I got a new toy and I can't wait to brag about it!
This fall we have been camping in some cooler climates and enjoying the outdoors all bundled up. It's making me crave cold weather comfort food: soups, chili, stew, roasts- all the stick-to-your-ribs good stuff. AKA all the stuff that I can't cook on two burners with limited propane.
Many of the cooking blogs I frequent had been featuring recipes for a new fangled toy- The Instant Pot. On further research - it seemed to check all the boxes: comes in a mini, 3 quart size, energy draw is within our battery capabilities, and because of the pressure cooker/crock pot combo, I can cook things that would take all day in a crock pot in under an hour. Its like all my dreams came true. OK, I'll admit that sounds awfully dramatic, but for a lover of cooking, this really has opened up a ton of options for me.
Finding a 3 quart size, which was a must due both to space and more importantly energy use, was no small feat. I had meal planned and grocery shopped with the IP in mind before stopping to pick one up at a big-box store. It took 3 staff members and a lot of digging to fish one out of the stock room, as they sell quickly and the shelves were clean out of them. I nearly hugged to poor girl who finally unpacked a case of them just for me.
My first experiment in the instant pot was barbacoa beef, and man was it both delicious and previously impossible in the van. I served the beef over a "southwest"-ish salad and it was delicious for days. Since then I've done teriyaki turkey meatballs over a pineapple cabbage slaw, chili, and chicken with sweet potatoes. I can't wait to try a dessert in the Instant Pot!
The only minor issue I have found is that when the battery levels are on the low end, the power draw does seem to make the lights flicker a bit. When we are well charged it has no effect whatsoever.
I'm sure when we hit warmer weather my new toy may have to go into storage, but for now I'm using it nearly every day.
Living small really makes you appreciate the details.