Becoming A Pot Head

This year, on Black Friday, approximately a quarter million Instant Pots were sold.

A quarter million!!

(If you don’t know what an Instant Pot is you can see my previous post by clicking here.)

Cookware companies are attempting to copy the Instant Pot as fast as they can, but Instant Pot continues to be the most popular brand.

My arm surgery was just three weeks ago so cooking is nearly impossible for me right now.

But, yesterday I cooked a few “staples” in my Instant Pot to help me get through the next week.

First, I cooked a batch of steel cut oats.  (1 cup steel cut oats, 3 cups water – 10 minutes high pressure, NR.)

I don’t *always* have steel cut oats in the fridge, but it’s nice to have a batch of them made fairly frequently.

It’s so easy to add some milk, warm them up in the microwave, and get out of the house quickly in the morning.

It doesn’t take any “arm power” and it’s a healthy meal.

Yesterday, I also made “perfect” hard boiled eggs to keep handy for snacks, salads, egg salad sandwiches, deviled eggs – whatever.

(Perfect hard boiled eggs: As many large eggs as you want in a steaming basket and/or on a trivet.  1 cup water, 2 minutes HP, 10 minutes NR, followed by ice bath.  Eggs will be “ringless” and peel easier than any hard boiled egg you’ve ever peeled.  Time may vary based on altitude.)

After the eggs, I cooked a whole chicken.  (Yesterday, I cooked mine in wine, but I’ve also used beer, chicken broth, water, etc.  (6 minutes per pound plus 2 additional minutes, HP, NR)

I like to cook whole chickens because I can shred the chicken for tacos, burritos, use it cubed in stir fries, salads, etc., etc.

I also have two Newfies who coming running when they see I’m cooking a whole chicken.

They get some of it mixed in with their food.  (Spoiled!)

I’ve been very limited lately because I can’t use my arm to chop, stir, etc.

But, here are ten other things I’ve made (so easily!) in my Instant Pot!

  1.  Macaroni and Cheese – This isn’t something I normally cook, but I made it when my family was here for the holidays.  It was so easy and fast. You can dress it up or down depending on the cheese/s you use and/or what you decide to add into it.  Once it was done, I topped it with some panko bread crumbs and put it under the broiler for 1-2 minutes …. delicious!
  2. Soup – I’m The Queen of Soup.  I love making soups in the fall and winter. I always, always, use homemade stock which is the key to excellent soup. Making stock/broth/bone broth is SO much easier and faster with an Instant Pot.  And, I can make a big pot of it, divide it into individual portions and freeze them for later use.  Long day?  Just reheat some homemade soup at the end of the day!  Honestly, I can throw stuff in my Instant Pot and come back later.  It’s ideal.
  3. Cheesecake – Yes, I really did make an Oreo cheesecake in my Instant Pot over the holidays.  My family is still raving about it.  It was so easy, came out perfectly, and you know what I really loved?  It was a small cheesecake.  I used a 7 inch pan so it would fit in the Instant Pot.  Once it was gone, it was gone … no tempting leftovers and I didn’t end up having to throw away half of a cheesecake because there was so much leftover.  The key to a successful cheesecake?  Letting the ingredients get to room temperature …. and that means leaving them out of the fridge for several hours before blending them.
  4. Yogurt – Okay, I thought this was a weird one until I made it myself.  Why were all the Pot Heads raving about making their own yogurt?  Yogurt is not very expensive to buy and there are several excellent brands on the market.  Making your own yogurt only saves you a few pennies per serving, so why all the fuss?  It’s because homemade yogurt is so much better than even the best store bought yogurt.  And, you can control the tanginess.  If you’re cutting calories and want to substitute yogurt for sour cream you can make yogurt that is creamy in texture but with almost no yogurt “tang.” Likewise, if you love tangy yogurt – you can make it to taste.  I’ve made greek yogurt without any toppings, but it would be super easy to make a fresh fruit compote if you desire it.
  5. Rice, Potatoes, Squash – all done perfectly in a fraction of the “normal” cooking time.  (It’s easy to mash the squash/potatoes after cooking, too!)
  6. Perfect Artichokes – in 14 minutes.  (And, I do mean perfect!)
  7. Lobster/Crab/Shellfish – I made a shellfish medley while my son was home. So easy, so fast – and perfectly cooked.
  8. “Baked” apples/pears – Sprinkled with cinnamon and perhaps a pinch of brown sugar, served as dessert. (8 min HP, NR)
  9. Teriyaki Salmon – This might be my family’s favorite dish so far.  The salmon came out so tender, so moist … and it only took 7 minutes to make.
  10. Beef Stew – My boys love beef stew but it has to cook for hours (so long!) for the meat to get the falling-apart-tenderness it needs.  In my Instant Pot, it only took 45 minutes and it was just as good … probably better, than if I’d made it in a traditional way.

Clearly, I’m very enthusiastic about my Instant Pot.

As my arm heals, and gets stronger, I’ll be able to become more adventurous with my Instant Pot cooking.

Do you have an Instant Pot yet?

And if so, what is your favorite dish to cook in it?

Or, if you have several favorites, what are they?

7 Responses to “Becoming A Pot Head”

  1. Judi

    I got a pressure cooker a few years ago for $10 from a garage sale. It hadn’t been used and was still in the original box! I’ve cooked a few things in it, but the Instant Pot seems more versatile. I think I’m going to try some of the IP recipes I’ve seen (I joined the FB group) in my pressure cooker and see how they turn out, and I’ll wait for Amazon Prime Day or next Black Friday to upgrade to an IP. Then I should also be able to get rid of my rice cooker and crock pot, along with the pressure cooker.

    • Suzanne

      Yep, they’re awesome. I think you’ll love one when the time is right!

  2. Denise

    I love salmon teriyaki so I’ll have to find a recipe for that. Last weekend I made shredded beef from a chuck roast and we used it for tacos. My mom used to make beef stew in a pressure cooker and I’ve never been able to get that kind of tenderness until now. Have you seen the decals people are getting for their pots? Oh my gosh, people LOVE their pots!

    • Suzanne

      I have a decal! : )
      Mine is a Ryan Gosling one … I’ll try to post a photo soon.
      It makes me laugh.

      Search the FB group for salmon teriyaki – I think there are some recipes for it!

  3. Gina

    I’m trying to convince myself I need an IP!! I believe you’ve said that your children are not usually living at home. Is the 6 quart size a reasonable size cooker for two persons? Also, did you purchase any of the optional items, i.e. clear lid?

    • Suzanne

      You DO need an IP!
      (Aren’t I helpful?)
      I think the 6 quart is pretty ideal.
      I like to make huge batches of broth so I have a 6 quart for my day to day cooking and ALSO an 8 quart I use just for huge batches of bone broth and/or stock. The 8 quart is huge and takes a lot of space on the counter so I don’t keep it there all the time … it also takes longer to come to pressure. I think 6 is perfect for 99% of things. I have gradually picked up some accessories including the clear lid, but it isn’t something you need to start with unless you want to. It is very helpful to have a second silicone rim/insert because they absorb the odors of what you cook. (I store mine in a ziploc freezer bag so I don’t “smell” whatever odor they pick up.) I use one for cooking main dishes and one for oatmeal and/or sweet things so they don’t pick up onion/garlic odors.

  4. Gina

    Thanks so much for your answers to the IP questions. I really appreciate hearing your ideas and suggestions!

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