I am using my Instant Pot Duo almost daily now, trying everything that might or might not work. The Milk Street cookbook is constantly to hand as a reference for timings as I play chef with this awesome gadget. Soups are really becoming a thing and a go to for the Instant Pot. I’ve also had a disaster at a family favourite using the air fryer, which I will post about next week as I’m still getting over it. But this week I can’t not champion what this machine is really about. The pressure cooker. From my first instant pot post you will know I was a bit nervous about the pressure cooker. However it is now my absolute best friend. We became firm friends very quickly and will keep each other company for many a happy day in the kitchen I’m sure. Why pray tell? you might ask.
The biggest plus of pressure cooking is how it retains the flavour of the food. Its like the pressure seals in the flavour. Everything from veg, pulses to of course meat. A standard saucepan wont do that no matter how good it might be. Its also really easy to use. You just pop on the lid, press the button and select the time. The display is so easy. Once you have done one or two from a recipe book its easy to transfer the knowledge. Or do it for shorter time , test, then pop it back on. 30 minutes seems to be a good guide for meat chunks and 20 minutes for soups.
Speaking of meat, well what can I say. Succulent, tender, flavourful are all words you can use to describe the meat that comes out of a pressure cooker. As we know meat has become very expensive. So having a pressure cooker means you can buy the inexpensive cuts and they will still be packed with flavour, as well as being so very very tender without a lot of effort on your part. Some of the most beautiful heart warming dishes are made using cheaper cuts that might normally need slow cooking. With the Instant Pot pressure cooker function the same result can be achieved in a smidgen of the time. One thing I might point out however is, if your making something that uses wine or lets say Guinness. Don’t put a lot in as when the pressure releases, that steam will be a power hose of said Guinness or wine all over your kitchen as I recently experienced. So what I came up with was to add a splash, pressure cook for slightly less time and then put onto the slow cooker setting adding the remaining booze.
Which brings me to the time factor. People are busy, especially now, home schooling due to Covid-19, while trying to work from the kitchen table. Or if your lucky enough to live in New Zealand or Australia you’re back living eventful lives being busy meeting friends and going out to work. Either way we are all busy at something. Anything that can be cooked in jig time while providing a nutritious meal is always a winner in my book. Literally in 30 minutes you can have a hearty meal on the table using the pressure cooker function. I made a Pork Adobo in 30 minutes. That normally takes about 12 hours. I have done beef hot pot in 30 minutes. The meat falling apart, full of flavour, cooked to absolute perfection. Soups in 20 minutes, for a family lunch break, that’s brilliant! The fact that you have the sauté function to give things a little start is also wonderful. Everything in one pan. Just pop the lid on, hit the pressure cook button, set the time and off it goes. I’ve actually taken to making the hot lunch or dinner in the morning switching to keeping warm once its finished, without loosing anything or drying out.
I’m using the pressure cooker at least 3 times a week. In fact, I was asked if I actually use the hob any more because every day the Instant Pot Duo is getting an outing. The last time something was this popular in my kitchen was the Magi-Mix, which is now like my right arm, I couldn’t imagine life without it. The pressure cooker function of the Instant Pot Duo is certainly a 10/10 piece of kitchen tech functionality and now very much part of the family. I love it.