I have an idea for a newer post… on weekends I try to cook more because it’s easier than cooking meals during the week after getting home from work. I have learned a lot about cooking since I moved, and one of the things that I invested in this year was an Instant Pot Duo Mini.
I thought I’d share some basic information I have learned along the way, and what I made for dinner tonight as part of my weekly update post. (I never really have much to say anyway for a weekly update post.)
The instant pot duo mini is perfect for one or two people. An instant pot is basically a pressure cooker brand that just got popular within the last few years. You can cook all kinds of things in it. On the mini there’s a soup/broth button, meat/stew button, bean/chili, slow cook, saute, pressure cook, yogurt, steam, portridge and rice.
I have had this handy device since January or so.
The first thing you want to do when you get any kind of instant pot is the water test that is in the manual. (The manual has a step by step process of how to do it, and there is videos on Youtube on it.)
After that, you are free to cook whatever you wish. I chose to make beef stew, and I basically learned what not to do with that first experience. I think I put too much water into the instant pot because liquid came out of the valve and made a huge mess everywhere. Most instant pot mini recipes really only require at least a cup of liquid.
You’ll want to start off with something easy, like hard boiled eggs for the first recipe instead of beef stew. Beef stew is a little ambitious.
Hard Boiled Eggs
The best method I have found for hard boiled eggs in the instant pot mini is the 5,5,5 method. This means that it takes five minutes to build pressure to begin the cooking process. Don’t be alarmed if the pressure process is more than five minutes. It can sometimes take up to 10-15 minutes to build pressure. That is normal. After that, the cooking time is five minutes, and then after the cooking time ends I do a quick release after it cools for about five minutes. The steam that comes out from the instant pot is also normal.
Hard boiled eggs in the instant pot was pretty much all I used that for at first.
I also have made taco soup. You just put whatever you like in taco soup and then hit the soup/ broth button. This button has a set time for 30 minutes, but really this is almost an hour sometimes because of the time it takes to build pressure. That’s normal also. You want to be careful when you make soup especially. You don’t want to fill the instant pot up past the maximum line because other wise there will be a mess to clean up during the release process. A cup of broth or water is still good here too.
Last week I used the rice feature for the first time. Rice is a hit or miss for some people with the instant pot. I have had good luck with that so far. I’ve only added a cup and a half of water, and it turns out good. This was actually boxed spanish rice, and it was ready within 10 minutes. The box’s time cooking was 25 so I saved myself some time there too. I know rice has a lot of sodium in it, but it was still a REALLY good snack. That was all I ate that day.
Today I discovered a new instant pot trick. You can make steamed broccoli!! I used frozen broccoli because I never know when I want to cook, and I figure frozen broccoli won’t go to waste so quickly. Anyway, the trick I found online somewhere was to set the pressure time to zero minutes and then add a half cup of water to the instant pot. I didn’t think this would really work, but the broccoli tasted SO GOOD when it was ready five minutes later. (The instant pot still has to build pressure at zero minutes.) It was so good that I couldn’t stop eating it while I made the rest of dinner.
Tonight’s dinner: I made instant pot broccoli, chicken and rice for dinner tonight. I found the above trick for the broccoli, and followed this recipe for it and it turned out VERY delicious. It looks dry and messy, but it wasn’t dry. Just messy looking. It took me longer than five minutes to prep for this meal, but that’s because I am a slow prepper. I don’t think you need to cut up the chicken before the cooking process because the chicken gets tender enough to cut at the end of the cooking process.
You can also make cheesecake in the instant pot, hamburgers, pasta dishes, mac and cheese, corn on the cob, popcorn, desserts, and more. You can even cook frozen meat in here as well. I haven’t tried that yet, but after cooking frozen broccoli tonight I might just have to try that!
What do you think of the instant pot? Would you guys like to learn more about it or see what I cook each week? I usually cook at least once on weekends if not more. I want to use this more than I have been.