The Instant Pot has taken the cooking world by storm since its release a few years ago. It was all over food blogs, cooking shows, magazines, and one of the most ordered and reviewed item on Amazon. Celebrity chefs, home cooks, and regular people who only know the basics of cooking, swear by it. But is the Instant Pot really worth all the hype that surrounds it?
For starters, Instant Pot is the amalgamation of a rice cooker, slow cooker, pressure cooker, etc. in a single appliance. It is a multi-cooker that has up to 7 settings ranging from meat stew to bean and chili and even yogurt depending on the model you get.
Why use instant pot?
The Instant Pot may sound too good to be true, but it actually does the job. The manual might be tiresome to go through, but it gets a lot better once you get the hang of it. It is straightforward and easy to use, saves a lot of time, saves space, and has a ton of functionality for a single appliance.
Favorite things to make in an Instant Pot
As mentioned above, the Instant Pot can be used to cook a variety of dishes. Recipes are not hard to find either, you can literally find hundreds of them in magazines and online. Below are some great gastronomic treats you can make in an Instant Pot.
- Chicken Noodle Soup – There’s perhaps nothing more comforting than a bowl of chicken noodle soup. Using the Instant Pot sauté setting, you can make this delightful dish in just around 1 hour.
- Instant Pot Chili – Another crowd favorite. Chili is an all-time classic but the amount of stirring and standing over the stove it requires just doesn’t appeal to everyone. Just prep your beans, ground meat, and other ingredients, and you will have your Chili in no time.
- Mac and Cheese – Mac and Cheese have always been a lifesaver, especially for the lazy weeknights. Instant Pot mac and cheese is literally dumping all the ingredients together, and a few button presses later, your dinner is ready.
- Roast and Potatoes – Tenderizing the meat for a roast usually takes hours. Thankfully, the Instant Pot can do this in just an hour or two depending on the size of the meat. You can even sear the meat on it.
- Chicken Wings – Who doesn’t love chicken wings? Crispy and tender chicken wings, glazed with your favorite buffalo sauce or Korean style sauce, you wouldn’t dare resist.
- Yogurt – Probably one of the more bizarre function of the Instant Pot is the yogurt setting. But with the proper recipe and maybe a bit of patience, you will totally take advantage of this function.
Pros and Cons
Just like any other appliance out there, the Instant Pot comes with its pros and cons too.
- Faster Cooking Time – Given its name, “Instant” Pot, it generally saves a lot of cooking time especially the Pressure Cook function that would usually take hours with the conventional method.
- Tons of Recipes – You will never run out of great recipes, just like the ones mentioned above to make in your Instant Pot.
- Saves Energy – Technically speaking, the lower cooking time needed means lower energy consumption compared to slow cookers.
- Retains Smell – One particular complain about the Instant Pot is that the rubber seal on the lid retains the smell of whatever strong herbs or spices you used on the previous dish. Although it doesn’t affect the taste, it can still be bothering for some. Washing them in the dishwasher is said to remove the smell however.
- Not Ideal for Everything – The Instant Pot can be great for a lot of things but using the stove can be faster and more efficient for certain things like boiling your potatoes and eggs. Vegetable and Rice in particular are also said to have a less appealing texture when cooked in an Instant Pot.
- Requires Time to Familiarize – It may have a ton of uses but it also takes time to fully get used to it and manual that comes with it usually doesn’t answer some of the questions users have. However, there are a lot of instructional videos and blogs on the web to help you figure things out.