These Are Our Food Editors' Favorite Ways to Use the Instant Pot
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There's no sign of the Instant Pot craze dying down anytime soon. The multicooker has the ability to sauté, make yogurt or porridge, operate as a slow cooker, rice cooker, or pressure cooker, and steam. While the Instant Pot can cook everything from cheesecake to pulled pork, we were curious what our food editors think are the best uses for this appliance.
Assistant food editor Riley Wofford likes to use the Instant Pot for cooking big pieces of meat. "Something that would spend all day braising away in the oven can be done in about two hours in the Instant Pot. Some of my favorite recipes are Instant Pot Carnitas, Instant Pot Corned Beef, and Instant Pot Brisket," says Riley. Senior food editor Lauryn Tyrell agrees. "I think for a big cut of meat like short ribs or pork shoulder, it's really magical," she says.
In addition to cooking and tenderizing big cuts of meat, Riley also likes to use the Instant Pot for chili (our Instant Pot Turkey Chili is a winner!). "You get all the concentrated flavors when you pressure cook in about half the time you would need for simmering on the stove," she says.
Both Lauryn and Riley are fans of using the multicooker to make Instant Pot Chicken Broth and beans using the pressure cooker function—"Making a really rich chicken broth in 25 minutes is pretty awesome," says Lauryn.
Another favorite is Instant Pot Yogurt, which Riley likes because the yogurt stays "at the correct temperature while it incubates, so you don’t risk curdling it." A half-cup of the store-bought kind serves as a starter for an eight-cup batch that cooks overnight. Divvy it up into reusable glass jars for a week's worth of breakfasts or snacks you can top off any way you like.
As far as dessert goes, Riley has only found success with cheesecake. "Creamy desserts that require steam to cook (cheesecake, custards of any kind) were sort of built for the Instant Pot, but I've had one too many disasters trying to make cake with it."
Our food editors do believe that some recipes are better left for a traditional stovetop method. "Things that need a lot of evaporation like a stew or ragu are better on a stovetop because I like the low and slow, gradual caramelization. I don't see the point in using it for things that don't take very long to do in the first place," says Lauryn. So despite the popularity of recipes for mashed potatoes, risotto, or hard boiled eggs, they stick to a simple pot on the stove for those tried-and-true classics.