If you’ve seen and heard your friends and family rambling on about their new kitchen accessory, you’ve probably wondered why everyone is talking about Instant Pot. I mean, how revolutionary can it really be? It’s basically a pressure cooker, right?
What is an Instant Pot?
It’s no wonder why so many people think of Instant Pot as a pressure cooker. That’s how the company describes itself on their website! They call it a “programmable pressure cooker.”
Unlike the old pressure cookers you might be picturing, Instant Pot has multiple safety features to make pressure cooking safer and easier So, you can enjoy all the benefits of a pressure cooker with fewer risks.
But an Instant Pot is a lot more than a pressure cooker. It’s a rice cooker, slow cooker, sauté pan, steamer and even a yogurt maker! Instead of being ANOTHER kitchen appliance you have to store, it actually takes the place of several so you can free up cabinet or counter space!
What Are the Benefits of Cooking with an Instant Pot?
There are a lot of reasons I love my Instant Pot! The main reasons are:
- Fewer dirty dishes – Since I can sauté and pressure cook in one pot, I can make almost any dish a one-pot dinner
- Lower electric bill – An Instant Pot uses far less energy than your oven or stove so over time, you spend much less on electricity
- Faster meals – Pressure cooking cooks many foods very quickly (sometimes up to 70% faster!)
- Easier meals – Once you’ve added all the ingredients and sealed the lid, you can set and forget! The Instant Pot will automatically turn off and switch to warm mode when cook time is complete
- Healthier meals – Because you only need to add enough water to create steam for pressure, most of the nutrients in the food are retained
- Comfortable kitchen – All the heat is trapped inside the Instant Pot while your food is cooking so unlike your oven or stove, your kitchen won’t heat up while dinner is cooking
How Do I Know if Instant Pot is Right for Me?
I love my Instant Pot, but how do you know if you will? I encourage you to do some research.
Read the reviews on Amazon to see what people like and don’t like about it.
If you’re on Facebook, search for Instant Pot groups to join. Thousands of users share their thoughts, ideas, recipes, mistakes, and questions there. You don’t have to have an Instant Pot to join the groups and members are always willing and happy to answer questions.
Are There Any Pitfalls to Watch Out for With Instant Pot?
Although Instant Pot does come with safety features and an instruction manual, users make a lot of mistakes. Here are some of the most common ones to watch out for:
- Not reading the manual before first use – the Instant Pot is designed to be simple, but it also cooks food at high pressure. This can be dangerous if you aren’t familiar with the proper use of the equipment. Read the manual before using!
- Skipping the water test – Most of us are excited to put the Instant Pot to use right away so we skip the Initial Test Run (aka “the water test”) which not only helps us learn how to use the Instant Pot correctly, but also alert us to any problems with how it’s functioning.
- Forgetting to put the sealing ring back in after washing it – The silicone sealing ring collects odors from your food so most users like to clean it after each use. Make sure you return the sealing ring to the lid after washing it or your Instant Pot won’t seal properly.
- Forgetting to put the inner pot back in before cooking – It seems unlikely any of us would ever do this, but it happens more often than you’d think!
- Forgetting to position the steam release valve on sealing – Many of us move the valve to venting after our food is done cooking as a backup safety measure. If you forget to switch it back to sealing, your Instant Pot won’t come to pressure.
I hope this answers all of our questions about Instant Pot. If you have any questions I didn’t address, please list them in the comments and I’ll answer any that I can!
If you are looking for recipes to try out in your brand new Instant Pot, you should check out these: