Recently ma belle soeur and I were discussing multi-cookers, of which the Instapot is easily the most well-known (at least in the U.S.).
While they were extremely tempting and we both would like to own one, neither of us was ready to make the commitment – of both money and counter space.
The tricks in this guest post (and the fact that the price has come down here in France) may change my mind. In case you’re curious, they are called Autocuiseurs here and are available on Amazon France.
Cool Tricks That Instapot Reviews Forget to Mention
If you are considering buying your very own instant pressure cooker appliance, you are more than likely already neck-deep in online testimonials and kind recommendations by the experienced netizens of the world. After all, various models of instapots are steadily gaining in popularity, and for good reason. But sometimes these kindly folks forget that new users don’t really know everything they do about it. So here is a little collection of Instapot facts, tips, and nifty little tricks that the reviews may have failed to tell you!
The sauté feature is about as awesome as the pressure cooking
Okay, so the pressure cooking feature is the obvious favorite ability of the instant pot and probably the main reason why you want to buy it in the first place. But it also boasts the sauté feature, which can do so much more for you than just sauté your vegetables and brown your meat. If you would like to get a more detailed look into what sautéing is, how it works, and what makes it so awesome, check out this cool blog post about it.
You can use it in pre-preparation, to soften up the vegetables and get a more complex flavor out of them before you add them to the actual dish that you are making. You can likewise sear your meat before cooking it, if you are unable or unwilling to do so in an actual cast iron pan. This feature is also great for thickening your sauces after you have finished the cooking cycle. Just take some cornstarch, mix it with a little cold water, add that to the sauce that is sitting in the pot, close it up and start the sautéing. Voila, you have a good thick sauce within minutes!
In addition, although it may not be as obvious, this versatile feature can make for some awesome pasta. Imagine that you need some pasta for, say, a soup or something like that. This is bound to come in handy now that the spring season is creeping closer, with all of its common cold infestation waves. Simply wait for the cooking cycle to finish and the pot to depressurize, open it up and turn to sauté. It will boil before you can blink. Add your pasta and it will be done way faster than in a regular pot!
Always put the pasta on the top
With a little bit of creativity and planning, you can use the pressure pot to cook an entire dish in one go, which you can read more about at this web page: https://skillet.lifehacker.com/cook-multiple-things-in-one-instant-pot-through-the-cle-1819410423.
However, make sure you place your pasta, if preparing it, on top of any sauce or meat. It doesn’t even need to be submerged in whatever liquid; the steam under pressure forces its way into the pasta. By putting it on top, you will avoid the eternal problem of having it stick to the bottom of your pot in a burnt gooey mess.
You should always let it depressurize on its own
This is especially true if you happen to have any sort of meat in there. When it comes to instapots, the abrupt change in pressure and temperature that you force by this rushed depressurization is completely okay for vegetables, but affects the meat differently, and makes it exceedingly tough. Namely, if you are too hungry to wait, or too curious to see how your new ribs recipe turned out, and you rush the depressurization, your meat is going to turn out like badly processed leather.
So, this is what you need to know: there are two ways to depressurize an instapot. The first is QR – quick release, where you turn the vent to the left immediately after the cooking cycle is finished. This will result in a few minutes of raging scalding steam outburst and ruin your meat dish.
The second way is NPR – natural pressure release. You let your pot sit there for about ten minutes after the cycle is done, to allow it to cool off a little and let the steam revert back to liquid. Then you press down on the knob to slowly vent it out.
What do you think? Tempted?