People nowadays are living fast-paced lifestyles. To support this, convenience is preferred over traditional methods of doing things. This includes the activities done in the kitchen such as preparing the ingredients needed for certain recipes and even the process of cooking food. This is the reason why instant pots are gaining more popularity because, with a multi-cooker that can be used as a pressure cooker, steamer, fryer, and other cooking functions, meals can be prepared in a jiffy.
All appliances have manuals and instant pots are no different. Learn the different settings that should be used in pressure cooking, slow cooking, steaming, or frying and use it as intended. If the recipe calls for slow-cooked meat, use the slow cooking settings instead of using the pressure cooking settings in an attempt to speed the cooking process. This will surely avoid a recipe for disaster.
Prepare Meals in Advance
Plan a weekly menu and set a day in the week for meal preparation. Corrigan Duffy from Corrie Cooks has one of the biggest instant pot recipe collections which you can use for a meal plan inspiration. You can even filter the recipe collection according to your preferences such as category, difficulty, and diet among others. In preparing your meals in advance, label and store the ingredients needed for a certain recipe in storage containers suitable for the freezer. There are freezer-safe storage bags and containers where sauces, pre-cut vegetables, and meat portions such as chicken breast tenders, can be stored. In this way, all that is left to do is configure the instant pot settings required by the recipe and toss all these ingredients from the freezer straight in the pot.
Use Pre-chopped Vegetables
Apart from saving time in preparing and cutting the vegetables needed in the recipe, pre-chopped vegetables also cook faster. Hence, frozen vegetables are ideally used in instant pot recipes. This does not, however, limit you in using only frozen and pre-chopped vegetables. Fresh vegetables can still be cooked using an instant pot, but preparing it beforehand will surely save you time. Cutting the vegetables into smaller portions will also speed up the cooking process. Moreover, save the water used in boiling the veggies and you have an instant vegetable broth, from an instant pot of course.
Steam Hard Vegetables… or any Vegetables!
Certain vegetables take a long time to cook such as squash, sweet potatoes, and potatoes. Steaming these vegetables in an instant pot saves cooking time. Poke some holes in the sweet potatoes or potatoes before steaming these on high pressure and the cooking time will be cut into half. Likewise, steaming a butternut squash that is cut in half, on a high pressure can result in easy spaghetti squash. Moreover, any type of vegetable can be steamed using an instant pot in seconds, without the vegetables being soggy.
Cook Melt-in-Your-Mouth Meat Delicacies
With high-pressure cooking, even the toughest meat cuts will surely soften, while cutting the cooking time in half. Beef and pork cuts, in particular, require a long and slow cooking process, but with an instant cooker, soft meat portions can be produced easily.
Cook Rice, Quinoa, and Oats
Whether you are in the mood for a Japanese, Mexican, or an Italian dish, you can use an instant pot for perfectly cooked rice for sushi, paella, or risotto. In this case, the need for a rice cooker, which tends to take up additional space in the kitchen countertop, is eliminated. Additionally, you can produce soft and fluffy quinoa with high pressure in an instant pot. Oats are also healthy breakfast options, but cooking it may take some time and this is not suitable especially for busy mornings. With an instant pot, the cooking time for oats is relatively faster.
The Sweet Trick
Wrap up your meal by devouring a dessert prepared using an instant pot. There are several cheesecake recipes that can be followed using the high-pressure settings of an instant cooker. There are also several Asian rice cake recipes that can be cooked using the steamer function of an instant pot.
Simplify the Process of Cooking Beans
Grandmothers are right, beans are essential and should be a staple weekly food. However, the process of preparing and cooking beans discourage a lot of people from including it in their meal plan. It’s a good thing that beans can be cooked directly using an instant pot and the process of overnight soaking is no longer necessary.
Overall, an instant pot has many uses and it can be the answer to savory home-cooked meals that can be prepared and served in just a fraction of time. With everyone’s busy lives, traditional food preparation has been already a luxury. Hence, the instant pot hacks make everyone’s life easier.