The rise of the ubiquitous Instant Pot has generated a new obsession with cooking just about everything in the trendy appliance. And although it has a multitude of uses, from cooking hearty stews to making yogurt from scratch, there are certain foods that should be reserved for more traditional cooking methods. Here are 10 things that should stay out of your Instant Pot, and why they work better elsewhere.
Flaky pie crusts and delicate cookies are unlikely to happen in a moist environment, so the circulated heat of an oven is a better choice. For steamed desserts such as Christmas pudding, cheesecake or custards, however, the Instant Pot may be a good option.
Small Pasta Shapes
Delicate orzo or small pasta turn to mush when overcooked in a slow cooker or similar appliance. The traditional pot of salted water is your best bet in these cases.
Puff pastry requires a certain type of heat to achieve those golden and flaky layers, and the moist environment of an Instant Pot is not the best match for this application. Use your oven for best results.
Scallops, shrimp and squid rings all turn to rubber when overcooked, and it’s often hard to regulate hands-off devices such as the Instant Pot. A sauté pan will be easier to supervise.
Milk Based Sauces
Dairy and the high-heat function of the Instant Pot can lead to curdling or separation of that creamy sauce you’re trying to whip up. Keep it low and slow in a pot on the stovetop for better luck.
The texture and flavour provided by a good old fashioned pan sear is hard to replicate using other methods, and what makes a mouthful of steak delicious is that contrast between a crunchy, salty crust and tender and beefy interior.
A Full Pot
Devices that rely on pressure to cook require space to let the food expand, so don’t go overboard when loading beans, rice or noodles into the Instant Pot. Make two batches instead, or use a larger vessel and another cooking method.