Have you ever been told, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is?” Our guards instantly went up when the Instant Pot came on the cooking scene. It’s hard not to be skeptical! We’re taught all our lives that the best rewards come from hard work, so something that insists it makes the cooking process instantaneous sounds like trickery. So the question is: Instant Pots...are they really that easy?
An Instant Pot boasts the functions of multiple kitchen appliances, all wrapped into one handy pot. Today, Instant Pots come in different sizes (3 to 8 quarts) and with different functionalities, but most commonly, your basic Instant Pot has the capacity to do pressure cooking, rice cooking, slow-cooking, warming, steaming, yogurt making, and sautéing.
Cooks (and kitchen amateurs) appreciate its efficiency as a kitchen tool, saving them both time and precious kitchen space. Technically, an “Instant Pot” is a brand and a kitchen appliance, but these days you can get a similar multi-cooker from any of your favorite kitchen brands (like Insignia or Crock Pot), but the Instant Pot is the tried and true original. More advanced features are offered on certain models like Bluetooth controls via your cell phone (available in the Instant Pot Smart).
Kitchen gadgets don’t need to be fearful things, as the Instant Pot proves. You simply turn it on, press a button, and walk away. For the busy go-getters that we are, it’s a great solution for getting dinner on the table (or to the couch for your necessary Netflix binge) fast.
Like all you lovely ladies, the Instant Pot has its strengths, mixed with a few weaknesses (we all have them, right?). For example, you can avoid the fear of over-cooking with the Instant Pot because multiple sensors make the machine self-regulating when it comes to temperature and pressurization. Another safety feature--the lid lock--prevents you from accidentally opening it while the machine is pressurized. With the Instant Pot, you can steam to reheat without over-drying, and thaw out frozen foods fast before you start cooking!
On the other hand, while Instant Pot’s greatest success is achieving super yummy, super tender meat in a shorter time than it takes a slow cooker, customer reviews suggest that it is not the best at achieving an outer crispiness (on a whole chicken, for example). And some reviews even say that vegetables, especially soft-skinned veggies like summer squash, have a tendency to turn out limp and lifeless. *Pro Tip: It’s alllll about the liquid levels, girl. If there’s not enough moisture present, your foods will burn, especially if your dish has lots of layered ingredients.
Just wait until we tell you what your Instant Pot is capable of, girl! From meats to mac-and-cheese, the Instant Pot can tackle a whole lot. But, here’s a few of our faves to try on your own:
Chicken Noodle Soup: Pack hours of flavor into less than an hour’s time with this Instant Pot version of a timeless classic. The depth of flavor you’re looking for in a homemade soup is there, with tenderized chicken and noodles that aren’t mush.
Boiled Eggs: Only the Instant Pot can achieve evenly cooked hard-boiled eggs with an easy-to-peel shell every… single... time. With the pressure cooker, the eggs cook from all sides, and with all the eggs resting on the steam rack, there’s way fewer chances of cracking while cooking.
Cheesecake: Treat yourself, girlfriend! This Instant Pot Cheesecake will not disappoint. Again, even cooking from the pressurization lends itself to a cheesecake with the perfect texture. Yum! So what’s your fave topping? Strawberries? Oreos? Peanut Butter? We’re already drooling...
Pot Roast: Remember this family fave? Your grandma probably made it once a week. But don’t worry, you won’t have to slave as hard as she did in the kitchen. It can be hard to judge how long to leave a pot roast in a slow cooker, and let’s be honest, who has the time to sit around and check it all day? The Instant Pot achieves the same result, in just two hours or less--enough time for you to have a glass of wine or two before dinner’s ready.
Rice: How many times has your water-to-rice ratio just been a tiny bit off? Unless you’re working with instant rice, it can be difficult to get consistent results from your stovetop rice. The Instant Pot curbs the variability, and brings tasty consistency to your rice as you whip up your next serving of rice bowls, burritos, fried rice, and more...