The Best Instant Pot For You: A Comprehensive Guide To Every Size And Model
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Youve heard the hype, read the articles, perused the recipes, and come to the conclusion that you absolutely need an Instant Pot . But finding the best Instant Pot model for your unique cooking needs is a more involved task than it may seem. This buying guide for the beloved kitchen appliance has the answer to every anxious Instant Pot question you may have and will help you determine which of the many varieties is right for you.;
Though every Instant Pot model has the same basic multi-cooking functionality that made it a household favorite, some are more versatile than others. Most of the models are very similar in terms of pot size, wattage, and voltage; where they differ is mostly in the softwarehow many smart programs are built in with preset heat, time, and pressure levels.;
Best Air Fryer Lid: Instant Pot 6
While this air fryer lid is one of the most expensive Instant Pot accessories you can buy, it saves you from having to purchase a completely different device for air frying your food. Plus, youll save space in your kitchen by having an Instant Pot that also doubles as an air fryer. The detachable lid features user-friendly controls and comes with a multi-level air fryer basket, a broiling/dehydrating rack, and a protective pad.
Our tester found that it performed well when she wanted to pressure steam potato wedges and then use the air fryer function to brown and crisp them. However, the fryer basket is small so this works best for smaller portions. The fryer lid is compatible with the 6-quart Lux, Duo, Duo Plus, Viva, Nova Plus, Ultra, and Duo Nova models.
If youre going to cook whole eggs in your Instant Pot, you want to keep them from rolling around or bumping into each other, which can result in breakage. This ingenious egg rack holds nine eggs and keeps them neatly apart during cooking. You can also use it as a steaming rack in the Instant Pot when youre not cooking eggs. Outside the Instant Pot, you can use this as a trivet for any of your cookware, since its made from heat-safe silicone, or in a pot on the stove or even in your slow cooker when your food needs a lift.
Other Things To Consider
Macaroni and Cheese:It’s beautiful when made in an Instant Pot but will end up a broken, clumpy mess in a slow cooker. Its best not to convert from Instant Pot to slow cooker.
A Word on Alcohol: A slow cooker has the advantage of venting over a long period of time so alcohol will ultimately cook off. The same is not true for an Instant Pot and residual alcohol could leave food bitter. Try using lemon juice, vinegar or even broth in place of wine or booze.
Be sure to document all your changes all the way. Once you’ve mastered the new recipe, type it up and share with friends and family!
Also Check: What Does It Mean When The Instant Pot Says Burn
Genuine Instant Pot Tempered Glass Lid
This glass lid is great for containing splatters and keeping an eye on your meal when youre using non-pressurized settings like Sauté and Slow Cook. Just set the glass lid right on top of the inner pot to keep your kitchen counters clean and prevent your food from drying out while it cooks. This could be my #1 favorite Instant Pot accessory of all!
Oxo Good Grips Pressure Cooker Bakeware Sling
Your Instant Pot comes with a metal steam rack and that works perfectly well. Weve just found that its not always easy to get the inner pot out when its time. So you can either create a sling for your pot or, instead of doing that every time, you can get this silicone bakeware sling, which you can reuse over and over again. It lifts your container up off the bottom of the liner and you can totally place it on top of any food that youre cooking on the bottom layer . Note: Its key that the container you use for PIP cooking sits on a rack or on top of other food versus being placed directly in the insert.
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Instant Pot Guide: A Beginners Guide To Using Your Pressure Cooker
Wondering how to use your new Instant Pot? In this Instant Pot Guide, Ill walk you through what you need to know to start cooking with your Instant Pot today. Safety features, how to do an Instant Pot water test, whats the difference between a natural pressure release and a quick release, and what will happen step by step through the cooking process.
Ill be honest the first time I used my Instant Pot, I was overwhelmed and a bit scared. An Instant Pot can be intimidating for a new user. There are so many buttons and safety warnings.
However, I guarantee that once you get started, youll wonder what you ever did without your Instant Pot. I love mine so much that I now own two Instant Pots!
Im going to help you get started with all of the tips and tricks that I have learned through trial, error and research. This Instant Pot manual will tell you everything you need to know to use your Instant Pot for the first time.
Ways To Serve Carnita Meat
Instant Pot Carnita Meat can be served in endless ways.
- Serve the shredded pork on homemade tortillas topped with avocado, and cabbage for simple pork tacos.
- Use the pork in a Burrito Bowl, on served on top of Instant Pot Cilantro Lime Rice.
- Replace the chicken with the Instant Pot Carnitas in ;Mexican Cobb Salad, or in the filling of Chicken Enchiladas.
- Instead of taco meat, top a Mexican Pizza with the shredded Mexican pork and bake as directed.
- I love making a simple slaw by mixing together;¼ cup of sour cream and Greek yogurt together with the juice of 1 lime, a handful of chopped cilantro, 1 teaspoon cumin, and ½ teaspoon of salt. Stir 3 cups of cabbage into the mixture. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving with the shredded pork.;
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Is The Instant Pot Good For Slow Cooking
Many people have differing opinions on this, but I say if thats the only slow cooking option you have then use it.
It does have limitations though. It has weird timings for dried beans on the slow cooker setting, but the pressure cooker option is amazing so youre better off using that anyhow.
While you can bake things in your Instant Pot, using the pressure cooker setting is better for that as well.
Must Have: A Tempered Glass Lid
Youll use this virtually every time you cook with your Instant Pot.
Need to simmer your soup or sweat some veggies before pressure cooking them? This lid is a must. You can use the regular lid for this, but its heavy and cumbersome. The glass lid is much easier to use, especially after dinner is served and you want to keep things warm when you inevitably double back for a second helping.
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Why Do Most Recipes Use Manual Settings Instead Of Smart Program Buttons
One size does not fit all in most scenarios. This is true of the smart one-touch buttons on the Instant Pot too. While some may come in handy down the line, you should learn more about specific recipes before you begin relying on them. Using Manual/Pressure Cook button and adjusting time and pressure level by yourself gives you more control. Having said that, you can also adjust time and pressure level once youve selected once of the Smart Program function.;
Smart Program Pressure Cooking
If you choose to use one of the pre-set smart program options, the steps are even simpler. Please refer to our post on Smart Program Instant Pot Buttons Explained for how to adjust each setting.
Step 1. Start the Instant Pot. Insert the inner pot into the cooker base.;
Step 2.;Add ingredients and liquids to the inner pot. Stir if needed or leave layered.;
Step 3. Secure and lock the lid. Make sure everything feels well sealed.;
Step 4. Select one of the Smart Program buttons. Pre-set cooking time and pressure level will display. You can leave it as is or adjust things like the pressure level from HIGH to LOW. You can press the Smart Program button again to cycle through the Less, Normal and More time options or use the and + buttons to adjust the cooking time further. If you make any adjustments to the selected Smart Program, they will be remembered next time you use it.;
Step 5. Preheating & pressurizing stage begins followed by cooking under pressure as per program settings. Once the Instant Pot beeps again and the timer has reached zero, the cooking process is done.;
Step 6. You can do a quick release or allow the built-up pressure to release naturally , or do both depending on the food/recipe.
Step 10. Once pressure is released, open the lid and stir or remove the contents.;
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Cleaning In The Dishwasher
While the sealing ring is dishwasher-safe, your best bet is to use the steaming method outlined above regularly to keep the ring clean and odor-free. If its been a while since you last cleaned the sealing ring , the dishwasher will certainly give it a good cleaning, but it might not completely get the odor out.
More About the Instant Pot
Feature #: You Can Cook 5 Dishes At Once
Imagine a day when all your friends are coming over to your house to taste the delicious rice you cook or try the yummy pasta everyone has been talking about lately. You donât have time and need to cook multiple dishes at once? Not a problem. The instant pot 7-in1 is here to rescue you.
The trouble is over because it can cook up to five different dishes at once. Just put the ingredients in the cooker and program it according to your wish. The steamer will allow you to prepare fresh vegetables within the span of 3 minutes and the potatoes can be perfectly steamed within 15 minutes. The stew will simply take an hour, and boy will your Greek yogurt taste good! What a great time saver you have in your kitchen, right?
The microprocessor will control everything while youâre away working or just shopping. When you get back and your guests arrive, it will be as if a professional has prepared the dishes for you all!
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Aozita Stackable Steamer Insert Pans
These tiered steamer pans allow you to cook your sides and main dish all in one pot. It comes with two interchangeable lids, one for steaming and one airtight lid for baking, cooking, or food storage.;
I usually use it to simultaneously cook my rice and steam my veggies, or to thaw my meat. 10/10 would buy again, says one reviewer.
Buy It: Aozita Stackable Steamer Insert Pans, $30;
Dont Throw Out That Crock Pot
Does this mean my Instant Pot is a failure? No, of course not. I bought it as a pressure cooker, and I love it. Ive owned an Instant Pot of some sort for going on six years, and since I got my Instant Pot, my slow cooker has been gathering dust.;My biggest use of the slow cooker was for potlucks using it as a warming dish, essentially. Nowadays, when I take;a pot;of chili to a potluck, I bring it in the Instant Pot. I reheat with Saute;mode, then set it to Keep Warm until it is time to serve. I have to stir more; I dont want to scorch the chili on the bottom of the pot but it does the job well.
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Instant Pot Bean/chili Setting
The Bean/Chili setting button can be used to cook larger dry legumes such as beans and chickpeas in liquid or to cook chili or another type of stew that uses dry beans. The program settings use High pressure and result in different doneness of beans. When cooking beans, always use NR to release pressure after cooking is done. Below is how to use the Bean/Chili setting on Instant Pot.
- Turn the Instant Pot on, it will say OFF to indicate the Stand-By mode. Add dry beans, liquid and salt to the pot. Secure and lock the lid. Select the Bean/Chili button. The default setting is pre-programmed to set the pot to cook at High pressure for 30 minutes. If you press the button again, you can adjust the mode from Normal to Less or More .;
- Less mode 25 minutes at High pressure for a firmer bean texture or to cook black beans, dry lima beans, Navy beans,; black-eyed peas, Adzuki, anasazi, dry peas.
- Normal mode 30 minutes at High pressure for a softer bean texture or to cook red kidney beans, white kidney beans , Pinto beans, black-eyed peas .;
- More mode 40 minutes at High pressure for a very soft bean texture or to cook harder legumes like chickpeas and soybeans .
Ensure dry beans are completely submerged in water. Dried beans double in volume and weight after soaking or cooking. To avoid overflow, please do not fill the inner pot more than to the ½ mark to allow for expansion.
Note: You can also use the Multigrain setting to cook most beans.
Compare With Similar Items
|This itemInstant Pot Lux 6-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker, Sterilizer Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Saute, and Warmer, 6 Quart, 12 One-Touch Programs|
|4.7 out of 5 stars||4.5 out of 5 stars||4.7 out of 5 stars||4.7 out of 5 stars||4.6 out of 5 stars||4.7 out of 5 stars|
|13.18 x 12.2 x 12.5 inches||12.52 x 12.52 x 13.6 inches||13.38 x 12.2 x 12.48 inches||13.4 x 12.2 x 12.5 inches||13.4 x 11.6 x 12 inches||14.76 x 13.58 x 15.28 inches|
|Material||Aluminum, Stainless steel, PP, foam||Stainless steel|
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Best Sling: Oxo Good Grips Bakeware Sling
If youre looking for a durable accessory that can be used while baking in the Instant Pot, the OXO Bakeware Sling is a great option. Getting bakeware in and out of the pot without spilling, and getting it out of the hot pot without burning your hands can be a challenge, even if youve got sturdy potholders. This handy sling solves the problem, and also means you dont have to bother with the metal trivet since it lifts the bakeware off the bottom of the pot. Not just for the Instant Pot, this can be used in a pot on the stove, too.
Many Instant Pot users report that when they cook spicy or pungent foods in their Instant Pot, the seal tends to absorb the odor. While there are many methods that can reduce the odor, some of them are time-consuming and may not work for all scents. The answer to that problem is simplejust have one or more extra sealing rings on hand, so one ring can be used when youve added highly flavorful spices to your savory foods and a second can be used for delicately flavored foods and desserts.
An extra ring is handy to keep on hand, even if spicy foods arent an issue, since you never know when the dog might decide the ring is a pull toy. This is a set of two authentic Instant Pot rings in red and blue so you can tell which is for spicy foods without sniffing.
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.
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Whats The Difference Between A Crockpot And An Instant Pot
A crockpot or slow cooker, always cooks on low heat for longer period of times. There are some advanced models that let you saute or bake.
An electric pressure cooker or Instant Pot has more settings and some cook fast under a high pressure and it also has a lower slow cooker setting that cooks things slow.
The way the heating elements are installed in the Instant Pot is a bit different from a crockpot.;
Overall Instant Pot Cooking
This is a breakdown of the most used Instant Pot accessories in my kitchen. These are great for general, every day cooking in your Instant Pot.
The glass lid makes a great addition when using the Saute, Slow Cook or Keep Warm function. It has a steam release vent to prevent too much condensation on the underside of the lid and was designed to fit the 6QT LUX, DUO or Smart models.
I especially like it when sauteing onions, but you can also use it to cover the pot when making yogurt or fermenting batter or dough.
As an added bonus, it is Dishwasher Safe and can be used on the stainless steel inner pot in the oven up to 425 degrees F.
The silicone lid is great when you want to store leftovers or soup in the fridge. It also makes an easy transport to parties and potlucks when I dont want to bring my entire Instant Pot.
It creates an airtight, spillproof, watertight seal that is both BPA free and Dishwasher safe.
These heat-resistant mini mitts are more flexible than the full-on silicone gloves, so it makes it much easier to pop them on and off. I honestly did not think I would use them as much, but it turns out, I use them every day even for oven cooking!
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