If you ordered an electric pressure cooker last week and it’s still in the box, it’s time to break that bad boy out and get it started. I’m going to give you two of the easiest recipes in the history of the world to help you get some experience and confidence with your new InstantPot. (If you have a different brand of electric pressure cooker, ALL of these strategies will work too…I just don’t have one so I don’t know what your buttons and such are called. The basic premises are the same though, so yours will work in a similar fashion, I promise. Please excuse that terminology may be a little different.)
First, open it up, clean everything, and read the manual. They’ll tell you to run a water test at the beginning to be sure it reaches pressure appropriately. This also helps sterilize the inside of the pot, so it’s a good idea. Simply add 1C of water to the instant pot, set to Manual (it’ll default to high, which is fine), and adjust the time using the -/+ buttons until you get to 5 mins. Be sure the knob on the top of the cooker is turned to “seal.”
The 5 minute timer will start after the pot has reached pressure. While it’s building pressure, the pot will read “ON.” This time does not count towards the cooking time. You’ll know it has successfully reached pressure when the silver float valve rises and blocks off all the steam. Shortly thereafter the timer should start counting down. When it’s finished, you’ll do a quick release (listed in recipes as QR). That means that you open it immediately instead of letting the pot naturally release pressure on its own for a while. QR produces lots of steam, so when you switch the valve on the tope of the cooker to “vent,” be sure your face and body aren’t above the valve because the steam is pretty dramatic and intense. Once it stops steaming, you can twist the lid to open it. Dump the water and let’s make eggs!
Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs use the 6-6-6 Method (I don’t like the name either).
Put the trivet in the pot with 1 C of water. (if you have a silicone colander or metal steaming basket, this would be a great time to use those. If not, no big deal, Just put the egg down on the trivet. I KNOW you can do a dozen at a time like this. According to InstantPot-ers on the internet, you can do a lot more than that without adjusting the time, but 12 is the most I’ve tried so far.
Set them on Manual (it will default to high, which is fine) and use the -/+ to adjust the time to 6 minutes. Be sure the valve on the top is set to “seal” and walk away. 🙂 It’ll reach pressure then start counting down from 6. When it does, you’re going to let it naturally release for 6 minutes. That means don’t open the valve immediately to let the steam out like we did for the water test. This is called NPR in recipes or “natural pressure release.” Typically, the pot needs around 10-15 minutes to release pressure totally. For this recipe, we will only let it go for 6 minutes, so there will be some built-up steam when you open it after 6 minutes, but it’ll be noticeably less than when we did the QR a minute ago. After you release the steam, open the lid and CAREFULLY remove the eggs. If you used a steamer basket or colander, this will be a little easier. If they’re in the bottom of on the trivet, reach down and get them with a dish towel or pot holder. Immediately transfer all the eggs to an ice bath and set a timer for 6 minutes. Once it goes off, peel them. They’ll literally peel the most easily you’ve ever seen. Be careful not to leave them in the ice bath for too long. The shells turn brittle and are more difficult to peel. (learned that tidbit the hard way for ya)
The other thing I think you should try because it’s crazy-easy and delicious is shrimp. I used two 14 oz bags of jumbo peel-and-eat shrimp from Aldi. Put 1/2C apple cider vinegar and 1/2C water into a clean pot. Add a generous shake of creole seasoning (you can use Old Bay or Tony Chachere’s). I used somewhere between 1tsp and 1tbsp. Close the pot, be sure the valve is set to “seal” and set it on manual for 2 mins. When it’s finished, QR (with your face far away from the valve) and your shrimp will be perfect.
Try these out and let me know what you think. I hope all those pressure cookers are out of the box by the end of the weekend. 😉 I didn’t use mine for a while because I was kind of lost and intimidated. I want to make sure you’re more comfortable than I was. Leave me a comment about how your first pressure cooker endeavor goes. I’m excited to hear about it!
If you don’t have an electric pressure cooker yet, here’s the one I have: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FLYWNYQ?creativeASIN=B00FLYWNYQ&linkCode=w00&linkId=SFUVYX3UAPUM7BFY&ref_=as_sl_pc_qf_sp_asin_til&tag=myma032-20
And here’s a similar model without the yogurt function for $87 (regular $213)…