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Delicious, energy-saving recipes for Super Bowl

Image of Instant Pot chicken wings
Instant Pot chicken wings save time, energy, and pass the family taste test with ease.

Instant Pot chicken wings and other small appliance delights

Rob Klovance

The kid prefers the flats. I grab the drumettes. And my wife (while munching away on a big salad) is fine with anything that's left.

We all love chicken wings, in particular anything that's not greasy or breaded like those amped-up offerings you might find in a crappy bar. The question is, can you save time and energy by cooking them in an Instant Pot?

The answer: Absolutely.

We did a Super Bowl trial run during the NFL's divisional semi-final battle of fortysomething quarterbacks, a 30-20 victory for Tom Brady's Buccaneers over Drew Brees' Saints. And with the help of a steamer basket and a few minutes crisping time in the oven after they were cooked, I used this simple recipe to produce wings that were about as good as we've ever made.

"Mmm... Just like at a restaurant," said my wife.

"Yup. Pretty good dad. Except next time, more buffalo hot sauce please," said the teenager, in what amounts to a rave review. "I like mine drowning in sauce."

The wings were tender and juicier than in the oven, and took a total of 30 minutes, including 15 minutes in the Instant Pot (five minute warm-up, 10 minutes cooking, five minutes natural pressure release) and about six minutes crisping in the broiler of the oven. That's about half the time of cooking them start-to-finish in a conventional oven.

The bonus is that, as is the case with air fryers, microwaves and toaster ovens, you'll reduce your kitchen energy use by using a small appliance when the full oven or cooktop isn't necessary.

Did you know...

  • Most small appliances use half the wattage of an electric oven
  • 15 minutes in a microwave does the same job as an hour of cooking in an oven
  • Slow cookers use 65% less energy in seven hours of cooking than an electric oven in a single hour
  • Using an electric kettle to boil water instead of a stovetop kettle uses up to 50% less energy

Here are some recipe ideas for Super Bowl Sunday.

Small appliance recipes, from the indulgent to the healthy

There are hundreds of great and well-reviewed recipes online that either specifically call for the use of a small appliance or could easily be switched from a big oven to a toaster oven. Here are a few faves that'll work well for Super Bowl:

  • Instant Pot chili in under an hour: Gone are the days of super salty chili devoid of subtle flavours. I like this recipe for its use of underrated fish sauce for boosting umami in the mix. Also a big thumbs-up to all five optional garnishes offered: lime, sour cream, jalapeno peppers (diced and seeded), green onions, and cheddar.
  • Air fryer buffalo cauliflower bites: We're eating more cauliflower all the time, but this hot take intrigues me. Love that it includes butter and almond flour and takes just 15 minutes in the air fryer.
  • Air fryer sweet potato fries: Four simple ingredients, plus avocado oil. Twenty minutes in the air fryer. Dip of your choice.
  • Vegetarian jalapeƱo poppers: I've never tried frozen veggie bacon strips, but I'm willing to try for an explosion of flavour that cuts calories and salt by two thirds over the bacon version. Unless you're making a lot of these, this recipe is perfect for the toaster oven.