A pressure cooker — commonly known by the popular brand name of Instant Pot — is a game changer when it comes to quickly whipping up delicious dishes in the kitchen. In the last few years, it’s become all the rage, securing its spot on gift wish lists.
I have found that pressure cooking meals eliminates a lot of time for me. When I’m working out in the garden, I don’t always remember to thaw meat from the freezer. With my Instant Pot I can cook a frozen roast in about an hour, depending on the size/weight. Rice, beans, chili, and stews take less time and energy to prepare than traditional cooking on a stovetop. Some of my favorite items to pressure cook are beef and pork roasts, whole chicken and eggs, but I use the pressure cooker for so much more!
Here are 3 reasons why you, too, should own a pressure cooker. I’ve also included 3 easy and quick pressure cooker recipes to get you started!
How does a pressure cooker work?
But first… how exactly does a pressure cooker work?
A pressure cooker relies on the power of steam. As the chamber seals in steam and doesn’t allow for evaporation, this increases the pressure and heat within the pot, which shortens cooking time significantly. Don’t let the term “pressure cooker” make you think of images of exploding appliances — today’s pressure cookers are as safe to use as any other kitchen appliance.
Why use a pressure cooker in the first place?
1. Save hours of cook time.
The biggest benefit of using a pressure cooker? Saving time!
Fear there’s just no way something cooked quickly can capture the complex flavor profile of a dish? Think again. Because of the lack of evaporation during cooking, the pressure cooker is able to extract deeper flavors. So you can enjoy the same delicious dish without the hours of waiting.
2. Cook without thawing.
Is there anything worse than getting home after a long day and realizing you forgot to put the meat out to thaw? Already your tummy is rumbling, and now you’ve got the extra step of thawing meat.
But with a pressure cooker, you get to skip this step altogether. Yes — you can pressure cook frozen food without losing the flavor or texture! For busy cooks, this is a lifesaver.
3. Save energy and — in turn — money.
Because you’re cutting down multiple hours of cooking time, you’re saving energy which, in turn, saves you money on your bills.
Try out these pressure cooker recipes.
Have we convinced you to purchase your own pressure cooker yet? If not, maybe these recipes will be the final push you need to make the dive into experimenting with a pressure cooker!
Juicy carnitas coming right up — and only in an hour’s time. This beats waiting 6 – 7 hours for pork to cook in a crockpot!
- 1 (6 pound) pork butt roast
- 1 ½ tablespoons salt
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon chile powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, or more to taste
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1 onion, coarsely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, diced, or more to taste
Instant Pot Lasagna
Lasagna — in a pressure cooker? Yes! Pressure cookers aren’t only for meats and soups. You can make a wide variety of dishes, like pasta, and still appreciate the time-saving benefits!
- 8 (160g – 200g) oven-ready lasagna noodles
- 2 cups (150g – 180g) Mozzarella cheese , shredded in large pieces
- ¼ cup (30g – 40g) Parmesan cheese , grated
- 2.5 – 3 cups (600g – 750g) meat sauce
- Salt + pepper to taste
Ricotta Cheese Mixture:
- ¾ cup (200g) Ricotta cheese
- 1 teaspoon (1g) Italian seasoning
- 1 large egg
- ⅓ teaspoon kosher salt
Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala
Don’t let the ingredient list fool you into thinking this is a complicated, time-consuming recipe. You can enjoy chicken tikka masala in less than an hour with this recipe!
- 1 1/2 pounds chicken breast, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 2 tablespoons garam masala, divided
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
- 2 tablespoons ghee, or unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped onion
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup chicken stock, or water
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
- 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
- 1 dash cayenne, or to taste
- 1 cup heavy cream, or coconut cream
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, optional
Local to Middle Tennessee? Join us for a sustainable living class!
We offer many sustainable living classes — from canning to gardening to everything in between — through the year right here at Stoney Creek Farm in Franklin, TN.
Our upcoming Instant Pot Cooking Class is sold out, but if you’re interested in us adding another Instant Pot class to the calendar, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know!