What would you say if we told you that you could have ONE appliance that could...
- pressure cooker
- slow cooker
- rice cooker
- vegetable steamer
- yogurt maker
- custard cooker
- cake and bread baker
- saute' and pan fry
- and MORE!!
...and only took up a total of 15 cubic inches in your cabinet? You'd tell us that we're crazy, right?
Well, until you learn about a relatively new(er) kitchen appliance we happened upon soon after buying our 5th wheel….the INSTANT POT PROGRAMMABLE PRESSURE COOKER. So let us update you on the 'compact lap of luxury'. Without trying to sound like an infomercial, it's a revolutionary cooking tool that has caught cooks and chefs by storm. If you don't have one of these in your galley or kitchen, holy macaroni, you need to 'git you one'...or five!! (but really, you only need 'one' LOL). Designed by our friends across America's northern border, they got it right. Not only does it cook 2-6 times faster but uses up to 70% less energy; all while producing healthy food with convenience. Its UL/ULC certified and has 10 fool-proof safety protections.
When we first stocked our fifth wheel galley from our own S&B kitchen, we brought our rice cooker, crockpot/slow cooker, 3-piece vegetable steamer pot, and roasting pan and set them on the counter to find their new home. But then, when we opened our cabinets, we said, 'oh crap!'. They were all big and some awkward in shape with handles sticking out, lids not nesting, etc. We love to cook, but this just wasn't going to work.
You see, storage in an RV can be tricky. Sometimes cabinets have very odd dimensions…short and wide, tall and skinny or even not tall enough for a simple drinking glass or deep enough to stack dinner plates. So, we were in search of a better way of accommodating our culinary cooking tools; simplifying. We perused the online RV forums and Facebook pages which we happened upon this handsome stainless electric appliance. We read, studied, measured and finally took to our Amazon Prime account and ordered it on one of those daily deals. We scored our IP-DUO60 7-in1 Multi-Functional Pressure Cooker 6-quart 1000 watt Instant Pot (or "IP" for short) for $80 and since we are Prime members, we didn't have to pay shipping. As I write this review, I noticed it runs normally about $100 + tax and S&H if you don't have Amazon Prime.
It arrived four days later and instantly (no pun intended), we unboxed that sucker and tried it out immediately.
Since I'm the chef, baker and bottle washer, this is where the "I" comes in because in the galley, there is no 'we' in 'team'...or however that goes. Whatever!
After reading the instructions (because you should!), I first-time washed our IP stainless steel pot liner and then threw in some ground beef, chopped onions, garlic, S&P and some herbs (I rarely measure). I simply plugged it in and pushed the 'Sauté' button. As you see, its a pre-set timed 30 minutes cook time.
After which, I drained the fat and added in a few chopped tomatoes, onions, herbs, spices and some other secret ingredients to make my mother's Goulash sauce. I then pushed the 'Slow Cook' button which is a 4-hour setting.
Before IP, what would have taken almost 8 hours to 'slow cook' - my secret sauce - took less than half that time. Well, hot diggity dog!
And the whole meal was made in ONE POT!
ONE POT! I sauteed AND slow-cooked the sauce without a splattered mess! Sorry Mr. Crockpot, you're fired! BIP (Before Instant Pot) when I had just a Crockpot slow cooker, I would have dirtied up the stove and backsplash with greasy splatters (I'm a messy chef but don't tell no one!) and had a big pot or pan to wash. Having this new fandangled 'IP' mitigated the need for an extra pan and cleanup.
Now, before I go on, that tempered glass lid in the above photo did not come with our IP. We ordered it separately from Amazon for only $10 on a daily deal; normally, it sells for $20. We use it for slow cooking stews, sauces and soups; anything I really don't need to 'pressure cook'. Anywho, our Instant Pot has several push-button features that has earned its bragging rights in the kitchen or galley for ease and simplicity in cooking.
First, the buttons are pre-set and labeled. Want to steam rice? Simply put your measurements in the pot, plug in, push 'Rice', place lid in proper position and there ya go! It does allow you to adjust the pressure and time, use the timer and use it manually as well.
The lid it came with seats in its track with slide and lock mechanism that keeps the moisture in and pressurizes for thorough and expedient cooking. It has a vent which you lift to release the pressure and moisture before opening. Word of advice; do not place your IP directly under your cabinet and ALWAYS lift the pressure release vent AWAY FROM YOUR BODY. We place ours either on the island or on the stove where I can turn on the fan. It's going to sound like a hissing mean ole cat (because I don't like snakes, I'm not saying that).
Then, once your food cooks, it automatically switches to a 'WARM' setting; holding off further cooking but keeps your food warm and safe.
We have made practically everything in it; Pulled Pork, Yankee Pot Roast with taters, carrots and onions, Corned Beef & Cabbage, New England Boiled Dinner, Soups, Stews, Biscuits and gravy, steamed vegetables, Spaghetti Squash, Meatloaf, hot dips, and more. I've even baked a whole chicken in it! Our Instant Pot REALLY HAS taken the place of several appliances that would have taken up space we couldn't afford and added weight to our RV (and we don't want that!). So in that regards alone, it's a major score.
We are eager to try to bake a small cake and quick breads in it. In fact, we recently purchased small spring pans so we can try them. Since we're not huge yogurt fans, I doubt I'll use that feature; however, that's not saying we can't. Maybe some day I'll get the urge. Until then, John Stamos can continue bringing my Oikos. *evil grin*
We belong to several IP groups on Facebook called: Instant Pot Community, Instant Pot RV'ERS!, Healthy Instant Pot Recipes and Instant Pot-Healthy Recipes and Ideas. We let others make mistakes and ruin their food before we try ours (sorry...not sorry!) and learn from them.
So our review is this...
BUY THAT SUCKER!! Even if you're reading our blogs but you're not RVing or Yachting (classy way of saying 'boating'), still buy it! I promise you that you'll fall head over heels in love with this hot little number. It's the best a Benjamin will buy for ya! And when you do, think of us when you're chowing down on whatever you've created in it and clank your forks or spoons together chanting..."Hail to Liberty!"
For a comprehensive reading about the Instant Pot, you can visit the Instant Pot website or Instant Pot YouTube channel and learn about its engineering, science, recipes, etc. Also, let it be known, you can purchase parts easily on Amazon as well (i.e. extra stainless liner pot, lid seals, steaming basket, tempered glass lid, recipe books, etc.).