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.
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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.