I recently bought an Instant Pot. Tom and I made the decision to invest in this cooking appliance, the first one I have ever bought for myself (not a gift). I have now been using it several times a week for the last month and I am a fan of the Instant Pot.
I decided it buy it for two reasons. First was the historical cooking I do while I am here at Fort Frederica. I make a lot of soups and stews over the fire and I like them to have meat in them. But it is very difficult to cook in our little Leprechaun. The kitchen is tiny with walls on two sides of the propane stove and a sink on the third side. When I have needed meat cooked for my living history meals, I have been asking Denise Verba to cook it in her Instant Pot. She is happy to do it and raves about how quick and easy it is, but I hate to go to her every time I need some chicken breasts cooked.
The second reason I invested in an Instant Pot has to do with trying to save money. Groceries have definitely gotten more expensive over the last couple of years. The deli items we have been getting have doubled in price. Our weekly grocery bill was hitting $200 on a regular basis. Tom and I decided that we (I) would try cooking more and see if it saved us any money.
I purchased the 6 quart Instant Pot Duo Plus. It seemed a step up from the Duo and didn’t have unnecessary features like the Pro. Plus, a new model was coming out and it was on sale. I usually buy stuff on Amazon, but it was offered at a cheaper price with free shipping from the Instant Pot webpage. I also ordered an Instant Pot baking dish because I didn’t bring any round baking pans with me. You could go crazy buying accessories for this appliance, but I decided the baking dish was essential.
The Instant Pot arrived very quickly and Tom and I had to try it out right away. Tom says it looks like a pressure cooker designed by an engineer, so he likes it. The first thing I made was hard-boiled eggs. I followed the step-by-step instructions and had perfectly cooked eggs in 15 minutes. I now make egg salad every week to replace the deli meat we used to get at the grocery store. Eggs might be more expensive but they are still cheaper than the meat. When I cooked the eggs, I released the pressure valve inside the RV, which was a mistake. It instantly set off the smoke alarm. Now I always cook with the pot outside on the picnic table.
Chicken breasts and pulled pork are also easy to make in the Instant Pot. I get a big package of meat and then freeze most of it after it cooks so that we have it for a while. I only get meat every two or three weeks at the grocery store. Every week I make one “casserole” type dish and then Tom and I eat it for several meals. Our favorite so far is “Dump and Done Spinach, Rice and Chickpeas.” The appliance is great for cooking dried bean dishes.
One of the things I am really enjoying about the Instant Pot is the baking I can do. RV ovens are worthless and I have never used the one in our RV. But baked goods are easy in the appliance. I have made brownies, blueberry coffee cake, and chocolate cake. All of them were very tasty, although they look a little funny because they are pressure cooked instead of baked.
I have the Instant Pot app on my iPad and have been enjoying browsing the recipes. I don’t really like cooking, but have been doing it one day a week, making several dishes over the course of my “at home” day. Cooking isn’t my favorite thing to do. But our grocery bill is about $70 less per week, which we really appreciate. We store the appliance in one of our cabinets and you can be sure I will be bringing it along on all our future RV trips.
Do you have an Instant Pot? What is your favorite recipe or accessory? I’m open to suggestions for supper next week!