Friday, January 6, 2017

My New Instant Pot®

Missy Tippens

I got a new "toy" for Christmas! (I probably shouldn't sound so surprised. I might have told Santa exactly what I wanted. In fact, I may have even ordered it myself and told my husband I had made his shopping easy.) :)

I received the Instant Pot ® electric pressure cooker and love it! I've made bean soup in it twice already. And I think I'm going to use it tonight to make chicken.

I'm not going to try to share the exact recipe I used for bean soup, because I was playing with the settings and trying different things each time I made it. You'd have to test different recipes to find out what works for you.

I used half of a bag of dried 15-bean soup each time I made it. The bag is the kind that comes with a seasoning mix. I didn't use the seasoning, though. Most recipes I looked at had you throw that away and use your own spices.

The first time I made the soup, I used a small pack of boneless pork ribs to add flavor and chunks of meat. I first pressure-cooked the meat because it was still a bit frozen. Then I pre-cooked the beans using a short round of pressure cooking. Then I cooked both together to finish cooking the beans. Because I wasn't sure which settings to use, the soup was done at this point, before I ever got to add the chopped carrots and onions. So it wasn't a fail so much as a test run that didn't quite work out as planned. :) Still very tasty!

The second time, I only had some thick-sliced ham lunch meat and a couple of slices of bacon to add. But I changed up my method and was able to sauté the carrots, onion and meats before adding in the pre-cooked beans and water. With this method, I did the final cook on the chili/soup setting and all went as planned.

However, everyone liked the first soup better! So I think having the fattier meat added a lot of flavor. I also think I'll use chicken or vegetable broth next time instead of water for additional flavor.

The beauty of the Instant Pot is that you don't have to pre-soak the beans. You can do a short cook with the beans by themselves to soften them. Then add them to the recipe as already pre-soaked. I've also heard from Pam Hillman that she was able to make soup using frozen chicken breasts. That's one of the reasons I wanted this! I never seem to remember to thaw out meats in time for dinner.

I've loved my pot so far! I look forward to playing with it some more. I'm sure I'll be sharing recipes in the future.


  1. Hi Missy,

    I've been curious about this. I'd love to hear more about how it works. I remember my mother's pressure cooker and always being terrified that it was going to explode! This doesn't look quite so scary!!!

  2. Mary Cate, I was always afraid of my mom's old cooker too! I used to hear horror stories of stuff blasting all over the kitchen.

    This one has several safety feature to help make it safer. One of the features is a release valve. Once the pot starts cooling, you can open the release valve (called quick release) to shorten the time in the pot. However with starchy items like beans that can foam, you have to let the pot cool and the steam release naturally. I actually waited about 10 minutes and then released it manually (with a dish towel covering the release valve to keep from burning my hand), and that worked fine.

    One safety feature is that the pot can't start unless the lid is on correctly. A little chime sounds when you get the lid on right and it's locked in place. And I don't think you can open the lid until the pressure is safely released.

    It's nice because you can also use it to saute first. And you can steam items in it as well. Lots of uses! :)

  3. I have to check this out... I have a big pressure cooker from Grandma Blodgett. It's like brand new, and it's sitting on a shelf... but I don't have an Instant Pot.... and it looks like a lovely family size appliance. Missy, thank you so much for sharing this!

    I can't wait to hear more!

    1. Ruthy, this one is 6 qt I think. It's good for a small family. Anyone with more than a couple of kids would need a bigger one. I'll share more as I learn!

  4. I've heard of these, and I know people love them! It's good to hear what you think, Missy. Keep us posted!

    1. I will, Jan! I happened on an article about them and checked them out. I read a lot about it and finally decided I wanted one. Pam Hillman got one for Christmas also and loves hers.

  5. I've never heard of an instant pot. Are they as scary as a regular old pressure cooker? Which frighten me no end?

    1. Kav, these are a lot less intimidating. :) Like I told Mary, they have several safely features. I was a wreck the first time I used it until I figured it out. The second time I used it, I knew what to expect and felt a lot more comfortable. There are also a lot of online helps--people blogging about it and putting out recipe books.