I have been very nervous about using this item that I bought almost a year ago. I slowly got it out of the box a few months ago. I've read the manual several times over the last few months. It's out on the kitchen counter since I opened it. DH and I talked about my nervousness of using a pressure cooker.
He reminded me that we have a pressure oven. I reminded him that he's the only one that uses it in the pressure setting. We sat and watched some YouTube videos together about instant pot use and I started to get excited. He went outside to start dealing with the new snow that fell on Sunday morning. And I started to plan our dinner.
The idea of having one machine that I can use for several different styles of cooking was the reason I wanted it in the first place. As it heated up on the sauté setting I made sure that the veal we have purchased earlier today at the farmers market was of similar size. I was happy to see that they were actually cut into very uniform small pieces. I only had to trim two pieces to make them the same size as the others.
I did this while I had two large onions sauté in olive oil in the pot. I removed the onions once they were ready, and started doing The veal in batches to brown it. When the last batch of meat was almost done (I did three separate batches ). I added several tablespoons of flour and a little bit more olive oil to the pot to create a roux.
Once that was done I shut the pot off. One of the main points that all the videos mention, is that in order to switch from different settings you must shut the unit off and then choose the next setting. I now switched to stew setting. I added diced carrots diced potatoes some more onion the veal and a carton of beef broth. Several shakes of Worcester shire sauce and several shakes of my colonial seasoning spice mix.
I locked the cover on the pot, making sure the lid was on the seal setting and walked away. I was prepared to check it in an hour by releasing the safety seal and letting it cool. I noticed after about 20 minutes of me having lock the lid on a timer appeared that said 35 minutes. And alarm went off after that timer had counted down. By this time my husband was back in the house, and he released the vent. I took a good five minutes for it to start steaming and for us to hear a click. We then could take the lid off.
It was the best stew I have ever made. Even doing stews in the crockpot for eight hours never came out like this.
I'm already planning to make jambalaya the next time I use it. If you've been on the fence about getting one of these I would say go for it.