Two weeks back, I started my research to decide if I really needed (or just wanted) an Instant Pot. I told my husband that I thought it would be the perfect Christmas gift for me (hint hint!). I have quite a few small kitchen appliances already, so I started to doubt if I really needed one. Let me tell you something... now that my Christmas present came early and I have already tried it, I can say for sure that if you think you want or need one, do it... you’ll love it! Here’s my first post about it: My New Favorite Kitchen Device: Instant Pot!
I rationalized that by getting an Instant Pot, I would be able to eliminate multiple items from my kitchen since it has so many features. I used to enjoy cooking in the crock pot - I’d set it up in the morning and it’d be done by dinnertime. From what I’ve read, most Instant Pots have a slow cook feature. A few models don’t specifically call it that, but if you go to the Instant Pot website and look at the Product Comparison Chart, you’ll see that most of the models that don’t have it say you can accomplish slow cooking through the custom temperature options.
Other features that many models have are the ability to sauté what you’re making right in your Instant Pot. Most have a feature that allows you to keep your food warm until you are ready for it. That comes in handy. But the one feature that seems to attract people to Instant Pot is the ability to pressure cook. If you want really tender meat, this is the way to get it, and at a fraction of the time it would typically take in your oven or slow cooker.
Different models come with a bunch of additional feature, some of which you may see yourself using. In some Instant Pots, you can sous vide (cook food in water inside of plastic bags that are possibly vacuum sealed), make your own yogurt, make cakes, eggs, sterilize, and steam. A few models even allow canning. If you want to be able to control your Instant Pot through Wi-Fi via an app, there’s a model that lets you do it. There’s even a model that lets you swap out the lid and it turns into an air fryer with a dehydrator feature.
So how do you decide which model is best for you? There’s a page on Instant Pot’s website called ”Which Instant Pot Cooker is Right for Me?” that can be helpful. They help you select the best size for your family: 3, 6, or 8 quart. Even though I’m usually just cooking for two, I like to get multiple nights meals from cooking. For that reason, I went with an 8 quart. I figure we can have what I’ve made twice in a week and then I’ll freeze what’s left, giving me an easy meal that I’ll just thaw and reheat. Then they list features and tell you which models can do each - decide which features you really want and see which models will work best for you. If you keep scrolling down, you’ll find a brief description for many of their models.
So now here’s my take now that I’ve used my Instant Pot. This thing is great! Now I understand why so many people rave about these things! They can seem a little confusing at first, but they really are easy to use. I took some time watching YouTube videos (after I ordered my pot, before it arrived) to understand how to cook with them. Here’s a list of YouTube videos on Instant Pot - this one explains how to use an Instant Pot and will help you understand them better. Here’s one more that I liked called Instant Pot 101 for Beginners.
Now let’s talk about the recipes. There are tons of them out there! If you like watching videos showing how to make things in your Instant Pot, head back to YouTube and do a search for Instant Pot recipes (I got hooked watching some of the mini videos that come up sometime on Facebook showing them). You can find over a thousand recipes just on Instant Pots website. If that’s not enough, do a Google search for Instant Pot recipes - get ready to be wowed!
My first Instant Pot pressure cooked meal was a Pot Roast with Potatoes, Carrots, and Onions. It was really good the day I made it - it was outstanding the second day after sitting overnight in the fridge (and then microwaving). The only thing I’d do differently is add some additional seasonings as it was milder than I expected (probably some onion powder, garlic powder, and a little more salt & pepper). For the tomato paste, I used Cento Tomato Paste in a tube (no waste by opening a whole can and then only using a few spoonfuls). The wine I used was Sutter Home Cabernet Sauvignon. I like to note brands so I can have recipes come out as I expect them to the next time I make them. They estimated 10 minutes of prep time - I wish I was that fast! Once the pot was pressurized, it took an hour to cook. They say an hour and a half total (prep, sauté, cooking, and resting) - it took me about 30-60 minutes longer than they estimated (I guess I’m slower at chopping things up!).
Clean up is really easy! There is a pot that fits inside of the Instant Pot that they seem to refer to as the inner pot - you take it out and wash it in the sink or in the dishwasher. Here’s Instant Pots directions for how to clean them. I don’t know if I’d trust putting the lid in the dishwasher like they suggest though, but that’s just me.
To say I’m an Instant Pot fan is an understatement! I can’t wait to try some of the recipes I’ve found. If they come out half as good as the pot roast did, I know we’ll be happy! If you’re considering getting one, I can’t imagine that you’ll regret it. They are heavy and they take up space, but if you’re as happy as I am, you’ll find room for it. Now that I have one myself, I know I’ll be ordering a few more for people as Christmas gifts!
If you have an Instant Pot, please share a recipe you’re happy with - I’ll share it in an upcoming post with everyone. I’d also love to hear your opinions about your experiences with your Instant Pot. Thanks!
My blog is https://www.leesburg4rent.com/blog - posts on Mondays and Wednesdays deal with fun things to do here in Lake County, Florida. On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, posts deal with issues for renters and landlords alike.
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