The Instant Pot: Avoiding The Mushy Warmed
While the slow cooker and the pressure cooker are both great tools to have in the kitchen for big, hands-free meals, some stark differences separate them.
Both help cook tough meats to tender perfection, but with a pressure cooker, you dont need much planning time. Instead of setting up shop before you leave for the day, you can crank the pressure while you help with homework, get your workout in, or cozy up with a good book.
And its not just about being prepared. If you set up your slow-cooker before work or falling asleep, theres a good chance your food will cook longer than the desired 4-6 hours. A frozen chicken might turn out just fine. But any veggies would turn into an unappetizing mush thats likely lacking many of the once-present nutrients.
Pressure cookers work so quickly, on the other hand, that vegetables retain their nutrients while becoming more flavorful and fork-tender.
Whats The Big Deal With Instant Pots Anyway
Instant Pots are multifunction, programmable electric pressure cookers. Think of them as little cooking robots.
If youre not familiar with pressure cooking, the entire point of an Instant Pot can be confusing.
The big sell here is pressure cooking is up to 70 percent faster than other ways of cooking. Pressure cookers reach higher temperatures because their lids lock into place without steam escaping, which creates a pressurized environment inside the pot. In this environment, the cooker reaches 250°F .
With pressure cooking on a stove, you have to keep a close eye on the cooker because you regulate the heat source. If you let the burner get too hot, the pressure builds up too much and the cooker spews out angry jets of steam .
But with an electric Instant Pot, the cooker regulates its own heat via sensors. Thats the other win. No need to carefully monitor it as your food cooks. Program the Instant Pot and once its going, youre free to go for a walk, vacuum the living room, check your emailyou get the idea.
Instant Pots can do other things besides pressure cook, too. With the lid off, you can sauté ingredients before pressure cooking. You can also use it as a slow cooker or make yogurt in your Instant Pot. Were not going to worry about doing those things here, though. This guide is all about pressure cooking.
Instant Pot : How To Use Your Pressure Cooker
In recent years, you may have noticed that pressure cooking has become the new fad. And honestly, its not hard to see why! Pressure cookers are one of the most convenient cooking tools you can have. Not only do they cook things much quicker than the average appliance, but a pressure cooker is like having several appliances in one! No need to have a rice cooker, slow cooker, and steamer taking up space on your shelves when you can just buy one appliance that does it all.
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How To Make Instant Pot Yogurt Cups
Yogurt cups are a convenient way to portion out your yogurt into individual or smaller servings. After adding the starter culture to the pasteurized or warm milk, carefully pour the milk into your yogurt cups and seal them tightly. Clean the inner pot thoroughly and place the steam rack/trivet on the bottom of the inner pot. Place the sealed yogurt cups on the steam rack and add water to the inner pot until the cups are submerged halfway. Follow steps in Fermenting Yogurt above.
What Size Instant Pot Should I Buy
The size of the Instant Pot you need depends on how many servings you plan on making. If you usually prepare food for two people or fewer, a smaller, four-quart size may be all you need. However, a six-quart Instant Pot is a good size because it can fit a whole chicken or make enough stew or chilly to share. For families of four or more, an eight-quart instant pot is the best option.
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The Instant Pot And Slow Cooker Heat Up Differently
Slow cookers heat from the bottom, but heat travels up the sides through heat spreading evenly through ceramic pots. Instant Pot heats similarly from the bottom, but the thin metal pot does not spread heat evenly. The heat is generated from pressurized steam that is trapped in the pot. This makes it less suitable for slow cooking.
How To Use Your Instant Pot: Everything You’ve Wanted To Know
It’s not just a supercharged pressure cooker — it’s a way of life.
Like a microwave or an electric kettle, the Instant Pot has become a kitchen staple. This versatile pressure cooker replaces so many countertop appliances, from rice makers to slow cookers. It’s introduced a new generation to pressure cooking, and shown us just how quickly it can cook a healthy meal.
Whether you’re a new Instant Pot owner or it’s long been stored away in a cabinet, this guide is for you. A longtime Instant Pot owner myself, I’ll guide you through the basics, including explaining those strange buttons and some basic recipes.
To kick things off, let’s walk through Instapot basics. Even if you’ve owned yours for a while, there’s something here for you, too. Let’s get started.
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What Should You Not Cook In An Instant Pot
Here are some of the food you shouldnt cook in an Instant Pot:
- Deep-fried food such as fried chicken, french fries
- Delicate food that requires quick & high heat
- Milk-based or cream-based sauces shouldnt be pressure cooked directly in the inner pot
- Food that uses puff pastry
- Breaded meat, breaded vegetables
- Pressure canning
Which of the 50 Easy Instant Pot Recipes from this list are you going to try first?
What are some of your favorite Pressure Cooker Recipes? Let us know in the comments.
Does Meat Get More Tender The Longer You Pressure Cook It
It is not necessary to cook your meat for a long time in the instant pot/pressure cooker. The beauty of it is that in a short time your piece of meat, even a tough cut, will come out super tender.
You may be familiar with a slow cooker which takes a much longer time to make meat tender, which is the opposite of an instant pot. Either of them works fine, it jut depends how much time you have.
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Getting Started Guide: How To Use A Pressure Cooker / Instant Pot
As with any new tool, there are a few things youll need to know before you get cooking!
For your convenience, Ive created a five-part getting started guide that will walk you through getting your pressure cooker out of the box and into your daily routine!
5. Easy Recipes to Make in Your New Instant Pot / Electric Pressure CookerIve compiled a list of easy-to-make pressure cooker recipes for you to start off with and build your confidence using your Instant Pot, Ninja Foodi, Crockpot Express, or other brand of electric pressure cooker.
An Analysis Of The Most Useful Functions On The Instant Pot And Other Multi
The Instant Pot’s ascendance has been so sudden, so swift, so far-reaching, and so utterly dominating that it’s hard to think of another kitchen product in recent history that has so thoroughly cornered the market.
Before the Instant Pot, when I tried to convince people that a pressure cooker was worth buying, their eyes would glaze over. Now that the Instant Pot has taken off so explosively, it seems nearly everyone owns a pressure cooker, even if half of them don’t seem to realize it.
And that, really, speaks to the power of the Instant Pot. People own them, people love them, and people often have no idea what they even are. So let’s set this straight: “Instant Pot” is a brand name for a multi-cooker, and a multi-cooker is basically an electric pressure cooker with a few bells and whistles thrown in for good measure.
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Best Budget Electric Pressure Cooker
If you’re looking for a basic, affordable multicooker from the top name in the industry, the Instant Pot Duo Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker is your best bet.
- Capacity: 6 quarts
- Inner pot material: Nonstick
- Settings: pressure cook, sear/saute, steam, slow cook, sterilize, keep warm, ferment, plus 300+ preset programs in its menu
- Number of included recipes: 100s in the Instant Brands Connect App
- Extras: Extra sealing gasket, steam rack, steam basket, heat-resistant pad for the lid
Pros: Produced tender and juicy slow-cooked pork, builds pressure quickly, good browning, dishwasher-safe and metal utensil-safe stainless steel inner pot, Instant Pot app features 100s of recipes
Cons: Takes experimentation to get cooking times right, controls take some getting used to
The Instant Pot Duo Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker comes in three, six, and eight-quart sizes and features a stainless steel inner pot, which most Instant Pots have. The Duo did okay in each test but excelled in our slow cooker test. The slow cooker pulled pork shredded effortlessly and had an excellent, juicy flavor. The pressure build was quick for the pressure-cooked pulled pork, but the pork was hard to shred. It seemed like it could have used 10 more minutes of pressure cooking.
Different Features In The Instant Pot Vs Pressure Cooker Review
It wouldnt be a comparison without pointing out the differences between these two popular models, so lets look at the notable contrasts between these two.
DELAY START: The Cuisinart does not have a delay timer setting, the Instant Pot allows for a 24-hour delay start. This means you could put oatmeal in the Instant Pot at night and set it to be ready when you get up in the morning.
Or put dinner in it first thing in the morning, and set the timer to be ready for dinner. Even if youre like me and prefer to be home when using your Instant Pot, that means you could walk in the door when its about to start but you dont have to load it up after a long day. That may not sound like a big deal until its the end of the day and youre hungry and tired and just dont have the emotional energy to set it all up. It may sound a bit ridiculous, but weve all been there!
INTERIOR COOKING POT: The Cuisinart comes with a non-stick inner pot while the Instant Pot comes with a stainless steel inner cooking pot. The stainless steel pot is still easy to clean, but not quite as quick and super easy as the non-stick pot with the Cuisinart.
WEIGHT: The two pressure cookers are within two pounds of one another, but the Cuisinart weighs in a little lighter at 12.5 pounds compared to 14.6 pounds for the Instant Pot.
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Cooking A Roast From Frozen In An Instant Pot
I recommend thawing your pot roast if possible, since you wont be able to brown a frozen roast and will miss out on the flavor that searing adds to the pot roast. If you dont have time to thaw, you can cook a frozen roast in your pressure cooker. You will just have to increase the pressure cooking time and skip the step of browning the meat.
Pressure cook a frozen 3 pound beef chuck roast for 90 minutes, followed by a 10 minute natural pressure release. Then add your potatoes and carrots and pressure cook for 10 minutes more. If your roast is larger than 3 pounds, add 10 minutes per pound to the pressure cooking time.
Instant Pot And Slow Cooker Recipes
Here are a few recipe ideas to get you started with a slow cooker or Instant Pot. You can usually adjust the recipe to use either type of cooker.
- Honey Sesame Chicken: My children call this candy chicken, and the sweet/salty diced chicken is a huge hit in my house! We adjust the recipe to omit the pepper flakes and often the sesame seeds, but either way is great. Cook this meal in a matter of minutes, and it pairs really well with rice or cauliflower rice. Substitute pork, shrimp, or beef for equally delicious results.
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When Should I Use Keep Warm Function
The Instant Pot can be kept on Keep Warm after cooking most foods. In fact, its very handy if you are finished cooking before youre ready to serve food. Some foods like rice, quinoa, or anything that has soaked up a lot of liquid should be monitored or warmed in a more moist environment to prevent dryness or burning. You can select Keep Warm cycle before you start cooking or after.
My Winner In The Instant Pot Vs Pressure Cooker Review Debate Is
Though I get plenty of use out of both my Cuisinart and Instant Pot, I would have to say the Instant Pot is the winner in my book. It just outperforms the Cuisinart with all of the extra features, cheaper replacement parts and accessories, a delay timer and the fact that it comes in a variety of sizes and models.
So there you have it! Every detail that you could ever want in the Instant Pot vs. Pressure Cooker review debate. And now its your turn. Do you own an electric pressure cooker?
If you do, which make and model did you choose? And while were at it why did you go with that particular pressure cooker? If you had it to do over again, would you choose the same one?
Comparing An Instant Pot To A Slow Cooker
An Instant Pot has several useful features, including steam, sauté, and warming options. It also has a slow cooker function, which heats the pot but doesnt pressurize it, just like a slow cooker. It can also cook rice and yogurt, and you can cook food straight from the freezer.
Slow cookers are quite useful for easy, set-it-and-forget-it meals. However, you do have to have the forethought to get everything set up in the morning so that it can cook while youre gone during the day. So if youre not much of a planner, you may be better suited to the speed and convenience of an Instant Pot.
But one great thing about slow cookers is how simple they are. You just toss your food inside, turn it on, and thats it! The Instant Pot has several buttons that control different functions, and it can take time in the beginning to learn what they all do. And the Instant Pot needs to pressurize before cooking and de-pressurize after cooking, which can take some getting used to.
Another edge that slow cookers have over Instant Pots is that theyre inexpensive. An Instant Pot will run you between $80 and $150 depending on the model you choose, so it does require a financial investment. But with how frequently Ive used my Instant Pot since I bought it a few months ago, its well worth the money in my opinion.
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How To Use An Instant Pot As A Slow Cooker
You cant use your Instant Pot as an Instant Pot Slow Cooker. It isnt as easy as you might think. This guide will show you how to use an Instant Pot as a Slow Cooker.
Its not as simple as setting the Instant Pots slow cooker to cook the same recipe as a slow cooker. This article briefly covers the Slow Cooker function of Instant Pot Functions. However, it delved into the subject more deeply and gave you the recipe to success when using the Instant Pot as a Slow cooker. Lets get started!
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What Is Low Slow Cooker Setting On Instant Pot
A slow cooker also known as the crockpot is a device that provides a digitally controlled environment that allows you to cook foods for a long period without major temperature fluctuations.
A slow cooker is good for a lot of things. Its convenient, easy-to-use, and you can leave it for hours without worrying about burning your food.
But, slow cookers are on the verge of being eliminated by a much more advanced machine called the Instant Pot.
Instant Pot is a multi-cooker, meaning it can perform several functions instead of just one. An Instant pot is mainly a pressure cooker that saves you a lot of time, but aside from that, it can sauté, make yogurt, make rice, steam cook, and can be used as a slow cooker.
Although the Instant Pot has the slow cooker functionality it was not built for slow cooking. Its made to speed up your cooking process whereas a crockpot slows it down.
So when using an Instant Pot as a slow cooker, a few things must be kept in mind: