Is An Instant Pot Worth The Money
Lets take a look at the instant pot and whether or not its worth the money. Depending on the time of year, and what kind of deal you can find, the average Instant Pot will set you back anywhere from $70 to $150.
While its not the cheapest kitchen appliance on the market, it does have multiple uses and can take the place of other expensive appliances you might need.
You can purchase a stove top pressure cooker or slow cooker for around $25. Does that mean the Instant Pot is overpriced, or something you shouldnt consider buying? I dont think so.
If you arent sure if youll actually use it, the Instant Pot may be a waste of money. On the other hand, youll end up using it quite a bit if you keep it on your counter and use it as your pressure cooker, slow cooker, and rice cooker.
Ive found that those who purchase an Instant Pot and then promptly put it in a cupboard and never look at it again are the ones who say its not worth it. The first step is always the hardest.
If you vow to use it at least once or twice when you first receive it, it will be an investment thats well worth it. After I used mine the first few times, I couldnt put it away. I was using it every day.
Look through some recipes, borrow a friends Instant Pot if possible, and see if this seems like the type of appliance that will work well for you and your lifestyle.
You Can Get A Second Insert
Sometimes dinner needs a few different components maybe youre makingkung pao chicken and youre going to serve it with rice. Or maybe dinner is in one pot AND youre serving from it which means you cant use the Instant Pot for dessert until dinner is over AND the insert is washed.
Heres the solution get a second insert! You can buy a second insert and youll be able to make things back to back .
First What Is An Instant Pot
Most people think the Instant Pot is a pressure cooker, which is true. But the Instant Pot is an electric pressure cooker that is ALSO capable of performing the functions of a:
- slow cooker
Basically, its a multi-cooker a kitchen appliance that can replace MANY of your other kitchen cooking appliances by being 7 tools in one.
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Tips For Instant Pot Saut Mode
- After you press the Sauté button, wait for the pot to get hot before adding your food. The display on most models will show Hot when the pot is hot.
- Add cooking oil before adding meats or vegetables to the pot. The exception is that you do not need to add oil if you are browning ground beef or another meat that will release its own fat as it cooks.
- When browning pieces of meat, such as chicken thighs, do not move the meat until it has formed a browned crust on the bottom. This usually takes a few minutes. Trying to move the meat too soon can cause it to stick to the bottom of the pot. Its also important to use enough oil, as I have found that delicate meats such as chicken tend to stick easily to the bottom of the pot.
- Always deglaze the pot after sautéing. This means that you pour in a some of your cooking liquid, such as broth or water, and scrape up any bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pot. If you do not do this, you are much more likely to get a burn message while pressure cooking. Learn more about how to prevent the Instant Pot burn message here.
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!
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The Size Of The Instant Pot Matters
For safety reasons , the Instant Pot should be filled no more than 2/3 full. That means if you buy the6 quart Instant Pot , you can only safely put 3 1/2 quarts of food inside. If you buy the8 quart Instant Pot, you can put 6 quarts of food inside.
This may not be a big deal, but I know that one batch of;chicken stock in my 6-quart slow cooker gives me a full gallon worth of stock. I would have to make multiple batches of stock in a 6-quart size Instant Pot to get the same yield.
Beyond The Convenience Of The Instant Pot
Early on, my fondness for my Instant Pot came from a place of convenience. I appreciated the quicker cooking time for large, tough cuts of meat, wild rice, steel-cut oats, lentils, soup, and burrito bowls. Plus its ability to cook meat from frozen , and the fact that it often left me with fewer dirty dishes. And while those qualities still win the appliance some big points, Ive come to learn that some recipes are simply better when theyre cooked in the Instant Pot.
The Instant Pot isnt always the faster cooking method, and Im okay with that, because sometimes the food that comes out of it is so much better and more satisfying than other methods. I first realized this with hard-cooked eggs. Its not necessarily faster than the stovetop method, but Instant Pot eggs are by far creamier and easier to peel; its my go-to method for making a big batch during my weekend meal prep routine.
Then theres spaghetti and meat sauce, which is my absolute favorite thing to cook in the Instant Pot. It takes advantage of both the sauté and pressure cooker functions, and again, while not necessarily faster than the stovetop, there are fewer dishes to contend with, and the result is out of this world. Everything the ground meat, spaghetti, sauce, and water is all cooked together, so the pasta picks up extra flavor, and the sauce clings to each strand like a magnet.
My Favorite Instant Pot Recipes
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That’s Good To Know But Does The Instant Pot Size Affect Cooking Time
For the 3 and 6-quart sizes, a good rule-of-thumb is to always have at least one cup of water or thin liquid in with what you’re cooking. The 8-quart, since it’s larger, should have at least two cups of thin liquid with whatever you’re cooking.
It’s always important to note that you need a thin liquid with whatever you plan to cook in the Instant Pot. This is because you need steam to create pressure, and the only way to get that is to have a thin liquid.
Some ingredients release their own thin liquid as they cook, so you may not need as much. Think of chicken and certain vegetables, like cabbage or onion. On average, for a 6-quart to come to pressure , it can take up to 20-30 minutes, depending on how much liquid is in the pot.
If there’s a lot of liquid, such as with soup, it will take longer to come to pressure. This also applies to the 8-quartsince it’s larger and needs more liquid, it takes a bit longer to get to pressure than the smaller versions.
Instant Pot Is Not Instant
One of the most common questions I see in the Instant Pot communities is: What brand of Instant Pot should I buy? This question actually does not make sense because Instant Pot is a name of a brand.
What people actually mean is: What brand of an electric pressure cooker should I buy? However, Instant Pot brand is now one of the most popular on the market so it became almost synonymous to saying electric pressure cooker.
Now, is Instant Pot instant? No! BIG NO! But naming the brand Not too quick but faster than average cooking pot wouldnt be a good marketing decision so its called Instant Pot.
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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.
The Real Reason You Should Never Put Steak In Your Instant Pot
We get it ever since you added an Instant Pot to your collection of kitchen appliances, it has completely changed the game in terms of how you cook. A survey by Instapot Life suggests that 21% of Americans 18 or older have the appliance in their kitchen, and there are countless cookbooks tailored specifically to the device, from general recipe books for beginners to vegan cookbooks and much more. There seem to be endless hacks for how to transform your favorite recipes into dishes that can be whipped up in the Instant Pot. After all, why use a method that takes double the time when you have a handy gadget that can speed up the process?
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What Can You Do With Instant Pot
Cooking techniques are unlimited with Instapot. The big deal is that this crazy thing really works, and for some recipes, the different settings actually complement one another.;
Roast like a Pro
For example, you can brown a roast with the Sauté function, then dump in some onions and other veggies, spices, and a bit of broth before locking on the lid and setting your Instant Pot to the Meat pressure cooking mode. Guess what? In half an hour or so, depending on the cut of meat, youve got a fantastic pot roast!
Or you could brown some ground beef, then toss in beans uncooked broth and half a dozen ingredients, set the Instant Pot on the Bean/Chili setting, and have some delicious chili in about half an hour. No more soaking those beans!;
You can even cook entire one-pot meals by stacking the ingredients inside your Instant Pot before starting the cooking cycle, like rice with Honey Garlic Chicken. And ribs. Ribs? Yes, ribs.;
And Much More
Transform several pounds of pork shoulder into juicy, falling apart pulled pork in about an hour. Or how about Instant Pot Greek yogurt? Poached or hard-boiled eggs? The list goes on
Finally, Ill just mention cheesecake. You heard me right. Cheese. Cake. Its every bit as good as what youd buy in a shop for an arm and a leg, and its effortless to make!
Instant Pot Duo Plus Mini
The Instant Pot Duo series is quite vast, as you can see for yourself, and the next item on our list is the Instant Pot Duo Plus Mini, although you shouldnt let yourself be fooled by the name since theres nothing Mini about it.
Designed to replace 9 different kitchen appliances, the Duo Plus Mini can easily replace your old-fashion pressure cooker, slow cooker, sauté pan, rice cooker, yogurt maker, steamer, food warmer, and sterilizer, making it ideal for those with limited kitchen and counter space, as well as those that dont want to spend money on tools that can only do one job.
This is also possible thanks to the 15 customizable Smart Programs that allow it to pressure cook, slow cook, sauté, soup, broth, cake, egg, rice, bean, grain, porridge, oatmeal, sterilize, yogurt, and sous vide, in many cases better than what a dedicated tool would do.
The outside of the pot is definitely high-tech, and the control is easy to comprehend thanks to the full cooking progress bar, the dedicated Start button, 2 separate pressure and temperature indicators, dual temperature indicators that show both Fahrenheit and Celcius values, and more.
As far as the hardware components go, the entire pot is designed using high-quality food-grade stainless steel with a tri-ply bottom that allows the cooking to be evened out, and if youre particularly interested in sautéing, youll love this pots anti-spin design.
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Double Check The Doneness Of Your Favorite Recipes
Its always a good idea to check the inner temperature of a slow-cooked meal to ensure the ingredients are heated throughout, and this step is especially important when youre slow-cooking in an Instant Pot.
You see, there are a few key differences between an Instant Pot and a traditional slow cooker. For one, a traditional slow cooker pot is typically made of thick ceramic, so the sides of the bowl heat up, cooking your food from all sides. With an Instant Pot, the thin metal pot doesnt get nearly as warm, so your food is only being cooked from the bottom.
Additionally, the temperature settings on an Instant Pot arent exactly the same as on a slow cooker. The brand lists the following temperature ranges for each setting:
- Less: 180-190°F
- Normal: 190-200°F
- More: 200-210°F
On a standard slow cooker, the low setting is generally around 190°F and the high setting is around 300°F. As you can see, the settings between the two appliances dont match up precisely, so it may take some trial and error to recreate your favorite recipes.
For these reasons, slow cooker recipes often take a bit longer to make in an Instant Pot, and youll want to check the inner temperature of your meal to confirm its reached a safe temperature before you dig in.
Reasons You Should Get An Instant Pot
Think about it- a lavish three-course meal sitting at your table as you come home after a tiring day. Who wont like it? But unfortunately, painting this dream in real life requires time, patience and loads of effort. However, this doesnt mean you can never have such royal feast ever in your life. For starters, if you ever plan on preparing a lengthy yet delicious menu for your loved ones, what you need is an Instant pot in your life . This probably isnt the first time you have heard about this life-changing pot and in case you have been on the fence about buying an instapot, heres a review that dives into all the available models and sizes to help you find the right one for you.
Lets find out why exactly everyone is obsessed with instant pot these days:
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Is An Instant Pot Worth It My Opinion
In my opinion, I truly think an Instant Pot is worth every penny. Unlike a traditional pressure cooker, the Instant Pot monitors internal pressure and temperature for you. So, you dont have to adjust it as it cooks. Its much like using your crock pot with much shorter cooking time. Set it and go! The clean up is so easy, and I have never had dishes that clean so easily.;
However, I will say the Instant Pot is a little bit of a learning curve. Additionally, I was disappointed with some of the other features such as the slow cook setting. The Instant Pot really doesnt make a good crock pot since it only heats from the bottom.;
Ultimately, I am very satisfied with both of my Instant Pots, and I love making easy, delicious meals with them!
What do you think about the electric pressure cooker? Is an Instant Pot worth it?
Cold Ingredients Or Room Temperature Ingredients
If you talk to Instant Pot enthusiasts then the first thing they tell you is how fast cooking food in Instant Pot is. Well, we just discussed that very often they dont take into account the time to build the pressure and release the pressure. And although releasing pressure time depends on the amount of food and liquid only, building pressure depends on the temperature of the ingredients.
Having room temperature liquid and room temperature meat would mean that everything will come to pressure faster than if the ingredients were cold. If you are rushing home from work then most likely you wont have time to spend two hours getting everything to room temperature and this is another of my pet peeves with using this appliance.
So, if you know youll be making a big pot of stew on the weekend, then get your ingredients out ahead of time and fill a jug with water or broth an hour or two before you start cooking.
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