- Why You Need an Instant Pot?
- Instant Pot Reviews
- Essential Factors to Consider
- Care and Maintenance for Instant Pot
- Tips for Using an Instant Pot
- Troubleshooting Most Common Instant Pot Problems
Do you like spending time in the kitchen? Do you love experimenting with different recipes? Do you invest in a wide array of kitchen appliances and tools? If you answer YES to any of these questions, there is one thing that you should have – Instant Pot or also popularly known as InstaPot. A lot of people have been saying that it is going to be this year’s hottest kitchen tool.
With several choices for an Instant Pot, which one is perfect for your needs? If you are clueless which one to purchase, read the rest of this post and learn from the insights that I will be sharing. You will know not only the models that are available, but you will also learn some tips on using your pot to maximize its functionality.
|Image||Model||Link||Pressure Cooker||Slow Cooker||Rice Cooker||Sauté/|
|Steamer||Warmer||Yogurt Maker||Sterilizer||Egg Cooker||Cake Maker||Pressure Cooking||Bluetooth||Size||Built-in Programs||Custom Programming||Cooking Progress Indicator||Altitude Adjustment|
|LUX||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No||No||No||Only High||No||3,6,8 Quart||12||No||No||No|
|DUO PLUS||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||High/Low||No||6,8 Quart||15||Yes||No||No|
Why You Need an Instant Pot?
An Instant Pot is a revolutionary kitchen tool that stays true to its name – it allows you to cook in an instant. At its very core, it is a pressure cooker. But, do not be fooled! It can do more than just. It is a multipurpose cooking companion. Is it worth the hype? Here are some of its benefits, which will help you to be convinced that you need it in your life:
- Convenience: The best thing about an Instant Pot is perhaps the fact that it can help you to save time, making it convenient. On average, it will reduce cooking time by as much as 70%. If you want to prepare a delectable feast but you have limited time, the Instant Pot is sure to extend a helping hand.
- Energy-Efficient: There is also no need for you to be worried about the energy consumption of this pressure cooker. Regardless of the model that will be chosen, you can expect that it will not use a lot of energy. One of the reasons for the latter is that it cooks food quickly.
- Versatile: Another reason why you need an Instant Pot in your life is that it is versatile. You can use it for different recipes. Each model has pre-set functions, which will allow you to use it in more ways than one.
- Healthy Cooking: Looking for an easy way to prepare nutritious meals? An Instant Pot will make this possible. It is going to retain the vitamins and minerals that can be found in your food. The juices will also remain, which is why the nutritional value of the ingredients will not be lost. It also eliminates microorganisms in food that can pose harm to the human body.
- Delicious Food: This is another benefit of Instant Pot that is already pretty much obvious. It cooks meats and bones until they are tender. It also traps the flavor in your food. It makes food taste a lot better compared to conventional methods of cooking.
With all of the benefits that have been mentioned above, there is one thing that should be apparent by now – YES, you need an Instant Pot in the kitchen.
Instant Pot Reviews
Now that you are convinced that you need it, the next question is – which one should I buy? There are five models that are available. If you are feeling overwhelmed and undecided on which one to purchase, in this section, we will have a close look at each one of them.
Instant Pot Lux 6-in-1 Multipurpose Cooker
With this programmable cooker, you will be able to enjoy a total of 6 functions in one product. It can be used as a pressure cooker, rice cooker, slow cooker, sautéing pan, warmer, and steamer. This is the most basic from the five models that will be mentioned in this post, which makes it an ideal option if you have a tight budget.
With this model, you will be able to choose from three sizes – 3, 6, and 8 quarts. Choose one depending on the size of the household or the extent of the cooking that needs to be done.
Even if it is cheap, it does not fall short in terms of being a versatile kitchen appliance. There are twelve built-in programs, providing you with different options on how it can be used. You can choose from Meat /Stew, Soup/Broth, Egg, Cake, Rice, Sauté, Slow Cook, Steam, Keep Warm, Pressure Cook, Porridge, or Multigrain.
Another thing that is impressive about this product is the third-generation microprocessor technology, which acts as the brain of the pressure cooker. This allows it to perform in a manner that is consistent. Also, because of this, you can set the timer up to 240 minutes. There is also 24-hour delay start for added convenience.
Meanwhile, when it comes to its construction, the inner cooking pot is made of high-quality stainless steel. It is made of a food-grade material and no chemicals are used in the coating, providing an assurance of your health and safety. The bottom also has a three-ply construction, which is important for the even distribution of heat.
Even if it is an economical model, it is inclusive of various accessories, including steam rack, soup spoon, and measuring cup. If you are a novice in the kitchen, there is also no need to worry as it comes with a recipe booklet. It has comprehensive instructions that will turn you into an instant chef!
Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 Multipurpose Cooker
Compared to the Lux series model that has been mentioned above, the Duo comes with an extra function, which makes it a slight upgrade. This multi-programmable cooker can be used as a pressure cooker, rice cooker, slow cooker, steamer, warmer, yogurt maker, and sauté pan.
Aside from multiple functions, there are 14 pre-set programs that can be chosen for an instant way to cook your favorite dish. Just select the program, leave the pressure cooker, and wait as it does its magic. These programs include Bean/Chili, Meat/Stew, Soup, Sauté/Simmer, Rice, Poultry, Pressure Cook, Manual, Yogurt, Keep Warm, Slow Cook, Steam, Porridge, and Multigrain.
Another thing that you can enjoy in this model is the adjustable temperature setting, which is perfect for advanced users. You will have the opportunity to choose the temperature that is desired, depending on the recipe. This gives you complete control of the heat that will be produced by the unit as it cooks.
It also comes with dual pressure setting, another reason why this is ranked to be an excellent choice for those who put an emphasis on versatility. You can choose high pressure or low pressure based on the outcomes that are expected from whatever it is that you are cooking.
Similar to the other products from Instant Pot, you can expect that it does not fall short in terms of features that will ensure its safe use. In fact, based on the technical details from the manufacturer, this model features 10 safety mechanisms to provide you with peace of mind.
This pressure cooker is available in three sizes – 3, 6, and 8 quarts.
Instant Pot Duo Plus 9-in-1 Multipurpose Cooker
As you might have realized by now, the models succeeding the previous just keep on getting better in terms of their functions. This product can replace the functions of 9 of the most common appliances that you have in the kitchen – cake and egg maker, sterilizer, sauté pan, steamer, warmer, yogurt maker, rice cooker, slow cooker, and of course, pressure cooker.
The LCD display is one of the defining design features of this electric pressure cooker. It is large and bright, which makes it easy to be seen even if the kitchen is an area of the house that is poorly lit. Aside from the display, another thing that makes it user-friendly is the presence of intuitive controls that will make it effortless for you to set the desired function of the appliance.
To make it a smart kitchen appliance, another feature that has been incorporated is the three custom sets, which will allow you to personalize every chosen function. You can choose from More, Normal, or Less, depending on what a specific recipe would necessitate.
For your convenience, it also has a 24-hour delay start, a feature that is common in Instant Pots. This means that you can set the pot to automatically start on its own, even without human intervention.
With the microprocessor that is incorporated in the product, almost everything is automated. There is almost nothing that you need to do to monitor cooking. The temperature can be automatically adjusted based on what the unit is able to detect.
Lastly, it is compatible with Alexa, a smart home device. This is truly a great addition to a modern kitchen!
Instant Pot Ultra 10-in-1 Multipurpose Cooker
With the use of this InstaPot, you can replace 10 appliances that you have in the kitchen. Its functions include the following: slow cooking, pressure cooking, sterilizing, searing, steaming, warming, making cake, cooking egg, making yogurt, and cooking rice.
As this is one of the high-end models from the company, you can expect a set of premium features. One thing that makes it different from the rest is the altitude adjustment. The latter will minimize the need to guess when converting recipes, providing an assurance of consistent results.
The Central Dial is another nice feature that you can find in this unit. All that you have to do is to turn the dial and press if you want to choose a specific function. This makes cooking selection a breeze for the user.
Bored while waiting for the dish to cook? You might want to look at the cooking process indicator. Generally, this is a digital display that will allow you to monitor the process of cooking so that you will know exactly when it is going to be done.
While it is also made of stainless steel, it has a more elegant look compared to the three models that have been mentioned earlier. This can be probably because of the brushed finish, which can also resist fingerprints. This will make a nice addition to a kitchen that envisions to have an industrial appeal.
The quick release button that is incorporated in the unit is also worth highlighting, especially because it assumes an important role in making sure of its safety. It resets the position of the lid automatically.
Instant Pot Smart Bluetooth Multipurpose Cooker
From the five products that are mentioned in this buying guide, this is the most expensive, which is why it is not for everyone. For beginners, you might want to stay away from this. Given its advanced functions, it is pretty much obvious that it is made for experts in the kitchen.
With the use of the multifunctional cooker, you will be able to enjoy a variety of cooking functions, which include – Pressure Cook, Slow Cook, Keep Warm, Porridge, Yogurt, Multigrain, Steam, Rice, Sauté, Poultry, Bean/Chili, Meat/Stew, and Soup.
The Bluetooth connectivity is one of the defining features of this Instant Pot. With the latter, you will enjoy a hassle-free way of cooking with the use of your smartphone or tablet. All that you have to do is to download a compatible mobile application.
Another thing that makes it an advanced model is the ability to write, share, and download recipes. This is a unique way to cook with accuracy and share with your friends how you are able to maximize the use of your multi-cooker.
There are many ways by which this product will be able to offer customization to its user. For instance, there are two programmable cooking time pre-sets that will help you to achieve more accurate results. More so, you can also control the level of pressure and heat, among other things.
Looking for value for money? You can enjoy the best bang for the buck with this product as it comes with a number of accessories, including red mitts and a recipe booklet, which will come handy to people who are just starting to experiment in the kitchen.
Essential Factors to Consider
As you try to make an intelligent decision on which model of InstaPot to purchase, below are some of the most important things that you have to take into consideration:
- Size: One of the first things that you need to do is to determine the extent of cooking that needs to be done, which will be important in determining the right size. Think about the space available in the kitchen and the size of the household. These are the sizes that you will find:
- 3 Quarts: This is the smallest of the sizes that are available. This is the perfect option if you live on your own and if you cook only for yourself.
- 6 Quarts: With this midsized pot, you will be able to cook for one to four persons. This is a good choice for a small family.
- 8 Quarts: If you live in a large household or if you often cook when organizing parties at home, this is the right choice.
- Intended Use: All of the pots that have been mentioned in this guide can be used for pressure cooking, slow cooking, steaming, sautéing, and cooking rice. There are some that can deliver special functions, such as making cakes and yogurts, sterilizing, and cooking eggs, among others. Determine your needs to identify which is the right model for you.
- Ease of Use: As a rule of thumb, if you are a beginner looking for a user-friendly InstaPot, you should look for models that deliver basic functionalities since they often lack complication. A user-friendly model would also have fewer controls on the front panel.
- Reviews: As always, if you find it hard to decide which one is the perfect match for your needs and preferences, you can rely on what other people have to say. Go online and read reviews. Their personal experiences will make it easier to weigh the pros and cons of the possibilities.
Care and Maintenance for Instant Pot
Through the years, it is inevitable that your InstaPot can be prone to wear and tear. This can lead to reduced functionality. To make sure that it will stay in its peak condition even after a long time of use, be sure to exert effort in caring and maintaining the unit, which can be done by following the things that will be mentioned below:
- All of the parts are dishwasher-safe, except the exterior. The latter is the one that houses the microprocessor and the wirings that control the unit. Because of its electrical components, make sure that it is not going to get wet.
- To clean the exterior, it would be best to just wipe it with a damp cloth. It should be soft so that it won’t create visible scratches on the outside.
- Wash the pot right after every use. Do not wait for a long time before it is cleaned. Otherwise, dirt will harden and will be more difficult for you to remove.
- The silicone sealing ring is one part that most people often ignore to clean. It should be free from residue as it can have a problem being properly closed if there are food particles stuck. When you put it back, see to it that it is secured in its position so that the lid will close properly.
- The inner pot is made of stainless steel. When cleaning it by hand, make sure to use only non-abrasive cleansers. Avoid using harsh chemicals. Be gentle so as not to remove the food-grade coating on the surface of the pot.
- There is an anti-block shield that can be found at the bottom of the lid. This is another part that should be frequently cleaned, especially after cooking with splatters.
Tips for Using an Instant Pot
To make the most of your InstaPot and to have an assurance that the best outcomes will be achieved every time it is used, below are some of the most important tips that you have to keep in mind:
- Before you start cooking, one of the first things that should be checked is the inner seal. Make sure that it is in the right position and that it is secured. If not, the lid will not close properly and steam will escape the cooker.
- Always consult with the recipe, especially if you are new in the kitchen. One of the most important things that should be emphasized would be the total cooking time.
- When you are pressure cooking meat, it would be best to use only one cup of liquid. If you use too much liquid, the outcome would be weaker flavor.
- Avoid force opening the Instant Pot. Open the lid only once cooking is fully done, which means that all pressure has been able to escape the pot already.
- Do not just open the lid in any way. The safest way to do this is to start by tilting the lid away from you. It can act as sort of a shield from steam.
- When you are filling the pot with ingredients, make sure that it is not over-filled. Keep in mind that the ingredients will expand throughout the process of cooking and you surely would not want for them to be overcrowded in the pot. More often than not, there is a marking to indicate the maximum capacity.
- If you live in a place with a high altitude, you have to adjust the cooking time accordingly. Go online and look at the adjustment chart to see how many minutes you need to add.
- You need to be cautious when using ingredients such as flour or dairy. While they are allowed, the problem is that they can easily get stuck on the valves and seals, which is why you need to clean them thoroughly.
- If you use the pot all the time, you may want to consider having an additional stainless steel insert.
- Be familiar with quick release and natural release. With a quick release, you have to turn the venting knob and release will take about one to two minutes. On the other hand, with a natural release, you leave the venting knob on its own and the pressure will also be released slowly in a span of approximately 15 minutes.
- Make the most out of your Instant Pot. Many people would use it for pressure or slow cooking. They do not know that it can also double as a pan for sautéing. It will also be possible to cook foods in a jar, even for making yogurts and cakes. The functions, however, will depend on a specific model.
Troubleshooting Most Common Instant Pot Problems
The following are some of the most common issues that you can experience in your InstaPot and the easy solutions that you might want to try:
- Lack of Steam: This is one of the most common problems among beginners. If there is lack of steam, the food will end up being undercooked. The simplest solution to this is to add more water to generate more steam.
- Weird Sound: If you hear a weird or cracking sound, do not panic. One of the problems would be that the inner pot is wet at the bottom. Also, the sound is pretty normal when pressure is building up.
- Blank Display: There are many reasons why this could happen. Check the plug and make sure that it is properly connected to the socket. Bad power connection and electrical fuses can cause this problem.
- Lid is Hard to Close or Open: You have to check the seal ring. It is possible that it is not properly positioned. It is also possible that pressure inside the cooker makes it difficult for you to open the lid.
- Steam is Leaking: One of the reasons for this is the improper installation of the seal ring, which is why steam is escaping from the cooker. There could also be food debris on the sealed ring or it can be damaged. Replace the seal ring if it is necessary to do so.
In sum, an Instant Pot is an essential equipment in any kitchen. Given its size, it is amazing how it can deliver a myriad of cooking functions, depending on the specific model that will be chosen. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned cook, whether you are on a budget or you do not mind splurging, there is a multipurpose cooker that will be suitable for you.