Instant Pot Wine – Yes, It’s A Thing!

Instant Pot Wine

Instant Pot WineI suppose to many the title of this post sounds like it must be rhetorical: after all, why wouldn’t you try to make Instant Pot wine? Seems like a silly question, right?

Beyond the obvious (and humorous) reasons, my attempt to make wine in the Instant Pot – or at least use it to help get the wine started – is because my wife gets really bad headaches from many store bought wines, and particularly red wines, presumably from the tannins. So, we decided to give Instant Pot wine a go to see if she has the same sort of reaction. After all, we only stand to lose $4 or $5 in ingredients and a little time.

Before I go any further, let me state loudly and clearly that while I (among many others!) have pondered how to make Instant Pot wine, the inspiration for this endeavor is David Murphy, who should be immortalized in the Instant Pot Hall Of Fame for coming up with this idea and posting it on his blog, FoodNService! We love you, man!

So, using David’s easy to follow directions, I gathered up the whopping list of three ingredients*, mixed them up, and dumped the resulting grape slurry into my 6 quart Instant Pot Duo. I wasn’t worried about not having my Instant Pot available for the lengthy time the wine has to sit, because I also have an Ultra that’s my main pot.

And now we wait! I’ll keep you posted on the progress of the experiment…

* If you have trouble finding yeast for making wine, you can find it on Amazon for making both red wine and white wine.

FYI, I used to make wine quite a few years ago, and my wife didn’t seem to have issues with headaches then. So, we’ll see if Instant Pot wine will be the same. 😎

Update: While the wine I made won’t win any awards at a wine festival, it was certainly decent enough and had a great kick. I can’t say if I’ll be making much more this way, but it’s an easy and really inexpensive way to make some decent home brew wine!

Amazing Instant Pot Chicken Biryani

My wife and I love Indian cuisine, and one of our favorites is Chicken Biryani. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s a dish that combines chicken, basmati rice, onions, and a variety of spices into a “one pot meal” that is absolutely delectable and gluten free.

Now, as with most of the things that I cook in the Instant Pot, the original recipe is not my own, but was created by the wonderful Archana of She’s come up with some really amazing Indian cuisine recipes tailored for the Instant Pot, so make sure you check out her site!

Archana’s original Chicken Biryani recipe is here, and below are the specific modifications I made (with links to some of the ingredients I use):

Marinade Modifications:
3 tsp garam masala (instead of the recommended 2 tsp)
1 tsp ground ginger (instead of 1 tbsp of ground ginger)
1 tsp dried mint leaves (instead of 1/4 cup mint leaves)
¾ cup heavy whipping cream (instead of 3/4 cup of yogurt)

  • I’d like to make a note here about the chili powder used in the recipe. I recommend that you do as Archana recommends and get some Kashmiri chili powder (like this from Amazon, which is what I used). Using the same chili powder as you might for a BBQ recipe is definitely not going to taste the same!

Chicken Modifications:
3 lb boneless skiness thighs (instead of 2 lbs bone-in skinless)

  • Note that you can get even better flavor if you get bone-in skin-on thighs, then debone them and pull just the skin off, not the fat that clings to the muscle. Yes, this is definitely extra work, but I believe the resulting enhancement in the taste was worth it.

Rice Mixture Modifications:
2 cups Basmati rice (instead of 3 cups)
2 cups water (instead of 3 cups)
1 cup raisins (not in the original recipe)

  • Cutting back on the rice further intensifies the flavor of the spices and the chicken, especially if you modify the chicken as I outlined above.
  • As for the raisins, every restaurant I’ve been to serves Chicken Biryani with raisins, so I was actually a bit surprised it wasn’t in Archana’s. Someone once commented to me that in India it’s typically prepared without raisins, unless it’s for a special occasion like a wedding. But since having Chicken Biryani is always a special occasion for us, I add raisins every time I make it!

Following The Recipe

Instant Pot Chicken BiryaniTo prepare the Chicken Biryani, follow Archana’s recipe as you normally would after substituting the ingredients, with the following exceptions:

  • After cooking the onions and setting them aside, once the chicken is done sautéing I add the onions in a layer on top. But feel free to save some to use as garnish if you like!
  • After pouring the rice over the chicken and onions, DO NOT mix it in. Just leave the rice as a layer on top, then add the water.
  • Add the raisins on the very top. Then you’re ready to cook under pressure!

Just FYI, I happen to use the Instant Pot Ultra for most of my Instant Pot cooking, although I have an Instant Pot DUO, as well.

Tips For Making Instant Pot Popcorn

Instant Pot Popcorn

If you’ve been having trouble making Instant Pot popcorn (yes, it can do that, too!), this video will show you how I do it and hopefully will give you some good tips so you can be a successful popcorn popper!

The recipe I use is very simple:

  • 3 tbsp of olive oil (you could probably use any high heat oil)
  • 1/4 cup of popcorn kernels (I happen to be using America’s Best White Popcorn, but any kind should do)
  • 3 tbsp of butter and 1/2 tsp of salt for flavoring (substitute whatever you like, or none at all)

I use an Instant Pot Ultra, but the results should be the same across the different models, and I suspect across the different sizes, as well.

Note: While I used an Instant Pot glass lid in the video, you don’t need one…but you do need some sort of lid, or you’ll have popcorn flying all over your kitchen! 😁 The regular lid will do fine, but there’s no need to lock it down.