Let's Talk: Pressure Cookers

I delved into the world of pressure cooking a few years ago after I decided to get over my unearthly fear of exploding pots, put on my big girl apron and make it happen. I mean, if my grandma could do it, so could I. Right? Plus the appeal of making cheesecake in a pressure cooker was just too much to resist.

Let's Talk: Pressure Cookers

I’ve had lots and lots (and lots) of emails over the last six months or so about pressure cooking. It seems as though it’s coming out of the gray shadows of old generations and becoming a bit more mainstream and even slightly trendy. Many of you want to know: if I pressure cook, how I pressure cook, what I use to pressure cook and mostly, do I have a flippin’ InstantPot yet.

So let’s talk about pressure cooking for a sec. When I decided I wanted to learn more about it (after reading that the pressure cookers of today most likely were not going to explode like grandma’s old tank), I started reading reviews. Blogs. Forums. Everything I could get my hands on to figure out what kind of pressure cooker I wanted to get. After spending more time on this than should be deemed acceptable (my toilets and exercise routine suffered), I settled on a regular, old stovetop model: this lovely Kuhn-Rikon pressure cooker.

Kuhn Rikon Pressure Cooker

The #1 main reason I went for a stovetop vs. electric was capacity. I have a large family (five hungry kids and two always hungry adults) and I am often cooking for others. I wanted to be able to make a lot of food. Many of the electric models maxed out at sizes that didn’t appeal to me (especially when you factor that many pressure cooker recipes like soups and stews can only fill the pressure cooker halfway for safety reasons).

I know the Kuhn-Rikon isn’t the most budget-friendly model out there, but again, after reading all the reviews known to man, I wanted a foolproof stovetop pressure cooker that I was absolutely sure (ok, at least 98.9% sure) wouldn’t explode on me and would last pretty close to forever. And this one has such incredible reviews (durability, safety, size, etc) that I knew it was the one for me (plus, I have several other Kuhn-Rikon items in my kitchen and already new the quality was unsurpassed). There are a lot of other fantastically reviewed stovetop pressure cookers, all of which are largely safer than the pressure cookers of several generations ago, on the market so do your research if you are in the market for one. 

Let's Talk: Pressure Cookers

In case you are new to the world of pressure cooking and are wondering why one would ever want to pressure cook in the first place, here are a few of the reasons why I love it: It’s faster for many foods. It’s more efficient and uses less energy. The nutrition in food is better preserved thanks to the fast cooking times and high temperature. And in the interest of full disclosure, I just feel like a rock star when I pressure cook anything.

Updated to add: I forgot to mention one of the main reasons I love my pressure cooker(s) is because they can cook a frozen piece of meat in a shockingly short amount of time (compared to conventional methods) and for someone that regularly forgets to thaw meat, this is just wonderful.

I think a pressure cooker is a great idea for anyone who loves flavorful, delicious, versatile food and wants the challenge of making it in a fraction of the time it would normally take. Busy mom or adventurous cook (or both!) – a pressure cooker is something to look into.

Now, I’m not going to lie, the first few times I used my pressure cooker, I was disappointed. It wasn’t everything I hoped it would be. 100% of that was because I was so scared to let it come to high pressure (those double lines below) that it compromised the food I was cooking. Again, my healthy fear complex was coming into play. Also, pressure cooking on an electric stove vs. a gas range is a bit different and I’ve learned to heat the pressure cooker to desired pressure on one burner and once it comes to pressure, immediately move it over to another burner that’s been sitting on low temp (or whatever temp is needed to maintain the pressure).

Let's Talk: pressure cooking

Now that I’m more comfortable with it, I use my stovetop pressure cooker all the time. At least weekly but there are some weeks where I’ve used it every single night. It’s honestly revolutionary once you wrap your mind around the benefits. One night I was making this taco soup and forgot I didn’t have any canned black beans. But I did have dry beans (thank you, almighty food storage)! In no time, my pressure cooker magically transitioned those dry beans into tender morsels and dinner was saved. Pretty slick.

Let's Talk: Pressure Cookers

But. Stovetop models are clearly not the only solution, especially for newbies.

Over the last few months, I’ve been inundated with emails from many of you asking me about the InstantPot. Sounds like many of you have bought one, received one, or put one on your wishlist. They are quite the popular appliance right now and with more than 4,000 5-star reviews, it’s easy to understand why. I didn’t have one and really had no intentions of getting one since I love my stovetop pressure cooker so much (and let’s be serious, I just don’t need another appliance in my already packed kitchen, Brian’s shaking his head fervently in agreement). However, a few weeks ago, on a very sad day in December, my beloved slow cooker that I’ve had since we got married (13 1/2 years ago) quit. Died. Left us. After a proper mourning period, I hopped onto Amazon and figured out what I should do. New crockpot? Or should I go for the InstantPot to see what all the rage is about (the InstantPot slow cooks as well as pressure cooks). Even better, I emailed the InstantPot company to see if they’d send me one for an honest review (and future giveaway – woot!). They kindly said yes. I did a bad cartwheel. And my InstantPot showed up that week.

instant1

So let’s talk about the InstantPot. This thing is a beast. It can do like 436 things (<- slight exaggeration). Yogurt. Slow Cook. Rice. Pressure Cook. It’s definitely a workhorse. The capacity is decent. Six quarts (same size as my old slow cooker but a little smaller than my stovetop pressure cooker). Because there are so many functions, the learning curve takes some time, in my opinion. As in, what the heck button am I supposed to push? But there is a user manual for manual-needers like me.

So far I’ve made yogurt (turned out great but I like my stovetop method for now just based on familiarity, I think) and risotto (delicious) and 5-minute steel cut oatmeal (fantastic although 5-minutes is a bit misleading if you count the time it takes to come to pressure and then cool down). I’ve also made several recipes from my site – just adapted them to the pressure cooker (see bottom of the post). And of course we’ve made pressure cooker potatoes. Possibly one of the best thing to make in a pressure cooker, electric or stovetop (that and pressure cooker green beans, ohmygosh yum).

potatoes

I mean look at all those options. It’s mind boggling (and a little overwhelming).

instant2

Let's Talk: Pressure Cookers

I know you want to know. Which would I buy again? What’s the best choice? Has the InstantPot changed my mind about stovetop pressure cookers?

Having used both a stovetop and an electric pressure cooker now, I’m hard pressed to say which one I’d choose over the other (I know, I know). I have a very soft spot for my Kuhn-Rikon stovetop pressure cooker. But I’m not going to lie, I am loving the InstantPot. Last week, there were three nights I had them both going at the same time. And last night, I made this amazing riff off of a favorite baked pork chop and apple recipe in the InstantPot while using my stovetop pressure cooker for a batch of white cheddar garlic mashed potatoes, still having time to dump out the potatoes and whip up a batch of pressure cooker turkey bacon green beans before the pork was done. It was all prepped, cooked, and on the table in less than an hour and was one of the most delicious meals ever.  #pressurecookingforlife 

The main advantage of the InstantPot (and other electric models) is that it is fix it and forget it. I can set the InstantPot to pressure cook my taters and walk away and help child A, B, C or D with homework (or even run out and get the mail or maybe hide in the pantry and eat chocolate chips for a sec), whereas I always keep a pretty close eye on my stovetop pressure cooker when it’s going just in case it goes over pressure and I need to pull it off the heat. It obviously doesn’t self-regulate like the InstantPot. But. It’s bigger. And I love that. Plus, I’ve used it as a regular stockpot for a large batch of soup and a few other things.

Let's Talk: pressure cooking

At a glance, here’s the pros and cons of each:

(this is clearly not a comprehensive list, just a few of my personal highs and lows of each)

chart

It’s easy to see there are advantages and disadvantages of both, and like I mentioned above, if you are interested in pressure cooking, start reading up on and it you’ll figure out which pressure cooker is right for you.

A quick note about those pressure readings: the InstantPot, even at high pressure (maxes out at 11.6 psi), doesn’t cook as high as my stovetop (up to 15 psi) which means if you’re using a recipe that says cook at high pressure, you may need to add time on the InstantPot (most electric pressure cookers max out at around 11 or 12 psi). 

Either way you look at it, pressure cooking is a fabulous way to cook food. I love it. Like, I’m kind of obsessed. It took me a long time to get over my fear; don’t be like me!

Depending upon your interest, I’ll do more posts (and videos) on pressure cooking in the future but don’t forget that the world wide web is a goldmine of pressure cooking information and recipes.

Here are a few of my favorite online resources.

Hip Pressure Cooking (so many reviews, resources, tips, videos, forums and recipes); here’s her post on the Kuhn-Rikon (it kind of sold me on it) and on the InstantPot (pretty informative!)

Pressure Cooking Today (Barbara is a seasoned food blogger who has some great recipes for pressure cooking + tips on how to use electric models)

Dad Cooks Dinner

Miss Vickie’s (a little old school but some great info and recipes)

Pressure Cooker Diaries

How to convert a normal recipe to pressure cooking.

There are hundreds of recipes on my site (and across the web) that aren’t official pressure cooker recipes, per se, but they are very pressure cooker friendly. Honestly, one of the easiest ways to figure out how to convert a recipe over to pressure cooking is to google another similar recipe (for instance “pressure cooker beef stew”), take a glance at the cooking times and adjust it for the recipe you want to use (like this fabulous beef stew which is remarkably delish in the pressure cooker).

There are also handy dandy pressure cooking charts (I have this one bookmarked on my iPad) that make figuring recipes out pretty easy and the little manual that came with my Kuhn-Rikon has been invaluable, too.

So far I’ve made the following recipes from my site in my pressure cooker with phenomenal success + many others from across the web including that amazeballs cheesecake.

Phew! And I think that’s it.

I’m clearly a little longwinded when it comes to pressure cooking.

So tell me.

Where are you on the pressure cooker spectrum? Yay or nay?

 

Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links. 

165 Responses to Let’s Talk: Pressure Cooking {why + what kind + resources}

  1. Cyndi B says:

    This was very informative. I am so happy to know that I am not the only one who was “afraid” of pressure cooking. When I was little, my grandmother’s house always had the scary pressure relief valve rattling. It used to really frighten me an I never got over it. I will have to try my previously unused and dusty pressure cooker.

  2. Sheila says:

    I had no idea there was such a thing as an electric pressure cooker. When I was a stay-at-home mom, I used my stove top pressure cooker continuously. In fear though, I would not leave the kitchen island area (stove in island) for even a minute. When I went back to work, the pressure cooker got demoted to the downstairs built in storage.

    Before kids, I came home from a long day at work and decided to can quarts of deer meat. My husband loves to take deer meat sandwiches for lunch. I was exhausted so decided to sit on the couch for just a minute while the pressure cooker steam built up so I could set the timer. A while later having fallen asleep instantly, I woke up to an explosion that took out my overhead stove vent and a large kitchen ceiling area. Clean up was horrible and expensive.

    My mistake and I still loved and using my pressure cooker for years after that episode. The only difference was my husband now kept a very close eye on me when using the pressure cooker. 🙂

    This post intrigues me making me think I have missed my pressure cooker. Thank you for bringing forth this idea for a new kitchen tool. I going to start asking around and generating conversations with my friends concerning electric pressure cookers to discover if I am the only one still “in the dark ages”. My husband, who is a huge “Mel” fan because of the delicious recipes you have brought into our home, may not be quite as thrilled with you now. 🙂

    • Mel says:

      Oh my goodness, Sheila! I don’t think I would have recovered from the deer in the pot explosion very well. Bless you for getting back on the horse, so to speak. Don’t tell your husband it was me that encouraged this, k?

  3. Hilary says:

    I am so, so, SO happy you did this post…I have been contemplating an instapot for awhile but haven’t “bit the bullet” so to speak. Based on your glowing reviews, I think I may have to put this on my birthday list! I didn’t realize I could take a regular recipe and convert it to a pressure cooker!!!!!!! (I though I had to use recipes made exclusively for a pressure cooker) a humongous THANKYOU for this post!!!!!!!!

  4. Stephanie says:

    Thank you so much for this post! My MIL got me a pressure cooker for my birthday but the only thing I’ve made in it so far is chicken breasts to cut down on prep time. The links are going to be a great help.

  5. Kristy tidwell says:

    I’ve been on the fence about pressure cooking and so curious about instant pot so thank you!!!! I might have to put it on my want list for my brmirthsau or Mother’s Day .

  6. Liz says:

    Another here who is “in the process”. I have purchased 2 pressure cooking cookbooks, read and looked at pressure cookers ad nauseum and now have an Instant-Pot in my “saved for later” cart on Amazon! I missed the Black Friday sale on them.

    My final decision for the Instant Pot – I cook for just me, I don’t currently have a slow cooker and it is an electric take-along option for my RV which has propane stovetop. And all of those 5 star reviews from folks who are using it for a variety of things.

    I am certainly interested in any pressure cooker posts you plan for the future.

  7. Lachelle says:

    I have an Instantpot and LOVE it! I love the fix it and forget it, being able to make dried beans quick, being able to cook a frozen roast and have it soft and tender in just a few hours (as if it had been in a crockpot all day) and the list could go on. Life is forever changed with that baby!

  8. Stacy says:

    My mom has a HUGE stovetop pressure cooker that she only pulled out to cook chicken for chicken and dumplings. The pressure release thing on top would rattle around and freak me out a bit…so I’m with ya on the “I’m scared the thing will blow up and take out the kitchen with it”. My sister just got an InstaPot for Christmas and has used it for all the dinners in her house since then…like every. single. dinner. She is feeding a family of 6 and says it is one of her favorite appliances. Looks like I’ll need to put this on my birthday wish list!

  9. Thank you for this post. My mom gave me an instantpot for Christmas last year and though I have loved it, I haven’t really used it for a lot of different things. Mostly I just use it to cook dry beans (and then I freeze them) because it’s so much cheaper than canned beans. My husband’s favorite is “refried” beans. That man loves burritos so much he literally ate them for 2 meals a day, 3 months straight when I was too pregnant and barfy to cook. Refried beans are so easy in the instantpot even first trimester me could handle it. (Not that I ate them.)

  10. Monica says:

    This is so helpful! I am one of those people who’s been interested in buying a pressure cooker – it looks so appealing! – but just have no clue as to how it really works and wonder if I’ll use it to make more than one or two things. I love that cooking time chart because it makes me feel like I could use it to make a ton of different things. I don’t have a big family so I’m still a bit on the fence but this is a great resource. Thank you for doing this!

    • Mel says:

      Hey Monica – pressure cookers are great even for one or two people! There are so many sizes available – it’s amazing.

      • Monica says:

        Thanks for that, Mel! I will keep it in mind…if I can make some basics – chicken, rice, oatmeal… – I would be happy and can build from there. I will look forward to ‘part 2’ from you! Thanks again!

      • Vicki W. says:

        I cook for just two and have the 6 quart size. Having a bigger size lets you cook with a pot or a bowl inside another pot and you can stack them. Since you can cook a small amount such as 1 cup rice and 1 cup water, it’s great for one or two servings, but it’s bigger capacity lets you cook for a small crowd if need be. For many ideas, join the Instant Pot Facebook Community. It’s awesome!

  11. Ok, I’ve had the instant pot in my amazon cart for 2 weeks now. If YOU love it with 5 hungry kids, then I know I have to have it–thanks, Mel 🙂

  12. Teresa R. says:

    I was also scared of pressure cookers even though both of my grandmothers and my mother used them very successfully. I think they mainly used pressure cookers for canning, so I didn’t realize lots of recipes could be made using a pressure cooker. Thanks for the information!

  13. Sally says:

    I think I’m the only person not interested at all in the Instant Pot. There are three big drawbacks for me: 1) I’m a single and don’t need a 6 qt anything. 2) I already have 2 slow cookers and a stove top pressure cooker. 3) It’s made in China. Plus, I’m trying to become an appliance-free cook, using only those that do things I can’t do or are more physically difficult to do — like the blender, food processor and sometimes a mixer.

  14. Martha says:

    I have a new pressure cooker just sitting in my pantry. Just couldn’t get up the nerve to try it. Thanks for the reassurance!

  15. Tarah says:

    I have a stove top pressure cooker that I am terrified to use. I have an electric stove as well so I wasn’t sure how it would work. I wish you could come over and hold my hand through it, haha! I want to try it out but I’m so scared!

  16. Julie says:

    I’ve never even thought about using a pressure cooker until today… and now I’m really intrigued! I think this might be my next kitchen purchase.

  17. Terry A. says:

    Yay! I’m so glad to see this post. I wasn’t one of those who emailed you, but I was wondering if you were going to talk pressure cookers! I have an InstantPot and love it!! I’m so excited to see other recipes on your site that I can try. I especially love it for cooking proteins – my pot roasts have never come out more tender, and I love beef broccoli in the InstantPot. And cheesecake. Of course. Looking forward to seeing more of your recipes in a pressure cooker. 🙂

  18. Kelli says:

    I’ve been thinking about asking you about pressure cooking! I have a WMF (very similar to yours) and I love it. I haven’t ventured much with it because I can’t find recipes my kids will eat so I’ve just been waiting for you 🙂 My favorite thing (so far) to make with it is brown rice- soft, fluffy, tasty brown rice in 30 minutes or less?! Love it! Add some broth/stock instead of water and I’m pretty much in rice heaven 🙂 I know there’s a zillion other things to do with a pressure cooker, but mine is used on a weekly basis for rice. And, as always, thank you for so many amazing recipes!!

  19. Andrea says:

    I’ve been contemplating a pressure cooker since the Instant Pot was dirt cheap on Amazon. I should have bought it then- it was a STEAL!! Regret.. oh regret. I’ve since joined several FB groups pertaining to the subject-(pressure cooking not regret) 😉 Pretty sure that’s what you call putting the pot before the horse… lol I would probably never use a stove top version- too skeered. But I will be watching like a hawk if/ when the price goes down.

  20. Stephanie says:

    Mel, add this post to the list of the many reasons why I love you and your blog! Like others, I received an Instant Pot for Christmas and I’ve used it every single day since. I literally just searched your site yesterday for pressure cooker recipes and ended up adapting the black beans and rice for the Instant Pot (divine!). I am so glad to see you love it too! Thanks for keeping me and my hungry family fed and happy. 🙂

  21. IG says:

    Thank you for this post. I’ve often wondered if you pressure cook. I, too, embraced pressure cooking right around the same time as you. I have the electric Cuisinart and love it! Funny, I was going to make that beef stew next week in the crock. I will now do it in the pressure cooker!

  22. Jackie says:

    Honestly never even considered pressure cooking until today… Now I NEED to try it!

  23. Marisa says:

    I would love for you to post some pressure cooker ideas. I have a stove top version and I have used it some but not much because it is intimidating.

  24. Brittany C says:

    I’ve been a pressure cooker user for a good solid 10+ years, since before I was even married. Haha I love the things! I have 3 stove top Kuhn Rikons and one cuisinart electric one. I definitely use my electric one the most because it’s so nice to set the timer and walk away and not have to constantly be eying that second red ring . That being said, if you don’t already have the “cadillac” Kuhn Rikon , it’s the giant waffle bottom skillet one, it’s awesome! So I’d say the either one. But really that electric has my cooking heart.

  25. Angela says:

    Ah Mel, you are so hip. I just got a pressure cooker for Christmas. Your timing is impeccable. I am both nervous and excited to give it a try. Thanks for your vote of encouragement. You are always my kitchen inspiration! Thank you for that.

  26. Kirstin says:

    I have a pressure canner that I adore for these reasons: canning beans, chicken, beef, and chicken broth. It might be fast to cook beans in the pressure cooker but just nothing beats opening up a can of home canned beans and home canned shredded beef and having beef and bean burritos on the table in ten minutes from the time I stepped foot in the kitchen. Everyone I talk to always says “oh, eating home canned meat and beans sounds scary/weird.” But I won’t cook it any other way. Especially with the beans—I always feel like crockpot pinto beans are bland, even after adding spices. But when it cooks in the jar with the spices (and some V8) the flavor is amazing.

  27. Lafayette says:

    I only use my pressure cooker that double as a canner for canning season. I’m too scared to use it with other foods (until I read this, that is). Refried beans sounds great in a pressure cooker!

  28. Barbi says:

    The timing on this post is perfect! I just got my Instantpot yesterday. So far I have boiled eggs and water. haha.

  29. Alicia says:

    I have had an 8-qt electric pressure cooker (no longer available) for years, and I love it! I love that I can just set it and walk away. When it finishes, the pressure drops on its own and it keeps the food on warm. It’s a great mix of the simplicity of a slow cooker with the crazy-fast speed of a pressure cooker.

    And I would second the motion for you to try brown rice. We cook ours in broth, but it comes out so fluffy and delicious! I always make a big batch and keep some in the freezer so it’s easy to pull out for dinner.

  30. Tracey Finch says:

    Thank you for posting this! I just got the Instant Pot for Christmas and I love it! I am brand new to pressure cooking – although my mom used hers several times a week when we were growing up – I have such vivid memories of it whistling away on the stove. I am in the process of searching for recipes so keep them coming!

  31. Nikie says:

    Ha! The word “petcock” still haunts me from my childhood. I was always sure that thing was going to blow and that would be it. I’ve never used the pressure cooker I received as a wedding present for anything but a stove top pot because of not wanting it to explode. I think I would be sold on the Insta Pot! Thanks for the post, Mel!

  32. shelly says:

    I love this post! I’m not too great at thinking outside the box and adapting other recipes to work in the pressure cooker, so I really appreciate the information. I have both the InstantPot and a stove top pressure cooker as well. I’ve used stove top pressure cookers since I was a teenager, but the InstantPot is my favorite! I absolutely love it for busy days when I feel like I’m driving kids around until dinner time. I feel comfortable letting my teenagers watch it if I’m not at home since they know how to use it as well, and the keep warm function is very helpful so I don’t have to be right there when the food is done. We have four kids, but three are teenagers (boys) and the size usually works fine for us. I use my InstantPot at least a few times a week, for everything from brown rice, beans, and cooking full meals. Mine doesn’t have the yogurt setting on it, but we got a thermal cooker for Christmas and I have found that it is by far the easiest way to make yogurt. (I’m loving the thermal cooker too!) Thank you again for the recipe suggestions – can’t wait for part two!

  33. Amy says:

    Hubby bought me a Cuisinart electric pressure cooker a few years ago for my birthday. I’ve used it for so much more then I planned… food storage beans. 🙂 I love it! Can’t imagine life without it. Still a little leery of the stove top kind, but this post makes them seem not so scary.

  34. Kas says:

    I received an electric pressure cooker for Christmas and have tried a few things. My favorite thing to make in it as of now is hard boiled eggs. They are so easy to peel and perfectly cooked! Looking forward to seeing more posts on pressure cooking!

  35. Sarah says:

    Oh man! I had heard of an InstantPot but thought it was only a rice cooker! Thanks for the review and links to websites. I may have to ask for one of these bad boys – too bad Mothers Day is a few months away!

  36. Sara says:

    I have an Instant Pot (the cooker so nice I bought it twice- accidentally melted one on the stove-oops!) and I use it all the time! I make yogurt in it at least once a week, often more. I only keep dried beans in the pantry now because it’s so easy to pop them in the Instant Pot and they take up so much less room than cans. I’ve done rice but honestly I usually forego for a regular pan, my rice is hit or miss in the pressure cooker, it can burn to the bottom. And I’ve made countless dinners in it. I had a hard time figuring out the slow cooker temp settings, it seemed to be a little different than my crock slow cooker (which I sacrificed to make room for the Instant Pot). Some dinners were burning on the medium setting, some were still not done on the low setting. Just something I had to adjust my time/temp for next time.

    One thing about this particular pot is that the silicone ring picks up the odor of whatever is cooking in the pot, and though I don’t think the ring ever imparts any flavor to what is cooking, I have a “yogurt ring” and a “everything else ring” just because the yogurt sits for 8+ hours with it.

    • Alisha says:

      Were you able to purchase an extra ring or did you have two because of the two-pot purchase?

      • Sara says:

        Hi! I bought an extra directly from Instant Pot when I got the slow cooker lid, before wrecking the 1st pot 🙂 I keep the one that came with the 2nd pot as a back-up in case I have a seal fail in the future.

  37. Catherine says:

    I have the All American 15-quart pressure cooker/canner, and I’ve canned everything from chicken broth to dried beans in it. Amazing! But I’ve never simply cooked something in it. So now I’m thinking an instant pot would be handy, and I could actually cut down my number of kitchen appliances since it could replace my crock pot and rice cooker… I think I might want one for my birthday.

    I have to go now so I can google pressure cooker cheesecake! 🙂

  38. Alisha says:

    I’m definitely ready to jump on the pressure cooking train. I’ve always been scared — even within the last month I’ve seen a picture on FB with a lid lodged in the kitchen ceiling and the oven range hood in need of replacement. So, thank-you for helping calm my pressure cooking fears. My Mother in Law has always used a pressure cooker with amazing results. Putting on my wish list!

  39. Julie Gonsalves says:

    This post is SO timely for me as i’ve been doing similar research lately and trying to make a decision between the two. I would love to see recipes and tips…i don’t have time to find new blogs and cookbooks about the stuff. I just want Mel’s tried and true recipes and tips that NEVER disappoint!

  40. Whitney says:

    My experience with pressure cooking is watching my grammie and mother use it for canning meats and green beans. They scared me as a child, and still evoke fear! My husband has been wanting one, he worked at a hardware store and sold a bunch to his “old lady clientele” (his words), they loved it for potatoes. We have been looking at them for a few months, but I was still scared – not anymore! Thank you Mel for the informative post – we may have to revisit the pressure cooking world!

  41. Jen T says:

    I too have been scared to try them but this was so helpful! I am going to start looking into them and maybe they will make my birthday wish list next month. Thanks!!!

  42. Kelsey says:

    This was so informative! I definitely need to look into pressure cookers for every day use. I’ve only used them for canning. The instapot might be just the thing for having a tasty dinner ready after an afternoon of teaching piano!

  43. Ellen says:

    I’ve been hearing all about these InstantPots, but I never really thought I needed one… until now!

  44. Maui says:

    Haha, I was just looking into a pressure cooker a few weeks back for faster dinner fixes for our sometimes impatient 4 hungry boys! My husband might never forgive you for adding fuel to my fire of wanting one 🙂

  45. Brenna says:

    I have a Kuhn Rikon that my parents bought me for my wedding 10 years ago. I love it passionately. It has enough safety features built in that I have never, ever worried that it was going to explode, although there is a bit of a learning curve and I never leave it unsupervised. I have made pot roast in it almost every Sunday and there is absolutely no tastier way to make it. One of the things that i love about a stovetop pressure cooker is that you can sear the meat before you put the lid on. This is a crucial step that adds so much flavor! You could do that with an instapot, but it would require dirtying another pan and I’m too lazy for that:) I am intrigued at the idea of getting an instapot to replace my slow cooker though!

    • Mel says:

      I agree on the searing thing, Brenna. I meant to mention that in my post. One feature of the InstantPot is that it has a saute function that gets the bottom of the insert really hot. I browned my pork from last night in it before pouring in the broth and switching it to pressure cook. I don’t think it gets quite as hot as the stovetop (using my Kuhn-Rikon pressure cooker) but it’s still pretty handy and definitely being able to brown the meat without adding another pot is crucial.

  46. Melissa G says:

    Oh man, I LOVE my pressure cooker!!!!! Thank you for these other resources too – I’m always looking for more ways to use it and help! You are amazing!

  47. April says:

    I use my pressure cookers (8 quart and 23 quart) on our homestead for butchering. I like to put boneless meat in my freezer, but am not the best butcherer. I cook the carcasses of my livestock (chickens, rabbits, and partials of other animals (bear pelvis, deer rib cage, etc)). Then I pull the cooked meat off, similar to cleaning up the turkey after Thanksgiving, and freeze it for fast meals. It has been so nice, then it doesn’t matter if I get all the meat off the bone because it won’t go to waste. It cooks fast and works perfect for this use.

    After this post I will need to look into cooking meals with them just because I can. Thanks.

    • April says:

      For Craig’s B-day I am going to make pressure cooked cheesecake and lasagna… Wish me luck… this could change my world…

  48. Kat says:

    I just got (yay Christmas!) a pressure canner that can also be used as a pressure cooker. I’ve only used it for canning so far, but that’s probably because it holds 23qts. so it’s kinda huge. I’d love to cook more in it though, and if I use it enough, it might be worth investing in a smaller, more “pull out and clean quickly” one. I’d love to see more posts, tips, videos, etc! You are my go to source for all things cooking!

  49. Susan says:

    Hi Mel, thank you for posting on pressure cookers. I too received the IPot and there hasn’t been a day that has gone buy I haven’t had a use for it! Perfect hard boiled eggs every time, loads of nutritious meals and cheesecakes to die for!! For a bit of news (drum roll) the Instant Pot is coming out with a 8 quart this year!!!

  50. Jana says:

    Thank you so much for this post! I got an InstantPot for my birthday last month (also to replace a much-loved crock pot, but wanted to get something more versatile) and have only used it a couple of times with so-so results. I wanted to find more recipes and suggestions for it but hadn’t taken the time to research. Thanks for doing that for me and sharing it! You are the best! I often call you “my good friend, Mel” when giving you credit for a great recipe or idea (i.e. “Oh you liked that, huh? Yeah, my good friend Mel gave me that recipe.” Or, “I know I’m pretty smart, but it was actually my good friend Mel who taught me how to cut the cherry tomatoes like this!” One of my kids actually thought it was pretty cool we were friends!) So thank you again for a really fabulous post! Whether or not I make everything you send out (and I do make a lot of them!) I love to read your blog. You are a talented writer, as well as a cook! Thanks for the time you spend to do this–it always brightens my day! And I seriously can’t wait to make something in my InstantPot!!! ❤️

  51. Carol G says:

    Having used stove top pressure cookers for years, and getting sick of playing with the flame height to keep the regulator rocking at the right rate, I can honestly say I love love LOVE my Cuisinart electric pressure cooker. Even though the PSI is a little lower than the stove top pressure cookers, I haven’t had to adjust my cooking times in old recipes I use at all. I used to make stuffed cabbage rolls in the oven and they took forever-not any more….the pressure cooker makes cooking them quick and so easy. With the electric one, I set it and forget it for about a half hour and dinner’s ready in no time.

    I hope to be using my pressure cooker even more this year. Thanks for your great post! 🙂

  52. Barb says:

    Unfortunately, I am in the nay camp on this one. My grandmother’s pressure cooker exploded one time, the valve hit the ceiling and came down, my sisters and I were all screaming and pea soup was spraying everywhere. That was enough for me. My slow cooker does everything I need it to do, and the other meals I make are oven meal or do- ahead so I really don’t even need one more appliance. I just don’t see the advantage.For example, the instant Irish oatmeal I make is ready in five minutes as it is. i guess this is one trend I won’t be following.

  53. Mary P says:

    I loved seeing this post! I got an Instantpot a year ago, and have gone in spurts using it. So I’m excited to be reminded to get it out and try some new recipes. One thing that worked really well is when we were doing 4 bushels of apples for applesauce last fall. There are only so many kettles that fit on the stovetop, and waiting for them to cook is what slows us down. So I started filling the Instantpot with apples. Although it didn’t cook as many at a time, it was so fast that it made up for it. And that insert cleans like a dream. Looking forward to pressure cooker recipes!

  54. Jennifer says:

    Based on all these comments, I think you should start posting more recipes, make a new recipe section “Pressure Cooking”, and annotate your recipes for conversion to the pressure cooker (:
    I make your potato salad recipe in about 15 minutes!
    I have a Cuisinart, and it has revolutionized dinner at my house….amazing things for dinner in less than an hour – I have converted my whole family too!

  55. Liz says:

    Mel, Is the post link(s) an affiliate link? I see absolutely NO reason it shouldn’t be 🙂 !! – and/or if there is a different method on your blog that sends some $$ back to MKC? Search did not show up anything so I’m unsure if you use or do not use Amazon affiliate. I don’t want to buy if I can buy and some credit to MKC.

    • Mel says:

      You are so cute, Liz. That’s really nice of you to even ask. I have a disclaimer at the bottom of this post that the amazon links in my post are affiliate. Thanks for asking. 🙂

      • Liz says:

        Good grief – thought I’d looked everywhere! Thank you – your research saves a lot of time (my time) and I’m glad you can get something back for your time.

  56. Ashley says:

    Yes! I got an Instant Pot for Christmas this year and am loving it so far. I’d love to see more pressure cooker recipes on your blog and would also love to hear how you do those potatoes and green beans!

  57. Brittney says:

    MEL!! Can’t tell you how excited I was to see this post! Just this week I was wondering if you ever use a pressure cooker and what your take was on it. You read my mind! Thanks for all the great info and all the great links. Now I can crack my bad boy cooker out more often and be in pressure cooking heaven!

  58. Kelley says:

    Oh, Mel! Why are you always changing my life??? I am terrified of my pressure cooker exploding, but if Mel says its a go then it’s a go! I can’t wait to tell my husband that we have to buy a pressure cooker because Mel said so! He loves your recipes as much as I do. Love you Mel!

  59. Courtney says:

    Yay! So happy to read this post and I look forward to more pressure cooking recipes and tips in the future! I am just getting into using my new InstantPot and like another poster mentioned, it is AWESOME for making hard boiled eggs. I pour a cup of water in the insert, place half a dozen eggs on the strainer, set it to manual for 8 mins and walk away. After the 8 mins are up, I do a quick release and put the eggs in ice water for a few mins. The shells literally slide right off, even on fresh eggs. Perfect every single time.

  60. Jane says:

    Thanks for a very informative post- and timely too. I am one of those granny’s who has been using the pressure cooker for 40+ years. It is worn out. It leaks around the seal, spits and loses pressure, sorta like me! My slow cooker just bit the dust too. I am going to get an Instapot to replace them both now that I am living in a smaller residence. My only concern is I have always used 15 psi on the pressure cooker because I live at 5000+ feet. I am concerned if the electric pots don’t get over 11-12 psi, will they be efficient at altitude. Any insight?

  61. I love my pressure cooker (and my pressure canner). When we moved to the farm I realized, after too many dinners at 8:00 or 9:00 o’clock at night, that I needed a quicker way to get a good dinner on the table. I use a Fagor Duo Pressure Cooker for the stove top and I love it.
    So glad you converted some of your recipes…..more please 🙂

  62. I’m so glad you’re loving the Instant Pot. So much great information in this post. Thanks for sharing my site!

  63. Hilary says:

    YES!!! More “pressure cooking” posts please!!!!!! 🙂

  64. Julie says:

    Yay! I’m so excited for more bloggers to post pressure cooker recipes. I’ve had a regular pressure cooker for years because my dad has always used one and bought us all one, but I always feel clueless about how long to cook things and there didn’t use to be very much info out there. I just bought an Instant Pot this week and am obsessed with it. There is an Instant Pot Facebook page that is VERY active with tons of info and recipes. Pressure cookers and great for people like me who don’t start thinking about dinner until 5:00 I was going to I get rid of my rice cooker, pressure cooker and crockpot, but you have me thinking maybe I should keep the pressure cooker.

    • Mel says:

      Yeah, hang on to the pressure cooker. I’m telling you, running two at a time racks up some serious rock star points. I’m excited to check out this InstantPot Facebook page!

  65. Jennifer H says:

    So helpful to read this. Thank you! I’m totally sold on the instapot now. I’ve been eyeing it. Never used a preure cooker befor but it doesn’t sound appealing. I’m really liking the idea of replacing my slow cooker with it. I need something that doesn’t need my eyes like the stove top ones would because, you know, kids and stuff.

  66. Brenda says:

    I’m still scared of the stove top pressure cookers… Those pictures of pressure cooker explosions are hard to get out of my head. I’ve had a Cuisinart electric pressure cooker for 2 years and use it frequently. I mainly use it for hard boiled eggs, brown rice and chicken breasts. Looking forward to making more “meals” and soups with it.

  67. Kayla says:

    I was just thinking about this today and wanted to know if you used a pressure cooker. I am so excited to see this post! I am hoping to see some instant pot friendly recipes coming soon. I received one for Christmas and like you said electric cooks at a lower psi then stovetop pressure cookers and I am not sure how to adjust. I got mine for the same reason as you, my slow cooker went out. Thanks for magically knowing what I wanted you to write about!

  68. Melanie says:

    Hey Mel–I own a pressure cooker, but I only use it to can :(. It might be time that I take the next step! Also, I am in love with that Instant Pot. I had never heard of it before your post, and after reading it and some Amazon reviews, I am smitten. Do you have any idea how many things I have bought in the past year after reading about them on your site??? This item is next on my “wish list”. It’s my 10 year wedding anniversary this month, and I am now switching from dropping hints about getting a diamond anniversary band to an Instant Pot LOL!!

  69. Jessica Chamberlain says:

    YEA!! I have been waiting for a pressure cooking post. Several peple I know us them all the time, so I have been trying to get up my courage to try it. Just needed someone I trust to get me going!

  70. Sue says:

    I asked my husband to buy me an instant pot for Christmas and I’m loving it! So far I’ve used it as a pressure cooker (no learning curve there), a slow cooker (the same), made yogurt in it (it rocks! can make a gallon of perfect yogurt at a time with NO stirring or worrying about burnt milk), rice (also a cinch), perfect polenta (also NO stirring!!!) and various soups. It’s fabulous – and I paid for mine – worth every penny. I’ve gotten rid of my pressure cooker, my slow cooker, my yogurt maker, and my rice cooker, so it’s actually given me more room in my cupboards (I’ll try not to fill them up, hehe).

  71. My sister is a diehard pressure cooker cook but I’ve yet to try it. I LOVE this post! So informative and the conversation here is great. Pinned and will definitely be referring to this in the future. Thanks!.

  72. happykidslunch says:

    I squealed out loud when this post showed up in my feedly reader this morning! I got an Instant Pot for Christmas and have used it every day since (I even used it 5 times last Sunday!!). My favorites so far were BBQ ribs (cooked for 25 min), a whole chicken (cooked for 36 minutes), chicken broth (cooked for 2 hours), and frozen chicken breasts & salsa (cooked from frozen to perfect in 12 minutes!!!!!!!!!!)- AMAZING!! It’s seriously life changing! I would love to see more pressure cooker recipes from you! I’ve been posting some of my Instant Pot meals on Instagram (happykidslunch), and it’s fun to see what other instagramers are using it for too- just search #instantpot 🙂 Thanks for all you do!

  73. Kayleen says:

    I too have been afraid of pressure cooking. Now it’s not so scary but I do have a scary story from my childhood I think about when the subject comes up. It would be cool to have but since my idea of dinner is more of a free for all I don’t know if I could justify buying one. I hope to get more inspired by reading your blog. I did make the banana oatmeal chocolate chip recipe but I was the only one who would eat it. I liked the no bake chocolate cookies but again, just me eating them. I wish they wouldn’t melt in my hands, but on the other hand I don’t feel guilty eating 6 of them at one time. I’m trying to be a better cook and love your blog and encouragement. I’ll keep trying. Sorry this turned into a confessional for me.

  74. Mollie says:

    This post made me a little giddy today. I got that exact pressure cooker (Instant Pot) on a black Friday deal last year. I’ve already been using it quite a bit, and loving it, but there have been several times when I thought, I wish Mel had some pressure cooker recipes! So, here’s to hoping you’ll have more in the future, or at least include instructions for how to make recipes with this fabulous tool! I used it to make the Dulce de Leche earlier this week (for your Banoffee pie – oh my, what a treat!) and it worked great! 30 minutes on high pressure was perfect! I’ve made a few of your recipes in there (can’t remember the exact ones at this point.) But sometimes I think I’ve over cooked them. I’d love your conversions!

    • Mel says:

      I’ll definitely try to add notes to recipes as I make them and go back to ones I can update now with first hand experience. I’m so excited about the dulce de leche!!

  75. Pam says:

    I have one of “your grandmother’s pressure cooker” I got as a shower gift in 1970. It is a Presto, with the jiggling and spurting. (I have never used it for canning, and probably never will.) It is wonderful, and I use it to this day with a replacement valve and ring. Love this thing. So delighted that you are bringing this device to a younger generation.

  76. Moriah says:

    Yay! Would love more pressure cooker recipes from you!! Especially quick and easy ones!!!

  77. Heather says:

    I have had a stove top one for years. I was actually given both an electric one and stove top one in the same year at Christmas. I kept the stove top because I had a TINY kitchen and it multi tasked. Two years ago I was given an electric one again. I hadn’t opened it when the giver came to visit (my mother in law). She made something with it I can’t remember what so I decided to start using it. For months it was my rice cooker. Now we throw frozen chicken in. Cook for 20 min on the timer and shred it in my kitchen aide. My single brother uses it all the time. We do soups, roasts etc. I can’t wait to try a cheesecake.

  78. Emily says:

    Growing up my mother was a prolific pressure-cooker…cooker (?). She made so many things in her massive old school pressure cooker. The first semester I was away at college (1996) my roommates and I decided to combine our resources and make Sunday dinner together. I was in charge of the bakes potatoes and asked my roommates where the pressure cooker was. They looked at me like I was crazy and told me to just put them in the oven. My response, “WHAT! You can bake potatoes in the oven!” I had no idea you could put potatoes in an oven! So embarrassing! My mom never baked a potato, she only pressure cooked them. My cluelessness knew no bounds back then. 🙂

    • Mel says:

      That’s hilarious, Emily. You and I went off to college the same year. 🙂 The difference is, I didn’t even know how to bake potatoes back then. Now I’m going to have to try “baked” potatoes in the pressure cooker!

  79. Kira says:

    Ahh my brain hurts. Hopefully in the future you add some specific instructions for pressure cooking on your new recipes. I need you to walk me through this before I invest. I’m so glad you got the instapot. You deserve it. If any other recipe site mentioned it I’d roll my eyes at the advertisement. But if Mel does it that suddenly means that I should also be doing it:)

  80. Cindy Coppel says:

    I’m so glad you did a review of the Instant Pot. One of my friends just posted on Facebook how much she loves her and what a time saver it has been. I would love if you posted recipes that would work well in this appliance. I have been impressed by what I have read and think I will add one to my wish list! Thanks for sharing so many great recipes! Many have become some of our favorites!

  81. Holly says:

    I don’t think I could ever use a stovetop pressure cooker since I am still scarred from the time my mom’s exploded when I was a teenager- not too much damage done other than bits of chicken hanging off the ceiling, but still! She gave me an electric pressure cooker a couple of years ago, and I use it a lot. However, I’ve really only used it to make sides like pinto beans and potatoes, and I haven’t really tried any meats or real meals. Youve inspired me to take it to the next level though! Thanks for the tips and resources!

  82. 100% YAY! I love my electric pressure cooker and my family actually thinks I can cook now. 🙂

  83. Shauna says:

    YES! More InstantPot recipes please!! I just got one and love it, but I don’t feel like I’m using it to its full potential. Thank you!

  84. Aunna Poelman says:

    mel! I just got a pressure cooker for Christmas and would absolutely love more pressure cooker recipes and how to convert old recipes to pressure cooker! Maybe once a week or something? Yay!

  85. Jessica Chamberlain says:

    So, I think in all your spare time, you need to add a pressure cooker tab in your recipe index!

  86. Jen says:

    Yah over here! Thank you for doing a post on pressure cooking. I would love to see more recipes and ideas. I too get a bit scared to use one but with practice I think I will gain confidence.

  87. Slly says:

    How many quarts is your pressure cooker?

  88. Melissa Pace says:

    Mel you are just the best. seriously I JUST JUST ordered one of these yesterday because I had been wanting one for a while, and then a few hours after the purchase I thought “I wonder if Mel has a pressure cooker, she MUST, I mean she’s MEL, she has every baking tool and cooking gadget under the sun and knows how to use each one like a pro…..but I don’t ever recall her mentioning one on her site”. Then boom, I go to your site later that night and there is your post on the very electric pressure cooker I just ordered. You can imagine my delight as I read every word in detail. I actually originally ordered the cuisinart one since one of my other favorite health food bloggers (A Vibrant Life) raved about hers. But when it came out of the box it was dented so I sent it back, and thus had a little more time to do research and found that the InstantPot had better reviews, although sounds like a bigger learning curve. I can’t wait to try it out when it arrives on my doorstep. I mostly ordered it to aid in improving my healthy eating habits since it can cook brown rice, steel cut oats, sweet potatoes, lentils, dry beans, and lean meats in a fraction of the time. But I’m so excited to learn all the rest of what it can do. I’m all about faster cooking methods as a busy mom of 3 small children. No more waiting 50 minutes for brown rice to cook! Up until a year or two ago I thought pressure cookers were only for canning. So -pretty much I know nothing about them, so I look forward to your tips and tricks and going to the reference webpages you sited. Also, your post has almost convinced me that as I become a more advanced chef I might try investing in a stove top one as well. Sorry for the long winded reply but I am super excited. Loved meeting you in November. Girls night with Mel soon please:)

  89. EmilyF says:

    Got my instant pot 4 days ago and have used it twice–once for mashed sweet potatoes and once for your slow cooker beef and sweet potato stew with corn and green chiles. I pressure cooked the beef and wet ingredients spices first for 20 min, quick released pressure then added the rest and pressure cooked again for 15 min. It was awesome!!! I absolutely love it.

  90. Sarah Jane Jennings says:

    I’ve been researching pressure cookers for a good two weeks straight and can’t make up my mind about what one to get. I like the idea of being able to can with the Power Pressure Cooker XL. Have you heard anything about that one? Or used it? Costco has a Cuisinart one on sale for $70 that looks great, but the only one I can find that does canning is the PPC XL. I am not a huge canner, but would like to be able to can things like jam and applesauce….

    • Mel says:

      I haven’t heard anything about that one, but several people mentioned it on my FB page and it seems they like it. I don’t can in my stovetop pressure cooker and InstantPot (the InstantPot doesn’t get high enough psi to can) mostly because they aren’t big enough but I have an enormous pressure canner that I use to do batches of canning. I almost think the pressure canners are too big to be functional for every day dinners but that’s just my opinion.

    • Lachelle says:

      Usually, jam and applesauce you can use a boiling water bath canner to can. A pressure canner is used for things like vegetables, soups, meats, etc. Hope that helps!

  91. Marne S. says:

    I looooooove this!! I just got a pressure cooker for Christmas after my friend raved about hers so much and having you post recipes is basically perfection!!!! Love it

  92. katie says:

    I love pressure cooking. It makes delicious meat. And I secretly, although not so secretly anymore, love that it is what saved my grandmother from being in trouble with my grandpa. My mom said she would be playing with her kids having so much fun and then look at the time and freak because she needed to have dinner on the table asap. She would go to the butcher, grab some meat and a coke and have dinner on the table in no time. I haven’t done too much with veggies but would like to learn more.

  93. Kristine says:

    I love my instant pot. I love it so much that it now has a permanent place on my counter top! I’ve cooked ribs, potatoes, every kind of soup, chicken, rice, noodles… And my favorite is to plunk frozen chicken, frozen beans, pour in a box of chicken stock and seasonings..put the lid on set for 14 minutes, and walk away. Yes, walk away, and in about half hour, you’ve got tortilla soup! Voila! And the laundry got folded too. I’ve made beans too and froze them for refried beans. Another awesome feature is the saute, that I use for onions, garlic and meat sometimes..And also after it’s done pressure cooking, I might boil the food and add noodles to it, or thicken it. It is kinda small though, and for my ever-growing family of 6, I foresee it but being big enough to hold enough to feed them all dinner. Maybe in a few years they’ll make a bigger one, also made with stainless steel. Love! Highly recommend! Can’t wait to see what Mel posts as good recipes using it!

    • Barbara says:

      there’s an 8 qt now! I just bought the 6 qt as an amazon deal of the day, but kind of wish I’d waited for the 8 qt 🙂

  94. Anna Valdez says:

    It’s a “yay” for me! But before I elaborate I must tell you how much I’ve enjoyed your blog and recipes! I haven’t found a recipe of yours that I don’t like. My family loves me more because of you! Now, regarding pressure cookers. I own seven and now you must think I’m a hoarder! I’ve actually had 3-4 cooking on the stove at the same time. I’ve never used the electric models, only stovetop. They are a wonderful tool and I’m so excited that you have discovered them too!

  95. cherie dellwo says:

    I received an Instantpot for Christmas and I love it!

  96. Beth says:

    I love my instant pot, but would love Mel approved recipes to use it even more. What do you do with potatoes and green beans in the instant pot? Anything special? My mom got me one for my birthday and I didn’t think I would end up using it, but I use it at least twice a week for something or other. I use it most often to cook dried beans and brown rice, but it’s also come in handy when I’ve run out of time and need to make a soup that usually takes hours to simmer to develop the flavour. I’m surprised how often I use the sauté function (like all crockpot recipes that ask you to saute first, or just recently for Christmas dinner for making stock for the gravy and then the gravy itself when all my burners were being used) and the keep warm function way more than I thought I would, and love that I can just throw the pot in my dishwasher. For the easy to clean-ness, it has replaced my slow cooker unless I’m cooking a ridiculous amount of food. In all, it’s given me a lot of flexibility in cooking time, as it can keep things warm if the best time to cook is earlier in the afternoon, or it can cook things quick if I procrastinated, or it can take all day in the slow cooker mode on days when cooking in the am is best. Help me use it more please!

  97. Cindy says:

    Thank you! I would love to read more on pressure cooking.

  98. Jean says:

    Love your blog, Mel! I’m a grandma in her 70’s, and have used a pressure cooker (on & off) for most of my life. When the kids were young and family camping trips were a favourite holiday, my stove top pressure cooker went with us, for many a quick and complete one pot meal.

  99. Sarah says:

    My mom made our family of 8 “porcupine meatballs” in a pressure cooker and it was one of our favorites. Now that I have a family of my own I bought a pressure cooker just to make this one meal. I will now have to try other things in it. For porcupine meatballs you take a 1lb of ground hamburger/turkey and mix in diced onion, 1/4 cup rice, garlic powder. Roll the hamburger into balls. In the pressure cooker mix 2 cans tomato sauce and 1 can tomato soup and some dried thyme together and then place meatballs in sauce. Put on lid and turn on heat. Once it starts to whistle I usually cook for 12 minutes. Serve over rice. Easy and so yummy! Love your recipes Mel!

  100. Erin says:

    Love that you are covering the pressure cooker topic. My husband got me one for Christmas last year and it’s hardly gotten any use. I just haven’t had the time to read about how it works, experiment with it, and convert recipes.
    Thanks so much! We love all of your recipes!

  101. Melody H says:

    My crockpot of over 16 years just broke and now I am considering an InstantPot–thanks to your post! Just wondering–my crockpot was oval and so it was easy to lay chicken breasts or whatever on the bottom when the recipe called for it. The InstantPot seems much more narrow in the base. Do you think that would ever present a problem in using it as a crockpot? Thanks for your help!!

    • Mel says:

      That’s a great question, Melody, and I totally know what you mean. I’ve only used the slow cooker function a time or two on the InstantPot and I was using it for recipes that I’d made before in my similarly-shaped slow cooker. But I also have an oval slow cooker and I can see how in the InstantPot some recipes may require you to layer meat on top of each other. I don’t think it necessarily presents a problem unless the recipe you are using is too large for the 6-quart InstantPot.

  102. Jennifer says:

    I use a stove top pressure cooker at least 2 x a week. I love it! As a matter of fact I just made a pot of chicken alphabet soup in it last night. Tasted like it had cooked all day flavor but took tops 30 minutes, even with using frozen chicken. I am very intrigued about the instant pot though.

  103. Barbara says:

    LOVE my instant pot! If you are thinking of getting one, get it. Don’t be afraid, try the water test and you will see it is simply a matter of flipping the lever closed – it is fool proof – honest 🙂 You won’t regret it. Just my husband and I and I still use it multiple times a week. Brown rice, whole chicken, various cuts of meats come out amazing, pot roast with carrots and potatoes, beans, etc. One of my repeats is taking your Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas marinade on a pork tenderloin and cooking it in the IP. Yumo! Can’t wait to see more posts with recipes!!

  104. Jamie says:

    looks like the instant pot is on sale for $120 on Amazon right now. About 50% off the list price if anyone is interested

  105. Sheila H. says:

    A friend got me an Instant Pot and I am loving it. Add your stroganoff recipe to the list. it also does a great job with drumsticks, gratin potatoes (super quickly), and a whole spaghetti squash, …I am looking forward to new recipes!!!!

  106. Sarah says:

    Great timing on your post. I just received and Instant Pot on Sunday for my birthday. Can’t wait to see what great recipes you post for it.

  107. SimplySusan says:

    Have you made your red berry risotto in the InstantPot? Would love to have a quick way to make it on a week day morning without having to watch it every minute so it doesn’t bil over..

  108. Cassidy says:

    Last night we put your Crock-pot Country Style Pork and White Beans into the Instant Pot (mostly because I forgot to put it into the crock-pot in time). Dare I say it was even better!?! We did Stew setting for 30 mins with the natural release. Then when it came out we also added some smoked chipolte powder. TO. DIE. FOR. Thank you for your great recipes.

  109. Jared Solko says:

    Hi Mel,

    I have been trying to convince my wife that we “NEED” an instant pot for the last several months or so and she hasn’t budged since we already own a larger stove-top pressure cooker. So I was ecstatic when I saw the link to this post in my email because I knew if it had your stamp of approval she would have no choice but to change her mind! So since I finally got the go-ahead, I was wondering if there was any way I can give them your name when I purchase so they know you were responsible for a sale?

    • Jared Solko says:

      PS I just saw on their FB page that they plan on releasing an 8 qt model this spring!

    • Mel says:

      Hey Jared – that’s awfully nice of you to ask about that! If you buy it from Amazon you can use one of the links up above as an affiliate link (doesn’t cost you anything extra but gives me credit for the sale). If you are going into a local retailer, they probably won’t know or care about me. 🙂 But you could always mention it. Thanks for even thinking or caring about that! Also, SO excited about the 8-quart potential!

  110. brittany watt says:

    Thanks for this! I just got an instant pot for Christmas. Ive used it many times already. I’m the worlds worst rice cooker so when perfect rice came out, I was hooked! Thanks for the info.

  111. Becky says:

    My Mom cooked with a pressure cooker. She didn’t use it for years and doesn’t have it any more. I did not understand the uses and I guess I still don’t. Interesting reading though…love your style of writing!

  112. Rhonda says:

    I’ve been debating about getting an Instant Pot, and your post helped seal the deal. I’m excited to try a variety of recipes in it.

  113. Darlita says:

    Thanks for your great post! I, too, always heard the pressure cooking horror stories, so have never even learned to preserve food requiring pressure cooking. The Instant Pot is intriguing, though. Also, wondering if you might sometime consider a post on cooking on a gas range versus electric? I’ve only ever used an electric range, but am tempted to do gas the next go around (either is an option). Thoughts? Pretty please with sugar on top?! 🙂

    • Mel says:

      That’s a great topic, Darlita – unfortunately I’ve only ever had electric stoves (in all our moves) but have cooked on gas when I’m visiting family. I don’t think I’m quite the expert but I do now if I ever had the choice I’d probably go for gas because of how it heats.

  114. Heather says:

    My husband surprised me and a package from Amazon just showed up on my door step with an Instapot in it! I am so excited but also a little overwhelmed! I remembered that you had just done a post about it so I came right here. I am a little less overwhelmed after reading your tips and tricks and am excited to get started with this thing!

  115. Heidi says:

    Would you say I should get the 6 qt. size Instapot? I see the same one you have but in 5 qt is on a great sale on amazon. We are a family of 7 and I think I need the 6 qt. What are your thoughts?

    • Mel says:

      Yeah, for a family of 7, I’d definitely say the 6-quart would work better. I don’t alway use it to the maximum for our family of 7 but I like knowing I can make a lot. You might read reviews on the 5-quart though – if it could do what you want it to, it would be nice to snag a deal.

      • Heidi says:

        I ended up getting the 6 qt. version with only 6 features (no yogurt making) but it helped get the price down a bit. I am about to use it for the first time this weekend!!

  116. Hilary says:

    Hi Mel,
    This post is so awesome!! I do have a quick question though, you mentioned that you were able to make your baked pork chops with apples and onions in your pressure cooker …how did you convert that? Did you add some extra liquid to the pot and about how long did you cook it for? I’m going to try to make this dish this weekend! Thank you so much for everything you do…you have turned me into a kitchen queen!!! 🙂

    • Mel says:

      I just threw it all in there (apples and onions on the bottom) and cooked it for about 10 minutes high pressure. The pork chops were fall apart tender so if you want them a little more firm, you might cook it for less time.

  117. Shannon says:

    Hi Mel, I see that there is an 8 qt instant pot available. Would you get that one instead of the 6qt? I would like the larger size, but not sure I have room for it on my counter and cupboard.

    • Mel says:

      That’s a really good question, Shannon. I always thought I would like an 8-qt but honestly, having the 6-qt is perfect for us. There’s only been a handful of times I wished I could fit more in (and only cooking for company – the 6-quart is plenty big for our family). If the cost isn’t exorbitantly more, I’d probably go for the 8-qt but if it’s a lot more expensive, I think the 6-qt is great.

  118. Rachel says:

    Mel you have convinced me to get an instant pot! My dilemma is in choosing a size. They have a 6qt and an 8qt. I have a family of 7 so I think we would get great use out of the larger size, but I worry that I wouldn’t be able to cooker smaller batches in it such as four servings of oatmeal. Do you know of any problems with cooking small meals in a larger cooker?

    • Mel says:

      Hi Rachel – that’s the one great thing about pressure cookers – you can cook really small quantities even in a large pressure cooker so if you are on the fence, I’d probably go for the 8 quart!

  119. Amanda W. says:

    I always do a big batch of steel cut oats in my crock pot. Could the insta pot do that?
    Thanks!

    • Mel says:

      Yes! 3 cups water to 1 cup steel cut oats, high pressure for 3 minutes, natural release. That’s how I make them at least once a week around here! 🙂

  120. Lynn says:

    yah!!! can you do a recipe for butternut squash soup cooking the squash in the pressure cooker…I so would rather spend my time assembling a quilt then cooking. Thanks for all your hard work.
    Have a batch of brownie batter muddy puppies made for next to my sewing machine now…yum!

  121. Diane says:

    Hey! Thanks so much! I’ve been really interested in this and now it’s on my Christmas list! I’d prefer the countertop version. There’s an 8-quart at Costco right now. It says hat you CAN NOT use it to can over 2000 feet, and it says that it does not work as effectively over 2000 feet above sea level for everything else. Have you heard this? Is it concerning because I’m above that? I’m assuming that all brands are similar, but maybe I need to do some more research.

    • Mel says:

      Hi Diane – I don’t use my pressure cooker to can but I haven’t heard about pressure cookers being less effective over 2,000 feet. I wonder if it depends on brand?

  122. Catherine says:

    I’m completely new to pressure cooking. As my kids get older and I always have other kids in the house, it’s getting harder to cook dinner. I love to cook and use so many of your recipes. I am hoping the instant pot will put us back on track for eating home cooked meals. When a pressure cooker recipe is a one pot rice and meat, what instant pot setting should I use? The rice or the type of meat? Thanks for this post. I’m late getting into this but I was happy I remembered you already had some information up.

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