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A resident who helps host The Joy of Cooking Club here in the Old People's Home was seriously pushing the Instant Pot as a wonderful invention to my husband, who is considering my birthday present, but hasn't had a list from me.
(In our family it is a tradition to give a suggestion list for one's birthday that must include cheap and expensive gifts so that the giver has some leeway)

She said it was absolutely wonderful!!!
Someone else later said it takes a lot of preparation before you can a actually cook something, and a crock pot doesn't need a lot of prep.

Does anyone here have an Instant Pot ( that's the brand she suggested) and can offer some input/advice/practical wisdom?

TIA
Maryanne
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The instant pot is really just a pressure cooker and slow cooker all rolled into one. It's probably so popular for its versatility, but that is to say it's probably not the savior of mankind (at least in the kitchen). It is not quite as idiot-proof as a crockpot.

I have one, and don't get me wrong, I do like it. You can cook a whole chicken in about 30 minutes, and it is so much more moist and tender than if you do it in the oven. Cook time is less than that, but it does take a little time to come up to pressure. We make chicken noodle soup in it somewhat frequently and it is perfect for that. I've used it for chili and even some other recipes I wouldn't have thought of like orange chicken. (I swear we don't just eat chicken)

I think you'll enjoy having it, as there are now endless recipes on the internet specifically for it. Really, just google "instant pot <food>" and I would bet you a dollar you'll find a recipe for it. Just make sure that if you do intend to use the pressure cook setting, that you put some liquid in the bottom of the pot. Otherwise there will be no steam, and thus no way to close the pressure vent. Found that out the hard way.
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Did anyone else think this was about a different kind of pot or just me?
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Did anyone else think this was about a different kind of pot or just me?

I guess like minds. Fooled the heck out of me.
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I have an Instant Pot -

Best thing is frozen-block-of-meat to food-on-table in <1 hour.

There are a kabillion recipes on the internet, many of which involve a "saute" step (or 3).

I don't do that.

My usual method is meat into pot, sauce, set done.

(Ok, just a slightly more detailed approached - add also
salt & pepper - seasonings,
sauce or water (salsa, bbq, pickle juice, pepperoncini, ponzu, wine, what-ever)
20-35 minutes pressure. Let pressure release naturally.)

Never put tomato based sauces into the an before the meat (will burn)

Can do a handful of baked potatoes in a short time without reheating the oven, but you won't get the crispy skin.

Pros:
Same ease as a crock pot, but much faster.
One Pot! to clean
No need to thaw & plan

Cons:
Not crispy (ever)

peace & instant pots
t
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novawind shares, "The instant pot is really just a pressure cooker and slow cooker all rolled into one. It's probably so popular for its versatility, but that is to say it's probably not the savior of mankind (at least in the kitchen). It is not quite as idiot-proof as a crockpot. I have one, and don't get me wrong, I do like it."
--------------------------


My #1 concern... how difficult is it to clean? Is it a pain in the butt to scrub it and get the grease gone, and when you cook in it does the food stick to the sides where it needs to be scrubbed hard?

Art
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how difficult is it to clean?

Not very - hot soapy water usually takes care of it.

Is it a pain in the butt to scrub it and get the grease gone, and when you cook in it does the food stick to the sides where it needs to be scrubbed hard?

Once the food has finished cooking, transfer to a serving/storage dish, including liquid.
The liner of the IP is stainless and light. Because one is using pressure, it doesn't get and stay really hot for a long time.
So, empty the contents, rinse in hot water, soak if anything appears "stuck on", and wash as you would any cooking pot.

It really is pretty easy to clean - I have never experienced a baked on/burnt mess in mine, but I am sure someone will have that tale to tell...


peace & Dawn
t
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I bought one for cheap on Amazon Prime Day (which was in July, I think). It’s still sitting on my counter unused. If you were still here in town, I’d happily pass it along to you!!
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"Instant Pot" fooled me, too! I wondered if it was some way of quickly grinding the plants down or something! LOL

Vermonter
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We've never had a slow cooker, and my wife says she doesn't want one, but we're retired, We can see where a working person might like to have one while they are at work.

Vermonter
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Thanks everyone for all the helpful input.

I had to laugh at the other interpretation of instant pot, because with my doctor's blessing I do use marijuana drops (or a gummie) under my tongue sometimes for my back pain.

I am not sure they work, but many oldies here swear by them for various aches and pains. They are legal in California, but not yet FDA approved. Hence the need for my doctor's OK.

She said she'd heard good things about them, but as the drops were not FDA approved she couldn't officially recommend them. However, she assured me they wouldn't affect my other meds and she did not disapprove.

I had another laugh at Miss Edith Keeler offering me her pot.I think it is exactly the one I saw on Amazon. Thanks for the kind thought!
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I too thought a different pot... Gummies. Be aware that there are gummies with only CBD oil, gummies with only THC, and gummies with a mix.

From your description, I suspect you're eating CBD gummies, or drops/tincture.

If the CBD you're using isn't giving relief, you might try a different tincture? There are a dozen varieties?

About a month ago, I tried CBD gummies and was pleased. A couple days later, I had some THC gummies and 😁.

😑
ralph was in a state with legalized weed.

IPs cook with pressurized steam. I suspect it's difficult to get really hard-to-clean, baked-on food crusts. But, I await a real world answer from someone who has one! 😃. Perhaps it's possible if food is put into the unit without (sufficient) water? Also, see the comment about "don't put tomato sauce in before the roast, it'll burn..."
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Does anyone here have an Instant Pot ( that's the brand she suggested) and can offer some input/advice/practical wisdom?

The inside container is removable and dishwasher safe. Enough liquid is required that I haven't experienced anything being burnt on. The sealing ring installed inside of the lid is easily removed for cleaning. I always reinstall it after cleaning and drying. My DIL has forgotten to install it a couple of times.

Exterior cleaning of the lid depends on what has been cooked. The steam from pulled pork contains fat and it does require a little effort to clean. It isn't baked on. Just cleaning the grease from the draining track around the lid.

Keep the instructions available the first few times you use it or having not used it in a while. It isn't complicated but if not properly setup it won't pressurize. The pressure release value must be properly installed for it to pressurize. Again not difficult. There is also a cup for catching the liquid condensed from the steam. If it is forgotten, liquid will end up on the counter.

The pressure release valve position is changed at the end to release the pressure. Being concerned that I might be burned from the steam, I tried to use salad tongs to move it and ended up removing it. I won't do that again. It had been on high pressure setting. The amount of steam was enough that I was afraid it would set off the smoke alarm.
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"We've never had a slow cooker, and my wife says she doesn't want one, but we're retired, We can see where a working person might like to have one while they are at work." - Vermonter


Crockpots are excellent for turning tough gristly pieces of meat into tender edible chunks of meat. The secret is that you can turn it on and forget about it and come back hours later and it's done. I used to butcher whole sheep (mutton) and debone it and I'd take a big hunk of mutton and drop it down in the crock pot with some water and salt and pepper and maybe an onion, celery, carrot, bell pepper, etc. and just let it bubble away for 4 to 6 hours and I'd come back and be able to lift it out and it would be falling apart.

You can drop a hunk of Boston Butt, or chuck roast or beef shoulder, etc. in a crock pot and cook it and it will make your house smell delicious and in the late afternoon it will be tender and edible.

Art
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We've had a regular big heavy crockpot from day one, mainly the occasional pot roast/potatoes/carrots, excellent, wore at least one out or it broke, on to the next..

Presto 6 Qt Pressure cooker also lives on from day one, but mostly just for nice big artichokes. A couple bottles of IPA instead of water, works great.. I have replaced its seals, handles, it just works. Mom had one like it, used it for tough stuff like heart, pot roasts, and, artichokes!

We don't really want yet another appliances kicking' around... One more storage problem!
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The modern electric pressure cooker is a game changer. Anything you would normally cook in a pot--whole chicken, rice, beans, stew, chili, stock--you can cook in a pressure cooker, only in a fraction of the time with usually with better results.
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I'll add my two cents to the thread.

I had a crock pot for years, and almost never used it as I did not like the results.

I had a stove top "jiggle" pressure cooker for even more years, but seldom used it after I moved into my house as it has an electric stove and it was difficult to regulate the pressure.

When the Instant Pot came out, I bought one and gave the crock pot and stove top pressure cooker to my secretary (she wanted them, not forced on her). I also have an electric yogurt make, which I almost never use, and I do not make yogurt in the Instant Pot.

I mostly make soups in the instant pot, but I do occasionally use it for other things. One of my favorite things is green split pea soup; extremely easy, fast, and delicious. I have made this from scratch while guests were here, and it worked out great and timely.

The saute function works well for me because most of the time there is only me, so mostly I am cooking four to six servings of something, with most of it going in the freezer for future meals. It might be tedious if one were trying to brown a larger quantity of food as the bottom surface area is relatively small compared to a 12 inch frying pan or a dutch oven.

If you purchase, order an extra gasket as it does absorb odors. After I made the red lentil chili recipe (which was very good), it took about 8 times through the dishwasher before the spicy smell was gone from the gasket. I also found the glass top supposedly for optional use with the Instant Pot as a slow cooker very handy for overnight refrigerator storage of the inner cooking pot before freezing the leftovers.

As to cleaning, the top generally requires only a thorough rinsing in hot water, maybe a little dishwasher liquid if the contents were large and messy. Cleaning the inner pot has always been easy. Even in those few cases where I've had some burned on stuff during the saute period, that fond has been incorporated into the liquid during the pressurized cooking period.

Depending on what you intend to cook, I do recommend the Instant Pot as I do use it, although not that often, and have been pleased with the results.

Much as I like the Instant Pot, if I had my dream kitchen with plenty of storage space (I already have a kitchen with quite a lot of storage space, just not dreamy), I might choose to have one of the high-end stove top pressure cookers as you can reduce the pressure very quickly by running it under cold water. This allows you to start meat or other long-cooking items, reduce the pressure, and then add vegetables or other things that require much less time under pressure, so there is still one-pot cooking.

But on second thoughts, that last paragraph might have been true years ago; now, I'm too old/lazy, so I'd likely stick with the Instant Pot.

Bottom line: Instant Pot is recommended as long as it isn't duplicative of other things you have that you don't intend to get rid of.

Wessex

P.S. Amazon has some silicone inserts that may be useful, depending on what you want to cook.
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I have had my Instant Pot about 3 months. It makes great chili, soups, baked potatoes, pasta and so much more. One thing that I am really thrilled about is making bone broth. I have never liked the taste of the boxed or canned bone broths. They taste weak. I take a rock solid frozen organic whole chicken (with 1 cup water at the bottom) and put it in the IP for about 40 minutes. After it has come to pressure and cooks it is still miraculous that everything is done and falling off the bone. I save the bones and put them in a freezer bag. When I have enough bones, veggie rejects, potato and/or carrot peelings and more I place them all in the IP with about 2 cups of water and "cook" it for 20 minutes. Instead of hours and hours on the stove I have collagen-rich bone broth in mere minutes. I use the liquid for soup base, cook veggies and sip it. So much richness from left-over scraps.

There are tons of recipes all over the place. I find it quite fun!


Robyn
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When people started talking about the Instant Pot I thought, "Hmmm...Grandma used to have a pressure cooker."

So I shelled out $15 for an old-fashioned pressure cooker. No electronics, just a pot with a weight on top to control the pressure. Since I have a very small kitchen I had to donate a pot to the Serenity House to make room for the pressure cooker in my cabinet.

I use the pressure cooker all the time now. Sometimes I use it twice in one day (to make chicken soup in the morning and beef stew in the afternoon, for example).

Who needs a fancy Instant Pot when a beef stew I used to simmer for 4 hours can be made in 1/2 hour in the pressure cooker? And be even more tender.

Wendy
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< I might choose to have one of the high-end stove top pressure cookers as you can reduce the pressure very quickly by running it under cold water. >

That's exactly what I do with my $15 old-fashioned pressure cooker.
Wend
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<<I use the pressure cooker all the time now. Sometimes I use it twice in one day (to make chicken soup in the morning and beef stew in the afternoon, for example).

Who needs a fancy Instant Pot when a beef stew I used to simmer for 4 hours can be made in 1/2 hour in the pressure cooker? And be even more tender.

Wendy>>


I've never had much success with a pressure cooker. Seems to leave an odd taste in the food for me.



Seattle Pioneer
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Art:

Thing is, my wife doesn't like pot roast or any well-done meat. She prefers good burgers or steak rare. We do both like good homemade beef stew, though.

Vermonter
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"Art: Thing is, my wife doesn't like pot roast or any well-done meat. She prefers good burgers or steak rare. We do both like good homemade beef stew, though." - Vermonter
-----------------------


Yeah, I like Filet Mignon, Porterhouse, T-bones, and New York strip as much as the next guy but sometimes life gives me chuck and shoulder roast when I'm in a money saving mode and it helps to have a way to make it tender enough to eat.

One can't always eat tender steak. Sometimes life gives me squirrels and venison shoulders and I have to do the "slow moist cooking" thing to make them tender enough to chew.

Art
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Art53:

Hey -- no disagreement with being economical. In fact, for some odd reason, "stew beef" is often more costly than a cheaper cut of beef, so we'll but the cheaper cut and my wife cuts that into pieces for stew.

We also cannot, for the life of us, comprehend why hamburger is often more costly than some steak.

Vermonter
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"We also cannot, for the life of us, comprehend why hamburger is often more costly than some steak." - Vermonter


I've got a small electric meat grinder and I grind up cheap meat that I find on sale and turn it into hamburger all the time. I've even bought whole sirloin tips and ground the whole thing before, deer meat turns into venison burger, ground Boston butts into ground pork, turkey bought after thanksgiving for 25 cents/lb into turkey burger, etc.

Art
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DD uses hers all the time. Says ANY egg hard cooked in it (takes only a few minutes) peels with ease. She makes soup frequently. And can come home from work, add frozen meat, turn it on and go shower and have supper on the table after her shower!

I bought an 8qt at a bargain price and swapped her for her 6qt as she now has the family to cook for.

It is amazing how fast it cooks...

Teri
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A resident who helps host The Joy of Cooking Club here in the Old People's Home was seriously pushing the Instant Pot as a wonderful invention....


The steam pressure cooker is commonly acknowledged to have been invented in 1679 by some French physicist dude. What exactly did the Instant Pot folks invent? And, no, the answer is not the keypad controller or the electronic readout either.

xtn
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I use mine about once a week for stews, curries, soup. DD uses hers even more often as she makes a large quantity of steel-cut oats in hers once or twice a week and can get dinner in the table after work in half an hour or less.

When I left home, my mother gave me a stove-top pressure cooker that had been a wedding present in 1947(!). She was afraid of it. I used it a lot till I learned it was unwise to cook in aluminum (it was cast aluminum). I find the Instant Pot much easier to use and clean, and more versatile. I have an older model IP that I bought when they were just becoming known a few years ago. From what I've heard, the new models are even better. I'll be fixing beef stew in my Instant Pot this weekend.

ASIDE
I'd love to see a thread on the other kind of Instant Pot! I'd like to hear about the experiences people are having with it. ALas, in SC, it will be some time before I can get it locally, but I'm not averse to breaking this law for my health.
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turkey bought after thanksgiving for 25 cents/lb into turkey burger, etc.

It is amazing how cheap fresh Turkeys are after Thanksgiving. If I had more freezer space, I would have bought several.
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The steam pressure cooker is commonly acknowledged to have been invented in 1679 by some French physicist dude. What exactly did the Instant Pot folks invent? And, no, the answer is not the keypad controller or the electronic readout either.

Instant Pot didn't invent anything. The pressure cooker has been around a long time. Electronic readouts have been around awhile. Electronic timers have been around awhile too. What Instant Pot did was take all this available technology and put it in one device that make it very convenient to the user. I can put food in the Instant Pot, set it to cook a certain amount of time and then shut down. After doing this, I can go do something else like mow the lawn or change the oil in my vehicle. I can then come back inside to eat what I cook.

I don't have to worry about an old-fashioned pressure cooker on a stove top being heated for longer than I want - ruining my food. For example, I may run into my neighbor while outside cutting the grass. We may get to talking about life. I don't have to say "crap, I left food on the stove" in the middle of the conversation. Another example could be an elderly person who has fallen and can't get up. They won't create a smoldering pot after all the water has cooked out of the food.

It's not much different than the invention of the slow cooker. It doesn't do anything different than a pot on simmer on the stove. Many people don't want to put a pot on simmer and then leave for work. They have far less concern with a slow cooker.

PSU
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"It is amazing how cheap fresh Turkeys are after Thanksgiving. If I had more freezer space, I would have bought several." - vkg


I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw a sign (Krogers) on the fresh turkeys "25¢ lb". Same thing with fresh turkey breasts, also "25¢ lb." I bought 3 whole turkeys (I like dark meat), and called Lindytoes (sister) down in Georgia and asked her if she wanted some. I think she bought a couple of whole turkeys and maybe 4 turkey breasts? I put them in the freezer. I drove down to visit Lindytoes (and other relatives in Georgia) and also took my little electric meat grinder so I could debone and grind some of the turkey for Lindytoes.

Art
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I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw a sign (Krogers) on the fresh turkeys "25¢ lb". Same thing with fresh turkey breasts, also "25¢ lb." I bought 3 whole turkeys (I like dark meat), and called Lindytoes (sister) down in Georgia and asked her if she wanted some. I think she bought a couple of whole turkeys and maybe 4 turkey breasts? I put them in the freezer. I drove down to visit Lindytoes (and other relatives in Georgia) and also took my little electric meat grinder so I could debone and grind some of the turkey for Lindytoes.

I usually don't see turkey breasts at the same price as whole turkeys. I've gotten quite good at deboning a turkey. I would make turkey jerky for the dogs.

PSU
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Yup, that's what I did with my old one too. Can be done with any stove-top pressure cooker.

Were I to go back to a stove-top pressure cooker, I would want one of the newer ones because they are generally a bit safer and, more important to me, include models that have a larger bottom surface area, which is preferable for browning things before putting them under pressure and for using it as just a big pot without pressure. The latter helps if there is limited kitchen space.

Wessex
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What Instant Pot did was take all this available technology and put it in one device that make it very convenient to the user.


Were they the first company to do so?

xtn
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Were they the first company to do so?

I can't say. You'll find several different companies making this device. Instant Pot is just the best known brand name.

Sort of like when people say Kleenex when they're talking about tissues.

PSU
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You'll find several different companies making this device. Instant Pot is just the best known brand name.

My sister-in-law has a different brand. I found it funny that it clearly says Fast Slow cooker. (If done at the same time does it mean normal cooking time?)

(The fire suppression panels where I use to work had an Audible Silence setting.)
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I forgot to answer your question. I haven't noticed additional prep with the Instant Pot. I marinate the same, cut up foods the same. Need less liquid as you don't worry about it boiling away in the IP.
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I ended up fixing beef stew in my largest Le Creuset (called a bouillabaisse Pot IIRC). With 4.4 lbs beef chuck, a big pile of vegetables, 2 qts beef broth, 1 cup Shiraz, my older, small model Instant Pot isn't big enough. I made enough to feed my brother and the 2 of us generous portions for 3-4 dinners. My usual 2-3 lb chuck would've been fine in the IP.

ASIDE
The first of local strawberries were for sale at a farm stand yesterday so we enjoyed exceptional fresh & delicious strawberries for dessert.
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Late to the party, malaoshi, and I only scanned the replies, so have a couple of tips.

You need at least two pressure rings--one for sweet and one for savory. My 'savory' ring has a strong odor of garlic and seasoning that does not come out. This does not bother me. It gets cleaned with each use, it's just smelly, but everything savory that I cook has garlic in it, so I shrug. When I (rarely) cook a cheesecake, I switch to my 'sweet' ring. Haven't made the IP chocolate lava cake recipe that is all the rage.

I never use my IP as a slow cooker. Everything I've read says it is not optimal for that and we haven't felt the need to use our slow cooker since getting the IP about three years ago. Need to get rid of it and free up some space.

There is an Instant Pot Community on that other site with lots of recipes and I think there's a beginners page because so many people (thousands) have come on and announced they know nothing and tell them everything and "Go!" which annoys the heck out of people.

Lots of accessories available. Not that many are necessary.

I always spray the inside of the insert, which makes clean up really easy, although the spray probably isn't necessary.

Always have 1 1/2 cups of water in the bottom of the pot. Don't let undiluted tomato sauce sit on the bottom (pour it over the top). It will scorch and refuse to come to pressure.

If you get one, enjoy. I would never have used a stove top version due to having seen my mother's explode all over the kitchen. There are probably instances, but I've never personally heard of an Instant Pot exploding.

Chili
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I have one and use it often... It was intimidating to get into but once you start using it, it's very easy.

Some of my favorite recipe sources:

https://www.skinnytaste.com/recipes/pressure-cooker/

https://instantloss.com/instant-pot-recipes/

sjfans
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I've tried using a pressure cooker in the past, but gave it up when I found that it gave an unpleasant taste to food.



Seattle Pioneer
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I've tried using a pressure cooker in the past, but gave it up when I found that it gave an unpleasant taste to food.

Was it aluminum? That can react with acidic foods, and some people find that can alter the taste.
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<<I've tried using a pressure cooker in the past, but gave it up when I found that it gave an unpleasant taste to food.

Was it aluminum? That can react with acidic foods, and some people find that can alter the taste.>>


As I recall, my experimentation began and ended with stews.



Seattle Pioneer
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SeattlePioneer writes,

<<I've tried using a pressure cooker in the past, but gave it up when I found that it gave an unpleasant taste to food.

Was it aluminum? That can react with acidic foods, and some people find that can alter the taste.>>


As I recall, my experimentation began and ended with stews.

</snip>


Sounds like the guy who bought an orange at the supermarket, ate it without peeling it, and decided oranges are no good.

intercst
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Well there is such a thing as stewed tomatoes. 8-)
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<<Well there is such a thing as stewed tomatoes. 8-)>>


BEEF stew!


No useful comments that would encourage me to try this again ----not so far.


Seattle Pioneer
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No useful comments that would encourage me to try this again ----not so far.


Seattle Pioneer


An instant pot isn't something that is needed. It can be useful and entertaining.
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