Saturday, March 9, 2019

Instant Pot Win-Win

Me & Clark's Market Manager, Craig Stanley

From January 10th to 31st, the Clark’s Market supermarket chain held the “One Pot Winter Warm-Up Recipe Contest” looking for your best one pot winter go-to recipe.  Each store selected one winner, through a voting process, to win an Instant Pot 6-quart.  For San Juan County’s Blanding store, and thank you so much to all the voters, I was the winner!  My crock pot recipe for BBQ Beef Stew will be featured in their deli; so look for the announcement on that and go buy to try!

Now I have to admit that I was a bit nervous playing with the Instant Pot.  Growing up, all I heard was horror stories about pressure cookers blowing up; so we never had one in our home.  However, friends who have been using the Instant Pot, since it came onto the market, reassured me that no nuclear explosion would be erupting in my kitchen.  To soothe my nerves more, my wonderful hubby, Roy, decided this would be a great adventure to experience together.  We made sure to read the instructions together and did the practice test that is recommended…we lived.

Our first real food cooking attempt was a slab of meaty pork ribs; we had perused many a recipe, but kept returning to the ribs.  Normally, making ribs was almost a 24 hour process; making several cups of rub which went on both sides of the ribs; letting them sit, encased in aluminum foil, for twelve hours.  Placing them inside a preheated 180F oven to cook for eight hours; then onto a barbeque grill or under the broiler for that must-have char.  The anticipation alone was enough to drive us crazy, and it just couldn’t be a spontaneous what-to-make-for-dinner decision.

The Instant Pot was going to change the process, especially the long, long waiting period.  First off, the amount of rub used went from two cups to a half cup; no overnight sitting to marinate and infuse the meat.  Our four pound slab was cut into three smaller slabs; two cups of water plus ¼ cup apple cider vinegar already inside the cooking pot.  Placed on the cooking rack, ribs were placed inside; lid sealed, digital timer set for 50 minutes and it was “thunderbirds are a go!” time. 

Half cup all purpose rub on ribs.
Cut into thirds, ribs standing up in pot.
After 50 minutes of pressure cooking.

Ready for 10 minutes under broiler

1 hour 10 minutes to delicious ribs!

 What to serve as a side?  What the heck, might as well pull out the air fryer, prep some Russet potatoes for, what I knew would become, perfectly cooked hand-cut fries.  Didn’t you recently read my article on the pros and cons of an air fryer; those potatoes are good stuff!
While ribs broiled, Air Fryer finished up on the fries.
Oh, in case you enjoy video games, the Instant Pot makes some lovely dinging, ringing musical noises as the lid is sealed or opened.  Now all it needs is a USB port, attach a thumb drive and have my favorite playlist on while cooking; that would be impressive.  Anyway, during the cool down period of ten minutes, then putting the ribs under the broiler for ten minutes; the air fryer was working on those hand-cut fries (yes, I keep the skin on).  Both ribs and fries were ready to eat at the same time; two bbq sauces of brown sugar/hickory and sweet/spicy (love using Sweet Baby Ray’s) and we were in dining heaven.

The Instant Pot ribs were perfect; meat easily off the bone; seasonings from the rub cooked through and only enhanced by the bbq sauce, not overpowered.  From start to finish, a 24 hour process for making ribs was cut down to a mere one hour and ten minutes!

I’ve started collecting recipes for more Instant Pot fun, and downloaded a recipe book, for free, on my Kindle Fire.  This fresh start year of 2019 started off deliciously with an Air Fryer and is continuing with the Instant Pot.  Now if I could win a complete kitchen makeover, there would be no telling what culinary adventures I could get involved with!  Oh no, listening to 80s music on Sirius and Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” just began playing; that is foreshadowing big time!

Mary Cokenour

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