Instant Pots: Made for the way many men want to cook?
Man meets Instant Pot, then makes dinner for his wife for the first time in 20 years. Only in America. Only with a marriage-saving device that costs just $90 (unless you get the Mickey Mouse version: $59 at Walmart). Tweet
The main thing about cooking: If you want to make anything better...
...make it in less than 15 minutes. Anything longer is a 'project'.
I’d been married 20 years before I made dinner for my wife for the first time.
She remembers it well, because years earlier when we were dating she’d prepared a meal and brought it over to my house at 4 o’clock with instructions for me to start cooking it in the oven on 350°, so the meal would be ready in time to serve our guests who would arrive at 5:30.
Seems easy right?
Well, I screwed it up.
You see, I’d never used the oven in my house before…so I didn’t know that turning it on was a two-step process:
- Turn one knob to turn the oven on
- Turn another knob to 350°
I nailed the 350° part, but I didn’t know I had to turn the other knob to turn the oven on.
Dinner was ice cold when everyone arrived.
She looked at me and asked, “You don’t know how to turn on your own oven?” while I hung my head and gave her the same look I gave my Mom when she caught me smoking at 12.
And yes, she really did still marry me two years later. Not my mom. My girlfriend.
I know lots of guys like to cook and lots of chefs are guys. And I don’t care. The only thing that bores me more than cooking is gardening, and I pretty much don’t do that, either.
Or at least that was true until someone said to me, “Why don’t you get an Instant Pot?”
See, just the name appeals to me.
‘Instant Pot’ is only slightly more complicated than a drug that grows while you sleep.
In my world, instant is good.
Spending hours cutting up some little pieces of whatever so you can spend more hours messing around with them in a lot of pots and pans, so you can spend more hours cleaning the whole mess up, in my world is bad.
Now I make dinner all the time.
I make broiled salmon. Takes me about two minutes to prepare. The fish does most of the work: It grows and dies. My Instant Pot does all the rest.
I make Instant Pot chili. This takes a little more time — maybe ten minutes to prepare because I add lots of extra spices and it takes time to get all the spices out of all those little jars. I wish they made spice pellets, like M&Ms. But damn, it’s good.
And I make Instant Pot ribs. This is a two-step thing, so I needed my wife’s help. Two steps is about as complicated as cooking should get. This recipe takes about fifteen minutes of prep time. Step one: Put the ribs in the Instant Pot for a while — say, 15 minutes. How long is 15 minutes? Less than it takes for two helpings of Meat Loaf:
OK, step two: slather the ribs with extra barbecue sauce and ask your wife to help you put them under the broiler for a few minutes to brown after they’re done cooking in the Instant Pot. But remember, you have to turn on the broiler, too, just like the oven. Obviously, there should be an Instant Stove. Technically, an instant stove is called a “flame-thrower”. Might just work. Amazon sells them (see below).
I’ve made some other things in the Instant Pot. My criteria for a recipe worth trying is one that requires fifteen minutes of prep time or less. Otherwise, it isn’t instant in my book. It becomes a “project” after 15 minutes.
If you want to buy an Instant Pot of your own, here’s a great buyer’s guide; you’ll pay about $90 for your Instant Pot, unless you’d rather pay $59 for an Instant Pot with Mickey Mouse plastered all over the outside. Which is still better than a mouse plastered all over the inside.
And if you find any great recipes you really love that can be made in 15 minutes or less, please let me know instantly.