Pressure cookers are one of those appliances you either have and use all the time or really have no clue what I am talking about. In addition, it might be an appliance you remember from decades ago that had a little toggle on the lid and it was super dangerous and scary to use. I think my first introduction to the pressure cooker was over 5 years ago on one of my Costco shopping excursions. Costco always has the coolest kitchen gadgets and I figured “what the heck?” I could always return it right? (Mike hates that I return things to Costco- Sorry about that Mike). At first, I was a little intimidated by the appliance but after reading the directions and playing around with it I found it quickly to be my new favorite gadget in the kitchen.
I should clarify this appliance is not just a pressure cooker. It also cooks rice, browns food, is a steamer and acts as a slow cooker as well. Seriously is that not the best sounding kitchen appliance ever? Now to be 100% honest the appliance that I bought from Costco so many years ago was awesome and it did all these things but it also had a Teflon coating on the pot and over time it got all scratched up which is a “no no” with cooking. I did some research and found one that I loved even more. It is called the Instant Pot. This thing rocks. Check out some of the features on this baby:
- Completely redesigned user interface providing the most convenience and ease-of-use
- 3-ply bottom stainless steel cooking pot for durability
- Finger-print resistant brushed stainless steel exterior
- 6-in-1 Multi-Functional Cooker (Pressure cooker, Slow cooker, Rice cooker, Steamer, Saute & Warmer)
- 10 Proven Safety Mechanisms, UL and ULC certified
- 10 Micro-Processor controlled programs: Meat/Stew, Soup, Saute, Poultry, Bean/Chili, Congee, Steam, Multigrain, Rice and Slow Cook
- 3 Adjustable Modes for most functions. 3 Saute temperature and 3 Slow Cook temperatures
- Delay Cooking Timer: Up to 24 hours
- Automatic Keep-warm
- Manual setting: Up to 120 minute cook time
- Reduced cooking time by up to 70%
- Highly energy efficient saving up to 70% of energy
- Accessories included: stainless steel steam rack, rice paddle, soup spoon and measuring cup
- Instructions, recipes and cooking time table in English, Spanish, French and Chinese are included
I have to admit I use this mainly as a pressure cooker for beans and the second as a slow cooker. We do not cook a lot of rice but I have done it and it works great. The one thing that I love about this pot is it has a stainless steel inner pot so there can be no scratching. I love cooking with stainless steel and having this feature just makes me love this appliance more.
I purchased my Instant Pot from Amazon for around $120.00 It is worth every penny. The appliance from the outside has a beautiful stainless steel finish. The front panel is super easy to read and is very user-friendly.
The Instant Pot is very quiet while in operation mode. The pressure cooker setting can get a little loud when it is letting out the steam but you can easily carry on a conversation while it’s in use. As I mentioned earlier the main function I use is the pressure cooker one and that is mainly for making beans. How many times have you wanted to make soup and you read the recipe that said: “Soak your dry beans overnight”? Who thinks that far ahead for dinner? I know I do not. Now all I have to do is have 40+ minutes and I can make the best homemade soups around. In addition to making soups, I am a huge fan of Mexican food but as we all know Mexican food can be loaded with added fats and unnecessary additives. Here is how I now make my eat clean version of refried beans. They really are not refried but I did not know what else to call them because they look and taste like refried. I love it and would not eat them any other way now.
- 1 1/2 cups dried pinto beans. I never soak my beans but some Instant Pot lovers do for about 2-4 hours. I have never had a problem.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 3 cups water
- 1 pinch salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/4 tsp cumin
The seasonings are really up to you. I have made this recipe without any seasonings but salt before and it is still yummy.
Rinse your beans thoroughly. Add beans and water to the Instant Pot.
Close the lid and seal the vent valve. Cook on high pressure for 40 minutes (15 minutes if you soaked them). When done allow for natural pressure release. See your manual on how to do this. Be very careful when releasing pressure. Do not do this under a cabinet or your wood might get wet. YES, I learned this the hard way 🙁
Carefully open the pot. You might want/ need to remove some of the liquid. If needed you can add back the bean liquid during the blending/ mashing process. It’s best to start with less liquid and add if needed* I removed about 1 cup of liquid and didn’t need to add it back. Your beans will thicken up once they are cooled. I have ruined so many batches adding too much liquid. It is much easier to add it in slowly.
Add in the spices and seasoning. Using an immersion blender or put them right into a high-speed blender. If you use a blender you might have to do it in two batches.
Serve with some yummy low carb gluten free tortilla’s. Refrigerate remaining refried beans in an airtight glass container.