Make my Instant Pot dreams come true
November 29, 2018 7:28 PM   Subscribe

I love my Instant Pot and I want to take full advantage of its ability to cook frozen foods. What recipes could I make ahead of time, freeze, and then cook in its frozen state?

I absolutely love my Instant Pot. I use it at least twice a week, and it's been great. However, my dream is to be able to make a bunch of dinners ahead of time, freeze them in our big upright freezer, and then on evenings when I'm exhausted or we're running late or I just can't cook for whatever reason, I'll pluck one out and cook it in the Instant Pot in its frozen state. I found some recipes for frozen meals that are put in the fridge in the morning to thaw, but that kind of defeats the purpose. I want emergency meals that I can drop in with no fuss.

I'd love to hear any and all recipes. Thanks!
posted by christinetheslp to Food & Drink (4 answers total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
My father-in-law turned me onto this website: There are tons of recipes and advice for you regarding your appliance. There are also YouTube videos. Hope that helps!
posted by oklahomie at 8:54 PM on November 29, 2018 [1 favorite]

I make gigantic batches of soup in my Instant Pot of whatever I'm into/have lying around at the moment and freeze them in individual containers.

THEN when I want said soup, I just pop one (you'll probably have to run it under hot water for a minute to get it out of the container) in the Instant Pot, pressure cook for 7 minutes and that's it. I could defrost it in a pan over the stove or whatever but it's so easy and no fuss in the IP.
posted by xiasanlan at 10:04 PM on November 29, 2018 [5 favorites]

If you like Indian food, the recipe for Butter Chicken is fabulous and freezable. Here's the article about the "Butter Chicken Lady"
posted by lois1950 at 10:36 PM on November 29, 2018 [3 favorites]

Well, I wrote this whole long thing up, and then in the writing reconsidered posting, because I realize it's not actually No Fuss (because you may need to stir a bit at the end with a cornstarch slurry if it's not thick enough, and that can be a little unpredictable wrt stirring time). And I haven't tried it from frozen myself. I'll go ahead and post it, though, in case maybe you'll want to try the original first and decide for yourself if it seems like one you'd want to freeze for later.

We've only had our electric pressure cooker a few months, but so far probably our favorite recipe has been Amy & Jacky's Umami Beef Stroganoff, which is crazy good, and seems like a nice candidate for freezing. I haven't tried freezing and reheating in the pressure cooker myself, but I would approach one of two ways: 1) Make the recipe up to stage 10 and freeze it, then when preparing, use the Steam function for 5 to 10 minutes (with the lid locked and sealed) to reheat*. Quick release pressure and check if it's done, adding more time if needed. Cook the egg noodles while this is happening, and add your sour cream (and cornstarch slurry, if needed) on Sauté after it's heated through. Should be around 15-20 minutes of preparation time, but hardly any active hands-on work. Just cook and drain the noodles, and thicken the sauce.

OR, 2) make the recipe up until the part where you pressure cook it (end of stage 9). Instead, freeze it at that point, and then when you take it out of the freezer, sauté the frozen mix in the Instant Pot for five minutes*, then pressure cook at the original recipe time (high pressure for 12 minutes, then 12 minutes natural release). Do the same as 1, above, with the noodles and adding the dairy / thickener after it's done cooking. This way will take longer (the initial sautéing, a couple more minutes cook time, then the natural release – so about 35 minutes altogether?) but if it's not necessarily super fast speed to get it right on the table that you want, but just not having to spend hands-on work time, it's nearly the same as above, and you may prefer not to cook the meat twice. Either way I bet it's amazing; if I had freezer space, I'd do my own demo and report!

Note: be sure to freeze your mix in a container size that will fit into your Instant Pot!

* Info from How To Reheat Frozen Food In The Instant Pot; for option 2, the reason for the sautéing is to release liquid, because you need liquid for pressure cooking! If it hasn't released enough liquid, though, you may have to add some.
posted by taz at 10:58 AM on November 30, 2018

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