On February 1, The Wall Street Journal ran an article entitled, “Instant Pot Anxiety? ‘I said a Prayer and Stayed the Hell Away.'”
In the piece, the author, Ellen Byron, interviewed various pot owners who had mishaps and struggled with operating the all in one appliance. I chuckled at some of the stories but admittedly the author was on to something. Every day when I peruse the Instant Pot Facebook feed, I see photos of Instant Pots in sealed boxes and cries for help and advice on how to take that first step to use the appliance. The posts weave into an interactive digital therapy session where fellow Instant Potters exclaim, “You can do it.” “Just start.” “My favorite easiest recipe is….” “Wear goggles and keep the kids outta the kitchen.”
As for me, I love my two Instant pots (6-quart duo and 3-quart mini) and use them daily without fail. Personally, I have never had pressure cooker anxiety because I started using the Kuhn Rikon stove top pressure cookers over twenty years ago. That being said, I can understand why some people hesitate. There are lots of buttons, The manual isn’t great. And, once you lock and load, commit to pressure and things start to rumble. there’s no turning back and you can’t open the lid and check the contents. It is indeed a leap of faith.
My solution for those folks who fret? Take the Instant pot out of the box, run the simple water test per the manufacturer’s instructions and make YOGURT!
Both of my machines have yogurt buttons and this cycle does NOT require putting anything under pressure. It simply creates a low heat that incubates your milk and starter and turns it into the rich luscious yogurt over the course of 8 hours. A miracle cycle in my mind!
I’ve tried various yogurt recipes but my favorites have come from This Old Gal and the only recipe I use now is her Instant Pot No Boil Yogurt Recipe which uses the whole Fairlife Milk found in many mainstream grocery stores such as Target, Safeway, QFC, and Winco. This particular milk does not require any preheating before making the yogurt so all I have to do is pour my half a gallon of whole milk into my 3 quart Instant Pot and whisk in two packets of YoGourmet starter. I then put on the lid, press the Yogurt Cycle and leave it alone for 8 hours. There is no pressure. No noise. No steam. No wiggles or jiggles. Just a quiet incubation on the counter.
At the end of the cycle, the mixture has transformed into thick luscious creaminess. I then put my all natural yogurt, still in the Instant Pot’s inner container, into my fridge, covered and let it sit, undisturbed, overnight.
I use my yogurt on everything from granola and citrus segments to baked potatoes and kale salads. And, I’ve discovered that it makes a great tartar sauce to dollop on Alaska halibut or salmon.
So, if you want to buy an Instant Pot but are feeling, well, pressured…skip “manual” button and go for Yogurt.
Even if you never make anything else, the savings from making your own yogurt will pay for the pot in no time.