It’s time to make use of that small kitchen appliance in your cupboard — the one that offers convenience and time-savings! Set it up, dust it off, and, of course, read the directions carefully before you begin. Here are a few tips, easy recipe and dinner ideas, and steps on how to use these popular small cooking appliances.
This pressure cooker is all the rage. By adding liquid to the pot before cooking, steam builds up to cook the food. It then produces tender, juicy and flavorful meals in much less time than a conventional stove.
How to Use an Instant Pot:
- Before you start cooking, be sure to familiarize yourself with the features on your Instant Pot model. Some cooking steps will vary depending on your model and recipe.
- To start, set the Instant Pot to sauté mode and add oil. Doing this allows the pot to heat so you can sauté your veggies, reduce sauces or sear meat.
- Once the pot has heated, tap the cancel button. Then, tap the manual button, followed by the pressure button. Use the plus and minus buttons to set the cook time.
- Place the lid on the Instant Pot and lock it in place. Make sure the seal is in the proper position.
- When the cooking is done, the pot stops heating and will start to depressurize.
Instant Pot Ideas & Recipes
There are boundless Instant Pot recipes for everything from Pot Roast to Pulled Pork Sandwiches to Cauliflower Butternut Squash Soup to Pumpkin Spice Rice Pudding. For more inspiration on meals and desserts, check out our recipe library for easy Instant Pot recipes.
The slow cooker has been a lifesaver for busy people for years. You can add your ingredients to the slow cooker in the morning and then forget about it until the food is done. And even though it’s turned on all day, slow cookers use up less electricity than electric ovens!
How to Use a Slow Cooker:
- Using a slow cooker should be an easy process. Just plug it in and add your chosen meats, sauces or spices.
- Depending on when you should start your slow cooker will depend on how much time it takes to cook your meal — you could need to start it in the morning, or in the afternoon. Because of its low-and-slow cooking method, even tougher cuts of meat come out tender and juicy.
- When you’re ready to start slow cooking, set the temperature to low or high depending on what your chosen recipe calls for. A low temperature is anywhere from 190-200°F and a high temperature is around 300°F.
- Next, set your timer and stir occasionally, if needed. When your dish is done cooking, you can either turn your slow cooker off, or turn your heat setting to low to keep it warm.
Slow Cooker Ideas & Recipes
Slow cookers are great for busy nights. Prep your ingredients in the morning or afternoon, and it will be done by dinner. Whether you’re a fan of beef tacos or vegan quinoa chili, you can’t go wrong with a slow cooker recipe. If you’re unsure what to make in your crock pot for dinner, discover all of our easy slow cooker recipes.
Love deep-fried food, but not the mess or calories? Then an air fryer might be right up your alley. An air fryer is basically a deep-fat fryer, except that it uses only a fraction of the oil.
How to Use an Air Fryer:
- Once your food is ready to cook, it’s best to preheat your air fryer for about 5 minutes. This will help make your food crispy and crunchy. When it’s hot, spread food out in a single layer in the cooking basket so that it cooks evenly. Then lock the tray into the air fryer.
- Consult your user manual or recipe on the cooking setting and heat level the food should be cooked at.
- Before placing food in the air fryer, lightly spray with oil or add a small amount of oil to the basket so the food doesn’t stick. Halfway through cooking the food, be sure to rotate it to help make sure that it cooks evenly.
Air Fryer Recipes
- Regardless of your cooking skill level, air fryers are versatile and easy to use. You can make your own French fries, chicken nuggets and even full meals like turkey Breast. If you’re not sure what to can make in an air fryer, check out more easy air fryer recipes to try for your family dinner this week.
Now that you know of the many possibilities that come with small appliances, it’s time to start cooking!