From its launch I just found myself drawn to the instant pot. After a continuous stream of posts with the tagline instapot-everything on social media, my curiosity deepened. I decommissioned my slow cooker and made room for what is now my favorite household appliance. With a combination of 7 in 1 appliance, the instapot is a dream come true and makes healthy eating simple. Vegetables cook to perfection in minutes and perfectly hardboiled eggs in under 5 minutes changed my life. This kitchen gadget is functional, simple to use and cleans easily.
What is an instant pot?
An instapot is a 7-in-1 gadget that works as a sauté pan, slow cooker, rice cooker, pressure cooker, steamer, warmer, and a yoghurt maker. While all these features sounded wonderful to me, the part about the pressure cooker made me a bit nervous. However, my fears were quelled once I found out that the gadget has 10 safety mechanisms and if operated correctly, does not pose any safety concerns.
The instapot uses steam to build pressure hence the need for at least one cup of liquid in your pot. In addition, it is important to ensure that the lid is secure and before cooking ensure that the steam release handle is pointing to the position where the lid is sealed. Lastly, you should never, ever open your instapot until the cooking cycle is complete and the pressure has been released.
A new instapot comes equipped with a stainless-steel steam rack with a measuring cup, soupspoon, rice paddle, and a handle. The steam rack keeps water out of your food. The steam rack also holds non-liquid food above the water level.
Manual and Pressure: Manual button means that you can designate the time you want the food to cook. Other buttons indicate a predetermined amount of time. Begin by pressing the manual button then the “pressure” key to choose high or low pressure. Press the tier button and use the “+” or “-” to input cooking time. The cooking time does not begin until the pot has come to pressure so ensure you add around 10 minutes to the actual cooking time.
Slow Cook: It functions like other slow cookers however, less=warm, normal=low and more=high. It defaults to normal after 4 hours.
Adjust: This button allows you to switch between less, normal and more to adjust the temperature.
Sauté: The lid should be off for this feature. Press more for increased heat or less for simmer.
Keep Warm/Cancel: This button will cancel any feature on the pot as well as keep food warm at 167 ° by pressing more or at 133° by pressing less.
Steam: Use the steam rack with this function to prevent direct contact of the food with the bottom of the pot.
Soup: Utilizes high pressure for 30 minutes and adjusts to 40 by pressing more or 20 minutes by pressing less.
Rice: It is automatic and 1:2. is the required ratio for rice to liquid.
Multigrain, Bean/Chili. Poultry, Porridge, Meat/Stew: These buttons are pre-set to cook food for a specific time.
Are you ready to cook?
If you have not bought an instapot yet, there are a number of models available at retail stores. The following are the most popular models:
Instant Pot IP-DUO60 7-in-2 Multi-Functional Pressure Cooker, 6Qt
This is a 7-in-1 gadget combining the functions mentioned above. It has 14 programs that include soup and porridge. It utilizes high or low pressure, offers three temperatures for sauté and slow cook, and has a warm function.
Instant Pot IP-DUO Plus60 9-in-2 Multi-Functional Pressure Cooker, 6Qt
It is an upgrade on the regular DUO60 but a bit expensive and offers extra features such as egg, cake, and sterilize settings. It also has a blue LCD screen display and more noticeable fill lines.
Instant Pot IP-DUO80 7-in-1 Programmable Electric Pressure Cooker, 8Qt
Consider this model if you cook in bulk or have a large family. It is similar to the DUO60 and DUO50 but with 8-quart capacity. It is a bit expensive and requires additional space.
Instant Pot Ultra Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, 6qt
This new version allows you to customize cook times, temperatures and pressures and has cake, sterilize and egg settings. It also shows you where you are in the cooking process and has a pressure release button.
IP-Multifunctional Bluetooth-Enabled Pressure Cooker Instant Pot
It offers virtual control by connecting to your smartphone via Bluetooth. This allows you to oversee cooking from afar using the instapot app as well as program any settings.
Instant Pot IP-LUX60 V3 Which is a Programmable Electric Pressure cooker, 6Qt (updated model)
It is the most cost-effective instapot with updated version of cake and egg cooking functions. It lacks the poultry and yoghurt, bean/chili settings and the alternative to cook at low pressure. It also lacks a condensation collector and cord rack.