use for just over a week. I have the 9-in-1 Duo Plus 6 quart model. Aside from one day where there were a lot of leftovers to eat, I’ve put it to work every day. However, I have only used a few of the programs — the pressure cooker, yogourt maker, steamer, beans/chili, and sauté. Here’s a list of the kinds of things I’ve been making:
- (mostly) dairy-free soy, and soy-coconut yogourt (could not find vegan starter locally, so tried it out with regular as a test)
- broccoli rice casserole
- beans — lentils, black beans
- black bean soup
- mushrooms (kind of marinated/stewed with herbs, garlic and green onions)
- entire tandoori-style cauliflower (made with my almost-soy yogourt, and finished under the broiler)
- peppermint tea (from fresh leaves, a big batch of it)
I feel like I’m forgetting something in here, but this gives you an idea of what I’ve been up to. I’ve really tried to put it to the test. I’m not writing up any recipes to share just yet as I want a chance to test things and make sure I’m getting consistent results.
Anyway. What do I think of my Instant Pot? I love it. I wish I had bought it last fall when it was on sale and that I’d had it all this time. Where can you get one? Amazon. (Affiliate link: http://amzn.to/2pPm2GN)
I am a decent cook on my own, so why am I so into this thing? There are a few reasons I was interested in the Instant Pot, and it has worked out even better than I hoped.
- The speed to cook pulses, and the fact that I don’t have to remember to soak them. I had a giant container full of black beans in an hour, when you count fiddling around, getting to pressure, cooking, and then waiting for pressure to release.
- The fact that I can start things out on sauté mode, and then add things and close the lid. I bought a slow cooker cookbook a few years ago that I’ve never really used because there was so much other prep before getting things going. If I have to sauté things and dirty a pan, then it isn’t my kind of slow cooker recipe. Here, I can sauté quickly, add the other ingredients and liquid, and then cook it at pressure quickly.
- More on soaking things — in one of the Facebook groups about the Instant Pot I heard someone say that they put their cashews in to soften them quickly instead of an overnight soak. That sounds good to me.
- I love, love, LOVE, the fact that I can put things in, close the lid, and go and work on something else. No hovering around the kitchen. (This is why I’ve always liked to have a few slow cooker recipes handy.) I love to cook, but I also love to get my other work done, too.
- This last one kind of surprised me, because I tend to eat on the healthy side already. I think I have been preparing healthier foods using this. This is in part because of the ability to quickly prepare pulses, but because everything is so quick I’m more likely to make other things from scratch as well.
- Last one, for now. I think because of the time it saves, it has inspired me to be more creative, and helped me keep the kitchen neater. Because I’m not watching the soup, I can make a cashew cream and not feel like I need to be an octopus in the kitchen with everything everywhere.
So, in short, after the above ode to the Instant Pot… if you’ve been thinking about one, go for it!
***Also. Side note. If you haven’t had Angela Liddon‘s Cilantro-Lime-Garlic Cashew Cream, you’re missing out. That is what you see above on my black bean soup. I know I’m kind of a hater on using cashews for all things vegan, but her recipe is amazing. Make it. It is worth soaking cashews for.