Instant Good: The Ultimate Kitchen Appliance For Quick, Delicious Meals

Whether you’re still scarred from the This Is Us Crock-Pot tragedy, or perhaps you keep forgetting to defrost dinner (we’ve all been there), Instant Pot is the quick alternative for making meals that taste like they’ve been slow cooking all-day.
If you have ever wondered about the difference between a Crock-Pot and an Instant Pot, you’re not alone. The two appliances are both popular time-savers, but there are a few key differences setting each a part.

Crock-Pot was developed at a time when women were working outside the home yet still were expected to have dinner on the table the moment the work day ended.
Made with heat-insulating stoneware, Crock-Pots were (and still are) excellent for one-pot wonders that can be set, forget and ready-to-eat after a long day at the office. Instant Pot, similarly, provides flavor-packed, hands-off cooking and are quickly becoming a must-have in the kitchen.

Instant Pot is a multi-cooker brand. Launched in 2010, it made pressure cooking more accessible to the average person and quickly gained a global following of devotees who value its efficiency. Instant Pot is ideal for having a meal in the matter of minutes, you can even cook from frozen on those hurried days when you forget to take something out of the freezer. For example, it can pressure cook a whole frozen chicken to perfection in less than an hour. It works by raising the boiling point of water and trapping steam in to reduce cook time.

But pressure cooking is just the beginning. Instant Pot can slow cook, steam, warm, sauté and even air fry, which saves space in small kitchens with limited counter to accommodate other gadgets.

Here’s an easy meal courtesy of Instant Pot’s vault of go-to recipes.

Chicken Alfredo Risotto

2 tbsp butter divided
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast or thighs, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 cup diced onion
1 cup sliced mushrooms
2 cups Kitchen Basics Original Chicken Stock
1 package McCormick Creamy Garlic Alfredo Sauce Mix
1 cup Arborio rice
⅓ cup grated parmesan cheese
3 tbsp chopped parsley

Melt one tablespoon of the butter in Instant Pot on saute setting. Add chicken; cook and stir three minutes. Add onions and mushroom; cook and stir two minutes or until softened. Mix stock and Sauce Mix in medium bowl until well blended. Stir stock mixture and rice into pot.

Close lid. Set Valve to Seal. Select pressure; cook seven minutes on high pressure. When done, quick-release pressure. Open lid once pressure inside the pot is completely released. Stir in cheese and remaining one tablespoon butter. Sprinkle with parsley and additional parmesan cheese, if desired.

Instant Pot Pulled Pork Tacos

Chipotle-Pork Tacos

1 tsp oil
1 ½ lbs pork loin cut into 1 ½ inch pieces
½ cup water
1 jar Instant Pot smoky chipotle sauce (15 oz)

Heat oil in Instant Pot using setting on high heat. Add meat; cook five minutes, stirring frequently. Add water and sauce. Do not stir. Close and lock lid. Turn pressure release valve to sealing position.

Cook eight minutes using high pressure/cook manual setting. When timer goes off, use quick pressure release to release pressure before carefully opening lid. Serving

Suggestion: Serve with hot cooked frozen tri-colored pepper and onion strips, and warmed tortillas.

Cyndi Zaweski
Cyndi Zaweski is the former editor of Anton Media Group's special sections.

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