What Does An Instant Pot Do
The Instant Pot can do a variety of different things. The most popular Instant Pot is the Instant Pot Duo which is a 7-in-1 electric pressure cooker. It also comes in the most popular size which is a 6 quart pot. Like other pots, you get 7 functions in one single pot. Heres the functions you can do:
Its Not Saving That Much Space
Part of the lure of the Instant Pot for me, and for others, is that it replaces a ton of other gadgets. It can serve as a pressure cooker, rice cooker, steamer, and yogurt maker. Some folks even say it replaces a sauté pan. That sounds like a whole lot of extra space on the counter, right?
Except did you own a rice cooker, yogurt maker, or steamer? I didnt, and after about a month with this new gadget taking up space on my counter, I realized I hadnt save myself any space at all. Id just added yet another gadget.
I already had my Crock-Pot. I already make rice and steam veggies in the same sauce pot. My oven has a warming function. And I cant think of a single time Ive ever been tempted to make my own yogurt.
So has the Instant Pot changed my life? Well, no, not unless you count that I now have an extra thing to trip over in my kitchen.
Im not sure how many disgruntled Instant Pot owners are out there, but I guess only time will tell whether this gadgets popularity will wane, much like the George Foreman Grill .
Back To The Multi Cookeryou Have A Few Brand Options
While the Instant Pot is its own brand, Cuisinart, Gourmia, and Breville all offer pressure cookers and slow-cookers that can do similar things as an Instant Pot, so do your research to see which will best suit your needs before purchasing. For example, the Instant Pot has a slow-cooker function, while the Cuisinart does not. The Gourmia has a non-stick, aluminum pot for easy clean-up, and the Instant Pot has a stainless pot. The Breville is the most costly at $248.
Also Check: How To Cook Frozen Tamales In Instant Pot
Where Do I Find Recipes For The Instant Pot
The instruction manual and recipe booklet in the box are a great place to start. The recipes there are limited, but we found the cooking time tables to be pretty helpful in the beginning. Hip Pressure Cooking lists recommended times and pressure levels for most foods and has an active online community. You can also try our one-pot meal recipe or check out the other super-simple recipes Wirecutter staff members cook in their Instant Pots.
You can find hundreds of Instant Pot cookbooks out there, including many tailored to specific dietary concerns . Melissa Clark, food reporter for The New York Times and Instant Pot enthusiast, has written her own cookbook, Dinner in an Instant, and also told us about some of her favorites: Indian Instant Pot Cookbook by Urvashi Pitre, and Coco Morantes The Essential Instant Pot Cookbook.
Is The Instant Pot Healthy
I was initially resistant to pressure cooking because it seemed opposite to our ancestors way of cooking things low and slow over the fire.
But, there is some evidence that pressure cooking actually retains nutrients better than other forms of cooking. When you cook, many of the nutrients go into the cooking liquid. With pressure cooking, the liquid is usually eaten with the food.
In addition, pressure cookers are more effective at removing anti-nutrients in our foods. Phytic acid is a common anti-nutrient that is found in things like rice, wheat, beans, kale, and more. Want to know more about this? Check out The Plant Paradox by Dr. Stephen Gundry.
Also, as I mentioned earlier, not all Instant Pot recipes are healthy . If youre looking for some great healthy Instant Pot recipes, here are some of my favorites:
- Nom Nom Paleo
Recommended Reading: Can Crock Pot Liners Be Used In An Instant Pot
Cook Beans Super Fast
This is the first thing that piqued my interest. I heard that people were cooking beans in as little as 10-15 minutes for soaked beans and as long as 35-40 minutes for dry beans. Since it normally took several hours to slow cook beans this got my attention. I was really concerned that this was another single use appliance so I wasnt won over yet. Then I heard it again and again. People I really admire were in love with their Instant Pot and it officially landed on my wish list.
What About Safety Features
Traditional pressure cookers have safety features built in, but the newest generation of electric pressure cookers, like the Instant Pot, are designed with a slew of self-regulating safety features that make them safer to use than ever.
The safety features on an Instant Pot include:
- Sensors to monitor the units temperature and pressure.
- Lid close detection
- Extreme temperature and power protection
- Pressure regulator protection
All of those features are designed to protect you from burning yourself, having the machine blow up, or scorch and burn.
Read Also: How To Steam Artichokes In Instant Pot
Take It With You On Vacation
How much do you spend on eating out when youre on vacation? What if you took that money and invested in an Instant Pot instead? Odds are it would pay for itself in one or two dinners!
Instead of going out to eat EVERY night, bring the Instant Pot with you and plan for one-pot meals you know your family loves, likepot roast orchili or even a whole chicken. Youll save money AND invest in a kitchen appliance that will quickly become one of your favorites .
Fine You’ve Convinced Me Where Can I Get One
On Amazon, of course. Instant Pot’s own site lists out all the places you can find them, but that list is overwhelming, so to cherry-pick: Costco, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Sur La Table all have them. Plus, if you have an Instant Pot, you’ll need some recipes. We humbly suggest adding Party in an Instant Potto your cart.
Also Check: What To Do If Your Instant Pot Says Burn
Can I Make My Favorite Standby Recipes In The Instant Pot
Yes, you can make your favorites in an Instant Pot, but it takes some tinkering. And you wont find a single formula that will flawlessly convert a standard recipe to the Instant Pot on the first try. We asked Melissa Clark for some tips. Since pressure cookers are sealed, Clark advised, you should reduce the amount of liquid if its a soup or a stew because youre not getting any evaporation. She added, Youre going to want to cut down on the salt. Since youre using less liquid in the beginning, hold back on the salt at the start and adjust the seasoning at the end. If you use too much water and end up with a thin stew, dont panicjust simmer the sauce with the lid off to thicken.
Trial and error is how anyone becomes a betterand more confidentcook. Melissa Clark also reminds cooks to be kind to themselves: If youre adapting recipes for the Instant Pot, you just have to assume its not going to be perfect the first time around. And forgive yourself thats okay. Youll do things better the next time.
Is An Instant Pot Really Worth It
Aug 27, 2021·
Instant pots are the next new hot thing in the world of kitchen and cooking appliances. For too long people have suffered under the rule of age-old pots and pans, having to wait for so long to get their meals ready in them! Even pressure cookers cannot seem to get the job done fast enough!
Just imagine waiting for at least thirty minutes to get your food on the plate in this age of the internet and technology?
Nobody got time to sit around waiting in the kitchen for their pot of spaghetti to boil over for dinner after a hard day’s work! And can you imagine having to wake up an hour early in the morning just to fix breakfast?
But with Instant Pots around, you need to do none of all this waiting around! If you still can’t understand just why we are so excited about introducing instant pots to you, then read on till the last word and you’ll know exactly why we are so hyped about this wonderful cooking gadget!
Read Also: How To Steam Tamales In A Crock Pot
What Makes Instant Pot Max Better Than Other Multi
What I love about the Instant Pot Max is the customization. For cooking functions alone, you can already adjust a lot depending on the recipe. One of the standard programmable settings is the duration.
But wait, heres what makes Instant Pot stand out against its competitors:
You can also adjust the pressure , temperature, and most importantly, the automatic venting method . In addition, you can switch from Celsius to Fahrenheit, so wherever you are, you dont have to keep asking Google, Alexa, or Siri for conversions.
Oh, if you dont want it to beep every time you press something, you can also modify the volume. Although, I find the sound notifications useful telling you whether its done cooking, when its not fully closed, etc.
You can set the elevation, which is a life-saver.
You see, other pressure cookers require you to adjust the cooking time depending on your altitude. With Instant Pot Max, however, the machine will automatically modify the programs according to your elevation. Simply put, you dont need to consult a pressure cooker cheat sheet or calculate it yourself.
Also, you have the option to delay cook, which is technically not unique to this model. However, some competitors dont have it, so thats still an edge that Instant Pot has.
Heres the thing:
Some recipes get overcooked easily, mainly veggies. In other words, the keep warm function alone is not enough. Thats where the delayed cooking function comes in.
Is The Instant Pot A Pressure Cooker
The Instant Pot is not a traditional pressure cooker. Traditional pressure cookers do not require an electrical outlet. The Instant Pot is an electric pressure cooker.
Thus, the Instant Pot is similar to a traditional pressure cooker. The only difference is that the heat-source is electric and does not require gas or an electric stove to use. Additionally, these electric pressure cookers are built with several safety features.
You May Like: How To Defrost Ground Beef In Instant Pot
Is The Instant Pot A Good Choice For My Kitchen Or Not
The Instant Pot is a great tool to add to your vegan kitchen if you:
- have ample counter space and/or cabinet space to store it .
- are looking for a fuss-free way to cook your own beans and grains from scratch, and seitan
- would like to reheat previously-cooked meals while you are away, so you can come home to a cooked meal
- have the time and mental energy to dedicate to learning a slightly different way to cook vegan dishes
- feel comfortable investing about $80 for a new small appliance
If you dont struggle with cooking dinner just before meal time, or do not anticipate doing batch cooking any time soon, or arent particularly interested in cooking things like beans or seitan from scratch at home, an Instant Pot is not the most pressing item to add to your kitchen. Not that its not a nice way to cook but your stovetop probably does all of the tricks you need.
If you have a very small kitchen and will need to put your IP on top of the stove when using it, I do not recommend getting one. I have read countless stories of users who mistakenly put their IP or lid on a hot burner, or turned on a burner by accident while the IP was on top of the stove. In the best cases, they ended up with a toxic mess of melted plastic.
Recommended Reading: Instant Pot Duo Plus Hard Boiled Eggs
Is An Instant Pot A Slow Cooker Is An Instant Pot A Crockpot
Like many of you, perhaps, I had always thought that these two are the same, but it turns out that they are not. A crockpot is a type of slow cooker but not all slow cookers are crockpots.
A crockpot is a type of slow cooker with stoneware or ceramic pot sitting inside a surrounding heating element and it usually has two cook settings: high and low.
Meanwhile, a slow cooker refers to that kitchen appliance designed for slow cooking but it has an inner pot made of metal. That said, an instant pot is not a crockpot but is also a slow cooker.
Also Check: Instant Pot Brisket Time Per Pound
No Recipe Is Truly Instant
Pressure has to build inside before the appliance actually starts cooking, and then the pressure has to come back down once the set cooking time has ended.
This means that when a recipe says to cook for 20 minutes, you have to add time before AND after to allow for this. The amount of time depends on how full the Instant Pot is.
What Size Should I Get
The 6-quart Instant Pot is the most popular size by far, and the one we recommend for most folks. It offers plenty of capacity for weeknight dinners, soups and stews, a pot of beans, or even a whole chicken, yet doesnt take up a crazy amount of counter space or shelf space.
But the choice is entirely up to you, and dependent on your cooking habits and storage space. Both the Instant Pot Duo and Ultra also come in a 3-quart Mini size and an 8-quart size.
The 3-quart Mini version is a good option for one or two people, or folks with limited kitchen storage. But the appropriately named Mini has a tiny pressure-cooking capacity that tops out at 2 quarts. For foods that expand when they cook, such as beans and grains, the total volume cant exceed 1½ quarts.
If you cook for a lot of people or frequently make stock or broth, consider the 8-quart size. The hulking 8-quart Instant Pot will take up as much space on your countertop as a dish rack, which is why it isnt for everyone, but it can yield almost 1 gallon of stock. If for some reason you want to go even bigger, the Duo Nova model also comes in a 10-quart size.
You May Like: Instant Pot Chicken Wings Frozen
What Is The Best Instant Pot For A Beginner
Luckily, all Instant Pots are all pretty easy to use.
With more than 17 models of Instant Pots on the market, it can be hard to figure out which one is the best one for you.
If you want to try out an Instant Pot, but you are not interested in spending a ton of money, the most basic model is the Instant Pot Duo Nova.
In fact, even Instant Pot says its the Best for Beginners. It comes in four sizes ranging from 3 quarts to 10 quarts.
It does all of the basic things that you would expect they pressure cook, slow cook, saute, and steam. Heck, it even makes yogurt if thats your thing.
If youre ready to go all-in on this Instant Pot thing, you might want to spring for the Instant Pot Duo Plus 9-in-1.
This one has all of the bells and whistles, including its very own egg feature and even a cake feature!
All of their models are relatively affordable. If you are a beginner but arent interested in spending the money to upgrade later, you might want to consider just buying the bells and whistles model.
Before I bought my Instant Pot I had all kinds of questions. Many of them revolved around safety.
I saw pictures andread stories on social media about Instant Pots exploding. And it honestly made me a little nervous.
Fear not dear reader, I did the research and wrote about whether they could explode in this recent article.
Just click the link to read about the safety of Instant Pots on my site.
How Many Different Instant Pots Are There
Good question. If you’re counting all of Instant Pot’s devices including appliances outside pressure cookers, there are a lot. If you’re only counting pressure cookers, it’s still pretty confusing. Instant Pot added a slew of new cookers in 2019 and again in 2020.
Here’s how to compare each Instant Pot model:
- Functions: Pressure cooking, slow cooking, rice cooking, steaming, warming, sautéing
- Sizes: 3 quart, 6 quart, 8 quart
- New lid with safe steam valve features: No
Recommended Reading: Poultry Setting On Instant Pot
Final Thoughts: Is The Instant Pot Worth It
When everything is said and done, the InstantPot pros and cons should tell you whether its right to purchase one for yourkitchen.
I believe that the benefits of the InstantPot far outweigh its drawbacks. Whether youre a seasoned cook or someone whosjust started out cooking, the Instant Pot takes out a lot of complexities fromthe cooking process and helps you save time and effort. It isnt the perfectkitchen appliance , but its a great tool to have around.The more you use it, the more youll realize the many wonders that the instantpot can do for you.
Yellow And Red Lentils
We love lentils, but not all of them can be cooked in an Instant Pot. Brown and green lentils can hold up to pressure cooking, but the more delicate yellow and red versions turn to mush because they cook so quickly. Unless youâre purposely making lentil soup or dhal, stick to cooking red and yellow lentils on the stove to preserve their texture and shape.
Recommended Reading: What To Do If Your Instant Pot Says Burn