Sunday, February 11, 2018

Under pressure

Back in September or so, I succumbed to the hype and bought an InstantPot.

It's been a revelation.

At the moment, I've a six pound turkey breast cooking. Mix soft butter with various herbs, salt and pepper and smoosh (technical cooking term, that - "smoosh") it around between the skin and the meat. Put it in the pot, along with 1 -2 cups of chicken broth.

Here's the fun part - the cooking time. It is cooked at high pressure, for thirty minutes.

Thirty minutes.

Even allowing for fifteen minutes to come to pressure, and about the same for a natural pressure release when the cooking is complete, that is still a substantial improvement over the 1 1/2 to 2 hours for a comparable size breast made in the oven (plus the twenty minutes or more it takes my oven to preheat - cannot wait to get rid of it!).

There are trade-offs for the time improvement, though. Pressure cooking is basically cooking with steam. You simply will not get a crispy skin on, well, anything that is cooked in a pressure cooker. It's a quick fix, though, if you simply transfer the bird to a roasting pan and run it under the broiler for five minutes or so. If you are one of those people who avoid eating poultry skin at all costs, well, it doesn't really matter.

This is the third turkey breast I've done in the last eight weeks. One was for a party at work. Today's is destined in part to be put in gravy with onions and mushrooms, then poured on top of a baked potato for lunches this next week. Some of the remainder will be chopped and frozen to use in soup at some point, while a bit will be today's lunch and perhaps tomorrow dinner.

Cook once, eat a lot is my motto.

I've been using this cookbook, or this one. Chicken breast is cooked up for shredding for soup in no time, without drying out. Stew is wonderful, veggies are a dream (I cook several bunches of broccoli florets on Sunday - one minute in the InstantPot cooks them to perfect tender-but-firm - and reheat servings as needed through the week, or do the same with cauliflower or green beans).

The InstantPot is actually a multi function unit. In addition to pressure cooking, it works as a saute pan (brown your roast in the same pot you will slow cook it in!), a slow cooker, yogurt maker and rice cooker. The rice, by the way, is not only perfectly cooked, but slides right out of the pot with no sticking.

Yep, I'm a fan.

The pot just beeped at me, letting me know the pressure cycle is done. Cannot wait to taste that turkey.


melissa said...

Have seen them and folks at church are fans. Might have to indulge one day. You've convinced me. :)

melissa said...

Have seen them and folks at church are fans. Might have to indulge one day. You've convinced me. :)

Diane said...

It truly is awesome. Love that I can throw meat in from frozen, on the days I forget to take something out to thaw, and still cook it in a reasonable amount of time. It's also great for cooking beans - much faster. They don't recommend it for pasta, though I've seen a lot of recipes. You can go all fancy, too, with mini cake pans and make cheesecake, breakfast casseroles and the like.