So, I feel like a 63 year old, retired woman with lots of cats and no friends as I sit about to write a blog post about an instant pot, which is basically a combination between a pressure cooker, steamer and a slow cooker. But, seriously, it’s a game changer!
I’ve had a slow cooker sitting collecting dust in my kitchen cupboard for about 2 years, probably used it 4 times! I hear you saying, uhh why the hell would you buy an instant pot then!? I love the idea of using a slow cooker, having beautiful tender fall off the bone stews that have been cooking slowly all day, or the best chicken stock ever from boiling the bones for 12 hours. BUT, I always bloody forget to get it sorted in the morning..
The last thing I want to think about when I’m making breakfast and getting ready for work, is oh yeh, prepping some meat and veg to put in my slow cooker. Handling meat in the morning, is not for me to start with! But I am also not in the headspace to think about what I am making for dinner in the morning, so without fail I walk through the door at 6.30pm, and go, shit. I was meant to get that stew, or whatever cooking in the slow cooker. So unless I want to eat dinner at 11pm, I’ll have think of something else!
In comes the instant pot! A wonderful friend of mine cooked us an amazing lunch a couple of weeks ago, partly using her trusty instant pot, and she talked me through how awesome it is. I was pretty much sold, just trying the poached pears, cooked in 4 minutes! 4 minutes!!! Hello amazon 1 click purchase!
I got cracking into reading up about it, and realised how this would fulfil my need to have lovely tender slow cooked meat, or amazing chicken stock, homemade yogurt, tender veggies and so so so much more. Without taking a day of prep and cooking.
I also had to research how the hell a pressure cooker works, as other than seeing them on MasterChef Australia a million times, I had no real clue! Here’s a basic description. Pressure-cooking is a cooking method that uses steam sealed in a pressure cooker, which is a special airtight cooking pot, in this case an Instant Pot. Sealing a liquid such as water, wine, stock or broth in a pressure cooker traps the vapour that rises from the liquid. This in turn raises the pressure inside the pressure cooker along with the maximum temperature that the liquid can reach. The increased temperature and pressure significantly speed up the cooking process. The pressure infuses the hot steam into the food. Pressure-cooking can cook foods in 1/3 the ordinary time on average and often over 10 times faster.
Which means I can get home from work and have something amazing on the table in under 30 minutes, which should have taken 4 hours of cooking! Also potentially no other washing up to do, as you can saute in the instant pot. Woo. There are also other benefits to cooking quicker with an instant pot.
Foods retain most of their nutrients and are tastier
With pressure cooking, heat is very evenly, deeply, and quickly distributed. It is not necessary to immerse food in water: enough water to keep the pressure cooker filled with steam is sufficient. Because of this, vitamins and minerals are not leached or dissolved away by water. Since steam surrounds the food, foods are not oxidised by air exposure at heat, so asparagus, broccoli and other green vegetables retain their bright colours and phytochemical properties. The cooked food keeps its original flavour.
Foods are cooked much faster by pressure cooking than by other methods. Typically an electric pressure cooker can reduce cooking time by up to 70% when compared with other methods. With much less water used in cooking and a fully insulated external pot, much less energy is required, saving up to 70% of energy compared with boiling, steaming, oven cooking or slow cooking
Here’s a link to the one I got..
I’m excited to get the hang of it and be inventive with what I cook in it, porridge, cheesecake, yogurt, bread, dhal, quinoa, soup, stewed fruit, ragu, curry, poached fruit, jam, the list goes on and on and on and onnnn….