Potato Bacon Chowder and an Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker Give Away!

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Are you a pressure cooker pro?  I had absolutely zero experience with one, prior to last week, and after some of the old horror stories I had read, I fully expected to burst, damage or maim myself (Gross!  That would be so messy!) or others if I was foolish enough to try and use one.  -lol-  It turns out that I had nothing to fear!  Thankfully, some of those stories may be slightly exaggerated and ALL of them were from a point in time where the technology had not developed to the level we enjoy, today.  What a relief to see how safe modern pressure cookers have become!  The Instant Pot Electric slow cooker was easy and safe to operate.  And best of all, the Instant Pot is electric.  I don’t even need to use a burner on my range, which means more space available to cook other dishes while my Instant Pot pressure cooker cooks a dish for our meal!

slow cooker

The Instant Pot slow cooker I tested and reviewed for this post. What a fabulous appliance!

Pressure cooking has many advantages, speed being the most noticeable, for this novice.  However, after preparing several different recipes, it was soon evident that speed is just scratching the surface of the list of benefits of using the Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker.

  1. During pressure cooking, heat is very evenly, deeply, and quickly distributed.  This provides not only faster cooking times (up to 70% reduction in cooking times!), but consistency throughout your dish.  Foods, especially meats, tend to be more tender and juicy when prepared in a pressure cooker.  Dishes burst with flavor, since they are cooked in a sealed environment, with only enough liquid to keep the pressure cooker filled with steam.  This pressurized steam pushes seasonings and flavor deep into the food and also results in the greater retention of nutrients.
  2. The InstaPot has 10 safety features built in, that exceed the already vastly improved safety of modern pressure cookers.
  3. Instant Pot has eight intelligent programming, one-key operation buttons built in.  You can select pre-programmed cooking times for Soup, Rice, Multi-grain Rice, Congee, Meat & Stew, Beans & Chili, Steaming, and Slow Cooking.  (Yup, it can also function as a slow cooker!)
  4. You can select Manual Mode to select your own specific length of time for the recipes you’re preparing.
  5. It’s automatic!  Once a dish has completed the selected time or cooking program, it automatically switches to Keep Warm mode.  You don’t have to stand over the cooker, monitoring every second of cooking and timing it to remove it from the heat at the proper time.
  6. The delayed cooking feature allows you to plan up to 24 hours ahead when preparing dishes.
  7. Reduced cooking time, means reduced energy usage and it already uses far less energy than your range or oven.  Imagine the energy-savings recognized in 70% shorter cooking times!
  8. You don’t heat up your kitchen using it and it is extremely energy-efficient.  The Instant Pot exterior housing is fully insulated and cool to the touch during short-term operation and only lukewarm during long-term cooking.  The “intelligence” built into it, means that only the inner pot is being heated in order to maintain the pressure level and that energy is concentrated on cooking the food.  Having to heat the inner pot only to reach and maintain specific pressure levels means that the heating element is only actively “heating” about 40% of the time during long-term cooking.
  9. It is totally quiet during operation.  I remember a spitting, steaming, click-click-clicking pressure cooker on my Grandma’s stove top when I was a child.  There is none of that with the Instant Pot.  I have the option of opening the pressure valve and releasing steam quickly at the end of cooking or simply allowing the steam to dissipate naturally as part of the pre-programmed settings.  Even with the manual quick-release of the pressurized steam in the pot, the noise is minimal.
  10. It has been easy to learn to use.  I was somewhat fearful, in the beginning, but have really enjoyed how simple it is to operate the Instant Pot.  Straight from the box, I was able to have my first dish cooking away in a matter of minutes.
accessories

In the Box – These are the manuals, tools and accessories that were included in the Instant Pot package with my slow cooker.

If I had to pick one thing that I wish was different, it would be that the User Manual and Recipe Booklet, included, would be more detailed.  Both seem to assume the user will have some general knowledge of pressure cooking and so did not answer all the “newbie” general questions I had about pressure cooking.  Many of those questions were easily answered through Google searches and studying pressure cooker recipes, at Food.com and Allrecipes.com, however.  I have also heard of using pressure cookers for home canning and there was no mention of this possibility, so I will need to further research that, as well.

The Instant Pot is definitely one of those multi-use appliances that is going to be heavily used in my kitchen.  It’s a slow cooker, rice cooker, vegetable steamer AND a pressure cooker.  I’m really anxious to see all the ways I will be able to use it for holiday cooking.  The first day I received it, I prepared this beautiful and absolutely mouthwatering pork loin roast in only 40 minutes.

pork loin sliced

Sliced pork loin after 40 minutes in the Instant Pot.

 

pork loin and potatoes

The meat was moist and tender. Yum!

 

I also used the Instant Pot to cook dry beans.  From dry to tender and ready to use in any recipe, it was only 45 minutes!  I forgot to take any pictures in all the excitement of mass cooking all those beans so quickly, but here’s all I did.  I used a 1 lb bag of red beans and a 1 lb bag of black beans.  Place the beans in a large bowl and cover completely with water.  Allow them to soak for about 4 hours (Skins will be wrinkly.)  Drain and rinse the beans.  Place the dry beans, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 cup butter in the Instant Pot.  Cover beans with water, making sure the water level is 2 to 3 inches above the level of the beans.  Lock pressure cooker lid into place and make sure steam valve is sealed.  Press the program button for beans and leave the cooker to work.  At the end of the 45 minute cycle, quick-release the steam and remove the beans.  They are ready to use in any recipe.  I actually used some for taco soup and then froze the rest in quart-sized ziptop bags.

The recipe I want to share with you was one I devised hurriedly on Wednesday afternoon, when I realized I hadn’t thawed anything for supper, which was going to have to be early because of Wednesday night church activities.  I decided to use ingredients I already had in my kitchen and make a hearty soup that would fill every one up, for their evening out.  This yummy Potato Bacon Chowder was the happy result.  It was so simple and exceptionally fast, which was just what I needed.

soup bowl

Yum! Potato Bacon Chowder made in my Instant Pot. Once the pot came up to pressure, the actual cooking time was 5 minutes! Amazing!

 

5 from 1 reviews
Potato Bacon Chowder in the Pressure Cooker
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 5 lbs. russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 3 stalks celery, sliced thin
  • 1 large onion, small diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon seasoning salt (I used Country Bob's)
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 lb. bacon, fried crisp and rough chopped
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese and diced green onion for garnish
Instructions
  1. Place potato chunks into inner pot of pressure cooker.
  2. Add celery, onion, garlic, seasoning salt, pepper and butter. Stir to combine.
  3. Add bacon and chicken stock to pot and then stir to combine. (I debated on whether to add the bacon, now, or when the soup was done. Now, meant sinking that smoky flavor deep into the potatoes. Later, meant having that crispier texture element to enjoy in my finished soup. Tonight, I opted for the deep flavor (Totally delish, by the way!), but you could go either way and it would be tasty and perfectly acceptable.) If you decide to wait, you will add the bacon when you stir in the milk and cream.)
  4. Place the lid on the Instant Pot slow cooker and lock it into place.
  5. It will start, off to the side, so it drops into the slots in the rim and then you will grip the handle to spin the lid into the locked position. See how the arrows line up when it's locked?
  6. Push the Manual mode button and set the timer for 5 minutes. (I started with 10 and then checked half way through. At five minutes, the potatoes were fork tender and perfect. Amazing!)
  7. Quick-release the steam from the pressure cooker.
  8. When steam is fully gone, remove the lid of the slow cooker. There should still be liquid in the pot with your veggies.
  9. Use a potato masher to crush vegetables, resulting in a thick, semi-smooth mash. I left a few bigger chunks of potato, in mine, for texture. That's totally a preference thing, so adjust for what your family likes.)
  10. Add cream and whole milk, stirring to incorporate.
  11. Serve hot and steaming, topped with sour cream, shredded cheddar and sliced green onion.

Are you hungry, yet?  :)  Me, too!  Well then, let’s get down to it.  You can certainly purchase this fantastic Instant Pot Pressure Cooker for your kitchen and wouldn’t it make a fabulous gift?  The price at Amazon is a good value for such a versatile, multi-purpose appliance.  However, if you’re feeling lucky, you may just want to enter below, because one very blessed Busy-at-Home reader is going to win an Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker!  Now, this giveaway is slightly different from others that I have done.  While it is still open to everyone residing in the U.S., it’s also open to those in Canada.  The other major difference is that residents of Hawaii and Alaska would incur some shipping charges to receive their prize, as it is shipping from Canada, not the U.S.  So, with that in mind, enter, enter, enter!  You definitely don’t want to miss out on this one!


 

I received an Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker in order to test it in my own kitchen and write this review.  No monetary compensation was received and a positive review was not required.  As with all Busy-at-Home reviews, the views and opinions expressed are wholly my own.

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Comments

  1. Cheryl says

    I would start with beef roast or better yet, a deer roast. So quick and tender, this would leave me time to start a potatoe soup too! Two wonderful meals from one pressure cooker in no time.

  2. Lacy says

    That looks ridiculously delicious. I can’t wait to visit and taste mom-made-food again. :)

    I want a pressure cooker so I can make roast beast in it.

  3. Shelly Schmidt says

    This looks yummy on such a cold day and with snow coming our way! Something hot to eat and a great looking pressure cooker. I have always wanted one for canning and cooking roast in. I have heard they make the best roast!

  4. April Brenay says

    I’d probably do something with Turkey, takes forever to cook so this might make it more then a once a year dish :)

  5. Anne Taylor says

    The chowder looks fantastic, I’d definitely like to try it! I’d also like to try a beef roast and even a moose roast! Yum

    ty

    nancyrobster at gmail dot com

  6. Sonya Morris says

    I normally would do a roast with potatoes and carrots, but now I want to make this recipe you have listed!! Thanks :)

  7. Jennifer Ryder says

    I would love to make pulled pork in this. I’ve never used a pressure cooker-I’ve always been kind of scared of them. My mom swears by them, though.
    Thanks,
    Jen
    jryder416 at yahoo dot com

  8. says

    I would love to try a pot roast. My mom had a pressure cooker that made the best pot roast, but (like you) I have always been afraid to use one! This one seems simple and ‘safe’.

  9. Gail says

    Hard to say what I would make first but during harvest or planting when meal times are up in the air and unpredictable it would be fantastic. Plus having a glass top stove now and not being able to use a pressure cooker any more this appliance would be great.

  10. ericka coello says

    honestly, my husband is the chef at home. I just want to give him a surprise with this awesome product if I won it

  11. Mary Baker says

    I love putting a inexpensive pork roast in and letting it cook down to falling apart, then I add BBQ sauce and some chopped onions and you have pulled pork that will make your tongue slap your brains out while eating it!

  12. Denise Bogue-Skonieczki says

    I would love to have a pressure cooker especially that is electric… I would use it to make wonderful pot roasts, and chowders like the recipe above… that recipe sounds so good I will attempt to make it on the stove top until I win my own Instant Pot!!! Thanks for this wonderful opportunity

  13. Joseph Stowell says

    Pressure cookers are great for cheap cuts of meat. I would definitely use it to make a pot roast — one of the best comfort foods! Thanks for the chance to win the Instant Pot.

  14. Lauren says

    YUM! Well, my indian friend keeps telling me I need to get a pressure cooker, so I’d want to make some spicy chickpea dal a in honor of him!

  15. Denice P says

    I’m actually a pretty easy to please on what I would cook. I’ve got a major craving to make pinto beans with bacon. Just the thought of it makes my mouth drool. Thank you for the chance to win.

  16. Jamie Casolari (@JamieCasolari) says

    We eat a lot of vegetarian meals and cook a lot of beans , this would be fabulous for chilis and soups.

  17. Sassy says

    I am really looking forward to making white great northern beans. I think this is such a fantastic giveaway. I really need to be eating healthier and I think that this would greatly help. Thank you for the opportunity to enter for a chance to win.
    sassysasha817 at gmail dot com

  18. says

    Okay so I have NO clue what I’d make! I’d probably start with your recipe but that pork loin looks delicious. I love my slow cooker but there are so many nights that it’s 4pm and I’m just standing in the kitchen wondering what to do and the slow cooker is just well slow!

  19. joni Owada says

    I would definately like the try the recipe above, just making it dairy free instead…this looks so very neat…

  20. Brittany G says

    I’m new to having a little family, and still learning the ropes of cooking, so not really sure what I would/could cook in a pressure cooker. I’m sure it would be a great help to me learning new recipes, though!

  21. Debbie Clauer says

    I would like to make some white rice with a layer of saffron & butter at the bottom, to be flipped over in one piece when finished cooking.

  22. Lantana H. says

    I’d like to make your Potato Bacon Chowder! That looks so very yummy. Thanks for the great giveaway and the great recipe. The pictures are beautiful and I’m sure the dish was delicious!

  23. says

    My grandpa used to make this New England Dinner he called it, which was like beef roast with potatoes, carrots + cabbage and big chunks of onion and celery! then you take the broth and make it into a gravy, yummy!

  24. mandy says

    i will do stew. this is the best time for stew, but i always dont have enough time to make the meat tender enough, with the pressure cooker, it can be done QUICK!!!

  25. says

    Honestly, I want to make that potato bacon chowder!!! I’d also love to try some other chowders and creamy soups, and pot roast. Mm… I just had dinner, but now I’m hungry again, lol.

  26. Wendy McBride says

    The first thing I would make in the Pressure cooker is Chicken Fried Steak and gravy….like my mom used to make in hers!

    wendym at cableone dot net

  27. Tamara says

    Mmm! For one thing, I’d like to make your Potato Bacon Chowder in the pressure cooker. I usually like to pressure cook vegetables like carrots or potatoes, to quickly prepare them for other recipes, and I also enjoy making a pot roast like that too. Thank you for the chance to win this!!

  28. Tamara says

    I messed up one of my entries in the Rafflecopter. For one of the Twitter entries, I accidentally submitted the last thing I had “copied” and I “pasted” that in there. My Twitter name is: Pixel_Berry_Pie
    I hope this clears things up!

  29. Donna Welch says

    I think I would try the Potato Bacon Chowder first. I would be a newbie to cooking this way, but I think it would be better for my family since the pressure locks the juices in.

  30. says

    My grandmother always made sauerkraut with pork ribs in her old pressure cooker. I have never had the nerve to try the old style cooker, so if I had this newer, safer model, that would be the first thing I cooked.

  31. DebbyM says

    I would like to try a pot roast with veggies or a pork roast with sauerkraut…since that’s how the PA Dutch say you should ring in the New Year (I’m originally from PA).

    Thanks,
    Debby

  32. Laura L. says

    I would like to make soup in the Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker – my first soup would probably be beef stew – perfect for winter weather.

  33. says

    your chowder soup looks super yummy, so I would def make that. And I’ve always wanted to make beans in a pressure cooker, so that would also be at the top of my list.

  34. says

    I’m always looking for ways to cook beef roasts, chicken breasts and pork loins that will leave them perfectly cooked and moist without having to use my oven and reduce the mess.

  35. Ed Donovan says

    I would like to try making pulled pork with the Instant Pot slow cooker. Having it in minutes instead of hours would be great.

  36. Robyn Baker says

    Would absolutely l o v e to have one of these electric cookers. I think this would really be super to use it during the busy holiday season!

  37. Sharold Friedrich says

    I would make ben soup. This is such a nice pressure cooker!! My current one is from the 1940’s that my mother in law gave me from her mother’s basement.

  38. Lucy Schwartz says

    I used to make beef stew and chop suey for the family in my OLD pressure cooker. The food always turned out with out any horror stories. Now i am cooking for 2 and the big pot was just too big and I stopped using it. These cookers sound wonderful.

  39. judith T says

    I’d like to dry different soups, the potatoe soup looks easy and yummy. MOM always used a pressure cooker, but not one like this, this looks amazing.

  40. Gaines Simmons says

    Hello, how are you? Thank you for this opportunity. I would cook ‘Conch Stew.’ I am following, joining, liking and subscribing.

  41. Renee Richardson says

    I would love to make a roast. Thanks for the yummy giveaway and recipe :)

    Renee
    fattybumpkins at yahoo dot com

  42. Beverly Metcalf says

    Nice review, now I want the Instant Pot slow cooker. I think it would be great for making that pot roast on Sundays. Thanks for having the contest!

  43. Maylone says

    Two parent working household we use the slow cooker a lot, I would be interested in making several dishes in a pressure cooker

  44. Marcy Strahan says

    I would make some beef tips stew meat with some burgandy win, potaotes, celery, carrots, green onions & broth.
    In other word my own beef tip stew.

  45. says

    I’d try your potato bacon chowder first, actually! That looks good!!
    I know I’ve found recipes that I wanted to try before but as soon as I saw the “in a pressure cooker” part, I’d be disappointed and skip over them. Would love to have this to open the door to even more recipe experiments in my kitchen! hehe

    Cathy Davis
    mysubs4@gmail.com

  46. Ann Fraser says

    OMG Corn Chowder sounds sooo good now!!! My dad has a recipe and I have never tried to make it, I sure would with this thing! Going through the fire department recruit class and taking care of family and kids I think this would make meals quicker and easier!

  47. Taike says

    Made this potato soup today and it turned out quite nice. I used a 4 liter stovetop PC. Not quite as many spuds and about 1/2 the bacon. Creamed with just milk. Thanks for posting!

  48. says

    I already own an Instant Pot and you will find 2 of my recipes in the recipe booklet. I also agree about the instruction manual. I am pretty sure that the people writing pressure cooking instruction manuals have not used a pressure cooker of any kind.

    I have a pressure cooking cookbook The New Fast Food which helps people over their pressure cooking fear and answers newbie questions. It was written for the stove top cooker but most of the recipes work in the Instant Pot.

    I want to let you know that you CANNOT use the Instant Pot for canning for at least 2 reasons: 1) you cannot fit enough jars in it to make it worth it and 2) the pressure does not go high enough to ensure that canning will be safe. The only pressure cooker (not canner) that might work for pressure canning (according to the company) is the Fagor 10 quart cooker. Still, you can only can 4 jars at once. A pressure canner is still the most efficient way to pressure can.

    Thanks for introducing more people to pressure cooking. It has changed my life and I have been teaching people about it for almost 20 years.

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