*This post is brought to you in partnership with BESTEK. I received the pressure cooker in exchange for an honest review. As always, all opinions are my own.
Would you believe me if I told you that I made not one, not two, but five actual homemade meals in the last two weeks? True story! Okay, so for those of you who love cooking, that may not sound like a lot, but to me, it’s a downright miracle. See, as I’ve mentioned in the past, I’m not much of a cook. I like the idea of making homemade meals, but lose my oomph during the execution. Juggling multiple pots on a stove top overwhelms me, and inevitably, something burns. Even one-pot meals sound great in theory, until I realize that I have to babysit said pot for an hour. Maybe it’s sheer laziness, but after writing and editing for hours, my brain is usually way too fried to focus on a recipe, especially when cooking doesn’t come naturally to me.
So, what changed in the last two weeks? I finally got a pressure cooker! I have to tell you, whether you love or hate cooking, you want one of these! I received the BESTEK 6.3 Quart Pressure Cooker, and it’s quickly become my favorite kitchen gadget in the world.
Save time and money with the BESTEK Pressure Cooker
You’re going to love how much time (and money!) you save with the BESTEK Pressure Cooker, especially if your idea of a homemade meal is having someone else cook it in a restaurant and deliver it to your house. I set a huge goal for 2017 to cut back on how much takeout, fast food, and microwave meals we eat. With a family of four, we were spending way too much money on convenient food. We did okay on the first two for a few months, but we were still winging it with quickie meals for the most part. I can’t tell you how many nights I ate scrambled eggs because it was quick and easy. The saddest part? I would buy the ingredients to make a homemade meal, only to let half of them go bad because no one felt like cooking after a long day of working.
Now that I have my new bestie, the BESTEK, planning meals is a lot more fun and easy. I’ve been scouring Pinterest for pressure cooker recipes and saving them all to a secret “meal planning” board (so they don’t get lost among all my other pins on my public food boards). So far, I’ve only made chicken recipes, but I plan to branch out into breakfast (I hear you can make amazing oatmeal in a pressure cooker) and desserts once I feel more confident.
My favorite recipe that I’ve made twice now is this Garlic Chicken and Potatoes recipe from Life With 4 Boys. It’s the perfect pressure cooker beginner recipe because it comes out delicious without any tweaks. With a lot of pressure cooker recipes, you have to really dive into the comments and see what other people did to tweak it, because every pressure cooker is just a little different. This one, though, you can make it exactly as directed.
The second time I made it, I did switch it up a bit. I used baby red potatoes instead of golden yellow, and white pepper instead of regular. Why white pepper? Mostly because I saw it in the spice cabinet and thought “hey, that sounds good.” Also because I couldn’t find our regular pepper, because our spice organization system is insane. Basically, there is none. I eventually found the regular pepper over in another cabinet. It’s one of those recipes that, as long as you follow the base directions, you can tweak until your heart’s content. Here is my most recent modified version:
Herb & Garlic Chicken and Baby Red Potatoes
- 3 Large boneless, skinless breasts (more if you have a large family, but that was enough for us), about 2.5 lbs worth of chicken
- 2.5 lbs baby red potatoes (I bought a 3lb bag and just cut them in quarters until I felt like I had enough. There were about three little potatoes left in the bag when I was done).
- Olive oil (more on the amount later)
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 1/4 tsp dried rosemary
- a sprinkling of oregano (about 1/2 tsp, but I did add a bit more because I had more chicken than the original recipe called for)
- Salt and White Pepper
- 4 cloves minced garlic
- 1 & 1/3 cup chicken broth
How to make it:
- Use a pair of meat scissors to cut the chicken up into pieces. My mom did this for me after she saw me pull out the tongs to hold the chicken while I cut it. I don’t touch raw meat. Ever. Ewww! She cut the pieces into about 1-inch strips, then in half again, so they were little chunks. Throw all of the pieces in a big bowl as you go along.
- Throw the three herbs on top of the chicken and shake the bowl around, using tongs or a spoon (or your hands if you’re not squeamish), to really mix those herbs around on the chicken.
- Cut the potatoes into quarters (or just in half if you’re using the little golden potatoes). Now, the original recipe says to drizzle olive oil on the potatoes. I don’t know what “drizzle” means, so I just kind of dumped olive oil on top and shook, dumped and shook, until they were all coated. Mix in a little salt and white pepper, to taste. A pinch of each is enough. I’d say no more than 1/4 tsp, unless you like it really salty or peppery. Keep in mind, though, that there is salt in the broth that comes later.
- Take the lid off of your pressure cooker and hit the “rice” button. The BESTEK doesn’t have a “saute” button, so I did some research, and basically any function will work as long as you leave the lid off. I just use the rice one because it was the first one I thought of and it worked perfectly.
- Coat the bottom of the pot with olive oil and toss in your garlic. Saute it a bit to release the flavor, for around a minute.
- Add the chicken and saute for a few minutes until the pieces have a bit of white on them.
- Add in the potatoes and stir around a bit to mix it all up (original recipe says to add chicken broth first, but I forgot, and this turned out fine).
- Dump the chicken broth over top, stir again
- Put the lid on, make sure the valve thingy is set to “sealing” and hit the chicken button. If you’re using the BESTEK, it will set for 15 minutes. If you’ve never used a pressure cooker before, that 15 minutes doesn’t start counting down until it reaches the right pressure. You did not screw it up. Don’t stand there and stare at it, then back at the manual, then at the clock. It WILL start counting down. Have faith.
- When the timer on the pressure cooker goes off, manually release the pressure by turning the little valve thingy to “release.”
- Open the lid when it allows you to (DO NOT try to force it), then enjoy!
This recipe is a bit brothy, but we were fine with that. Just scoop it out with a slotted spoon, then use a non-slotted to add a bit of broth over the potatoes. The chicken came out awesome. It kind of clumps back together in the pot, but as soon as you run your spoon through it, it falls back apart into bite-sized pieces. It’s so tender and juicy!
BESTEK Tech Specs
How do you like my rhyming there? I’m easily amused, can you tell! Okay, here are a few details that give you a better overall picture of what you can do with the BESTEK 6.3Qt Pressure Cooker:
- Nice big stainless steel inner pot big enough for making meals for the whole family
- 11 built-in programs, so you can just hit a button to make chicken, rice, fish, eggs, soup, porridge (or oatmeal), beef, etc. There’s even a button for cake!
- SUPER easy to clean up with detachable parts.
- 18-Month Warranty
- Fabulous safety features. For example, it will not let you open the lid until it’s safe to do so. For someone like me who didn’t know anything about pressure cookers, this is a must. I would have opened the lid right away and probably steamed half of my face off.
- Comes with an instruction manual and a recipe book
I’m still in the learning and experimenting phase of life with a pressure cooker, but I already can’t imagine not having one. I actually LIKE cooking in it, which is saying a lot. I highly recommend it to everyone, from those who think they can’t cook all the way up to those who could probably have their own cooking show on the Food Network.
Ready to check it out? Head over to Amazon to learn more and buy one for your home! It’ll totally change your view on cooking! Visit BestekMall to learn about other products and keep up with their deals. They have some cool contests going on over there, as well as a “spin to win” game where you have a chance to win a discount on their products.
Do you have a pressure cooker? Tell me some of your favorite recipes so I can check them out!