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Things I Love: Instant Pot

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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...":

  1. Place the meat and oil/ butter in saute mode until brown.
  2. Add the spices and vegetables
  3. 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.
  • Posted on February 3, 2016.

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    8 Responses to “Things I Love: Instant Pot”

    1. LisaRob says:

      Arrrrgh! I just recently bought a nice slow cooker even though my husband thought we should get one of these pressure cookers. I’ve always had a fear of pressure cookers, but I looked into it. I researched the one that was being heavily advertised on TV, and several of the reviews said that the pressure function failed. That, along with my fear of pressure cookers, led me to buy the Cuisinart slow cooker. Oh well, I’ll have to muddle along in slow cook mode for awhile before I can justify buying another appliance.

      By the way, I prefer Lazyman over Lazy Man, just like you prefer Instapot! ;)

    2. Lazy Man says:

      I had a more manual (non-computerized) pressure cooker in the past and that really scared me (as in it could blow up the kitchen if I get it wrong). These are much safer with locking systems (as I understand it).

      We aren’t likely to junk our slow cooker any time soon. I’m using it to make my budget-hack shredded chicken right now.

    3. LisaRob says:

      But, the Instant Pot serves as a slow cooker as well, so you really don’t need your slow cooker anymore, right?

      I just watched the video on the Instant Pot. I have a feeling that it won’t be long before I give in to temptation and order one (I’ll use your link). I can replace my rice cooker and my slow cooker with it, so it will save space in my kitchen.

    4. Lazy Man says:

      I haven’t used it as a slow cooker yet. My wife had the same idea of getting rid of the rice cooker to save space, but they are very complimentary. We make rice in one and use that as base to pour the chicken and vegetables over. It works really well. Not sure if it could be made all in the Instant Pot at the same time, but I don’t want to mess with what’s working.

      Maybe we’ll nix the slow cooker over time. I think I need to spend some time learning about the Instant Pot myself.

    5. Steve says:

      I saw an ad for this on someone else’s treadmill TV yesterday. Couldn’t figure out what it was. But now I know! Thanks!

    6. LisaRob says:

      Mine is on the way! Ordered a cookbook, too, but not the one specifically for the Instant Pot. I also bought the little Instant Pot silicone mini mitts. Will let you know how it all works out!

    7. LisaRob says:

      I must say, I am really enjoying my Instant Pot! It is very well made, and fun to use! Just made an outstanding roast in about an hour.
      http://ieatcakeforbreakfast.com/2015/01/06/crockpot-or-pressure-cooked-mississippi-roast/

      Thanks for recommending the Instant Pot, I’m glad I bought it!

    8. Lazy Man says:

      Nice, my wife still loves it. I’m still working on learning it, but I still gravitate to the slow cooker meals I can make (I have the benefit of being able to start at 10AM).

      I had a minor epiphany the other day. The idea was to always put the first serving in a “Foodsavered” jar for freezing. I’m thinking of calling it Meal Plan Yourself First (like Pay Yourself First). The name is a work-in-progress.

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