Kitchen Tools – Instant Pot

Clockwise from the left: take this, put it in this and set it for 120 minutes, walk away. When you return you’ll have this, plus this as a bonus!

This is an example of the convenience and versatility of the Instant Pot, a countertop, digitally programmable, multi-cooker.

I don’t buy many kitchen gadgets. I do a heck of a lot of cooking with a very basic set of tools. But I wanted a stock pot that I didn’t have to keep tabs on or keep on a slow burner all day. That’s when I found the Instant Pot. For stock from leftover meat, poultry and vegetables I use the Instant Pot in the pressure-cooker mode. A single 60 minutes cycle will turn all your scraps and 3 quarts of water into a wonderful, healthy stock for soups, stews, anything really that calls for stock.

I have a rule in my small kitchen: NO one trick ponies! The Instant Pot is billed as a 6-in-1 multi-cooker. Pressure Cooker, Saute/Browning, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer & Warmer. I regularly use 4 modes.

In my kitchen it gets the most workouts as a counter-top pressure cooker. When you say pressure cooker, most people think of a huge, heavy pot with big screws protruding from the top, that always looks like it’s about to blow any minute! Stove-top pressure cookers also have to be watched. The Instant Pot weighs in at 13.5 pounds. I keep mine in a deep kitchen drawer when not in use, another kitchen rule.

Second most used mode is probably as a rice cooker. Mrs. Kitchen Drudge is very fond of risotto, which is a real pain done on the stove top. Lots of stirring, etc. But thanks to a recipe from Laura Pazzaglia founder of hippressurecooking.com , and a technique from NYT’s Mark Bitman for Laid-Back Risotto, we can enjoy risotto in 7 minutes! Of course you can use the rice cooker mode for all sorts of other grains and beans too, shortening the cooking times in every case.

I don’t do as much slow cookery as I used to. For one thing in not out of the house all day, which is one important reason for making dinner in a slow cooker. But the instant Pot is a very controllable slow cooker. You can set start times and durations, so that you meal will be ready when you are.

And of course for keeping dishes warm for long periods, such as buffet serving or for drawn out mealtimes, the Instant Pot is great. In fact most cooking modes can be set to keep warm when the cooking is done.

I have sautéed and browned in it when starting a dish that is destine to cook in it, but frankly, I’d rather do both in a sauté pan on the stove top then deglaze and add the items to the pot. But if your looking to cut down on cleaning pots and pans, this gadget will help out. Oh, and it’s really easy to clean. The stainless steel pot lifts out and can be washed separately. The lid and its sealing gasket will want t be washed well occasionally, but most times a rinse and dry is all it needs.

I have never steamed in the Instant Pot. It’s to easy to do on the cooktop.

OMG! There’s a new model and it has a yogurt mode! You don’t know this because it’s not very beer related, at least not yet, but I make yogurt twice a week, every week.

I found my Instant Pot at Amazon. But if you want to find one locally, check out the web site for retail merchants.

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