I do not like to cook. At all. Ever. It takes too long and then cleanup is a pain. I know half of America loves their Instant Pot, so I thought I’d give it a try. But in all honesty, I was nervous about it blowing up in my face. My colleague, Gina, assured me that with all the safety mechanisms that’s not typical. She offered to show a few of us how to use it.
I opted to try to make a pot roast. I’ve made one in the crock pot but in the morning when I’m in a rush it’s not convenient, even if I do most of the prep in advance. I looked through the cookbook, “Skinnytaste: One and Done” by Gina Homolka. Sounded promising, until I realized I was looking at a crock pot version. With a quick search online, I found an Instant Pot pot roast with similar ingredients.
The first few steps were easy… sauté meat and such, assemble, etc. Plus, I did it all in the Instant Pot pan. It was the pressure-cooking part that was a little confusing. Gina walked me through the digital menu and showed me how to make sure the venting mechanism was in the right spot. Once I figured that out, it was underway. It was to take about 45 minutes once it got up to full pressure. From there my recipe called for the pot to self-vent so the meat would get more tender. I kept having to check on it because after it vented, I needed to take everything out and add cornstarch to make a gravy. There was no way to figure out how long this would take (it ended up being about another 30 minutes).
Finally, when it fully vented, I opened the pot, the part I was most afraid to do. Gina assured me the pot would not open if it wasn’t safe. I then made the gravy and we did a taste test. The meat was tender, as was the carrots and potatoes. However it needed more seasoning. I also found that making the gravy was a little taxing but overall it turned out okay. I must say the pot itself cleaned up very well and it was nice to have everything in one pot.
My coworkers Susie and Sonya also participated in the class. Susie made monkey bread and Sonya made bean soup. I didn’t know there were accessories for the Instant Pot but there are, which was used to make the monkey bread. It was delicious. Sonya has a Crockpot brand Instapot so there was a little more trial and error since Gina hadn’t used that brand before. In the end, Sonya said the soup turned out very well. Gina made ranch chicken and potatoes. It only took about 45 minutes start to finish and was delicious.
Am I an Instant Pot convert? Will I throw out all my other kitchen appliances? No. Will I probably use the Instant Pot again? Yes, but with a much simpler recipe.
A few Instant Pot tips:
- It will take about 15 minutes for the Instant Pot to reach temperature so add that to the time it will take.
- Be careful moving the gauge from sealed to venting. The steam comes out hot. Gina suggests using a spatula or something with a long handle.
- Be sure to clean the lid seal on a regular basis so it does not mold.
What do you love about your Instant Pot? What questions do you have? Do you have one on your holiday wish list?
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Written by Robin Klaene, public relations and development manager