Last Minute Pulled Pork and my New Insta-Pot Love

It seemed like the Instapot, or Instant Pot was everywhere overnight. Out of nowhere, about a year ago, my Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram feeds were filled with raving mentions about this new pressure cooker. When it went on sale for $74 on Prime Day, I took the plunge. The Insta-Pot 7 in 1 is currently about $120.

Pulled Pork Final SandwichMy Prime Day impulse purchase sat in a box in the kitchen for months. Long enough for my husband to stop complaining about it, then to stop even noticing it. Simply opening seemed too overwhelming. I grew up with the frenetic hiss of steam escaping from the dancing top of my mother’s pressure cooker. The Insta-pot should have been an easy adoption, but it seemed like too much to learn.

screen-shot-2016-09-13-at-5-20-28-pmA week before school began, fueled by the energy of new beginnings, I took the plunge and opened the box. There is definitely a little bit of a learning curve to the Instant-Pot, but once you get it going, you will fall in love, as I did. Our instapot is now called SALLY. We voted. We love her.

Potatoes and sweet potatoes are cooked in about 10 minutes. Something that would cook all day in the crockpot to fall apart under forks at dinner time can be ready in an hour. But the Insta-pot does take a while to warm up, adding to the total cooking time. Your potatoes will cook in 10 minutes, but it will take 10-15 minutes before it begins cooking. Still, if you’re running in an out of the house with a busy evening, you can set your Instapot to pressure cook your potatoes for 10 minutes, walk out the door, and know you will come home to perfect potatoes, ready to mash into mashed potato perfection, or pan fry crisp with some salted butter.

Instapot Crispy Potatoes
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The insta-pot has been a great addition to my collection of appliances. It cooks potatoes and keeps them warm in just 10 minutes. Finish them up with some butter and salt to crisp them up, and you'll have a comfort food side to bring smiles to everyone at the table.
Recipe type: side
Cuisine: American
Serves: serves 6
  • 2 pounds of yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced in 2 inch cubes
  • 1 cup of water
  • 4 tablespoons of salted butter
  • salt
  • optional: fresh parsley
  1. Peel and dice the potatoes.
  2. Pour a cup of water in the Insta-Pot.
  3. Place the steamer insert in the Insta-Pot. Put the diced potatoes on top.
  4. Close the pressure vent and close the lid. On manual, set the Insta-Pot to pressure cook for 10 minutes.
  5. Once the Insta-Pot is done, release the pressure by turning the vent. Be careful to keep your hand far away from the vent as it will burn you.
  6. Heat the butter in a large frying pan. Over high heat, saute the potatoes until they have a nice crust, about 5 minutes per side. Salt copiously and serve warm. Sprinkle chopped fresh parsley on top if your people like the green stuff.

Another illustration of how the Insta-Pot can be your kitchen wing person. If it’s 3:30 and you happen to realize that you forgot to set your pork shoulder to slow cook, you can still have melt in your mouth pulled pork ready by dinner at 6. The flavors will actually be more intense in the Instapot.

Pulled Pork IngredientsSo set your alerts and stalk Amazon for the next big Insta-Pot sale. I promise you that it’s an appliance worth adding. A 4 to 6 hour crockpot cooking time is done in 40-60 minutes in the Insta-pot. Vegetables that roast for an hour are cooked in 7-10 minutes. Inspiration and recipes are everywhere on Facebook, but you need to get your hands on your own Sally to join the Instapot party.

Last Minute Pulled Pork Thanks to the InstaPot
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Serves: serves 10-12
  • 4 to 5 pound pork butt or pork shoulder
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup of water
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 1½ teaspoons of ancho chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  1. With your fingers, crumble together the brown sugar, cinnamon, ancho chili powder, salt and pepper into a small mixing bowl.
  2. Massage this spice mixture all over the chunk of pork. Get it in the corners. Have fun with it. Wash your hands well afterwards.
  3. Pour the cider vinegar and water in the bottom of your instapot.
  4. Lay the rubbed pork on top. Cover. Set on manual and cook for 120 minutes.
  5. Either let the pressure release over time, without venting, or release it by twisting the knob to vent. Be careful not to burn yourself as the steam will be very, very hot. Speaking from experience here!
  6. With a fork, gently pry the meat apart. It should yield very easily.
  7. Serve with your favorite barbecue sauce. Keep 3-4 days covered in the fridge to have as leftovers, tacos, or just to pick at as you walk by.


2 Responses to Last Minute Pulled Pork and my New Insta-Pot Love

  1. Hey Vanessa! Hope you’re doing well in Chicago! We miss you in Ridgewood!

    My Instapot is in the mail on its way to me! Can’t wait to get cooking with it!


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