Instant Pot Weigh In

Updated on January 18, 2018
M.6. asks from Woodbridge, NJ
5 answers

Ok, so I really, really debated on getting an Instant Pot from like June - November last year. Man, I really struggled with it! I finally decided that with only 1 kid left at home (and leaving in the next few years), it just didn't make sense to add yet another kitchen gadget to my countertop collection! However, now I am rethinking my decision, which is also somewhat being affected by the coming death of my crockpot, which I use at least 2 - 3 times a week. My thought was I could ditch the rice cooker AND the crockpot, thereby actually REDUCING the number of items on my kitchen counter (see how I am justifying this already?) :)

I am guessing that a few of you got an Instant Pot during the Christmas season since the deals were so good on them . . . thoughts? Do you love it? Hate it? Is it already collecting dust on your shelf?

Clearly I am desperate to have one and just need a little push to pull the trigger! However, the big thing for me is if it isn't going to be an acceptable replacement for my slow cooker, I just can't justify it. I use my slow cooker SO much.

Thanks in advance!

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M.C.

answers from Chicago on

I got one last year and I love it. I use it all the time for so many things. I have never used the slow cooker feature, but you will find tons of recipes and info on the internet from people who do. You will also find you can cook the same things you do in a slow cooker with no loss of quality and much faster.. I have cooked chili and meats that taste like they slow cooked all day, but in a fraction of the time. Once I got used to it, I started cooking a huge variety of foods in it, and still love to research new recipes and try new things with it.

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N.K.

answers from Miami on

Aw man, I wanted one so badly last year. The deals on the Crock-Pot Express Crock Multi-Cooker (I assume that's the one you're talking about?) for Black Friday were great ($40 from the regular price of approximately $80), but I kept thinking about it and when I had decided on getting it, it was already back to the regular price. It does everything a crock pot, rice cooker and pressure cooker do, and you can avoid the pressure cooking setting if it scares you.

My co-worker said a friend of hers had it and it was dummy-proof, very easy to use, and not at all dangerous. She has used it to make cheesecake, yogurt, pizza, stew, etc., and no longer uses any of her other appliances. I don't see how this wouldn't be a win, considering you can cook a meal in 20 minutes if needed, or revert to the slower cooking times of 6 hours or more, and takes the place of so many other appliances.

If you do end up getting one, please let us know your thoughts. All the reviews on Amazon are glowing: https://www.amazon.com/Crock-Pot-Multi-Use-Programmable-S...

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S.T.

answers from Houston on

I love mine and have had it two years now. I have owned various Crock Pots over the years but never met a recipe I really liked. The results tasted remarkably blah no matter what I did and being out of the house 10+ hours a day made timing a real bear. As a working parent I use my Instant Pot to speed up the dinner process a few nights a week. I can walk in the door, put a few ingredients together with minimal hands on and then walk away for about an hour, waiting on dinner to cook. I can use that time to be with family and prep side dishes.

Pulled/shredded meats in less 40 minutes with little to no hands on work gets my vote. I can use the meats for sandwiches, baked potato toppings, chicken salads, tacos, carnitas, etc. I make hard boiled eggs in large quantities for breakfasts and lunches; approximately 20 minutes total cook time plus a plunge in ice water. I can cook any amount of eggs from a few to a dozen at one time. I have made shredded chicken from frozen breasts in less than forty minutes total time. On the weekends I will try more intense meals with significantly reduced cook times - beef stews, carne guisada, lamb shanks, etc. Cooking times scale back to an hour or ninety minutes rather than 3+ hours.

I failed to plan for New Year’s Eve so I was scrambling to put a dinner together; I made (dry, unsoaked) black eyed peas with (frozen) pork hocks in less than one hour. Whew. I had a last minute pot luck dinner at home a few months back which was another save by the Instant Pot. I cooked two dry bean recipes (pinto and black) AND shredded chicken in less than two and half hours. I didn't soak the beans either. I literally walked in the door from work and just got down to it. I can sauté the veggies/meats and then switch over to pressure mode in little to no time. I deglaze the pot insert and dump all the contents back in for the pressure cooking so I feel the flavors are far better than what I can achieve in my Crock Pot.

I will admit it took a little getting used to regarding how the Instant Pot actually works. However, I followed a few recipes the first couple of uses and then moved on to winging recipes once I felt I had the basics down. I still look up cook times but for the most part feel confident with it.

The pressure aspect of it does not bother me. Yes, the pot is under pressure but let’s be honest. These are not our mothers’/grandmothers’ pressure cookers. While accidents can and do happen that is a statement which applies to most of life. There are reasonable safety features on the Instant Pot.

Bottom line - I like my Instant Pot and appreciate all the features it offers with reduced cooking times.

P.S. Don’t forget cooking time includes pressuring up, actual cooking time under pressure and the subsequent amount of time spent releasing the pressure.

P.P.S. I have burned ingredients into the bottom of the pot insert but found dumping a tablespoon of baking soda and a cup or so of water into the pot, setting to medium sauté, scrapping with a wooden spoon was the means of removing said mistakes. I find the sauté mode runs hotter than I expect and burning happens.

P.P.P.S. Odors absorbed by the sealing ring can be removed by throwing the ring in the dishwasher or giving the ring a vinegar soak. I store my lid upside so the ring can breathe when not in use.

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N.B.

answers from Oklahoma City on

I saw a photo on FB before I could report it. It was of a kid that had done something to one of these and it had burned them badly. It is something that I can live without. You know how to use your crock pot. Why change now?

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