Do you like it when your pots do fancy things? Do you bite your nails and pace your kitchen wondering whether or not to use your pressure cooker at the last minute, or to let something simmer unsupervised, hoping it won’t burn or blow up or congeal into a goo while you’re away at work all day? Well, decisions are hard, but at least there’s one pot that will do both slow and fast cooking. But not at the same time, because that’s some H.G. Wells shit right there.
I was searching Amazon for the world’s best crockpot to simmer some breakfast meat while I sleep. Because I’ve recently discovered I have an allergy to eggs, I now need to readjust my idea of acceptable breakfast foods (according to my hero Sarah Fragoso). Unfortunately, eggs are the nation’s appointed go-to breakfast protein, so I have to eat dinner for breakfast unless I want a day filled with gut-wrenching pain and diarrhea—or conversely, starvation. I hate diarrhea and I hate starving, so InstantPot to the rescue!
I used to have a ban on crockpots, but I can’t for the life of me remember why. Not remembering why I boycotted them is convenient, because now I really need one. I went to my trusty buddy, amazon.com, to find the world’s best slow cooker, and to read all the hilarious reviews about how crockpots either failed consumers or were the best thing ever. That is where I found this holy grail of kitchen appliances. It was a little ‘spencer, but can you really put a price on not having gut-wrenching diarrhea or starvation? That’s how I explained it to Matt, who does not have an egg allergy, but who does in fact also hate diarrhea and starvation.
So here’s the deal with the InstantPot: It’s made in Canada I think, by Canadians. Or possibly it’s made in China and just touted as a trusty Canadian product. Everybody trusts Canadians; they never lie, so either way that’s a great marketing strategy. There are lots of buttons and pre-programmed options on the face of InstantPot and the hardware is stainless steel. No poisonous teflon or Paula Deen butter-coating technology anywhere. There are videos on the InstantPot website that pretty much tell you everything you need to know about how to use InstantPot, but it’s also self-explanatory. If you want to slow-cook something, just push the slow-cook button and tell the InstantPot how long you would like to cook the shit out of some breakfast meat. Pressure cooking is just as easy, and I assume it’s safer because Canadians are paragons of safety.
InstantPot is amazing because it also has several modes for browning/stir-frying, steaming (it comes with a vegetable steamer), rice cooking, and babysitting. Just kidding—it won’t watch your rotten kids. But you could sell like five kitchen appliances at a yard sale and replace them all with one InstantPot.
Here’s a recipe for breakfast meat that can be made in either a pressure cooker, or a slow cooker, or in one InstantPot:
Get some meat:
2 lbs. pork shoulder, or chicken breasts, or whatever meat you like.
Get some fruit and other ingredients:
2 apples, cored and sliced (blueberries, peaches, and plums are also good, but NOT BANANAS.)
1 onion, sliced
1 cup stock/broth OR water
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
Put everybody in the pool before you go to bed and slow-cook for 8-10 hours on low. Or get up early and pressure-cook that business for 30 minutes. Throw your meat on top of some salad and have breakfast!
List price: $219