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Instant Pot. Multi-function cooker (Part 1)


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... I am old enough to have learned to write with a dip pen!...

 

Me too! Then I graduated to a fountain pen sometime in High School :smile: 

 

It never ceases to amaze me the amount of creativity and enthusiasm you have for cooking.

 

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So here's a question for our SSBs or anyone conversant with the science of steam. Would a thick mixture such as a stew or a cream soup act the same way as plain water to cook a foil wrapped vegetable in a pressure cooker? Would the amount or the heat of steam produced be any different assuming 2 cups of each in the same size pressure cooker and all other things being equal?

Edited to change one word and to add the final condition.

Edited by Anna N (log)

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

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steam is just water vapor that > 100 C.

 

as the IP measures the pressure  in the pot and adjusts the heat to give you that vapor pressure it  might not make a big difference as long as your mixture is wet.

 

its an interesting question.

 

one thing Ive read in "Hip " is to not add thickeners until after your dish is cooked.  i.e. cornstarch slurry.  it turns very gummy and is no longer a 

 

'thickener-emulsion' but a cooked glop of starch.

 

Ive also noticed that the indicator 'stem' , a light metal thing-ey that pops up, just seems to indicate the pot is sealed.  then the machine takes a few minutes for the steam to

 

reach the intended pressure, then the timed countdown starts. at that point very little steam is vented, thus little water is lost from the lower pot.

 

if you are happy w the results of the thick mixture w/o an item being steamed above it, they its going to be similar w an item above it.

 

at least that's what i make of it now.   unlike older pots w that weight that determined your PSI, this one measures the pressure in the pot and adjust boiling to

 

maintain that pressure.   the Fagor and the like might work differently in terms of loosing water to the external environment. I can't say.

 

my 2 cents.

 

another way of looking at it is ( my guess )  that the IP does not 'over-boil' to keep its pressure up.  at least not much. so less total water

 

is lost / cooking unit of time.

Edited by rotuts (log)
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steam is just water vapor that > 100 C.

 

as the IP measures the pressure  in the pot and adjusts the heat to give you that vapor pressure it  might not make a big difference as long as your mixture is wet.

 

its an interesting question.

 

one thing Ive read in "Hip " is to not add thickeners until after your dish is cooked.  i.e. cornstarch slurry.  it turns very gummy and is no longer a 

 

'thickener-emulsion' but a cooked glop of starch.

 

Ive also noticed that the indicator 'stem' , a light metal thing-ey that pops up, just seems to indicate the pot is sealed.  then the machine takes a few minutes for the steam to

 

reach the intended pressure, then the timed countdown starts. at that point very little steam is vented, thus little water is lost from the lower pot.

 

if you are happy w the results of the thick mixture w/o an item being steamed above it, they its going to be similar w an item above it.

 

at least that's what i make of it now.   unlike older pots w that weight that determined your PSI, this one measures the pressure in the pot and adjust boiling to

 

maintain that pressure.   the Fagor and the like might work differently in terms of loosing water to the external environment. I can't say.

 

my 2 cents.

 

another way of looking at it is ( my guess )  that the IP does not 'over-boil' to keep its pressure up.  at least not much. so less total water

 

is lost / cooking unit of time.

I am trying to understand why my cut up, foil-wrapped carrots were really almost raw when supposedly "thick, whole carrots" would cook under the same circumstances.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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why foil wrap the carrots ?  generally that's to preserve moisture in a conventional cooking environment  : a grill or a non-steam oven.

 

there has to be some steam in the packet  but id either  not use the foil, or loosely cover them as they are not going to dry out much in superheated steam

 

I guess the proper way to understand this is an experiment :

 

over water, put an identically cut carrot-set wrapped in foil, and a similar carrot-set next to it w/o foil.

 

cook.   see if they cook in a similar fashion.  if either is not done to your satisfaction, cook-time needs an adjustment.

 

if there are noticeable  differences between the packet and non-packet  thats information worth knowing about. right there !

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why foil wrap the carrots ?  generally that's to preserve moisture in a conventional cooking environment  : a grill or a non-steam oven.

 

there has to be some steam in the packet  but id either  not use the foil, or loosely cover them as they are not going to dry out much in superheated steam

 

I guess the proper way to understand this is an experiment :

 

over water, put an identically cut carrot-set wrapped in foil, and a similar carrot-set next to it w/o foil.

 

cook.   see if they cook in a similar fashion.  if either is not done to your satisfaction, cook-time needs an adjustment.

 

if there are noticeable  differences between the packet and non-packet  thats information worth knowing about. right there !

Why foil wrapped? To exploit the technique of tiered cooking in an IP. Your proposed experiment might work with something solid like carrots but not something less dense like broccoli. The foil wrapping keeps two or more foods separate (especially important if you're a picky toddler!) but also important for plating and presentation.

Theoretically, according to what I understand, I could cook a stew, topped by a bowl of rice topped by a packet of mixed vegetables. It's a concept that amuses me and for a solo might be useful. Of course everything requires a similar cooking time and that is why my previous experiment should have worked. I am still suspicious of those carrots and might try the experiment using the more familiar carrots I get from my grocery store.

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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excellent points

I notice on another topic you are salivating over tamales. I have never had a tamale but I did come across this little nugget of information which you might find useful. Tamales can be re-heated from frozen on a rack in the IP with a cup of water cooked on high pressure for 4 to 6 minutes with quick release of steam.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Density and convection

 

A thick mixture will take longer to heat evenly than a thinner mixture.

 

A bare carrot will be more evenly exposed to the effect of heat than one in foil which is somewhat insulated. Convection.

 

p

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nice.   Ive made them only once.

 

its an art. the fine line between fluffy and gummy is mighty thin.

 

TJ's has had frozen for a while, and if that's what ive got, that's what ive got.

 

now they stock refrigerated ones that are 10 times better, year round.

 

I think you have to be an Abuela who has done these for a zillion years.

 

or someone from eG.

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Density and convection

 

A thick mixture will take longer to heat evenly than a thinner mixture.

 

A bare carrot will be more evenly exposed to the effect of heat than one in foil which is somewhat insulated. Convection.

 

p

Sure. Both your statements are true but they really don't address the question of the quantity or quality of the steam created by the two different liquids. And the bare carrot versus foil-wrapped carrot is elementary. There is something else going on here which I am trying to get to the bottom of.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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So as I have noted, before once in a while one must stop playing and eat the toads that are waiting for one. So down to the basement I went to meet up with my current toads and look what I found!

image.jpg

image.jpg

These were all charity store finds and fit perfectly in the IP. The little stainless steel unit top left is a very fine mesh sieve.

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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How fortuitous, Anna. The pots remind me of a tiffin box.

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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How fortuitous, Anna. The pots remind me of a tiffin box.

I suspect they originate with Koreans from the characters on the lids so I admit to not being a linguist!

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Ive decided to try some BabyBackRibs.  Ive taken AnnaN as an initial guide and used this Rx as a starting point :

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/06/28/417461343/do-try-this-at-home-hacking-ribs-in-the-pressure-cooker

 

I also thought I might borrow a page from AnnaN and start at the end :

 

BBR end.jpg

 

I also didn't really want to do 'BBQ' w sauce.  I have a large poster of Saint Franklin in my kitchen and didn't want to go to the trouble

 

of turning it Over so he could not see My Work  ( w sauce ).

 

Ive also admired 

 

mgaretz's

 

char-shui for some time.  i get it in Chinatown BOS when I can and save it under vac.

 

I had these  :

 

CharSui packs.jpg

 

Id make 1/2 and 1/2.

 

the duck mix has dried orange in it and the 5 spice is later in the ingredient list.  CharSui mix has the 5 spice earlier in the list, and no orange.

 

here is my Slab :

 

BBR slab.jpg

 

its Vintage.  '06 if you can read the label.  '2 for 1"  but its been kept carefully in the SV freezer, until now.

 

Im not a big fan of BBR as i think they are over priced.  When I see " baby " on a label, I just try to move along.

 

here it is with the inner membrane removed :

 

BBR memb.jpg

 

the membrane is the glob below the ribs.  an important step, not to be forgotten.

 

here are the 4 sections rub'd :

 

BBR rubed.jpg

 

I thought Id add some star anise to the water. and I thought Id put a handful in, and simmer for a minute to hydrate the SA

 

and thus add more volatiles to the steam.  as usual, I over thought this.  in my defense, I wanted to taste SA alone as i

 

don't care for Anise  i.e. licorice flavor in any way.  Im sure Ive had SA in many chinese dishes, but have not used it myself.

 

this is much sweeter and a much better taste than Anise.  You don't really need to rehydrate as you get enough volatile in the 30 minute 

 

cook IP I think. In the pot they went.  a splash of L.Smoke.

 

BBR Pot.jpg

 

30 min HP, quick release.  the result :

 

BBR done 1.jpg

 

and

 

BBR done 2.jpg

 

this pic looks a lot better than they did in real life. they were Big Yuk at this point.  I guess there is a reason after all Polite

 

Company does not ever discuss UltraSteamed Meats.

 

I used this for the glaze.  TJ's I had it and had to look for the honey

 

BBR glaze.jpg

 

I did the BVXL glaze , flip , glaze   450.  At first i was a bit disappointed as the syrup didn't really say in place.

 

no worries :

 

BBR Done 3.jpg

 

a couple of things I learned at this step.  start convex down, as some of the glaze will collect there and give you maybe more 

 

'glaze'  but it really probably does not matter as you want to flip them a couple of times.

 

after they were done and cooling  I tried to spoon some of the glaze left on the pan over the Presentation Suface

 

this was a nice idea but please avoid the black bits.  they look good but are just hot burnt sugar.  Im no Hot Sugar expert

 

I do understand how hot sugar syrup is and the damage it can do. If you have not visited your Dentist recently 

 

schedule a visit.  those burnt bits will pull a filling for sure, if not burn you.

 

its tough to wait for these to cool.

 

a Personal Beverage is very helpful at this step.

 

when i saw the 4 pieces of Flab , to be kind to them , just out of the Pot I thought, well  .....   :wacko:

 

when done, they were outstanding/

 

the char-sui version was what you might expect, delicious !  and the Duck version did have a nice taste of orange.

 

Fantastic you say.

 

" Lunch is never Free "

 

this was a nice portion for One.  maybe with some jasmine rice and peas, a Starter, fine for two.

 

for a family of four, you would have a riot on your hands if each member got only one piece.

 

these bring out Your True Soul

 

Id simply suggest this:

 

next time the Family wants you to go to the Maul with them for a few hours, beg off.

 

make these.  devoir them . clean up.  open the windows   ( the aroma is very nice )

 

make sure you hide the bones.  Don't let Fido get near them.

 

Delicous they were.   Ill try these w Country SpareRibs soon.

 

Potato Salad these are not

 

of course that would make a nice first course for two

 

nothing would abate 4.

Edited by rotuts (log)
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At long last, rotuts, and well worth waiting for. Nothing in my house is going to taste good for dinner now. I enjoy ribs with nothing but a dry rub but they're not pretty that way so I glaze of some sort if only to feed the eyes seems necessary. Really, really must pull up the recipe I usually use because I'm pretty sure it had a dry rub that really floated my boat.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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If anything's going to tip me over the edge, it will be those ribs. Were they any more tender, rotuts, than if they'd been slow-cooked? Or was speed the principle advantage?

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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Id like to hear about your Rub.

 

one of the most interesting BBQ books I own is this one :

 

Jeanne Voltz  " BBQ Ribs and other Great Feeds "

 

its out of print and sadly JV has passed on.  look for it in used bookstores.  lots of Florida type RX's

 

lots of citrus.

 

think  : a little tart marmalade for the glaze ?

 

tart lime marmalade w a drop or two of chili oil for a bit of heat.

 

heaven itself.

Edited by rotuts (log)
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as you can see in the Out of Pot pic the meat has pulled off the ribs,

 

these were moist , very tender , and not dry in any way. 

 

id not say over cooked, just very tender.  I was surprised they were so moist.  the meat did not contract in ways

 

SV has lead me to believe at these  temps , meaning squeezing out the Jus.  again this is cut thats a bit fatty.

 

not as fatty as lower down spare ribs.

 

Ill give them also a trial, along with 'country style'

 

this is barely enough for 2, w a nice starter and a complementary side.

 

just enough for one, w a healthy dose of Potato Salad.

 

I was surprised.

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as a last thought for tonight :

 

its worth making these ribs as mentioned, then , if you didn't want a glaze, try placing them under the broiler 'as is' out of the IP.

 

and flipping them so each side gets color.

 

those dark bits you see on the ones I did are not 'burnt-end-ish' bits

 

they are caramelized if not burnt sugar.

 

still very tasty.

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image.jpg

image.jpg

image.jpg

image.jpg

I am not fond of macaroni and cheese and would certainly not normally make it for myself. But I was intrigued by the idea and I know there are lots of fans of macaroni and cheese. Unfortunately because I don't eat it I don't know whether this was a good or bad example of the species. I ate the small bowl you see and called it dinner but had no wish to rush out and refill my bowl.

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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