If you have an Instant Pot ($ 60 for a 3-quart; amazon.com), no doubt you’re already slow- and pressure-cooking your way to healthy meals like a boss. But there are a few clever hacks for the buzzy appliance that can really up your game. Read on for five ways to make your Instapot even more essential.
Cook easy-to-peel hard-boiled eggs
Don’t you just hate making perfect hard-boiled eggs, only to struggle to peel them (and end up with mangled eggs)? Us too. This is an effortless fix: According to Nom Nom Paleo blogger Michelle Tam, cooking eggs in your Instant Pot makes peeling them a cinch.
Melt cheese for fondue
Fondue is one of those classic retro comfort-food dishes we love to indulge in from time to time—but not often enough to keep a fondue pot on hand. And while making fondue in a regular pot is possible, it can be tough to maintain the temperature you need. Instant Pot to the rescue. Get those apple slices ready for some perfectly warm, melty cheese.
Proof your dough
Yep, you can even use your Instapot when you’re baking bread from scratch, says Daniel Shumski, author of the cookbook How to Instant Pot ($ 16, amazon): “When you make bread dough and you want it to rise in a warm area, use the lowest setting for yogurt making.”
Here’s another hack for the Instant Pot’s “Yogurt” setting: It makes it easier to get the right temperature range to make homemade ricotta. (As Shumski points out, “[c]alling it the ‘yogurt making’ setting kind of sells it short.”) Making ricotta yourself gives you a much better-tasting cheese without the gums and other stabilizers often added to packaged varieties. Check out the video tutorial below from Real Food Real Deals blogger Annemarie Rossie.
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No pectin? No problem. Wardee Harmon, author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Fermenting Foods ($ 20, amazon.com), has a quick, easy recipe for Instant Pot blueberry jam on the Traditional Cooking School blog. The best part: It only calls for two ingredients—fruit and honey—so you don’t need pectin and cups of white sugar to get gelled jam. Pass the toast.