Should you invest into an Instant Pot?

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IS THE CRAZE REALLY WORTH IT?

With a busy working lifestyle and having only a limited time to spend in the kitchen, I rely on my Instant Pot to help with modern day living. If you’re wondering about the benefits of whether you want to invest in this or how to convert your own time efficiency in the kitchen… keep on reading!

Instapot has saved me from spending hours and hours.

When you're on a healing diet, you spend a LOT of time in the kitchen, and pressure cookers save time.

SO… What is an Instant Pot anyways?

The Instant Pot is a kitchen appliance that's many tools in one. Its primary function is a pressure cooker, and that's the focus of this recipe roundup. But it also serves as a slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, yogurt maker, food warmer, and it has a sauté function as well (meaning you can brown onions, garlic, or any meat before cooking, and reduce sauces and gravies afterward.) It saves a lot of room in my kitchen by replacing a bunch of appliances at once, and turns many recipes into one-pot wonders.

Pros: The Instant Pot (and similar electric pressure cookers) is a safe and effective tool for cooking foods quickly while minimizing nutrient losses due to evaporation of liquid and the need to use less cooking liquid overall. They’re also very energy-efficient using much less energy than the oven and even a slow cooker set to run all day. With the Instant Pot, you can cook foods from frozen making it the perfect tool for those days you forget to thaw the meat for dinner. In addition to high pressure cooking, the Instant Pot has a “Sauté” setting that allows you to brown meat without dirtying another pan or reduce a soup or stew by simmering off some of the liquid. You’ll also find settings for steaming, cooking rice or oatmeal, beans, soup, yogurt and more, which makes this a super versatile appliance.

Cons: Because foods cook quickly, there is less time for flavors to really develop and though you can cook tougher (read: less expensive) cuts of meat, our experience has been that the slow cooker does a better job since the low and-slow cooking allows collagen in the meat to break down more thoroughly, thereby resulting in more tender meat. And even though the Instant Pot does have a “Slow Cook” setting, in our experience, it tends to run a little hotter than a regular slow cooker, so when it’s a low and slow 8-10 hours that we’re looking for, we’ll opt for our slow cookers instead. The Instant Pot is a little pricier than a slow cooker, starting at $80 depending on the model and the size (they’re available in 3-, 6- and 8-quart versions).

If you ask me, I think the Instant Pot is great as I use this regularly as we don’t have much time by the time that we get home. Ultimately, the one that best fits your lifestyle and budget – and the one you’ll use – is your best bet!

Alice Chen