Which Instant Pot To Get

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What A Retailer’s Instant Pot Descriptions Won’t Tell You

Getting Started with your Instant Pot Gourmet 6qt from Costco

The “manual” button on some entry-level models is the source of so much confusion on otherwise simple, straightforward panels. Most people only know this from watching tutorials or bugging the shit out of people on Instant Pot Reddit: The manual button is the pressure cooking button. Why it’s not labeled as such, we can’t be sure. Think of it as manually inputting how long you want something to pressure cook. Telling your pot to begin pressurizing is as simple as hitting manual, then the arrows. This is the setting to use if you want to defrost something fast, and most foods don’t take longer than a few minutes at this setting.

Even if your recipe only calls for one minute of cook time, you are not about to go from frozen chicken breasts to a perfect roast with a well-done center. The act of sealing and coming to pressure feels like it takes forever , and yes, it’s fine if your Instant Pot blows steam in the process. It will automatically switch to pressure cooking when pressurization is complete and will automatically switch to warming when the timer is up.

There are also some general categorization rules that could aid in your purchase decision:

Related Video: How to make rice in an Instant Pot

Instant Pot Duo Gourmet

The Duo Gourmet is a 9-in-1 Instant Pot cooker that acts as a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, sauté pan, warmer, sous vide machine, sterilizer, oatmeal maker, and yogurt maker. A powerful Instant Pot with 15 smart cooking programs, the Duo Gourmet is supposed to reduce energy consumption and cooking times by up to 70%. This pot comes with extra accessories like mitts to protect your hands and an extra sealing ring. It also has easier sealing and steam release functions, so this is a good option; for beginners.

The Duo Gourmet Pot is compatible with the Instant Pot Air Fryer Lid, so you can add that accessory and have an air fryer in addition to the nine other functions. Only available in the 6-quart size, the Duo Gourmet is plenty large enough for pressure cooking meals for a family of four to six, but you may find the Pot has is limited space for sous vide cooking given you have to submerge sous vide bags in water completely.

If You’re Looking For A Basic Affordable Multicooker From The Top Name In The Industry The Instant Pot Duo Multi

  • Capacity: 6 quarts
  • Inner pot material: Nonstick;
  • Settings: pressure cook, sear/saute, steam, slow cook, sterilize, keep warm, ferment plus 300+ preset programs in its menu
  • Number of included recipes: 1000+ in the Chef iQ App
  • Extras: Extra sealing gasket, steam rack, steam basket, heat-resistant pad for lid

Pros: Produced tender and juicy slow cooked pork, builds pressure quickly, good browning, dishwasher-safe and metal utensil-safe stainless steel inner pot, Instant Pot app features 100s of recipes

Cons: Takes experimentation to get cooking times right, controls take some getting used to

With , the Instant Pot Duo Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker is the most popular electric multicooker on the market. It comes in three, six, and eight-quart sizes and features a stainless steel inner pot, which is found in most Instant Pots. Though overcooked food can get stuck to the pot making it hard to clean, we like that it’s dishwasher-safe and metal utensil-safe.

The Duo did okay in each of our tests, but excelled in our slow cooker test. The slow cooker pulled pork shredded effortlessly and had excellent, juicy flavor. The pressure build was quick for the pressure-cooked pulled pork, but the resulting pork was tougher and harder to shred than we would have liked. It seemed like it could have used 10 more minutes of pressure cooking.

Again, the pressure built quickly for the rice and beans, but the rice was a little too chewy and the beans were slightly overcooked .;

Also Check: What To Do If Your Instant Pot Says Burn

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

Where Do I Find Recipes For The Instant Pot

Instant Pot Viva deal: Get this upgraded pressure cooker ...

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.

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Lets Put This Thing Together

First, wash and dry the lid, gasket, and metal insert. Now youre ready.

On the back of the cooker, youll see a spot where the drip catcher goes. Slide it right in. Its made to remove easily, so you can empty it. Without the catcher, youd wind up with small puddles on your counter.

Pop the insert in the cooker. Now insert the power cord into the cookers socket. Plug it in. The digital display on the front should now read OFF. Your cooker is now in standby mode.

Slide the rubbery gasket ring under the lid; there’s a bracket where it will snap into place. The gasket helps seal the pot, allowing it to come to pressure.

Alison Conklin

On the underside of the lid is also a small metal cage. It will be round or rectangular, depending on your Instant Pot model, and it helps keep the valve from getting clogged with bits of food. Its removable so you can clean it out if necessary, but you probably won’t need to do this very often.

Alison Conklin

Look for arrows on the top of the lid and side of the cooker. Line these up to get the lid on and off. The first dozen or so times you use your IP, this whole getting-the-lid-on-and-off will feel unnatural, because your cooker is new and so are you. Itll eventually become second nature. If the cooker is plugged in, it bleeps cheerfully when you open and close it.

Next to the steam release is the pressure indicator. This is a little metal cylinder that the steam pushes up; its a manual indicator that the unit has attained pressure.

How To Choose The Right Instant Pot For You

If youre on a budget, go for the Lux model. If you want to be able to make yogurt, but dont need the fancy settings, consider the Duo.

When choosing one of the higher-end models, you should base your decision on what feature you most want to be able to use. The smart app is a great reason to choose the Smart. The center dial is a great reason to buy a model with that feature.

If you want to use it as a sous vide machine, buy the Max. If you want to use it as a canning system, also buy the Max. To be perfectly honest, its hard to go wrong no matter what model of instant pot you choose.

Ive had a Duo Plus for a long time and I love it. There could be additional features, but they arent necessary and dont stop me from cooking whatever I want.

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How To Open & Close The Lid

First Instant Pot setup skill you need to master is opening & closing the Instant Pot Lid with ease.

As shown in photo below, the black markings on the lid & pot may not be easy to spot at first.

  • Markings on lid: Close Inverted Triangle Open
  • Markings on exterior housing:;Locked Triangle Unlocked Triangle
  • Open Lid : twist counter clockwise until Inverted Triangle is aligned with the Unlocked Triangle sign, then lift the lid.
  • Close Lid : align the Inverted Triangle with the Unlocked Triangle, then twist clockwise to lock the lid.

How Instant Pots Save You Money

Instant Pot – GET STARTED

One thing we liked about instant pots is that its easy to determine a products capabilities simply from the price tag. You see, the more an instant pots price goes up, the more features and functions it has, so whenever youre shopping for one, youll never be overpaying for features you may never end up using.

While on the topic of price tags, we understand the importance of saving money with every chance you get, and thats why its important to highlight how an instant pot can actually end up saving you money, despite the fact that you do have to spend quite a few dollars in order to buy one.

One way a lot of users manage to spend a lot of money is by either ordering takeout or going to a local restaurant to get breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and at the end of the month, youll realize that quite a lot of money was spent just so you can eat.

The thing is that there are many simple recipes that a user can follow, but most will say that they lack the time necessary to cook. However, this only applies when youre talking about having to wait for 2 hours so your turkey can bake in the old fashion way.

This all changes, if you get an instant pot, since foods that would take hours to be done, will be ready in 20 to 30 minutes, allowing you to prepare food just the way you like it, in a much healthier manner, and with less cash spent.

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What Are The Size Differences

The 2 main size options for the Instant Pot brand of electric pressure cooker are 6 Qt. and 8 Qt. There are other brands with different options, but the most typical are 6 qt. and 8 qt. The 6 Qt. can easily hold a whole chicken, cook a pound of dried beans,hard boil 9-10 eggs, and cook 8 chicken breasts for shredded chicken.

The 8 Qt. is slightly larger and can cook more.

See recommendations below based on family size.

Instant Pot Lux Programmable Cooker

Uses: Pressure Cooker, Pressure Cooker, Rice Cooker, Sauté, Steamer, Cake Maker, and Warmer | Built-In programs: 12

The oldest and most basic of the Instant Pot models, you will be able to get this model for the cheapest price. The Instant Pot Lux is perfect for those who will primarily use it as a cooker and want to save money by foregoing unnecessary features. The Lux lacks some of the features of its successors , but is still a solid choice for handling everyday cooking needs as it comes with 12 built-in cooking programs. It is available in 3-quart, 5-quart, 6-quart, and 8-quart models.

Recommended Reading: How To Cook Chicken Tenders In Instant Pot

Instant Pot Duo Plus / Instant Pot Max

These models feature some extra benefits, and are the perfect Instant Pots to buy for home cooks that like to go the extra mile. The 10-in-1 Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus is a pressure cooker with all the functions of previous Duo models, and is also a sous vide. New parents will also appreciate the sterilizer function.

The Instant Pot Max features all of the above, and combines 15psi pressure cooking along with NutriBoost technology to allow for home canning.

Approximate Retail Price: £98.99 / $119.99

The Best Instant Pot for

Foodies and hobbyist home cooks

You Can Use The Instant Pot To Reheat Food For Real

Instant Pot in Singapore

I was kind of skeptical on how you could reheat food in the Instant Pot at first. I mean, if youre reheating stew or soup or something else thats okay to touch the cooking surface, I can see how it would work. But what if it was a casseroleor shredded chicken wouldnt that make a mess? Or ruin the leftovers?

Solution ;steamer insert pans. These pans fit in 5, 6 or 8 quart Instant Pot and allow you to put food inside while putting water or something else on the outside. The Instant Pot heats the water, and the water reheats your leftovers. Done!!

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With Its Hundreds Of Preset Programs And Step

  • Capacity: 6 quarts
  • Inner pot material: Nonstick;
  • Settings: pressure cook, sear/saute, steam, slow cook, sterilize, keep warm, ferment plus 300+ preset programs in its menu
  • Number of included recipes: 1000+ in the Chef iQ App
  • Extras: Extra sealing gasket, steam rack, steam basket, heat-resistant pad for lid

Pros: WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, helpful app with 1000+ interactive recipes, full-color screen with 300+ present programs, quickest to cook rice and beans, good at searing, easy to set up

Cons: Didn’t do well in our pulled pork tests

While we’ve given the Chef iQ Smart Cooker the title of best smart electric multicooker in our guide, it was the only WiFi-connected multicooker we tested this time around. However, regardless of its smart capabilities, it performed impressively.

The Chef iQ has the best screen and most precise cooking options of any of the units we tested, and it was easy to set up.;

Whereas other models have a button for beans, the full-color screen of the Chef iQ cooker offers much more detail. It has specific programs based on bean type, whether they’re soaked, and how much you’re cooking. And, the customization worked well. The Smart Cooker cooked a pound of beans 13 minutes faster than any other model, and the texture was uniformly excellent.

I followed the app’s step-by-step directions to make a whole chicken, and the recipe was accurate. Plus, the cooker browned the chicken well prior to pressure cooking it.

Is The Instant Pot Worth It

Besides the just-mentioned lead bit, people generally do consider their Instant Pots to be game-changers. If it doesn’t seem like your kind of thing, though, you’ve got options: though crock pots and pressure cookers might seem the same, they can yield entirely different results and might be more up your alley. Find some recipes utilizing those here.

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The Instant Pot Duo Is Often On Sale

The DUO is regularly on sale during major shopping days such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Prime Day. And if you stay vigilant, sometimes you can spot a deal out of the blue on any given day. Right now, for instance, . The 3- and 6-quart cookers are also on sale at Walmart:

Instant Pot DUO60 6-Quart 7-in-1 Programmable Cooker

This $27 Instant Pot Accessory Kit On Amazon Will Completely Transform Your Multi

How To Get Started With Your Instant Pot

If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link onour website, we may receive an affiliate commission.

We cant believe all the fantastic Instant Pot deals Amazon is offering right now. You can see them all . Youll find discounts up to $50 off the most popular Instant Pot models out there, and you should definitely take advantage if you need a new Instant Pot. Of course, Instant Pots are the best-selling multi-cookers on the planet, which means plenty of the people reading this already have one. Are you among the many millions of people out there who already have an Instant Pot? You might not plan on upgrading anytime soon, which makes sense since Instant Pots last forever. But theres still a terrific deal you should check out right now at Amazon. The popular Mibote 93-Piece Accessory Set for Instant Pots adds all sorts of awesome new functionality to your multi-cooker. And you can pick one up today for just $27.99!

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Our Favorite Instant Pot Roast Recipes

Who doesnt love tender, melt-in-your-mouth roast with veggies cooked in savory juices? Whether its beef, chicken or lamb, weve collated some of our favorite Instant Pot roast recipes to inspire your next family meal. Yes, you can have a Sunday pot roast on the table in less than an hour! An economic meal that feeds a crowd and still has leftovers for the workweek.

When you think of a Sunday comfort meal that gathers family, in many households a pot roast comes to mind. Succulent whole chicken or tender beef and vegetables, cooked in juices are perfect when you need something hearty and filling. Its an economic meal where you can purchase a four-pound roast or a whole bird, feed a family, and still have leftovers.

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 .

Also Check: How Long To Cook Potatoes In Instant Pot

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