Set in My Ways, or So I Thought
It’s been a long time since I have seen such fervor surrounding much of anything since the wave of electric pressure cookers has swept across the kitchen landscape.
When my slow cooker gave up the ghost last summer, I bought an electric pressure cooker, specifically an Instant Pot. I have not looked back since. However in that time I have been chided, and praised equally. People either love or hate the idea of this small kitchen appliance. I did not “sell out”, rather I have a new outlook on cooking that I’ve haven’t felt in years, decades to be exact. I am a reluctant cook. I would rather be outside, doing anything. Instant Pot, thank you, cooking is kind of fun now. I’ve convinced a few farming friends (men) to get one and they love it too.
A good friend of mine has had an electric pressure cooker for a good many years, and she loves it, and always raved about it. Dinner would be ready when she got home from work, and if she had to work late which was often, the smart electric pressure cooker would switch to the keep warm setting after the cooking time was completed. No! I don’t want a hot meal waiting for me when I come home from a long, trying day at work. Said. No. One. Ever. Stop that you damn pot!!!
I have to admit I was a little skeptical while she raved, but she kept on raving and posting about her delicious meals. So over the years an idea was planted, and I did some research. I too was chiding myself. You don’t need this said the little voice. I already have a stove top pressure cooker, I have a slow cooker, I have good stock pots, and a cast iron collection that would boggle your mind. But, I wanted this new pressure cooker. So the struggle in my mind went on for a long time. I am not a gadget person. How many people do you know that don’t own a Kitchenaid mixer? Be truthful. Not many I bet. Well, I don’t own one. I bake bread, I bake pies, I bake just about anything, I do not own a stand mixer. It would just be a waste because I really don’t bake that much, and as much as I want one just to look at the colors, that would be a colossal waste of money for me. Plus I couldn’t pick which color to go with my Fiestaware anyway, so that’s that. Just not into kitchen stuff. But an Instant Pot isn’t just another gadget that will languish in your kitchen.
Six months in now, I find that I am using the Instant Pot more and more. I don’t see myself ever making a cheesecake or something like macaroni and cheese in an electric pressure cooker. There are a few settings I probably will never use, maybe. But who knows. Where it excels for me is cooking meats, bone broth, beans, potatoes and sweet potatoes. Soups and stews are a close second. The sauté function is nice, you can brown your meat, remove the meat, add your mirepoix, cook that a bit, add the meat back in, a cup or so of liquid, close ‘er up, set the timer, or function button and bye, bye. You can leave. (And I don’t know about you but I am that person who has blown the weight off the stovetop pressure cooker when cooking beans while I got distracted :p) When you come back you have a meal, or the makings of one.
The bone broth is a work of art every single time. BIP (before Instant Pot) my broth making sessions were always hit and miss. Too cloudy, too smelly for hours on end in the kitchen, (cue vomiting sounds, sorry it just isn’t appetizing to me) mostly due to the fact that I am a reluctant cook. I’d boil it a little too much, and the results were just not consistent enough for my liking. I’m into nuances of a field to table meal as much as any bona fide foodie, but wow, Instant Pot you take the guesswork out of it. Consistent to die for broth every single time, and no kitchen smell. I’m in heaven.
So if you know of anyone who is busy, likes to make great meals for their loved ones, and is open to try new things I would highly suggest this as a gift. If that someone is you, don’t wait. The Instant Pot has truly been a gift to myself.