So everyone is raving about these new instant pot things. I was skeptical at first. I love my crock-pot. My crock-pot and I have a very intimate, loving, and reliable relationship and how dare you for even insinuating that anything could replace that. But the more I heard and the more I read about these instant pot things, the more interested I became.
The last straw was when my parents got one and gave it the “so far so good!” rating. So now I needed one obviously. I mean if it can catch even the mild approval of any one of my parents- it might be worth it. But also- I cannot have my parents out-trend me. I cant let that happen. Luckily, this all happened just in time for them to get me one for my birthday! So…I am brand new to this and I can’t wait to share this new endeavor with you-even if it’s a disaster! Or wait. Especially if it’s a disaster!
So what is an Instant pot, anyway?
My Instant Pot, simply put, is 7 kitchen appliances in one. Electric pressure cooker, rice cooker, yogurt maker, slow cooker, steamer, saute pan, and a warming pot all tumbled into one. It comes with 14 built-in programs, a keep-warm feature for in between cooking and serving, and has a delay start option. Pretty fancy, right? It also isn’t huge and bulky and I have room to store it in my pantry!
But will I use it?
How many of you have ever bought something thinking it would make life easier only for it to collect dust in a dark lonely corner of your home? Yeah, me too. Namely-my juicer. I don’t even know how to put that together. Actually I don’t even think it’s mine. Or what about the waffle maker? I actually have two. That are both covered in dust.
Or… what about choosing not to learn something new- thinking that it takes too much time to learn…?
Now would be a good time for me to point out that although some things take time- the time is going to pass anyway. Might as well do it. I am not saying an instant pot is going to turn you from a “I-use-my-kitchen-to-unwrap-takeout” person to a modern day Betty Crocker Not even the best of appliances can do that. But I do know that anything that will save me time, save me money, or save me space is probably worth a second glance.
I Bought one. Now what?
Well, then, there are a few easy peasy things you will have to do once you take it out of the box.
- Give the inner pot, the lid, and the steaming rack a quick scrub down.
- Click the condensation collector into place, and place the steam release handle into position on the lid.
Next you will want to do a test run to make sure everything works properly. I would recommend doing the test run in a pressure cooking program with the quick release option because the first time you use the pressure release can be a little nerve-racking!
- Pour 3 cups of water into the inner pot.
- Click the lid into place and turn the steam release handle to “sealing” position
- Connect power cord (screen should display “off”) and select a pressure cooking program and using the +/- buttons set to desired time (I used 2 minutes for my test run).
- The screen will display “on” until the desired temperature and pressure have been reached at which point the cycle will begin.
- When the cooking has completed, the cooker will beep and if your keep warm option is on the screen will display “keep warm”
- Now for the fun part- pressure release! Turn the steam release handle to the “venting” position and hold until the float valve drops down. It will come out fast and hot. And if you are like me it will be accompanied by a minor panic attack while thinking “I am clearly doing this wrong” followed by frantically re-reading the directions again only to find out I am in fact doing it right…and repeating until the valve does indeed go down. Just like the directions said it would. Of course.
If you are still intimidated- Here’s a short video
How do I clean it?
I don’t know. I probably will never do this.
In case you aren’t already convinced that Instant Pot will make your life easier- now is the time I break the news to you.
All the parts are dishwasher safe.
Yep. And if you spill some food debris in the exterior pot- just wipe down with a cloth and dish soap. Always check that the sealing ring is in the proper position and that the steam release valve is free of debris. ( I don’t say this from experience. It’s in gigantic letters in the user manual)
So now that you are all set up- let’s get cooking!
Instant Pot BBQ Chicken- For the Beginner
So we figured out how to get started with the Instant Pot in a total of about 10 minutes. If you missed that teaching moment, here it is. Seemed easy enough. After reading a few recipes on instant pot chicken wings and such we decided to give it a whirl. I mean BBQ chicken is really hard to ruin. Make chicken and dump BBQ sauce on it. Done. Or if you are married to a grill master, as I am, it’s even harder to ruin. Just hand it to him. And if it does somehow get ruined then it won’t even be your fault!
Instant Pot BBQ Chicken Recipe
So, for our first Instant Pot experience we made this very easy BBQ chicken. We used a variety of chicken thighs, legs, and wings for a total of 8 pieces because that’s what we had on deck but it could certainly work with just about any skin-on chicken. It truly worked like a charm. If you try it, let me know what you think!!
- 8 pcs thawed chicken (we used variety of thing wing and legs)
- One white onion finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic finely chopped
- 1 Tsp Cayenne pepper
- 1 Tsp Seasoned salt
- 1 Tsp Garlic powder
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup BBQ sauce of choice (Sweet Baby Ray’s for us)
- ¼ cup water
First we Sauté
- Pour olive oil and the chopped garlic into the inner pot. Set the Instant pot to Sauté
- When garlic is fragrant add the chopped onion
- Once the onions are translucent place the chicken, seasoned salt, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper in the pot
- Brown all sides of the chicken. You may have to do this in stages and rotate the chicken in and out depending on how much chicken you have. I was able to fit all of mine in there at once.
Then we Cook
- Press cancel then program the instant pot to “pressure cook” and make sure it is on the “high pressure” option. Set the timer for 12 minutes.
- Cover the chicken in BBQ sauce and add ¼ cup of water
- Make sure the steam is set to “sealing” and lock the lid
- When the timer rings use the quick release method to release all of the pressure and serve