Pressure Cooker Everyday Chili

 A Quick, Smoky Chili


I know the chili police could have my hide for this one. TOMATOES! BEANS! And hang on to your hats, CORN!

No, this isn’t a super-traditional chili recipe. I like to keep this one a little on the lighter side, which is why I don’t add any thickeners such as masa. If you want it to be a little thicker, cook it down a bit after pressure cooking.

I have made more versions of chili than I can remember, but out of all of them, my wife likes this one the best.Chili_Ingredients

The smokiness comes from a combination of fire-roasted corn and fire-roasted tomatoes.

This was also my first try using my new instant-pot electric pressure cooker.


And since I was feeling experimental, I decided to take the pictures on my phone (since I got my new phone, I have been impressed by the camera so I thought I would take the pictures on my phone and see how they turned out). In the interest of full disclosure, I did have some pictures from the last time I made this which I had taken on the camera, and I used a couple of them on this post. Play along at home! See if you can spot the difference!

So, let’s get started!

Get the vegetables chopped. I like to use this method for chopping green peppers.


I usually use jalapeños for this, but the store was out so I used serrano chiles. The serranos are a little hotter. I usually leave the seeds in, but if you prefer it a bit milder remove the seeds.

I know some people frown upon it, but I use one of these to crush the garlic:


In a couple tablespoons of oil, brown the beef over medium-high heat. Drain the fat, if you must (you’re pouring out flavor, you know! But as we all know fat is evil!) But be sure to leave a few tablespoons in the pot.

Scooch the beef over to one side (yes, I said scooch! Don’t most culinary institutions offer extensive classes devoted to scooching?).


Add the onions and peppers to the area cleared out by the aforementioned scooching. Sauté until vegetables start to soften. Add the garlic which has been crushed by the evil garlic-crushing mechanism (if you use one. If not, finely chopping it is fine.) Sauté for another minute or two.

Mix the pepper mixture and the beef together.

Add the spices, Worcestershire Sauce and honey and stir until combined with the beef-pepper mixture.

Now add the beans, corn, tomatoes and stock. I used low-sodium tomatoes and stock. By using low-sodium it gives you a little more control over the salt content. If you don’t use low sodium, use less salt.


Stir the whole kit and kaboodle together, toss in the bay leaves and slap the top on your pressure cooker.

When high pressure is reached, turn down the heat to maintain high pressure and set timer to twelve minutes.

After the time is up, remove from heat and let pressure come down naturally. If you would like it a bit thicker, put back on medium-high heat without the cover and cook down for 10-12 minutes.

Serve in bowls with your choice of toppings. I usually like cheddar and sour cream (and sometimes diced red onions).

Makes four-five entree-sized portions.



Pressure Cooker Everyday Chili
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: American
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
A quick and smokey chili, perfect for "school nights"
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 green peppers, chopped
  • 2 jalapeño or serrano chiles, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper (adjust to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1½ cups fire-roasted corn
  • 2 cans fire roasted tomatoes (I use low-sodium)
  • 2 cups beef stock (I use low-sodium)
  1. In pressure cooker pot, heat the oil and brown ground beef over medium-high heat
  2. Drain all but a few tablespoons of fat, if desired
  3. Move beef to the side, add onions, green peppers and chiles
  4. Sauté for a few minutes until softened
  5. Add garlic, Sauté for another minute or so
  6. Mix onion mixture and beef together
  7. Add chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, Worcestershire Sauce and honey
  8. Stir until spices, Worcestershire and honey are mixed in with other ingredients
  9. Add beans, corn, tomatoes and stock
  10. Stir chili, add bay leaves, then put top on pressure cooker
  11. When high pressure is reached, adjust heat to maintain high pressure
  12. Set timer for twelve minutes
  13. When timer sounds, turn off heat
  14. Allow pressure to release naturally
  15. Remove cover
  16. If you would like chili a little thicker, put over medium-high heat and simmer for 10-12 minutes until cooked down a little
  17. Spoon into bowls and serve


Pressure Cooker Grits Revisited

Now that I’ve been doing this blog for six months or so, I like to think I’m getting a little better at it, or at least “less bad”.


To that end, I’ve been going back over some of my earlier posts, and I have noticed that some, the Pressure Cooker Grits post in particular, could use some clarification. On my grits post, I didn’t really go into much depth regarding the “pan in pot” method that I used in order to keep the grits from sticking to the pan, and I can see how it could easily be confusing, especially for anybody that is relatively new to pressure cooking.


Since “Pressure Cooker Grits” is one of the top search terms that brings people to my site, I decided that instead of just trying to put a “Band-Aid” on the original post, it would be better to just do a brand spankin’ new post on pressure cooker grits, so here it is!


Because the bowl that I use is tall and narrow, it fits easily in my pressure cooker with room left to grab the side to remove it from the pot (I have recommended the bowl before. It might seem pricey, but it works great. It is the 1.6 liter size, by Rosle). If you use a bowl that comes closer to the edges of the pot, you will need to make some foil helper handles. Laura from tells how to do that in this list of helpful tips and tricks.


You will also be using your trivet that came with your pressure cooker.


Add 1/2 cup of water (or whatever the minimum is for your particular pressure cooker) to the pot and insert the trivet.


In your bowl, add 1 cup Course Grits (I use Anson Mills), 2.5 cups water and 2 tablespoons butter and give it a little stir.


Place the bowl on the trivet in your pressure cooker, crank the heat to high and slap the cover on that puppy.


When the indicator shows that high pressure has been reached, lower the heat to just enough to maintain high pressure and set the timer for 15 minutes.


This would be a good time to cook some tasty bacon or sip your coffee!


When the timer sounds, remove the pressure cooker from the heat and let the pressure come down on its own.


Once the pressure is down, remove the lid and carefully remove the bowl of grits from the pressure cooker.


Stir the mixture for 15-20 seconds to make sure everything is blended together.


Stir in a cup or so of cheese (I used sharp white cheddar)


Add salt and pepper to taste and serve on plates or in bowls.


Pressure Cooker Grits Revisited
Recipe type: Breakfast/Dinner
Cuisine: Southern
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 3-4
Course Ground Grits in only 30 minutes using the pressure cooker
  • ½ cup plus 2-1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup course ground grits
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Put ½ cup water (or the minimum required for your pressure cooker) in the pressure cooker pot
  2. Insert the trivet
  3. In a separate bowl, add grits, 2-1/2 cups water and butter
  4. Place bowl with grits on trivet in pressure cooker
  5. Turn heat to high and cover the pressure cooker
  6. When high pressure is reached, lower heat to maintain high pressure and set timer for 15 minutes
  7. When timer sounds, remove from heat and let pressure come down naturally
  8. When pressure has been released, remove cover and carefully remove bowl from pressure cooker
  9. Give it a quick stir, then stir in cheese
  10. Stir until cheese has been incorporated into the mixture
  11. Add salt and pepper
  12. Spoon onto plates or into bowls




Pressure Cooker Chipotle Cranberry Sauce

A Very Pressure Cooker Thanksgiving, Pt. 1

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and after a few false starts it seems that Fall is finally upon us. At the beginning of last week, temps were still climbing to 80-90F. It’s as if Mother Nature was so preoccupied with making things miserable for folks on the east coast that she totally neglected us on the left coast, that is until Thursday when she seemed to snap out of it and say “Oh, crap! I totally forgot about those schmucks on the other side!” Temps dropped to 50-60F, fog and drizzle prevailed, and winds reached hat-snatching velocity.

I must say that this weather is much more conducive to conducting Thanksgiving dinner tests. It’s difficult to get in the mood when you’re standing in the kitchen in a Hawaiian shirt and shorts sipping on a Mai Tai with a little umbrella in it, thinking “I wonder how those yams are doing…”

This week, my thoughts turned to cranberry sauce. Sure, there’s a certain nostalgic charm about the log of gelled sauce making that neat sucking sound as it plops onto the plate, but I decided to try something different, something I can make in the pressure cooker.

For some reason, I got the idea of a chipotle cranberry sauce stuck in my head, probably because chipotle everything seems to be big in this part of the country.
There are a lot of chipotle cranberry sauce recipes around, but none were exactly what I was looking for (meaning some looked way more complicated than I was willing to attempt, and I was unable to find one that utilized the pressure cooker).
Taking bits and pieces from many recipes and adding a few things of my own, a couple of tries later I came up with this easy recipe for Pressure Cooker Chipotle Cranberry Sauce.

The most difficult part of this recipe is sorting through the bag of cranberries. Sometimes it seems as though you end up with half the amount that you started with once you remove all the squished ones, tiny hard ones and ones that just don’t look right.

I didn’t even attempt cooking this directly in the pressure cooker pot, instead using Miss Vickie’s Pot in Pan (PIP) method, or in this case, Bowl In Pan (this is the same method I use when making my Pressure Cooker Grits). While I’m on the subject of bowls, my favorite by far is this pricey but perfect Rosle stainless steel bowl. It is narrow but deep with a 1.6 liter capacity, fitting easily into my 7 liter Kuhn Rikon, and I am guessing most pressure cookers of the 5 quart or larger size.

Now that I have the cranberry sauce down, this week I will work on my stuffing and yams.

In the meantime, here is the recipe:

Pressure Cooker Chipotle Cranberry Sauce


1 12-ounce bag of fresh cranberries

2 limes (you will use the zest of one, and the juice of both)

1 small can chipotle chiles in adobo sauce

1 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ancho chili powder (plain old chili powder should work fine, I have just been on an ancho chili kick lately)

1/2 cup dark brown sugar (I use a heaping half cup)

1/4 cup red wine


Rinse the cranberries well and sort through them and put in the bowl

Zest one of the limes over the cranberries

In a seperate container put two or three of the chipotle chilis, add a spoon or two of the sauce in there for good measure. I don’t know why, but I had a more difficult time than usual finding these this week, perhaps everyone is making chipotle cranberry sauce this season. The closest local supermarket was out of them, so I went to Whole Foods (the second closest, but more expensive local supermarket. I got lucky at Whole Foods, but they only had several cans left.

In with the chilis, add the red wine. The first time I made this I used water, and it turned out fine, but I like it a little better with the wine. Either will be good.

Add the juice of both limes to this mixture and puree using your favorite pureeing tool. I use a measuring cup for this mixture and puree with my immersion blender. If you use a regular blender just throw it all in the container and puree (hint, hint… With the holidays rapidly approaching, I wouldn’t be too upset if anyone wanted to get me one of them there Vitamixes).

Once this mixture is pureed, pour it over the cranberries.

Next, add the cumin, cinnamon, chili powder and brown sugar.

Now, stir this whole mess together.

In the pressure cooker add a cup of water (or whatever the minimum is for your particular PC) and place the trivet in the bottom of the pot.

Place the bowl with the cranberry mixture into the pressue cooker, turn heat to high, and lock the lid in place.

When you reach maximum pressure, turn the heat down to just maintain pressure and set the timer for ten minutes.

When the sound of the timer becomes annoying, remove pressure cooker from heat and let pressure come down naturally.

Remove bowl from pressure cooker.

With a fork, stir the cranberries, mashing some of them to release some of that natural pectin to thicken it up a bit. Let it cool a little. I have served this both warm and chilled. If you would like to serve it chilled, stick it in the fridge for a while.

And that’s it, it’s ready to serve!

Tonight, I used it to top Stuffing-flavored turkey burgers. This was the fourth time this week the S.O. and I had this, so I had to keep thinking of new ways to serve it.

I’d love to hear from you if you give it a try. Let me know how you like it.