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Does anyone here have an Instant Pot?

(19 Posts)
mistydaytoday Tue 15-Mar-16 20:28:31

Just that really. I'm struggling to figure mine out and am hoping there might be people here who can help.

BrassicaBabe Tue 15-Mar-16 21:50:31

Place marking!

Bought into the hype about a month ago. My slow cooker is on the way out in my defence. But it's sat on the worktop since it arrived. I've even pulled the brokenslow cooker out as it just seemed easier.

Hoping to be proved wrong when I get my head around it

mistydaytoday Wed 16-Mar-16 11:32:31

I made a very successful risotto two nights ago. And an unsuccessful (but edible) pasta dish last night. I need instant pot people to help me understand the logic so i can do more. Everything in one pot, and fast, really helped me with kitchen tidying and having free time in the evening. I would love to use it more often.

PoppyAmex Thu 17-Mar-16 21:06:40

I've had mine for 6 months and use it multiple times a day (starting with overnight pinhead oats).

It was a steep learning curve with the pressure cooking aspect as I had never done it before, but now I'm so used to it I can just eyeball most of it.

I do whole chickens, yogurt (it's amazing), most slow cooker meals, steam vegetables, rice (super fast) and LOADS of pressure cooking.

PoppyAmex Thu 17-Mar-16 21:07:50

Here's a thread about it with over 600 posts - it might help:

GibbousHologram Thu 17-Mar-16 21:08:48

<marks place>
Bumping for you OP!

TondelayaDellaVentamiglia Thu 17-Mar-16 21:11:32

i haven't used mine for a week! Did a whole chicken in 32 minutes, and the most beautiful rice with the stock....just a shame it was all for the dog!

I will make a cheesecake for the weekend!

That thread up there is fab!

have2nc Thu 17-Mar-16 22:44:22

That was the exact thread that persuaded me to buy one!!

Now I don't know what to do with it. hmm

I eat veggies and fish - no meat. I do like beans; DCs not so much. I'd really like to be using it for fast family meals that we can all eat. The risotto worked well.

But then I was stumped.

lougle Sat 19-Mar-16 12:29:24

Hello! Pressure cooking involves a bit of basic science.

Water boils at 100c. Once you reach boiling point, increasing the flame under a pot simply speeds up the rate of steam - it can't go higher than 100c because it just makes more steam.

With a pressure cooker, the steam is trapped. , so the steam and water have to occupy the same space. Increasing pressure raises the boiling point of water. So you are cooking at 115c-118c. This means that food cooks quicker, but liquids don't reduce, because the steam is not released to the atmosphere.

So two key facts: higher coming temperature (less time to cook) and no water evaporation.

The next thing to know is that to make steam you need water. This is essential, because a thick sauce can't release water enough to produce steam, so there's no pressure. Equally, a pressure cooker relies on steam pressure to know when it's hot enough, so it will keep heating in the hope of reaching pressure, which can burn foods. That sounds scary, but actually, the IP has a safety mechanism to realise that it can't pressurise and will switch to 'overheat' and alarm.

With all that in mind, it's actually really simple. You have three main options:
-Cook the food in a liquid (e.g. soup, stew, casserole, etc).
-Cook food above a liquid (e.g. vegetables, cheesecakes, cakes, dumplings)
-Cook foods 'pot in pot' - all ingredients go into a dish which is put in the IP (eg some people cook lasagna in a cake tin)

The Facebook group 'instant pot community' has over 50,000 members and is a hive of knowledge.

The main points are:
-Reduce the cooking time (eg. Broccoli only needs '0 minutes' on steam).
-add about 1-2 cups of water. If you have a thick sauce, you still need to add extra water to make the steam. If you are cooking a stew with lots of veg, don't use too much water because the veg will also release water.
-if you cook with tomatoes, layer the ingredients so that the tomatoes go in last. The sugar from the tomatoes can catch on the bottom. Food doesn't move around under pressure, so putting them on top stops that.
-if food isn't done after x minutes, just put the lid back on and give it a bit longer.

There are two options at the end of cooking. QPR-quick pressure release- is where you move the top knob to 'vent' and all the steam is released in 2-3 minutes. That's great for delicate foods that will over cook when sitting in the hot put.

NPR -natural pressure release- is where the pot is left to sit after cooking, so the heat dissipates over the lid surface and pressure releases over about 10-15 minutes. This is good for meats, which tend to toughen if you QPR.

Hope that helps!

redpriestandmozart Sat 19-Mar-16 18:57:33

Lougle ... you are a God smile

mistydaytoday Wed 23-Mar-16 18:04:37

That's very impressive lougle. Thank you. It might explain why my pasta dish failed. I stirred the tomato sauce in.

May I ask, when following pressure cooker recipes, if you have to adjust time - is there a difference between stove top and the Ibstant Pot?

I bought a pressure cooker recipe book to try get me going. The pasta recipe called for the pasta (penne) to be cooked for 7 mins. I followed it closely but my pasta was still undercooked when I opened the pot. I then stirred the sauce inbefore trying to cook for longer.

I've seen on the instant pot community that some pasta recipes cook for 5 mins - this would be worse and even more undercooked.

I am a bit worried about having to potentially throw meals out. Usually have two shouty kids at my heels.

lougle Wed 23-Mar-16 18:13:41

Yes, the instant pot cooks at a slightly lower pressure than stove top pressure cookers. I think they recommend adding 5% to the cooking time of a generic pressure cooking recipe.

Tbh, 7 minutes should have been fine. I do 6 minutes. If you didn't have quite enough water it may not have cooked properly - don't forget that pasta/rice break the normal rule of pressure cooking because you don't account for the liquids they release in the cooking process, but rather take account of the amount of water they absorb - you've got to have enough water for the pasta to absorb and to maintain the pressure.

jimblejambles Wed 23-Mar-16 18:22:05

I love my instant pot and use it most days.
Pinterest and The instant pot Facebook page have loads of recipes and help

mistydaytoday Wed 23-Mar-16 18:52:12

The recipe I had said to only just cover the pasta with water. When I opened it the pasta was still uncooked and there was a bit of residual water. I'm not sure how much more I could have added because the tomatoes were spread on top to stir in at the end.

Twine88 Wed 23-Mar-16 19:49:07

I have had mine about a month, it takes a little getting used to and I have not yet found a go-to site for recipes. The fb page is pretty good, lots of questions asked and lots of quick answers given, plus recipes - but I do find a lot of recipes quite American. That said I made the most amazing butternut squash risotto in mine last week- but ended up mixing two different recipes to get exactly what i wanted. Just wish I could find a specific recipe site or book that has more of what I want to cook. Pinterest is great, but navigating recipes on it is a faff.

lougle Wed 23-Mar-16 19:55:56

I've just made a lovely lentil soup. My Dad have me the recipe. 1 onion and 4 carrots, all diced. Sauté for 3 minutes or so, add 300g rinsed red lentils and 2 litres of stock. Press the soup button. QPR when finished.

It was really lovely. I added a touch of home made (instant pot) Greek yoghurt. Beautiful.

dorothymichaels Wed 23-Mar-16 19:59:19

I have one I use quite a lot but I have some gripes with it. Sometimes it doesn't reach pressure and stuff ends up burned on the bottom. This is usually if I've been sautéing for a while and the dish is hot when I start to pressure cook, or if i have recently used it, washed and started again.
Having said that, it makes fantastic soup and chillies.
I'm not too keen on the slow cooker function. Either too slow or too fast!

mistydaytoday Wed 23-Mar-16 20:18:56

Twine I feel exactly the same about recipes. The Facebook page is also very meaty and I don't eat meat. I was hoping there'd be a thread on MN where we shared tried and tested recipes using British ingredients. I've just bookmarked that soup lougle . Thank you!

redpriestandmozart Fri 25-Mar-16 20:23:36

I got mine on Thursday and I'm loving it already. I have made two pots of soup so far, as I regularly used a pressure cooker I tried just doing exactly same times and they worked out great. A normal barley vegetable one and a spiced lentil. The lentils didn't stick at the bottom which happened a lot with stove top.

Although I'm vegan my DH eats meat and is going to do a chicken slow cooker tomorrow, I won't be touching it and I hate the smell of it cooking in conventional slow cooker but this might be better as more enclosed so I won't smell it.

I like the lightness of the pot, it's easy to wash and almost silent in use smile

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