My Latest Toy(s)!!

In the culinary world, the Instant Pot (IP) seems to be the hot new gadget.  What is an IP?  Why – I’m glad you asked!  🙂

Okay.  I know.  That commercial was super cheesy and makes you think of some fly-by-night company with some less-than-desirable product.  But I swear – it actually does what it claims.

I bought mine during Amazon’s Black Friday (or was it cyber Monday?) sale.  And it sat in the box for two months.  Mr. C finally took it out of the box and set it on the kitchen counter, where it sat for another month.

Finally, I strapped on my Big Girl Panties, watched a ton of how-to videos, took a deep breath and plunged in.

I haven’t regretted it for a moment.

And then I bought a second one because I loved it so much!

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Thing 1 and Thing 2

I can’t remember all of the things I’ve made in them, so here are some of the highlights:

The chocolate lava cakes were scrumptious with Pear Cinnamon Caramel from Schocolat in Leavenworth, WA.  The cheesecakes taste divine, but the real joy of them is that they never fail.  I’ve made three so far, and each one has been absolute perfection – no sinking, no cracking, perfectly cooked.  And the ribs – oh the ribs!  I’ve never cooked ribs before because they intimidated me so much.  With the IP, they were super simple and the meat literally fell off the bone (I had trouble taking it out of the IP without it falling apart).

One of the main reasons I wanted the 7-in-1 (there are a number of versions of the IP) is because Mr. C and I eat Greek yogurt almost every single morning.  It normally costs us about $2 a day for our breakfast (give or take).  With the IP, I can make my own Greek yogurt, and it costs about $2 a week (give or take).  That’s a HUGE savings!  Plus, I know what’s in it, I know how fresh it is, and I can make it to our liking.  Not to mention, since we strain the whey out of the yogurt, we can use it for all sorts of other things.  My first use of the whey was a lemon meringue pie.  It wasn’t as pretty as I’d like, but it was tasty!

And that doesn’t even touch all of the other things I’ve done with it.

I’ve made lemon curd and fruit compote (both for our yogurt).  We found that the lemon curd was also quite tasty on the cheese cake.  I made some rice pudding.  Mr C and I both thoroughly enjoyed the chili.  The BBQ pulled pork was super simple, yummy, and shredded with ease.  And I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m looking forward to proofing my dough in my IP the next time I want to make bread (it’s always been a struggle when I’m baking a bunch of things to time them all just right – especially when making bread).

I had no idea, but the best way to get a shell that is super simple to peel is by steaming it.  It couldn’t be easier in the IP.  So, if you’re like me and hate being assigned to bring deviled eggs anywhere because your eggs are always mangled, try steaming them.  Embarrassing admission – I find myself wanting to cook them just because they turn out so well.  I don’t even eat them that much!

And last, but by no means least, is Crack Chicken.  Holy crap!  I think this was one of the first things I made, and they weren’t kidding when they named it.  Super simple, really inexpensive, and tasty enough to make the angels weep.  (If you’re sensitive to monosodium glutemate, as I am, Uncle Dan’s is a great Ranch dressing with no MSG in sight).

Don’t get me wrong – they’re not cheap.  I got my first one at an amazing price, and with the second one – it was on sale, I had a coupon, and I got free shipping.  I’ve heard rumors that you can sometimes find them at those discount stores (mine over here is called “Tuesday Morning“) at a reduced price.  Be sure to do your homework and figure out which model is right for you before you go shopping!  They vary drastically!

If you’re balking at the price (which I totally get) consider getting it for someone who’s thinking about getting their own place.  It really does replace a slow cooker, pressure cooker (except that you cannot can in the IP), rice cooker, steamer, and (if you choose the 7-in-1) yogurt maker.  It can replace your pots and pans, but I’m not ready to give mine up, just yet.

I’ve since discovered that my overwhelming fear of using the IP is completely normal.  Facebook has a group specifically for us Potheads or “Instant Pot Community” as it’s officially named.  On it are all sorts of newbies posting how long their IP has been sitting around, not being used, and then their instant regret of not using it after the first time.  It really is a game changer.

And please don’t think I’m being sponsored by anyone mentioned in this blog.  These are all just things I use in my life and wanted to pass on to you.

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