TROUBLESHOOTING PALEO COOKING FOR YOUR INSTANT POT
Ahhhh book launches. They are filled with excitement and celebration and exhaustion and…. typos! When the first round of a cookbook drops, we discover things that are slightly off, misspelled, or misprinted. Combine those normal scenarios with a special appliance like an Instant Pot, and now things really get interesting. Different variabilities can affect outcomes – meat texture, moisture content, altitude, even condiment consistency can influence the end result. So let’s go through a couple red flagged recipes and see if we can get things straightened out and “fool-proofed” First, a few things you always want to check before beginning a pressure-cooking cycle:
- Is your silicone seal in place and secure? Your pressure cooker will not come up to pressure if this is loose.
- Did you seal off the pressure valve? Again, you will not reach pressure otherwise.
- If you started with a saute feature, did you press the keep warm/cancel button before you attempted to switch over to pressure cooking? You will need to do this to make the transition
- Do you have enough liquid? Many vegetables and meats release a TON of liquid while they cook. For this reason you do NOT always need a full cup of liquid to bring your pressure cooker to full pressure. However, if you notice it is struggling, and your pressure button doesn’t pop up in a timely manner, cancel the cooking cycle, add in more liquid (can be broth, water, ghee, etc depending on the recipe) and then begin again
- If you are super freaked out about clean condiments like Tessamae’s or Sir Kensington’s purchased from the store, please consider making your own. I have received feedback from very upset people that I would ever consider using “store bought ketchup” (the horror). I do not use regular junky ketchup with corn syrup and freaky caca – I DO use clean condiments for my recipes if I don’t have homemade on hand. If you want to make your own ghee, ketchup, mayo, etc, please do. I have recipes for ketchup, mayo, and other condiments in my Paleo Kids Cookbook.
Here are some recipes which have presented with a few issues for a handful of people…
- Rotisserie Chicken (page 63)- I have had this recipe work many times for my family . The juice from the chicken and veggies have provided enough liquid to bring my IP to pressure. However, I am receiving feedback from a couple people that they needed more liquid in their IP’s to achieve full pressure. TIP: For this reason, I am going to recommend adding 1 cup of water or broth to avoid heartache and panic attacks.
- Cilantro Chicken Meatballs (p55) – ground chicken can vary in wetness greatly. Dark meat varies some from white meat, and some meat just tends to seem “juicier”. For this reason, some of you are experiencing a wet meat mixture that is difficult to make meatballs with. TIP: Add a grain free binder of your choice. How much you add will depend on your mixture. Start with a couple tablespoons of almond flour, cassava flour, arrowroot or tapioca until you can form meatballs with your meat mixture. Proceed with remaining directions.
- Rainbow Fingerling Potatoes – again, the liquid. TIP: If you have trouble getting your IP to come to full pressure, add a bit of water. Mine has never needed a full cup but go ahead and get it all moisty-like so you can minimize freakouts (and negative reviews).
- Hard Boiled Eggs (p18)- this time and amount of eggs works perfectly every time for me. No grey ring around the yolk, perfectly peelable (as indicated by the aptly named title). If you WANT to do them for 7 minutes you can. If you want to do them for 6 minutes you can. I am not the egg-master, but this is how I like mine. You can also place them in an ice water bath afterwards. I don’t and I still love my eggs. But I am not your boss and I want you to be happy. TIP: do what makes you yolk happy
- Paleo Breakfast Porridge (p22) – For Whole 30 you can make this without sweetener. You may want to add in some dairy free milk if and extra fruit after cooking if you do. TIP: Don’t plotz over honey.
- Cultured Coconut Milk Yogurt (p29) – Make sure you are using the cream from one of the cans of coconut milk. You need that extra thickness for these to set well. They should not be runny after refrigeration. I use THIS probiotic. Please note this links to TWO boxes. You can buy them in 1 box units in store.
Sharon D. says
HELP!!! Love the Instant Pot cookbook but I had a problem with the Chocolate Pots de Creme on pg. 158. Made 2 batches in 2 different kinds and number of cups. With and without a trivet, and they all boiled over into the water!!! Followed directions perfectly and the only thing I could think of is what degree of pressure to be cooking at for the 5 minutes. It doesn’t say in recipe and most other recipes are at manual/high. Is high too much?? Is 5 minutes too much? HELP!!
Great tips all around. I have been making your hard boiled eggs (well, my daughter actually begs to be the egg cook) for at least a year, and 7 min is our sweet spot without an ice bath. My chicken meat balls were made with very wet ground chicken, so I needed a lot of binder. I’m also on the other side of the world where meat can vary. I will say the apple sauce was great, made marsala last night and the kids enjoyed it….still working my way through.
Laura Bertram says
Love your cookbook and detailed instructions! I’m making Legit Bread Under Pressure for the first time and wonder if the bread should be cooked on low or high pressure?
Thanks so much!!!
High pressure works!
Hey sweet lady my Pots De Creme did the same as
the other comment before me. They tasted delicious but did boil over and weren’t creamy. Should I cook on lower pressure or less time?
They tasted wonderful otherwise! Thank you Jennifer!
Try using a larger jar (deeper) and placing it on the trivet instead of in the water (in case you did that). The high pressure should still work but maybe it was too hot or shallow.
In your chili recipe I don’t understand the direction to put on warm/cancel with () high pressure/30 min and then after secure the lid. It sounds like it’s supposed to cook on warm for 30 min with lid kit sealed then turn the selection on (I have a power XL pot snd it doesn’t have the bean/chili option.
When you press the keep warm/cancel button it just allows you to stop sauteing and begin the next command. So it’s how you switch over. Does that make more sense? Otherwise in your pressure cooker, just saute and then switch over to high pressure for 30 min, however you would do that with your device.
I’ve tried 10 of your IP recipes from your cookbook and they have all been fantastic! My 8 year old son has never liked my cooking and he is scarfing down anything of yours that I make!! I did have to cook the turkey meatloaf for 35 min, not 20 like it states in the book and I also added GF breadcrumbs to the chicken meatball recipe because it was very wet otherwise, but the flavor was phenomenal. Thank you so much for all the effort that went into creating your wonderful cookbooks.
One suggestion for next time: it would be great if you could add the specific products you use (steam rack, water chestnut flour brand from your Down South cookbook, etc.)
Thanks so much Ali! Have you checked out my resource page for Down South Paleo? It should help address some of those specifics!
For the loaded baked potato soup, do you peel and cut up the potatoes?
You don’t have to! If you use lighter colored potatoes like Yukon’s you can just toss em in!
I downloaded the preview on iBooks tonight and was so excited about InstantPot omelettes that I made that for supper tonight. I follow recipes slavishly the first time I make them, so a mis en place was prepared and I set out.
Unfortunately, chaos ensued. I got the dreaded overheat error, twice. Finished cooking using sauté function and my glass lid. It looked overcooked and stuck badly but tasted fine and was still tender.
I’ll continue to look around on your site and try one or two IP recipes from here before deciding whether or not to buy the book.
Oh no! I wonder what made it overheat!? If it continues to act funky, I would definitely return and get a replacement IP!
Hey for the Savory Lamb Goulash, it says to press the – button until the display reads accordingly. Does that mean it’s meat/stew for 35 minutes or 25 minutes?
Thanks for all your recipes. I’m just getting into using them!
Yes you can use the meat/stew setting which is 35 minutes and then reduce it to 25 minutes by using the “-” button. Does that help clarify?
Hello! I just tried your Cultured Coconut Milk yogurt yesterday and am unsure about my results. I used two full cans of Organic Coconut Cream (Trader Joes), which does actually still have some milk/water in it, but thought would result in a thicker result than using two cans of regular milk, where you discard the ‘water’ and just use the cream of one can. I also reduced the arrowroot to 1 Tb because I didn’t want it too thick and use only 4 teaspoons of maple syrup (I’m on an AIP diet and don’t want excess sugars). I also cultured in in the IP for 9 hours. It looked ‘foamy’ on top when finished, and this morning I opened one jar and noticed it was nice and thick… I stirred it, and it got thicker and clotted a bit. The taste is fresh, mildly sour, lightly sweet and a bit fizzy. Not what I was going for… which was creamy and smooth. Any ideas on why it’s fizzy. I guess I was trying to combine various methods I’d seen online for my preferred outcome, but yikes. 🙁 It doesn’t taste bad… I don’t mind it… rather like fizzy whipped coconut cream. But is it safe? Ha ha!
I think it should be safe but I will mention that I have heard TJ’s coconut milk did not work for everyone who tried it. I’m not sure what the issue is there but I’m guessing the ratio is a little off? I like Native Forest or Thai Kitchen if you decide to try again!
I have your Paleo for Kids Cookbook. Love it! However, can I swap out the diced tomatoes in the ketchup for tomato sauce? My blender is not high speed. Any suggestions would be great!
Yes! That will work.
Wow! I just got an Instant Pot and your Paleo book for Christmas. And we’ve made something absolutely delicious every night since thanks to your awesome recipes!! But we just came across a question while making the “Zesty Citrus Pulled Chicken”. We don’t have a Poultry button on our Ultra 60 yet the recipe calls for a Poultry button. What settings should we use?
Hey Ellen, for that one you can use 12-14 minutes high pressure for a pound of chicken. Hope that helps!