Say hello to a stress-free holiday.
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Let's be honest: Thanksgiving is great but it can also be incredibly stressful. Cook the turkey so that it's done but not too done. Prepare 500 side dishes with one oven and one stove. Make sure you have dishes that make both your meat-loving uncle and your vegan cousin happy. My blood pressure is rising just thinking about it...
Fortunately, there's one thing that will make Turkey Day a little bit less panic-inducing—your Instant Pot. Below are 5 easy ways you can use the popular pressure cooker to cook your Thanksgiving dinner, according to our own experts.
Sure, you could use canned stock from the store but you could also make your own with very little extra effort, thanks to your Instant Pot. A.k.a what would usually take hours simmering on the stove can be done in about 30 minutes in your pressure cooker. Our kitchen and cooking writer, Valerie Li, recommends cooking your stock a few days in advance, since chilled vegetable or chicken stock can last at least a week in the fridge.
No time to defrost? No worries. "You should take advantage of the fact that Instant Pots are freezer-friendly so you can cook foods straight from your freezer," Valerie says. If you have a frozen dish or food that's in a container that fits inside your Instant Pot, all you have to do it set it inside, turn on your pressure cooker, and wait.
The struggle that is trying to have every dish ready at once is one of the most common Thanksgiving fails. If your stuffing is finished before your green bean casserole, fear not if you have an Instant Pot—Valerie explains that the pressure cooker has a "keep warm" function that's perfect for preventing cold dishes. She adds that it's also a great way to keep festive beverages like mulled wine or spiced cider warm.
Everyone knows that Thanksgiving is all about the sides. But trying to make all of them that morning is hectic at best and impossible at worst. That's why Valerie suggests cooking what you can in your Instant Pot a day or two beforehand. She recommends dishes that will keep well and are easy to reheat, like mashed potatoes or macaroni and cheese (make sure they're in a tightly sealed container in the fridge!).
Step away from the stove—you can use your Instant Pot to make gravy, Valerie says. "First, remove the turkey from the pan and collect all the drippings/food bits/etc.," she explains. "Then, use a fat separator to remove the fat. Pour the gravy into an Instant Pot and whisk in stock, milk, water, cream and put it on "saute" to cook (don't forget to whisk) until it simmers." Now you have room on the stove for other things, like stuffing!
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