If you’d like to find The Best Instant Pot Recipes that i’ve personally made (again and again), that link will take you to my list of “Keepers.”
i also keep a list of “Meh” recipes, and this list. These are the recipes that i would never, ever make again, even without adjusting, because i’m no food scientist, and life is short. When a recipe author puts something up online, i trust that it’s been tried and tested. Silly me.
(But if you’ve pulled your food out of the Instant Pot and have doctored the results to make it look better in photos, or if you’ve recycled a photo from a slow cooker or oven-cooked meal for your quick-and-dirty Instant Pot rejig, there’s a special circle of Hell with your name on it.)
Of course, personal tastes vary, and you may find these dishes absolutely fine. i’ll let you know what i didn’t like about each one. Caveat coctor!
Instant Pot Honey Bourbon Chicken
After dumping an entire cup of honey on this chicken, it comes out – surprise! – too sweet. This is the recipe that made my wife outlaw any and all sugary meat for dinner. A pity.
Red Beans and Rice Pressure Cooker Recipe
Try as i might (and i’ve tried and tried), i just can’t nail restaurant-accurate rice n’ peas. This recipe goes on the pile of botched efforts for being altogether too wet.
Pressure Cooker Mongolian Beef
Just like the Honey Bourbon Chicken recipe above, this PF Chang’s make-alike turns out way too saccharine to be enjoyable. Sweetened meat may be your thing, and i’ll be the first to admit my own sweet tooth, but this one was way too much.
Lime Chili Chicken
It’s always disappointing to put the effort into a chicken recipe to have the result taste like plain chicken, and that’s the problem here. i’m somewhat of a subtaster, which means i like things with really punchy flavour (with the exception of the sugared meat recipes above!) When you can make the incredible Salsa Verde Chicken (see my Keepers list) so quickly and easily, there’s no need for this Lime Chili Chicken recipe to even exist.
Speedy Texas Trail Chili
i’ve seen this one making the rounds because it’s in the official Instant Pot manual. Chili (like all food) is subjective — it depends on how you like it. i can tell you how i don’t like it: soupy. A chili needs some thickness to it. It needs to put up a fight in my mouth. This “chili” (in name only) is runny to the point of being a beverage.
“Instant Pot” Korean Beef
i put the dick quotes around “Instant Pot,” because the author has clearly modified a slow cooker recipe for her device, and sloppily. i’m even suspicious of whether she owns an Instant Pot at all.
At the time i made the recipe, i put in all the effort, and when i got all the way down to the settings, she told me to cook this at “normal.” The Instant Pot doesn’t have a “normal” setting – only “low” and “high.” i freaked out a bit, and checked her Comments section, where other people were also freaking. She replied “high will be fine.”
It’ll be “fine”? Will it? Don’t you know? Did you even test this recipe with an Instant Pot, Shelly, or are you just trying to improve your SEO by using “Instant Pot” as a popular keyword?? In another comment, she said that there’s no real cooking difference between low pressure and high pressure.
i left a comment saying it was insane that she had that error in her recipe, and that people had even called her on it in the Comments, but she still hadn’t bothered to correct the text. That’s straight-up irresponsible. It looks like now, she’s deleted my comments and corrected the recipe. But god damn, woman.
Later in the Comments thread, i called her out for saying the recipe comes together in “just a few minutes,” and then hitting you with a FORTY FIVE MINUTE cook time! Her response?
Awesome! So glad you liked it!!
What the actual?
i clarified in a much longer comment that i actually didn’t like the recipe, and i said she must be just approving comments blindly with a rote “thanks!” message each time. i repeated that the cook time was way longer than advertised. Her response?
Just a few minutes is just an expression I used to hyperbolize how fast you can achieve shredded meat in a pressure cooker
Well, let me “hyperbolize” for a moment, Shelly: i wouldn’t follow these instructions again if i was suffocating on Mars and this was the recipe for AIR.
(In a bizarre twist, Shelly’s site also hosts the recipe for Salsa Verde Chicken, which is the Greatest Thing i’ve Ever Made in an Instant Pot, so go figure.)
Instant Pot Sausage and Peppers
The Instant Pot does some things very well, and it’s a complete bust for other stuff. If you want something hot and wet, you’re in luck. If you want it dry, bubbly, black, and roasted (all great qualities of cooked sausage), then you’re out of luck.
This is a decent oven dish that the author tried to modify for the Instant Pot, but it’s a total flop. If you like your sausages boiled and grey, then you’re either 1) crazy, or 2) British. And British or otherwise, sausages the colour and consistency of your fat, dead grandfather’s fingers after he’s been floating in the Thames for a week shouldn’t be anyone’s cup of tea.
SPECIAL NOTE: i have very little time for doctored recipe photos. Some embellishment is expected, but if i can’t follow a recipe and make it look anything like what’s in the photo, that link gets an automatic trip to this “Never Again” dump. See the blackened bits on those nicely browned sausages in the image above? With this much liquid in the Pot, you will never in a million years get your sausages to look like that. Hang this site and its filthy food lies.
(but again, pressurecookingtoday.com is the home of a very solid Mongolian Beef Recipe on my Keepers list. i guess they can’t all be gems…)
Pressure Cooker Chicken
i’ve seen a lot of whole-chicken-in-an-Instant-Pot recipes fly by on the Facebook group, and it looks like people have had varying degrees of success. For my time and money, i just don’t think this is the device for roasting whole chickens. i’ve had far better results in the slow cooker, and if i were ever to cook a whole chicken again (i’ve tried three times in the Instant Pot), i would definitely use a slow cooker instead.
Note again that the picture has to be a lie. You simply can’t get a nicely browned bird out of the Instant Pot.
Instant Pot Rice Pilaf
i’ve seen other people complain on Facebook that rice in the Instant Pot hasn’t turned out. That was my problem here: i followed the instructions to the letter, but the rice was entirely too mushy by the end of it. i admit i didn’t follow one direction properly. Recipe called for “oyster sauce,” and we’d run out. So i opened a tin of oysters and used the juice, thinking it was the same thing.
Hot tip: it is not the same thing.
The taste of the oyster juice overwhelmed the dish. That’s on me. But i think the texture problems of the wrong water-to-rice ratio/wrong cook time are the fault of the recipe author.
Juicy Pressure Cooker Meatloaf
Amy and Jacky are frightfully good at marketing. If you’ve ever Googled around for Instant Pot recipes, you’ve surely come across them. They have a lot of fussy ideas in their recipe instructions that i’m not sure are worth the payoff, but it’s clear that they show a lot of care and fastidiousness in their cooking. Most of the time, their recipes are too picky for my hectic weeknights (although their excellent Mac and Cheese recipe is on my Keepers list, and the “fried” chicken one is pretty boss).
This, i’ll admit, is some of the best meatloaf i’ve ever eaten. That’s the upside. The downside is that the recipe took me two and a half hours (!!!1!). i think that even if i knew what i was doing, this would be more of a project than i can handle on a weeknight. i can get a reliable meatloaf out of the oven in the same amount of time or less. It’s not as tasty, but i don’t think my purpose on this planet is to spend all my time making meatloaf.
Instant Pot Chicken Adobo
As a dish, chicken adobo has the rare distinction of going on my “Never Again” list in any incarnation, not just as an Instant Pot recipe.
Whenever i’ve seen a chicken adobo recipe, the author goes on about what a family favourite it is, and how delicious it is, and Flo (this recipe’s author) is no exception. After trying to make adobo a couple of times, both in a slow cooker and an Instant Pot, i’m coming to the conclusion that chicken adobo just isn’t very good. All i ever get is dry chicken turned pale brown from the soy sauce (which absorbs into the chicken, instead of wicking off it like in the photo), and a vinegary taste that’s most likely coming from the … i dunno … the quarter cup of vinegar.
Note also that the image Flo uses on this recipe is most likely filthy lies, as it looks brown and cracklin’. i’ll admit that i strayed from the path by using skinless chicken, but i know that you can’t get crisp skin out of an Instant Pot anyway. J’accuse, Flo Lum!
Chicken adobo. Sorry, Filipino friends. i don’t like it, and i’m not going to make it again.