Instant pots are all the rage right now, and many of you may have one languishing in your kitchen cupboard as you’re too confused about how to use it.
Have a read of the manual, and then start experimenting. Once you have got the hang of using this amazing piece of kitchen gadgetry, you’ll wonder how you ever survived without it!
What is an Instant Pot I hear you ask. Well, it’s essentially a perfect blend of a slow cooker and a pressure cooker. It’s powered by electricity, so you don’t have to worry about leaving it on the stove top like a traditional pressure cooker, and it’s much quicker than a slow cooker too.
It is very versatile, cooking everything from soups to jacket potatoes, but let’s have a look at some recipes you didn’t know you could cook in an Instant Pot.
Mac and Cheese
This is a weeknight, comforting classic, but it can sometimes take a while to cook, and when you’ve just got in from a long day at work, the last thing you want to be doing is preparing a lengthy meal.
Well, you can make mac and cheese in your instant pot, and this does not involve using one of those box mixes that are full of added e-numbers.
You will need to cook the pasta first in your Instant Pot, and once that’s done, drain the pasta, add cheese and milk and let it cook for a bit longer, and there you have it – mac and cheese with only one pot to wash!
There are many recipes online to help you with the exact quantities and timings, so experiment and find your favourite.
Making yoghurt in an instant pot sounds a bit strange doesn’t it? Well it’s definitely possible, and much easier than you probably think.
All you need for this is a yoghurt starter kit, your preference of milk and a thermometer.
The secret to good yoghurt is keeping at a constant temperature for a long period of time. This is where the Instant Pot really comes into its own. It can reliably hold a temperature for some time, which allows the bacteria that make yoghurt into yoghurt, to multiply and do their job at transforming the milky mixture.
If you get an instant pot food burn message, it’s nothing to panic about, it just means the temperature has exceeded the Instant Pot’s limit and your food could burn. However, when making yoghurt you will regularly be checking the temperature, so this should be avoided.
Home made yoghurt is far superior to the ready made alternative, and once you have discovered how easy it is, you’ll be making it time and time again.
Hard Boiled Eggs
Now, hard boiled eggs aren’t exactly the most challenging food to make, however it does involve you standing by the stove to ensure the water doesn’t boil over or dry out, and taking them out at the right time to ensure they aren’t overcooked.
Hard boiled eggs are an excellent snack for you and your family, and easy to pack into lunch bags for an on the go, healthy snack.
You can fit a week’s worth of eggs into a larger Instant Pot, so you could do this on a Sunday evening, and have less to worry about during the week.
You’ll want to use the trivet that comes with the Instant Pot, to keep the eggs off of the bottom of the pot, and add some water, usually one to two cups depending on how many eggs you have, and then cook them for around five minutes, and there you have it – hard boiled eggs.
Popcorn is a must have for home movie nights, or when you just want a healthy snack. Many of us use the popcorn that comes in a bag ready to go into the microwave, but as we try our best to cut down on waste in an effort to help the planet, buying popping corn in less packaging is important.
You can use your Instant Pot to make popcorn, and it’s so simple. You will need to heat up your Instant Pot for this recipe, and once it’s warm add a small amount of oil.
When the oil is warm, add the popping corn and cover with the pot’s lid, and you’ll have beautiful, warm popcorn in only a minute or so, then add your preferred flavours.
Simple, and movie night ready.
Yes, you really can cook a cheesecake in an Instant Pot. Anyone who has made a baked cheesecake at home, will know it’s a little bit complicated.
Firstly, you need to have your cheesecake in a bain marie, which is fiddly in itself. Then you need to cook it at a low temperature for an extended period of time, and then leave it in the oven with the door open to cool so that it doesn’t crack. It takes hours!
Let the Instant Pot step in and fulfil your cheesecake dreams much quicker.
Once you have your uncooked cheesecake in a springform tin that fits in your Instant Pot, place the wire trivet in the bottom, and a cup or two of water. Place the cheesecake in, and cook for around an hour on the low setting.
That’s it, you’re done! Cheesecake ready in less than half the time of cooking one in the oven.
These are just a few things you can cook in your Instant Pot that you wouldn’t expect. There are many other things you can cook, like rice, roast chicken, poached eggs or even vanilla extract.
If you’re thinking of getting one, or you have one living neglected in a cupboard, research all the ways you can use it. Your cooking life will be so much easier when you use an Instant Pot to its full potential.
The other great benefit is that you have far less washing up to do, as almost every recipe for the Instant Pot can be put in the one pot together!