Saturday, January 6, 2018

New gadgets...are they a "need" or a "want"?

January 6th and I am just getting around to my first post for 2018. I think I have expended most of my energy trying to keep warm. Jeff and I have taken this slow time of year to finish the drywall in the studio and get it painted. I will leave that story for it's own post later in the month. Today I am going to talk about kitchen gadgets, not pottery. Although there will be a photo of one of my favorite bowls at the end.
Everyone on Facebook has been talking about the Instant Pot (IP). Even the NY Times food writer Melissa Clark wrote about it. In case you have somehow missed it, it's an electronic pressure cooker that can also be used as a slow cooker. There is a saute feature that allows you to saute your veggies or brown meats before using the pressure cooker or slow cooker functions.

Last fall I REALLY wanted one.
When Amazon had a one day special on them, I ALMOST bought one.

Jeff and I always discuss purchases, especially if they are close to or over, $100. He asked me if I "needed it" or just "wanted it." He mentioned that I already own a stove top pressure cooker and a slow cooker. It was definitely a "want." I really didn't want to find a place to store it either. Instead I decided that I should try to utilize my stove top cooker more often. For the past 30 years I have really only used it for veggies. Mostly green beans, winter squash, rutabaga & carrots.

Last night I decided to try an IP recipe for a creamy wild rice chicken soup, that was shared on Facebook, in my stove top pressure cooker.



I used the same cooking time and pressure reducing method that the recipe stated and the only thing I would change next time, is to cut my carrots bigger, because we like them a little firmer.


Once the vegetables, rice, chicken and chicken stock, have been cooked under pressure, the pot goes back on the stove and the milk/cream is added.


Served with a crusty bread on very cold night, it was a delicious and quick meal! I am now going to search for other recipes to try. I know that some people are afraid of pressure cookers, but they are have a relief valve now, eliminating the potential for it to blow up like your grandmother's pressure cooker. I have had this one for more than 20 years, and have occasionally replaced the seals and more recently the "rocker" valve on the top. Parts are available online and are relatively inexpensive.

I welcome comments from anyone with an IP or an old style pressure cooker. I would love to hear about your experiences or favorite recipes.


7 comments:

  1. I was just talking with my step-daughter about the IP. Like many others, she loves hers. I also have a small pressure cooker like yours, and have not used it very much. You've convinced me I don't need an IP, and to make better use of my small pressure cooker. Now I'll be in search of IP recipes to adapt & experiment with. Thanks, Michele!

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    1. If my slow cooker ever needs replacing, then I might think about an IP. I am also going to try some recipes that came with my pressure cooker. I really only used the book to look up veggie cooking times. Not sure I ever looked at the recipes in it.

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  2. That is a gorgeous bowl in the last photo, it looks so lovely with the bread and soup. A feast for the eyes as well as for the tum! It is funny about gadgets... Why is it that there really need to be new models of printers, phones, tablets, laptops, phones that are watches and watches that are phones.... eeeeeek! Amazing what can be done in a humble and simple pressure cooker. My granny occasionally decorated the kitchen ceiling with hers when a split pea got stuck in the safety valve, but other than occasional drama it was very useful!

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    1. Keep it simple is usually best. Split pea drama, lol. I think my mother made her pea soup in the pressure cooker as well.

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  3. It is like you are reading my mind. My sister brought her IP down for us to use over New Years, I am not sold. I have never been a crock pot person, personally they do nothing for me, the only real use I found was that they are great at keeping mashed potatoes warm for a crowd. I have found that most recipes will adapt over to the oven. I can start a soup on the stove, transfer to the oven at a low temp. and you have a slow cooker right there. I slow cook ribs, beef stew and other thing in the oven while we work and then we have dinner ready to go. Plus I don't want one more thing to store. I have a good cooktop pressure cooker and do use it.

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    1. Great idea to keep mashed potatoes warm in the slow cooker. I will have to remember that next Thanksgiving.

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  4. OH MAN...KITCHEN GADGETS. My weakness. Electric woks and waffle-makers and hot dog steamers, oh my! I have not one but TWO back-up coffee machines (one makes just four cups, who could resist??) I just broke a much-used quesadilla maker so I have a new quest.

    I don't have a pressure cooker, though - they make me nervous.

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