Posts Tagged ‘instant pot


beef soup with noodle squares

a few pictures

a hearty beefy soup, wit the addition of a thickening agent, a stew

a beef soup/stew for the instant pot

prep the following:

egg noodle semolina recipe, roll out and cut into good size noodle squares, set aside

prep veggies, onion, carrot celery, a pinch of oregano, paprika, parsley and thyme, a bit of tomato paste and a few garlic cloves minced

leaf a few brussell sprouts, slice mushrooms

slice and cube beef season with salt, pepper and marinate if possible

set instant pot to saute, high and let come to temp

with a bit of oil, brown beef, remove from pot

add to pot onion, celery and carrot mixture with your seasonings

cook till wilted and soft

add sprout leaves, mushrooms and tomato paste to pot

mix and cook several minutes

return beef to pot, with broth top to fill line of pot.

cover, reset and set to stew soup setting about 15 minutes low pressure

at end of cycle release pressure , remove cover, reset to saute high, add noddle squares when the pot begins to boil

cook the noodle squares till tender, reset and set to keep warm setting

add more broth if necessary.

serve with crusty bread









easy fast cranberry sauce

A typical holiday recipe still even better with the use of the instant pot pressure cooker. I find I don’t have to stir and watch a pot on the stove, the machine does automatic  cooking for me. Total cooking time of the instant pot was ~12 minutes from closing  to opening.  The results were just as good as on the stove. (Duo Mini Instant Pot)

Adapted from the recipe on a you tube Food Network Video.

Gather the following ingredients :

  • 12 oz  bag cranberries , (either fresh or frozen)
  • 1 orange
  • 1 cup sugar

(I preheat the instant pot by setting it on saute, then cancel and set to pressure cook when ready to cover and seal)

Peel the orange skin, add to the above ingredients

Add all the ingredients, stir to combine

Squeeze the orange  juice  into the  the instant pot

Cover, set to pressure cook (high) for two minutes.

When cooking cycle is complete, jar and refrigerate.

It’s the Holiday season so decorate some jars and make a gift of the sauce !












Of course you can vary the ingredients to taste.


new toy, instant pot

IMG_20191123_162124Device description  may vary depending on the model as instant pot now has may sizes and capabilities across it’s product line. The app may be upgraded or changed from the time of posting of this review.

The device is powered by 120 vac ( in the states)

some of the advantages of the Instant Pot are :

short cooking times

sealed in flavor

automatic pressure cooking
some what ease of use
well engineered device and quality, well insulated

the ability to sear and brown food
name brand and support,

abundance of  recipes available

available parts replacement

other functions in addition to pressure cooking

benefits of pressure cooking food
retains value *

some drawbacks of the Instant Pot

loss of cooking scents from long simmered recipes in the kitchen
a new learning curve and device to operate
slow warm up times
depressurizing method may be unacceptable


Being rather behind the cutting edge in this new device fad , many have branded their own similar knock off of this computer controlled pressure cooking vessel. I’ve always wanted to do pressure cooking , remembering from my childhood days that our parents used the old style stove top vessels that require4 reading and regulating a pressure indicating the adjustment of heat
On of the characteristics of selecting a quality sturdy device is to first research how long the brand name and company has been in business, do they provide support and if the device can be easily maintained, repaired and reasonable priced replacement parts are available to avoid trashing the device in a few short years of service.and researching the secondary market for reselling value. as we are encouraged to pass something gone  unused along to someone else rather than to the landfill.
Just as a sideline, most every well maintained pressure cooking vessel has a safety blow off that is supposed to provide a pressure release in case of runaway pressure to avoid the catastrophe of a possible explosion of the vessel. But some may still shy away from pressure cooking food for the fear of an explosion.
Now instant pot (and I often say instapot) has taken this task and applied computer controlled heat and monitoring to pressure cooking.
First the device is well made, and easy sealing, easy lock/unlock method with audio feedback, stainless steel inner pot and a steaming rack is often included.
The learning curve consist of learning the preset  automatic control of the device and what they do , at least to me,  without a lengthily discussion, the presets can be set and modified as they are labeled on the control panel by food types and methods of cooking.

I did a few quick test with a small amount of rice and one quickly notices the cycling of the cooking, a heat up phase, pressure sealing and cooking time and a depressurizing stage.

I opted for a instant pot duo mini, since I don’t see the need for a large 6 or 8 quart pot for everyday use for 2 or 3 people. The device once sealed and a cooking mode selected, goes into heat up mode as you can hear the clicking of a relay that regulates heat application. Once steam produces enough p-reassure in the vessel, a sealing type check float valve get pushed upward and in combination with the position of the steam release valve the vessel is now sealed. Pressure builds up to the setting requirement and the actual cooking time starts.

The preheating time may not be figured into the cooking times stated, so  cooking times may not take the preheating and cool down time (if used) into consideration. So actual start to finish time may be longer than stated. When the cooking cycle is completed, The matter of choosing   the pressure release method in the vessel is to be  considered. Naturally leaving the cooker as is and letting it cool will add additional cooking and time to your recipe and that may be desirable for some recipes.

At the end of the cooking phase,.an immediate pressure release is possible by rotating the steam release valve from the sealing position to the release position, but be forewarned, the resulting plume of steam, like a steam train whistle, will result upward from the steam release valve.  If placed on a counter under overhead cabinets above, condensation and moisture can the plume of releasing steam can be very high and forceful. That aspect didn’t bother me as I used the pot on a counter without any shelving or cabinets overhead. The instructions clearly illustrate this occurrence and provide that necessary warnings as a  pressured steam release can cause burns to skin if in the path of the escaping steam.

Now, a half a chicken cut into pieces, with potatoes and carrot and onions was cooked on the “meat setting” adjusting the time to 10 minutes and high pressure. A small amount of stock was added to the bottom to initiate steam production. The total time result  was closer to 30 minutes. No searing was done beforehand as I was used to this type of chicken recipe. The chicken was close to fall off  the bones, the carrot and potato done and a juicy gravy was at the bottom of the pot. The breast was not evenly cooked due to it’s thickness so it was return to the pot for an additional; 2 minutes, as the pot was already hot, the warm  up cycle was short and the additional 2 minutes was maybe 3 or 4 total.

Note:  the warm up time when pressure cooking can be reduced by setting the searing mode when starting a recipe to preheat the pot, then cancel and set pot as the recipe dictates.

The Instant pot is a worthwhile addition to our kitchen, this review only explores  a few capabilities of the Instant pot. One needs to  read about all the available bells and whistles and the benefits of pressurized cooking for the Instant Pot to be used in all it’s capabilities.  It is a system all in itself, the breath of recipes found online, in print, and within the instant pot app are plentiful,  The Instant pot app which gives you  recipes and operating instructions is  good and easy to use , but searching some categories provided by a search filter resulted in no results.

The app is free and recipes are scalable so I was able to downsize the quantity of servings to fit in the Mini Duo, the app automatically adjusted the ingredient measurements. . One item I did notice of the app was it’s inability to 2 finger zoom the recipe for easier viewing if need by the user for better legibility. I assume most recipes are written for the 6 or 8 quart pot.(the Mini is 3 quart)  Noting also, there is a 2/3 capacity limit of the pot itself .to avoid an overfilled pot resulting in  food particles spewing from the steam release port when activated.which is plainly marked on the stainless steel pot which has a heavy gauge bottom for even heat distribution,

* As far as resale value, at the time of writing, some auction  sites are a good indication of value of a used Instant Pot. The Instant Pot Mini Duo purchased by the reviewer, was from a thrift shop on-line  auction, sold at a deep discount as is and needing a steam release valve that was missing. Even with shipping and the replacement part cost, it was still considerably less expensive than a new Mini Duo delivered to my door. (this comparison is staying with the Instant Pot Brand as there is many look alikes available). If you don’t want to store appliances once you’ve’ retired them this could be a consideration to resell it to recoup some of the initial  cost later.



the unboxing

The thrift shop purchase included original box

sealing/release valve and float valve

the Mini Duo 3 quart Instant Pot

the resulting winner winner chicken dinner !


March 2023

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