I feel generally competent in the kitchen to the point where assembling a nice meal (dare I say gourmet?) from scratch without a recipe is relatively easy for me.
That said, I've found the Instant Pot to have a steep learning curve.
For starters, you can't easily check on the food while it cooks, so if you are experimenting with large batch sizes and timing you are kind of gambling and have to wait till it is done (sometimes an hour) to see if you ruined something.
It is hard to find consistent info on how long to cook certain things, and it is easy to overcook things into mush.
And for anyone citing cooking time of a couple minutes... That's just misleading. Most recipes quote how many minutes to set it for. They do not tell you it takes upwards of 15 minutes to come up to pressure in some cases, and depending on the release instructions, some things can take another 20-30 minutes to release pressure if it is a large volume of liquid.
That said, it makes amazing steel cut oatmeal and we've had a couple other successes.
I'd love more recipes that were purely easy quick prep, toss it all in, no extra cooking steps (like finishing in the oven), and good for making easily freezable and quick to reheat one pot meals. Many recipes I've found are overly involved to the point where the IP seems unnecessary.
I desperately want to use it more, but so many recipes fail to meet the above criteria. Hopefully that improves. Maybe my expectations are just too high?
I've been working on adapting family favorite recipes to the IP. My favorites so far:
My Cajun mother-in-law's real deal red beans and rice recipe: https://gist.github.com/chrissnell/2ee0a820b7ba7c25a12d1b253...
My grandmother's refried beans from her regionally famous 1960s-era Tex-Mex cookbook: https://gist.github.com/chrissnell/c87a98b7ee3239065737eaf14...
Just curious: The OP mentioned steel cut oats rather than traditional oatmeal. Did you mean the same as well?
The reason I ask is because, while I love steel cut oats, cooking a nice sized batch on the stove can be time consuming, and I don't like the 3-5 minute oats (precooked and/or steamed; lacks the same texture IMO, same reason I don't like standard oatmeal). I'm not sure I'd go so far as to use them in an Instant Pot, but it'd be interesting to read a second opinion of how they turn out.
I too am wondering if the parent was talking about precooked/steamed. The recipe that comes with the IP is definitely steel cut and has that great springy bite to it--almost al dente in a way (or QQ as my Chinese friends might say).
And my version is 3 minutes of cook time, but there's several minutes of getting up to pressure time, and then 10 minutes of natural release when it finishes. Still largely "set it and forget it" though.
Thanks a bunch!
I certainly getter results doing pot roast & pulled pork in a pressure cooker than a slow cooker.
If you do a 7-hour lamb in a pot in an oven, you have the opposite problem, as it's a bit warmer, and might have to glue together the lid with dough. I think the taste will be better though, as I think there is more caramelisation going on at higher temperatures.
I get amazing results with a crock pot and pork shoulder with honey and a nice rub. Start it in the morning and it's ready when I get back from work.
Interested in the pressure cooker though for some more versatility. What's the main difference btw your pulled pork in PC vs SC?
It pretty much works the same for all of them. I get all my aromatics roughly chopped, saute for a couple minutes just to brown them up, then I put them in the blender and transfer to the IP for an hour or so. I just submerge the meat and guess at a time that matches a stove top pressure cooker.
So I get what you mean about the hassle of multiple steps. I feel like I save time on the prep and stove managing. I only chop roughly and I'm not obsessing over doneness on the stove.
I mostly do it, because the results are just better. Stews really are better under pressure imo.
She ends up not having to do a lot of experiments because the other people in the group do it and report back. She's actually started doing some reporting back too.
* 4-5 chicken breast, frozen. Add a half can of green enchilada sauce, or a cup of BBQ sauce, or a half cup of taco seasoning, plus 1/4 cup water. Cook on the "poultry" setting for 24 minutes. Quick release, remove chicken, set pot to saute, shred chicken and return to broth, boil off some of the excess liquid. Can serve by itself, or on hamburger buns (for the BBQ variant) or in tortillas/taco shells (for the enchilada and taco variants), or over rice. This has become a go-to because it's so quick and easy and we don't have to defrost anything ahead of time.
* 4-5lb chuck roast. Sear all sides (I do this on the stove for convenience), then coat in a seasoning of brown gravy mix, powdered ranch dressing, and italian seasoning. Add a half cup of water, and pressure cook on high for 38 (4lb) to 45 (5lb) minutes. While it's cooking, dice some carrots, onions, celery, and garlic. Once it's done, quick release, add veggies, cook for another 11 minutes. Remove meat and veggies from pot, sautee, boil down the remaining liquid for a few minutes until it reaches a thick gravy-like consistency. Slice the roast, serve with veggies and gravy. Making a roast like this takes 8+ hours in the slow-cooker, and it's done in <90 minutes this way.
* Brown 1lb of beef or ground sausage on "sautee" with half an onion, diced. Throw in several tablespoons of italian seasoning. Once browned, add 2 cans of diced tomatoes, 1 can of tomato paste, 1 can of chicken broth, 1 can of water, some garlic powder, salt, pepper, and a box of smallish pasta (macaroni and garden rotini are our favorites), pressure cook on high for 8 minutes.
* Throw a cup of dried mixed beans, 1 beef boullion cube, and any other seasonings you'd like (garlic, pepper, the usual suspects) and enough water to cover the beans by a couple of inches to the instant pot on the "warm" setting to soak for ~45 minutes, then pressure cook for 45 minutes. Makes a fantastic mixed bean soup. Probably even better if you have a hambone to throw in there, though I haven't tried this yet.
1 cup steel cut oats
4 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
Cook in Instapot, 5 min at 'Manual' pressure
Let cool in Instapot for 20 minutes or until pressure relief button pops
(if you don't let it depressurize slowly it will foam up inside and mess the lid)
Add the following:
2 Tablespoons of chunky peanut butter (heaping)
2-3 heaping tablespoons of sugar (brown is better)
5 shakes of Pensy's Chinese 5-spice powder
4 shakes of Pensy's Star Anise powder
1 cup steel cut oats
4 cups water
Clearly you and many other people are getting some benefit from the device, I'm really doubtful that I would.
Anyway. To take the comment seriously -- if only it were that easy! Perhaps one of the biggest selling points of the Instant Pot, at least around my house, is its ability to cook steel cut oats quickly, efficiently, and without needing to be watched.
On a further note -- what I've written here is what I received from my dad, but I've always just thrown everything in the pot at the start.
Add the following to the IP:
- 1 cup almond milk (they warn regular milk with curdle but not sure about that)
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup steel cut oats
- 1 cinnamon stick
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup of raisins
- They call for vanilla extract but I use vanilla flavored almond milk
Then I portion out what I want for myself, add a Tbsp give or take of light brown sugar, and any other toppings. My favorites now are chopped walnuts, chopped dates, banana, berries, diced granny smith apple, etc.
That recipe makes several servings and is great for brunch with an oatmeal bar. You can also refrigerate leftovers for several days and if you let it chill a bit, you can then wrap it in plastic wrap and shape it into bricks which freeze nicely.
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup steel cut oats
3 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup sliced raw almonds
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large apple, peeled, cored and diced
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/8 cup dried cherries
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
Add butter to pressure cooker and set to sauté. When butter is melted add the oats and toast, stirring constantly, until they start to darken and smell nutty, about 3 minutes.
Add water and rest of ingredients.
Cook at high pressure for 7 minutes (stovetop) or 10 minutes (electric).
Turn off pressure cooker and use a natural pressure release for 10 minutes, then release any remaining pressure.
Stir, cover and let thicken for 5 to 10 minutes.
Top with milk, nuts and additional brown sugar, if desired.
Adapted from: http://www.pressurecookingtoday.com/pressure-cooker-cinnamon...
You are right that the timing involved on many sites is misleading, yet I find that without fail the "active time" when using the pressure cooker is WAY lower while the total time is roughly the same or slightly shorter than a normal recipe (much shorter if making something with beans). That's the big win for me.
You can experiment all you want, but I don't. I just take recipes from others and use them, with some adaptation. There's a lot of resources, and most people have already workshopped anything I'm interesting in making.
My policy is that I won't try anything new if I'm cooking for others. I only make recipes that I've tried before and iterated on. When I have a winner, I print it out and stick it on the back of the cupboard door where I normally store the pressure cooker.
Freezes and reheats very well.
A box of these:
Add about 6lbs of de-boned / de-skinned thighs, a few pounds of cubed potatoes, and and some onions chopped coarsely. You might want to add some salt.
Brown the chicken first, or don't - it'll be good.
Saute the onions first, or don't - it'll be good.
~20 minutes of pressure (40 minutes total) later and you'll have an excellent meal of quick and easy curry.
Most of the family-sized instant-pot meals we make are like this - one pre-made sauce or spice pack, chicken thighs, some simple vegetables and 20-30 minutes under pressure then served over rice. Pretty much any bottle of "Asian" sauce or small jar/can of curry paste (Thai, Indian, Japanese) works great.
The main variations are in the sauce, and the preparation of the thighs - the texture / experience difference between adding the chicken in pre-cubed / whole / whole then shredded is pretty significant.
Same for stews: Just add all the ingredients (meat, veg, stock, herbs) then press the 'Stew' button.
The slow cooking function is also great for this: Pork shoulder/butt, sauerkraut, pepper, maybe peas/carrots - 8 hrs on med.
I'd love to know how this fares vs. a normal pressure cooker, as far a learning curves go.
I'm sure once I get more experience with it that eyeballing things will become easier.
I received it, and stuck it in my closet expecting to pull it out when I needed to pressure cook something. My wife discovered it pretty soon after and began using it for several tasks I didn't even realize it was capable of. She absolutely loves the thing, to the point I was joking with her about it. It's funny to me to see that our experience is far from unique.
My wife has 2 of them, we throw together whole dinners in minutes, the primary one never leaves the counter because it's become a daily tool. Our microwave stopped working about 6 months ago, and instead of replacing it, we just gave the microwaves spot on our counter to the instant pot.
When you say you pressure cook a chicken in 7 minutes, it's 10-15 minutes for the heat and pressure to buildup, plus 7 minutes once pressure is at max, then 1-2 minutes to release the vapor (or wait 20-30 minutes until the pressure subsidies by itself).
Am I correct?
I don't get the trend in instant pot directions to say it only takes X minutes when it is really warmup + X + cooldown. It really doesn't help anyone know when to start cooking a meal.
I can make anything from ice cream, cheesecake, pizza, stew, sauces etc. from scratch without a recipe, but I find instant pot recipes to be some of the worst I've ever come across. It has a steep learning curve. That said, I think I'll like it when I figure out how to get what I want out of it. Maybe I'll even write a real recipe for it.
Likewise pulled pork in just a shade over an hour, perhaps 10 minutes actual prep time.
1) why would the universe naturally favor order?
2) why would the order it favors please my sensibilities?
Questioning the above premises will often yield opportunities that a rigid attention to preconceived notions would not.
Or are we excluding one unwatched time but including another unwatched time for some reason?
5mins for hard, 4 mins for softer yolk, 1 min for runny (like for eggs benedict), quick release pressure + put in to an ice bath when done.
Put a little water in a pot (maybe half an inch), cover, bring to a boil, then reduce to low for 7 minutes and you have a perfect hardboiled egg. You should still have a bit of water in the pot when done, but not too much to delay boiling. End to end in about 8 minutes you have a cooked egg!
The boiling is almost instant in a small aluminum pot, unlike bringing my pressure cooker up to temp, and you dont have to depressurize.
Seems cooks illustrated also found these nicer for peeling: https://www.cooksillustrated.com/articles/168-easy-peel-hard...
If you buy a pressure cooker for "when I needed to pressure cook" you might not notice that it's also capable of being a multi-function electric cooker.
An instant pot is an interesting choice. We have an old-fashioned pressure cooker at home, which doesn't get nearly enough use.
I bought an Anova myself during the last Black Friday sale.
While I haven't made yoghurt in it (and I'm not sure what heating would do to yoghurt cultures), I have aged eggnog in ziploc bags. Polyethylene bags are probably best for anything that doesn't need to set.
I wouldn't recommend mason jars unless you're doing a custard like creme brulee. You can't fully immerse them under water, and if you don't cap them properly, they'll either crack under pressure, or let water in. There's a "fingertip-tight" rule for mason jars, though I haven't tried it :
> Place the lid on the jar. Twist the lid until “fingertip tight,” meaning just barely closed and still possible to open with your fingertips.
> To close the jars fingertip tight, place the lid on top of the jar, then twist the band to tighten using just your fingertips. When you begin to feel resistance, twist once in the opposite direction, then once more in the original direction to tighten.
> Closing the jars until fingertip tight means that air will be able to escape from the jars when you submerge them in water. If you close them too tightly, the trapped air will press against the glass and could crack or break your jars.
little 4 oz jarz are perfect for 2 eggs.
The fingertip tight allows air to bubble out but water doesn't seem to get in. (it's extra cool because they actually form a little vacuum seal too)
I suspect yogurt would behave the same way - but who knows?! It's always an experiment the firs time.
I think my favorite is probably turkey breast just because it doesn't get dry. Everything else I've made in it (mostly different meats) has been okay, but nothing special. My family and I generally prefer things cooked on our grill.
However, I personally like to pre-cook a bunch of food using sous vide then finish on the grill. Now food is ready with a lot less hassle on my part. Finishing on the grill, a pan, or in the oven is crucial to get good browning flavor!
So, to me, it's either for niche things (precise soft boiled eggs, unique cooking temp for meats), or as a time saving thing I can set, forget, and not fret over precise timings. Or do something like 3 racks of ribs over 24 hours in a cooler.
Otherwise, I agree, it's not my first tool I reach for to whip up dinner.
My favourite thing to sous vide is steaks, which I finish on a steal plate on my grill. But I just use the beer-cooler sous-vide trick, so I can't really do e.g. 72 hour short-ribs.
Most cooks, outside of seafood, that I enjoy tend to take >12 hours. I barely use it for something like chicken thighs or pork chops.
Personally I use it for more niche goals.
Taking cheap steak cuts and getting a perfect internal temp as well as batch cooking chicken works out really well.
Getting a precisely boiled egg is amazing (see http://www.seriouseats.com/2013/10/sous-vide-101-all-about-e...).
I also set it up in a cooler and do 3 racks of ribs for BBQ events. Don't worry that the Anova claims it can't control that much water. The insulation of any cooler will let you far exceed it's ratings.
Usually find 5 minutes is just enough time to make toast and a coffee. ;)
A couple of key takeaways:
- There's no marketing magic here, this is just a great product.
- It's ugly, and the interface is weird. Doesn't matter, it gets the job done.
- Pressure cookers have been around for a long time, they're a really great cooking technology marred by some serious safety and inconvenience issues. There are a bunch of companies competing in Sous Vide right now (the hot new cooking trend) but the Instant Pot guys just took old technology and made it slightly better.
Then I went home for Christmas and my mom was downright evangelical about this thing. My family is deep in the cooking gadget game but I've never seen this much enthusiasm for a new appliance.
Breville was it.
Do they work especially hard at making devices usable?
I have one I use for the chilis, bbq, ribs, etc I do. One for soups and such, etc. It's a slight pain I guess, but the ease of use of the Instant Pot in general outweighs swapping out the silicone seal occasionally.
Some time ago, when Apple bailed out of self-driving car business, my friend and I discussed what would be the good category for Apple to try next and I suggested advanced kitchen devices. Seriously though: instant pot with Nespresso machine are close to best damn money I spent. Currently I am investigating Anova devices and dreaming about something that would cut down (hehe) my peeling and chopping time.
Watch one good video on how to dice an onion an you're 90pct there.
2. Misen.co and http://www.seriouseats.com/2015/09/best-cheap-chefs-knives-m...
What they are mostly great at is a few things that are so labor intensive (ever made hummus by hand?) you otherwise might not bother. Also a good time saver for things like pasta dough.
Learn to keep your knives sharp. A sharp knife is a safe knife and makes the whole prep process go faster.
I recommend a jig that keeps the angle for you. I use a spyderco sharpmaker (https://www.amazon.com/Spyderco-Tri-Angle-Sharpmaker/dp/B004...), but there are others. I enjoy eating steak with a super sharp knife, so I have it out frequently for sharpening our set of steak-knives, and less frequently for our chef's knives.
Purist will call them crap, but I use both a traditional whetstone and an electric sharpener and the electric gets 90% of my usage. It takes a few minutes to take a knife from "very dull" to "pretty sharp". The whetstone definitely gets them sharper, but it takes a lot longer and you only notice your knives are dull when you're right in the middle of making dinner.
https://youtu.be/kSKpz1UqIl4?t=4m13s has overkill levels of detail (and some marketing upsell) but communicates the idea well.
I've had great results with both but water stones need to be soaked in water before use (instructions say 10 minutes, but my experience is more like 30 minutes), they release a messy slurry when they wear and they don't stay flat for very long (flatness isn't that much of an issue with knifes I suppose, but essential for woodworking tools) and wear down as you use and re-flatten them.
Diamond plates stay dead flat, need very little maintenance, ready to use (just wet them, no soaking) and last 10 years or more in my infrequent use.
I have big 8" plates for my woodworking tools, but I intend to buy a small 1200 grit sharpener for kitchen for about $6 from here:
1200 grit isn't super fine (compared to water stones) but is enough for basic kitchen sharpening (you don't need coarser ones unless you sharpen damaged blades and you don't need a finer one to get decent sharpness). I'd add a leather strop and some honing compound (chromium oxide) if I needed to get them sharp enough to shave (like I do with my tools).
That's about $20 for diamond plate + strop + compound, you can't get a decent water stone for that price.
But the real difference between sharp and kinda-sharp is practicing the skill of honing the blade. Sharpen a little at a time, test frequently and do it often.
> Nespresso machine
I don't mind the 30 seconds of ritual to enjoy a cup of coffee/espresso.
We have a k-cup machine at work and it's drinkable, but not great.
We have both in our workplace kitchen; they both produce mediocre coffee, in my opinion (and I'm no coffee snob). I wonder how the Nespresso got such a reputation? Is it widely considered good?
That seems strange to me. I got the Nespresso Inissia as a Christmas gift a few months ago and it takes maybe 30-60 seconds to heat up. Then, <30 seconds for every shot of espresso after that.
This is in sweden though.
- small food processor to significantly reduce the chopping time. I picked one up cheap on a whim (I think for making hummus) and now most of the time I just coarsely chop veggies and throw it in with a slicer blade or grater, depending on what I'm making. (By coarse, I mean, I'll quarter the onion so that it fits down the chute)
- Quit peeling! I've got a vegetable peeler that is sitting very sad in the drawer because it hasn't been used in a long long time.
OK, so if someone is taking it seriously, let me specify a little, since I've been thinking of it for some time: a rice cooker that uses vapour.
I often cook rice in the pressure pot. It takes something like 5 minutes to warm the pot, 4 minutes of cooking and a few minutes more for releasing vapour until I can open it again.
It would be nice to have a device that:
1. Wash the rice with cold water first.
2. Makes vapour in a few seconds holding the pressure.
3. Automatically stops when the rice is cooked.
4. Finally releases vapour.
5. Bonus point if it cleans itself.
Just that, plain boiled rice in five minutes, instead of 10-15.
It is easy to praise this product -- it combines a rice cooker with a pressure cooker and stew simmer (and, I guess, a yogurt maker) all in one device that saves kitchen storage and counter top space. They've thought of lots of stuff: making the seal easily replaceable, and allowing you to buy extra tin cans with lids (from cooking right to refrigerator). The cans are perfect size for the dish washer, etc. It's well designed, solves an urgent need, solidly built and just works.
It's a good pressure cooker. A good stovetop one will be faster, but it's only significant if you've got a gas or induction range. And of course the stovetop models don't have any automation.
And it's half the price of a good stovetop model.
It's really really weird to read that, in europe pressure cookers have been mainstays of most every kitchen for decades, especially after SEB's "super cocotte" (released in '53, they'd sold 10 million by '69).
"Most people have some concept of urban legends of exploding pressure cookers in their grandmother's kitchens," says Mr Qin.
Am in Europe, literally everyone has a pressure cooker, never heard about them actually exploding.
Then again, I was also right next to an exploding Mokka / Espresso stovetop cooker, so maybe I am simply unlucky :)
I still own a pressure cooker and use it regularly - a cheap one from IKEA at that.
Fortunately the dessert was saved: a condensed milk can also made in the pot into delicious toffee.
Thanks for telling me about the recipe! I never knew Dulce de Leche could be made in a pressure cooker - that's on my to do list for tomorrow now.
"Urban legend" describes these sort of thing, but how do you even begin to fight them with marketing in some form.
If Mr Qin had wanted to do marketing at the beginning, some segment of the market is going tune out the instant pressure cooker is mentioned.
Umm... It would have just taken you a simple Google search before writing that comment...
It's worse than irrational, unless you've filled your pressure cooker with explosives and plugged the pressure relief valves it's not going to do anything except boil empty.
Happens frequently with cheap ones in 3rd world countries.
They're as popular as ever, they're not trendy but it's something you normally get once you're beyond a pair of pans and pots, the smaller models (4~5L) may even replace/obviate a large pot.
Pressure cookers have been around for a long time: first manufactured in 1864 according to wikipedia (1). It's just that they have been out of fashion for few decades - possibly supplanted by the microwave oven in the 1970s and 80s.
So maybe the time was right for a better design to come back. The older designs had a reputation for very occasionally exploding, or the lid flying off and getting embedded in the ceiling. Not common, but it did happen and that puts people off.
 The amount of force required is large, though. I'm not sure I could do it without tools.
Sadly, I no longer live there thanks to a breakup but I'm looking forward to buying my next place with gardening space so I can pick up where I left off. Do these things work for canning or is it mostly just a matter of available volume?
Takes an hour or two off of a pot roast.
1. No need to fiddle with getting the heat right to get to pressure, and then lower the heat. Just seal the lid and tell it to get to pressure. It will control the heating.
2. Timer. It will drop the heat once the timer runs out. A lot of people set something to cook for, say, 30 minutes. Then they go out of the house for an errand that takes over an hour. They don't need to worry about overcooking/explosions. It will turn the heat down after 30 minutes and keep the food warm.
That's really about it. I own both a stovetop one and an instant pot. Most of the raves I've seen for the instant pot apply equally well to other pressure cookers. Having said that, the two pros above are really, really nice. If people can afford it, I would tell them to buy this instead of a regular pressure cooker.
A typical Indian reaction to this story would be, "what's all this fuss about, its a pressure cooker for god's sake, you add the ingredients and you cook."
Now I want to use it asap! Never realized it had a cult following (article looks like a PR material though)
1) Steam is contained inside and not released
2) Steam is released
So rather than x whistles it based on the time.
For example for one cup of Toor dal (Yellow peas / pigeon peas spilt ) we put it for 16minutes with steam valve closed.
1. Preserve the shape of the food being cooked. The older non-electric cooker would mush all the garbanzo beans or vegetables into a mash. When I cooked with the instant pot for the first time, I thought nothing was cooked fully because every vegetable and bean still were mostly in its original shape.
2. No noise. Non-electric cookers have the steam whistle to vent out excess steam which is noisy and annoying. Instant pot does not have that.
3. It has two pressure settings - lo and high pressure. When I bought it, very few of them offered this option.
Most electric pressure cookers come with a coated aluminum pot. Instant Pot was one of the first ones to offer a stainless steel container. This was the original reason I bought an Instant Pot.
Only once it has reached full pressure. Steam escapes noisily through the lid locking mechanism for about a minute first (escaping steam is used to engage the mechanism, which makes it fail-safe because without the mechanism engaged it will never reach full pressure).
>It has two pressure settings
Only on the more expensive model. Cheaper version only has the higher pressure mode. But I have the cheaper version and I have never wanted a low pressure mode. It seems redundant because it already has slow cooking mode.
2. True. But the difference when I bought it was around 25 dollars, so it seemed a worthwhile investment. I have used the low pressure to cook rice for some dishes which require the rice to be hard but cooked. I could do it in slow cooker mode, but it would take a long time.
FWIW, I've found that if you push down on the lid firmly once it starts venting steam in any quantity it will lock instantly.
I've been using it regularly since then and I highly recommend it. I had a manual pressure cooker many years ago but I rarely used it because it was too much hassle. The automation and easy cleaning of the Instant Pot makes a big difference. I rate it second only to the microwave oven as most useful cooking technology.
An electric pressure cooker brand (I've never heard of, but I don't like in Canada/US which seems to be the prime market) took over the electric pressure cooker market by adding buttons instead of a twist-dial timer where you manually set the desired time (my electric pressure cooker, which came free with by fridge years ago, and may be part of the reference to scaring people about exploding... they don't... they have cut-off devices if the wrong time is dialed) and a bunch of links and given some Googling what appears to be discount codes to incentivise bloggers.
Quite an amazing success. Smart targeting of an old-tech.
I'm not aware of any previous pressure cooker that had Instant Pot level automation.
Yes, this is exactly what my pressure cooker does. There's a dial, which has indicative minutes, and a picture of what's cooked under certain minutes around the dial, for example a small icon of a bunch of beans appears under the 40 minute dial, similar for other items. But total cooking time rarely ends up at 40 minutes (for beans, indicated at 40 minutes for example when starting from cold water and unsoaked beans) because it pre-heats to starting temperature and then kicks-off. The heating plate heats pretty quickly, which also makes sense when seeing recipe examples for browning meat before starting the pressure cooking.
Seems identical, just analogue control. Just a standard modern pressure cooker without a bit of marketing a dial in-place of buttons.
I also have a pressure cooker for the gas stove, significantly larger, and while that takes manual timing it has a release valve if steam pressure gets too high.
Seems like their real achievement here is successfully marketing a good version of an already-existing product with the "I made this" angle to a market that wasn't aware of it. And more power to them - pressure cooking is a great technique to have in your culinary arsenal. Still, it just seems odd to me when someone "invents" a thing that already exists and manages to generate tons of press for doing so. Reminds me of the Soylent guy.
What do you cook in there that you've really enjoyed?
That's... about the same amount of time it takes on the stovetop, no?
(I just bought one after reading this thread hehe)
I eventually went with a Power brand pressure cooker (it was pretty much the same price at Costco, and I've had much better luck with Costco's warranties than Amazon's), which as best I can figure looks nearly identical, has the exact same functionality sans maybe a yogurt option, and should in theory be able to cook the same stuff in the same time. But whenever I ask for recipes, all I get is, "No man, you've gotta have an Instant Pot for this."
Also, the fact that the Power Pressure Cooker XL is "As Seen on TV!" turns me off personally, but I that may not be a universal reaction.
Stainless Steel is better for health than Teflon.
I've long since abandoned that whole Paleo thing, but the Instant Pot still makes great meals. I don't need a crock pot in addition to this. It makes amazing pulled pork and carnitas. I can throw a whole chicken in there and have it falling off of the bone in less than an hour. I can brown beef in it before adding other ingredients for a good stew or chili. It makes really good hard-boiled eggs (though I've recently discovered eggs in my sous-vide and will never cook them another way). I don't know how the Instant Pot brand compares to other electric pressure cookers, but I'm 100% satisfied with mine.
I liked it so much that I bought my parents one for Christmas two years ago and upgraded mine from the previous model to the newer model on last year's Prime Day mentioned in the article. The newer model solved my one gripe with the previous model (setting the lid on the counter was awkward when taking it off).
I recommend these things to everybody. Whether you enjoy cooking or not, the Instant Pot makes cooking meals easier.
I don't like having to braise/sear meat and caramelise onions directing in the IP on "Saute" mode - it's always either too hot or too cool. This process is much easier on the hob with a frying pan.. Which is fine, but then I have two things to clean.
If I want the benefits of a pressure cooker, I'll just buy one of those.
Oh and the UX on the IP is horrific! I needed the manual every time I used it (about five times).
The cheaper pots don't even bother with all the magic setting buttons.
I've explored various off-grid methods of living and the energy requirements involving food (both storage and preparation) can be surprisingly high. I'm curious to see if the efficiency gained by using a pressure vessel results in substantial energy savings.
Really weird that this doesn't seem to get mentioned anywhere in the comments or article. It Looks so much more like a Rice cooker than a pressure cooker.
And, regardless of what it looks like, it can be set up as a pressure cooker. This makes it an all-in-one rice cooker, pressure cooker, and crock pot/slow cooker.
I like the fact that the innards in contact with food are stainless steel and silicone instead of some non-stick or aluminum surface. I like the build quality. It is enameled steel inside, with a big heat sink that presumably smooths out the temperature changes as the heater cycles. It feels like it actually cost something to build as opposed to the flimsy feel of other rice cookers.
I have not tried anything too challenging yet... am curious about odder things to cook in a pressure cooker (cheesecake, really?)
My only complaint so far is that the user interface is a little bit opaque. Why does it play a jaunty little tune when you seal it up, but not when it is done cooking? Why does it just say "ON" while pre-heating? I'd like it more if it would more clearly differentiate between the various modes and states. It seems like the UX could be a little better. But I do like the fact that if you do the same thing over and over, it would be extremely quick to do that, just push one button, it recalls the last cooking time, and starts automatically.
Here's a few things I tried:
- Mississippi pot roast
- Pulled pork
- Cilantro lime basmati rice
- Butter chicken
- Chicken breast
- Crack slaw
- Pulled chicken
- Chinese hot pot
- Hard boiled eggs
- Soft boiled eggs
- Steamed broccoli
- Steamed cauliflower
- Kale and bacon
- Cheese cake
- Italian sausages
- Beef curry
- Poached salmon
- Pork ribs
- Swedish meatballs
- Taco meat
- Chicken fajitas
- Black beans
The instantpot is a bit slower but it has a stainless steel pot and can do a lot more than just cooking rice and steam vegetables.
Moreover, it's actually cheaper and sturdier than the alternatives I considered.
Good product, would recommend. I try to stay away from pressure cooking, coffee brewing and knife sharpening communities though, maybe do I watch those swedish steel axes benchmarks, for some reason ;)
Are you pressure cooking your rice or using the "rice" setting? I've found rice to cook faster in this vs. my old Aroma rice cooker...
Note that this is the opposite of Soylent, which treats cooking and eating as a distraction from the central problem of nutrition.
(I suppose you could alternatively say it's a complement to Soylent, which you could characterize as unhitching nutrition from cooking and eating rather than banning them from the process, letting people choose whether they want to pick up all the activities together or separately.)
When I got mine after black friday, I made an chicken curry (my own spice blend) and it was fantastic. Total time from start to finish was about 30 minutes and only 10 of that was prep time, cutting onions/meat, blending spices, sautéing and roasting the spices. I think I did 8 minutes on high pressure, then natural pressure release. I've also made steel cut oats, jambalaya, rice, chili, and bean soup from dried beans. Clean up is easy which is a big plus in my book.
Mainly it boils down (pun intended) to the texture and the meat is lacking in caramelization (maillard reaction).
But I haven't tried the Instant Pot so maybe it has a solution for that.
If I could grill all the time I would. I almost can as I have a kamado style grill which has its own cult following as well (see Kamado Guru ).
There isn't much you can't cook on one of those grills.
'The functions can be accessed simultaneously to provide what the manufacturer calls "12 functions": steaming, emulsifying, blending, precise heating, mixing, milling, whipping, kneading, chopping, weighing, grinding and stirring. Several of these differ only by the speed of the motor.'
I have never failed to make a tasty meal in mine.
Well, that's a potentially clickbaity-sounding headline justified!
this is the exact product you're asking for ("Creates an air-tight and water-tight seal on the Instant Pot stainless steel inner pot.")
- "Lid is too big, not even close to sealing."
- "very loose fit"
- "This cover just rests on top of the Instant Pot liner. I was expecting it to "snap" on, similar to Tupperware, or something. I'm very disappointed."
some reviews complain of fit, but a lot more say it's perfect. YMMV of course.
It's a huge money/time saver. I think it's already paid for itself for me as a yogurt maker.
I'd love to know what your favorite meal is to cook with the pot. Mine is chicken tagine.
It defeats the purpose if you have to baby-sit and fiddle with the lid for an hour hoping to get a seal.
I have only had that issue once with the Instant Pot so far and it was solved with a quick re-seating of the sealing ring.
I love that I can take frozen chicken and throw it in the pot, dump in like 2 other things, and presto less than half an hour later I have delicious taco meat.
I think we just don't mind if we have to wait for something to finish cooking; plus she likes "active cooking" - the prep work, the attention to cooking, etc. I understand the desire for "set and forget" - which is why I have my own such appliance (if you will) - a Traeger smoker. I got tired of always having to attend to my gas smoker (checking water levels, wood chips, temperature and gas settings). I just wanted to put the meat in, turn on the temp, and let it run for however many hours needed.
For other things, though, we like to use either a slow cooker, or for smaller amounts of things, our set of "ancient" Sunbeam/Rival Bean Pots (we typically find them at antique stores). Sure, either way takes hours to cook something, but we just set them, go to work, and come back home and they're done. We've never had an issue or reason to think this a problem (our house is worth more in insurance money, tbh), even using the 40-50 year old Bean Pots.
That said, what I wish could be sold/made available would be a modern and "safe" (I put that in quotes because one of these could never be perfectly safe) consumer-model pressure fryer. Think of combining a pressure-cooker with a deep-fat fryer (and realize just how dangerous that sounds). At one time (back in the 1970s, IIRC) a company did market such a product, but it didn't last on the market (not sure why - may have been a safety issue for all I know).
Basically, I want to have fried chicken like I can get at KFC and elsewhere (also known as "broasted" - though that's a trademarked term, I think). It could probably be used for other fried foods as well. But I doubt we'll ever see one, because of the safety reasons and because fried foods aren't on the "high up" list of many people today (health reasons).
I've considered a commercial pressure fryer, but the fact that they require 220v (so I'd need a new outlet run), plus require a ton of oil ($$$) - in addition to all the other potential issues with a pressure fryer - has dissuaded me from that route (not to mention that they are pretty expensive to purchase).
Note: Whatever you do - don't try to pressure-fry in a regular pressure-cooker (I doubt the Instant Pot can handle it either) - the seals and such aren't designed for it, and you'll have burnination and other fun on your hands if you attempt it (at best).
Is this just a US/Canada thing? I remember my parents having an old-school pressure cooker 20 years or so ago.
That said, it doesn't surprise me to see this at the top of HN. It is a geeky cooking tool with a cult following. I'm certainly intrigued.
It's featured on an endcap and does not sell one bit. This was a surprise.
The BBC is publicly funded, visitors to BBC news from outside the UK will get served ads.
Maybe I'm confused. Are you talking about the Instant Pot story, or the ads around the story? I'm seeing a Car Fax ad, an ad for a movie, a t-shirt company ad, some other google ads and some ads promoting other BBC properties.
Having worn a foil hat for a while myself, I still find occasion to put it back on every once in a while. Question everything. Never stop asking yourself how you really know what you think you know.
In life, like in software, never trust your inputs.