Instant Pot reviews: I’m not a fan of pressure cooking

It’s Tuesday morning and I’m still wide awake. That’s part of living with insomnia. Some days you get a lot of sleep while others, you don’t sleep at all. I guess today is one of those days where sleep is not an option. The weather is at least cool right now but it’s supposed to be another really hot week ahead.

Over the weekend, I ordered in my bi-monthly batch of groceries. I guess I accidentally ordered a couple of things twice and so I have TONS of food I need to cook up and use up before it all goes bad. I had ordered a package of broccoli which I just tossed into the freezer. I also ordered a veggie blend which was supposed to be carrots, broccoli and cauliflower – a small package. But the shopper substituted the small pack for a family package! I’m at a loss what to do with it all. I did throw the veggies in my zest pot to steam them and will either make a casserole in the next day or so, or roast it. I could freeze them but I’m worried that they will just dry out. Lesson learned.

I stocked up on a lot of pantry items this weekend too. I got some quinoa, barley, smart pasta, canned beans, and frozen goods too. I’ve already made a batch of chili which turned out to be awesome, and a vegetable quinoa soup today. I’ll share recipes later. The soup turned out really great, but for some reason the quinoa did NOT cook in the zest pot. So, I had to strain it all out. I put the rest of the soup in the freezer.

Batch cooking and freezing saves so much time

I’m looking for recipes that I can make easily without turning on the oven and that I can put in the freezer for later use. My only issue is that my freezer is tiny. I’ve been toying with the idea of getting a small chest freezer but it’s hard to tell what they look like online. The joys of not driving.

I’ll be making some apple crumble and apple sauce. I also have some bananas and strawberries that I need to use up too. I also have some asparagus (another accidental purchase) and bell peppers. This is the danger of online shopping. I just need to double check my cart more often.

I love my Zest Pot

My Zest Pot has been sitting in my cupboards for a few months and I forgot how much I enjoy cooking with it. You can do pastas, rice, quinoa (on its own), Sautee simple things, and even slow cook. But slow cooking in a Zest Pot is not the same as using a Crock Pot as I learned. And it’s not quite the same thing as the Instant Pot – even though it’s made by the same brand.

What I have is called the Instant Pot Zest Pot and I absolutely love this thing. It’s easy to clean, light weight and you can just do so much with it. It’s not just for rice – you can also cook soups, stews and other great dishes in it.

This model is great for people who want to cook larger meals without the hassle of a pressure cooker. If you’re making a pasta dish for instance, just throw in some water, your vegetables and the pasta. Hit the pasta button and you’re good to go. No need to worry about the steam release or waiting 10-15 minutes to the pot to de-pressurize.

And trust me, I tried the Instant Pot Duo model and wound up giving it away. I just couldn’t figure out how to make anything taste good. That was my “good deed” before I moved. I gave it to a friend in need.

The struggle is real

My plan for the next few days is to do some more cooking and freezing. I’d really like to get into jarring and creating my own jams and sauces. Maybe that’s a project for September. For now, I have an overstocked fridge and that’s a very first world problem I know.

But it’s also the struggle of living alone at times. You can either buy individual items, OR you can get a family sized package which inevitably means you’re going to have a lot of leftovers.

I think I may need to start going to the store in person so I don’t over spend anymore. Or do a better job of checking my freezer first to make sure I don’t over do it. But on the upside, I won’t have to order in any food any time soon. It’s also helped to cut down ordering in take out.

I really dislike pressure cooking

I gave the Instant Pot a real shot when I purchased it in 2020. The idea was to use it for healthy baking and hot meals so I wouldn’t have to turn the oven on in summer months. I tried four meals with it. A chili, a keto cake, pasta, and soup.

Well, the chili started off okay – but I forgot to take the plastic piece off the ground beef. Pretty much had to throw the whole thing away. The cake turned into one huge mushy mess. The pasta was the only edible dish. The IP just sat on my shelf for another eight months until I gave it away.

Maybe the pot was defective or maybe I didn’t give it enough of a chance. i didn’t like that I had to wait another 10-15 minutes for the pot to de-pressurize. The whole point of having the IP was so that it would cut down on meal times.

And then I started getting the “food burning” beeping noise with every use. It was then that I knew the pot had to go. It seems my friend is having a better time with it anyway.

So, in short, I much prefer the Zest Pot compared to the Instant Pot Duo or Nova because I am not a fan of pressure cooking. And even though I can’t bake in it, every meal has been fantastic.

If you’re looking for an easy way to make rice or pasta, then definitely give the Zest Pot a go.

Have you used an instant pot before? If so, what has your experience been with it? Let me know!

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