People love their InstantPots, and now I understand. I bought one in August 2017 and Mister Jupiter and I love it. Our outward praise has prompted some friends & family to purchase them also. My only regret is that my beloved slow cooker has effectively been replaced by this electric pressure cooker.
But it didn’t just replace the crock pot, it has made so many little meals easier being able to seriously sauté in the same stainless steel pot has been fantastic. No extra pans to wash, and everything easily washes free.
I almost bought the All-Clad electric pressure cooker because we have a lot of All-Clad products already. However their cook pot is lined with non-stick coating. This may sound good on the surface, but those non-stick coatings release toxic chemicals…and I don’t want to have toxic dinners! Luckily stainless steel doesn’t have that problem, whew.
Now I want to delve into the details of why we have legitimate affection for this appliance.
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I thought that I disliked chicken in general; turns out I was just so jaded by dry chicken breast. Let’s say that a recipe calls for three cups chicken broth and 1lb diced chicken breast; I replace it with 1lb bone-in skin-on drumsticks and cook them in three cups water in the InstantPot for 25 minutes. And voilà I have fresh broth and chicken so tender it falls off the bone. This easy swap has changed so many recipes. Soups that were okay have become new favorites, and now we rarely buy broth. Also, cooking meat on the bone is one of Cate Shanahan’s Four Pillars of World Cuisine. Win-win.
One of our favorite go-to dinners is grilled salmon with avocado & tomato salads. Usually we give the salmon a brief grill on the Big Green Egg, so we tried it in the InstantPot -and it was just as good. Yes, it lacked the smoke flavor, but it was cooked perfectly and only took a few minutes. Perfect for rainy days or surprise charcoal outages.
We probably eat beans three to four times a week, be it with rice or in a soup. The first time I cooked one pound of dry black beans was in the slow cooker. After a few hours they were still firm, and I was disappointed in my bean skills. Then recently I used the InstantPot and my unsoaked black beans were perfect after 30 minutes under pressure. Fast, easy, simple, no questionable additives, and no BPA leaching from cans. Also, making beans at home is a huge money saver. Most 1/2 cup of dry beans rehydrates to about the same as one can of drained beans.
Beef Stew Meat
Cheap meats are my favorites now. Affordable and tender without needing to be cooked all day. When I started making carne guisada in the InstantPot we were both astounded at the restaurant-quality flavor without an ounce of butter (however I love butter and use it regularly).
InstantPot (IP) comes in several sizes, and I use the 6qt Duo. My mother has the 3qt Duo-Mini IP for vegetarian Indian dishes, and my mother-in-law uses the 8qt Duo when the table is full of hungry adults and/or teenagers.
Even though we have a mid-size IP we don’t fill it often -but when we do *whistles* that’s a lot of food. We use ours at least twice each week, enough to justify leaving it out on the counter. So far we just use it for pressure cooking, rice making, and broth magic. I make yogurt, and apple sauce, but haven’t made any cakes in it yet.
Before I finish this post, I have to include a recipe, right? Luckily I have one handy. It is a Jupiter House version of chicken and rice. This is mild for our tastes; so it’s easy to spice up with your favorite hot sauce.
Creamy Coconut Chicken & Rice
- 2lb bone-in chicken thighs
- 1 3/4 cup water
- 2/3 cup brown rice, uncooked
- 2 bell peppers, diced
- 5oz can evaporated milk
- 2 Tbsp ranch seasoning
- 1 Tbsp powdered coconut milk
- Place chicken thighs in InstantPot (IP), frozen is okay.
- Add water and seal lid.
- Cook on manual high pressure for 25 mins.
- When cook time is finished, quick release pressure.
- Remove chicken and place in shredding bowl.
- Add rice to broth to start cooking.
- Remove meat from bones. If desired, chop chicken into bite size pieces.
- Return chicken meat to IP, add bell peppers, and apply lid.
- Press “Rice” on your IP and let cook.
- Wait for the natural release this time.
- When pressure is down, remove lid and stir.
- Add evaporated milk, ranch, and coconut milk powder.
- Serve and garnish with optional hot sauce.
Note: This is better the next day. Also, feel free to substitute chicken thighs with drumsticks, they are easier to de-bone; however, I do not recommend boneless cuts because the meat and broth will be less nutritious.
This post was refreshed for 2020.