Instant Love

 
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Well, not exactly instant love. I stared at or just walked past this contraption the first week after untangling it from its box. That was a year ago. And now there are days when I've used it three times. Steelcut oats for breakfast (3 minutes), chickpeas mid-day (33 minutes), and overnight chicken stock (60 minutes, but it will hold for 10 hours without flinching). 

The Instant Pot. A multicooker. Pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, yogurt maker, and on. This thing is quite a sore thumb in my kitchen, since there are so few gadgets otherwise. I'm the sort to discourage anyone from buying kitchen tools unnecessarily. Use your hands, I am always uttering. But, I'll confess it right here: I couldn't resist. 

I use the Instant Pot almost exclusively for cooking dried beans (navy beans, pinto, black, chickpeas). Pour in beans, water, maybe a bay leaf, a dash of salt, cover, and get on with the day. I always make a big batch and then freeze leftovers in single-size containers. Then I have them for upcoming dishes. And in the heart of soup season, the pot gets a lot of exercise making stocks and chili and embarrassingly simple and delicious bolognese. 

Right now I can't evangelize anymore about it. For any level of cook, it rocks! It gets us to the table more easily and more quickly, and it produces such healthy and frugal fare in the midst. What more can you ask for? A perfect present for anyone with some counter space and a scrappy spirit. 

Look for more Instant Pot love letters here, accounts of experiments gone well and awry, and recipes.