Instant Pot, resources, recipes and tips

The small instant pot we have makes perfect rice. I do have a large neuro whatever rice cooker and prefer the instant pot for rice. So far I’ve only used it for rice or beans.

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Reading the manual, it seems like you don’t need a thermometer when heating the milk to 180, but you do need a thermometer to check when the milk has cooled to 110. Is that correct?

Yep

Argh! That fancy model @Saregama described is super worth it for everyday yogurt making since it allows you to set a cooldown temp. I’m sure there’s a special purpose appliance out there that will do this , but it would’ve been convenient to get all the other feature of an IP.

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Or your finger

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This is the answer. Really. If you’re uncertain, heat a liquid to 110F using a thermometer and stick your finger in it. Now you have calibrated your finger. It is accurate but not precise (homework: look up the difference). Recalibrate every five years as temperature sensitivity changes with age.

I still think a pot is faster, easier, simpler, and more elegant from an engineering point of view than the IP.

I make a lot of goat milk yogurt. There’s very little margin for error. Goat milk proteins don’t behave exactly like cow’s milk. For cow’s milk yogurt, finger test is fine, I never use a thermometer.

Hmm. Really? I learned to make yogurt from Tibetan Buddhist monks with yak milk. It wasn’t hard and about the same as cow’s milk. What is different about goat’s milk?

Apparently, the proteins in goat’s milk don’t set like in cow’s milk. Solutions to this issue usually involve adding gelatin or straining. I now have about a decade’s worth of trial and error with goat’s milk yogurt. As soon as you bring home goat’s milk from the farm, you’re on the clock. For whatever reason, it won’t set as thick the longer you keep it. Also, I hold it close to 180F for 45 minutes before cooling it. It’s still not quite as thick as cow’s milk, but it’s very close, and tastes better, too. (Although that could just be the milk quality.) If you have a Root’s supermarket close to you, they carry goat’s milk from Vermont. Try making yogurt with it and you’ll see it comes out thin. Still delicious and usable, but not close to cow’s milk.

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The nearest Root’s is an hour away, beyond my normal distance for shopping or much of anything. grin Interesting that goat’s milk is fussy. Yak milk isn’t. Cow’s milk isn’t either. I’ve had good results with both UHT milk and powdered across the spectrum of low fat and full fat.

How about a probe thermometer with a temp alarm?

I was hoping for something automatic without needing extras. I sometimes use my dual alarm thermometer with my current setup and I don’t think using it with the Instant Pot will give me any significant advantage.

That IP model still exists - you can buy it

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grin

Overall a decent enough article, but deficient in several areas.

SE recommends the All-American for “experienced canners” who are likely to be older. I find the screw-down clamps to be irritating after a few loads on a big canning weekend and I don’t yet suffer from arthritis.

SE clearly doesn’t understand the phenomenon of siphoning.

Once again, SE claims to use scientific methods but doesn’t and doesn’t even know where they fall short. They don’t even seem to understand the science applied by USDA, UGA, and NCHFP.

SE glosses over that USDA has specifically recommended against all electric canners and cookers on the market.

SE uses a state extension program “Master Canner” as their SME. Did they even write Dr. Elizabeth Andress? Dr. Andress is retiring this year and might enjoy a low effort gig like explaining big words to SE.

Dave’s take: The Presto with optional weighted gauges is the pressure canner of choice. Get the big 23 qt one. Get some hose and understand what siphoning is so you can get your lids to seal without loss and you can drain the heavy water from your canner without lugging it across the kitchen. NCHFP and Ball are the go-to references for food safety in canning. Third party publishers are either copies of official material available free or suspect. No electric canners have been successfully tested as food safe (the IP Max which was advertised as such turned out to have been tested at a pay-for lab).

There are some concerns with canning on a smoothtop electric stove (resistive or inductive). Happy to share solutions to those problems with anyone interested.

Does being tested at a pay-for lab automatically invalidate the results?

I was just “poking the bear”! That’s why I added the “grin”. I’ll lay off.

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Automatically? No. It does make it suspect. Reading the report, it was pretty clear they started from the desired, paid-for conclusion and worked backward.

And the bear responded in his expected pedantic fashion. grin Don’t lay off. It’s fun.

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I’m so with you. I’m just not into fast cooking. And I much prefer my stove too PC over the Instapot. Use either for making chicken stock from saved bones and scraps. I actually like beans done on the stove as I can continue to monitor texture but feel saver leaving the house with the Instapot chugging along. I will admit to leaving the house for a short errand with the stove top once I set my flame to the right spot. But know it’s dangerous and not recommend.

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“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold