Think Outside the Pot

Think Outside the Pot
Thinking Pot

Everybody thinks of a pressure cooker as an alternative to a microwave, an oven, the stove top, or a slow cooker. It’s another way to make a meal. Right? Right.

But there are intrepid innovators out there. Those who think outside the pot when it comes to their cooker. They cook in the pot. But they use it in ways that may never have occurred to you. Some of the recipes require the pot to be under pressure. Others merely use the pot as a cooking vessel. No pressure required.

If you’re curious to see what else you can do with your pressure cooker, keep reading.

I’m about to pop! Popcorn in the pressure cooker. No pressure required. All you need is popcorn, coconut oil, and butter. Make sure the popcorn is fresh. (Popcorn pops because the moisture trapped inside the hull expands when heated and causes the kernel to explode. Old popcorn may possibly be dried out and will not produce a good yield. Test a few kernels to see of your popcorn still has some life left in in.) Use a glass lid to pop your corn, not your pressure cooker lid. If you don’t have a glass lid, rummage around your kitchen. You’ll probably find a lid that fits. Imagine. Stove top equivalent popcorn without standing there shaking the pot.  Think of the toppings! Butter. Butter. And more butter! Drizzle on melted chocolate. How about caramel? Grated Parmesan? The possibilities aren’t endless but there sure are a heck of a lot of them. Your only limit is your imagination. Is there a recipe for Instant Pot popcorn? Of course.

Boiled peanuts are basically a Southern thing. Much like collared greens, black-eyed peas, and okra. Did you know that boiled peanuts are the official snack food of South Carolina? They are. Ever heard of goober peas? Another name for boiled peanuts. They are also popular street foods in Central and South America, and in certain parts of Africa and Asia. True confession: I’m a transplant who has lived in the South for 38 years. (LOVE it here!) I tried boiled peanuts once and did not care for them. To be fair, they came out of a can so I’m sure they weren’t the best representation of the genre. But don’t go by what I think. People who love them are slap crazy about them. If you’ve got a hankering for boiled peanuts,  you can make them in your pressure cooker. Whether you’re an aficionado, or merely curious, here’s a great recipe for Instant Pot boiled peanuts.

You’ll flip over this. Pancakes in the pressure cooker! Well, you won’t be able to flip them. But if you love a pancake, you’ll love these. And it’s not just a run-of-the-mill pancake. It’s a giant Instant Pot pancake! Be prepared. This is not going to taste like the short-stack you get for brunch at a popular pancake house. This huge pancake is thicker and fluffier. The side that’s near the heat gets crispy while the top doesn’t brown. It may not look done but it is. The joy of the Instant Pot version of a pancake is that you don’t have to stand around waiting for one side to cook so you can flip your flapjacks. And then repeat that process multiple times. All you do is pour in the batter and set the cook time. Go about your business until the pancake is done.  The “I can make that in a skillet on the stove” crowd is shaking their heads in disbelief. Why would you want to make a pancake in the pressure cooker? I say because you can. Because it’s fun. Because it’s different. Because you have a sense of adventure. Because you can do the same-old, same-old any old time. For crying out loud. For once, think outside the pot!

So, which one are you going to try first? Let me know in the comments. And let me know how it turned out.

Pressure cooking is fast, easy, and fun! Please share!

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