Ok so I’m definitely one of those people who like to collect kitchen gadgets.
I know, you’re not surprised, I like to collect lots of things.
However… The difference between my collecting kitchen gadgets and my other shopping obsessions are usually my kitchen gadgets sit in a cabinet collecting dust… As in, I never actually use them. So when I told my husband I wanted an Instant Pot for Christmas… And an Air Fryer for Valentine’s Day… He was definitely skeptical. “Are you sure Jenn? You promise it’s not going to end up in a cabinet never seeing the light of day?” I promised. And I told myself this time was going to be different, I was going to use this Instant Pot and this Air Fryer to make magical dinners every night for my family in it. After all, my Facebook feed was blowing up almost daily with these mouth-watering recipes people were making in less than 15 minutes. I mean, I had to have these things!
So let’s start with the INSANT POT!
So l’m not going to make this a blog post about “Instant Pot 101” because honestly despite having it since Christmas I still would hardly call myself a pro. In fact, I still wonder from time to time if I’m going to do something wrong and the lid is going to blow off. BUT in the past 5 months, there have been zero mishaps so this thing is pretty darn easy to use AND I kept true to my promise that we use it constantly. There is zero dust collecting on this little baby! I would however recommend this blog post if you want a total step-by-step introduction to the Instant Pot and all of the inner workings of it. It’s what I used to help me get started, too!
This post is going to be more about WHY I love this thing and why I think EVERYONE needs one.
So here it is, my little beauty! I would say I use it at least 3-4 nights a week. I’ve made everything from rice/quinoa, chicken, steak and even a pot roast in this thing and I can honestly say (knock on wood) we have yet to have a bad meal come out of it. The meat is always so incredibly tender and falls off the bone (our favorite)!
So let’s get into my favorite Instant Pot foods and why the Instant Pot beats out every other cooking method I’ve used so far! Not just because of the time (use bonus) but really the taste!
Potatoes are one of my favorite things to cook in here too because of how quickly they cook and how soft they are when they’re done. I don’t know about you guys but I steer clear from potatoes normally because of how long a baked potato takes to cook in the oven and how long it takes for a potato to get soft in a stove-top pot to make mashed potatoes. In the Instant Pot you’re looking at a 12 minute cook time to get the most perfectly soft baked potato. Here are my two favorite recipes below!
So I’m a little weird about chicken, I’ll be honest. I always have this fear of it being undercooked and me contracting some Salmonella-ish bacteria so I typically over-cook it just to be sure and it usually ends up a tad dry. Needless to say, chicken in my household was not previously a family-favorite. However, the Instant Pot has given me a new appreciation for chicken and has totally lessened my fear about chicken bacteria, haha. I’ve tried everything from chicken breasts, to BBQ pulled chicken, to chicken legs & thighs and everything has turned out equally amazing! Here are a few of my favorite chicken IP favorites!
I love beef. Yes, it’s definitely the “fattier” of the meat options but having 1-2 times a week is totally fine if done right! The thing I love the most about IP meat vs grill is how tender the meat is. I definitely won’t say no to a steak right off the grill but I do love a tender, fall off the bone type of meat that happens in the IP. And like before, you can’t beat the quick cook time. A full pot roast done in 60 minutes? You can’t beat that. I did love my crock pot but if I forgot to set it first thing in the morning for a 6-8 hour cook time it just didn’t turn out so great. Here are some of my IP beef favorite recipes!
RICE + QUINOA!
Let’s be honest rice is a pain in the butt to cook because of how long it takes. One of the kitchen gadgets my husband has bought me in years’ past is a rice cooker. And yes, that one sat in the cabinet collecting dust. I always give in and revert back to bagged rice (which is loaded with sodium) or 1-minute white rice (which lacks really any nutrients period) just for the sake of saving time. The IP has been a game changer for that. Not only is rice a breeze to make in the IP but so is Quinoa!
Who doesn’t love soup? I love soup. A lot. What I don’t like about soup is the insane amount of added sodium put into pretty much all pre-maid soups. Sodium is my nemesis when it comes to the scale. But there is just something so comforting (and filling) about a steamy bowl of soup for dinner or with a sandwich and salad for lunch. Soup is my buddy. But I found myself not making it very much before the IP because of the time and hassle that went into making a homemade soup. Well those are days of the past, so much soup goodness is happening in the Richardson house these days! Here are some of my favorites!
So by now you must be saying “this thing does it all why would I ever need anything else…”
BUT WAIT. Let’s talk about the AIR FRYER now!
Because while I think it does a lot of things well, I think this other little device, my buddy the AIR FRYER does other things better – like VEGGIES.
This is the one I have!
(mine is the “aqua” color)
Not a veggie lover? This little baby will quickly help you to become one!
But first… WHAT IS AN AIR FRYER? If you’re like me, you were probably wondering how the heck air can be used to fry things. Turns out, these kitchen tools are pretty aptly named because they work by circulating hot air around the food, much like hot oil surrounds food to cook it all the way through.
And how is that healthy? Well, depends how you’re using this little friend.
For me, it’s a TSP of coconut or olive oil mixed in with some Himalayan Sea Salt on top of the veggies. Place into the bucket of the air fryer, shake around and place the bucket back into the device. Depending on what veggie you’re cooking (or what item) will vary on temperature and time but all in all I would say it’s about 15 minutes for peppers / stir fry and about 15 minutes for a bucket of hand-cut potato fries as well (sweet potato fries are a dream in this thing!) I’ve also tried brussel sprouts, broccoli and asparagus – all wins! I’ve only done chicken a couple of times but it turned out amazing too (I do prefer the IP to the AF for chicken though!)
Here are some of my favorite Air Fryer recipes!
Besides my tea pot these are the most used kitchen appliances I own and I don’t know how I survived without them! Happy Eating, friends!