Sunday, January 15, 2017

Instant Pot

A few of my friends have been raving about their electric pressure cooker, 'Instant Pot'. Having never heard of it, I did some research. I had 2 small appliances that needed to be replaced and this would replace both, with the added bonus of a stainless steel inner pot rather than a non-stick coating. So, Instant Pot went on my wish list to Santa this Christmas. 
Instant Pot IP-LUX60
Instant Pot is advertised as "the next generation Electric Pressure Cooker designed by Canadians specifically for North American consumers." I have the Instant Pot IP-LUX60 which is a 6-in-1 programmable cooker combining the functions of a pressure cooker, sauté/browning, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer and warmer. Some of the great features are 3 temperatures in Sauté for browning or thickening, and 3 temperatures in Slow Cook to complete the tasks of a common slow cooker. The stainless steel inner pot leaves no health concerns of non-stick coating residual. A Steaming Rack, Soup Ladle, Rice Paddle, Measure Cup, Instructions, Recipe and Cooking time table in several languages are included.

IP-LUX60 - What comes in the box...
All the instructions can be a bit intimidating. I suggested to a few newbies, just put in a few cups of water and run it through a test.
I make big batches of soup, turkey chili etc. for the freezer that I use for lunch when I work ...or otherwise need a quick meal. They are labelled and frozen in 2 cup yogurt containers. Photos of my freezer soups can be found on my post 'Freezer Meals' from last November. These are an easy meal with the microwave to defrost and heat for lunch BUT..... Mom does not have a microwave and she now has an Instant Pot!!

Today I took a Spicy Sausage and Kale Soup, (frozen lump) directly from the freezer to test. Here is what I did and the results...

- Pour in 40ml of water, or enough to cover the base of the stainless steel inner pot
- Remove the frozen item from packaging and place the lump into the pot already coated with water
- Lock in the lid and move the steam releasing handle to 'sealing'
- Press 'Manual' then press the minus sign (-) to program for 15 minutes
- When the cooking time is complete can do a quick release by moving the steam release handle to the 'venting' position OR allow it to do a natural release and let it go to keep warm if you are busy

...I used the quick release method and there was still a small frozen ball from the center. I broke it up and put the lid back down for a few minutes and it was hot and ready. For bigger blocks I would suggest the natural release method, or adding a few more minutes to the original time.

little soup ladle that comes with Instant Pot, fits perfectly to the inside pot to spoon out all the hot liquid. This is only the second try with my new Instant Pot and I have already moved the slow cooker and my rice cooker out of the kitchen!! 

Another way to defrost food is to do a pot in pot where you put your frozen food in a pot that fits inside the Instant Pot. Then add water to the Instant Pot, then the steam rack and then the pot with the frozen food.
I love how fast and easy it is to use and the clean up is fast and simple... watch for more of my Instant Pot success stories and recipes in the future!

Till next time... Happy New Year and Bon Appétit!

Photos by Sally Rae

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