August 23, 2016
Back on July 12, when Amazon was having Prime Day, I succumbed to the nagging urge to purchase an Instant Pot IP-DUO60 7-in-1 Multi-Functional six quart Pressure Cooker, even though I tried to convince myself we didn't need it, didn't have room for it, blah, blah, blah. You know the arguments because you have the same arguments about kitchen items all the time, too, don't you?
I already had a slow cooker and stove-top pressure cooker, and all I really needed was a rice cooker, but when the Instant Pot went on sale for $60, what could I do? It was cheaper than the rice cookers I'd been looking at. The last time I used my pressure cooker it had exploded in a most frightening way, and I've been reluctant to use it since. Add to the argument my desire to use more dried beans instead of canned, and the fact I like cooking to be easy. Like I said, what could I do? So, am I glad I bought it? Is it easy? Yes and yes.
At first I was afraid to try it, then, at the last minute one night, I decided to get over my reluctance, and cook beans. I know beans are better and easier to digest when soaked, but it was late, so I threw two cups of unsoaked chickpeas into the pot, added water, and pressed "beans." Once the pressure comes up, the beans setting cooks for 30 minutes. The beans were perfectly soft when they were finished — maybe a little too soft. We sprinkled them with a bit of seasoning, made a cabbage slaw, roasted potatoes and grilled Hatch peppers, and called it dinner. We ate chickpeas a few more times for lunch and dinner, I made hummus, and even fed chickpeas to the dog. It was great!
I soaked and cooked cannelini beans, and we had beans and rice with tahini sauce, then bean soup, and still there were beans, so I made sausage patties with leftover beans, cooked quinoa, hemp seeds, herbs and spices.
The most recent beans I made were kidney beans, which I pre-soaked. My husband made an excellent soup from them by adding vegetables to the cooker after the beans were cooked, and letting the pot run until the veggies were done.
I've cooked rice in the Instant Pot, and it came out perfectly, but I cooked it after removing the finished beans from the cooker, and that seemed inconvenient to me. After reading more about how to use the Instant Pot, and doing some practicing, I'm getting much more confident about setting the timer and figuring out how to cook multiple foods at once. I'm going to set up a pot within a pot system for cooking beans and rice at the same time.
I love how convenient the Instant Pot is — I can just add the food and walk away. It doesn't create heat, is very quiet, and cooks pretty fast. I just want to use it constantly. The only downside is it is pretty large, and we haven't quite figured out where to keep it, yet. But we will!
Do you have an Instant Pot? Are you thinking of buying one? Do you have a particular kitchen appliance you felt a little guilty about buying but now really love?
Got to go make some rice now to go with the leftover soup!
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