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Everything posted by JAZ

  1. When I was writing the book, I asked my contact at Ninja about that and was told it reaches 7.25 psi on low pressure and 11.6 psi on high pressure. The working temps at sea level, according to my contact, are 233F on low pressure and 244F on high.
  2. I didn't test duck in it, so I'm afraid I don't have any advice. I did cook chicken thighs (bone-in, skin on) -- pressure cooked for 5 minutes, with 12 minutes at 375 under the crisping lid. Not sure if that helps or not.
  3. The area of a 9" circle is 63.62". The area of a 6" circle is 28.27". I don't get how 3 x 28.27 = 63.62. I've done a lot of research reducing dessert recipes, and although you don't have to be exact, you need to be closer than that.
  4. I've written one book for both stove top and electric pressure cookers, and one (with another in the works) specifically for the Instant Pot, so I have a fair amount of experience with both. First, an Instant Pot is a "true" pressure cooker. That is, it cooks under pressure. And most Instant Pot models have low and high pressure settings (only the LUX has only high). It's true that in most cases, stove top PCs cook at a higher pressure than electric pressure cookers. When I was researching my first book, I found that the difference in psi didn't translate into much difference in cooking, with a few exceptions. There is less oversight required with an electric pressure cooker, since you don't have to regulate the heat. On the other hand, they do take longer to come to pressure. And they do take up more room than a stove top cooker. As for the settings I use regularly, I stick mostly with the Manual (in older models) or Pressure Cook function. I do sometimes use the Steam setting, since it heats faster, and sometimes that's helpful. There are several reasons I don't use the preset functions. First, the preset times never seem to correspond with the cooking times I want, so I'd have to change the time anyway, so it's not a time saver. Second, Instant Pot keeps changing the preset functions on different models, and since I don't know what models my readers have, I don't want to give directions that they might not be able to follow. And even though my books are written for Instant Pots, I know that owners of other brands of cookers buy the books, so I want to make them useful for those readers too. As for how often I use an Instant Pot, that depends on whether I'm researching recipes for a book or not. Some Instant Pot devotees want to cook everything in one, and so I try to come up with a wide variety of recipes that use them. When I'm not working on book recipes, I use an Instant Pot regularly for several dishes -- pork shoulder and chuck roast, beans, dense root vegetables like beets. If I didn't have the Instant Pots, I'd probably use my stove top pressure cookers, but I like the convenience of the electric ones.
  5. When I was developing recipes, I found the best kind of recipes (to my way of thinking, at least) were the kinds of dishes that people ordinarily start under pressure and then transfer to the broiler or grill. So, for instance, ribs or chicken wings started in the pressure cooker, then browned with sauce under the air crisper. I did a Southwestern braised beef dish and finished it with a cornbread topping, which was a success. Fruit crisps and crumbles worked well for desserts. My contacts at Ninja kept suggesting recipes that started with frozen foods cooked under pressure and then "crisped," but I was able to avoid that.
  6. We have a counter with no cabinets over it, which is where I always used the Ninja. When I was testing it, I thought it might be problematic if used under cabinets, but I never had to do that.
  7. One of the recipes I developed for the book was for egg rolls -- I made the filling under pressure, then filled and "air crisped" the rolls. I was pleased with them. Not exactly like fried, but definitely crisp. I haven't used other air fryers, so I don't know if this is typical, but since the crisping lid only heats from the top, anything you want to get crisp on both sides has to be turned over halfway through cooking. I didn't notice a lot of exhaust when I used it but I was using it in a place that was pretty well ventilated.
  8. I consulted with Ninja when they were developing this product and was then approached to write a cookbook for it. It was a really interesting project. I'd say that for someone who doesn't already have an electric pressure cooker and air fryer, it's worth considering. I'm happy to answer any questions about it -- I used it for several months developing recipes for the book.
  9. When I was testing eggs for my book, I found them to be really temperamental. For me, this is what works: eggs right from the fridge on the trivet, 1 cup of water, 4 to 5 minutes high pressure. Quick release then into an ice bath to cool. But if I ever did anything different, I got different results. One time I just used a different trivet (taller) and the eggs were more like soft boiled. I hate to say it since I'm working on a new Instant Pot book, but when I need to hard cook eggs, I use a regular steamer. After the water comes to a boil, 13 minutes results in yolks cooked to solid pale yellow. 10 minutes gets you yolks that are dark orange and soft in the center.
  10. I've recently started working on a new book for the Instant Pot, this one on Cooking for Two. My editor and I are trying to figure out how to divide the recipes and what categories to include. In the last book, we had "vegetables and side dishes," "beans and grains," "meatless mains," "seafood," "poultry," and "meat" (also breakfast and desserts). We started out with a "Soups & Stews" chapter but decided to fold those recipes into the other chapters. For this one, my editor is wondering if we really need a chapter for side dishes, and I'm wondering if we need a separate chapter for beans and grains. I'm not so worried about folding bean and grain recipes into the other chapters, but it's harder to do that with side dishes. On the other hand, I'm not sure if many cooks use the IP for side dishes. What do you all think? A) do you think we should include side dishes, or concentrate exclusively on main dishes and "one-pot" dishes? B) What do you think about a separate chapter on beans and grains? Would those recipes be just as easy to find in the chapters on Vegetarian, Poultry, etc.? C) any other thoughts on organization? Thanks!
  11. I've always thought about composting, but have never found an option that wasn't either a lot of trouble, or really gross, or both. But I recently saw this new product which seems like it might be a good answer. We don't have space for it now, but we're planning (after a kitchen renovation) to have a whole counter to dedicate to appliances, so we could probably fit one in. Has anyone used this? Or is there anything similar out there (that is, small, easy to use, and not stinky)?
  12. JAZ

    New composting options

    I should explain why I'm interested in this appliance. I don't have space for a compost bin; we have a patio that's large enough for a few potted herbs or maybe a tomato plant. Even if we wanted to turn the patio into a compost bin, we would not be allowed to. My interest is for environmental reasons. I don't think we waste a lot of food, but there are always ends of vegetables, meat scraps, and the like. If I can turn them into something useful, it seems like a good thing. The area where we live doesn't offer a compost service as do some cities (and probably never will -- ours doesn't even provide recycling services) -- if that were an option, then a bucket on the counter would work. So if this recycler works -- even if it doesn't make perfect compost -- I figure it's the best option for my circumstances. It seems like it's that or the trash.
  13. JAZ

    New composting options

    Where did you find that? I don't see it, but maybe I'm missing something obvious.
  14. JAZ

    Prep bowls

    Since I started assisting with, and then teaching, cooking classes, I've been a steadfast prep bowl user. I've got several types: I first bought the Luminarc set of nine stacking bowls and used the smaller five of them for prep, regularly running out of the small ones and wishing I hadn't bought the set, because I rarely use the larger ones. Then, when my uncle passed away and we were sorting through his kitchen stuff, we found a stack of these Pyrex glass custard cups and ever since they've been what I reach for first. I've broken a few over the years, but I still have eight. They hold six ounces, so they're big enough for most jobs, but I also have four cereal bowls that I grab when I need bigger containers. Recently, I bought this set of Le Creuset silicone pinch bowls because they were just too cute to pass up. My official reason was that it would be nice to have smaller bowls -- these hold two ounces. They also come in a graduated set that double as measuring cups, which seem very cool as well, but so far I've resisted. Anyone else have a love affair with prep bowls? Do you use them, and if so, what do you use? A matched set? Whatever's handy?
  15. JAZ

    The Air Fryer topic

    I haven't tried them in an air fryer (just got one), but my usual method for onion rings is soak in milk and egg, then toss in a combination of half rice flour and half AP flour, with 1/2 teaspoon baking powder per cup of flour. Works great in oil; maybe I'll try a few in the air fryer. If they work it would certainly avoid a big mess.
  16. I've braised it in a pressure cooker, but not whole. If it's sliced thin, it sort of melts into the sauce; if it's cut into wedges, it cooks at about the same rate as cabbage or big chunks of celery.
  17. JAZ

    Bastard condiments?

    In Utah, it's fry sauce.
  18. Thanks, I've seen that page, and also read all the troubleshooting items in the IP manuals and on the site. What I'm interested in is finding out more about the details of the circumstances from someone who's actually experienced this message. I'm going to talk to an IP tech person about the phenomenon, but thought if I could gather data from users who'd gotten the message, it would help in my conversation with the tech.
  19. Quick question for Instant Pot users (not other brands, in this case): have you ever gotten a "burn" message (I think in some models the message is "overheat")? If so, what were the circumstances, and were you able to fix it, or did you get the message multiple times? I'm consulting on a pressure cooker book, and the author seems to get this message often. Since I've never had that happen, I'm at a loss to try to figure out what she's doing that causes it.
  20. When I was testing recipes for my first pressure cooker book, which included versions for both electric and stove top models, I didn't find much difference in timing for the two versions. The electric models do take longer to reach pressure, but the difference in pressure levels rarely required a different cooking time once the pots reached pressure (and it was more often a shorter time for the electric than for the stove top). So, yes, using an electric pressure cooker increases total time, but for most dishes, it was only a matter of 5 to 10 minutes.
  21. JAZ

    Pressure cooking v. braise.

    For the liquid, if there is alcohol in the braise, I use the same amount of it for the PC version of the dish, but as rotuts mentioned, you do want to reduce it first. Any other liquids I generally cut in half, so long as there's at least half a cup to start. So if the braise recipe called for 1 cup of broth, I'd use 1/2 cup, but if the braise called for 1/2 cup, I'd still use 1/2 cup. One thing you see a lot with traditional braise recipes is an instruction to bring the liquid halfway up the sides of the meat. That's generally a mistake in a pressure cooker, since the meat gives off so much liquid as it cooks. If you start with the meat halfway covered, you'll end up with a soup, not a braise. For the time, I usually start with about 40 percent of the time in the PC that I'd use in a traditional braise. If there's one thing I've noticed with the proliferation of blog recipes for the Instant Pot and other electric PCs, it's that most people cook their meats for way too much time. Even respected, experienced recipe writers like Melissa Clark cook meat for too long.
  22. JAZ

    Pressure cooking v. braise.

    I think the danger with pressure cooking is adding too much liquid. If you're used to braising on the stove top or in the oven, there's a learning curve in finding the right amount of liquid for a pressure cooker. Otherwise, I really haven't found much difference in taste or texture.
  23. While I haven't cooked oxtails by themselves, we have a barbacoa recipe that includes them along with chuck. They get seared first, then we cook them (along with the chuck, which is cut into strips) for 25 minutes with natural release. The meat falls out of the bones.
  24. It was fresh. I would guess that frozen would work better; the fresh salmon was just a touch overdone by the time the pasta was ready. I broke up the salmon with a fork and stirred it back in with the pasta, so if a frozen chunk wasn't quite done, it could finish cooking then.
  25. While I think fish and shellfish aren't the greatest candidates for pressure cooking, you can make them work with some thought as to timing. When I was working on my pressure cooker books, my editor really wanted me to include some fish recipes, and I was able to come up with several solid recipes. I think the best recipes pair seafood with other ingredients -- for instance, I just tested a recipe for pasta with cherry tomatoes, fennel and salmon, which worked out pretty well. The salmon was a center cut piece about 8 ounces, which I placed on a trivet above the pasta and vegetables. It was a little more done than I would consider ideal, but on the plus side, it cooked in the same time as the pasta and veg, so in about 15 minutes, we had dinner on the table. I count that as a win.