What Are All Of The Sizes That Instant Pot Offers
Instant Pot offers four sizes at the moment: 3, 5, 6, and 8-quart. However, you have to keep in mind that not every model comes in all sizes.
The 3-quart is available for the LUX, DUO, DUO Plus, and Ultra Series. There used to be a 5-quart DUO a few years ago, but thats been discontinued. However, the company has made a 5-quart LUX model thats been available for select retailers like Walmart during Black Friday sales.
The 6-quart comes in every model. This means you can get a 6-quart LUX, DUO, DUO Plus, Smart Bluetooth, Viva , Nova Plus , Ultra, and Max. Its safe to assume that if Instant Pot comes out with a new product, its of the 6-quart capacity unless otherwise stated.
The 8-quart is the largest size offered by Instant Pot and is available for the LUX, DUO, DUO Plus, and Ultra models.
An Analysis Of The Most Useful Functions On The Instant Pot And Other Multi
The Instant Pot’s ascendance has been so sudden, so swift, so far-reaching, and so utterly dominating that it’s hard to think of another kitchen product in recent history that has so thoroughly cornered the market.
Before the Instant Pot, when I tried to convince people that a pressure cooker was worth buying, their eyes would glaze over. Now that the Instant Pot has taken off so explosively, it seems nearly everyone owns a pressure cooker, even if half of them don’t seem to realize it.
And that, really, speaks to the power of the Instant Pot. People own them, people love them, and people often have no idea what they even are. So let’s set this straight: “Instant Pot” is a brand name for a multi-cooker, and a multi-cooker is basically an electric pressure cooker with a few bells and whistles thrown in for good measure.
Using Saute Function After Cooking
The Sauté function is also useful for finishing the dish after pressure cooking is done. Once the pressure has been completely released, open the lid and then press Sauté button again. Press the button again to cycle through Less or More for lower or higher temperature.
Use it for:
- Simmering the sauce or broth in the dish that needs to evaporate and reduce or thicken.
- Adding more fragile or no-cooking-required ingredients like baby spinach, fresh tomatoes, fruit, cheese, milk or cream.
- Thickening sauce with butter, cream or flour.
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Which Instant Pot To Buy
We prefer the Instant Pot Duo Nova 6 Qt. Its considered the best model for beginners and is the most popular size. And unlike the classic Duo, the Duo Nova seals automatically so you dont have to remember to seal it each time.
In comparing the various models and sizes, here are the most important factors to consider:
The Quickie Risotto Experiment
Match-up: Instant Pot vs. pressure cooker
Instant PotTotal time: 30 min
Assessment: With the Instant Pots pressure cooker function, it took 10 minutes longer than the pressure cooker to finish the risotto . The final taste and texture were very comparable, giving you a risotto with great al dente bite.
Verdict: If youre skipping a traditional stovetop risotto, the Instant Pot gets the job done .
Instant Pot Buying Guide
After going through all the instant pots on our list, you may have noticed how we kept focusing on certain aspects of their functionality during each mini-review. Well, the truth is that no matter how complex an instant pot may sound, there actually very few but very important criteria that you should look for when choosing one.
To read more about what exactly you need to look for in a cooking pot, continue reading the section below:
Make Sure Your Vent In Set To Sealing
This is key. On your lid there is a vent that looks like a lever of sorts. When starting your cook, you want this lever pointing toward “sealing” and not “venting.” Sealing means the Instant Pot is going to hold all the pressure created inside the pot, while venting is what you’ll likely do to release the pressure when the food is finished cooking.
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How To Use An Instant Pot: What You Need To Know To Get Started With Instant Pot Cooking
There are a few basic things that you need to know when using an Instant Pot electric pressure cooker. Once you use yours a few times, these will be like second nature. Depending on which Instant Pot model you own, the buttons may be labeled slightly differently. Consult the manual that came with your Instant Pot.
Minimum Liquid Required: As a general rule, you want to use at least 1 cup of liquid in your Instant Pot every time you cook with it. The Instant Pot uses steam and pressure to cook food, and you need liquid to create the steam and pressure. Some recipes may call for more or less liquid. I recommend following recipes from a trusted source while you are learning to use your Instant Pot.
Fill Level: Inside the Instant Pot inner pot, you will see a 1/2 and a 2/3 line marked. Never fill the Instant Pot higher than the 2/3 line with food or liquid . If you are cooking food that will expand during the cook time such as rice, quinoa or beans, do not fill the Instant Pot higher than the 1/2 line.
Pressure Cook or Manual Button: Depending on which Instant Pot model you own, the Pressure Cook button is sometimes labeled Manual and sometimes Pressure Cook. This is the button that you will press to start a pressure cooking cycle. Its your basic pressure cooking button.
+/- Buttons: Use these buttons to adjust the cook time.
Keep Warm/Cancel Button: Use this button to end a cooking program or turn on/off the keep warm function.
What Else Can The Instant Pot Do
I really should ask what cant it do since it has so many uses!
Because of its special microprocessor design, you can use the Instant Pot to prepare the food you normally prepare in other appliances, just to name a few:
- pressure cooker
- yogurt maker
Rice, especially brown and wild rice varieties, come out more tender in the Instant Pot, and you save about half the cooking time and up to 30% of the energy.
In place of a slow cooker, the Instant Pot uses high heat, which not only cooks meals faster, but is more effective at detoxifying food than slow cookers and more energy efficient with no steam escaping! I find the food is actually more flavorful than food prepared in slow cookers.
Instead of using a steamer to cook vegetables or fish, keep in mind that Instant Pots fully sealed cooking environment means no steam escapes . You only need a small amount of water and the steam time is normally two minutes or less. You can confidently prepare so many meals using the Instant Pot, like beef stew, mushroom chicken, barbecued ribs, steamed fish, lentils and other bean dishes.
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Instant Pot Parts And Accessories
The first thing youll want to do is wash the parts of your Instant Pot. The Instant Pot lid, steam release valve and stainless steel inner pot are dishwasher safe however, I wash mine by hand. The base unit is not dishwasher safe never immerse the base unit in water.
Instant Pot Duo Crisp
The next entry on our list is a fan-favorite, especially if you have a soft spot for fried and crispy foods, and its called the Instant Pot Duo Crisp.
Without going into technical details, the Instant Pot Duo Crisp is the newest Instant Pot Duo model, and its just like your typical Instant Pot Duo, but with an additional multi-level air fryer basket that allows it to be both a pressure cooker and an air fryer.
Not only that, but it also comes with and dehydrating and broiling tray designed to provide the inside of the pot with optimal airflow, which is the key to cooking foods that are juicy on the inside, yet crispy on the outside.
Because of the additional air frying attachments, the number of appliances that this Instant Pot can replace is 11, but you dont need to worry about not knowing what to choose and how to choose the programs since the Instant Pot Duo Crisp comes with the same standard 1-Touch cooking programs that made the Instant Pot so sought-after.
Thanks to these settings, the Instant Pot Duo Crisp pressure cooks, sautés, steams, slow cooks, sousvides, warms, air fries, roasts, bakes, broils, and dehydrates, all with the push of a button and without having to wait all that long.
You dont need to worry about potential health hazards during the cooking process either, since the Duo Crisp was designed with every possible safety feature possible .
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Instant Pot Slow Cook Setting
The Slow Cook is a non-pressure cooking setting that is compatible for use with any common slow cooker/Crockpot recipe. The pot is heated but is not pressurized and the Less, Normal and More modes correspond to Low, Medium and High slow cooker settings but you will need to adjust the time manually.
You might want to use this setting for making dishes ahead of time while youre away from home or overnight. There are times when slow-cooking might work better for certain recipes than quicker pressure cooking. Below are the steps for how to use the Slow Cook setting on Instant Pot.
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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Pros Of An Instant Pot
- Easy for beginners not as intimidating as a traditional pressure cooker.
- Powered by a sophisticated microprocessor that monitors and adjusts pressure, temperature, time, and heat.
- Cooks food up to 70% faster than other methods and deliver consistent, delicious results every time.
- 10+ safety features with UL certification let you set it and forget it.
- Convenient one-touch control of 13 programs can be customized to remember the way you like to cook
- Smart Lid automatically seals your Instant Pot. Steam release is also a breeze with a fast, safe push of the quick release button.
Read more about why you should buy an Instant Pot and which model is right for you.
Best Time To Buy An Instant Pot
Looking for a deal before you commit to buying an Instant Pot? Start looking around the holidays, as Instant Pot deals are very common for Black Friday, Christmas, Memorial Day, and similar times. You may even find some deals around the Super Bowl and other special times when families are more likely to be looking for cooking solutions.
Other discounts may happen more randomly. For example, Amazon recently discounted all of its Instant Pot models soon after July 4, 2020, possibly so the brand could get rid of excess supplies or meet behind-the-scenes goals. Here you can check the best Black Friday Instant Pot deals we found so that you can leverage Black Friday sales.
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Instant Pot Main Dish Recipes
Instant Pot Pot Roast:
Rebecca at Sugar & Soul creates a fast and delicious Instant Pot Pot Roast. A homestyle dinner recipe thats ready in about an hour. Loaded with carrot, potatoes, celery!
Instant Pot Chicken and Noodles:
This is a great Instant Pot recipe for Chicken Noodles from Recipes that Crock! This Electric Pressure Cooker Chicken Noodles Recipe is so easy to throw together and has old fashioned comfort food flavor ready in minutes!
Instant Pot Ribs:
Tastes of Lizzy T has the most tender and delicious Instant Pot Ribs youll ever sink your teeth into !
Skinny Mongolian Beef:
Craving takeout? You can whip up this Skinny Mongolian Beef from Sweet Cs in just minutes! To make it even better, its paleo/whole 30 diet compliant!
Instant Pot Lasagna:
The perfect hearty full meal in the instant pot! It is classic comfort food in half the time!
First What Is An Instant Pot
Before diving into all the models, let us explain how an Instant Pot actually works. The Instant Pot is a multicooker appliance that can perform the functions of a variety of appliances in one tool. Every Instant Pot model can slow cook, pressure cook, keep your food warm and sauté, and all models can effectively cook rice, meat and soups. No matter which model you pick, you’ll get a pressure cooker that will help you prepare dishes in a fraction of the time it would take using traditional methods.
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How To Use Your Instant Pot: Everything You’ve Wanted To Know
It’s not just a supercharged pressure cooker — it’s a way of life.
Like a microwave or an electric kettle, the Instant Pot has become a kitchen staple. This versatile pressure cooker replaces so many countertop appliances, from rice makers to slow cookers. It’s introduced a new generation to pressure cooking, and shown us just how quickly it can cook a healthy meal.
Whether you’re a new Instant Pot owner or it’s long been stored away in a cabinet, this guide is for you. A longtime Instant Pot owner myself, I’ll guide you through the basics, including explaining those strange buttons and some basic recipes.
To kick things off, let’s walk through Instapot basics. Even if you’ve owned yours for a while, there’s something here for you, too. Let’s get started.
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Instant Pot Soup Recipes
Creamy Tomato Soup:
My friend Jenn over at Peas and Crayons makes the most delicious food including this amazing Creamy Tomato Soup.
Instant Pot Chicken Zoodle Soup:
Diethood has a lovely and healthy bowl of Chicken Zoodle Soup prepared in your instant pot in about 20 minutes!
Instant Pot Skinny Steak Soup:
Only 3 weight watchers points for a hearty, warm, and comforting bowl of Skinny Steak Soup found on Sweet Cs!
4-Ingredient Instant Pot Chicken Chile Verde:
Simple and delicious, you only need four ingredients and a pressure cooker to make this easy chicken chile verde. It is a weeknight dinner favorite from Two Peas & Their Pod!
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How I Use My Instant Pot
I mostly use my Instant Pot as an electric pressure cooker and slow cooker. Sometimes I use it to sauté or warm food, depending on the recipe, and occasionally I use it as a rice cooker. These are the functions that best fit with my lifestyle and the foods I cook on a regular basis. The appliance can also can be used to make yogurt, but I havent attempted that yet.
This single appliance has made cooking faster and more convenient. I love that I can cook steel-cut oats for breakfast in a fraction of the time it would take on the stovetop, make rice to go with a last-minute stir-fry is in minutes, and slow-cook a stew. In fact, its even taken the place of my slow cooker, which has since been moved out of the kitchen.
At some point, during the course of eight months, without realizing it was happening, I completely fell in love with my Instant Pot. Yes, the very one I was so skeptical about in the beginning. I now understand all the praise and rave reviews I read months ago, and I feel the very same way myself.