August 23, 2016

I bought an Instant Pot. Yes I did.



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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14 comments:

  1. Congratulations on the Instant Pot! I've heard all sorts of good thing about it. I only have a fuzzy logic rice cooker which is not quite the same. But as long as it gets plenty of use, it'll have a place on the counter. Doesn't stop me from wanting an Instant Pot though. I think an Air Fryer is next in your future. :-)

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    1. I'd been looking for a rice cooker with a stainless steel cooking bowl when I made the rash decision to get the instant pot instead. I kind of like having separate cookers for each task so I can do two things at once. I'm hoping I can work out my plan to have two things cooking at the same time inside the instant pot. I really don't want it on my counter full-time, though — too big.

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  2. Hi, I've got one too. Sitting patiently on my countertop waiting for me to use it! PLEASE share something recipes so I can justify all the space this sucker is taking up...
    thanks

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    1. I started by learning to cook beans, and I couldn't believe how easy it was. I started by washing two cups of beans, soaking them all day, putting them into the pot, adding water to about an inch above the beans, and pressing the beans/chili button. I read the product reviews on the instant pot Web page and on Amazon. A couple of them were so informative I learned what I needed to know to refine my time selections a bit. After the beans, I cooked rice using one-and one-quarter cups of water to one cup of brown basmati, and cooking for 22 minutes. The booklet that comes with the cooker gives you cooking times for different grains. Next we made soup by adding veggies to some of the beans and bean cooking liquid just like you would do for any soup, and cooking about 10 minutes on 'low.' There are a number of Instant Pot specific cookbooks on Amazon, and I think the best thing to do might be to choose one and dive in!

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  3. I have one, but rarely use it. I plan to sue it more when winter squash comes into season, though I prefer the slow cooker for cooking both squash and beans.

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    1. I'm hoping to use the Instant Pot as a slow cooker as well as a pressure cooker. I used to pressure cook winter squash in my stove-top pressure cooker because it intensified the flavor so much. Thanks for reminding me!

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  4. I was so tempted to buy one on prime day too but I literally have no where to put it...! The cooking beans from scratch more often was the appeal for me too, but then again i live alone so i just cook them every other week and freeze extras. Those patties and soup sound really delicious!
    Do you add baking soda to your beans? Ever since I discovered the Zahav hummus recipe i add it now
    Ttrockwood

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    1. I agree it probably doesn't make sense to buy such a large device to cook beans every other week. I still haven't worked out a place to keep it, but I have an idea. I don't add baking soda to my beans — Should I?

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  5. It's so great to hear about your Instant Pot experience. I was really tempted on Prime Day too, but I resisted. I was so good about making beans from scratch for 5 years, and then I slipped back into using canned. They are just so convenient, and I really don't notice a huge difference in terms of quality. Still, I'd be more inclined to make beans from scratch if the process didn't mean that I was stuck babysitting the soup pot for an hour or more. Anyway, I hope you'll keep us posted on your trials!

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    1. Same for me with canned beans, but I really want to get back to using fewer pre-packaged foods — even cans. The Instant Pot is so easy to use, and it's starting to look smaller to me. (hahaha) Today I found myself imagining Where it could go on the counter!

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  6. Congrats on taking the plunge! It really is a wonderful kitchen assistant and I'm sad that I had to leave mine on the east coast. One of these days, I'll splurge on a shipping container and be reunited with it... I really do love how easy it is to use, especially on busy days.

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    1. You left your Instant Pot behind? Moving gets even more complicated when we get attached to our larger kitchen appliances, doesn't it? Sigh.

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  7. I did laugh when you said about the same arguments about kitchen gadgets, because I'm always debating about getting a slow cooker! This purchase does look like it totally paid off though in terms of what you've made since.

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    1. You know how it goes with new devices — you use them a ton at first, and then they languish on the shelf. I'm hoping that won't be the case with the instant pot. As for a slow cooker, you can often find one in second hand stores for a fraction of the price for a new one.My waffle iron came from an estate sale and our air-popper came from a resale shop.

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