What Is An Instant Pot
Instant Pot Duo Mini 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker
An Instant Pot is a multicooker that has tons of functions, including pressure cooking, slow cooking, rice cooking, steaming, warming and sautÃ©ing â all in one appliance that helps expedite the cooking process. The first-ever Instant Pot was introduced back in 2010. Fast forward to 2021, and Instant Pots come in plenty of different models with sizes ranging from 3-quart to 8-quart. They’re all great for slightly different reasons, but our experts say the Instant Pot Duo is best for most people especially since it has low and high pressure modes.
Yogurt Making Sauting And Other Uses
True to its name, the multicooker can do more than just pressure cook and slow cook. Depending on your model, it may also feature several settings for preparing yogurt, rice or poultry, as well as sautéeing.
How you use this function will vary based on the recipe and your model. Most yogurt functions will heat the pot at 180 degrees to 200 degrees, which kills any errant bacteria in the milk, and helps the yogurt to thicken. Then it keeps the milk at 110 degrees for several hours, during which time it ferments. Consult your manual for exact instructions.
The sauté function works like a burner on your stove, heating the inner pot from the bottom up, and allowing you to brown meats and vegetables, and to simmer sauces to reduce them.
The sauté function on most cookers has several levels, from low to high, allowing you to adjust the heat. If yours doesnt, and the food is turning too dark too quickly, turn off the machine for a few minutes to bring down the heat. Then, if necessary, turn it back on. Its not a perfect solution, but it works well enough. Or, you can always brown the ingredients on the stove in a skillet, then transfer them to the pot for the remainder of the cooking. Note that when sautéing, the multicookers lid should always be off.
Sales Trickle In At First
Instant Pot was finally ready to hit the market in the fall of 2010. Wang drove around Canada himself pitching samples of the first-generation device to small brick-and-mortar retailers at home goods conventions.
The initial reception was less than enthusiastic. Why should they take a risk on a new product no one had ever heard of?
So Wang turned to online sales, trying to sell the Instant Pot everywhere from Amazon to eBay and electronics retailer Newegg, as well as Instant Brands’ own website.
“It turned out Amazon is the perfect marketplace for us, because we get reviews from customers and those reviews really help us to determine what we need to do in the next iteration of the product,” Wang tells CNBC Make It.
Instant Pot made its first Amazon sale in November 2010 for $140. Wang says he still remembers how ecstatic he was to think that someone believed in his product enough to buy it on Amazon. “It brings tremendous joy,” he says.
Sales on Amazon started to trickle in, with about one or two units moving per day at first, and then within three months that increased to roughly 30 sales per day. “And then we shift our attention to Amazon entirely,” Wang says.
It was in 2011 that Wang started religiously reading every single customer review of the Instant Pot on Amazon. Last year, he told CNBC Make It that he’d for his products, and it’s a practice he continues to this day, though Wang says now he’s lost count of the total number of reviews he’s read.
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Competition Is Heating Up
Instant Pot’s popularity has helped invigorate the larger market for multicookers in the U.S.: It has grown by roughly 99 percent so far this year, after increasing by about 79 percent to more than $300 million in 2017, making multicookers one of the fastest-growing product categories in the retail sector in the past two years, NPD analyst Derochowski tells CNBC Make It.
Derochowski expects multicookers like Instant Pot to be among the top-selling products during the current holiday shopping season, with sales continuing to grow in 2019.
While Instant Pot enjoys a significant market share advantage according to Wang , rival products are actively trying to take a bite out of its lead.
You could argue that Crock-Pot, which sold millions of products several decades ago before enthusiasm died down, was the original Instant Pot in terms of its popularity as a time saver in the kitchen. Now Crock-Pot is looking to siphon off some of the buzz around Instant Pot with its own versions of an all-inclusive multicooker â a line it’s calling the Crock-Pot Express Crock Multi-Cooker â that hit the market in .
The new Crock-Pot products are a potential threat to Instant Pot, according to Derochowski, because of its “brand heritage and brand knowledge.” He also points to other potential competitors like the Ninja Foodi multicooker, which recently added an air fryer to a list of functions that also includes pressure cooker and steamer.
Convert Your Favorite Recipes
Conventional recipes can also be adapted for the multicooker. Its not exact, but you can get good results by following these guidelines.
For Pressure Cooking: Cut the liquid by at least half or even three-quarters. You wont have any of the evaporation happening in the pot. A very rough estimate is to plan on about a third of the standard cooking time for meats, vegetables and grains, with beans taking a quarter of the standard cook time.
For Slow Cooking: You dont get as much evaporation in a slow cooker as you do in the oven. Double or quadruple the cooking time, depending on if youre using the high or low setting.
For Both Methods: If you end up with a thin sauce, open the cooker and use the sauté function to allow some of the liquid to evaporate.
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What Are The Best Things To Cook In An Instant Pot
The options are endless! You can use an Instant Pot to make rice, cook hard-boiled eggs, and more. Plus, they’re great for large families or anyone who meal preps. I’m not even a good cook, but I love making a huge batch of rice in it, then using the same pot to sautÃ© veggies and simmer with my favorite tikka masala sauce. Whenever I make that meal, my coworkers often say that my lunch smells great â and I always tell them how easy it was to make in my Instant Pot!
Pro tip: Your Instant Pot takes time to come to pressure first before the actual cooking process begins. Expect meals with less liquid to come to pressure and start cooking much quicker than recipes that are mostly liquid , which can take a while to come to pressure first.
You may have thought making pasta was already easy, but wait until you realize how simple it is to make in an Instant Pot. There’s no need to wait around for the water to boil, and you don’t even have to drain it after cooking â the little bit of starchy water that’s left over helps the sauce stick to the pasta.
Our Kitchen Appliance experts love cooking soup, stock, and chili in their Instant Pots. If you’re a fan of steel-cut oats, then you know how long they take to make on the stove â but in an Instant Pot, they only take eight minutes! If you’re cooking meat, be sure to cut large chunks into smaller pieces so it cooks faster.
Winter Squash and Lentil Stew
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What Are The Next Steps
Instant Pot didn’t respond to requests for additional information but in its statement said it’s working cooperatively with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and anticipate providing updated information and next steps regarding receiving a replacement Gem 65 8-in-1 Multicooker within the next few weeks.Patty Davis, a CPSC spokeswoman, declined to comment on any discussions with Instant Pot, citing a federal statute.
William Wallace, senior policy analyst for Consumers Union, the advocacy division of Consumer Reports, said, “While we’re glad that Instant Pot says it’s working with the CPSC, and has given some limited guidance to consumers, the company should do more.”
“It should pin down the problem, identify which products are affected, and clearly inform consumers about a remedy and what steps they should take to stay safe,” he said. “If this turns out to be a safety defect, Instant Pot should call it one, and carry out a recall.”
He Used His Own Money And Sold It On Amazon
It took Wang roughly 18 months to develop the first iteration of the Instant Pot, including finding a manufacturer, ironing out the kinks of design, and tweaking the firmware and algorithms before releasing the first product on Amazon in October 2010.
Wang sank roughly $300,000 of his personal savings into the project to get it to market, he tells CNBC Make It. He originally had two partners who had previously worked with him at Nortel, but he says, “They did not believe in the idea” and left after just five months . Wang carried on by himself for another six months, he says, before another group of partners joined the effort, including two former BlackBerry employees: Yi Qin, who is now Instant Brands’ vice president of product management, and Dongjun Wang, who serves as vice president of quality assurance.
During those 18 months, Wang says he worked to identify “prominent pain points” for consumers who cook at home with electrical appliances so he could design a product that offered solutions.
One of those pain points was an overcrowded kitchen, so Wang created Instant Pot to combine the functions of multiple devices.
Another big frustration for home chefs? Burned food. “It’s a very frustrating experience,” Wang says. “So as one of the key objectives, we needed to design a certain burn protection mechanism.”
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Instant Pot Duo Crisp + Air Fryer 8
The Instant Pot® that air fries!
The Instant Pot® Duo Crisp + Air Fryer is fast, versatile, and convenient, with 2 innovative, removable lids to help you to cook and crisp your favorite meals all in one pot. All it takes is cook, switch, crisp!
- 11-in-1 pressure cooker, slow cooker, steamer, sauté pan, food warmer, sous vide, air fryer, roaster, mini oven, broiler, and dehydrator
- 2 convenient, removable lids to transform your Instant Pot into an air fryer
- 11 customizable programs for quick one-touch meals
- Innovative auto-sealing pressure cooking lid with a button for easy, stress-free venting
- Stainless-steel inner pot with tri-ply bottom for perfect sautéing
- EvenCrisp air flow gives you the crunch and tenderness of deep-frying with 95% less oil
- Customizable temperature range of 105°F to 400°F for Air Frying Lid
- Cook up to 8 portions, perfect for families, meal prep, and big batch cooking
- Bring it to potlucks, parties, events and more
- Up to 70% faster and more energy efficient than other cooking methods
- Dishwasher-safe pressure cooking lid and inner pot for quick and easy clean-up
- 10+ proven safety features, including Overheat Protection and safe locking lid
- Accessories include a multi-functional stainless-steel rack, multi-level air fryer basket with base and broil/dehydrating tray, and a protective pad and storage cover
- PFOA/PTFE-free cooking
- 1500 watts, 120 V~ 60 Hz, UL & ULC Listed
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What’s The Difference Between An Instant Pot A Pressure Cooker And A Slow Cooker
Even though an Instant Pot can function as a pressure cooker, they’re different. To help clear the confusion, our Kitchen Appliance Lab experts at the Good Housekeeping Institute broke down the differences between these terms:
- Pressure cookers offer an easy way to get food on the table fast. Whether it’s an electric pressure cookers or stovetop pressure cooker, a pressure cooker drastically reduces cook time by raising the boiling point of water and trapping the steam. Once your food is done cooking, you can either release the pressure manually with the knob or wait for the steam to naturally release.
- Slow cookers are great for people who want to come home from work to a hot dinner waiting for them. They’re called “set it and forget it” appliances for a reason: Just throw ingredients in the slow cooker in the morning, and it’ll cook on low heat throughout the day. You can often set them to cook for a certain number of hours and then have it switch to a keep warm setting.
- Crock-Pot is a popular slow cooker brand. People often use its name interchangeably with “slow-cooker,” but the brand also makes multi-cookers.
- Instant Pot is themost popular multi-cooker brand, and basically all of the above!
Are Instant Pots Dangerous
While pressure cookers of the past might have been dicey safety-wise, an Instant Pot is comprised of an outer pot , a stainless steel inner pot, and a lid, all of which have plenty of safety mechanisms built-in so that you don’t need to worry about them being dangerous. “They have a silicone gasket that prevents steam from escaping, which helps regulate pressure,” says Nicole Papantoniou, Good Housekeeping Institute’s Kitchen Appliance & Culinary Innovations Lab director. That said, “If your gasket is damaged or ruined, you should definitely replace it.”
As an added safety feature, the Instant Pot also features a floating valve, an indicator that pops up when it’s unsafe to open the lid while cooking foods. When the floating valve is raised, the lid will automatically lock when it’s at a pressure level that could be dangerous.
To release the pressure post-cooking, you can either use the quick release feature, which ejects steam from the pot quickly , or a natural release, which lets out steam over time. Your recipe will often indicate whether you should use quick or natural release, but as a rule of thumb, Papantoniou says natural release is best for stews and other foods that won’t overcook, while quick release is recommended for dishes like pasta that are at risk of overcooking. If you do use quick release, you should use tongs to move the nozzle and release steam.
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Instant Pot Started When Wang Lost His Job
Today, Ottawa, Ontario-based Instant Brands has nearly 90 employees and there seems to be no end in sight to its record-setting sales.
But it all started after Wang lost his job in 2008.
Wang had been the chief scientist at a mobile messaging company he’d co-founded in 2000, but the company’s CEO shut down Wang’s division, putting Wang out of the job . Despite having spent 14 years working on telecommunications technology, Wang decided to turn his attention toward solving a personal problem he had been pondering.
Wang and his wife, Tracy, both worked full time in the tech industry , which left them with a very relatable problem: They had little time to cook fast, tasty and healthy meals for their two young children, who were then 4 and 8, he tells CNBC Make It.
“We did a lot of takeout, fast food. Kids really love fast food,” Wang says. “But my wife and myself don’t think that’s the way to raise our kids. So, at that point, I was dreaming about an automated cooking machine, which will help me cook healthy dinner after work.”
What’s more, Wang knew he was far from alone. “I believed that people share the same issue I have, which is putting dinner on the table after a busy day,” he says.
“But we all know that, when we leave for work in the morning it’s hectic,” Wang says. “You don’t have much time, and also you’re eating your breakfast, you’re thinking about your dinner.”
That’s where Wang saw an opportunity to make things even easier with an all-in-one cooking product.