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Instant Pot. Multi-function cooker (Part 3)

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On 8/23/2016 at 10:45 PM, Smithy said:

I've had really good luck so far with beans, and with mixed-saute dishes like onions, corn, tomatoes, meat (optional) and then already-cooked beans.  DH says I can keep feeding him like that, too!

 

Today's experiment was a bit less successful.  I had a head of cauliflower that I wanted to soften using the pressure cooker mode, then slice, drizzle with oil and roast in the oven.  Being busy with other things I set it up for high-pressure cooking (on manual setting), turned it off after 6 minutes, and allowed it to slowly come back to room pressure.  The head was so soft I could barely take it off the steamer rack.  It became mashed cauliflower and went into the oven with seasonings, as for mashed potato, but we both agreed it was too watery. I wanted it softened but firm enough to slice and hold its shape for oven roasting until it got a nice brown edge. Next time, unless I hear better advice, I'll either try shorter steam, quicker pressure release, or both.  For instance, I may bring it just to pressure then turn off and allow natural release, or else cook it for 3 minutes with quick release.  Advice, anyone?

 

I only like broccoli cooked for about 4 minutes, never more than that in an open pot of boiling water. The florets are plenty soft, still bright green, and have some texture left when I drop them into a pot of boiling pasta toward the end of cooking for one of my favorite dishes, with garlic butter and parmesan.

 

Like Anna, I always roast my cauliflower from raw after coating in oil, and adding less seasoning than one thinks one needs, because of the dehydration factor. I like to slice it 1/4"/6.35mm and lay it out on a couple baking sheets for a whole head with the small bits to the inside of the trays, where they caramelize but don't incinerate. The sturdier "steaks" go to the outside of the trays where they will get more heat. I came to this conclusion after experimenting and reading the entire iconic Roasted Cauliflower thread here. I'm with Anna, in that I think no pre-cooking is necessary, but if one wanted to do large florets instead of slices, or an entire head which would make a great presentation, perhaps a minute or so in a covered Pyrex casserole with a teaspoon of water in your microwave would produce desired pre-softening results? Maybe take the power level down once you got some steam and don't overdo it, to get some softening at the core of a whole head?

 

I am really enjoying everyone's posts about what can be done with your Instant Pots, but sometimes when you have a hammer, it might make everything look like a nail. :D 

 


> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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11 hours ago, Okanagancook said:

Found something the Instpot sucks at.  Steaming broccoli.  In there for just 2 minutes and it's pretty mushy.  I will throw some garlic/anchovy/cultured butter at it.

Next time I will just blanch it for 2 minutes in boiling water.

 

One of the difficulties of pressure cooker recipes is what do you do about the time the vessel is heating up and cooling down (for natural release)? Each variation in capacity, quantity of ingredients, heat output, conductivity of the PC, etc. will affect the length of the heat up/cool down period. Traditionally, recipes only include the amount of time at pressure and cross their fingers that your PC setup at home is similar enough to the one used to test the recipe that nothing gets terribly out of whack. For recipes that are over 30 minutes long, that's a pretty reasonable assumption but for 2 minute recipes, it starts to get a bit absurd. If you put a cup of water in instead of half a cup, you've now overcooked your veggies by 50% because it takes longer to come to temp.

 

Personally, for broccoli, it seems like a lot of extra effort for an extremely marginal gain. The IP makes a great conventional steamer as well and conventionally steamed broccoli only takes 5 minutes. 

 

Also, if you feel like salvaging it, overcooked broccoli actually works well for broccoli soup. The Cook's Illustrated broccoli soup recipe has you deliberately overcook broccoli for half an hour before blending with some blanched spinach for color. 

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PS: I am a guy.

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I can't even begin to imagine cooking broccoli in a pressure cooker unless my intention was to puree it (which I've done before for soup, with great results). If you want to eat it straight up, cook it in the microwave in a covered bowl for like 2 minutes. Or just steam it (more cleanup, but hey). 

Pressure cooking is best used for shaving hours (or half hours) off of long-cooking items like dried beans, tough meat, or stock. It's also great for cooking the bajeebers out of things you want to blend into an ultra-smooth soup or puree. But for quick cooking items? I just don't get it. 

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Broke in my IP the other day with a chuck roast from the farmer's market. Cubed, oiled, oven seared... then PC'd for 35 minutes in the IP in short rib stock with mirepoix, anchovy paste, tomato paste, Marmite, fish sauce, and MSG. Vented, removed veg, strained stock, reduced by half. Added a small amount of corn starch. Returned beef to broth and added sauteed mushrooms (seared in IP) and oven roasted turnip, rutabaga, carrot, and potato. Set to "keep warm" for 30 minutes to let things mingle.  

 

ip_pot_roast.jpg

 

So far I like the IP a lot. I really appreciate how sturdy the stainless steel inner pot thing is. For reducing the stock, I pulled it out of the IP and stuck it on my induction burner, then returned it to the IP when that was done. I like the size of it... I may even use it to cook with when I'm not using the IP's gadgetry. 

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10 minutes ago, btbyrd said:

short rib stock with mirepoix, anchovy paste, tomato paste, Marmite, fish sauce, and MSG.

 

My kinda recipe!!! :)

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~Martin :)

"Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, self-reliant homesteader, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse, curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!"

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it! 

 

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13 hours ago, Okanagancook said:

Really.  Is it on high temperature and high pressure?  I like my broccoli with some firmness.Ok I will try again after your reply.  Thanks for helping.

 

ps, I was just over at a friend demoing the insta pot.  They heard about how great the pot is for ribs and that was all it took for the male in the family to think maybe he needs one.  I felt like a travelling vacuum cleaner salesperson.xD

 

Another option is to put the broccoli in an oven proof glass dish on top of the other food you are cooking. It slows down the cooking process but you do have to experiment. I did it for a beef and broccoli dish.

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@btbyrd

 

I use the inner pot as my SV bath for small, short time cooking. 

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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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2 hours ago, btbyrd said:

I can't even begin to imagine cooking broccoli in a pressure cooker unless my intention was to puree it (which I've done before for soup, with great results). If you want to eat it straight up, cook it in the microwave in a covered bowl for like 2 minutes. Or just steam it (more cleanup, but hey). 

Pressure cooking is best used for shaving hours (or half hours) off of long-cooking items like dried beans, tough meat, or stock. It's also great for cooking the bajeebers out of things you want to blend into an ultra-smooth soup or puree. But for quick cooking items? I just don't get it. 

I suspect that few of us choose the IP for broccoli unless it is part of a meal cooked in the IP and hence an attempt to use only one appliance. 

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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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45 minutes ago, Anna N said:

@btbyrd

 

I use the inner pot as my SV bath for small, short time cooking. 

 

Great idea! I can see myself doing the same thing after Joule gets here. My Polyscience Pro is too big and the pump is too strong for that to work well in the time being.

 

41 minutes ago, Anna N said:

I suspect that few of us choose the IP for broccoli unless it is part of a meal cooked in the IP and hence an attempt to use only one appliance. 

 

That makes sense. As a fun technical exercise I'm going to try to devise a few "one pot" IP meals to cook in the near future. We just moved into a new house and the kitchen is huge and the appliances are great, but it lacks a dishwasher (and proper ventilation). I've made my peace with washing dishes/pots, but the fewer, the better.

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Yeah, thanks everyone.  The broccoli was a bad idea.  The pressure cooker is quite powerful.  I think the microwave idea is probably the easiest rather than getting a big pot out for blanching.

Vegetables in the IP are certainly challenging me.  Except for potatoes.  When I cooked my whole beets, they were over done too without much texture. 

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re: beets in the IP :

 

trim top / bottom a little bit    makes for easier peeling later quarter along longitude 

 

fill basket thats above the water resting on the round rack that came w the IP

 

7 - 8 min HP , natural release.    this works fine for firm beets.

 

 

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4 hours ago, btbyrd said:

I can't even begin to imagine cooking broccoli in a pressure cooker unless my intention was to puree it (which I've done before for soup, with great results). If you want to eat it straight up, cook it in the microwave in a covered bowl for like 2 minutes. Or just steam it (more cleanup, but hey). 

Pressure cooking is best used for shaving hours (or half hours) off of long-cooking items like dried beans, tough meat, or stock. It's also great for cooking the bajeebers out of things you want to blend into an ultra-smooth soup or puree. But for quick cooking items? I just don't get it. 

 

The only time I managed to cook quick cooking vegetables in a pressure cooker I wasn't really following the rules. Old Lagostina pressure cooker, 3.5 L, those venting PCs... Using the booster function on induction to build pressure, and then maybe cook for 1 minute on the low setting. Bright crunchy vegetables.  

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i just got an insta pot and now i am looking for a good and informative cook book to rely upon. so far i have narrowed it down to two books

1. hip pressure cooking:fast, fresh, and flavorful by l.d.a. passaglia   or

2. the healthy pressure cooker cookbook by j.a. zimmerman

 

could you also give your reason for your choice

i find  it most difficult to choose from the amazon reviews and i would rather have a personal recommendation from an egulleteer

thanks for all your help

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1 minute ago, aliénor said:

i just got an insta pot and now i am looking for a good and informative cook book to rely upon. so far i have narrowed it down to two books

1. hip pressure cooking:fast, fresh, and flavorful by l.d.a. passaglia   or

2. the healthy pressure cooker cookbook by j.a. zimmerman

 

I don't think you can go wrong with either one of them, both are authored by eG members: @JAZ and @pazzaglia.  

I decided to go with Hip Pressure Cooking first because I'd used and had success with a number of recipes from the website and I liked the way the recipes were given for both conventional and electric pressure cookers.   In addition to the recipes, there are useful tables in the back of the book that provide quick reference for various types of foods and there are multiple pages of useful and educational tips interspersed with the recipes. It's the book I've recommended to friends who have purchased IPs.

 

I still plan to purchase the Healthy Pressure Cooker Cookbook but am trying to limit my cookbook purchases.  Sorry I can't offer you a direct comparison of the 2 books. 

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@GlorifiedRice  

 

ive thought of that.   I have an old National/panasonic fuzzy cookier

 

at least 15 y.o   flat bottomed.  non-stick

 

I got it for groats w mild    ' pride' cycle   Ill replace it in a nano-sec just for that  

 

I take extra  care with it.

 

even with that sort of care, I can't imagine an IP with a nonstick coating lasting long indeed

 

hight temps etc.

 

Im very pleased with the thick S.S. tub that comes with the IP

 

it does need a bit of a soak for even rice stuck on the bottom

 

but I think it will last a very long time.

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1 hour ago, GlorifiedRice said:

I wish theyd make a non stick pot ¬¬

Strange. What seemed to appeal to most of us was that it DIDN'T have a non-stick pot. 

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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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for what its worth  , and perhaps not so much

 

Test Kitchen reviewed a few   electric PC's    of course they did not include the IP

 

O.o

 

they didn't like any of them for various reasons  , some of the reasons made no sense having used an IP for some time now

 

but they disliked the non-stick and thought those pots were flimsy etc.

 

and this got me thinking   :  maybe there s a reason for not getting non-stick in a PC

 

none of the stove top  PC have non stick     as lease Ive not seen any.

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24 minutes ago, GlorifiedRice said:

Why wouldnt you want a non stick pot?

Soaking and scrubbing are no fun.

 Because even the best have a limited lifespan. And who wants to eat the coating?  Only when I have been particularly careless do I find myself soaking/scrubbing stainless. The SS inner pot of the IP goes into the dishwasher and emerges spotless. But YMMV and vive la difference. 

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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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47 minutes ago, Anna N said:

Because even the best have a limited lifespan.

That was my reasoning in choosing the IP over some of the less expensive knock-offs that have non-stick pots.   I have a few non-stick skillets for some things but don't consider them "durable goods" :D.  When I first got the IP, I thought it might be handy if they would offer a non-stick insert as an accessory, but now that I've been using it for a while, I don't think it's something I'd spring for.

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I began my electric pressure cooker life with a Fagor - it came with a non stick pot - I quickly put out for the stainless one - much more substantial, nice thick bottom on it. I've not had any huge issues with the stainless but the non stick actually stuck more because it was thinner.

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Backyard grilling ribs with a rub 25 minutes manual high pressure 1 cup of water whole spuds 10 minutes natural pressure release.  Baste with bbq sauce and grill outside with spuds while you do Corn. Husk I for 4 minutes and quickly finish on the grill and warm up your IP buffalo wings while you are at it!

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Edited by Mmmpomps (log)
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22 hours ago, Anna N said:

 The SS inner pot of the IP goes into the dishwasher and emerges spotless. But YMMV and vive la difference. 

 

My IP pot NEVER gets clean in my dishwasher. I can soak it in the sink for 2 days it still isnt clean. Maybe you guys have soft water.


Wawa Sizzli FTW!

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