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My First Attempt at Using an Instant Pot: Here’s My Review

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I love using a slow cooker. One of my favorite things to cook is country style pork ribs in BBQ sauce. But, when I’m hungry, I want to eat. I’m not one to plan a meal, hence my habit of eating out several times a week. Cooking in a slow cooker requires planning ahead. When I first saw the Instant Pot and heard how fast pressure cooking was, I thought this would be the perfect product to use after I get home from work.

I did a lot of research on the Instant Pot and it had overwhelmingly positive reviews. I looked online for recipes and found many that I thought I would enjoy.

Now, I’m not one to impulse buy a product. I wait for sales. I wait for just the perfect time to pounce. A few weeks ago, Kohl’s advertised an Instant Pot for $99.99.  This is one of the lowest prices I’ve seen. To sweeten the pot (get it), it was an extra 15% off, I had a $10 off $10 coupon and a $25 gift card for my birthday which brought the price down to $52. I had to buy this pot.

This weekend, I went to Hy-Vee and picked up a package of country style pork ribs (score – only $1.99 a pound). I decided to try one of my favorite slow cooker meals in the Instant Pot.

I took the pot out of the box and I’m not going to lie, I was seriously confused. It looks easy to use, but when I started reading the instructions, I was lost. One of the instructions tells you to test the pot. I thought that was a good idea since I didn’t want to screw up my ribs. You test it with water. I cancelled the operation three times because I didn’t think it was working. When I finally let it go and do its job, it worked.

My 90 year old mother told me horror stories about using a pressure cooker when she was growing up, so I was a bit scared to use the Instant Pot, but I’m happy to say, I don’t think the pressure cookers of today are anything like the stove top pressure cookers my mom used back in the 40’s and 50’s. The Instant Pot seemed completely safe.

I mixed up my homemade BBQ sauce. I use a pint jar of homemade tomato soup, lots of brown sugar, salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder.  I also use vinegar, but forgot to put it in. I put the BBQ sauce in the bottom of the Instant Pot and then arranged my ribs flat, trying not to stack them.

I used the Manual setting for 35 minutes.   Within a few minutes, I could smell the ribs cooking and the aroma of the BBQ sauce. After the pressure cooker switched to Keep Warm, it started to release pressure. It was taking too long and I was hungry, so I quick released. Ideally, you would let the ribs sit through the slow release process to cook a little longer. Next time, if I’m not so hungry, I’ll try that.

When I opened the lid, they looked just like they would in a crock pot. The test was going to be if they were fork-tender. Yep, fall apart, fork-tender. The BBQ sauce had penetrated the meat and made them so juicy.

I already have plans to do macaroni and cheese, roast beef and potatoes, and rice. Pinterest, here I come.

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