I just made Kraft macaroni and cheese in my Instant Pot. Yes, the stuff in the blue box. I’ve even made the stuff in generic boxes. Making packaged foods in a pressure cooker is so stinkin’ easy. It’s a no-brainer.
The “But It’s So Easy On The Stove” crowd is shaking their collective heads and saying, “Why?” Because it’s a no-brainer. There’s no law that says everything you make in a pressure cooker has to be made from scratch. Why not use a short cut to make life easier?
Here’s what you do. Put the dry noodles in the pot. Add the water. Close the lid and set the time for half of what it says on the box. (I add 3 minutes to half the time because I like my pasta super soft. Al dente isn’t for me.) Walk away until the beep sounds telling you the cook time is over. Stir in the cheese packet. Done!
Stove top method: Fill pan with water. Wait for water to boil. (This drives me up a wall. I am one of the odd-balls who hates to boil water. It’s a major pain in the derrière. I’m not even joking.) Put the pasta in the boiling water. Wait for it to come to a boil. Boil for X-minutes. Drain water. Add cheese packet to hot noodles. Stir. Too many steps. And you’re required to keep an eye on it.
Pressure cooker method, in case you missed it the first time: Put water and pasta in cooker. Close lid and set cook time. Walk away (Doesn’t count as a step.) Come back when it beeps (Again, not one of the steps.) Put cheese packet ingredients in hot noodles. Stir. Four steps. AND, you get to walk away and do whatever your little heart desires after you set the cook time. I read the paper. No standing around and waiting for one thing to happen so you can do the next step.
It probably ended up taking the same amount of time in the pressure cooker as it would have on the stove because the pressure cooker has to come up to pressure before it starts cooking. Big deal. Who cares? I’m not at the Bonneville Salt Flats trying to set the land speed record for pressure cooking. It’s not always about speed. Convenience is the name of the game. Allow me to repeat, “You get to walk away and do whatever your little heart desires after you set the cook time. No standing around and waiting for one thing to happen so you can do the next step.” You’re a regular Free Bird.
If you don’t believe me here are a few testimonials from actual users:
“I haven’t made boxed mac and cheese since I bought the pot but you can bet I won’t be boiling water when’re I do decide to make it.” (It’s a wise man who chooses not to boil water when the pressure cooker can do it for you.)
“Blue box Mac and cheese in 2 minutes. TWO! Almost fast enough to please the toddler!” (Toddlers are notorious for their lack of patience so this is a big deal for the mom.)
“I did it Tuesday. Took an easy thing to make and made it easier! That’s my kind of cooking! I hate babysitting boiling water too.” (A girl after my own heart.)
“If you’re going to make mac and cheese from a box, reduce the water a bit (only about 1/2 inch above the level of the pasta, not a full inch). 4 minutes with QPR is just right. Then mix in the cheese powder.” (Once you find a method that works for you, you’re all set.)
If you haven’t made boxed mac and cheese in the Instant Pot (or any pressure cooker), try it. You won’t be sorry. You’ll thank me for introducing you to the joys of care-free cooking.