Have you been waiting for the Instant Pot® to come back in stock? Well, it’s back! You can order it from Amazon right now….
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You may have gathered by now that I am a huge fan of soy sauce and fish sauce. Yes, I love umami and I love Nasi Goreng, which means “fried rice” in Indonesian and Malay. I don’t eat carbs all that often nowadays since I’ve been on a low carb diet for the past year so, when I do eat them, I want them to be really tasty.
I have tried to simplify this dish as much as I can to make it a really easy midweek meal or even a lovely weekend side dish when you’re cooking a variety of dishes for one special meal….
Ox cheeks are a cut best braised (first fried and then slow cooked for hours) or fantastic pressure cooked, so easy in the Instant Pot. The meat becomes melt-in-the-mouth tender.
You will find ox cheeks in your local good butcher, Waitrose also has them.
This was my first try with ox cheeks and I have to say: do not try to slice or dice them (it’s mission impossible). Leave them whole. They are very sinewy raw but that all disintegrates when pressure cooking, leaving you with fork-tender meat.
A tip: porcini and, in general, dried mushrooms can be quite expensive. I got mine from Grape Tree in town. I think a 40 g bag was £1. If you have one nearby it’s worth going in for the raw cashews and the big buckets of herbs and spices, which tend to be 3 for 2.
Don’t forget you can find all my Instant Pot recipes here.
Helen’s Instant Pot Chinese Chicken and Mushroom is a delicious dish with lots of flavour. An easy mid-week dish, nice and warming for this time of the year.
In Helen’s words: blooming delish. Who is Helen? Helen is a lovely member of the Feisty Tapas communities, of course.
Dotted around this post you will find photos of Helen’s Chinese Chicken and Mushroom as well as Vanessa’s, who you all know as the Feisty Tapas Christmas Fairy.
You’ll find all my Instant Pot recipes here.
Ready for the recipe?
Nic is a lovely member of the Feisty Tapas community. I’ve had the pleasure of having her in my home in 2014, of seeing her at the Quirky Cooking workshop near Leicester in 2015 and even at the cook-up in Stamford in 2015 (man that all seems a long time ago now!). Did I not see you in 2016 Nic? We need to rectify that in 2017! This is her Sausage and Apple Casserole for the Instant Pot or, as she christened it: Sausage and Apple Pot.
Perhaps it should be Sausage and Apple (Instant) Pot?
We really enjoyed this dish, my tip would be to replace the courgette with leeks (or adding both courgette and leeks). You could also skip the potatoes and serve with mash instead (less of an all-in-one dish that way though and we do love one-pot meals that mean less washing-up!).
If you decide to do mash the Instant Pot way: 250 ml of cold water (right from the tap) in the inner pot, trivet with quartered potatoes on top (or in a steamer basket in which case no need for the trivet), press the “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” button, 10 minutes. Just mash as you normally would. I tend to mash with a bit of milk, a bit more butter than milk and black pepper. You can set this to cook any time of the day and the Instant Pot will keep it warm for you to mash whenever you’re ready to eat. You can do a quick release or a natural release. It’s the perfect Instant Pot side dish.
You can find all my Instant Pot recipes right here. If you haven’t got an Instant Pot yet, what are you waiting for? The new LUX model, V3, is now out and it is awesome, this one can pressure cook for up to 240 minutes.
|Jayson liked this one, a lot, these are his photos|
Nic’s Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Sausage and Apple Pot
By the way, have you seen there’s a new Instant Pot accessory in town? The non-stick ceramic inner pot. Oh and a fab new apron!
|Step 1 b: Chard on top of the potatoes and the trivet|
2. While the potatoes and chard are cooking: mix the oil, garlic and paprika in a small bowl (I use ramekins for this kind of thing).
|Step 2: mix the oil, garlic and paprika in a small bowl|
|Step 3 a: Lid just opened after a quick release. The chard has reduced considerably|
|Step 3 b: Chard removed to a bowl, now time to remove the trivet and the potatoes and give it a quick rinse and dry|
|Step 3 c: Chard and potatoes reserved in separate bowl|
**This post may contain affiliate links. That means that, while you don’t pay a penny extra, I may get a few pennies back towards running the blog and the Feisty Tapas communities. Thanks for supporting Feisty Tapas**
Last year the Feisty Tapas crew went crazy for lime pickle for the Christmas makes. Preparing lime pickle the traditional way is a lengthy process so this year I have put my research hat on (doesn’t it look cute?) to see if we could speed up the process. A lot of reading and notes later, yes we can! It may not be the authentic way of doing it but it has all the flavour and you can do it in no time ready for curry night or to surprise a friend or loved one if they are the ones cooking you the curry, just remember it’s best if you let it mature for a week before eating, let those flavours combine.
Before I forget, please feel free to play a bit with the ingredients, add things at the back of the cupboard that need using up even.
This All-in-One Pressure Cooker Sausage and Tomato Pasta was improvised today in the Instant Pot for the little Tapita’s dinner, it went down so well that I thought I’d share it with you all. Even better, there are leftovers.
The little Tapita very excitedly proclaimed that the sauce and the pasta taste like dumplings. She’s very into dumplings since we have a dumpling man at Ely Market on Saturdays.
I used Heck’s Chicken Italia sausages, they are very thin, like chipolatas, if you are using thicker sausages, make sure you fry them really well otherwise they may not be quite cooked in the short time it takes to cook the pasta.
I have another one pot pasta recipe for the Instant Pot right here. And a fabulous Mac and Cheese recipe here. Soon I’ll publish my one pot Tuna Pasta too. All my Instant Pot recipes are right here, all with UK ingredients and measurements.
Ready for the recipe?
Instant Pot Sausage and Tomato Pasta
This Instant Pot Sausage and Tomato Pasta would probably serve two hungry people or four with a normal appetite. In my child’s case it’s two, the girl eats a lot. If you decide to double it, make sure you double everything as the pasta expands and needs the liquid.
– 5 Heck Chicken Italia sausages (or whatever sausages you want. These heck sausages are very thin, like chipolatas, if you are using thicker sausages, make sure you fry them really well otherwise they may not be quite cooked in the short time it takes to cook the pasta)
– Extra virgin olive oil or oil of your choice
– Half a large onion (or one smaller onion), finely chopped
– 1 small carrot, finely chopped
– 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
– A couple of glugs of red wine
– A good glug of Worcestershire sauce
– Tin of chopped tomatoes
– 150 g fusilli (Waitrose Essential to be exact)
– 300 ml water
– Vegetable stock, I added a teaspoon of my homemade stock paste. If you are using a cube I’d cut it in half for this amount of pasta.
– 1 tsp dry parsley (I would have added mixed herbs but I’m out of the usual mix I make)
Note for Thermomix users: you can chop the onion, carrot and garlic together for 5 seconds, speed 5.
1. Add the oil and press Sauté, brown sausages for a few minutes, add a dash of red wine and deglaze scraping any burnt bits off with a wooden spoon.
2. Add the onion, carrot and garlic. Keep sautéing for a couple of minutes. Add the Worcestershire sauce, give it a couple more minutes and deglaze with another dash of red wine 🍷
3. Press Keep Warm/Cancel and add the rest of the ingredients. Stir. Lock lid in. Steam release handle pointing to Sealing. Press the Manual or Pressure Cook button and use the – and + buttons to programme 5 minutes. At the end of the cooking time do a 3 minute natural release followed by a quick release. If you want it more al dente do a 2 minute quick release.
– Quick release means venting the steam as soon as the pressure cooking process finishes, i.e. moving the steam release handle from Sealing to Venting. This video shows you how to do it.
– Natural release means letting the float valve pop back down of its own accord, so basically you don’t need to do anything at the end and can keep your feet up. No need to cancel the automatic Keep Warm function. If it takes over 15 minutes, you’re ok to release the rest of the steam (by turning the steam release handle to Venting) that may be left in order to unlock and open the lid.
Tip: if you use a different pasta shape just remember that the key is in halving the cooking time and not waiting too long to do a quick release, otherwise it may be overcooked, if it’s undercooked, pop the lid back on and let it rest for a little while
Let me know if you try my Instant Pot Sausage and Tomato Pasta over on my Facebook Page.
Have you joined my Pressure Cooking UK with Feisty Tapas Facebook group? As Instant Pot’s social media girl, I also run the Instant Pot® UK Community. If you are wondering about buying an Instant Pot, feel free to send any questions. You can find all my pressure cooker / Instant Pot recipes right here.
**This post contains affiliate links, thanks for supporting Feisty Tapas**
You know those days when you’re feeling organised and you’re going to cook a particular recipe and then realise you’re missing key ingredients and in fact you have certain other ingredients that could do with using up… Add to that an inability to follow recipes to the letter and you end up with something like these pressure cooked All-in-One Lamb Shanks with New Potatoes and Chantenay Carrots, made simple by my Instant Pot….
Did you know there’s such a thing as a National Chocolate Week? There is, and it’s right now. Not that I need an excuse to celebrate or eat chocolate any day of the year! In this household the chocolate we buy regularly is Lind’ts 85%. That’s dark, very dark. But the little Tapita absolutely loves it. The other day I had the chocolate next to the beef I was buying in my basket at the supermarket and I thought to myself: “well, husband does add cocoa to his chilli, doesn’t he?”.
This Chocolatey Beef Stew makes a luscious sauce, enjoy with a nice glass of red wine if you can. Or a beer. Can you tell I am still off the alcohol due to my meds? At least I can eat chocolate, in everything it would appear.
I made this in my Instant Pot, you can make it in your stove-top pressure cooker if you have one. I like the Instant Pot because I don’t have to babysit it, I just leave it to it and I get on with life (or with putting my feet up). You will find all my Instant Pot recipes here and, if you’re a newbie, you will find my guide to get started here.
Ready to give it a go?
– 1 onion, large, chopped
– 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
– 1 stalk of celery, chopped
– Extra virgin olive oil or oil of your choice
– 1 tin of plum tomatoes
– 150 ml vegetable stock
– 100 ml red wine
– 600 g beef, diced (I used braising steak)
– 7 g porcini, a handful, add more if you have more (I was down to my last 7 g)
– 280 g mushrooms, quartered
– 220 g carrots, sliced in half cm coins
– 40g Lindt 85% chocolate (4 squares)
Note: if you have a Thermomix just stick in the bowl the onion, garlic and celery and chop on speed 5 for 5 seconds.
1. Press Sauté, add a dash of the oil of your choice, and fry the chopped onion, garlic and celery.
2. Add the beef and, if you have time, brown it using the Sauté button (if you do brown it, make sure you deglaze by adding a bit of red wine or stock and scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon at the end). Add the rest of the ingredients, stir. Lock the lid in. Steam release handle pointing to Sealing. Press Manual and programme 25 minutes, do a natural release at the end (the natural release is important).
3. If you would like to thicken the sauce, press Keep Warm/Cancel then press Sauté, then Adjust to set it to More and let it bubble with the lid off so that it reduces, stay near your pot as it happens quickly.
Tip: really nice served with mashed potatoes.
I am a big fan of serrano ham, it’s right up there with chorizo (chorizo being the clear winner as you may have gathered from previous recipes). In particular I love serrano ham with very garlicky mushrooms (recipe here). So this Chicken, Serrano Ham, Mushroom Stew was bound to happen sooner or later.
I own an electric pressure cooker (which also slow cooks, etc.), mine is an Instant Pot and I love it for the convenience of being able to walk away from it, it means I can programme it and walk away from it without having to hang around for it to hiss and then set a timer (so, if you’re making this in a stove-top pressure cooker, all you need to do is hang around and programme the time, which should be the same). All my Instant Pot and pressure cooking recipes are right here.
If you’re making it the conventional way or on a slow cooker, just follow the first sauteing/frying steps and let it run for a few hours in your slow cooker.
Serve this with mashed potatoes, cauliflower rice, cauliflower mash, vegetables, whatever takes your fancy but don’t forget a good slice of crusty bread to dip in that lovely sauce.
Don’t forget to join my Pressure Cooking UK with Feisty Tapas group over on Facebook.
– 75 g serrano ham, diced (you could use a gammon joint/ham cooked in your Instant Pot of course, here‘s a recipe)
– 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
– 750 g chicken thigh fillets, diced
– 1 medium onion, chopped
– 5 garlic cloves, chopped
– 175 g mushrooms, sliced
– 100 ml dry white wine
– 1 teaspoon chicken stock paste or half a chicken stock cube (or of course you could use my Vegetable Stock Paste which is full of flavour)
– A couple of handfuls of cherry tomatoes
– Salt and pepper
Instant Pot method:
1. Press the Sauté button, add the oil and, when it starts feeling a bit hot, add the diced serrano ham and fry it for a few minutes until it starts getting a bit golden, stir a few times.
2. Season the diced chicken with salt and pepper and add it to the inner pot to brown, stirring regularly and making sure it doesn’t catch at the bottom. If it does catch easily, you can turn the Sauté heat back down by pressing Keep Warm / Cancel followed by the Sauté button and then, immediately, the Adjust button twice to set the IP to Less (if you have v3 of the DUO / you received your DUO from June 2018, just keep pressing Sauté until the light under less is lit up).
3. Add the chopped onion and garlic (in Thermomix 5 seconds on speed 5) and stir well, let it sweat for a little while and then add the mushrooms, stir. Add the white wine and chicken stock. Scrape the bottom with a wooden spoon to deglaze the pot, make sure you get rid of any caramelised bits. Let it bubble a minute or so with the lid off for the wine to reduce a bit and not taste so strong later. Add the tomatoes, no need to stir. Lock the lid in, steam release handle pointing to Sealing, press Poultry and use the – and + buttons to programme 5 minutes, natural release.
At the end you can reduce the sauce using the Sauté setting of your Instant Pot, with the lid off. Add flour, arrowroot or gravy granules if you prefer to thicken the sauce but I don’t.
Conventional cooking (on the hob)
1. Heat oil in a heavy and wide-bottomed pot/cast iron casserole, slow cooker, whatever you have to hand. Fry the diced serrano ham over a medium-high heat until it starts getting a bit goldeny, stir a few times.
2. Season the diced chicken with salt and pepper, add it to the pot and stir well. Let it brown all over.
Turn the heat down a notch and add
the chopped garlic and onion (in Thermomix 5 seconds on speed 5) and
stir well, let it sweat for a little while and then add the mushrooms,
stir. Add the white wine and chicken stock and let it bubble for a few minutes, then add the
tomatoes and let it cook on a low-medium heat until the chicken is not only cooked through but also tender.
I needed a quick dinner tonight and it had to be seafood. I absolutely love seafood. This One Pot Pressure Cooker / Instant Pot Seafood Pasta is very tasty, rather easy and also rather farfetchedly in the style of a quick Spanish fideuá, with thicker pasta.
Sorry for the rubbish photography but I’m blogging this one quickly for the members of my Pressure Cooking UK with Feisty Tapas Facebook group before I forget the recipe as this Pressure Cooker Seafood pasta was improvised in the Instant Pot tonight.
The advantage of the Instant Pot over a conventional pressure cooker is the advantage of programming it and not needing to supervise it.
Another advantage is that you can decide whether to slow cook on pressure cook in it depending on how much time you have in your hands. You can steam vegetables, cook rice and even make yoghurt in the Instant Pot DUO 7 in 1. The Instant Pot LUX 6 in 1 is just as awesome*.
But, the biggest advantage of them all, is that I look after Instant Pot UK‘s social media so you will find me behind their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts and running the Instant Pot® UK Community, basically making sure you make the most of your Instant Pot and use it regularly!
Serves two (or one very greedy person)
– 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
– 80 g onion, chopped
– 2 garlic cloves, chopped
– 1 small carrot, chopped
– 1 quarter red pepper, chopped
– 80 ml dry white wine (I used prosecco since that’s what I had, decadent I know)
– 130 g frozen mixed seafood (Waitrose), straight from freezer
– 460 ml vegetable stock (I make my own, find the recipe here), would be great with fish stock (fumet)
– 140 g macaroni (Waitrose’s to be exact)
– 1 tbsp tomato purée
– 1 tsp mixed herbs
– Black pepper, freshly ground
– Fresh lime or lemon juice (optional)
1. In the Instant Pot, press the Sauté button, add the olive oil and fry the vegetables for 3-5 minutes (in a conventional pressure cooker, sauté over medium heat).
2. Add the wine, stir and let bubble for a minute or two, lid off. Press Keep Warm/Cancel button.
3. Add seafood, stock, macaroni, mixed herbs, tomato purée, a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir.
4. Press Manual button, programme 5 minutes (in a conventional pressure cooker, bring to high pressure and cook for 5 minutes, in fact you may way to make that 4 as the psi tends to be higher).
5. Do a quick release after letting it rest for 30 seconds and then remove the lid and let it rest for a couple of minutes, it will be quite liquid to start with but will thicken rather quickly (see photos below). So finish setting the table, pouring a glass of wine or, if you prefer, clearing up.
Tweak the salt and black pepper and drizzle with the lime or lemon juice (if using) before serving.
Let me know if you try it, you know where to find me by now, don’t you?
|After opening the lid|
|A few minutes later|
*This post contains Amazon affiliate links, this means that, should you make a purchase after clicking on them, I’ll get a small kickback. Thank you!*
You know those meals that you portion up for the freezer? Whichever gadget you cook them in (even if it’s on a hob or in the oven), you can reheat them from frozen in
a pressure cooker and, of course, in an Instant Pot!
This works particularly well for bolognese, chilli, stews. Not great for fishy dishes, the fish can go a bit rubbery (I tried it with a fish curry and it wasn’t great).
This method of reheating frozen homemade food in the Instant Pot or pressure cooker works great for when you forget to remove things from the freezer, when a week is not going according to plan at all, when the children are hungry or if you work from home and need a quick but healthy lunch.
How to reheat food from frozen in a pressure cooker or Instant Pot
Method for reheating pretty much everything from frozen (except rice and pasta dishes)
1. Coat the base of the inner pot with cold water (as little as 40 ml).
2. Remove the frozen lump from the freezer bag or container, place it directly in your pressure cooker (already coated in water as above).
3. Lock in the lid. Steam release handle pointing to Sealing. Press Manual. Programme 15 minutes. In a conventional pressure cooker: lock in the lid, bring to high pressure, time 15 minutes.
4. You can do a quick release at the end of this time or, if you are busy (or relaxing with your feet up), let it do a natural release and even let it go to Keep Warm until you’re ready. It might still be in a lump when you open the lid, give it a good stir. Smaller frozen blocks of homemade food can get away with a bit less time usually but I tend to just go with my tried-and-tested 15 minutes. For bigger blocks I let it do a natural release.
Tip from me: In the case of chillies and bolognese I tend to then add a glug of red wine and let it sauté or slow cook (depending on how much time I have) for a while to enhance the flavours.
For reheating rice and pasta dishes
The pot-in-pot (PiP) method works best for reheating rice and pasta dishes from frozen in your Instant Pot.
1. Pour 250 ml of cold water, into the inner pot, put the trivet in place
2. Place the frozen lump in a container (a pot), this can be an enamel pie dish, a stainless steel bowl or even a foil container. You can use Pyrex and ceramic too but I don’t recommend it as you’ll have to increase the time, this is because heat takes longer to get through thick Pyrex and ceramic meaning you’ll have to play with the times.
3. Place the container (pot) on the trivet. Lock the lid in. Steam release handle pointing to Sealing. Press Manual. 15 minutes. You can do quick release or natural release. As you’re using a container for this and the heat needs to get through it, I recommend doing a natural release of a few minutes. Of course you can also leave it on Keep Warm until you’re ready to it.
Note: If you have the Instant Pot 6 litre then the container you use for pot-in-pot (PiP) container, then your container should have a maximum diameter of 18 cm. If you have the 8 litre then the maximum diameter needs to be 20 cm.
Tip: Rice is best cooled very quickly after cooking and then frozen.
Layered reheating from frozen
You can combine both methods described above
1. For example place a lump of curry straight in the inner pot after coating it with water, place a tall trivet in the inner pot, and the second frozen dish in a container on top of the trivet. Lock the lid in. Steam Release Handle pointing to Sealing. Manual, 15 minutes (or a bit longer if your container is quite thick or if you have quite a lot of contents), either natural or quick release. I tend to do natural when layered like this.
Here’s a handy video
I have an awesome taller trivet from Instant Pot that unfortunately isn’t on sale (yet) but I am told the one linked below works well.
You’ll find all my Instant Pot recipes here, the Lamb Tagine featured in the photo above is right here and my Pressure Cooking UK with Feisty Tapas group here. Of course, as Instant Pot UK’s social media girl, you can also find me in the Instant Pot® UK Community.
**This post contains affiliate links, that means that if you buy a product after clicking through them, I may get a kickback to help me maintain Feisty Tapas and its communities. You also get a huge thank you from me and perhaps one day I may even buy you a cup of coffee at one of the Feisty Tapas meetups**
I am often asked about perfect steamer baskets (sometimes called steamer inserts) for the Instant Pot available here in the UK so I thought I’d compile them in one place, the Feisty Tapas blog (of course). The Instant Pot’s inner pot has a diameter of 20 cm so you need something that will fit in there (some of them actually indicate that they are suitable for 20 cm pressure cookers, like the Kuhn Rikon).
These are the steaming baskets and inserts that I have and use all the time, as well as the ones that have good reviews from the people who use them regularly. If you are happy with your steamer basket and it’s not included in this list, please let me know and I’ll add it to the post and probably to my basket collection!
Have you taken the Instant Pot electric pressure cooker leap? You havent? You must know by now that there is nothing to be scared of, that it has ten safety mechanisms, that it’s virtually silent and that you can set it and go, right? Even better, it pressure cooks and slow cooks (and at the end keeps your food warm). But not just that, I run a Pressure Cooking group on Facebook to support you and I’m Instant Pot UK’s social media girl. So, basically, you will use it! Oh and I blog Instant Pot recipes with familiar UK measurements and ingredients right here.
Ready for my list of perfect steamer baskets for your Instant Pot all available in the UK?
**This post contains Amazon
affiliate links, this means that, if you buy through these links, it
doesn’t cost you any extra money and I get a small kickback to help me
support Feisty Tapas (the blog and its four Facebook communities, how did we get to four??? More on that soon)**
Kuhn Rikon Duromatic Trio Separator Set 20 cm
I personally have (and love) the Kuhn Rikon Duromatic Trio separator, the separator pops out for those times when you don’t need it. To use it, all you need to do is pour a cup of water (250 ml) in your inner pot. Place your veg in it. Press the Steam button and set the time. For example for a selection of unpeeled new potatoes and chantenay carrots, I press Steam and set it to 5 minutes, then do a quick release at the end. One great thing about this one is that the trivet fits very neatly on top for layered cooking.
|Multiple purposes. On this occasion I was keeping food warm. I do love that Keep Warm function|
*Unfortunately the photo is not appearing in the amazon.co.uk pic above but it leads you to the exact same one I bought*
Silit 1529602201 Insert Basket 19 cm
A lot of Instant Pot users have this Silit basket to use with their Instant Pot (it has a slightlhy larger capacity). Many use it for their broths as they can easily strain them in there. This one changes price all the time, the lowest I’ve seen it for is probably around £16.
RSVP Wide Rim VEGETABLE STEAMER Mesh Basket Stainless Steel Strainer
Then there is the RSVP (official name RSVP Wide Rim VEGETABLE STEAMER Mesh Basket Stainless Steel Strainer). It has a good price BUT you have to use pliers to gently bend the handles up and down to snap them off, otherwise the basket doesn’t fit. It’s very important to bear this in mind. Some people have successfully bent the handles inwards to make it fit. I’m not too familiar with this one but people who have it seem happy with it.
**Edited to add: I now have this one, I managed to snap the handles myself after a bit of trying, despite the fibromyalgia so it can be done, I use it a lot**
Wilko Saucepan 3 Division Separator
For a tenner, this Wilko separator is gaining lots of followers among the Instant Pot crowd. If you don’t find it at your store, you can order it in, or order online. Find it here.
Instant Pot Silicone Steamer Basket or Steamer Set
New for 2017 is the Instant Pot Silicone Steamer Basket and the Steamer Set. It fits neatly on the new long-handled Instant Pot trivet (which has higher feet than the trivet supplied with your Instant Pot).
Joseph Joseph Lotus Steamer Plus
If you prefer a collapsible style one, this Joseph Joseph Lotus Steamer Plus does the trick as will an stainless steel one like this Wilko one or this Ikea one, for very little money. You just have to bear in mind that your Instant Pot’s inner pot has a diameter of 20 cm if it’s a 6 litre and 22 cm if it’s a DUO 8 litre so it has to be able to fit in there.
*Edited to say* I picked up the Joseph Joseph for £7.99 at TKMaxx recently and I’m really liking it. It has a good grip to get things in and out.
Another collapsible stainless steel steamer basket is this OXO Good Grips Pop Up Steamer, preferred by many Instant Pot users because of the large, tall, sturdy handle. Talking about OXO Good Grips, you know that peeler I keep losing to encounters with spoons and the bin? It’s from that range too, this one to be exact.
Kuhn Rikon 2-in-1 Stackable Steamer Basket (two-tier)
Finally, Steamer baskets and inserts you may have lying around the house already!
You might also be interested in my What is Pot-in-Pot (PIP) Cooking post.
So, you bought an Instant Pot, it’s already at home or on its way and you’re panicking that you’re not going to use it enough or that you won’t know how to use it, that it might be difficult to use…
Fear not! It’s really easy to use and help is at hand at all times. As social media girl for Instant Pot UK that help might often come from me on their Facebook, Twitter or Instagram as well as the official Instant Pot® UK Community (an extension of Instant Pot UK’s customer care) but don’t forget that I also run my own Pressure Cooking with Feisty Tapas Facebook group.
Basically you will have no choice but to use it. No kitchen gadget worth the money will sit gathering dust on my watch!
The two models in the UK market (and markets covered from the UK) are the Instant Pot DUO 7 in 1 and the Instant Pot LUX 6 in 1. They work in similar ways. The DUO has a low pressure setting and a yoghurt function. They both can pressure cook, slow cook, steam, cook rice, cook porridge and keep your food warm at the end. The DUO also has a low pressure setting and a handy yoghurt function.
Both are really easy to use. They save time and money and, in my case, they totally save my sanity (I have one of each at home). They work silently for you while you have more time to get on with other stuff. Then they keep your food warm automatically at the end, even if you open the lid and help yourself to some of it, it will stay on Keep Warm for the next person. This is ideal in a household with a 6 year old (the little Tapita is six now!) who eats around 6pm and a commuting husband who doesn’t get home until 8.30-9 most days. I can cook for my daughter, then I eat whenever I am ready (6pm is way too early for me to eat dinner), then food is kept warm for my husband when he gets home.
Now, I know I own a lot of kitchen gadgets and that I now work with Instant Pot but this is me being totally honest: it’s a great kitchen gadget that can make life easier so a great investment. Above all if you are stressed out trying to juggle work and family. If you happen to have a health condition like me and my chronic pain and fibromyalgia, you will appreciate how easy it is to use and how much it can save your sanity on a daily basis (and the fact that it’s so silent it’s a huge bonus if you have a problem with background noise).
There are a ton of recipes for it. Another bonus.
1. Take it out of the box, admire it, isn’t it shiny? Is that Michel Roux Jr on the sticker? Oh yes it is. Ooooooh.
2. Download The Beginners’ Guide that I’ve written for Instant Pot UK, here.
2. Do the WATER TEST, it’s called Initial Test Run on the instruction manual. If you have an 8 litre Instant Pot DUO, then do the water test with at least 1 litre of water. You’ll find a handy water test video here, it’s really easy! All you need is water.
3. Get cooking. Don’t delay. Below are my recipe recommendations, a few types for different tastes. The key for many people is to find a couple of tried and tested recipe recommendations, follow those to get to know their Instant Pot and then get creative. Some other people prefer to always follow recipes. There is no right or wrong way but there are a few things to take into account so keep reading to find out what they are.
4. Keep cooking, you’ll find all my Instant Pot recipes here.
How to adapt/convert conventional pressure cooking recipes to the Instant Pot
|Click the photo to download the file|
The Golden Rules of the Instant Pot Way of Cooking
|Click the photo to download the file|
I always recommend you start your Instant Pot journey by reading the manual (yes!), doing the water test, reading the above documents and then cooking a couple of tried-and-tested recipes.
Here are a few recipe suggestions to get you started with your Instant Pot, these all work well:
One minute quinoa: from the cookbook that comes with your Instant Pot, try it with stock. It’s very versatile, try turning it into a salad with lime juice, coriander, nuts, avocados, olives…
Nom Nom Paleo’s Kalua Pig (I’ve made it successfully with boneless pork joints and very lovely it is, 5 pounds is 2.268 kg)
Beef and Broccoli by Pressure Cooking Today
Lemon Cheesecake! (don’t worry about the Meyer part, we don’t have them here in the UK, just use normal lemons)
You can find all my Instant Pot recipes here.
PS-in American recipes 1 cup of water is 250 ml, which is also the rule of thumb for pressure cooking in your Instant Pot: always 250 ml of liquid (water or stock). The measuring cup that comes with your Instant Pot is designed to cook rice. It’s worth getting a cheap set of measuring cups to follow American recipes.
Tips and Tricks
As part of my work with
Instant Pot, I get to chat to a lot of customers and, if you are a
member of my Feisty Tapas Facebook groups you will already know this, I
have two mottos:
I share a lot of tips but I also learn a lot from other Instant Pot owners so please don’t be shy,
always ask questions. As I always say, if you’re wondering it, chances
are other people are too and you will be helping them too by asking.
is a lot of help online, from me and my communities, from me through
Instant Pot UK, from other owners. The Instant Pot has a huge and very
Here are a few tips but you also MUST download the pdf files above, really really important to keep those in mind, soon you won’t need them anyway.
Tip: Always scrape the bottom of your Instant Pot with a wooden spoon and some liquid (water/stock/wine) to deglaze it before pressure cooking. You’ll see me remind you of this a lot!
Tip: tomatoey sauces, flour, packet mixes, sauces like Dolmio, can burn the bottom and make your Instant Pot overheat. So avoid flour, packet mixed and Dolmio and with tomatoes, make sure you have plenty of liquid in there with them, some people place the tomatoes on top of the other ingredients and don’t stir before pressure cooking.
Trick: Download the Manual to your computer, phone or tablet so that you always
have it handy (you can do quick searches for what you’re after too!). Download them here
Tip: if you have version 2 of the Instant Pot DUO 7 in 1, do not wait to add the ingredients until the display says HOT when using the Sauté button, as indicated in the manual. Strong safety feature mean it cuts out for a few minutes if it overheats during the Sauté mode, instead just press Sauté and add your ingredients when it starts getting warm just like you would in a frying pan.
If you bought the Instant Pot DUO and your anti-block shield doesn’t look like the one on the Manual, it’s ok, it is there. It’s just that the lid was redesigned. No need to panic
It is handy to accessorise your Instant Pot. First of all with a steamer basket or insert, I have a list of the best ones available in the UK right here.
Another handy gadget to have with your Instant Pot, particularly for cheesecakes, is a springform pan. I use this Master Class 18 cm / 7 inch Springform Cake Tin with Loose Base (I also use it for lasagna cooked in the Instant Pot, no need to turn the oven on!).
If you get stuck, give me or Instant Pot UK or the various fan groups a shout. There is always someone to help.
Ready? Let’s get cooking!
***This post contains Amazon affiliate link(s)***
Today, July 12th 2016, the Instant Pot DUO 7 in 1 has its best price yet in the UK: £82.99.
Even my own offer isn’t that good (and, trust me, my offer is really really good!). As you probably already know, I absolutely love my DUO, I’ve had it now for over a year and it’s used pretty much daily. To think I didn’t even want one. It slow cooks and it pressure cooks and then it automatically keeps your food warm for you. It also steams, cooks rice, porridge, yoghurt! Oh and did I mention you can make cheesecakes in it? And dulce de leche…
Because I run the Pressure Cooking UK with Feisty Tapas Facebook group as well as Instant Pot UK’s social media, there is no chance that your Instant Pot 7 DUO 7 in 1 will gather dust! I will get you using it.
You can read all the details here, find my Instant Pot-friendly recipes here and, if you buy through the link below, you will be supporting Feisty Tapas and its Facebook communities and you will get a very big thank you from me! You’ll have to be quick though, come midnight all the deals end (or when stock runs out, whatever happens first).
PS-If you already have an Instant Pot, having two is not a bad idea at all 😉 Please share with your friends and loved ones
Also available in the following countries at great prices today:
The Feisty Tapas community is on fire lately, full of creative recipes, putting me to shame with my lack of energy as I learn a whole new concept for someone like me “pacing myself”. Basically, it means turning 42 years of “me” upside down and starting small, saving energy for the next day, the next hour even, constantly saving spoons in my energy bank. This Sticky Sesame Chicken, extra quick in an Instant Pot or the pressure cooker you may have, is an extra special dish for days when I really need to cook an easy dinner, the meat is so tender you’ll think you’re dining out rather than at home. Thanks Fran A!
|Win an Instant Pot just like this one|
I have been running an Advent Calendar in my Feisty Tapas Facebook groups (Thermo Cooking UK and Pressure Cooking UK with Feisty Tapas), on the days that I’ve remembered! Blame the Spaniard in me who didn’t grow up with advent calendars (you can also blame the freelancing work-at-home mum who doesn’t know which day it is anymore).
The other day a lovely member, who you all know rather well by now, offered me a brand new, still-in-the-box Instant Pot like this one as a prize. At first I told him that it was too generous an offer but well, you know him, he wouldn’t take no for an answer.
To enter you need to be a member of one of my Facebook groups (the two stated above) and be signed up to receive the Feisty Tapas newsleter, which you can do easily here.
If you are not a winner, don’t forget the awesome Feisty Tapas Instant Pot offer, now extended until the end of January 2016! A massive saving, a couple of freebies, basically the best Instant Pot in the UK, find out more here.
In the meantime, you can check out what you can cook in this wonderpot here.
Ready to enter?
|The bits and pieces you’ll get. This is my Instant Pot by the way, not the one the winner will receive.|
The eponymous Jayson of Jayson’s Instant Pot Pressure Cooked Mac and Cheese is a lovely member of the Feisty Tapas community. A member of both my Facebook groups (Pressure Cooking UK with Feisty Tapas and Thermo Cooking UK with Feisty Tapas), he is is known as the Master of all Gadgets. He is in fact one of the peeps who first introduced us to the Instant Pot by regularly mentioning it in the Thermo Cooking group.
I make this Macaroni Cheese in the Instant Pot DUO 7 in 1 as that is the pressure cooker I have but you can adapt it to any pressure cooker really. Don’t forget that I have an awesome offer for an Instant Pot just like mine over here (the best Instant Pot offer in the UK in fact!) **offer expired, sorry** and, as I mentioned above, I have a Pressure Cooking group on Facebook targeted to us UK-based owners so that supermarket names, ingredient names and measurements are familiar!
This Mac and Cheese is really really good and so so easy to make, you won’t believe just how easy in fact. He is American so he clearly knows his Mac and Cheese!
I have made it twice and I have added my tips and UK measurements as his recipe was in cups.
Jayson says: It works every time you don’t need to use stock u can just use water as
long as it’s 3 cups! The paprika can be left out or replaced with
wasabi! Which is also good!!
If you think it makes too much: first wait until you taste it, then think that you can freeze it in portions and reheat on the stove if you add a little milk.
By the way, you can find all my Instant Pot / pressure cooker recipes right here.
Jayson’s Instant Pot Pressure Cooked Mac and Cheese
Serves 6 (or 4 very very hungry diners)
– 3 cups macaroni (390 g)
– 2 cups chicken stock (500 ml)
– 1 cup milk (250 ml)
– 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (35 g)
– 1 teaspoon mustard of choice (optional)
– Half teaspoon smoked paprika
– Half teaspoon garlic minced/crushed
– One quarter teaspoon sea salt (optional, I personally don’t add it as it becomes too salty for the Tapas’ family taste)
– 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (30 g)
– 2 cups grated cheese (195 g) (I used mature cheddar)
– Half cup cream cheese (115 g)
1. Place macaroni, chicken stock, milk, butter, mustard, paprika, garlic and salt (if using) in the pot and mix well.
2. Cook in Instant Pot on Manual (your Instant Pot button might say Pressure Cook instead of Manual): for 5 minutes, high pressure, wait a few seconds for things to settle down inside and do a quick release (in conventional pressure cooker: 5 minutes on high pressure once it starts whistling followed by a quick release). The wait is because pasta foams up and it can splatter when you quick release, believe it or not cheaper supermarket-own brands are better for pressure cooking so save your pennies. Some people place a tea towel over the lid just in case it splatters when quick releasing pasta just in case it splatters but this is not a recommended practice, I tend to let it settle down inside first, 30 seconds-one minute. The other thing you can do is a gradual quick release, start letting the steam out after the resting time, if it splatters then close the vent again, then try again after a little while. Another trick is to cook it for 4 minutes and let it have about 3-4 minutes natural release, way less splatter that way too. This applies to any pasta dishes you cook in your Instant pot.
3. When finished: mix in grated cheese, grated Parmesan, and cream cheese until all combined! Let it sit for a couple of minutes. Serve immediately.
Apply to face!!! <—- Says Jayson, this is clearly how he stays so young-looking 😉
The Instant Pot has opened a whole new world of dishes for me, things that would have usually taken way too long for a quick cook like me, now get done in minutes rather than hours. This Pressure Cooked Lamb Tagine is the perfect example. For this recipe I’ve taken inspiration from lovely reader and Facebook group members Nic and Amanda, as well as from the Hairy Bikers. Reader Jenny G has tested it for me and really enjoyed it so I’m hoping you will too. Fancy giving it a go?…