What is an “Instant Pot” anyway?
The Instant Pot is an all-in-one kitchen appliance – 7-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker!
This is not just your ordinary crock-pot! It can perform all of these functions (not all at once):
- a slow cooker
- a pressure cooker
- a rice cooker or porridge maker
- a steamer
- a saute pan
- a yogurt maker
- a “keep warm” serving pot
I originally wanted to buy this for its pressure cooker feature. I watched Danielle Walker’s youtube video on how to make bone broth in 2 hours instead of 24 hours using a pressure cooker. I thought wow, anything to save me time and I was sold. I actually wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into, and I hoped it wouldn’t be a kitchen gadget that would sit in the basement collecting dust.
When it arrived, I have to admit I was intimidated. I had no idea it could perform all these other functions. It was a Christmas gift from my husband. So sweet, he actually heard me say I wanted a pressure cooker and surprised me! The youtube video scared me a little watching the steam come out when she released the pressure – it was hot and fast! I even saw her jump back a little when releasing the pressure. But, I thought I better dive in and start using it. The steam is not an issue and it will not burn you unless you are putting your hand right on it! I love it! I can’t say enough good things about it. I have had a few mishaps, but those were all because I did not read the instructions fully – USER ERROR!
Here is how I have used the Instant Pot since January:
- steamed veggies
- mashed potaotes
- rice and quinoa
- frozen chicken – pressure cooked in 20 min!!!
- beef and beer (omg, see recipe it is so yummy) – both saute and crock pot settings
- shredded pork from pork roast
- shredded chicken breasts for tacos
- butternut squash soup – saute ingredients (see blog post for recipe) and then and then the soup button for 10 min
The possibilities are endless. I compare this to having my Vitamix! As you can see, I use it almost daily.
I am not a big fan of the recipe book other than to get exact cooking times of certain foods.
So here are some of the websites that I use for recipes:
Don’t forget PINTEREST! That is where I found the recipe for the frozen chicken breasts.
I am sharing my favorite Beef in Beer recipe with you. It got the recipe from my neighbor. I was sold when I tasted the one she made! It is my husbands favorite, and the kids like it too! Win-Win!
- 2lb - 3lb Chuck Steak cut into 2" squares
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Onion sliced in quarters and separated
- 1 Heaping Tbsp of flour - I used Almond Flour or you could use other flour (Gluten-Free)
- 1 15oz Light Ale - I used a Gluten-Free Ale (Redbridge)
- 1 Spring of fresh Thyme or 1/2 Tsp of dried Thyme
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 1 Clove Crushed Garlic
- Sea Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper
- Heat oil on saute setting.
- Sear the meat a few pieces at a time. You may need to do several batches. Cook until they are browned on each side and then remove to a plate. Leave all juices inside the pot.
- Add the onions and toss until they are brown on the edges.
- Return the meat to the pot.
- Add the flour and reduce the heat to allow it to soak up the juices.
- "It will look rather stodgy and unattractive at this stage but that's quite normal."
- Stir in the ale until it comes to a simmering point.
- Add the thyme, bay leaf, garlic, salt and pepper.
- Switch over to the slow cook setting or your crock pot if you are not using an Instant Pot.
- Cook for 6-8 hours. It is done when your meat shreds apart easily.
- The traditional Flemish way adds croutons and cheese - baked on top like an onion soup. Browned by the broiler. Mashed potaotes and red cabbage are good with this - per the recipe.
- You can use gluten-free croutons. We chose to use no bread or cheese and it was fabulous. It makes your house smell so good when cooking!