Are you looking for something great to cook with? Yes, there is thing that you should think about. It is “instapot“. Sound strange, right? Actually, it is not strange at all. If you do some researches, you will be able know that the “instapot” is the “instant pot“. It is the short term that people usually mention about the instant pot. Let’s discover why it is so popular nowadays, and why should you get one if you want to have delicious meal with simple and easy recipes!
Electric pressure cookers or Instant Pots as it is more commonly known, are programmable electronic pressure cookers that come with different functions. Instant pots or Instapots for short, are very useful since most of us are very busy that we do not even find time to carry out some of the most basic tasks in our lives like cooking. Instapots help resolve this issue because it is a convenient way to cook. With the advent of new technologies, convenience and ease has become a priority. This is where Instapots shine. So if you are sold on this appliance and want to get one, here is a guide to help you. In this guide, we will discuss and compare this appliance, its benefits and how to choose the best Instapot for your needs. Stick around and by the end of this article, you will be able to find the right one for you.
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What exactly does an Instapot do?
The Instant Pot is considered as the king of the kitchen because it is able to perform the jobs of seven different kitchen appliances. The instapot can serve as a rice-cooker, a steamer, a pressure cooker and a yogurt-maker too. If you simply look at it, it is just an elaborate electronic pressure, but it is very impressive at doing its job. Instapot is being sold in the USA, UK, and Canada. The reason for this is that the startup company that made this product only had a team of only 40 people during the launching. Although the product is currently being sold on online platforms like Amazon, they were able to sell 24,000 units on the first Prime day of Amazon. This is evidence of how great this product is.
It is worth keeping in mind that all the models and sizes that have been sold by the company are completely safe. In terms of functionality or safety, no one model is less than the other. They are all well-built and sturdy with stainless steel interiors. So basically, choosing a specific model ahead of another will rely mostly on your preference and needs. So without further ado, here are the best Instapots you can choose from.
The Instant Pot Lux Model is the most budget friendly model of the series. If you are strapped for cash, but are looking for best quality at a lower price, then go for the Lux model. This 6-in-1 instapot does the pressure cooking, browning, sautéing, slow cooking, warming, and rice cooking well. The only downside is, the Lux model can’t make yogurt because of the incompatibility with the app for iPhone and Android devices. This instapot has a few features but it does the job well and will make lives easier for many people.
- Easy to use
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Can cook eggs, soups, rice, beans, and lentils
- Low pressure option not available
- Can’t make yogurt
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Consider the Duo model as an upgraded version of the Lux model because it has 7-in-1 functionality and best of all, it can also make yogurt. It is easier to handle and you can now comfortably hold it. It has 2 different settings and comes with diverse capacities including 3 Qt pot, 6 Qt pot and 8 Qt instapot. Just like the Lux, it is also incompatible with the iPhone or Android app.
Duo Plus instant pot is designed to save the previous timings and pressure settings that you’ve set. Plus, it has another great feature, the sterilize option, which can be used for cleaning feeders. This model comes with 13 predetermined temperatures and 14 nifty microprocessor accurate programs. It basically offers so much more than the traditional cookers. It can do pressure cooking, slow cooking, sautéing/browning, yogurt making, steamer and warmer.
- Easy-touch controls
- Consistent results
- Offers dual pressure for faster cooking
- Has several cooking options
- Can boil water
- Can be quite complicated during first use
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If you are looking for a pressure cooker that can do it all, then the Ultra Model is what you should get. It literally has millions of functions. You can make yogurt, kefir, breads and ricotta cheese and even sync your smart instant pot cooker with the SmartApp on your iPhone, Android, Mac or PC via a Bluetooth connection. The app is free to download by the way. The Ultra Model will allow you to choose temperatures between 104 to 208 F and timings that can be set between 1 minute to 6 hours. This advanced model will also allow you to differentiate the temperature one degree at a time and will give you complete control over your cooking. It has all the same features as listed on the Duo model.
- Has 11 Safety features
- Added accessories
- Very convenient dial
- Display is easy to read
- Highly customizable
- Has a sterilizing feature
- Has a 1-touch button for perfectly cooking eggs
- Great customer support
- Complicated instructions
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#4. Instant Pot Smart Model
If you are looking for an instapot that allows you to control your cooking through your smartphone, then the Instant Pot Smart Model is the best choice. It has all the cool features like making yogurt, kefir, breads and ricotta cheese and will also sync instapot with the SmartApp on your iPhone, Android, Mac or PC using a Bluetooth connection. It will take your cooking to a whole another level. Best of all, you can also get access to hundreds of cooking recipes. The Smart Model has 12 preset temperatures and 14 smart built-in programs that you can choose from. That should be more than enough for your cooking needs.
- Has 14 smart program features
- Can save up to 70% time and energy
- Has more temperature settings than any other model
- Allows you to sync the Instant Pot with your smartphone or tablet
- Complicated instructions
- Bluetooth can sometimes have issues
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How to determine the size I need?
If you are new to the Instapot craze, what you need to remember is that size does matter. An 8-quart size is the recommended size for large families because you can easily cook meals for 4-6 people. It can even serve up to 8 people just in case guests are coming over. A 5-quart size on the other hand, is recommended if you are a college student or if you only need to cook food for 2 or 3 people max. This size is easier to handle and allows you to transfer the cooked food to serving ware a lot easier. As a general rule you can follow, 1 liter or 1 quart is equivalent to one person.
What do I get from using Instapot?
Instapot has multiple uses and has now become perhaps the most-used appliances in any kitchen. Here are the benefits you will get.
Stainless Steel Interior – Since the interior is made completely of stainless-steel, it will not contaminate your food, unlike appliances that are made of plastic. It also does not have any non-stick surfaces like Teflon, just pure and safe stainless steel.
Multi-Use – As we have kept mentioning, the instapot can potentially replace a rice cooker, a slow cooker, a sauté pan and even a steamer. So there is no need to keep using a different appliance for whatever you want to cook.
Time Saving – Saving time is considered as the main benefit of using the pot since it is able to cook a recipe that will usually take 6-8 hours in a slow cooker in just 1 hour. You can even prepare a roast for dinner as quick as 40 minutes. If you are a busy person, this appliance is your best friend.
Excellent Value for Money – Although it is expensive compared to a generic single-use appliance, it will become cost-effective if you use it as a replacement for other appliances. Instead of spending for a pressure cooker, a slow cooker, and a rice cooker separately, just get the instapot which is able to do all the work for these different appliances.
Programmable – The instapot has programmable features that will allow you to set it up 24-hours in advance to cook food at a set time. How cool is that? There are also other options pre-programmed into this pot that will make it easier to use.
Uses Energy Efficiently – The heating element of an Instapot is a built-in electronic one that will not require a separate gas/electric stove, which will save you money. It also makes it a more energy-efficient device which is good for the environment.
Very Easy to Clean – Since it is made completely of stainless steel, it is very easy to clean by hand and is dishwasher-safe too.
What are its disadvantages?
Up-Front Cost – Although the price is reasonable considering it can replace other kitchen appliances, it still retails at up to $200 which is quite high. It is a big up-front cost especially if you already have the other appliances in your kitchen that it can replace.
Requires time to learn – The instapot is a relatively new method of cooking which will require time for you to completely master. The good news though is that it is easier to use than other pressure-cookers. But still, we recommend reading the instruction manual before you use it.
How Do You Use an Instant Pot?
There are a lot of kitchen appliances designed to help make our lives easier. You discover some of these devices because you bought them out of curiosity or someone gave it as a gift. There comes a point where the kitchen will be overloaded with appliances and most of them are not being used. In our attempt to make more room, we give them away, or worse, wind up throwing them away if no one is going to take it. To prevent this from happening, is good to practice keeping only the really useful kitchen devices that you will use every day. The Instant Pot is one of those devices. This appliance has won the trust of millions of users around the world. In this article, we will guide you on how to use this very efficient device.
What is this appliance for?
To put it simply, the Instant Pot is a programmable electric pressure cooker that has a huge number of additional features. It has so many features that there is a good chance you will not be able to use some of the at all. The main feature of the Instant Pot is the pressure cooker mode. The is the most used feature. This feature significantly reduces cooking time compared to other traditional methods of preparing food or cooking in a slow cooker. As you’ve noticed, we keep using the term ‘pressure cooker’, because in a way, it is also a pressure cooker. This appliance is equipped with an airtight lid that fits snugly against the pot. When you are using the Instant Pot for cooking, the pressure will build up inside the device, which is caused by a sealed lid and boiling water. This pressure will significantly increase the boiling point of water, which will then affect the cooking time. The Instant Pot is being advertised as a 7-in-1 device because it can replace seven kitchen appliances, like a rice cooker, electric yogurt maker, steam cooker and slow cooker. The best thing about the Instant Pot is it does its job exceptionally well, whatever mode you will set it into.
Advantages of the Instant Pot
The multi-purpose Instant Pot has several advantages. This is why a lot of people, and we mean a lot, use it. If you don’t believe us, here are a few advantages that it can provide you:
Made of stainless steel – Compared to most electric pressure cookers, all the surfaces that come in contact with food are made of stainless steel. The housing on the other hand is made of dielectric plastic(which really isn’t anything noteworthy). The more important thing is that the Instant Pot doesn’t have Teflon or other harmful coatings in contact with food. So you can rest assured that the food you will be cooking will not be contaminated.
Wide range of application – As mention above, the Instant Pot has a wide range of uses. It can replace a multi-cooker (slow-cooker), rice cooker, sauté pan, and steam cooker. Some users even swear that they now use Instant Pot so often that they forgot that they own a regular stove and oven.
Time Saver – If you ask us, this is the most advantageous thing about Instant Pots. It will save you lots of time preparing food. It takes only an hour to cook a dish in the Instant Pot. But if you use a slow cooker to cook the same food, it will require 6-8 hours to cook it. That is at least 5 hours of doing something else. The Instant Pot is especially useful during working days when food needs to be prepared quickly during dinner time.
Several programmable features – Another advantage that the Instant Pot has over simple pressure cookers and other slow cookers is the abundance of programmable features it has. There are times when there is no need to start cooking immediately as soon as ingredients are placed in the Instant Pot. You can just leave the ingredients in the pot and set it to start cooking after a specific number of hours. Aside from that, it also has several pre-set cooking modes for ease of use.
Energy efficient – Since it has its own built-in electric heating element, it does not need an additional electric or gas stove, which in reality, is more energy consuming. It also uses a self-regulating heater, which makes it safer and easier to use.
Can be cleaned easily – The inner pot has a quick-release button so that you can easily clean it either by hand or in a dishwasher.
Instant Pot Settings and How to Use Them
The Instant Pot has 16 different settings you can use for different types of cooking. You can check which button number corresponds to each setting on the housing. Each button will set the appropriate cooking type and will include a pre-set cook time. Keep in mind that the settings will affect whether it will be cooked in the pressure cooker mode or the regular mode without pressure.
Here’s an overview of all the 16 settings:
- Soup – allow you to cook soups in just 30 minutes with high pressure.
- Meat/Stew – when this setting is selected, cooking time will be set to 20 minutes on high pressure. It will still vary depending on whether you use fresh or frozen meat, the size of pieces, etc.
- Bean/Chilli – will use high-pressure cooking to get your meal ready in just 30 minutes.
- Poultry – used to cook chicken in just 15 minutes with the help of high-pressure cooking. The cooking time will still vary whether or not you use frozen chicken or large portions.
- Rice – it will cook your rice faster even on low steam pressure. Take note that the cooking starts at 12 minutes.
- Multigrain – this setting allows you to cook various cereal, rice, quinoa, and other mutligrains. It can get your meal ready in 40 minutes using high-pressure cooking.
- Porridge – this setting allows you to cook porridge within 20 minutes using high steam pressure cooking.
- Yogurt – allows you to cook yogurt. It has fully-automated mode that offers three programs to cook yogurt, pasteurized milk, and fermented rice.
- Sauté – this setting will replace a skillet in your kitchen. You can cook without a lid to brown your meat with this mode. You can also set temperature as less, normal and low.
- Slow Cook – this mode cooks without pressure. You can set the cooking time between 30 minutes and 20 hours. You can also adjust the cooking mode to normal, more or less.
- Steam – to use this mode, you will need a rack to prevent food from burning. You can cook healthy food in just 10 minutes when set to this mode.
- Manual – when you choose this mode, you can switch between low and high pressure when cooking in the pressure mode.
- Timer – this mode is where you can program the Instant Pot for a delayed start. It can be used for pressure cooking and slow cooker modes.
- Pressure – in this mode, you will be able to adjust steam pressure to high or low
- Adjust – this will allow you to adjust the temperature when set in slow cooking and sauté modes.
- Keep Warm/Cancel – this mode acts as a warmer. You can set the Instant Pot to keep your food warm or cancel this mode with this button.
To conclude, the Instant Pot is an excellent kitchen appliance that can change the way you cook. You can now free up time for your favorite activities, because it can cook food quite quickly. And because of the loads of options you can choose from, you and your family will be able to enjoy a variety of delicious dishes in less time.
How Do You Clean an Instant Pot?
If you are one of the lucky people to own an Instant Pot, then you know how this baby works in your kitchen. The good thing about using an Instant Pot for cooking is that after a family dinner, you do not have to wash a pile of utensils. It does however, require cleaning. But it is a far cry from washing several cooking appliances. Best of all, most of the parts of the Instant Pot can be cleaned in a dishwasher like the inner pot, sealing ring, steam rack, and lid. The basic clean-up after cooking is no trouble at all, but it is recommended that you periodically give this appliance a deeper cleaning for it to last longer. So how do you clean the instapot? Here’s how.
*Reminder: Before you start cleaning, keep in mind that the Instant Pot is an electrical appliance, so it should not be submerged in water. And, always, and we mean always, unplug the Instant Pot before any cleaning procedure is done.
Cleaning the Inner Pot
We recommend cleaning the inner pot of the instapot fir because this is where the cooking takes place. Since the inner pot is made of food-grade stainless steel, you need to be extra careful when cleaning it to prevent damage. The good news is, you can clean the inner pot either by hand or in a dishwasher. Before you start cleaning it, let the pot cool down for several minutes first. Keep in mind that scrubbers, metal brushes or abrasive cleaners that can scratch the surface are a big no-no. When you wash the pot every time after cooking, make sure to wipe it dry so that molds or unpleasant smell do not appear. If there are water stains, you can easily remove them by wiping the stains with vinegar.
Cleaning the Exterior Pot
The next part you need to clean is the exterior port which is right underneath the inner port. Usually, when you are cooking, small food particles and moisture can get into the exterior pot and will cause an unpleasant odor when left unchecked. That’s why checking what is going on under the inner is a good habit to develop. To clean it, just wipe the inside of the container using a damp cloth. If you are removing crumbs that can scratch the surface of the pot, make sure to be extra careful. Afterwards, wipe the inside part using a moistened tissue and then wipe it dry. Keep in mind that the heating element must always remain clean and dry. If grease is stuck inside, you can use baking soda to remove it. Just take a wet cloth with a small amount of baking soda and wipe the heating element. Then wipe it with a damp cloth and wipe everything dry.
Cleaning the Outside of the Instapot
No one is immune from the sudden flow of liquid out of the pot whilst cooking. Sometimes, it just happens even when you are extra careful. Fortunately, You can remove the droplets of grease from the surface using a soft damp cloth. Keep in mind that the exterior hosts the pot’s processor, so you need to make sure no moisture gets inside. If you see water entering the housing, immediately disconnect the device. Dry all the parts using a clean towel and make sure to hold it up while doing so. Another option to dry it with the use of a hairdryer. Leave the Instant Pot off for at least a day to make sure everything is thoroughly dry.
Cleaning the Lid
When cleaning the lid, carefully remove it and detach the sealing ring and the anti-block shield so you will have better access to the inner portion of the lid. You can now start cleaning it thoroughly with a liquid dish gel and a soft microfiber. If you don’t have a microfiber cloth, a regular cotton cloth will do. Make sure to wipe it dry so that moisture residue will be removed. Keep it upside down when not being used to ensure that the lid does not retain an unpleasant odor.
Cleaning the Steam Release Valve
This part of the Instapot is what allows it to release excess steam. You access it by removing the anti-block shield from the underside of the lid. Remember that you can never remove the steam valve. The good news is, most of the time, this part will not require washing. But if cook greasy food often or use the quick release to let steam out, then we recommend you should clean it from time to time. To clean it, you have to rinse it under a stream of warm water. Ensure that the holes of the valve are not clogged. To clean the holes, use a degreaser.
Cleaning the Float Valve
To clean the float valve, all you have to do is remove the silicone ring that holds the float valve in place. Then wash and dry both items. After you reattach the silicone rings, make sure that the valve can move up and down freely. It’s as simple as that.
Cleaning the Sealing Ring
The part that tends to retain unpleasant odor is the silicone ring. That is why we recommend that you clean it thoroughly after cooking to remove food residue. You can either wash it by hand or in a dishwasher. You can also periodically soak it in a solution of vinegar to remove any unpleasant odor. Another option is to clean the sealing ring using the clean steam mode of the Instant Pot. Just leave the sealing ring in place and add two cups of water with white vinegar or lemon juice to the inner pot. Then run the “Steam” program for a couple of minutes. Once it is done, just let the sealing ring air dry.
Take not that after all the parts of the Instant Pot are washed, cleaned and dried, you can now reassemble the device. Ensure that all the small parts have been installed correctly. Check if everything is in place, especially the sealing ring, anti-block shield and float valve. When you keep your Instant Pot clean and tidy, you can ensure its longevity and make full use of it to cook culinary masterpieces.
To conclude this guide, the InstaPot will completely change the way you cook food. It will change your lifestyle for the better. The best thing about the instapot is if you are in a hurry, you can just choose the pressure cooking option to save time. if you do have time, you can just as easily choose the slow cooking option and get back to whatever you are doing and just check on what you are cooking later. The technological advancements and high-tech features of the instapot will always make you ready to cook. You will find that once you adapt how the Instant Pot works, you will never go back to the other ways of cooking. Think of it like how smartphones have changed our lives. With over 5,000 positive reviews on Amazon this can become the go-to wedding present for friends or relatives in the future. It definitely stands out from basic kitchen tools and appliances and is fast becoming one of the most-used tools in any kitchen. Hopefully, this guide will be able to help you out if you wish to purchase the wonder that is called the Instant Pot. Good luck and happy cooking. When compare this instapot with best countertop microwave, we can see that this one is cheaper with ease of use.