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
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.
Instant Pot Pros And Cons
This is an extremely versatile manufacturer of pressure cookers. It is a rice maker, steamer, slow cooker, so much more all wrapped into one. Talking of slow cookers and pressure cookers, are you interested in what makes them different? We only wrote about pressure stoves versus slow cookers. Take a look!
It is ideal for smaller kitchens or tight spaces, as it has the smallest footprint of this bunch. These pressure cookers can also be good at turning frozen foods into new eats in moments. They utilize intuitive control panels so you wont have any problem switching between purposes or placing time and temperature.
As the hottest pressure cooker manufacturer, lots of individuals have developed recipes, especially for these versions. You wont need to perform much guesswork. This makes it a lot easier to immediately start crafting world-class foods like sauces, meats, and much more. You may make a pressure cooker cake.
While we are discussing pressure cookers, these are excellent in sauteing it is truly breathtaking how great ingredients become following a quick saute. We suggest trying out each of the functions and seeing how they work for you the outcomes will be yummy!
Instant Pot is updating their versions. We wrote about their latest model, Instant Pot Duo Nova vs. Duo.
Make sure you get the hefty documentation. It is a very long read, but youre going to be happy later once you understand how to deal with any error codes or problems that come up.
Also Check: How To Reheat Soup In Instant Pot
How Long Does Natural Release Take
Natural Release time depends on:
- The size of your Instant Pot 3 quart, 6 quart or 8 quart.
- Whats inside what you are cooking.
8 quart Instant Pot has larger pot , so larger volume of pressure to build up inside. If it is meal type recipe, barely any liquid in final product like Instant Pot chicken breast or Instant Pot teriyaki chicken, Natural Release takes about 10 minutes. For Instant Pot lentil soup for example, it could take as much as 40 minutes for pressure to release fully because the pot is large, and all that hot liquid keeps the steam going.
6 quart Instant Pot takes less time to do Natural Release anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes. Thats one of the features I like about smaller pressure cooker.
Wondering which size works for you? Check out my post on which Instant Pot to buy?!
I Keep Burning My Fingers When Trying To Release Steam
The release nozzle on the Pots valve is pretty loose, and twitching it open for a fast release after pressure cooking can be painful for even fast fingers. If youve been burnt by steam before, theres a very simple solution that Pot users have found: Just use a wooden spoon. Push the valve open with the spoon to release it and avoid any steam issues.
Recommended Reading: How To Reheat Tamales In Instant Pot
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 sauté veggies and simmer with my favorite tikka masala sauce. Whenever I make that meal, my coworkers often say that my lunch smells great 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 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 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.
An Issue With The Sealing Ring
The silicone sealing ring is one of the most important parts of the Instant Pot. If it not placed on the lid tightly, the lid won’t seal. If the ring is torn or dirty, it won’t seal either.
Whenever you notice your pressure cooker is struggling to come to pressure and the vent knob was in the right position, the next thing you want to investigate is the sealing ring.
The sealing ring expands to seal in pressure in the Instant Pot. If you just used your Instant Pot for another recipe or did a quick release to add an ingredient with a shorter cook time, your sealing ring may be already too expanded to be able to achieve a proper seal. Either place the seal in the freezer for 5 minutes to let it cool and return to normal size or insert a spare sealing ring.
If you have not recently used your instant pot, the sealing ring may be dirty. Take it off, give it a good clean and dry well. Inspect for tears or breaks and then install the ring carefully back on the lid on the instant pot and then proceed with the recipe—after checking to be sure there is still enough thin liquid in the Instant Pot!
Read Also: How To Cook Frozen Meat In Instant Pot
Sauting With Your Instant Pot
The sauté setting lets you brown meat and veggies and get an initial sear on ingredients, much like you would on the stovetop.
On one hand, this is an absolutely awesome function that saves you from dirtying an extra pan for lots of slow cooker recipes that direct you to brown ground beef or sear meat in a skillet, before proceeding to your slow cooker . With the Instant Pot, you can use the sauté function to do the sautéing, and then move right on to the next step of the recipe, in the very same pot! Yay!
But lets be honest about the sauté function. Are you actually going to use it just to sauté, for recipes that wont proceed from sautéing, into the slow cooker or pressure cooker functions? Nope probably not. Youll most likely still do that sort of sautéing on the stovetop.
So while the sauté function is absolutely brilliant in many situations, its not going to replace your favorite skillet in other situations.
But it might replace
Turn Your 8 Quart Instant Pot Into A Serious One
I was looking for a beef and broccoli recipe and what I found was either people were eating mushy broccoli OR they were steaming the broccoli separately .
The fix is to use a 6 quart insert INSIDE the 8 quart pot.
Basically, you put the meat and sauce directly in the 8 quart liner and follow the recipe directions. When its done, you put the6 quart liner ON TOP of the cooked meat, inside the Instant Pot and make steamed broccoli in it using the trivet. The extra few minutes of cooking wont hurt the meat, and you truly can cook your entire dinner in the Instant Pot! The only downside is that this only works for the 8 quart Instant Pot
Recommended Reading: Instant Pot On Stove
Ninja Foodi Pros And Cons
The Ninja Foodi line of pressure cookers is excellent at crisping meals, whether using the strain cooking purpose or some other. That is because they have a crisping lid, making poultry, fried foods and considerably more crispy and flavorful.
Since they are devoted to the consumer experience, many Ninja Foodi pressure cookers possess a complex interface, two-piece stands for much more cooking, and massive capacities so that you can cook for the entire family. They also generally get more functions than Instant Pot or Crock Pot. This depends upon which version you purchase.
The lids are simple to align , which means that you wont need to be worried about liquid or steam bargaining while cooking. You will also observe that Ninja will provide you more accessories compared to other manufacturers.
The timer is simple to place, but it is in seconds and minutes. Most other pressure cookers have the timer hours and minutes, which might get confusing if that is not your first multifunction pressure cooker. Ninja Foodi versions tend to be heavier than the other two manufacturers and bulkier too.
With many versions, the pressure cooking lid is permanently attached. This means it wont ever have lost, but you will need to compete with it if you utilize the crisping lid or any time you are pulling out a massive meal. It is not awful, but it is a hassle you will need to take care of.
Freeze Your Leftovers In Round Containers
Usually when you make a freezer meal or freeze soup, you use freezer bags and lay them flat. Instead, fill your freezer bag with your leftovers and then put the bag into a round container. The bag will freeze in a cylinder form which you can then slip into the Instant Pot and have a warm meal in minutes.
6. Plan for a longer cooking time than most online recipes claim. What most newbie Instant Pot users dont understand at first is that the time claimed on recipes and the actual time from start to finished is a bit longer. On average, your Instant Pot takes about 5 -10 extra to warm up and cool down.
7. Saute away! Do not miss out on the saute feature of the Instant Potit is incredible! Simply add a little olive or coconut oil to the bottom of the pot, fill it with veggies or meat, and it sautés like any frying pan.
8. No-fuss homemade yogurt. If youve ever thought of making your own yogurt, the Instant Pot is the place to do it. Its not even scary.
Recommended Reading: Tamales In Instant Pot
Types Of Pressure Cookers
Over the years, pressure cooker makers have upgraded the technologies and features of pressure cookers.
The results are various types of pressure cookers that offer more safety and functionality.
There are three main types of pressure cookers: first-generation, second-generation, and electric pressure cookers.
The First 10 Meals You Should Make
So, you just got an Instant Pot. Whats next? Dont be that person who bought the pot but hasnt opened it, letting it sit in the box for months. Part of this is lack of time or just the intimidation factor. It can be a little scary when you keep hearing about the first time someones released the pressure valve.
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The Instant Pot Keeps Beeping
Its normal for the pot to beep as it starts to heat, beep when its starting the timer, and beep when the timer is done. If its beeping otherwise, that usually means something is wrong, and you should look to see if theres a code flashing on the screen. This most often indicates an overheating issue that your Instant Pot wants you to know about ASAP.
Bonus Point: Beware Of Some Recipes And Use Common Sense
I debated whether I should include this point. I mean, the article is called 7 Things You Need To Know About Instant Pot, not 8. But I decided it was something that needed to be addressed.
A lot of people expect magical results when they start using their Instant Pot. They expect some life-altering appliance that will help them get dinner on the table 30 minutes after they get home. The reason for those expectations is the unrealistic recipes and videos that are all over Facebook and Pinterest.
Food blogging is a business. Food bloggers rely on some tactics to get people to visit their blogs. And quick recipes is one of the best ways to drive traffic to a food site.
Just two days ago I saw a recipe for Instant Pot Beef Stroganoff, the recipe boldly stated that it will be done in 6 minutes. Yes, thats right, just 6 minutes. It said 2 minutes prep time and 4 minutes cook time. The prep time of 2 minutes included dicing of the onion, cutting of the beef, lightly sautéing, and measuring and adding the rest of the ingredients.
I consider myself a very adequate cook but even I cant do all of that in 2 minutes. In fact, I just recently made a shortcut version of a beef stew and with the beef already cubed, it took about 5 minutes to prep. That recipe for that beef stroganoff also conveniently forgot to add the time it would take to come to pressure and to release the pressure.
Also Check: How To Cook Frozen Meatballs In Instant Pot
Fabulous Instant Pot Pasta Recipes
Oh, pasta! Its an undeniable love affair for many. Whats life without a little healthy indulgence? We love the endless varieties of pasta out there from hearty and sturdy penne to delicate angel hair and linguine dishes. Here are 20 pressure cooker pasta dishes that will impress even your Italian grandmother.
Types Of Pressure Cookers In Terms Of Functionality
Some pressure cookers have single or multiple functions that offer various options.
There are two main variations of pressure cookers when it comes to their functionality, including:
Single-Purpose Pressure Cookers: They are made to deliver just one type of pressure setting. Multi-Purpose Pressure Cookers: They have various functionalities, and they can be used as rice cookers, slow cookers, steamers, and much more.
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Different Models Of Instant Pot
When it was first launched, there was just one classic model called Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1. It came with an outer pot with button controls and a display screen on the front, the 6-quart stainless steel inner pot and the special lid with steam release handle and the pressure valve.
In the last few years, the Instant Pot company has released multiple new versions and sizes. We have Duo Plus, Nova, Viva, Ultra, and Max to name a few and most of them come in 3 popular sizes 6-quart , 3-quart and 8-quart . There is even a 10-quart version for extra-large batches of cooking. You can see the full range of Instant Pot multicookers on the official website here.
Each new model came with more functions and buttons, more sophisticated display screens and finer adjustment possibilities. The makers have also made some improvements to the lid, so the steam-release handle changed to a simple knob button on later versions.
However, as confusing as all these new models may seem, they all do exactly the same thing cook food under pressure in a controlled, safe environment. In our opinion, the newer models like Ultra and Max seem much more intimidating and overwhelming with bright digits and hi-fi buttons, so we prefer to stick with the classic models. All our website recipes are cooked in a 6-quart Instant Pot Duo or Instant Pot Duo Nova.
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.
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