The Instant Pot is, for perhaps hundreds of thousands of people, a favorite kitchen appliance. A modern-day pressure cooker that makes cooking fast and easy for beginners and experienced home-cooks alike. Apart from the reduced cooking times the pot is also the most energy-efficient way to cook, but is there more to it than that?
Not surprisingly, many people assume that the Instant Pot is perfect for making stews and other one-pot meals but it is a lot more versatile than that. There are a surprising amount of other ways the pot can be utilized. Here below are some other ways you can use an Instant Pot other than making chili or a casserole.
Cakes and desserts
One thing about the Instant Pot that many people like is that it cooks food in a healthy way. Much like steaming food keeps in more nutrients and avoids fats so does the Instant Pot. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t make some naughty treats with it. It is, in fact, very good at making cakes.
Due to its cooking method and the way food from the pot retains moisture it means cakes come out moist and delicious. You will need a bundt ban or a cake tin and then you are ready to make caramel pecan cheesecake, chocolate lava cake, fudge brownies, and carrot cake. Luckily the internet is awash with Instant Pot cake recipes.
The perfect go-to for an absolute beginner or for someone who wants a simple, quick meal with minimum effort. Baked potatoes in the oven can take what seems forever, but in the Instant Pot, they only take about 15 minutes. Not only that, they are pretty healthy until you start mashing in butter and adding crispy bacon and cheese that is.
Many people find cooking rice tricky so it is especially handy that the Instant Pot comes with a rice program. For perfect rice, you just need 1 cup of rinsed rice to 1 cup of water. That is the same for long-grain, jasmine, or brown rice.
Not only can it cook perfect steamed rice it can also manage sticky rice which normally takes hours to prepare and cook but it can also do sushi rice. Yes, really, you can find the recipe from corrie cooks here for perfect Instant Pot sushi rice.
Believe it or not, it is perfectly ok to cook a whole frozen chicken in an Instant Pot. Of course, you will need a cooker that is big enough to place the chicken in. As you may know, it is not necessary to use added fat in an Instant Pot as it cooks by pressure and steam, however, if you want to add some extra flavor you could rub a little oil or butter into the skin first followed by any seasoning or spices you like.
Don’t wash the chicken under the tap as you can spread bacteria (and the risk of food poisoning) onto your kitchen surfaces. You will want to use the Instant Pot’s trivet to keep the chicken above any moisture at the bottom. Cooking time should be the same as fresh chicken but add 5 minutes extra per pound, and of course, don’t forget to add water too.
This one surprises many people. The Instant Pot isn’t just good at cooking it can make drinks too. It is easy to make infused waters, iced green tea, iced coffee, and believe it or not, wine! By clever use of grape juice, yeast, sugar, and the Instant Pot’s yogurt function you can have your own home-made (ish) wine although there is a waiting period before you can drink it so you have to be patient. It also probably won’t be winning any awards.
It is possible to cook a whole lobster in an Instant Pot if you have a large enough one. Be aware though that the lobster should be killed before placing in the pot as the Instant Pot takes time to build up the temperature. You may prefer then to use lobster tails and the pot can cook these perfectly using the trivet and a steamer basket. Ideal for making lobster rolls or just eaten with melted garlic butter.
The Instant Pot is well known for keeping the meat moist and tender so it is maybe not such a surprise to know that you can use the pot to tenderize tough cuts of meat. Ideal for brisket, ribs, and cheaper cuts, the pot can make the toughest pieces of meat tender. There are a couple of things to remember though, the pot cooks quickly so just because brisket normally takes hours don’t overcook it or it will be ruined. Secondly, always use natural release after you finish cooking to retain the moisture in the pot for as long as possible.
Other benefits of an Instant Pot
Aside from its time-saving benefits it can also slow cook, make yogurt, saute, and sous-vide. For an aspiring home-cook, it is perfect for making a mess and hassles free dishes. It is also eco-friendly and energy-efficient so if you want to help save the environment you can do worse than choose an Instant Pot over other cooking methods.
Other surprising things you can do with an Instant Pot
If those weren’t enough how about some of the following to inspire you to use your Instant Pot for more than a chicken stew? Try making a creme brulee, making popcorn or toffee pudding, cornbread, rice pudding, or even a whole pumpkin.
Having an Instant Pot won’t increase the value of your kitchen or home but it will help you cook an endless list of recipes and ideas. Many people use their pots in extremely imaginative ways, home-made crayons, hand lotion, and shaved ice are just three of the unusual things you can put your pot to use. If you have an Instant Pot then remember it is perfectly ok to just make noodle soup or chili and buy your wine from the store instead.