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Old 03-29-2017, 11:22 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
26,873 posts, read 28,145,186 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clawsondude View Post
I mean I can too, but I'm wondering if there are some advantages to using this, such as less active time cooking, dirtying less pans, etc. As I mentioned in the example, if I could use this to throw some chicken in the bottom and steam some potatoes and veggies on top I would look at that as an advantage. I wouldn't have to stand in front of the skillet cooking the chicken and dirty an additional pan and steamer to cook the sides.

The reason I am most interested is convenience. I enjoy cooking on the weekend when I have time, but during the week I'm tired when I come home and it would be nice to toss everything in the pressure cooker and kick back for 20-30 minutes while it does its thing instead of being active in the kitchen.

As I said, I'm curious if this cooks things quickly that a slow cooker wouldn't.
I think you are thinking about it the wrong way -a pressure cooker makes slow cooker food happen more quickly in 1/2, 1/3 or 1/4 the time.

It also speeds up things that might be slow to make (dry beans, brown rice).

This weekend I used my pressure cooker to make meatballs, a beef roast and 1/2 soft boiled eggs for breakfast during the week.

Pressure cookers do not reduce liquid well, so you may need to finish with a simmer. The instapot makes that easy as well.

I use mine to make tough meats that need a while to braise or simmer. Or beans. These can easily be done in 30 minutes. And you can easily make a soup as well with a quick second dose of pressure with your veggies and grains. I also find steel cut oats are a breeze.

I have a lot of 30-45 minute dishes that do not require a pressure cooker. I use mine to make quick work of the 2-8 hour dishes I'd like to make but take too much time.
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Old 03-30-2017, 05:48 AM
 
1,008 posts, read 526,936 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
I think you are thinking about it the wrong way -a pressure cooker makes slow cooker food happen more quickly in 1/2, 1/3 or 1/4 the time.

It also speeds up things that might be slow to make (dry beans, brown rice).

This weekend I used my pressure cooker to make meatballs, a beef roast and 1/2 soft boiled eggs for breakfast during the week.

Pressure cookers do not reduce liquid well, so you may need to finish with a simmer. The instapot makes that easy as well.

I use mine to make tough meats that need a while to braise or simmer. Or beans. These can easily be done in 30 minutes. And you can easily make a soup as well with a quick second dose of pressure with your veggies and grains. I also find steel cut oats are a breeze.

I have a lot of 30-45 minute dishes that do not require a pressure cooker. I use mine to make quick work of the 2-8 hour dishes I'd like to make but take too much time.
Thank you. This has been the most helpful reply to my question. Based on this I probably won't buy one right now. I understand there may be some advantages to texture etc over a slow cooker, but I'm just fine with my slow cooker at this point and haven't read anything that compels me to buy a pressure cooker.
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Old 03-30-2017, 01:21 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
10,860 posts, read 18,883,731 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DawnMTL View Post
Sweet! So excited for the browning! I can't understand/believe that it actually browns -- I'm excited!

Can you explain "isn't really equivalent to a crock pot because it only heats at the bottom"? So let's say that I do this slow-cooked London broil thing in my crock pot. It's a chunk of beef, some mushrooms, some soup, it goes into my crock pot for 6 hours, and then it's yummy delicious. How would that work in the Instant Pot if it only heats at the bottom? Or are you telling me that I wouldn't do the beef/mushroom/soup on slow cook -- that I'd do it the "Instant Pot pressure cooker way" instead? The latter is totally fine; I just have no idea. I mean, I don't do anything in my crock pot that *has* to slow cook.

Did I mention that I'm excited?
Instead of 6 hours in the crock pot, you'd probably do 45 min or 1 hour in the pressure cooker. Meat comes out as tender as it does in the crock pot but less likely to fall apart.

The biggest difference for me other than the time is that the crock pot doesn't have to have any liquid added in order to cook on low. Pressure cooker recipes have to have some liquid in order to come to pressure, usually a cup or a cup and a half of liquid.

One really nice thing about the pressure cooker is that you can do one pot meals...for example, brown hamburger meat and onions in it, then add uncooked pasta, water, tomato sauce and seasonings, then cook on high for 6 min (takes longer than that because it has to come to pressure first before the 6 min starts).
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Old 03-30-2017, 02:06 PM
 
Location: Montreal -> CT -> MA -> Montreal -> Ottawa
16,222 posts, read 25,416,434 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hedgehog_Mom View Post
Instead of 6 hours in the crock pot, you'd probably do 45 min or 1 hour in the pressure cooker. Meat comes out as tender as it does in the crock pot but less likely to fall apart.

The biggest difference for me other than the time is that the crock pot doesn't have to have any liquid added in order to cook on low. Pressure cooker recipes have to have some liquid in order to come to pressure, usually a cup or a cup and a half of liquid.

One really nice thing about the pressure cooker is that you can do one pot meals...for example, brown hamburger meat and onions in it, then add uncooked pasta, water, tomato sauce and seasonings, then cook on high for 6 min (takes longer than that because it has to come to pressure first before the 6 min starts).
Fantastic! I don't particularly like meat to be falling apart. Tender? Absolutely. Falling apart? Less appealing.

Thank you!
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Old 03-30-2017, 07:45 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
26,873 posts, read 28,145,186 times
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I like that the instapot browns. Less pans. For example this weekend I browned meatballs. Then covered them with sauce and cooked them in the pressure coooker. Then kept them warm in the same pot. Not too many dishes and one pot.
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Old 03-31-2017, 10:46 AM
 
Location: North State (California)
28,207 posts, read 2,196,057 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clawsondude View Post
Thank you. This has been the most helpful reply to my question. Based on this I probably won't buy one right now. I understand there may be some advantages to texture etc over a slow cooker, but I'm just fine with my slow cooker at this point and haven't read anything that compels me to buy a pressure cooker.


I agree, I see no reason to have one, now I am retired, I have no problem cooking a pot of beans on the stove top, it doesn't take that long. I mostly use the crock pot for pork, & I make it into pulled pork or taco meat, so falling apart is ok. I make my stews stove top also. Maybe when I was working it would have helped out, but now, we retired & downsized, so I do not have the room for any more gadgets. But thank you for the thread, it has been very informative.
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Old 03-31-2017, 11:30 AM
 
Location: Montreal -> CT -> MA -> Montreal -> Ottawa
16,222 posts, read 25,416,434 times
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I'm still definitely buying it but I have two questions for those of you in the know:

1. My crock pot is so easy to clean. Same for this? Can the pot itself go in the dishwasher?

2. With my crock pot, if I've decided on something without having thought enough in advance to defrost, I'll throw in chicken breasts frozen, right out of the freezer. (For those of you who are aghast at this, close your eyes. I'm still alive and kicking.) Can you put frozen chicken (or other meat?) into the Instant Pot too, or do I have to start planning better?
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Old 03-31-2017, 11:34 AM
 
Location: Middle of the ocean
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The bowl insert (metal) is dishwasher safe, the lid is not.

I don't see why you couldn't put frozen food directly in.

I'll raise you on the risky kitchen behavior: I put my meat in a sink of warm water to defrost. I'm 50 and haven't been sick yet! (I don't do things like this if I am have company)
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Old 03-31-2017, 12:03 PM
 
Location: Denver CO
18,977 posts, read 10,040,378 times
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The inner pot is very easy to clean, I put mine in the dishwasher. You can also steam clean if you need to - I've heard water with a cut up lemon works well. I also put the sealing ring in the dishwasher. The lid and the few other small pieces get handwashed.

And yes, you can cook frozen food. You have to adjust the time, of course. But it won't work for everything, it's trial and error to see. I can make chicken soup with frozen chicken pieces, but if I wanted to cook those pieces in some kind of sauce, I don't think it works very well.

And there are many "plan ahead" meals where you prep everything, freeze in a container where the frozen block fits into the IP, and then when you are ready to have that meal, it goes right into the IP.

The main things I use it for most often are
hard boiled eggs (sounds crazy but it's so easy this way because you can ignore it)
rice - I make up a big batch and then freeze in portions and nuke as needed. As easy as the frozen packs you can buy for about 1/3 the price!
beans/legumes
(un)stuffed cabbage (like stuffed cabbage but I chop up the cabbage instead of making rolls)
pork roast
chicken stock/soup

I'm just starting to experiment with the prep ahead meals, and hope to find a few that my son and I both like.

My favorite aspect is that you can "set it and forget it" - not have to worry about stirring it on the stove, boiling over, etc. And while it's not "instant" it does cut the time significantly.
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Old 03-31-2017, 12:49 PM
 
Location: Montreal -> CT -> MA -> Montreal -> Ottawa
16,222 posts, read 25,416,434 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikala43 View Post
The bowl insert (metal) is dishwasher safe, the lid is not.

I don't see why you couldn't put frozen food directly in.

I'll raise you on the risky kitchen behavior: I put my meat in a sink of warm water to defrost. I'm 50 and haven't been sick yet! (I don't do things like this if I am have company)
Excellent! I usually wash my crock pot by hand, but sometimes I just rinse it well and put it in the dishwasher. Because, well, *sometimes* I'm lazy. That makes sense about the lid -- it looks to be plastic.

Excellent too about the frozen food news.

I'm turning 52 in May. GAH! I can't believe I wrote that out loud.

Quote:
Originally Posted by emm74 View Post
The inner pot is very easy to clean, I put mine in the dishwasher. You can also steam clean if you need to - I've heard water with a cut up lemon works well. I also put the sealing ring in the dishwasher. The lid and the few other small pieces get handwashed.

And yes, you can cook frozen food. You have to adjust the time, of course. But it won't work for everything, it's trial and error to see. I can make chicken soup with frozen chicken pieces, but if I wanted to cook those pieces in some kind of sauce, I don't think it works very well.

And there are many "plan ahead" meals where you prep everything, freeze in a container where the frozen block fits into the IP, and then when you are ready to have that meal, it goes right into the IP.

The main things I use it for most often are
hard boiled eggs (sounds crazy but it's so easy this way because you can ignore it)
rice - I make up a big batch and then freeze in portions and nuke as needed. As easy as the frozen packs you can buy for about 1/3 the price!
beans/legumes
(un)stuffed cabbage (like stuffed cabbage but I chop up the cabbage instead of making rolls)
pork roast
chicken stock/soup

I'm just starting to experiment with the prep ahead meals, and hope to find a few that my son and I both like.

My favorite aspect is that you can "set it and forget it" - not have to worry about stirring it on the stove, boiling over, etc. And while it's not "instant" it does cut the time significantly.
Terrific information! Thank you!

It makes sense that you couldn't/wouldn't do frozen chicken with sauce, since the solid block of chicken wouldn't absorb it.

I'm totally psyched. I love the idea of the "plan ahead" meals and popping the "frozen block" into the IP. Fantastic. And I also like the idea of hard-"boiling" eggs in there -- I've heard that's great. I love, Love, LOVE the idea of making a huge batch of rice instead of a little bit each time. Brilliant.
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