Editor's Note: It's been a long time I've written a "Things I Like" article. You'll have to wait a little longer, because this is a "Things I Love" article written by my wife. Any typos were likely introduced by my editing as I changed some sentence structure for clarity.
With two little kids, I don't have room for many hobbies. I tried scrapbooking and gardening, but they were too much attention taken away from supervising the kids. I tried canning, but it was too much time in front of an open flame. I love concerts and Broadway shows, but they aren't frugal and it's hard to find the time (kids). Then I met Instant Pot... and I might have just found my hobby.
Instant Pot is a 7-in-1 electric pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, saute/browner, yogurt maker, steamer & warmer. Lazy Man bought it this Christmas on a Slickdeal and presented it as a "family gift." I did not want another appliance collecting dust on the shelf (I see you ice cream maker), so I decided to give it a whirl... and a new day dawned.
Using Instant Pot
With Instant Pot, you can make a restaurant quality dinner in less than 20 minutes. As Special Agent Oso might say, "Three Special Steps... that's all you need...":
- Place the meat and oil/ butter in saute mode until brown.
- Add the spices and vegetables
- Put Instant Pot on pressure cook for 15 minutes
The food never comes out under-cooked or burnt. The meat is so tender you can cut with a butter knife. Thanks to Instant Pot's automatic shut off, I am able to go give my 2 year old a bath and not have to worry about the food burning.
Lazy Man found this guy on YouTube using an Instant Pot competitor to make buffalo wings. It's worth watching just for former WWE wrestler Gene Snitsky's performance:
His pressure cooker looked like an Instant Pot, so I gave it another whirl.
Well, I was just as excited about buffalo wings as Gene was! They weren't crisp, but they had infused spice and the meat fell off the bone. I could not stop slurping them down!
The dinners are full of flavor and low carb. I ended up drinking the broth of my Thai red curry like it was a 2008 Zinfandel!
Cleanup is awesome as well, no burnt bottom , cleans up with a little water, a drop of Dawn and a Scrub Daddy! Like 2 minutes!
If I had anything negative to say the sauce does come out too liquidy. I add some cornstarch to thicken it up. (Well the dinners were low-carb.)
Let the Culinary Safari Begin
My first meal was from the Instant Pot cook book, but I found that the internet was full of recipes. I soon learned that any meal that simmers can be "Instant-Potted." In the last two weeks I have made, Thai, Italian, Indian, Chinese and Russian.
I look forward to Hungarian goulash and Mongolian beef. Thanks to my new hobby of being on a culinary safari with Instant Pot.
Everyday, I ask myself, "What am I going to make next?" I'm running our of countries.
Editor's Final Thoughts
I thought I'd finish up with some final thoughts from my own perspective.
- While some of this may sound like a paid advertisement for Instant Pot, it is not. Maybe some of the excitement from my wife is a novelty that will lessen over time. I've experienced this to some degree with SodaStream and Fitbit - both great products that are simply less exciting after years of use. In the interest of full disclosure though, I will get a small commission from Amazon if you buy an Instant Pot using one of the links above.
- I haven't learned how to use Instant Pot yet. I work from home which usually gives me enough time to plan something with the slow-cooker. It's easier for me to make dinner at 10AM than it is to make it at 4PM or 5PM when the kids are home from day care.
- For some reason, I thought it was called "Instapot", but it seems that it is clearly "Instant Pot" and the vast majority of the public gets it right. I'm sticking to my guns, "Instapot" is a much better name.
- The Special Agent Oso was my editing. With the kids, we have a fair amount of kids programming going on and Agent Oso's "Three Special Steps" is a key pattern to accomplishing any task in the show.
- I do the "family gift" thing a lot. Am I alone in this? It's a way to recognize that something isn't exactly fun or exciting for either of us, but it may improve our lives. I saw a deeply discounted Black Friday deal on something that had nearly 6000 glowing reviews from fans. I made a judgment call and the gamble paid off.
- I've read that you can crisp the wings by broiling them a few minutes afterward. They are great without doing that, so I'm not sure it is worth the extra work, so I'll leave it as a reader exercise.
- I've been blogging for ten years and even my wife wrote "Lazyman" (one word, lowercase "m") before I edited this. Are people getting this from the logo?
- It looks like I'm making ice cream in February. Little does my wife know that I've been looking up avocado ice cream recipes since it clearly gives Tom Brady super powers. Aldi has avocados on sale this week. Game on.
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