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I bought an Instant Pot on a whim because I heard they were good and it was on offer. It's big and scary and shoots steam out the top and I don't really know how to use it. What should I try cooking in it first?

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I think the manual had a risotto recipe that worked out surprisingly well. 

 

But I think something that's fun to try is some kind of ragu with a big hunk of meat. It's fun how quickly it can break down the meat, in one hour it pulls apart like it had been in for eight. But that said you're not getting any maillard reaction, so it's not necessarily better than other methods, just good considering the time and convenience. 

 

A word of advice though is just to be mindful of how no liquid will escape, so there's no reducing. I've misjudged how much water would come out of veg, tinned tomatoes etc and ended up having to spend a lot of time reducing afterwards which negates the instant-ness a little.

 

This thread has a few tips plus me saying about the same as above... The recommendation is that serious eats has a few good recipes to get started. 

 

 

 

 

 

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Daal is pretty good, get a lovely consistency once all mixed after the pressure cook - recipe below spoiled for length but its quick and easy and the results are great

 

Spoiler

2 Tbsp oil

1 large onion chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground turmeric

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1.5 cups of red lentils or yellow split peas (or a combination of both)

3 cups water

1/2 tsp salt

1 large tomato, cut into 6-8 wedges (maybe take skin off before in boiling water)

several big handfuls of spinach

2 tsp butter

 

When the oil is hot, add the chopped onions and cook until they soften and become translucent. Stir in the garlic, and cook for another minute until fragrant. Turn off the heat (hit the 'Cancel' button), then add the cumin, coriander, turmeric and cayenne and mix well to combine.

 

Add the lentils, water, salt and tomato wedges and stir into

the onion mixture.

 

Cook at high pressure for 10 mins

 

Remove and discard the tomato skins, and whisk together the lentils to emulsify. Add the spinach & butter , and stir to combine. The residual heat will wilt the spinach quickly.

 

I've made these recipes below and all are on the repeat list as are great

 

https://tasteandsee.com/instant-pot-beef-barbacoa/

 

assuming it has a slow cooker mode too this is a banger

https://www.recipetineats.com/pork-carnitas-mexican-slow-cooker-pulled-pork/

 

this may be the best of the lot, its a pretty traditional Texas chilli, which unlike the con carne we eat over here has no tomato, its all about the beef and chillis.

 

https://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2015/01/print/pressure-cooker-chile-con-carne-texas-red-chili-recipe.html

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12 minutes ago, Jamie John said:

Cheers both.

 

@Gotters - that chilli sound delicious but looks very involved! Do you have to set aside an afternoon to do it?

 

most of that chilli is downtime, its not much more involved than frying up a bit of mince and chucking a tin of toms and sachet of mix in, massive flavour though and the beef is fall apart soft. 

 

its so punchy though doesn't need much with it beyond some simple white rice.

 

I posted it several times in the Food Prepping thread and you get a good sized batch out of it

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16 minutes ago, Hawklord said:

Also bought one :)

 

Keep the recipes coming otherwise my wife will lynch me lol

Literally any lamb or beef curry can be done in it in a fraction of the time. Use a chart like this, and remember to adjust liquid- you'll never wind up with less than you put in, some vegetables like spinach can add even more when cooked, but you can cook down sauces afterwards with the "sear" or "sauté" setting.

5fd9rk01qo931.thumb.jpg.447949a434bd424896c829370dab21e9.jpg

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I haven't been shopping yet but I had most of the ingredients to make this earlier. It was quite nice, but the sauce came out a bit thick so I could have done with a bit more liquid. I was amazed at what just 5 minutes under high pressure could do, though!

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On 16/10/2020 at 19:25, Spacehost said:

Literally any lamb or beef curry can be done in it in a fraction of the time. Use a chart like this, and remember to adjust liquid- you'll never wind up with less than you put in, some vegetables like spinach can add even more when cooked, but you can cook down sauces afterwards with the "sear" or "sauté" setting.

5fd9rk01qo931.thumb.jpg.447949a434bd424896c829370dab21e9.jpg

I know I could Google this, but do these Instant Pots really allow you to do a 10 hour slow cook in 30 minutes? Really? Is there any decrease in flavour? Finally, are the Ninja Foodi's as good in that area?

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34 minutes ago, Stopharage said:

I know I could Google this, but do these Instant Pots really allow you to do a 10 hour slow cook in 30 minutes? Really? Is there any decrease in flavour? Finally, are the Ninja Foodi's as good in that area?

I never used my Low setting on my slow cooker but I've done chilli I'd leave for six hours in less than an hour. It depends on the meat etc, but those charts aim at the low end; it’s better to have to put it back on than overshoot and reduce everything to mush.

 

You’re not going to lose flavour. Pressure cookers have been around for decades, these just plug into the wall instead of sitting on a hob.

 

The Ninja Foodie is just another electric pressure cooker, the differences are in the electronics on the front, they all work more or less the same. Ninja Foodie has extra cooking functionality, the Instant Pot is more specifically a pressure cooker so it’ll probably be a bit more dependable and costs a lot less.

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38 minutes ago, Stopharage said:

I know I could Google this, but do these Instant Pots really allow you to do a 10 hour slow cook in 30 minutes? Really? Is there any decrease in flavour? Finally, are the Ninja Foodi's as good in that area?

 

they allow certain things to happen very quickly, such as softening tough meat cuts or pulses and getting flavour permeated deep into them

 

they don't allow other things to happen, so you get none of the lovely browning or caramelisation that gives so much flavour (the Maillard reaction), sure you can brown meat a little before but its not the same thing as a good long slow cook

 

also a pressure cooker allows no moisture to evaporate, so your dish will remain a bit on the wet side, unless you add a thickening agent after or have something in the dish like potatoes to break up a bit and thicken - this isn't the same though as a nice long oven cook where you get reduction of liquid, which really concentrates the flavour.

 

I'm of the opinion that they are good when used for the right dishes, or just be aware what you are sacrificing when saving the time, a 30m beef stew in a pressure cooker is better than no beef stew at all.

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I just cooked half a pound of brown rice in this in 15 minutes, done perfectly, too. Best kitchen gadget ever!

 

I also went shopping today and got the ingredients to make @Gotters's daal, a chilli and the kimchi pork that @Spacehost recommends, so I'll report back with my results.

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This is what the rice was for: 5 portions of chicken and egg fried rice for my lunch this week. I make this most Sundays and it normally takes about 80 minutes with the brown rice, but this was done in half the time.

 

IMG_20201018_141952.thumb.jpg.30a5ea953c7e4943a0bc93930bb503ce.jpg

 

 

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In a similar vein to my other suggestion, a great Japanese-inspired stewed beef. https://thetakeout.com/japanese-beef-stew-is-umami-rich-and-deeply-magical-1825091647
 

You want to do it for about 30 mins on high.

 

Also, the Hairy Bikers’ mutton saag recipe, but I’ve only done it with lamb. Do the searing of the meat in the cooker, otherwise have a frying pan going for the onions. When it’s meant to go in the oven, do it for 40 minutes on high, skip the water addition. When it says to add the reserved onions and spinach, put them in and pressure cook for one minute. By the time it cools back down it’ll be ready to simmer for a bit to thicken and then serve. https://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/mutton_saag_25343

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I did a great lentil daal thing yesterday that gave some renewed faith in the beauty of the pot. 

 

Sometimes when cooking lentils you can basically disintegrate them, maybe you used too much water and had to reduce down, or whatever. They're delicate. 

 

So what I did was use the saute setting to soften onion and get a bit of flavour going with loads of spices. Added enough stock a bit at a time to stop it all sticking. Then I added Parsnips and more carrots and a bit more stock. Not very much water here at all though. No lentils yet. 

 

Then I pressure cooked it for 30 minutes. Afterwards this meant the veg was completely cooked to oblivion, and I used a hand blender to whizz it all up completely and get it really smooth. 

 

Due to the small amount of veg it was like a really intensely flavoured, salty concentrated soup. Then I transferred that to the hob, added coconut milk and lentils and very gently cooked all that while tasting to make sure the lentils were cooked as much as I wanted and no more. The concentrate was now diluted with a lovely coconut flavour. It was perfect. 

 

It's was absolutely divine. Making a sauce out of vegetables first just gave it a buttery smooth richness and allowed me to use so little water and control the amounts better.

 

I guess I could have just boiled the veg but being able to pressure cook them meant I didn't have to add as much water, and also the pressure meant that they were so soft they could blend more. 

 

So this wasn't as convenient as just chucking it all in for sure but its an example of how it's a tool like any other and sometimes it's not just a convenient but less good option. 

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I made @Gotters' daal this evening:

 

IMG_20201023_181936.thumb.jpg.6c5b2f054ba4f7d52152e4b705c2b254.jpg

 

Very tasty it was, too :) I made it with green lentils instead of orange and I had to reduce it slightly on the sauté setting as it was a bit runny, but it tasted lovely and was just the right consistency. Think I'll do it with poppadoms next time, too.

 

I also made the slow-cook pork carnitas, but despite slow cooking it for ten hours on low, the pork shoulder I used wasn't quite pull apart tender, so next time I think I might do it on medium. Still nice, however, and lasted two nights.

 

Good stuff!

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looks good, can see the green lentils not cooked down as much as the yellow ones and split yellow peas do so guessing that's why it was a touch runny.

 

whenever I've cooked it after opening the pressure cooker you can still see the lentil and peas in the liquid but as soon as I mix it up the break down to a traditional daal consistency.

 

what weight was your pork shoulder, size a factor in slow cooking too so may just need a bit longer or less. As a guide I have a carnitas recipe which is 10h for a 2kg joint, 11h for 2.2kg and that comes out great, does have some other liquid in with it too. 

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1 hour ago, Gotters said:

looks good, can see the green lentils not cooked down as much as the yellow ones and split yellow peas do so guessing that's why it was a touch runny.

 

whenever I've cooked it after opening the pressure cooker you can still see the lentil and peas in the liquid but as soon as I mix it up the break down to a traditional daal consistency.

 

what weight was your pork shoulder, size a factor in slow cooking too so may just need a bit longer or less. As a guide I have a carnitas recipe which is 10h for a 2kg joint, 11h for 2.2kg and that comes out great, does have some other liquid in with it too. 

 

It was only about 1.3kg. Most of it was shreddable with forks, but the side that the fat was on wasn't so much. I'd removed the skin before cooking it so that I could make crackling, but I left the fat layer on to keep things moist, but maybe I should have trimmed that off entirely as well. It was a cheap joint, anyway - just a Lidl jobbie. Still nice, like I say, especially once I'd fried it and got it crispy, but I'm not sure if I'd describe it as proper pulled pork, like I've had in restaurants.

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On 16/10/2020 at 13:31, Spacehost said:

 

I made this this evening with roast potatoes and buttery cabbage. It was divine. I blitzed the pork on high pressure for 90 minutes and it came out much better than when I slow cooked it for the carnitas above. I also reduced the juices down to make a beautiful gravy. Thanks for the recommendation!

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On 18/10/2020 at 10:53, Gotters said:

 

they allow certain things to happen very quickly, such as softening tough meat cuts or pulses and getting flavour permeated deep into them

 

they don't allow other things to happen, so you get none of the lovely browning or caramelisation that gives so much flavour (the Maillard reaction), sure you can brown meat a little before but its not the same thing as a good long slow cook

 

also a pressure cooker allows no moisture to evaporate, so your dish will remain a bit on the wet side, unless you add a thickening agent after or have something in the dish like potatoes to break up a bit and thicken - this isn't the same though as a nice long oven cook where you get reduction of liquid, which really concentrates the flavour.

 

I'm of the opinion that they are good when used for the right dishes, or just be aware what you are sacrificing when saving the time, a 30m beef stew in a pressure cooker is better than no beef stew at all.

 

You can get a decent Maillard reaction if you do a blistering sear in a frying pan before hand - yes the Instant Pot has a Saute setting but it's not hot enough. I'm talking, as hot as the pan will go, rare steak hot. I always do this with meats that I'm doing in the instant pot - give them a couple minutes sear on each side so that they are brown turning almost to black before putting them in. I find that gives you that extra flavour. You also need to bung all the juices and fats from the frying pan in the instant pot too, scraping all the bits still stuck to the pan.

 

To the thread more generally, this is the best instant pot pulled pork recipe I've found (and I've tried a few):

 

https://recipeteacher.com/best-damn-instant-pot-pulled-pork/

 

It makes incredible pulled pork.

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On 16/10/2020 at 17:49, PK said:

Some great recipes on https://pipingpotcurry.com/

 

I've got the chicken vindaloo marinating in the fridge at the moment having bookmarked this link when you posted it.

 

Liked the look of the spice mix as was all individual whole spices you toast and grind yourself, not just garam masala. Usually gives a better flavour

 

Smells amazing, and will report back, my only 'concern' is that pressure cooking can be a little wet so the gravy may be a bit thin

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update, I used the sauce reduce mode in the pressure cooker and its a much better consistency now, bit brown looking but again the flavour is WOOF WOOF you only get with proper spices done from scratch

 

DB8C5AB2-EEDA-47FC-91A2-1C25E28B8E38.thumb.jpeg.18842062be3fcb8f1f0acba87d4db1b4.jpeg

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  • 2 weeks later...

I made this butternut squash soup the other day: so easy and really delicious.

 

https://www.gimmesomeoven.com/instant-pot-butternut-squash-soup/

 

My favourite thing to do with my Instant Pot is to make stocks. When eating meat I tend to buy whole chickens or roasts on the bone. I never throw anything away: all the bones just go in the pot with some water and a few minutes later it's done. My daughter loves noodle soup made with it. 

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3 hours ago, Miner Willy said:

I made this butternut squash soup the other day: so easy and really delicious.

 

https://www.gimmesomeoven.com/instant-pot-butternut-squash-soup/

 

My favourite thing to do with my Instant Pot is to make stocks. When eating meat I tend to buy whole chickens or roasts on the bone. I never throw anything away: all the bones just go in the pot with some water and a few minutes later it's done. My daughter loves noodle soup made with it. 

 

Do you get enough flavour from just one chicken carcass? Most recipes I look at recommend at least 2, or say something like half a kilo of chicken bones, which is actually quite a lot when they're so light. I suppose you can just adjust the other ingredients to suit, but if you're making a soup or stew that calls for 1 litre of stock, for example, that's a fair amount.

 

Separately, I made this recipe this week - Mongolian Chicken - and it was lovely as a mid-week meal.

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To my shame I've not had time to use mine much.

 

Cooked a whole chicken and while it was pretty easy and cooked well, I did miss having the "roast" part. Only really saved me about 30 minutes vs oven. 

 

I did make chilli con carne though and it was one of the best I've tasted. Adapted my own stove top recipe which I usually allow to sit for at least 24 hours before eating, but the IP version was as good if not better as soon as it was cooked

 

Spoiler

PXL_20201114_165310886.thumb.jpg.2110ba9d954d51adf0801f1e33c46b67.jpg

 

Leftovers for the freezer

 

PXL_20201115_184756490.thumb.jpg.f49d0211ff6cb3279382725e76989e0d.jpg

 

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1 hour ago, Jamie John said:

 

Do you get enough flavour from just one chicken carcass? Most recipes I look at recommend at least 2, or say something like half a kilo of chicken bones, which is actually quite a lot when they're so light. I suppose you can just adjust the other ingredients to suit, but if you're making a soup or stew that calls for 1 litre of stock, for example, that's a fair amount.

 

Separately, I made this recipe this week - Mongolian Chicken - and it was lovely as a mid-week meal.

 

I usually just use one chicken. I'm not sure of quantities: just chuck in the carcass and some veggies and cover with water. Pretty sure I generally make less than a litre, but still, I probably make a fairly light stock. In the past if I wanted to do a stronger one I would just stick any chicken bones in a freezer bag until I had enough to use, then do them all in one go.

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