Over the last few years, I’ve trying to simplify and reduce the tools and appliances in our kitchen and only keeping the ones we use often. One of the appliances that has recently earned its place on the list is the Instant Pot.
What is an Instant Pot?
In short, it is an electric, programmable, pressure cooker with a lot of extra functionality. It definitely isn’t our grandparent’s stove-top pressure cooker!
Although I’ve only had the Instant Pot for a short while, I haven’t tried all of the uses for it yet. I’ve used it mostly as a basic pressure cooker and I now make many of my slow-cooker recipes in the Instant Pot instead. I found a great recipe here for cooking a whole chicken in 30 minutes!
Instant Pot advertises that it is a single kitchen appliance that does the work of seven kitchen gadgets, including a rice-cooker, yogurt-maker, steamer and pressure cooker. In essence, it is a fancy electric pressure cooker but it does this job exceptionally well.
Pros and Cons of Instant Pot
The Instant Pot met my criteria of being multiple use so I decided to give it a try. It has quickly become one of my favorite kitchen tools and I use it often.
Multi-Use: As a multi-use gadget, it could conceivably replace a slow-cooker, rice-cooker, sauté-pan, and steamer. I’ve even had friends tell me that they now use the Instant Pot so often that they rarely use their stove and oven. I certainly can’t see the Instant Pot replacing my oven and stove, but it definitely could if I ever needed it to if one of those appliances broke.
Replace the Slow Cooker: The Instant Pot has largely replaced our slow-cooker and I’m considering even getting rid of the Crockpot completely since the Instant Pot works more quickly and often provides better results. I could see an electric pressure cooker like this one being especially helpful for anyone with a small kitchen as it could replace several other kitchen appliances.
Time Saving: This is perhaps the biggest benefit I noticed right away with the Instant Pot. It can cook a slow-cooker recipe that takes 6-8 hours in just an hour and I can even prepare a roast for dinner in about 40 minutes. This is tremendously helpful on days that we aren’t home during the day and I need to prepare a meal quickly at night (or days that I forget to defrost food until the afternoon or to put food in the slow-cooker in the morning).
Programmable: This is one advantage of the Instant Pot over regular pressure cookers and most slow-cookers. Since it cooks so quickly, I sometimes don’t need to start cooking a recipe as soon as I put it in the Instant Pot but I want to have it ready to go. The Instant Pot lets you program up to 24-hours in advance and has quite a few options pre-programmed for easy use.
Instant Pot: The Cons
Learning Curve: I’ve always been a little terrified of pressure cookers, and while the Instant Pot seems easier to use than many pressure-cookers, it is a new style of cooking with a little bit of a learning curve. It only took me a couple of uses to get comfortable using it, but I’d recommend reading the (short) instruction manual first before using the first time. It definitely didn’t feel intuitive the first couple of times I used the Instant Pot, but it was easy to learn.
Safety: The Instant Pot is much safer than most other types of pressure cookers but it is still a pressure cooker and can release steam and cause severe burns if miss-used. I’ve never had trouble with ours and wasn’t able to find any cases of someone being harmed while using it correctly, but I am still very careful using it. I make sure it is in a sturdy place in the corner/back of the counter.
I’m still pretty new to the Instant Pot but have been using it often because it is so simple to use. I’ve been searching recipes on Pinterest and have found quite a few. If you have any recipes you would like to share, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will feature it on our Facebook page!The Agent Insurance Services | (330) 758-3339