Instant pots do numerous culinary duties quickly and easily, making them well worth the comparatively low price point. They can sauté, slow cook, pressure cook, bake, and even produce yogurt. But, most significantly, they save consumers a lot of time. But that’s only a taste of what the instant pot can achieve and why hundreds of thousands of people believe it’s worthwhile. Many reviews remarked that they would have survived without it, claiming that it had revolutionized their lives.
You’ve heard the acclaim, and now you’re thinking about acquiring one for yourself?
But is it truly worth it? Is an instant pot truly “life-changing?”
The instant pot is one of the first electric pressure cooker brands to hit the market in North America.
However, it is more than simply a pressure cooker. And it is a multi-cooker that can handle a wide range of culinary chores, from making yogurt to slow cooking, sautéing, and cooking rice. They also include a timer with several settings to make cooking easier.
The three primary components of an instant pot are the inner pot, the cooker base, and the lid.
Your meal will be cooked in the inner pot. The inner pot is held in place by the cooker base, and it also houses all of the electrical components and the heating element. The lid has a locking mechanism that prevents it from being opened when under pressure.
Instant pots function by applying pressure to a tight seal.
The temperature rises far above boiling point, generating steam that cannot escape. Steam cooks food far faster than conventional stovetop or oven cooking methods.
Things that used to take hours to prepare may now be done in minutes with an instant pot.
It can save cooking time by up to 70%!
Why? Because food cooks significantly more quickly when exposed to intense heat and pressure.
Instant pots may also be used to replace a variety of other kitchen equipment, and they may also be used as a slow cooker if desired. However, instant pots may also function as a rice cooker, yogurt maker, and steamer.
Fortunately, they have a wide range of models to pick from. So whether you’re cooking for one or a large family, they offer a size to suit your requirements.
But my favorite feature of the instant pot is the ability to cook directly from the freezer. It’s okay if I forget to take the roast out of the freezer, and I can put it in my instant pot.
Yes, it takes longer to cook, but at least I won’t have to sit around all day waiting for it to thaw.
They are also straightforward to use. Most recipes will instruct you on which timer setting to use and how long to set the timer for. You just have to toss the food in, close the lid, and set the temperature.
Then just set a timer and walk away. When it’s finished, it’ll turn itself off, so you don’t burn your meal. It’s that simple.
But pressure cooking isn’t all roses and sunshine.
If you want to learn about the disadvantages of pressure cooking, check out my recent post in which I discuss all of the benefits and drawbacks of pressure cooking.
What struck me the most was how utilizing them at higher elevations impacts cooking times!
The instant pot was one of the earliest electric pressure cookers in the market, so it had plenty of time to develop its design.
For typical, residential use, instant pot provides a one-year limited guarantee against faults and artistry. Aside from that, there isn’t much information available on how long instant pots are predicted to survive.
The silicone ring that lines the lid has the shortest life expectancy of any machine component, and it is subjected to the most wear and tear and is intended to be changed every couple of years.
Replacement sealing rings, fortunately, are available on Amazon for less than ten dollars.
The inside pot is made of stainless steel and will survive for a very long period, and these harsh elements indicate a lengthy predicted life expectancy.
While instant pot does not provide a projected life duration for its products, I would estimate that your instant pot would last five to 10 years. But I’ve had crock-pots survive twice as long as that, so it’s perfectly plausible that instant pots might do the same.
Both yes and no.
The instant pot is a multicooker that excels in pressure cooking, among other things, and it is, in essence, an electronic pressure cooker.
It is NOT the same as your parents’ classic stovetop pressure cooker.
Stovetop pressure cookers are far more challenging to use, and they are made of heavy-duty stainless steel, and they may also be used as a regular stockpot. They have locking lids and a red pop-up timer on the lid, similar to a turkey timer.
Pressure cookers on the stovetop are used for canning and cooking at a greater temperature and pressure than electric pressure cookers, and they are far less costly and do not perform all of the functions of an instant pot.
Pressure cookers on the stovetop are also more challenging to use.
They are ideal for more experienced chefs and not so for the average home cook.
Stovetop pressure cookers will survive far longer than electric pressure cookers since they do not have any electric or computer components.
Of course, old-school pressure cookers are notorious for several safety hazards.
However, while instant pots are safer, it doesn’t imply that they won’t create noise or pose any safety risks.
The instant pot does include a slow cooker setting.
The instant pot performs admirably when it comes to slow cooking. According to the same source, it may take somewhat longer with the instant pot, but that is the essence of slow cooking, and it moves slowly.
The shape is also important.
If you have an oval crockpot, you might not want to use the instant pot as a slow cooker. Because it isn’t oval, you won’t have as much area to cook vast quantities of meat.
The final line is that it is a matter of personal choice. If you’re running out of storage space, your instant pot can easily replace your crock-pot.
Instant pots are capable of cooking almost anything. However, they excel at cooking things that generally require a long time to prepare.
The instant pot may be used to make tough portions of meat, poultry, mashed potatoes, and even yogurt.
Also, a word of warning. It’s easy to overcook things with instant pots!
I once added brussels sprouts. The recipe called for 2 minutes of pressure cooking, and I figured they’d be too challenging, so I set it for 3 minutes.
Guess what turned out to be completely mushy? So pay attention to recipe cook times and hunt for 4.5 ratings or above recipes, preferably with hundreds of reviews.
Pulled pork is fantastic in the instant pot.
Pork shoulder or butt is a cheap cut of meat, and it usually has a good quantity of fat that would take a long time to render out. An instant pot will shorten the cooking time and provide you with wonderful taste in a short amount of time.
In addition, I enjoy preparing mashed potatoes in the instant pot.
Peel and quarter some potatoes. Fill the inner pot halfway with water and salt. Set the timer for 10 minutes and place the potatoes on the metal trivet.
It’s just as simple to defrost frozen hamburger meat.
Even though instant pots are fantastic, there are several things you should never cook in one.
Pasta is one of them.
Pasta may rapidly get overcooked, especially in an instant pot. I once attempted this with penne pasta, and I assumed it would be tough enough to withstand just a few minutes of pressure cooking, and it turned out mushy. Ew, gross!
You should also avoid using an instant pot for canning.
Canning must be done at a specific temperature. Electric pressure cookers cannot be programmed to a specific temperature, and this implies that you can’t ensure that hazardous germs will be eliminated. Canning should be reserved for use with the stovetop pressure cooker.
When cooked under pressure, cranberries, applesauce, rhubarb, and split peas splutter.
It does not preclude you from cooking with them, and it just indicates that you must exercise caution. Don’t overfill the pot, and be sure to follow the directions correctly.
Instant pots can accomplish a variety of tasks! You can even cook. Yep. In your instant pot, you can bake cakes, brownies, and even cookies. Instant pots are genuinely multi-purpose appliances, and they can slow cook, produce yogurt, and cook rice. It’s a large saute pan and steamer. Many recipes call for sautéing veggies or browning steak in the saucepan before pressure cooking your dish, and it’s a convenient method to have an authentic one-pot meal. You can use the instant pot to make soups and even drinks! The instant pot, however, isn’t only for soups and roasts. Eggs can also be hard-boiled in it.
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