Skip to main content

To Instant Pot, or not to Instant Pot?

Here in the frenzy we are always looking for a way to make our lives a little bit easier. While we may not follow every internet phenomena out there, once it hits somewhere between the level of grumpy cat and covfefe (I'll let you figure out which one is the more predominant), it may actually get through our sleep-deprived attention span.

Somewhere in the cobwebs that occupy the space between my conscious and subconscious mind, I started noticing that there was quite a bit of buzz about something that looked like the love child of a rice cooker and a Crock-Pot. Since you are undoubtedly more aware of the current state of the internet or just your general surroundings than I am, you probably have heard about the Instant Pot for months if not years. When it comes to the internet, I am a relic of a bygone era. I still use Facebook and I've never even installed Snapchat on my phone. Yet still, I catch the trailing wisps of the cultural zeitgeist and maybe there are a few of you out there that occupy a similar level of cultural awareness.

In spite of wanting to make my life easier, I also always am looking for ways we can work up the ingredient list and make things from scratch that any sane person would just buy in the grocery store. No seriously, I saw a grain mill that we could attach to our Kitchen Aid to make our own whole wheat flour and barely resisted the urge to buy it. I mean just try to resist this.

OK, I guess it was only me...

So, one of my recent impulses that should have been ignored experiments has been making yogurt. It has even been relatively (shockingly) successful. And as a bonus there are fewer plastic yogurt containers floating around the house. I could give you a recipe, but my contribution would be more likely to harm the collective knowledge of the internet on yogurt making rather than being helpful. Perhaps somewhere down the road I can document my process so you can avoid some potential pitfalls, but for the moment I'll leave that for another post... But the challenge for my process has been keeping the yogurt at temperature while it is fermenting.

So I was already looking at yogurt makers to simplify the process when I ran across the fact that some Instant Pots have a yogurt function. This appealed to me right away. I want the things we keep in the kitchen to do more than one thing. Sometimes the single function appliance cannot be avoided. Perhaps I could use my waffle maker as a George Foreman grill, but I just haven't had the guts to try it. But if I can avoid adding another single purpose appliance, that will make me very happy. And if I can replace a Crock-Pot or rice maker then I'll be ecstatic. (We currently have two Crock-Pots. It's a problem. But when you want to have hot apple cider and little smokies or the much more trademark friendly lit'l smokies for the Christmas party, one Crock-Pot just doesn't cut it.)

To be clear, this is not a product review. I mean, I'll let you know about the inevitable comedy of errors that follows any over-baked idea that gets turned around in my head too many times. But if I didn't work through the entire process here, I'd be afraid that some of the flawed logic would not be documented for posterity.

Popular posts from this blog

Instant Pot yogurt - failure and success

Here in the frenzy, we sometimes learn from failure. And sometimes I just make a slightly different mistake on the second attempt. So I previously discussed that I ended up making two changes to my yogurt routine at once, and thus was unable to isolate which was the cause of failure. I decided to avoid too much of a blow-by-blow by doing two more rounds of yogurt so I could actually post something that has a chance of being useful. To recap a bit, I got this heritage yogurt starter: The package comes with two packets of dried granules that look like the bread yeast packets that you put in the freezer. I followed the included instructions to heat the milk, cool it to 110 degrees Fahrenheit and then add the packet. If you read carefully, it also comes with the disclaimer that this may not produce a firm yogurt the first time around but that the second time you use a starter to make yogurt the bacteria would become substantial enough to make yogurt. I decided to hedge my be

We didn't buy a diamond ring and it wasn't about saving money

Early before the coalescence of the frenzy, we had started to form our family values. One of our now well-established family values is that we try to minimize harm caused by what we buy. We don't always succeed but there is one thing we avoided from the very beginning because of the incredible damage it has done around the globe. Buying a diamond ring. This was particularly my hang up perhaps caused by Leonardo DiCaprio's attempt at a South African accent . I would not spend money on a diamond ring. But I also didn't want to seem cheap to my soon to be bride, which was entirely in my head and had nothing to do with what she thought of me. So I started the delicate dance of figuring out if we were in the 100 percent getting married camp while bringing up my ethical dilemma. Luckily, I was not left wanting for clues on this one. It was made very clear that we were indeed in camp and that we should get started on pitching the tent before midnight. I got lucky bec

Purple sauerkraut

In the frenzy every moment is precious. There are so few opportunities to do... well -- anything other than getting parents and children fed and in bed. Still, every once in awhile we get to spend a few minutes being proactive about making our food healthier and more environmentally friendly. We've always been inclined to make food rather than buy prepared food. And when I'm ambitious, I like to preserve food in various forms. One of the easiest things to do when it comes to food preservation is to ferment vegetables. With a small investment of time you can get something that is healthier than anything you would buy in the grocery store. It also tastes much better than the food you pull off the grocery shelves. Perhaps the best example of this is sauerkraut . Something about cabbage makes it just an easy vegetable to start fermenting. I also don't feel like you need to complicate it. If you look for recipes online there will often be a fancy take on sauerkrau