If you're one of the approximately bazillion people who was gifted with an Instant Pot over the holidays, you're probably obsessing about all the new and exciting ways it can make your life easier. After all, that's the whole point of the multipurpose electric device, which slow cooks, pressure cooks, steams, slices, dices... okay, it doesn't really slice or dice, but you get the point. These contraptions have a lot to offer — in fact, maybe even more than you realize. So what are some of the most surprising things you can make in your Instant Pot?
When we think of Instant Pots, we tend to think of dishes like chili or stew or soup. But they're great for grains — from risotto to quinoa to couscous and even oats — and an easy way to make casseroles or dips, too. Fans swear by them for favorites from fajitas and mashed potatoes. Still, these gadgets might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you're browsing Insta for dessert ideas or simple snack hacks. And that's just a shame, because there are definitely lots of ways to use your Instant Pot that don't fall under the category of dinner. (Speaking of dinner, there also happen to be plenty of recipes for Instant Pot meals that you might have thought were impossible to prepare anywhere but a traditional oven.) Here are some amazing out-of-the-box ideas for your Instant Pot that are sure to inspire you!
1. 'Rotisserie' chicken
One could argue, of course, that a rotisserie chicken isn't a rotisserie chicken if it's not cooked on an actual rotisserie, but that's a very silly argument when you can make an absolutely beautiful rotisserie-esque bird in 30 minutes (not counting the time it takes for the cooker to reach pressure and release pressure, which could take an additional 30 to 40 minutes). This recipe at Cooking with Curls is also Whole 30 and Paleo appropriate, if you're into those things.
2. Hard boiled eggs
If impossible-to-peel hard boiled eggs are one of your pet peeves, then you'll be relieved to hear that the Instant Pot is known for its ability to produce easy-peeling hard (and soft) boiled eggs every time. Following this method from skinnytaste.com, you'll never lose half your egg with the peel again!
3. Corn on the cob
If you love corn on the cob but hate accidentally boiling the flavor away (and only pull your grill out during barbecue weather), toss some ears in your Instant Pot! You'll get expertly prepared maize in just 16 minutes (including prep time).
Until now, the prospect of making homemade yogurt might have seemed like way too much effort and waiting (as in, overnight). Yogurt from scratch in your Instant Pot will still take awhile (like, 8 to 10 hours), but there aren't quite as many steps and there's a more narrow margin of error, too!
You don't need old-school preserving expertise to make impressively authentic marmalade in your Instant Pot — and you don't need hours of time to devote to simmering orange peels, either; in fact, you can get the whole job done in about 30 minutes (depending on how long it takes you to slice). This recipe from Every Nook and Cranny looks toast-worthy and then some!
Microwave popcorn is passé and air poppers are... well, they're sort of full of hot air, if you know what we mean. Make movie theater level popcorn in 2 to 3 minutes in your Instant Pot and you'll never buy the pre-popped variety again!
7. Dried beans
We all know the flavor of dried beans is far superior to the canned variety, but seriously — who has time for all that soaking? You do, now that you're an IP owner: It only takes 2 to 6 minutes to quick soak beans in an Instant Pot!
Yes, your pressure cooker can help you achieve delectable desserts, too. The quest for an exquisitely creamy homemade cheesecake can feel like a thankless one, but Instant Pot bakers are raving about the textures they can achieve in this sometimes finicky dessert (cuts down on baking time, too!).
This Italian staple once seemed a tedious affair filled with many steps (and pots), but making lasagna doesn't have to take all afternoon — or include the risk of cooking unevenly (undercooked patch of noodle, anyone?). This Instant Pot lasagna recipe is said to be foolproof!
10. Hard lotion bar
Save yourself some serious coin on artisanal, organic lotion bars (yes, hard bars of lotion) and make your very own in an... Instant Pot? Yup! (They're not just for food anymore, you guys.) Plus, the scent and flavor of your hard lotion bars is all up to you!
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