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ILiveInFlipFlops

Has anybody bought an Instant Pot and not loved it? (and a couple of other IP-related questions)

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The few people I know IRL who have one love it, and of course the reviews here are always raves. But has anyone bought one and not really used it much or found it to have an overwhelming learning curve? 

 

Also, how much were they on Prime Day? Was it the 7-in-1 or the 6-in-1 that was the hot deal? I know I'll probably be better off waiting until Black Friday to get one, pricewise, but I really want it noooow!

 

How does the food (flavor-wise, texture-wise) compare to using a traditional slow cooker?

 

And let's say you had a recipe that involved making ground beef in a sloppy-joe like way. Would the IP work well for that? For example, you need to saute the veggies, add the flavor part, and then add the ground beef. But of course the ground beef needs to broken apart and everything incorporated. Can anyone say how something like that would work in the IP? (I'm trying to find a way to sell this to my DH :lol:)

 

I'm sure I had more questions, but now I can't remember. I need someone can loan me one for a week, but I don't know anyone who'd give theirs up for even a few days!

 

Thanks.

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You could make the recipe starting with the Sauté setting to brown the beef and caramelize the veggies.

 

Camelcamelcamel is a website that will show you Amazon price history. You can set price alerts.

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I just got one. The learning curve is not steep. It's surprisingly easy to use. I just don't really know what to use it for. I've tried a few things, and they were fine. I want to love it, I'm just not there yet.

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You can saute things in the pot before starting.  It's cool...you do it right in the pot!  You can also take food out at the end and thicken sauces right in the pot.  The saute function has more than one temperature setting, and the high setting gets very hot so you can get stuff nice and browned and reduce liquids very quickly.

 

The texture is better than with the crock pot. 

 

After using it once you'll get how the functionality works.  That part was a tad confusing the very first time, but not ridiculously confusing.  Then it's all about timing.  It comes with a guide to help with that and there are a zillion things on-line.  Only once I overdid it with something.  I managed to burn corn on the cob.  I only did it for 4 minutes and it was burnt!  The mistake was doing it at high pressure.  I should have done it at low, but I didn't bother to look beforehand. 

 

Plus I love the insert because you can put it in the dishwasher. 

 

I got the biggest one they have and with that one I can easily fit in a whole chicken. 

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I got one last month for my birthday, and I haven't used it a ton yet.  I need to force myself to get acquainted!  I'd love it if people would share proven recipes.  :) 

 

I did make this and it was great ...

http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2016/03/01/instant-pot-breakfast-apple-cranberry-steel-cut-oats/

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I got mine in January and don't use it all the time yet -- I really don't enjoy cooking and am trying broaden my horizons :-) -- but the things I make in it so far have been wonderful. I make a fantastic beef stew using my MIL's recipe (ingredients wise) and a beef stew instant pot recipe I find on-line (for the how-to). I've tried baby back ribs that were to die for -- dry BBQ seasoning on the ribs and steamed for about 30 minutes, put in the oven on 450 degrees covered with BBQ sauce for 10 minutes. Turn over and repeat for another 10 minutes. I found this recipe on line and these were fall off the bone. I have steamed baby potatoes that were perfect. I didn't like my first attempt at a pork roast compared to the oven or crock pot, but will try it again. My DH said it was worth the price alone for the beef stew and ribs -- LOL.

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I like taking a big old spaghetti squash, chopping it into fourths, removing the seeds, then standing the quarters up on a low rack in the pot. Add a cup of water, put on the lid, steam (Manual, high) just three minutes and do quick release. Perfect. I use it to cook beets for hubby fast, too. And my steel cut oats, also rice, pork for pulled pork, chicken to shred,more rice, did I mention rice? Ok, we eat a lot of rice. Also taters for mashed taters. But I still use my big old iron pot on the stove for chili, soups, stews since I like using it.

Edited by JFSinIL
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I don't love mine yet but I'm still getting to know it.  The one thing I dislike the most is having to look up directions for anything I want to cook.  I can't seem to remember the basic times and release methods.  I'm sure if I used it more I'd get the hang of it and could cook intuitively.  Right now it seems like more work.

 

So far I've made:

 

hard boiled eggs

rice

meatloaf

chili (has that next day flavor right away)

soups

broth

shredded chicken (from frozen)

ribs

banana bread

squash

Steamed potatoes to mash

 

I haven't tried pasta yet but I think that's next. 

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Pasta cooked in tomato sauce was pretty great. It had the depth of flavor like lasagna. I added a bit of chicken broth to make sure there was enough liquid.

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I got mine almost two years ago and have not really used it. BUT everytime I do, I think wow that was super tasty and easy to clean up. Just need to think about it more when I plan meals.  My kids loved the mac and cheese - one pot clean up - loved that! I made the Kalau pork the other day that someone on here recommended - so good, so, so, so good. I am going to make steel oats this week, if I remember to buy them. Mine was a gift so I do not know how much it cost. My mom got if off QVC.

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I am one who likes my Instant Pot. Made this for dinner tonight: https://callhimyeschef.com/2013/02/19/carnitas-under-pressure/

 

Corn on the cob is so easy in the instant pot and so good! Just trim the bottom of the corn and leave the husks on. Put one cup of water in the bottom of the pot, add the cobs. Manual 4 minutes. Squeeze the corn out when you can handle it, no silk or husks on the corn!

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I am one who likes my Instant Pot. Made this for dinner tonight: https://callhimyeschef.com/2013/02/19/carnitas-under-pressure/

 

Corn on the cob is so easy in the instant pot and so good! Just trim the bottom of the corn and leave the husks on. Put one cup of water in the bottom of the pot, add the cobs. Manual 4 minutes. Squeeze the corn out when you can handle it, no silk or husks on the corn!

That recipe looks really good, how did it turn out?

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I do love mine. I don't use it every day but at least a few times a week. I was somewhat disappointed at first when I tried to make everything with it as some things are better cooked by other methods. I have a friend that uses it for pretty much every meal and it has been a godsend for her, but they generally eat pretty plainly.

Edited by soror
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I am one who likes my Instant Pot. Made this for dinner tonight: https://callhimyeschef.com/2013/02/19/carnitas-under-pressure/

 

Corn on the cob is so easy in the instant pot and so good! Just trim the bottom of the corn and leave the husks on. Put one cup of water in the bottom of the pot, add the cobs. Manual 4 minutes. Squeeze the corn out when you can handle it, no silk or husks on the corn!

Thank you! I've been using the microwave to do this method, but it takes way longer than 4 minutes! Going to try this!

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I don't have an insta-pot brand, but I don't like the way pasta dishes stick in my pressure cooker. Does the IP have a nonstick surface?

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I don't have an insta-pot brand, but I don't like the way pasta dishes stick in my pressure cooker. Does the IP have a nonstick surface?

No it does not.

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I love mine, I probably use it 2-3 times a week. Our favorites are:

 

Carnitas

Mongolian beef

Vietnamese noodle soup (pho)

Thai lemongrass soup

 

It does a fantastic stock, much better than when I do the long, slow method.

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I am a dumper.

 

Whatever I can dump in there and not cook first, I much prefer that!

 

I dump in a full pound of ground turkey, sometimes even frozen, and cook it for sloppy joes, taco meat, chili, pasta (for pasta I haven't tried frozen), and cook away.

 

It breaks apart easy when cooked, so no need to break apart first.  And when I used a crockpot, it called for browning the meat first......nope, not with the IP, I just cook.  Bamm!  Done!

 

It is my new enabler for my lazy cooking ways.

 

But hey, my family gets fed, that is what matters, right?

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Imrich...can you share the Mac and cheese review you made?

It is the one from dad cooks dinner site! It is not a secret:http://dadcooksdinner.com/2013/04/pressure-cooker-macaroni-and-cheese.html/

 

I used to make homemade mac and cheese by taste alone and never used a recipe. I have developed a severe milk allergy and cannot even bear a taste so the recipe above has helped tremendously. 

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I don't have an insta-pot brand, but I don't like the way pasta dishes stick in my pressure cooker. Does the IP have a nonstick surface?

IP has a stainless liner that's dishwasher safe. I've cooked plain pasta and Mac and cheese in mine, and I haven't noticed sticking issues. The cheese goo sticks some just like it does in stovetop Mac and cheese, but it comes out with hot, soapy water. :)

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I am a dumper.

 

Whatever I can dump in there and not cook first, I much prefer that!

 

I dump in a full pound of ground turkey, sometimes even frozen, and cook it for sloppy joes, taco meat, chili, pasta (for pasta I haven't tried frozen), and cook away.

 

It breaks apart easy when cooked, so no need to break apart first.  And when I used a crockpot, it called for browning the meat first......nope, not with the IP, I just cook.  Bamm!  Done!

 

It is my new enabler for my lazy cooking ways.

 

But hey, my family gets fed, that is what matters, right?

 

I just got one. ground turkey is typical fare at out house. How do you do that?

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Off to research the Instant Pot! I am moving into a new home pretty soon and need to replace my crock pot (which I use frequently).

 

Maybe this will be better??

 

Edited by sunflowerlady
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I just got one. ground turkey is typical fare at out house. How do you do that?

 

 

How do I do what?

 

I literally just put in the pound of turkey and dump the rest of the ingredients in there and cook.  I do about 35 min. for frozen and about 25-30 for thawed.

 

I have all the ingredients for sloppy joes, double batch, in the IP right now.  I did thaw 2 pounds overnight of ground turkey, so I will put that in in an hour and do about 30 min. since it is 2 pounds.

 

Don't be afraid to play with it.  If it isn't cooked enough, give it 10 more minutes, it won't hurt it to start it up again.  And it doesn't tend to overcook if you just do 5-10 more than it might actually need.

 

It is kind of dummy proof, which I also need.

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I don't have the IP just a normal electric pressure cooker. I love it! There are a bunch of websites with great info. I find that the meat is tender and moist with this compared to the crock pot. Like others have said, you can saute/brown in the cooker and then add the rest of the ingredients to cook. Super easy. 

 

http://www.hippressurecooking.com/

http://www.pressurecookingtoday.com/

http://nomnompaleo.net/recipeindex/#_=_  Go to the Pressure Cooker/Instant Pot category

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I'm still curious about ground meat in the IP! I know that when I make something like tacos in a pan, I have to fight to break it up into small enough pieces or else I get big lumps of cooked meat. Does this not happen in the IP? It doesn't all just cook into one big rectangle of meat? I'm amazed at the idea, truly. 

 

OK, now I have two more questions.

 

1) Is it easy to convert regular recipes for the IP? For example, I'm thinking of this recipe (which I actually make on the stovetop, since I didn't like how my crock managed the vegetable part), or this one. These are staples around here, and I'd love to use the IP to make them faster an easier, but I'm not sure how I'd do that. 

 

2) Most of the things I see people talking about cooking in the IP are meat-based. If you eat more plant-based meals, do you think the IP would be less useful? Or is it pretty much that the IP makes almost everything easier once you get the hang of it? (Long story short, while we love meat, we're needing to transition to eating less of a it for a variety of reasons.)

 

Thanks for the discussion so far, everyone! I'm pretty much convinced, but I'm stuck on paying full price :( I'm reasonably sure I'm just going to bite the bullet and do it though.

Edited by ILiveInFlipFlops
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I'm still curious about ground meat in the IP! I know that when I make something like tacos in a pan, I have to fight to break it up into small enough pieces or else I get big lumps of cooked meat. Does this not happen in the IP? It doesn't all just cook into one big rectangle of meat? I'm amazed at the idea, truly. 

 

OK, now I have two more questions.

 

1) Is it easy to convert regular recipes for the IP? For example, I'm thinking of this recipe (which I actually make on the stovetop, since I didn't like how my crock managed the vegetable part), or this one. These are staples around here, and I'd love to use the IP to make them faster an easier, but I'm not sure how I'd do that. 

 

2) Most of the things I see people talking about cooking in the IP are meat-based. If you eat more plant-based meals, do you think the IP would be less useful? Or is it pretty much that the IP makes almost everything easier once you get the hang of it? (Long story short, while we love meat, we're needing to transition to eating less of a it for a variety of reasons.)

 

Thanks for the discussion so far, everyone! I'm pretty much convinced, but I'm stuck on paying full price :( I'm reasonably sure I'm just going to bite the bullet and do it though.

 

It does cook in a bit of a clump, but it isn't dry like it is when you brown it by itself, since it is in a sauce, so it crumbles quite easily when you stir it.  Honestly, you should just try it and see what you think.

 

As for your other recipe, someone else will have to address adapting it, we don't really eat bacon, so I don't know how that would do in the IP.

 

I have made spaghetti squash in the IP and the WW 0 point soup, so I know you can do vegetable and non-meat recipes in there.

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I'm still curious about ground meat in the IP! I know that when I make something like tacos in a pan, I have to fight to break it up into small enough pieces or else I get big lumps of cooked meat. Does this not happen in the IP? It doesn't all just cook into one big rectangle of meat? I'm amazed at the idea, truly. 

 

OK, now I have two more questions.

 

1) Is it easy to convert regular recipes for the IP? For example, I'm thinking of this recipe (which I actually make on the stovetop, since I didn't like how my crock managed the vegetable part), or this one. These are staples around here, and I'd love to use the IP to make them faster an easier, but I'm not sure how I'd do that. 

 

2) Most of the things I see people talking about cooking in the IP are meat-based. If you eat more plant-based meals, do you think the IP would be less useful? Or is it pretty much that the IP makes almost everything easier once you get the hang of it? (Long story short, while we love meat, we're needing to transition to eating less of a it for a variety of reasons.)

 

Thanks for the discussion so far, everyone! I'm pretty much convinced, but I'm stuck on paying full price :( I'm reasonably sure I'm just going to bite the bullet and do it though.

 

I wouldn't buy it if you eat mostly plant based.  I really do think it's mostly great for meat.  Some people love it for beans or rice.  I haven't made beans or rice in it yet, but I doubt I would have bought it for just that.

 

In regards to the recipe for the chicken bacon thing...I think you could do that in around 15 minutes in the IP.  I'd do the 15 minutes and check it to see if it needs additional time, but I doubt it.

 

Converting recipes probably becomes easier with practice, but I've asked around on some stuff and it's worked out every time.  And unlike a stove top pressure cooker, you can stop the cooking and you can restart the cooking if need be. 

 

 

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I made bean soup with it, and didn't have to soak the beans. I thought that was fantastic! Also great for whole grains and such. 

 

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I made bean soup with it, and didn't have to soak the beans. I thought that was fantastic! Also great for whole grains and such. 

 

I'm looking forward to trying that.  Not that soaking the beans is so difficult, but it would be so nice to not have to think about doing that. 

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I'm looking forward to trying that.  Not that soaking the beans is so difficult, but it would be so nice to not have to think about doing that. 

 

right. I just NEVER remember. 

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We are plant-based eaters and I use my IP all.the.time. I use it several times a week (sometimes several times in one day) for rice, beans, soup, potatoes, grains. I mainly use the pressure function but I also use it for steaming vegetables. My next project is to learn to make vegan yogurt in it.

 

My favorite use is for cooking beans. I never remembered to soak the beans ahead of time; now there is no need to soak (if you wanted to use the bean broth, I believe you would still need to soak. I always drain the beans so it's not an issue for me). I no longer rely on canned beans, the beans are perfectly cooked and I don't have to watch the pot!

 

If anything happened to my IP, I would replace it immediately...even at full price. I've had mine for two years.

Edited by samba
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I am a dumper.

 

Whatever I can dump in there and not cook first, I much prefer that!

 

I dump in a full pound of ground turkey, sometimes even frozen, and cook it for sloppy joes, taco meat, chili, pasta (for pasta I haven't tried frozen), and cook away.

 

It breaks apart easy when cooked, so no need to break apart first. And when I used a crockpot, it called for browning the meat first......nope, not with the IP, I just cook. Bacmm! Done!

 

It is my new enabler for my lazy cooking ways.

 

But hey, my family gets fed, that is what matters, right?

That is a great idea, what temperature or setting and how long for taco meat? Edited by ElizabethB
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It does cook in a bit of a clump, but it isn't dry like it is when you brown it by itself, since it is in a sauce, so it crumbles quite easily when you stir it.  Honestly, you should just try it and see what you think.

 

As for your other recipe, someone else will have to address adapting it, we don't really eat bacon, so I don't know how that would do in the IP.

 

 

Amazing. I'd love to not have to stand over taco meat, poking and prodding and scraping for 10 minutes!

 

I didn't even think about the bacon, actually. I'm sure that would have to be done the traditional way in order to be crispy. Although, hmmm. The sear feature might work to make it crispy if it's already chopped. I'll have to play around with it.

 

  

right. I just NEVER remember.

 

Same here. That would be a welcome feature!  

 

We are plant-based eaters and I use my IP all.the.time. I use it several times a week (sometimes several times in one day) for rice, beans, soup, potatoes, grains. I mainly use the pressure function but I also use it for steaming vegetables. My next project is to learn to make vegan yogurt in it.

Thank you! It will definitely get used for beans and lentils, but I didn't think of things like soup and potatoes. If you figure out the yogurt, will you post it here?

 

I wish Amazon had this thing for same day shipping!

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One of those links I posted has a whole section about converting recipes. Both of your recipes can be converted or you can search for one similar to what you do and then just tweak the recipe to your needs.

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That is a great idea, what temperature or setting and how long for taco meat?

 

 

High for 35 minutes, allowing it to slow release.  But that was for 2 pounds.

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I don't have an insta-pot brand, but I don't like the way pasta dishes stick in my pressure cooker. Does the IP have a nonstick surface?

 

I have two pressure cookers, the one with non-stick insert has scratched up . The Instant pot stainless steel insert is really nice and heavy duty.  Much nicer quality and cleans up great.

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I am just starting to really use my IP. I love that It does not heat my house up. We have a gas stove so even cooking on the stove top makes the house so hot....not to mention the oven! I love the sauté option as well as being able to throw chicken in the pot and have it finished in half an hour! I will try tacos in pressure....I have just sautéed the meat but that is standing over the pot...to dump and cook would be so nice.....so you put the taco seasoning in wih the meat! Then stir to break up and mix?

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Agree about it not heating up the house. Even with the A/C running it's 81 in the house this time of year by mid afternoon. 

 

I kind of think of it as a crock pot for people who aren't good at planning ahead, lol. 

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I don't really like mine.  I find that the food I cook traditionally is SO much better.  Hugely.  My IRL friends that love it did not really cook prior to purchasing an IP, so they are thrilled that they are finally cooking real meals.  I have always cooked, and I find that traditional cooking methods just taste so, so, so much better.  The only thing that is comparable so far is beans.

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That recipe looks really good, how did it turn out?

 

It was yummy! The rest of my family thought the meat had too much fat on it. So, if I were to make it again, I guess I would use a leaner cut - not sure which that might be since I'm not a big pork eater.

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I don't really like mine.  I find that the food I cook traditionally is SO much better.  Hugely.  My IRL friends that love it did not really cook prior to purchasing an IP, so they are thrilled that they are finally cooking real meals.  I have always cooked, and I find that traditional cooking methods just taste so, so, so much better.  The only thing that is comparable so far is beans.

 

Oh, I think cooking in the oven or skillet usually will taste better. Its about saving time....4 hours for my oven baked stew versus less than an hour. That kind of thing. Its for those of us with poor planning skills, who look up and realize it is 4pm and dinner isn't started. 

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Thank you! I've been using the microwave to do this method, but it takes way longer than 4 minutes! Going to try this!

It will take longer than 4 minutes because it has to come to pressure before the 4 minutes begin.

 

I cooked 20 corn on the cobs yesterday in three batches this way.

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I don't really like mine.  I find that the food I cook traditionally is SO much better.  Hugely.  My IRL friends that love it did not really cook prior to purchasing an IP, so they are thrilled that they are finally cooking real meals.  I have always cooked, and I find that traditional cooking methods just taste so, so, so much better.  The only thing that is comparable so far is beans.

 

 

Do you mean NOT dumping?

 

:lol:

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