Is The Instant Pot Worth It
If youre a fan of set-it-and-forget-it hands off cooking, then the Instant Pot is as good as it gets. Its smart cooking features can handle anything you can throw in it from meat, grains, and veggies even from frozen!
Sure, a slow cooker is similar, but with the pressure cooker ability of the Instant Pot, cooking times are much shorter.
Which Is Better: A Stainless Steel Or Nonstick Inner Pot
This is a matter of personal preference. All of the Instant Pots we tested featured stainless steel inner pots, while all of the other brands had nonstick. Stainless steel inner pots are great because they are dishwasher safe, heat evenly, and you can use metal utensils in them without fear of scratching the nonstick surface. On the other hand, it’s harder to remove stuck-on debris from stainless steel.
Nonstick inner pots are great because your food is less likely to stick to the inside, and thus, it’s easier to clean. Though it varies by brand, many nonstick pots are also dishwasher safe, but we recommend washing by hand to increase the longevity of the nonstick coating. The biggest negatives with nonstick pots are that they don’t heat as evenly as stainless steel, and metal utensils can scratch them. We did not find there was a difference in cooking times or quality based on pot type.
What Are The Best Instant Pot Accessories
The best Instant Pot accessories are items that will make your pot perform better and help your recipes come out tastier. But you also want additions that make cooking easier. Overall, when it comes to top-rated accessories, a good steamer basket is extremely important. While the Instant Pot comes with a trivet or steaming rack, its a good idea to get a larger and better one. For many recipes like steamed veggies, most chicken recipes, eggs, and potatoes you dont want your ingredients touching the water at the bottom. A larger steam basket allows you to expand your instant cooking repertoire without sacrificing the flavor of the food .
A glass lid is another smart accessory for your pot. Standard lids obscure your view of the food thats cooking. With a glass lid, when you slow cook or sauté, you can see inside of the pot without uncovering your food .
Baking accessories are another must for your Instant Pot, especially if you enjoy sweets. For example, a good springform pan or cupcake liners that fit into your pot make cooking and cleanup simpler. With the right baking accessories, you can easily follow recipes for cheesecake, brownies, lava cakes, and more.
Read Also: Instant Pot Pork Ribs Frozen
Top 10 Best Air Fryer Lid For 8 Qt Instant Pot In 2021
as of December 11, 2021 6:43 pm
- 11-IN-1 FUNCTIONALITY: Air fry, roast, bake, dehydrate, pressure cook, slow cook, rice cooker, yogurt maker, steamer, sauté pan, yogurt maker, sterilizer and food warmer.
- THE INSTANT POT THAT AIR FRIES: From the makers of the best-selling Duo series comes a pressure cooker and air fryer combo, with 2 convenient removable lids.
- EVENCRISP TECHNOLOGY: The included air fryer lid delivers all the crunch and tenderness of deep-frying with 95% less oil.
- QUICK ONE-TOUCH COOKING: 11 customizable Smart Programs for air frying, pressure cooking ribs, soups, beans, rice, poultry, yogurt, desserts and more. Temperature : Customizable temperature range of 105 degrees Fahrenheit to 400 degrees Fahrenheit for Air Frying Lid
- VERSATILE INNER COOKING POT: Food-grade stainless-steel cooking pot with a tri-ply bottom offers more even cooking and an anti-spin design that secures the pot for perfect sautéing.
Test : User Experience
Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik
The test: In reading reviews from Instant Pot users, a common user experience complaint is fear about the steam released when venting the pressure cooker. To find the least scary option, I added 3 cups of water to each pot, sealed the lid, and selected the pressure cook option for 5 minutes. Once the cooking ended, I released the pressure and waited for the float valve to drop before opening the lid.
Another common frustration is about how the inner pot spins uncontrollably while sautéing. I took note of this behavior while searing the meat and sautéing the onions for the chili test mentioned above.
Intuitive design is also a heavy hitter in affecting user experience. The control panels on each model vary some use buttons while others have dials for navigating options. Each model gives information about whats happening inside the pot through different status indicators.
Ease of cleaning, of course, is also important.
All of the pots spun while I was searing and sautéing except for one: the Duo Pro. I tested this pot both on the stovetop and in the machine and it was stable in both methods.
My conclusion: The Duo Pro was the easiest to navigate, and the steam release felt safe and simple. The upgraded inner pot that doesnt spin when stirring and can be used on the stovetop is a true value-add.
You May Like: How To Cook Tuna Steak In Instant Pot
Instant Pots Vs Ninja Foodi
Instant Pot and Ninja Foodi are two of the biggest names in the multi-cooker world and are regularly compared to see which is best. Both brands create a wide number of appliances including everything from air fryers to blenders.
As you might expect, the larger and more feature-heavy appliances from Instant Pot and Ninja Foodi are more expensive, but generally speaking, Ninja models are normally more expensive in general.
Its also worth comparing how easy these machines are to clean. Ninja Foodi machines feature a cooking pot with a non-stick coating so you shouldnt need to scrub for hours to get rid of any food. Instant Pots have stainless steel pots but both of the brands pots can be placed in a dishwasher.
Weve compared these brands in detail, to find out which came out on top, read our Ninja Foodi vs Instant Pot feature.
How Much Should I Spend On A Instant Pot Beef Stew Recipe
Ideally, a instant pot beef stew recipe is going to live with you for years. Paying more for your product will reward you every time you fast open the lid with increased your speed, better quality accuracy and a sweet view. Again, the average cost of a new instant pot beef stew recipe is between $$ and $$$. Sure, you get out on some luxury features.
Also Check: Cooking Frozen Meat In Instant Pot
The Best Value Instant Pot: Instant Pot Duo60 6
Think of the Instant Pot DUO60 as the perfect entry-level model. It has one more function than the LUX Mini, and its 6-quart size is the standard in the Instant Pot market. Plus, its not as complicated as other models, making it easier to navigate. This design monitors pressure, temperature and cooking time, and constantly adjusts the levels of heat so that you can have the best possible result, and unlike the LUX, it can easily go back and forth from low pressure cooking to high. For the size and functionality of the DUO60, the $79 price tag is relatively small, making it one of the best value Instant Pots.
Best Instant Pot For A Family Of Four: Instant Pot Ultra 6
Why we picked the Instant Pot Ultra 6-quart:
The Instant Pot Ultra electric pressure cooker covers just about anything you might want to do in the kitchen. It has 10 main functions: Pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice/porridge cooker, yogurt maker, cake maker, egg cooker, sauté/searing, steamer, warmer, and sterilizer. That means you can have just one appliance take the place of several. Its also intuitive, with a central dial that makes it easy to select different programs, adjust times, and more.
The Instant Pot Ultra 6-quart also features an embedded microprocessor, which helps to monitor the pressure and temperature while adjusting the intensity accordingly, helping to ensure perfectly cooked food every time. Plus, the pressure cooker offers 11 safety features, including a new steam release reset button that makes it safer for users to handle the appliance. The midsize 6 quarts is perfect for a family of four, but you can also choose the 3-quart or 8-quart option.
You May Like: How To Boil Eggs In Colorado
Yedi Total Package Pressure Cooker
The Yedi Total Package Pressure Cooker holds up to 8 quarts of food and boasts 15 instant-touch cooking programs, making it an awesome weeknight dinner option for families.
It also combines nine kitchen appliances into a single device, enabling you to make yogurt and cakes, cook rice, keep food warm, and pressure cook, slow cook, steam, pasteurize, and sauté ingredients.
Whats more, it includes a recipe book, cheat sheets for using the product, and a variety of accessories, including egg racks, a rice paddle, cooking mitts, a steamer basket, a measuring cup, and a ladle.
However, its relatively expensive, and, because its very large and sturdy, those with less counter space may prefer a more compact or portable instant pot.
This smart cooker from Chef iQ is jam-packed with features and functions fit for tech-lovers.
In fact, its equipped with Bluetooth and WiFi and can connect to the Chef iQ app, which includes hundreds of recipes and preset cooking programs and allows you to control your instant pot using your smartphone.
You can use this high end instant pot to pressure cook, sear, sauté, steam, slow cook, and ferment foods.
It can also hold up to 6 quarts and includes a built-in smart scale, which weighs the ingredients that you add to your instant pot and calculates exactly how much liquid is needed.
Nevertheless, it comes with a higher price tag than most other instant pots, and consumers who arent tech-savvy may find it difficult to use.
Can An Instant Pot Be Used For Canning
We currently have one Instant Pot model that is capable of pressure canning. The 6-quart Instant Pot Max is rated at 15 PSI. Pressure canning is for low-acid foods, like vegetables and meats, and requires a minimum 15 PSI, says Stefanie Daichendt, influencer relations manager at Instant Brands. All other Instant Pots are rated up to 12 PSI. This means that they do not reach the appropriate pressure for safe canning. It is possible to do water boil canning in our other Instant Pots. For water boiling in the Instant Pot, we would recommend using the ‘slow cook’ function on the ‘more’ setting, as this will ensure that the water in the pot remains at a steady boil between 200 and 210 degrees Fahrenheit. It is also important to follow the USDA guidelines when canning in an Instant Pot.
Don’t Miss: What Does Manual Mean On Instant Pot
Best Instant Pot For A Single Person Or Couple: Instant Pot Duo Mini
Why we picked the Instant Pot Duo Mini:
For single people, roommates looking to save cash on takeout, or couples looking to cut down on cooking time, the Instant Pot Duo Mini is a great place to start.
The small size also makes it an ideal option for college dorm rooms, camping trips, and even boating excursions. But you still can cook a decent amount of food in this appliance. Soup, stew, broth, yogurt, risotto, potato dishes, and fall-off-the-bone meats are all fair game, albeit in smaller doses.
With the Instant Pot Duo Mini youll receive a bundle of accessories with your pressure cooker, including a rice measuring cup, stainless steel steam rack, soup spoon, and recipe booklet. If you want a larger version of the Instant Pot Duo, it also comes in 6-quart and 8-quart options.
Check out our full review of the 6-quart Instant Pot Duo here.
What’s The Difference Between Quick Release And Natural Release
Quick release and natural release are the two main ways to release steam from your electric pressure cooker once you’re done cooking. Quick release involves moving the steam release valve to vent to instantly allow the steam to escape. Once the pin near the valve drops, the pressure has been released, and it’s safe to remove the lid.
With natural release, you don’t release the steam immediately. Instead, you allow the pressure to decrease on its own. Again, you can open the lid once the pin drop indicates that the pressure is at a safe level. Many recipes call for a 10-minute natural release followed by a quick release. In general, we recommend following the recipe you’re using for best results, though, as you get more experienced with the quirks of your cooker, you may want to make slight adjustments.
There’s a third, less-common release method known as a pulse or controlled release. This involves releasing the pressure in short bursts by opening and closing the vent.
However you choose to release the steam, be careful! We recommend using a nice long wooden spoon to trigger the release mechanism so you’re far from the steam when it’s released. Also, never stand over the multicooker when releasing the steam. Releasing the steam is probably the most dangerous part of using an electric pressure cooker.
Also Check: Tamale Instant Pot
The Best Instant Pot For Techies: Instant Pot Smart Wi
The rest of your home has smart capabilities, so why shouldnt your Instant Pot? This advanced iteration can be synced with your Amazon Alexa for complete hands-free control of your cooking. For those who dont have an Alexa device, the Instant Pot can also be controlled via the Instant Pot app. When you need inspiration on what to make, the app will showcase over 1,000 programmed scripted recipes, and once youve landed on a meal, the device will send alerts to your mobile device. Pretty genius, right?
What About Other Instant Pot Models
Instant Pot has released many new models of electric pressure cookers since we first started testing them, and it can be tricky to figure out exactly what youre giving up or getting from one to the next.
In general, if you can find another model on sale for a better deal than whichever of our picks is nearest in price, we think most of them will serve you well. The only versions with significant downsides other than price are the Lux, which lacks a low pressure setting and a handle on the lid, and the Duo Crisp, which comes with an additional air-fryer lid that takes up a lot of extra space without adding a lot of extra functionality. .
You can find more details about each of the models weve tested below, in the Competition section. Weve also created a handy table that lists more models side by side.
Read Also: What’s A Natural Release On Instant Pot
They Are Convenient Tools
Because they are all in one appliance, you can prepare for just about anything with them. With many advantages, such as precise timer, multiple cooking presets, and dishwasher safe accessories, they have made cooking far easier and faster. Thanks to these futuristic machines, healthy, homecook food has become fast food, right in your own home.
What Can You Make In The Instant Pot
The real question is: what cant you make?You can pretty much cook anything that you can think of, whether its steaming, roasting, slow cooking or canning. Many recipes are adaptable to the Instant Pot, even if they take a bit of trial and error. If youre an experimental cook, this pressure cooker will be one adventure after another. Here are some common recipes that can easily be made in this pressure cooker, and a few additional functions:
You May Like: How To Steam Kale In Instant Pot
Versatility And Special Features
What sets different models of Instant Pots apart from each other is the different features that they offer. While some Instant Pots just offer basic pressure cooker and saute functionality, others have modes for making specific foods or various cooking options, such as steaming. Other features include delayed cooking, keep warm settings, temperature controls, Alexa compatibility, remote cooking capabilities, high-altitude adjustments, sterilize features, air frying, and sous vide.
Clearly, there is no shortage of special features that this appliance can offer, so definitely prioritize which features are important to you and look for a model that offers them. Theres no need to buy an appliance that offers a laundry list of features if youre only looking to do basic pressure and slow cooking.
How Do You Clean An Instant Pot
The good news is that most Instant Pots have dishwasher-safe components. At the least, the stainless steel cooking pot and the silicone ring are dishwasher safe. On many models, the entire lid is dishwasher safe. The lid has a few removable parts that should be removed and cleaned, but the process for that is different depending on the model, so its best to check the user manual to see what parts are removable and how to clean them.
They Help Conserve Energy
According to the Instant Pots manufacturers, their products normally consume 70% less energy than many other programmable cookers. The specific savings will obviously depend on how efficient or inefficient your old appliances were. But one way or another, that translates to less money spent on utility bills.
The Best Instant Pots For 2021
With an Instant Pot, cooking meals is faster and easier. You can create quick recipes for everything from shredded chicken to dessert with less time and effort.
Our pick for the best Instant Pot is the tried-and-true Instant Pot Duo 80. The Duo 80 is large enough to fit a whole chicken or roast, yet versatile enough to cook everything from cheesecake to chili. If the Duo 80 isnt for you, weve also picked our best Instant Pot models to choose for an individual, a family of four, a large family, and for those on a budget.
If youre looking to snag a discount, you also can check out our list of the best Instant Pot deals available today.
Don’t Miss: How To Cook Tuna Steak In Instant Pot