Sarah has been telling me for months that I should make this post. Today, I'm finally getting around to it (prompted, in part, by the fact that she went ahead and made her own post on her own blog). I started getting interested in pressure cooking when I was in Afghanistan, and watched our part-time cook turn tough, chewy meat into delicious meals for us. When I got home, I got a stove top pressure cooker and started using it regularly. Sarah tried using it a couple of times, but didn't like how much you had to supervise it during cooking and didn't like the noise it made and was just generally not a big fan of it. So last year, I bought her an Instant Pot. I figured I'd still use the stove top one and she would use the Instant Pot. Except, that's not quite how it turned out. We both ended up falling in love with the Instant Pot, and it gets used at least once a week and usually closer to 3-4 times a week still, a year later. Several of our friends and family have bought Instant Pots or received them as gifts over the last year, and the most common questions I get are, "What should I make? What cookbook(s) should I buy? How do I even use this thing!??" In an attempt to answer all of those questions, here are several links to various recipes, sites, and one cookbook. I hope this is as helpful for you as it will be for me when I can just give people this link instead of typing it all up again. :)
I'm really only going to recommend one, because it's that good. I'll freely admit my bias because the cookbook was written by my cousin Coco, but it's also authorized by Instant Pot and a best-seller on Amazon. It has some great basic directions for how to use the Instant Pot, and quite a few amazing recipes. The Plum Chile Chicken is probably my favorite, but the pulled pork adobo that I recently blogged about is a very close second. Click the picture below to go to the Amazon page to order it!
General techniques and cooking times:
Beyond what's in Coco's cookbook, Hip Pressure Cooking's site has a wealth of information about cooking times and how to adjust recipes from stovetop pressure cooker to Instant Pot or other electric pressure cookers (the high pressure setting on the electric pressure cookers is generally 12 psi, whereas stovetop models go to 15 psi). They also have a new Pressure Cooking School video series (and some good recipes, but I'll get to those in a minute!).
OK already, give us the recipes!
Pressure cooking really is so versatile, that there are an amazing number of great recipes out there. Here are a few of our favorites, and a few links to sites that have never let me down.
- Hard (or soft or medium) boiled eggs: Pressure-cooked eggs are fantastic, not because they save much time but because they're super easy to peel even if they're fresh eggs.
- Meatloaf with Cheddar Smashed Potatoes and Carrots: A surprisingly simple one-pot meal.
- NomNomPaleo's Kalua Pig: This is so easy, and so good. And freezes really well. Did I mention it only has 5 ingredients? I make this regularly and find things to put pulled pork in because it's so easy.
- NomNomPaleo's Vietnamese Beef Stew: The prep on this one takes a little longer than most of the other recipes here, but it's worth it. One of our favorite stews.
- Grilled Pressure Cooked Chicken Adobo: On a family vacation this summer, I made the Kalua pig recipe above and this recipe on my two nights to cook. These two recipes convinced two of my sisters to go out and get Instant Pots. The grilling step only takes a few minutes at the end, and adds a really nice flavor to the chicken.
- NomNomPaleo's Braised Kale and Carrots: So, obviously, I like recipes from NomNomPaleo. This one has converted several people to liking kale. I like to double the carrots and also add chopped sun-dried tomatoes and some sort of protein (pulled pork, smoked chicken, and sausage are the most common around here) to make this a full meal instead of just a side dish.
- Serious Eats' Texas-style Chili con Carne: One of the great things about a pressure cooker is it takes food that is generally better the next day (chili, stew, curry, etc.) and makes them that good on day one. This is a fantastic recipe, and the chili is ready in about an hour.
- Chicken Bacon Lentil Stew: One of our recent favorites. Any recipe that can get my kids to eat lentils is a win in my book.
- Hasselback Pork Roast: Easier than it looks, I promise.
- Shredded Italian Beef: the hardest part of this recipe is chopping the peppers, and that isn't really that hard. Simple and delicious, one of those recipes where you look at the ingredients, taste it again, and can't believe it has that much flavor.
- Serious Eats' Green Chili with Chicken: Another fantastic recipe from Serious Eats.
- "Butter Chicken": This is not a traditional butter chicken recipe, but rather one that's been modified for Whole30 and for pressure cooking. When I made it, I left out the cilantro and almonds and added 1 tablespoon of the suggested tamarind paste. It's incredibly good, and simple, but not really butter chicken.
More places to find recipes:
- The pressure cooker section at Serious Eats is fantastic, especially the recipes by J. Kenji López-Alt.
- The pressure cooker section of my blog is pretty good as well.
- NomNomPaleo's Instant Pot section is great.
- Hip Pressure Cooking has a lot of great recipes.
- If you're looking for a Facebook group with a ton of great recipes, my cousin also is the administrator of the Instant Pot Recipes group.
That's it for now, hope it's helpful!