Should I Buy an Instant Pot?
Having heard folks wax poetic about the Instant Pot for months, I had to see for myself what the fuss was about. I was skeptical, as I am about all things that seem too good to be true, whether it’s a fat-shrinking diet pill or miracle face cream. Rather than risk a chunk of change on an untested appliance, I borrowed a friend’s Instant Pot and put it through the paces. After three weeks of trials, my “should I buy an Instant Pot?” question was answered. Here’s my take:
The Instant Pot is pretty awesome.
And I’m not the only one who thinks so. Consider this: of the 16, 392 Instant Pot reviews on Amazon, 93 percent are 4 star and above (84 percent are 5 star). It’s frankly a bit astounding just how much it can do, effectively subbing in for seven different appliances, including:
I’ve experimented with most of the features to great success, though the pressure cooker and saute pan features are what I use most.
Should I Buy An Instant Pot? Here are the Pros
- It can be used as a saute pan and then switched over to work as a slow cooker or pressure cooker. That means no need to dirty an extra pan to brown meat or saute onions before they go into the pot. I browned chicken thighs in the Instant Pot, then added a big splash of teriyaki sauce, set the pressure cooker for 15 minutes, and dinner was done.
- I’ve never used a pressure cooker before, and it feels like a small miracle happening in my kitchen. I cooked dried black beans in minutes rather than hours. I also made a perfect coconut curry dahl in eight minutes. Eight. And it was delicious.
- It makes a tender pot of rice. A rice cooker is a new-to-me appliance and this one made terrific brown rice with no worry that I’d forget it on the stove (as I so often do).
- It can replace my slow cooker, which I had planned to replace at some point anyway.
- Though I’ve yet to try it out as a yogurt maker, I’m looking forward to experimenting with homemade yogurt.
Drawbacks on the Instant Pot:
- It’s not small. It comes in two sizes, 6 quart and an 8 quart, and will take up space in your cupboard or kitchen counter. My plan is to stow away my slow cooker and buy an Instant Pot to put in its place.
- It’s an investment (though a bit of a bargain if you consider all that it does). A 6 quart pot, the most popular size, runs about $99. You can pick up an 8 quart Instant Pot for $129.
If you are ready to bite the bullet on an Instant Pot:
Purchase a 6-quart pot here, which is good for everyday cooking for small to mid-size families (this is the size I have).
Or an 8-quart pot here, which is better for larger families, for batch cooking large volumes of food, or if you plan to use it to feed a crowd (hello potlucks!).
And once you have yours in hand, head here for Instant Pot recipe ideas.
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