Pressure cookers have been around for decades. Your grandma might have had one (mine did, I just learned!). These days, Instant Pot is the brand synonymous with pressure cookers, also referred to as multicookers because they have — you guessed it — multiple cooking functions. Unlike the pressure cookers of old, the Instant Pot and many of its cousins are electric and programmable, meaning they’ve become even more accessible and easy to use.
The number of websites, recipes and cookbooks dedicated to the appliance has exploded in recent years, making it all the more difficult to pick a dish to cook. If you’re looking for a few tried-and-true recipes, here are options from our archives that will begin to show you the full range of what a multicooker can do.
Black Bean Soup, above. Pressure cookers are ideal for making beans, taking them from dried to tender in a mere fraction of the time it would otherwise take to soak and cook them on the stove top. This soup takes advantage of that capability. Bacon adds a flavorful backbone to the broth. (This recipe can also be made in a traditional pot.)
Coq au Vin (Chicken in Red Wine). Julia Child was a huge fan of kitchen technology, so I like to think she would have approved of this adaptation for her classic French dish that is cooked under pressure for a mere 12 minutes (plus the time to saute and then reach and release pressure). Oh, we should mention that you get to ignite cognac for this recipe, too. This can be made in a Dutch oven as well.
Chickpea and Artichoke Tagine. Here’s a zesty, meatless meal that would be great on a chilly evening. Just be sure to plan ahead and soak the chickpeas for 8 to 24 hours first.
Pressure Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken. Does it get much better than this? Fast, kid-friendly and pantry-ready, this recipe comes together easily on a weeknight.
Cannoli Cream Rice Pudding. If you haven’t thought to use your pressure cooker to make dessert, this dish might get you hooked on the concept. You’ll enjoy the Italian-inspired riff on classic rice pudding.
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