Here is my honest review of the Instant Pot. I've had my instant pot for almost a year and I've already gotten so much use out of it. I would say I use my instant pot 2-3 times a week. In this post I'm going to be going over the pros and cons of cooking with an instants pot; and some of my favorite things about my 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 your grandma’s stove-top pressure cooker! I had never heard of the instant pot before my boyfriend bought it for me for my birthday last year, but now I can’t say enough good things about it. You‘ll find that you can get instant pots in a variety of shapes and sizes. More recently they've come out with other similar products as well. Instant Pot makes air fryers, blenders, air fryer lids that go on your instant pot and lots of other Instant Pot accessories. My Instant Pot is a 6 quart and the model is an IP-lux. You can also buy 8 quart instant pots which I feel like are more common. They‘re are also a few more settings on the bigger instant pots which is a bonus that come with also having the extra cooking space. However being as I am usually cooking for 2-4 people the 6 quart is plenty big for me.
What I love about my Instant Pot
Makes cooking easier and faster
Being as the Instant Pot is a pressure cooker it cooks food remarkably faster then just using your stove top. A lot of people have fallen in love with the instant pot; this makes it very easy to find almost any recipe for it online. I will say though sometimes the cook time can be deceiving. Even though the instant pot definitely makes cooking faster, sometimes cooking isn't quite as fast as people make it out to be. The instant pot takes time to build up pressure before cooking and then it takes time to release the pressure after. You'll want to allow for a few extra minutes of cook time (5-10 depending on what you're cooking).
Saves stove top space
Since the Instant Pot takes up counter space instead of stove top space that frees up the stove for cooking other dishes. This comes in handy if you’re cooking for a bigger group. Lots of times when I’m cooking Indian or Asian dishes I’ll use my instant pot to cook the rice while cooking a sauce and (or) meat in a pan on the stove. A down side to the instant pot being a pressure cooker is it cooks with steam. Therefore at some point while cooking you need to release that steam and you're going to want a spot with plenty of space above (that means no cupboards over head). Unless you have an island in your kitchen you might have trouble finding a suitable place to put it.
You can walk away and leave it
Another nice perk that comes with using an instant pot is no constant stirring. I hardly ever have trouble with things sticking to the bottom of pot. You can add in your ingredients set your cook time and walk away. Once whatever you're cooking is done the instant pot will beep, going into a keep warm setting, and start releasing pressure naturally.
Cleanup is Easy
One of the best parts about the instant pot for me is the fast and easy cleanup. Sometimes cooking a delicious homemade meal can create so many dishes, but as you'll find with any one pot meal, cleanup is a breeze. The fact that you can remove the stainless steel cooking pot is so handy.
My favorite settings
Before getting into some of my favorite settings I just want to point out there's no need to feel over whelmed by all the buttons and fancy settings; You can get away with cooking a lot using only the manual setting. But here are some of the settings I have found to be very useful.
I love to use the saute button on my instant pot. It essentially allows you to cook as you would with a normal pot or pan on a stove top. This works amazing for sauteing vegetables and spices before adding in liquid for a soup. It allows you to get a nice toast or sear to things while also bringing out more flavors.
Makes perfect rice
In all honesty I was never very good at cooking rice to begin with. The rice always ended up sticking to the pot or being too soggy. And no matter how much or little water I added or how many tricks I tried I could never get it quite right. This was of course before I started making it in my instant pot. I have never messed up rice in the instant pot. It takes ruffly 10 minutes for me to cook perfect rice with my instant pot. I've heard a lot of people talk about how much they love the rice from the instant pot, but I'm the kind of person who has to try it myself before I believe just anything. Now I'm surprised to be one of those people. The rice from the instant pot is some of the best rice I've ever had. It always comes out very moist and fluffy.
I only just recently started using the egg setting on my instant pot, but I wish I would have started sooner. The egg setting works great for making hard boiled eggs that are easy to peel. The recipe I follow only takes about 10 minutes.
Substitutes for a crock pot
With the slow cook setting my instant pot works as my crock pot. It gives me more options for cooking and since my instant pot is always out on my counter I've found that I never use my crock pot anymore.