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Should I Buy An Instant Pot and Which One?

Should I Buy An Instant Pot and Which One?

If you want to get a home cooked meal on the table fast, then buying an Instant Pot is a resounding YES. The Instant Pot can cook food in a fraction of the time, making it perfect for dishes that traditionally take a long time, like stews and roasts. It’s like a slow cooker on steroids, allowing you to build amazing flavor, break down tough meats, and even cook perfect pasta and rice. Plus, there are many accessories available that will revolutionize the way you cook with your Instant Pot.

The Instant Pot is a self-contained, electrical pressure cooker that’s controlled through a digital interface and built-in safety features. It’s easy to operate and takes up about as much space as a rice cooker or slow cooker. While it may not be the cheapest kitchen appliance on the market, its multiple uses make it worth the investment. However, if you’re unsure if you’ll actually use it, it may be a waste of money. But if you vow to use it at least once or twice when you first receive it, it will quickly become an indispensable tool in your kitchen.

While there are many great reasons to own an Instant Pot, it does have a few shortcomings. It doesn’t truly only take five minutes to cook your food since there’s additional time required for the machine to build pressure and release pressure once cooking is done. Additionally, the Instant Pot isn’t great for cooking things that need a crispy texture since it uses steam to cook. However, compared to traditional pressure cookers, electric pressure cookers like the Instant Pot have improved safety features that make them safer than ever to use.

When choosing which Instant Pot to buy, consider factors such as size (based on meals or family size) and functionality (such as whether you want smart features or the ability to use the inner pot on the stove or oven). The most popular models are the Duo, Duo Plus, and Pro. The Duo is great for those who want a simple and easy-to-use version, while the Duo Plus offers extra features like an easy-release steam switch. For regular Instant Pot users, splurging on the Pro model is worth it as it has additional versatility and features. And if you want a truly badass model with smart functionality, go for the Pro Plus.

What Is An Instant Pot?

What Is An Instant Pot?

The Instant Pot is a self-contained, electrical pressure cooker that’s controlled through a digital interface and built-in safety features. It sits on your countertop, takes up about as much space as a rice cooker or slow cooker, and plugs into an outlet. The Instant Pot can cook food in a fraction of the time, making it a perfect solution for getting a home-cooked meal on the table fast. It can build amazing flavor, break down tough meats, and even cook perfect pasta and rice.

– Cooks food in a fraction of the time
– Can be used as a slow cooker, rice cooker, and more
– Built-in safety features for ease of use
– Can be used to make a variety of dishes
– Drastically cuts down cooking time for developing flavors
– Comes with various models and sizes to choose from

– Cooking time may be longer than stated due to pressure build-up and release
– Not suitable for foods that require crispy texture
– Some models may have manual vent rotation required
– Higher price compared to traditional stovetop pressure cookers or slow cookers

There are several different models available for the Instant Pot, each with their own features and functionality. The most popular model is the Duo, which is affordable and great for basic use. The Duo Plus offers additional features like easy-release steam switch and quieter steam release. The Pro model is recommended for regular users as it has extra versatility such as using the inner pot on the stove top or in the oven. The Pro Plus adds smart functionality allowing you to program and operate the Instant Pot from your phone over Wi-Fi.

Why Use An Instant Pot

Why Use An Instant Pot

The Instant Pot is a game-changer in the kitchen, offering convenience, speed, and versatility. With its ability to cook food in a fraction of the time compared to traditional methods, it’s perfect for those who want a home-cooked meal on the table fast. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced cook, the Instant Pot allows you to build amazing flavors, tenderize tough meats, and cook perfectly cooked pasta and rice.

Not only does the Instant Pot save time, but it also offers a variety of functions beyond pressure cooking. It can be used as a slow cooker, rice cooker, and even for baking and making yogurt. With the right accessories, there are endless possibilities for what you can cook in an Instant Pot.

What Can An Instant Pot Do?

The Instant Pot is a versatile kitchen appliance that can do more than just pressure cooking. It can also be used as a slow cooker, rice cooker, and even for baking and making yogurt. With the right accessories, you can expand its capabilities even further.

Some of the things you can do with an Instant Pot include:

  • Cooking soups, stews, and chili
  • Preparing roasts and braised meats
  • Making rice and grains
  • Baking breads and cakes
  • Making homemade yogurt
  • Canning fruits and vegetables
  • Steaming vegetables and seafood
  • Sauteing ingredients before pressure cooking
  • Slow cooking meals over several hours
  • Keeping food warm after cooking

Is An Instant Pot Worth The Money?

Yes, an Instant Pot is definitely worth the money. While it may not be the cheapest kitchen appliance on the market, its multiple uses and ability to replace other expensive appliances make it a valuable investment. It drastically cuts down cooking time for developing flavors in soups and stews, tenderizing tough cuts of meat, and even baking a cheesecake. Additionally, with the right accessories, you can use the Instant Pot for various cooking methods such as slow cooking, rice cooking, baking, making yogurt, and even canning.

However, whether or not an Instant Pot is worth the money ultimately depends on your willingness to use it regularly. If you keep it on your countertop and utilize its functions as a pressure cooker, slow cooker, and rice cooker frequently, then it will be a worthwhile investment. On the other hand, if you buy an Instant Pot and never use it because it’s tucked away in a cupboard, then it may not be worth the expense. Consider your lifestyle and cooking preferences before making a decision.

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Instant Pot Shortcomings

 

One of the biggest shortcomings of the Instant Pot is that it doesn’t actually take only five minutes to cook your food. While the manual may state that an ingredient only needs five minutes to cook, it fails to account for the additional time required for the machine to build pressure and release it once cooking is complete. This can significantly increase the overall cooking time, making it less efficient for quick meals.

Another drawback is that the Instant Pot is not ideal for cooking foods that require a crispy texture. Since it primarily uses steam to cook, any food that needs a crispy skin or shouldn’t be steamed doesn’t turn out well in the Instant Pot. Traditional pressure cookers may offer better results in this regard.

What About Safety Features?

What About Safety Features?

The Instant Pot is designed with several built-in safety features to ensure safe and worry-free cooking. Traditional pressure cookers have safety features, but the Instant Pot takes it a step further with its self-regulating safety mechanisms. These features protect against burns, explosions, scorching, and other potential dangers.

When using the Instant Pot, you can rest assured that it will maintain a safe level of pressure and temperature throughout the cooking process. The pot will not allow you to open it while it’s pressurized, ensuring your safety. With these advanced safety features in place, you can confidently use the Instant Pot without any concerns.

Which Instant Pot Should I Buy?

When deciding which Instant Pot to buy, it’s important to consider your needs and preferences. The most popular model is the Instant Pot Duo, which is affordable and can perform all the basic functions of a pressure cooker. If you want more advanced features and improved safety measures, you may want to consider upgrading to the Duo Plus or Pro model.

The Duo Plus offers an easy-release steam switch, a non-rotating release vent for better sealing, and a quieter steam release. It’s worth the slightly higher price if you value convenience and safety. On the other hand, the Pro model is highly recommended for regular Instant Pot users due to its versatility. It allows you to use the inner pot on the stove top and in the oven, giving you more cooking options.

If you’re looking for even more advanced functionality, the Pro Plus model has “smart” capabilities that allow you to program and operate the Instant Pot from your phone over wifi. This model also includes a large collection of guided recipes on its app.

Sizes

The Instant Pot comes in various sizes to accommodate different cooking needs and family sizes. The most common sizes are:

  • 3-quart: Ideal for individuals or small families.
  • 6-quart: Suitable for average-sized families and can cook meals for up to 4-6 people.
  • 8-quart: Perfect for larger families or those who like to cook in bulk.

The Instant Pot offers different models with varying features and functionalities. Here are the main models:

  • Duo: The most popular and affordable model, suitable for basic pressure cooking needs.
  • Duo Plus: An upgraded version of the Duo, offering additional features like an easy-release steam switch and quieter steam release.
  • Pro: A versatile model that allows you to use the inner pot on the stove top and in the oven, making it ideal for more advanced cooking techniques.
  • Pro Plus: This model adds smart functionality, allowing you to program and operate the Instant Pot from your phone over Wi-Fi. It also includes guided recipes on the app.

– Cooks food in a fraction of the time compared to traditional methods.
– Can build amazing flavors, tenderize tough meats, and cook perfect pasta and rice.
– Offers multiple functions such as pressure cooking, slow cooking, rice cooking, baking, yogurt making, and even canning.
– Drastically cuts down on cooking time for soups, stews, tough cuts of meat, and even cheesecakes.
– Comes with built-in safety features that make it as easy to operate as a microwave.
– Wide range of accessories available to enhance your cooking experience.
– Can replace other expensive appliances in your kitchen.
– Offers various sizes and models to suit different cooking needs and budgets.

– Cooking time is longer than advertised due to the time required for the machine to build pressure and release it.
– Not suitable for foods that require a crispy texture.
– More expensive than traditional stovetop pressure cookers or slow cookers.
– Some models may have certain limitations or drawbacks, such as manual rotation of the vent or less robust features compared to higher-end models.

Models

The Instant Pot comes in various models, each with its own set of features. The most popular model is the Instant Pot Duo, which is also the least expensive. It is a basic version that can perform all the functions of a pressure cooker. The Duo Plus is a step above the Duo and offers additional features like an easy-release steam switch and a quieter steam release. The Pro model is recommended for regular users as it has more versatility, allowing you to use the inner pot on the stove top and in the oven. The Pro Plus model adds “smart” functionality, allowing you to program and operate the Instant Pot from your phone over wifi.

Currently Available Models (2023)

Currently Available Models (2023)

The Instant Pot comes in various models, each with its own features and functionalities. Here are the currently available models:

1. Instant Pot Duo: This is the most popular and affordable version of the Instant Pot. It is a basic model that can perform all the essential functions of a pressure cooker.

2. Instant Pot Duo Plus: The Duo Plus is an upgraded version of the Duo model. It includes additional features like an easy-release steam switch, a non-rotating release vent, and a full enclosure for quiet steam release.

3. Instant Pot Pro: The Pro model offers even more versatility with the ability to use the inner pot on stovetops and ovens. It also has silicon handles for easier lifting and faster steam building.

4. Instant Pot Pro Plus: The Pro Plus model adds “smart” functionality, allowing you to control and program your Instant Pot from your phone via wifi. It also includes over 1900 guided recipes on its app.

If you’re considering buying an Instant Pot, carefully evaluate your needs and preferences to choose the right model for you.

The Instant Pot Duo ~ $99

The Instant Pot Duo is the most popular and least expensive model of the Instant Pot. It can do everything you expect from a pressure cooker, making it a great option if you’re looking for a simple and easy-to-use version. However, it doesn’t have as many bells and whistles as the upgraded versions. One drawback is that the vent on the Duo hasn’t been upgraded like on other models, so you have to manually rotate it before cooking. Additionally, the knob is where steam releases, which can increase the risk of burning yourself when releasing pressure.

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For an extra $29, you can upgrade to the Instant Pot Duo Plus. It’s worth considering this model because it offers some additional features that make it more versatile and convenient to use. The Duo Plus has an easy-release steam switch that automatically resets itself, eliminating the need to remember to set the vent to sealing. The release vent on top also doesn’t rotate like on the Duo, reducing the chance of burning yourself or not properly sealing the pot. It also has a quieter steam release with a full enclosure for the valve, preventing spitting when releasing steam.

If you regularly use your Instant Pot and want even more versatility, consider splurging for the Instant Pot Pro. This model offers additional features that make it highly recommended by users who use their Instant Pots frequently. The Pro model allows you to use the inner pot on both stovetop and oven, providing more cooking options. It also has silicon handles on its inner pot for easier lifting and carrying. Additionally, it builds steam faster than other models and offers endless possibilities with its ability to cook two different things simultaneously with two inner pots.

Instant Pot Duo Plus ~ $129

The Instant Pot Duo Plus is a popular model that offers a range of features at an affordable price. Priced at around $129, it is a step up from the basic Duo model. One of the standout features of the Duo Plus is its easy-release steam switch, which automatically resets itself and eliminates the need to manually set the vent to sealing. The release vent on top also does not rotate like in the Duo, reducing the risk of burning oneself or improperly sealing the pot. Additionally, it has the quietest steam release with a full enclosure for the valve to prevent spitting.

Another advantage of the Duo Plus is its versatility. The inner pot can be used on both the stove top and in the oven, making it convenient for various cooking techniques. It also comes with silicon handles, unlike other models, which makes lifting and carrying the pot easier. In terms of performance, this model builds steam faster than others and offers more precise temperature control.

Instant Pot Pro ~ $169

The Instant Pot Pro is the top-of-the-line model, priced at around $169. It offers additional features and versatility that make it worth the splurge for those who use their Instant Pot regularly. The Pro model allows you to use the inner pot on the stovetop and in the oven, giving you more cooking options. It also has silicon handles, making it easier to lift and carry. Additionally, this model builds steam faster than other models, saving you even more time in the kitchen.

One standout feature of the Instant Pot Pro is its “smart” functionality, which allows you to program and operate the device from your phone over wifi. This means you can control cooking time, temperature, release steam, and even set a delay start. The Pro Plus model also includes over 1900 guided recipes on its app, providing step-by-step instructions for a variety of dishes.

Instant Pot Pro Plus ~ $199

The Instant Pot Pro Plus is the ultimate model for those who want all the bells and whistles. Priced at around $199, it may be a splurge, but it offers incredible versatility and functionality. One standout feature is the ability to program and operate the Instant Pot from your phone over wifi. You can set the time, temperature, release steam, and even use the included recipes to guide you through every step. The Pro Plus also includes all the features of the Pro model, such as using the inner pot on the stove top and in the oven. With its silicon handles for easy lifting and whisper quiet steam release, this model truly does it all.

Instant Pot Crisp (Duo & Pro) ~ $229 – $249

The Instant Pot Crisp is a newer version of the Instant Pot that offers even more functionality. It includes all the features of the Duo and Pro models, but with an additional air frying capability. This means you can not only pressure cook, slow cook, and sauté in this model, but also air fry your food to achieve a crispy texture. With the Instant Pot Crisp, you can make crispy chicken wings, french fries, and even desserts like apple fritters. It’s a versatile appliance that combines multiple cooking methods into one, making it a great investment for anyone looking to expand their cooking repertoire. The price range for the Instant Pot Crisp is between $229 and $249, depending on the model you choose.

How to Choose the Right Instant Pot for You

When choosing the right Instant Pot for you, there are a few factors to consider. First, determine the size that best suits your needs. The most popular sizes are 6-quart and 8-quart, but there are also smaller and larger options available.

Next, think about the features you want in an Instant Pot. The basic model, Duo, is a great choice if you’re looking for simplicity and affordability. If you want more advanced features like automatic steam release and a quiet steam release valve, consider upgrading to the Duo Plus or Pro models.

Lastly, consider your cooking style and what you plan to use the Instant Pot for. If you’re a beginner or don’t plan on using it frequently, the basic model may be sufficient. But if you’re an avid cook who wants more versatility and control over your recipes, investing in a higher-end model like the Pro Plus can be worth it.

Decommissioned Models

Decommissioned Models

The Instant Pot has had several models that are no longer in production. These include the Instant Pot Lux, Instant Pot Ultra, and Instant Pot Max. While these models may still be available for purchase from third-party sellers or through used markets, they are no longer being manufactured by the company.

The Lux model was one of the early versions of the Instant Pot and offered basic functionality without some of the advanced features found in later models. The Ultra model was introduced as an upgrade to the Lux, offering more customizable cooking options and a larger LCD screen. The Max model was marketed as being able to reach higher pressures than other models, allowing for even faster cooking times.

The Instant Pot Lux

The Instant Pot Lux is one of the most basic models of the Instant Pot. It comes in three different sizes: 3-quart, 6-quart, and 8-quart. The Lux model is perfect for those who are new to pressure cooking and want a simple and affordable option. It has six different functions: pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, sauté/browning, steamer, and warmer. While it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of the more advanced models, it still gets the job done efficiently.

One downside of the Lux model is that it doesn’t have a yogurt-making function like some of the other models do. However, if you’re not interested in making yogurt, this shouldn’t be a problem for you. Overall, the Instant Pot Lux is a great entry-level option for those who want to try out pressure cooking without breaking the bank.

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Duo Nova model

The Duo Nova model is an upgraded version of the popular Duo model. It offers all the basic functions of a pressure cooker but with some additional features. One notable feature is the easy-seal lid, which automatically seals the pot for pressure cooking without needing to manually rotate a vent. This makes it more convenient and reduces the risk of burns or improper sealing. The Duo Nova also has a steam release valve that is enclosed, preventing any spitting or mess when releasing steam. Overall, the Duo Nova offers improved safety and ease of use compared to the Duo model.

Another advantage of the Duo Nova model is its versatility. It can be used as a slow cooker, rice cooker, sauté pan, steamer, yogurt maker, and more. This means you can replace multiple kitchen appliances with just one Instant Pot. The Duo Nova also has a large capacity option, with an 8-quart size available for those who need to cook larger meals or for bigger families.

In terms of pricing, the Duo Nova is slightly more expensive than the basic Duo model but still affordable compared to other kitchen appliances with similar capabilities. If you plan on using your Instant Pot frequently and want added convenience and safety features, upgrading to the Duo Nova model is definitely worth considering.

Duo Evo Plus model

The Duo Evo Plus model is the latest addition to the Instant Pot lineup. It offers a range of advanced features and improvements over previous models. One notable feature is the EasySeal lid, which automatically seals the pot for pressure cooking and has a quick-release button for easy venting. The new inner pot has a flat bottom, which allows for better searing and sautéing. Additionally, the Duo Evo Plus comes with more preset cooking programs and an updated LCD display for easy navigation.

The Duo Evo Plus model also includes several safety features, such as overheat protection and a steam release reset button. It is available in various sizes, including 6-quart, 8-quart, and 10-quart options. With its enhanced functionality and user-friendly design, the Duo Evo Plus is a great choice for those looking to upgrade their Instant Pot experience.

Instant Pot Ultra

The Instant Pot Ultra is a top-of-the-line model that offers even more features and functionality than the Pro Plus. It has a large, easy-to-use LCD screen with a progress indicator, allowing you to easily monitor your cooking. The Ultra also has a dial for precise temperature control, making it perfect for sous vide cooking. With 16 different smart programs and customizable settings, you have complete control over your cooking process. The Ultra also has a steam release button that allows for quick and safe pressure release. Overall, if you’re serious about cooking and want the most advanced Instant Pot on the market, the Ultra is the way to go.

The Instant Pot Max is the newest addition to the Instant Pot lineup and offers some unique features not found in other models. One standout feature of the Max is its ability to reach higher pressure levels than other models, allowing for faster cooking times. It also has a canning program that makes it perfect for home canning enthusiasts. The Max also includes a touchscreen interface with intuitive controls and an automatic pressure release function for added safety. If you’re looking for the latest and greatest Instant Pot with advanced features like high-pressure cooking and canning capabilities, the Max is worth considering.

The Instant Pot Duo Nova is an upgraded version of the popular Duo model with some additional features. One notable feature of the Duo Nova is its improved lid design, which seals automatically when closed and releases steam easily during cooking. It also has an easy-seal lid that eliminates any confusion about whether or not the pot is properly sealed. The Duo Nova includes all of the basic functions of the Duo, such as pressure cooking, slow cooking, and rice cooking, but with added convenience and ease of use. If you’re looking for a reliable and user-friendly Instant Pot with some extra features, the Duo Nova is a great choice.

The Instant Pot Lux is the most basic model in the Instant Pot lineup, but it still offers plenty of functionality and versatility. It has all of the essential cooking functions, including pressure cooking, slow cooking, sautéing, and rice cooking. While it may not have all of the bells and whistles of the higher-end models, the Lux is still a reliable and efficient appliance that can handle a wide variety of recipes. If you’re new to Instant Pot cooking or simply want a budget-friendly option, the Lux is a solid choice.

The Instant Pot Duo Crisp + Air Fryer combines the functionality of an Instant Pot with the convenience of an air fryer. It has all of the standard features of an Instant Pot, such as pressure cooking and slow cooking, but also includes a built-in air fryer lid for crispy and healthy fried foods. The Duo Crisp + Air Fryer is perfect for those who want to enjoy their favorite fried foods without the added oil and calories. If you’re looking for an all-in-one appliance that can pressure cook, slow cook, and air fry, this model is worth considering.

The Instant Pot Smart + app

The Instant Pot Smart + app is a feature that sets the Pro Plus model apart from the other models. With this app, you can program and operate your Instant Pot from your phone over wifi. This means you can easily set the time, temperature, and even release steam with just a few taps on your phone. The app also includes over 1900 guided recipes that walk you through every step of cooking with your Instant Pot. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced cook, this app makes it easy to create delicious meals.

Instant Pot Max

The Instant Pot Max is the newest addition to the Instant Pot lineup and offers some unique features that set it apart from the other models. One of the standout features of the Max is its ability to reach a higher pressure level, which can be beneficial for certain types of cooking. It also has a sous vide function, allowing you to cook food at precise temperatures for extended periods of time. Additionally, the Max has a touchscreen interface, making it easy to navigate through its various functions and settings. Overall, if you’re looking for a top-of-the-line Instant Pot with advanced features, the Max may be worth considering.

How To Find Instant Pot Recipes

How To Find Instant Pot Recipes

When it comes to finding Instant Pot recipes, there are several resources available to help you get started. One of the easiest ways is to search online for websites and blogs dedicated to Instant Pot cooking. These sites often have a wide variety of recipes, ranging from quick and easy meals to more elaborate dishes.

You can also join Instant Pot communities on social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram. These communities are filled with avid Instant Pot users who love sharing their favorite recipes and tips. Additionally, many cookbooks have been published specifically for the Instant Pot, so checking out your local bookstore or library is another great option.

In conclusion, the Instapot has revolutionized the way we cook by combining multiple appliances into one, saving time and space in our kitchens. Its versatility and efficiency have made it a popular choice among busy individuals and families. With its ease of use and ability to cook a wide variety of dishes, the Instapot has become a must-have kitchen gadget for anyone looking to simplify their cooking experience.

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