I first started crushing on Instant Pots (affectionately referred to throughout as IPs) about a year ago when so many of my social media pals received IPs as Christmas gifts. My husband rolled his eyes and asked me where I was going to store yet another kitchen appliance. My mama told me that I was going to end up with split pea soup on my ceiling if I got an IP, you know, 1970s style.
Since I was alone in my intrigue of the IP, I bought one for myself for my 29th birthday. Can you imagine what my 18-year-old self would have to say about that horror?! I joined the IP Facebook group and set out to delightfully prove my family wrong. My biggest hope for the IP was that it would fix all of my slow cooker woes. I love the idea of the slow cooker but cannot even begin to tell you how many times I have forgotten to put it on, brown the meat, or plug it in. And there was that time that I tried to make oatmeal in it. I promise you that we do not even want to talk about that. But, my IP friends (yep, that is a thing) assured me that I would get the flavor and ease of a slow cooker but in a fraction (legit a fraction) of the time.
And I am here to tell you that I have given away my slow cookers and I am voting for the IP for president. A M E N.
Before you get started, you will want to do the water test in accordance with your pot’s manual. You also might want to try some soft / hard boiled eggs. There are 40,000 blog posts just about IP eggs out there. You will have to tweak cook times to your liking, but this one is my favorite.
I have 4 weeknight go-to recipes that we pretty much make on repeat in our house.
And actually, I have made one of these recipes (Mississippi Pot Roast) as a special dinner for friends who came in from out of town. So these recipes do not have to be used only for weeknights, but surely have the ease of a weeknight meal. All of these recipes easily feed four adults, a few picky toddlers, with at least 2-6 servings left over. Sounds pretty similar to the slow cooker, right?
This recipe is phenomenal. I have made it with several cuts and different weights of meat. It it amazing every. single. time. We made this for friends who had driven a while to get to our house. I am pretty sure my friend’s husband still requests this meal frequently. In the IP, the total cook time is 1.5 hours. In the slow cooker, the same recipe is 8 hours and 5 minutes. Should I keep going or have you just placed an order on Amazon? If you haven’t, WAIT! I have some Black Friday sale tips below!
This was my first IP meal. I had done the water test and made boiled eggs, but this was my first legit meal. One of the big sells of the IP for me was that it could help me cook healthier with fewer carbs and less fat. This recipe met all of those requirements. In the slow cooker, the total cook time is over 5 hours. The total cook time in the IP is less than HALF AN HOUR! And it is good. So good. And guess what? No take-out regret. I am sure kids would love this one, too. My kid only eats carbs, so I would not know …
For this gem, I do not have a cute little link to give you. A mama in one of my Facebook mama tribes gave me this recipe. This recipe calls for FROZEN CHICKEN. Yep, like that giant bag from Costco. Get it. Keep it in your freezer. Make this. And your husband may even ask you to marry him again. The best part, if that was not good enough, is that you add the BBQ sauce after the chicken cooks. So this seasoned cooked chicken could really be used for any dish – on a salad, in a lunch box, or on a sandwich.
Here is the BBQ chicken recipe:
- 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast (You can also half this recipe if that’s a whole lotta chicken for your family.)
- 1 tablespoon of onion power
- 1 tablespoon of paprika
- 2 minced garlic cloves (tbh, I have done this with garlic power in a pinch.)
- 1 cup of beer (Drink the rest.)
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt and pepper
- 4 cups (32oz) of your favorite BBQ sauce
Hit “pressure cook” and use + to get to 25 minutes. Manually release the pressure (according the your pot’s manual). Shred the chicken and top with BBQ sauce. If your chicken is not frozen, 15 minutes will do. If the chicken is not as tender as you would like, put it in for some more time.
You are truly not going to believe how easy this is. No recipe here either. Ready? Any amount of frozen chicken in the IP, cover with 2 cups of your favorite salsa or whatever half jar you have in the fridge, hit “pressure cook,” and use + to get to 25 minutes, and manually release the pressure (according the your pot’s manual). That. Is. It. Put this on nachos, tacos, salads, in lunch boxes, or even in some scrambled eggs. You are welcome.
Those four recipes are my favorites and how I truly fell in love with my IP.
But, before I could give away my slow cookers and our love/hate relationship, I had one last recipe to try. My biggest slow cooker success is Taco Soup. I have made this recipe probably 50 times. Before we had kids, we made it at least once a month, especially in the “colder” months. I could not let my slow cookers go if I could not replicate this recipe exactly. Last night, I made it and I am here to tell you that you need an IP. Even if you have to buy it for yourself.
Here is my adaptation of Sephanie O’Dea’s Crock Pot Taco Soup in the IP:
- 1 cup of Guidry’s Seasoning Mix (this is just a mix of the Trinity, but you could just use some onion and garlic if you wanted to skip Guidry’s)
- 1 pound of lean ground beef (or whatever meat you want to use – OR no meat!)
- 2 – 15.5 oz cans of Trappey’s Kidney Beans
- 2 – 15.5oz cans of Trappey’s Jalapinto Beans
- 2 – 11oz can of Niblets Corn
- 1 packet of Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Mix
- 1 packet of Taco Seasoning
- 1 – 10oz can of Rotel Tomatoes and Chilies
- 2 – 14.5oz (or 1 28oz) can(s) of crushed or diced tomatoes
- 1-2 cups of stock or water
and of course, toppings: sour cream, cheese, avocado, tortilla chips . . . the options are endless.
You will start by browning your ground beef. You can do this in a skillet or using the saute function on the IP. The saute function may be one of my favorite things about the IP. It allows me to only have one single dirty pot.
- Saute your Guidry’s or onions and garlic, then brown your meat.
- Add the meat and onion mix to your IP if not using the saute function.
- Sprinkle on the two seasoning packets.
- Add each can of goodness – corn, beans, and tomatoes.
- Then add your stock. We like a thicker soup, so one cup is plenty for us. But you can make it as “soupy” as you please. Just do not go over the max fill line in the pot.
Put your lid on the pot. Make sure you toggle the vent from “venting” to “sealing.” Hit “pressure cook” and use the + to get to 15 minutes. It will take a while to come to pressure since the pot is so full. The more you have in the pot, the longer it takes. It took mine about 25 minutes to come to pressure. Once pressurized, the 15 minutes will tick down. The pot will beep when the time is up.
Here, you have two options. If you are in a hurry, cover the vent with a dish towel, use some tongs, and let the pressure out. If you are not in a hurry, let the pot release the pressure naturally. You will know the pot has released all of its pressure when the silver pin on top has retracted. The lawyer in me wants you to know that all of this information and safety is covered in your manual.
Once you open your pot, give it a good stir. AND THAT IS IT. It literally took me under two hours from start to finish on this soup (and I let pressure release naturally) when it used to take 6-8 hours in the slow cooker. And guess what? It was just as good if not better. So, see ya later slow cookers.
If I have not convinced you to get an IP yet, then I should probably rethink this blogging gig.
But, if I have convinced you, you need to wait until Black Friday. I know, how can I even tease you? I know you already have one in your Amazon cart. As far as I can see, the best Black Friday deal for the IP is at Walmart. You can get the newest Lux version of the IP for $80. I paid $120 for its not as fancy sibling back in April. But, I would keep an eye out on Amazon for Black Friday, too. The 6 Quart Duo is all you really need in my opinion. Anything better, like the Lux, will just be lagniappe.
One of my favorite fellow LAFMB contributors, Kendra Courville, shared this YOGURT recipe with me and told me my life would be forever changed. I have yet to try it, but I will very soon.
You will need two half gallons of milk. Take 2 cups of your choice of milk (lactose free, whole milk, etc.) and whisk in a can of condensed milk. Add 3 tablespoons of your favorite yogurt and whisk until smooth. Then add that mixture and the remainder of of the 2 half gallons into your IP. Stir. Place the lid on but do not lock the lid in place. Press the yogurt button. Make sure you have selected “normal” as the pressure setting. Put the time to 9 hours. When it beeps, place in fridge for 4-6 hours, then ENJOY!
Again with the ranch packet in Buttery Ranch Pork Chops.
Meat loaf AND potatoes in ONE SINGLE POT