There is no denying that the slow cooker has become a popular kitchen gadget. This type of cooking process can deliver tender, succulent meat, which falls apart. However, there are going to be a lot of times whereby slow cooking simply is not an option for you. If you need a meal in a hurry, an instant pot is a must. Not only this, but an instant pot can typically handle a lot of meals that a slow cooker cannot. Not only can you cook the likes of shredded pulled pork and hearty beef stew in a fraction of the time, but a lot of instant pots have settings for the likes of yoghurt and rice, making them highly versatile. With that being said, in this post, we are going to take a look at some of the different popular slow cooker recipes that you can convert into instant pot recipes so that they can be cooked a lot quicker. So, read on to discover more about this kitchen must-have.
The Versatility of an Instant Pot
As mentioned in the introduction, one of the great things about using an instant pot is the fact that it provides you with more options when compared with a slow cooker. This does not only relate to the things you can cook, but also the manner in which you can cook. If you need to sauté or steam food before cooking it, you don’t need to get another pan dirty, as your instant pot will have settings for these forms of cooking. You can also cook the likes of desserts and scalloped potatoes using oven-safe glass containers, ceramic baking dishes, metal pans, and silicone muffin cups. There have been a number of pans that have been especially made for the Instant Pot. If you are going to use an Instant Pot pan, don’t forget that you will need to add a minimum of one cup of water to do so.
Cooking in Your Instant Pot
Now that you have a better understanding regarding the instant pot and the benefits that are associated with it, let’s take a look at some of the things that can be cooked in this device, as well as some tips on how to cook them properly…
- Grains and beans – Firstly, we have grains and beans. While you can cook these in your instant pot, make sure you do not fill the pot more than half full. This is pivotal because grains and beans get bigger and expand while they are cooking. Another important piece of advice is that cooking times for beans that are dry and have not been soaked will take longer when compared with those that have been soaked overnight. Of course, giving you a precise cooking time is impossible because there are so many different types of greens.
- Stews, poultry, and meat – If you are using a slow cooker, you will typically fid that any recipe involving a stew, soup, or meat, will require around eight hours if you are cooking it on a low setting, and between four and six hours if you are cooking on a high setting. However, when you are using an instant pot, you won’t have to wait for longer than 30 minutes. In fact, there is even a 15-minute poultry button on the pot for turkey and chicken. In terms of cooking times, what really matters is the density of the meat, rather than the volume of it. If you cut your meat into large, thick chunks, it will take longer to cook.
- Liquids – Finally, one of the distinct differences from an instant pot and a slow cooker is the fact that the former requires liquid, whereas a slow cooker does not. Because of condensation, a slow cooker will produce extra liquid. With your instant pot, you are going to need to put around one cup of liquid in there. In terms of your liquid element, you can use anything from thin sauces and fruit juice to wine, beer, stock, and water. It all depends on what you’re cooking!
Is There Anything You Should Not Cook in Your Instant Pot?
There are a number of things that should not be cooked in your instant pot. While it is an amazing piece of kitchen equipment, just like anything else, it does have its limitations. So, let’s take a look at some of the things you should not attempt to cook in this pot…
- Canning – For canning, you should always use a pressure canner. You can use this pot if you are boiling water bath canning for the likes of pickled items, jellies, and jams, though.
- Yeast breads – Secondly, if you try to make a yeast bread loaf in your instant pot, you won’t get the delicious crusty texture on the outer that you are looking for.
- Thickeners – There are lots of different thickening agents you can use in your food, for example, cornstarch. However, it is recommended that you add such ingredients once the food has been cooked.
- Dairy – Finally, it is better if you add the likes of cheese and milk products to your cooking at the end. Why? Well, they can curdle and separate, which will ruin whatever meal you were cooking. Moreover, as they can foam, this means they could also clog up the pressure valve.
So there you have it: everything you need to know about the kitchen wonder that is the instant pot! If you need to cook a meal in a hurry, the instant pot can help you to do so, and you won’t lose out on any of the quality or taste. For busy families, this is a must have. You will be surprised by just how many things you can cook in your instant pot. Nevertheless, make sure you take note of the advice that has been provided above and that you do not put any food in your pot that should not be in there.