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Behold, the Instant Pot

Behold, the Instant Pot
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  • Post #91 - March 27th, 2018, 2:11 pm
    Post #91 - March 27th, 2018, 2:11 pm Post #91 - March 27th, 2018, 2:11 pm
    Back at it again with my IP and the Chana Masala recipe from Indian Instant Pot Cookbook: Traditional Indian Dishes Made Easy and Fast, by Urvashi Pitre. I've taken a couple of passes and have arrived at some excellent results. As with the Chicken Tikka Masala recipe about which I posted above, this recipe required a bit of tweaking but happily, not nearly as much as the CTM did.

    The main tweak is that when pre-cooking the chickpeas, that's the appropriate time to add the salt. If you wait to add the salt until you combine the cooked chickpeas with the other ingredients (as the recipe instructs), you're going to end up with some bland chickpeas. Anyone who's cooked any kind of dried beans probably knows this already but since the timing of the salt inclusion has such a profound effect on the quality of the final product, I figured I should mention it here.

    The second warning note is about Amchoor Powder. The recipe, as it appears in the Kindle edition I downloaded, makes no mention of this crucial ingredient in the ingredients list. Instead, only Lemon Juice is shown in the ingredients list. Then, at the very end of the recipe there is a note from the author informing that Amchoor Powder is more "authentic" than using Lemon Juice. This is irritating on a number of levels but the good news is that I was able to easily get Amchoor Powder at the Spice House (and also saw several brands of it at the Indian market), and using it had a profound effect on final product. If at all possible, do not settle for using Lemon Juice. It just ain't right.

    I doubled the recipe, so along with the 2 cups of dried chickpeas (1 pound when dry, but then soaked overnight before cooking), I added 6 cups of water, 6 smallish bay leaves and 2 teaspoons of kosher salt to the instant pot. 18 minutes on high pressure, as the recipe calls for, was just about perfect. The resulting chickpeas were tender and soft but not mushy at all. 17 minutes might have been better, as these were some newly acquired chickpeas from Ranch Gordo that probably had not been sitting around very long.

    The spots where you'll have myriad choices are when choosing which garam masala you'll use in the Onion Masala (a separate recipe in the book but a component without which this version of Chana Masala cannot be made) and the Chana Masala powder that goes in during the final assembly of the dish. As advised in this helpful post by Rene G, Indian markets stock multiple brands of this product and what I've found so far is that when it comes to the Chana Masala powder, I greatly prefer the cumin-forward Shan brand over the extremely floral version I bought online at MySpiceSage.com. In the store, the packaging does not typically contain the word "powder" and it basically looks like this . . .

    Image
    Shan Chana Masala powder

    Image
    MDH Chana Masala powder

    I still have a few more brands of this to try, which I'll break out on future attempts . . . and I may even end up combining them to get the flavor profile that makes the most sense to me. As for the Garam Masala powder with which I made the Onion Masala, I started with the Spice House's version, which is a fine version but I'm looking forward to trying a few I found in the Indian market, which are likely to be way less fresh and aromatic but, perhaps, more familiar tasting.

    =R=
    There's a horse loose in a hospital -- JM

    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #92 - March 28th, 2018, 2:47 pm
    Post #92 - March 28th, 2018, 2:47 pm Post #92 - March 28th, 2018, 2:47 pm
    Hi Ronnie, keep your IP recipe rewrites coming!

    I made Urvashi Pitre’s Instant Pot Butter Chicken the other day in my 8-quart Instant Pot. I followed your changes and doubled the chicken and all other ingredients except for the butter. I know it's butter-chicken, but with the full-fat coconut milk, I don't think we missed the extra butter. Maybe next time, I will double the butter too, but it seemed plenty flavorful and rich for us.

    As you suggested, I first bloomed spices in the Instant Pot with the butter. I put chicken in freezer for just a bit so it was easy to cut raw. We loved the sauce too. No blender needed.

    I'm sure your suggestions improved this dish. Thank you!

    ronnie_suburban wrote:
    janeyb wrote:
    I went at this again tonight, incorporating the changes I described upthread. They worked beautifully. The final product was noticeably improved and I'm almost completely satisfied with it. Next time, however, I'm going to reduce the amount of cream by 25% and that should do the trick. This was a very satisfying and relatively easy weeknight dinner that will definitely become part of my regular rotation - at least during colder months.

    Hi Ronnie, want to try this using your changes. I am confused by #6 in the original recipe:
    Remove half of the sauce and freeze it for later, or refrigerate for as long as three days.

    Could you keep all and double the chicken and spices?
    Thanks for explaining.

    I'm sorry. I should have been more clear. I completely ignored that part of the instructions. In actuality, doubled the recipe and used 3 pounds of chicken instead of 1. I have the 8-quart Instant Pot and this was not a problem at all. But I didn't set aside any of the sauce. We just ate what we wanted and refrigerated the rest (sauce and chicken) for eating as leftovers. The leftover sauce is great over rice, tofu or riced cauliflower. Hell, it's so good it could even make my mom's cooking edible! :P

    =R=
  • Post #93 - April 15th, 2018, 8:38 pm
    Post #93 - April 15th, 2018, 8:38 pm Post #93 - April 15th, 2018, 8:38 pm
    I've been playing around with my mini (3-quart) Instant Pot for a couple of weeks now. Great corned beef and great hard-boiled eggs so far; other things need a bit more practice. The mini part isn't hard; apparently you just halve the standard 6-quart recipes and keep the cooking times the same.

    I am starting to see, though, what some referred to upstream about the variability in quality and precision among online recipes. I suspect I should get one or two of the more reputable cookbooks from the library. I particularly wish I could find more consistent and reliable advice on cooking times.

    For example, for a <3-lb corned beef, I found recipes online with cooking times from 40 minutes to 90 minutes, including one or two that involved testing multiple cooking times. I eventually had great results with an old Wolfgang Puck recipe for corned beef in a stovetop pressure cooker for 90 minutes with natural (slow) pressure release. Quick release, he advised, would make the meat fibers tighten up.

    Tonight I'm researching recipes for Japanese beef curry. I know how to make the curry sauce; that's not an issue. (I'd also rather do the browning on the stovetop than in the little IP pot). What is an issue is that I'm finding pressure cooking times everywhere from 4 minutes to 32 minutes (with natural pressure release) for a pound of beef and a couple of cubed potatoes and carrots.

    Such variation wouldn't matter much in a stovetop recipe, but what with cooking at high pressure and waiting for the pressure to dissipate and opening and testing and contemplate bringing it back up to pressure to cook more, it's more of a pain, not to mention a longer learning curve for each dish. Just wondering, does anyone have any suggestions for reliable guidance, online or off, for IP cooking times by food type (and for meats, by cut)?
    "I would gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today."
  • Post #94 - April 18th, 2018, 2:55 pm
    Post #94 - April 18th, 2018, 2:55 pm Post #94 - April 18th, 2018, 2:55 pm
    The handy and fairly comprehensive tables on this website look like the kind of guidelines I was hoping for (except that I do not see a listing for brisket/corned beef). I'll do some testing. (Note, times are for stovepot pressure cookers; instructions for adjustment to electronic/lower-pressure cookers are provided).
    "I would gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today."
  • Post #95 - May 13th, 2018, 10:25 am
    Post #95 - May 13th, 2018, 10:25 am Post #95 - May 13th, 2018, 10:25 am
    Thanks all for this thread!!! I finally got my six quart instapot at Kohls!!! On sale and you can use Kohls cash and coupons. Did you know you can stack up to four coupons sometimes at Kohls. Try it. Will be getting the Indian cook book I am eager to start making things like butter chicken and chana masala especially since hubby is Indian. I found out that you can buy instapot accessories on amazon (and probably other places). Just search instapot accessories. Be sure to read the reviews. One handy thing is a glass top for the instapot when you are using it in slow cooker mode. The other that caught my eye was a non stick insert pot. You can remove the stainless steel pot and use the ceramic non stick pot especially when you are cooking things like pasta dishes that may tend to stick.
    Toria

    "I like this place and willingly could waste my time in it" - As You Like It,
    W. Shakespeare
  • Post #96 - July 14th, 2018, 1:23 pm
    Post #96 - July 14th, 2018, 1:23 pm Post #96 - July 14th, 2018, 1:23 pm
    According to the New York Times, the Instant Pot DUO80 will be selling for $80, down from $130, on Amazon Prime Day, coming up Monday 7/16.

    =R=
    There's a horse loose in a hospital -- JM

    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #97 - July 16th, 2018, 2:04 pm
    Post #97 - July 16th, 2018, 2:04 pm Post #97 - July 16th, 2018, 2:04 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:According to the New York Times, the Instant Pot DUO80 will be selling for $80, down from $130, on Amazon Prime Day, coming up Monday 7/16.

    =R=


    It's the 6 qt version that's on sale for $59, down from $99.
  • Post #98 - July 16th, 2018, 6:08 pm
    Post #98 - July 16th, 2018, 6:08 pm Post #98 - July 16th, 2018, 6:08 pm
    Darren72 wrote:
    ronnie_suburban wrote:According to the New York Times, the Instant Pot DUO80 will be selling for $80, down from $130, on Amazon Prime Day, coming up Monday 7/16.

    =R=


    It's the 6 qt version that's on sale for $59, down from $99.


    I am really bummed... Was ready to pull the trigger at $80 for the 8qt and I also had a $10 credit from shopping at Whole Foods last week. The 6qt is too small for our needs.
  • Post #99 - July 16th, 2018, 10:04 pm
    Post #99 - July 16th, 2018, 10:04 pm Post #99 - July 16th, 2018, 10:04 pm
    Darren72 wrote:
    ronnie_suburban wrote:According to the New York Times, the Instant Pot DUO80 will be selling for $80, down from $130, on Amazon Prime Day, coming up Monday 7/16.

    =R=


    It's the 6 qt version that's on sale for $59, down from $99.

    A great buy but it is disappointing that the information that was originally provided by NYT was not only incorrect, but was also changed on their website without any notation of such.

    =R=
    There's a horse loose in a hospital -- JM

    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #100 - July 17th, 2018, 8:21 am
    Post #100 - July 17th, 2018, 8:21 am Post #100 - July 17th, 2018, 8:21 am
    I have a brand new, still in the box 8-quart Instant Pot for sale. It is too big for us. We really need a 6-quart. It has never been used. Asking $80 cash only. We are in the Glenview area and depending on where you live or work, I am willing to drive the Instant Pot to you or meet you half way. Send me a private message please if you are interested. Thanks to moderators for tolerating this message!
  • Post #101 - July 17th, 2018, 9:08 am
    Post #101 - July 17th, 2018, 9:08 am Post #101 - July 17th, 2018, 9:08 am
    For more instant gratification, Williams-Sonoma is matching Amazon Prime Day prices, so you can have your Instant Pot at home today....
  • Post #102 - July 17th, 2018, 12:02 pm
    Post #102 - July 17th, 2018, 12:02 pm Post #102 - July 17th, 2018, 12:02 pm
    Somebody over at mashupmom just called the Oakbrook WS store, and they are not price matching, and I just checked their website, and they are offering 20% off and free shipping. Are any of the Williams Sonoma stores price matching Amazon?
  • Post #103 - July 19th, 2018, 8:42 am
    Post #103 - July 19th, 2018, 8:42 am Post #103 - July 19th, 2018, 8:42 am
    It was on Instagram that they would price match on Prime Day.
  • Post #104 - July 21st, 2018, 5:53 am
    Post #104 - July 21st, 2018, 5:53 am Post #104 - July 21st, 2018, 5:53 am
    InstantPotLTH1.jpg Monkey see. Monkey do. Amazon Prime Day 2018 Instant Pot
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #105 - July 23rd, 2018, 9:00 pm
    Post #105 - July 23rd, 2018, 9:00 pm Post #105 - July 23rd, 2018, 9:00 pm
    Hi- Walmart had one of the Instant Pot 6 quart pots on sale for $49 earlier today, but it is now sold out. Amazon also has the same pot currently on sale for $49. Get it while you can.

    https://www.amazon.com/Instant-Pot-Mult ... s=instapot
  • Post #106 - July 24th, 2018, 7:57 pm
    Post #106 - July 24th, 2018, 7:57 pm Post #106 - July 24th, 2018, 7:57 pm
    InstantPotBlackBeansRiceLTH1.jpg Black beans & rice = dinner. #instantpot
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #107 - July 27th, 2018, 10:04 am
    Post #107 - July 27th, 2018, 10:04 am Post #107 - July 27th, 2018, 10:04 am
    Gwiv: "Black beans & rice = dinner. #instantpot"

    No recipe, no fair Gary!! : )

    Looks tasty, BTW!

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #108 - July 29th, 2018, 5:48 am
    Post #108 - July 29th, 2018, 5:48 am Post #108 - July 29th, 2018, 5:48 am
    IP hard boiled eggs, IP soaked garbanzo beans = Hummus!

    Recipe you ask? I used Ronnie_S's method upthread for the eggs and my hummus recipe with a nod toward Habibi's deskin technique, by which I mean I let the garbanzo beans cool overnight in the cooking water in the frig, agitated the beans/water and scooped out skins as they floated to the top. I also let the blender run longer than typical and used a couple of ice cubes as outlined in my linked recipe. One of the tastier hummus I've made.

    InstantPotEggs1.jpg Instant Pot hard boiled eggs. Mix of duck and chicken eggs.

    InstantPotHummus1.jpg Plated hummus, toasted pita not shown.
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #109 - Yesterday, 9:37 am
    Post #109 - Yesterday, 9:37 am Post #109 - Yesterday, 9:37 am
    Bloomingdale's had a sale and we had a gift certificate hanging around so the Instant Pot Fairy (IPF) has descended on our household.

    We'll see, but I'm not convinced yet. It seems like when you add in the "building pressure" and "releasing pressure" time many things take almost as long as just cooking them on the stove.

    My second issue is that to cook you use all your senses - you smell the dish as it's bubbling away, you test veggies with a fork for doneness, you add a little of this or that. With the Pot everything is locked away for some predetermined period of time and you then open the top hoping for the best. Where's the fun in that? I can how that would work for people who just want to follow a recipe like a chemist, but for me it doesn't work that way.

    Our maiden voyage was not a success. We thought we'd do something super simple, baked potatoes. We followed the instructions to a T, and they came out hard and crunchy, not done. Too late to fire the pot back up so we wound up microwaving them - it took 8 minutes to get them soft! - sort of defeating the purpose and the rest of the dinner sat there getting cold.

    We're trying the butter chicken next and I'll report back on our success. We also have a Korean Beef lined up.
    Last edited by chicagojim on August 13th, 2018, 6:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #110 - Yesterday, 5:20 pm
    Post #110 - Yesterday, 5:20 pm Post #110 - Yesterday, 5:20 pm
    chicagojim, I'm still on the learning curve with my little (3-qt) Instant Pot, but I'm getting the hang of a few things it does really well.

    I love hard-boiled eggs, and pressure-cooked hard-boiled eggs are so easy to peel, I can't see going back to steaming or stovetop boiling ever again. I've actually been doing so many eggs in my IP that I'm giving them away upon request to neighbors, who are delighted that they're not a pain to peel like regular hard-boiled eggs.

    Corn on the cob in the Instant Pot is the best and most tender that I've ever had, although I don't know why.

    I've had great results cooking corned beef in the IP. In another post I mentioned I had the best results with a Wolfgang Puck recipe for a conventional pressure cooker, a long pressure cook time, and a natural rather than quick pressure release to keep the meat fibers from tightening up.

    I like doing red potatoes on the IP ; the microwave probably isn't a bad alternative, but in the summer, the oven definitely is not.

    The 3-qt one I received as a gift is a bit limiting; I can foresee wanting to swap it for a 6-qt one at some point.

    Learning how to make my own yogurt at home is a goal of mine, so I'm looking forward to learning how to do that. There are about a dozen other types of dishes I want to learn how to make in it too.

    I did try chili in the IP without much success; got the dreaded "burning" message (much discussed on the internet) and had to release the pressure and pop it open and add more liquid and never really got the results I hoped for. I need more practice to succeed with any recipes involving beans --- and reliable recipes to follow. I would really like a high-quality cookbook to rely on to use with the IP. I look forward to making more chili, bean soup, red beans and rice, etc., but don't have the hang of it yet. Ronnie's been posting that he's had great results with bean dishes with the IP. I guess it's just part of the learning curve.

    I haven't had much luck making either white or brown rice in the IP. I'm willing to keep experimenting to figure out how to get it right, but I also have an old and simple rice cooker that works fine for that purpose.

    I'm really not that excited about using the tiny 3-qt IP insert to do things like sauteeing onions and meats; I'd rather do that kind of stuff on the stovetop and then put the sauteed foods into the IP for the pressure cooking step. If I had a 6- or 8-qt IP I might have a better attitude toward using it for things like sauteeing. I'm also not a fan of using the IP for things for which the IP doesn't save any time over stovetop cooking.

    So far, I think that --- aside from special functions such as the incredible easy peeling of pressure-cooked eggs, making yogurt, and sterilizing canning jars - the things that the IP (or any pressure cooker) seems best suited for, for my purposes, are things that would otherwise require very long cooking times to achieve tenderness, tough cuts of meat and beans being prime examples. I get the point about wanting to watch and taste and tinker with stovetop dishes, but there are some things --- tough meats and beans for example --- that just take a LOT of time that involves no tinkering and tasting, so why not shorten it via pressure cooking, without the hassle of having to monitor a traditional stovetop pressure cooker?

    I also wonder --- I don't know the science behind this --- if dishes based on meat (beef, pork, chicken) are perhaps really better suited to pressure cooking than slow cooking. I've been using my slow cooker (my moms's, really) for such dishes for years, but I am starting to wonder if some internet commenters are right that when you cook meat in a slow cooker, by the time it's tender enough to eat, much of the flavor has been soaked out of it.

    I am also intrigued to learn that pressure canning is an option with one or more newer models of electric pressure cookers. I can only eat so many fruit preserves; I wouldn't mind being able to can my own meat-based ragu sauce, for example. But pressure canning still makes me nervous, despite having taken Cathy2's course, so when I'm ready to trade up to a larger IP, one that's suited to pressure canning might be what I trade up for.
    "I would gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today."
  • Post #111 - Yesterday, 6:10 pm
    Post #111 - Yesterday, 6:10 pm Post #111 - Yesterday, 6:10 pm
    Katie wrote:chicagojim, I'm still on the learning curve with my little (3-qt) Instant Pot, but I'm getting the hang of a few things it does really well.

    I love hard-boiled eggs, and pressure-cooked hard-boiled eggs are so easy to peel, I can't see going back to steaming or stovetop boiling ever again. I've actually been doing so many eggs in my IP that I'm giving them away upon request to neighbors, who are delighted that they're not a pain to peel like regular hard-boiled eggs.

    Corn on the cob in the Instant Pot is the best and most tender that I've ever had, although I don't know why.

    I've had great results cooking corned beef in the IP. In another post I mentioned I had the best results with a Wolfgang Puck recipe for a conventional pressure cooker, a long pressure cook time, and a natural rather than quick pressure release to keep the meat fibers from tightening up.

    I like doing red potatoes on the IP ; the microwave probably isn't a bad alternative, but in the summer, the oven definitely is not.

    The 3-qt one I received as a gift is a bit limiting; I can foresee wanting to swap it for a 6-qt one at some point.

    Learning how to make my own yogurt at home is a goal of mine, so I'm looking forward to learning how to do that. There are about a dozen other types of dishes I want to learn how to make in it too.

    I did try chili in the IP without much success; got the dreaded "burning" message (much discussed on the internet) and had to release the pressure and pop it open and add more liquid and never really got the results I hoped for. I need more practice to succeed with any recipes involving beans --- and reliable recipes to follow. I would really like a high-quality cookbook to rely on to use with the IP. I look forward to making more chili, bean soup, red beans and rice, etc., but don't have the hang of it yet. Ronnie's been posting that he's had great results with bean dishes with the IP. I guess it's just part of the learning curve.

    I haven't had much luck making either white or brown rice in the IP. I'm willing to keep experimenting to figure out how to get it right, but I also have an old and simple rice cooker that works fine for that purpose.

    I'm really not that excited about using the tiny 3-qt IP insert to do things like sauteeing onions and meats; I'd rather do that kind of stuff on the stovetop and then put the sauteed foods into the IP for the pressure cooking step. If I had a 6- or 8-qt IP I might have a better attitude toward using it for things like sauteeing. I'm also not a fan of using the IP for things for which the IP doesn't save any time over stovetop cooking.

    So far, I think that --- aside from special functions such as the incredible easy peeling of pressure-cooked eggs, making yogurt, and sterilizing canning jars - the things that the IP (or any pressure cooker) seems best suited for, for my purposes, are things that would otherwise require very long cooking times to achieve tenderness, tough cuts of meat and beans being prime examples. I get the point about wanting to watch and taste and tinker with stovetop dishes, but there are some things --- tough meats and beans for example --- that just take a LOT of time that involves no tinkering and tasting, so why not shorten it via pressure cooking, without the hassle of having to monitor a traditional stovetop pressure cooker?

    I also wonder --- I don't know the science behind this --- if dishes based on meat (beef, pork, chicken) are perhaps really better suited to pressure cooking than slow cooking. I've been using my slow cooker (my moms's, really) for such dishes for years, but I am starting to wonder if some internet commenters are right that when you cook meat in a slow cooker, by the time it's tender enough to eat, much of the flavor has been soaked out of it.

    I am also intrigued to learn that pressure canning is an option with one or more newer models of electric pressure cookers. I can only eat so many fruit preserves; I wouldn't mind being able to can my own meat-based ragu sauce, for example. But pressure canning still makes me nervous, despite having taken Cathy2's course, so when I'm ready to trade up to a larger IP, one that's suited to pressure canning might be what I trade up for.


    Eggs we have a little cooker for and I can’t imagine any other way. No matter how many eggs we’re cooking and what doneness we’re looking for we just add the water as indicated on the measuring thing and they turn out perfectly every time.

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