OK….So I am really excited to tell you about this! David ordered this Instant Pot DUO 60 in Amazon Prime Day about a month ago and we have been really enjoying it.
Now, let me tell you first of all how this all came about. I knew nothing about pressure cookers, knew no one that had a pressure cooker. So when David said that he wanted to get this and try it out, I was, to say the least, a little skeptical and very intimidated. I mean….a pressure cooker? Are you crazy! We could blow ourselves up!
Umm…..not so fast. First of all, not only is this an electric pressure cooker but it’s also is a slow cooker, rice cooker, stew cooker, meat cooker, soup maker, saute’er and yes, you can even make yogurt with this thing! I’m sure I’ve even left a few things out that this appliance can also do. There’s just so much it can do and think about how many appliances you could get rid of with just using this one thing. We all know space is limited in a motor home/rv. How great would it be to get rid of all those things and replace it with just this one item!
Now, unlike like the older stove top pressure cookers were you have heard the horror stories about how they could blow up if you were not careful or if you walked away and were not paying attention to it or if you didn’t seal it properly or what ever the case may be. Hopefully you were not one of those stories. These types of stories are what fed my apprehension.
So when David said that he wanted to get this thing, I was not too sure.
So when the box came in, here is were David and I differ. I open it up and first thing I do is get the manual out and start reading about all the does and don’ts. David on the other hand, gets the Instant Pot (IP) out, washes it, plugs it in, throws some rice and water in it, seals the lid, pushes the rice button and declares, “Well, we’ll see what happens. Will we or won’t we get rice?”
Umm….the manual says we should do a water test first to make sure it seals properly and comes to pressure properly. Then, and only then, does it say we can start cooking in it. Oh well…too late for that now. The rice was already in. The pressure was already building. This thing, I mean, this Instant Pot, seemed to be working. We sat there patiently (well, some of us were inpatient, I will leave that for you to decide whom that was) while the rice cooked away. Once the pot came to pressure and sealed, we sat there. Waiting and waiting. Watching the count down. Wondering if we would have something edible. Yes, we watched it the entire time. Fascinated by it, the noises it made, then the eerie silence after it built up the pressure and “clicked”. Then it sat, just cooking away.
A little while later, low and behold, the IP beeped and told us it was done. We released the pressure and opened the lid, after I read in the manual on how to do this of course.
We had rice! Oh my! This thing actually worked and we had rice. And it was good. And cooked thoroughly. And we didn’t heat up the kitchen with our rice cooker steaming away. Creating all sorts of heat and steam in the motor home. This IP thing just sealed, cooked rice and wallah! No heat builds up. I may like this thing after all. (TIP: Yes, when you release the pressure steam does poor out and surely would be in the RV. However, David moved it over to under the microwave fan intake vent port and turn the fan on. All the steam, well most, was sucked up and out of the coach. So if your microwave is vented…consider this a good tip and be sure to thank David.)
The next matter of business was to look in our fridge and freezer and figure out what we could make for dinner. Or rather, what David could make. I was still very intimidated by this new fangled thing in my kitchen. Besides, I wasn’t done reading the manual yet. Although, I have to admit, it was growing on me. I could see some possibilities and usefulness to this.
So we had this rice thing down. We figured well…let’s start off small. So David did some more rice and added some spices to it to make a Mexican style rice. I on the other hand got out my electric skillet and made a stir-fry. Yes, I still needed time to, umm, bond with this pressure cooker.
OK….so fast forward a few weeks and we both have been cooking up a storm. I have discovered a FaceBook community about all things Instant Pot. Recipes, do’s and don’ts and the most important thing…accessories. Yes, their are a bunch of accessories that you can decide on whether you really want/need them or not. You can of course cook in the IP without any such accessories. However, some accessories do make things easier.
You can use the IP for steaming veggies, pot stickers or pierogies, all of which we have done and all take only a couple minutes. Literally 2 minutes if not less (once it’s up to pressure). I found this bamboo streamer tray that works well for these types of foods that fits perfectly, with its lid and everything, into the IP.
If I don’t want to use the bamboo trays I bought, at Walmart, a simple silicone steamer basket that works well for veggies and potatoes for potato salad.
Oh yes…making potato salad is a breeze now. No more boiling a big pot of water for the potatoes and another for the eggs, building up heat and steam in your rig. Oh no, now I peel and cut up the potatoes and put them in my steamer basket in the IP, lay the eggs right from the fridge on top of the potatoes and in 4 minutes on high pressure, I have perfectly cooked potatoes and hard-boiled eggs for potato salad. Yes, you read that right. 4 minutes. Perfectly cooked potatoes and hard-boiled eggs. I won’t try to explain the pressure and heat and everything behind it. I couldn’t even begin to tell you. It’s science people. Just trust me in knowing that it works perfectly every time.
One of the things I learned while reading posts up on the Instant Pot Community FaceBook page is that no matter how much you clean it, the silicone sealing ring can leave a smell to it. Or God for bid, you have guests coming over for dinner and you find out that you have used your IP silicone rings to death and they are splitting apart or are no longer holding a seal or have just completely broken in half. After a while, these things can happen. However, IP says that you should get at least a good year out of them. Time will tell though. So, having some extra rings around will help in those situations but it will also help in keeping the savory things savory and sweet things sweet. You really don’t want to make something sweet and find out when you bite into it that it has a slight onion taste to it. So these blue and red silicone rings are really easy to keep the sweet and savory separated.
Believe it or not, but you should believe it because I am showing you, is one of the big things to make in the IP is cheesecake!!! Yes….you read that right…you can bake in this thing too! However finding a springform, or any pan, to fit into the IP was a harder issue. The typical ones you find at the stores are usually 9 inches round. That would be too big. So the people up on the community had found this 7 inch springform pan that fits perfectly inside the 6qt pot.
So yes people…I made my first ever, not just in the IP but also ever in my life, cheesecake. With the help of my friend Trish, we both attempted our first cheesecakes ever. She made a peanut butter cup one and I made a black raspberry one. It was so simple and turned out so perfect that David asked when I was making the next one. Umm….I don’t think we want to make a habit of making cheesecake all the time. However it is a great size to share with friends and not have a ton of left over cheesecake that is calling your name at 2 in the morning. Not that I know anything about that.
So yes, this Instant Pot is great for RVing. It’s super easy to learn and makes some great food. I won’t bore you with everything that we have made, but some of what we have made has been… meatloaf with potatoes and carrots, all in one pot at the same time, of course the ever talked about potato salad, cheesecake, because who doesn’t love cheesecake. Well, I guess if you’re lactose intolerant then you wouldn’t.
But I’ve also made a great banana bread that was incredibly moist. Usually when I made this in my oven it would be dry. Not so with the IP. The pressure-cooking really keeps the moisture in, so your baking that you may do will turn out amazing with how moist it is.
Just to name a few things…pasta and meatballs, all in one pot. Cook time is half the time listed on box for pasta. So, 4 minutes and you have perfectly cooked pasta and meatballs. Sausage and peppers mixed with pasta (which I did cook separately because the pasta would have been moosh. Honey Garlic Chicken, also one pot. Tex-Mex Chili Mac (one pot), Sweet Corn on the Cob (3 minutes), a whole chicken, meatloaf, pierogies, pot stickers, macaroni and cheese. So much more. I don’t want you drooling on your computer so I’ll stop there.
This has really made life so much easier. In the sense that:
1: It doesn’t heat up your kitchen. So when it’s 95 degrees out and you don’t want to cook because it’ll heat up your rv even more, this won’t. Plus the added bonus of no steam build up in the rv based on my smart husbands above tip in venting it.
2: Very versatile. You can pressure cook, slow cook (so you can still use your slow cook recipes on slow cook or convert them to pressure cook time), rice cooker, saute meats, steam pot stickers, make corn on the cob all with 1 cup of water! Anything.
Well….I shouldn’t say anything. There are some things that I will not make in the IP. Like baby back ribs. Yes, lots of people do it. Just look up on the FB community. However, David and I prefer to slow cook ours on our Kamado grill all day. Steaks and hamburgers are another thing I will not cook in the IP. Yes, people do, but why? Some things are just better on the grill.
So I had to tell you all about this great pressure cooker thingy called the Instant Pot. It’s great for the rv and traveling. You can have home cooked meals with a lot less effort. However, one thing to keep in mind is that it is not indeed “instant”. Yes, it cooks fast. Pasta in half the time on the box. Corn on the cob in 3 minutes. Potatoes and eggs in 4 minutes. However, it still has to come up to pressure. Which doesn’t really take that long. However it can be a while if you put frozen meat in it. Yes, you can indeed cook right from frozen in this. So keep that in mind when planning your meals. What may take just as long as the traditional way that you make it (my friend’s cheesecake took 50 minutes, mine 25), it still saves you time in effort, watching the oven, getting out and dirtying multiple pots and pans, heating up your whole place, etc.
So in my eyes it is totally worth it. We are both enjoying coming up with new dishes to try as well as converting our usual dishes to work in the pressure cooker mode. I highly recommend the Instant Pot for your home, rv or where ever. And for those of you that have a larger family or like a lot of leftovers for lunches, and trust me, you will have lots of left overs, they make an 8qt Instant Pot also. For you techies out there, they even have a Bluetooth enabled one! I’m shocked that David didn’t get that one being the techie that he is but I am sure if it was Wi-Fi and not Bluetooth he would have. :) There’s an Instant Pot to suit whatever your needs. For that I am sure.
(Wow! Who would have thought I would have said that!)