Instapot Fajitas

Over the summer on our family RV adventure to the Great Smoky Mountains, my family and I encountered some long driving days, a bit of torrential rain and wind. Then, to top it off, the hot and humid summer pushed us to our limit a few times.

Those situations made mealtime stressful for me. Trying to pull dinner together with two preteens, two adults and one senior all “hangry” and needing food immediately. There wasn’t time to build a fire to do over-the fire-cooking. I had to find a solution to our dinner dilemmas and fast.

Pressure Cooker Fears

I have always been afraid of pressure cookers. One time my Great-Aunt Francis back in the 1970s did not seal the lid on her pressure cooker properly. Yep, you guessed it — DISASTER! The pressure cooker blew the lid off and into the kitchen ceiling. It ripped the stove vent hood off! Then sprayed the kitchen with hot magma pot roast, and destroyed the cabinets near the stove. My Great-Uncle was more upset dinner was ruined than the condition the kitchen was in. My poor great-aunt!

Back then, pressure cookers relied on the operator to be the safety inspectors of the cooking unit. Misalignment with the lid and not adding enough liquid to the pot were two of the biggest dangers. In addition the steam vent had a tendency to get blocked with food particles. That led  to quite a few problems.

A pressure cooker filled with onions, chicken and red, green and yellow peppers.

Photo: Kate Dunbar

Pressure Cooker Safety Features

Today’s electric multicooker appliances have built-in safety features that not only keep the consumer safe, but protect your home and RV as well.

  • Lid Close Detection. If the lid is not closed properly or is missing a piece, the multicooker will not operate.
  • Leaky Lid Protection. If there is a leak where the steam vent is, an alarm will sound.
  • Lid Lock Under Pressure. When cooking, if the lid has not gone through the correct pressure release process, the lid will not open.
  • Anti-blockage vent. There is a vent shield attached to the underside of the steam vent that blocks any food from being lodged in that area.
  • Auto-temperature control. If there is not enough liquid or moisture inside the pot, the pressure and temperature will not properly build up, causing the lid to not seal. The multicooker will also stop heating if the heating element is faulty, damaged, or the inner pot is not correctly in contact with it.
  • Power Protection and Extreme Heat. All multicookers have a built-in fuse that will disconnect the power if it reaches an extreme temperature. If it detects an uneven electrical current, the unit will power down.
  • Automatic Pressure Control. If too much steam pressure is developed, the steam release will open and allow the excess steam to vent to equalize the pressure inside the multicooker.

Brands to Choose

I’m certain you are wondering which multicooker I chose to help us with our camp meals. I wanted a multicooker that was cost-effective, stored away easily, and had multiple functions to cook a wide variety of foods.

I also needed this multicooker to be a tool I could use in our home after our summer camping adventure. The model I chose was the 6-quart Mealthy MultiPot (below), available online through the Mealthy company and on Amazon. I chose this multicooker because it delivered on the four areas I felt were most important:

  • Price. It was under $100.
  • Accessories. This multicooker came with a wire trivet insert, steamer basket, silicone mitts, rice scoop and ladle, an extra gasket, measuring cup, a recipe book, a cheat sheet, and cooking timesheet.
  • 9-in-1. Pressure cooker, slow cooker, sauté pan, steamer, cake maker, egg maker, yogurt maker, rice cooker, and warmer, all in one electric appliance.
  • Size. It did not take up any additional counter space in our RV. It stored away in one of our cupboards or under the dining table when we hit the road.

A pressure cooker with digital readout and closed lid. Pressure cook flavorful fajitas

Photo: Mealthy MultiPot

Ways To Use Your Instantpot

To date, there are many manufacturers of multipot appliances. The model I chose is No. 2 in the popularity ranking with home cooks, while Instant Pot (below) is still holding the No. 1 position after five years on the market. I honestly never planned on being a multipot owner.

I love the whole cooking process, but when I’m under pressure for getting a nourishing meal on the table quickly after a long day of exploring and hiking, this appliance truly saves us. Not that anything is wrong with PB&Js or bowls of cereal when it comes to dinner choices, but when I have my heart set on making delicious seared chicken with a creamy, rich coconut curry sauce, cereal just isn’t cutting it.

Some amazing meals I have made with the Mealthy MultiPot include: pot roast, risotto, chicken marsala, chicken biryani, polenta, barbecue shredded pork, zuppa Toscana and white bean and kale soup.

The sauté feature helps create a beautiful fond on the bottom of the cooking pot with those beautiful brown flavor bits. The large display screen shows me what cooking step is happening and how long the cooking process has been going on. I love all the function features. I’m excited to develop recipes focused on bean dishes, soups and stews over the winter camping months.

A closed pressure cooker reading "5:20" with lid closed.

Photo: Instant Pot

 

A bowl filled with cooked chicken, onions and peppers with serving utensils sticking out.

Slow Cooker Fajitas
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Ingredients

  • 2½-3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into strips
  • 2 tablespoons fajita or taco seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 green bell peppers, cut into 1/4-inch strips
  • 2 red bell peppers, cut into 1/4-inch strips
  • 2 yellow bell peppers, cut into 1/4-inch strips
  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced thin
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • ½ cup water, chicken stock or vegetable broth
  • Flour tortillas
  • Extras
  • Sour cream
  • Salsa
  • Sliced jalapenos

Instructions

  1. In a bowl add chicken thigh strips, 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon taco seasoning. Toss well so chicken is coated with the seasoning mixture, cover and set in fridge up to 2 hours.
  2. Slice all the vegetables and place in a bowl, sprinkle the remaining taco seasoning and granulated garlic over the sliced vegetables, mix well, cover and set aside in the refrigerator until ready to cook.
  3. In the bottom of your pressure cooker insert pot, add remaining tablespoon of olive oil, set pressure cooker to sauté. Once the pot is at temp, add in the seasoned chicken and cook for 2-4 minutes, stirring to sear all sides of the chicken. Cancel sauté mode and add in the seasoned vegetables, lime juice and chicken stock.
  4. Place the pressure cooker lid on and lock into place. Select the poultry button and cook on high pressure for 6 minutes. Once the cooking process is done, press cancel on the control panel and carefully release the steam vent for a quick release.
  5. Press the sauté button and cook chicken and bell peppers on high until most of the liquid is reduced, about 3 minutes. Check for seasoning and adjust as needed. Warm tortillas and enjoy.
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http://thecampgroundgourmet.com/pressure-cooker-fajitas/

Original Post – GoodSam 10/8/2019

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