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My journey with the Instant Pot continues. Here is my original post where I discuss Black Friday peer pressure in my deciding to purchase yet another pressure cooker after selling ones I never used.
I’ve owned the Instant Pot LUX60 V3 6 Qt 6-in-1 Muti-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Sauté, Steamer, and Warmer for almost 2 months and I have a confession. I have not cooked a single meal. Not one meal. Nada. Yet, I LOVE my new gadget! I have no buyers remorse because it has become an important part of my kitchen and my meal prep routine.
This thing is paramount for meal prep, and I mean PARAMOUNT! I use it weekly if not twice a week to prep the following:
- Steel Cut Oats
- Sweet Potatoes
- “Re fried” beans
I follow a couple of Instant Pot Facebook pages and try to learn what I can so as not to have a disastrous mistake. Here’s what I’ve made so far and my experience:
Steel Cut Oats
One of my favorite things to make in my Instant Pot. Yes, you can make them on the stove and in about the same amount of time. The monumental difference is, once I put everything in my pot and seal it, I’m done. I don’t have to stir, I don’t have to do ANYTHING until it is done and the pressure is released. There is no being tied to the stove to make sure my oatmeal doesn’t scorch on the bottom. It frees me up to do other things.
The oat to water ratio is definitely more than 2:1, but I haven’t found a ratio I’m happy with at this point, but I just add water and adjust as necessary as I heat up my oats each morning. In the meantime, I’ll keep trying to perfect my ratios.
Here is the brand I use:Bob’s Red Mill Steel Cut Oats — 54 oz
Sweet potatoes are one of my favorite foods, maybe my favorite savory food, to be honest. I’m so happy that something so delicious is healthy! I LOVE throwing 4-5 sweet potatoes in my Instant Pot with a cup of water and letting them go. Within an hour I have enough mashed sweet potatoes for several days. Again, it doesn’t take much less time than putting them in the oven, but I just find it easier and the clean up easier too. There’s nothing dripping to the bottom of my oven as the potatoes bake. Instead, I wash out the inner bowl of my pressure cooker and call it a day. It also frees up my oven for other uses.
“Re fried” Beans
I put re fried in quotes because these aren’t true re fried beans, there is absolutely no re frying going on at any point. I dump in a cup of dried pinto beans with two cups of water, some seasoning and push the ‘beans’ button and let them go. Within an hour, I have fully cooked beans. At this point I take my immersion blender, blend my beans until they have the consistency of re fried beans. That’s it. No extra oil, no extra cooking. Nothing. I use these for so many meals and they’re a healthy source of carbs. Now, beans are one thing that go WAY quicker in the Instant Pot than the traditional soak and cook method and I would not be making these if not for the pressure cooker.
I’ve mentioned my immersion blender before and a couple people ask me which one I have. This is what I own: KitchenAid KHB2561CU 5-Speed Hand Blender – Contour Silver but, truth be told, you don’t need more than something like this:KitchenAid KHB1231 2-Speed Hand Blender Empire Red Electric Mixer. I never use the different speeds and I’m pretty sure I’ve never used any of the extra accessories.
Making hard boiled eggs can be done in the pressure cooker too. I have done this twice. Once, well, I was still learning about my machine and I accidentally set the timer rather than setting the cook time. I had no idea until I cracked my first egg and it splattered all over my counter. Ooops.
Although I made a second batch of eggs that turned out much better, I don’t regularly make eggs this way. Using the pressure cooker takes a bit longer, but more than that, I feel that the stove top method is just easier for me. If I want soft boiled, I know how long it takes, if I want hard boiled, I know I add two minutes to my timer. I don’t feel like learning new times for the pressure cooker.
With that being said, people SWEAR by the pressure cooker for eggs if you have farm raised eggs. Having used farm raised eggs (very fresh eggs), peeling them is a pain like no other and takes a herculean act of patience. Using the pressure cooker, I’ve read, make these eggs easy to peel. If I still had my source to buy fresh eggs, I would definitely put in the effort to master the timing for using the pressure cooker. But, I’m back to store bought eggs and they peel just fine.
If there’s ever been a controversial food item on Facebook pages, this might be it. So, you can make a simple batter, pour it into a WELL SPRAYED pot of your pressure cooker, and cook for 45 minutes. At the end, you should have a giant pancake with one side crunchy and one side soft. Once you take it out, you add butter and syrup and there’s your pancake
What you get: A giant pancake that’s more cornbread in texture. It’s not soft and fluffy like pancakes. One side is crunchy – almost to the point of burn. The other side is underdone and still doughy.
I still like it for a couple of reasons:
- Yes, it takes longer than regular pancakes, but I can start it before I go to the gym, my husband can take it out when the kids wake up and serve up food. He doesn’t have to stand at the stove and flip pancakes. He can get ready, get some work done, or do whatever he needs. The one extra step because of the doughy side is that we heat up our griddle and put the underdone side on for about five minutes.
- My kids like it. They know it’s not a traditional pancake, but it’s hot – with melted butter and syrup. What more can you ask for? You can toss on fresh fruit too. It’s a great item to throw in the morning rotation that’s a bit different than pancakes and waffles.
That’s all I’ve made. Five items. Yet, I love it and have no regrets on this purchase for the mere fact that it has simplified my meal prep. I prep one thing, wash the pot, prep the next item. This is something I can do this over the course of a day, while not having to oversee anything.
The most important thing I’ve learned about my pressure cooker is that it doesn’t necessarily SPEED up mealtime, rather it has the ability to simplify things. By the time things get to pressure, cook, and decompress, I’ve found (and read from other people) that there isn’t a significant change in prep and cook time. This isn’t 100% true, but more true than not.
I’ll experiment more and more, especially come summer, when you couldn’t pay me to turn on my oven. This is where I might see another incredible value to owning a pressure cooker. I’ll keep you updated!