Kitchen Gadgets Part I – Instant Cooker

As holidays approach, and yet the budget is tight, are you considering an instant pot as a “useful” gift for your home?

Disclaimer Note:

We are discussing the concept of an electric pressure cooker with a built-in computer guide. We are calling them instant pots. There are a number of brands of these cookers, including the “Instapot” brand. We are not endorsing any particular brand. This is like the difference between calling something a “Kleenex” (a registered trademark), versus “tissue” a generic name. Also note – we don’t have an affiliate account with anyone, so we are not making any money off of this website (also not making a bazillionaire any richer neither).

Here is an edited discussion about how useful an instant pot might be.

savor-the-southwest-instant-pot-kitchen
A kitchen in an ancient castle featured these kitchen “gadgets.”

Should I Get an Instant Pot

Reader Question – DL asks: “What is the big deal is with an instant pot? My husband said he’d get me one. Problem is, I don’t know if I’d use it. I do love and use a number of kitchen gadgets and appliances. I have a canner, crock pots, pressure cooker, bread machine, and an air fryer. Do I need an instant pot as well?”

Reader Responses

Many Uses – but not Essential

SC “Really an instant pot is just a glorified pressure cooker. The difference is that it has a number of computer programs so you can set it up, then run off and do other things and not fuss over keeping the stove going, or turning it off at a specific time.”

I Didn’t “Instant” At First

JS “I was gifted one and it sat getting dusty for months. Then some friends called around three in the afternoon and said that they were travelling through the state, could they invite us out to dinner? No, I said, come here and we’ll whip up something and then we can sit in comfort and be able to visit as long as we want.

Wouldn’t you know it – the pantry shelves were looking sort of bare, and the fridge too, but the freezer was overflowing. I remembered something about how the instant pot can cook frozen stuff, so I cleaned it off, plugged it in and got it going. Threw in some lentils, coconut milk, curry, and frozen chicken. Turned out awesome! Now that is one of our go to cooked meals! Have even done it by cooking the curried coconut lentils and just adding a jar of my home canned chicken once they are cooked.”

savor-the-southwest-instant-pot-kitchen
Here’s one. Chicken cooked first, vegetables added at the end for 4 more minutes.

Beans

JH “Things I usually don’t use it for include pressure cooking and pressure canning. But if I ever need a pound of dried beans turned into perfectly cooked beans in just over an hour, my instant pot will be there for me.”

Yogurt

MH “I make yogurt in mine. Has a few functions that don’t involve pressure cooking at all.”

Bone Broth

BB “It makes perfect gelatinous bone broth in 2 hours- that’s mainly what I use mine for! But if you have a pressure cooker you can likely do all you could do with an instant pot. The timer and shut off feature makes it easier because you can set it and go about your day.”

savor-the-southwest-instant-pot-kitchen-eggs

Number One in my Kitchen

MD “My instant cooker is the number one most used counter top appliance in my kitchen. For perfect hard boiled eggs, to make yogurt, and to slow cook meals, or make pressure cooked foods. Don’t think twice about getting one. Get it and use it.”

Hard Boiled Eggs

RK “What's the secret to perfect eggs in the instant pot?”
MD “I do 5 minutes at high pressure, depressurize naturally for 5 minutes, then remove eggs to an ice water bath for 5 min. Shells just slide right off.”

One Pot Meals

AL “I got an instant pot as a gift when they were new, maybe 10 years ago. I love it. Yesterday I sauteed onions, peppers, and garlic in some olive oil, in the bottom of the pot. Then moved them aside and browned a roast. Added a cup of beef broth and set it to pressure cook for 40 minutes. When done I added cut up potatoes and carrots for four minutes more. All in one pot is very convenient.”

I Didn’t Go Instant Instantly

BC “Before I bought one and wanted to be sure that I will use it, I watched few YouTube videos on using and instant pot. There are so many uses for it that I don’t know if I can be without mine. I love it. Here are few of many things I do with mine: broths, ribs, pulled pork, whole potatoes, stew, soups, and more.

Now the air fryer is the rave and I haven’t bought one.” (Editors note – might have to generate some discussion on this one next 😉 )

savor-the-southwest-instant-pot-kitchen
Lentil soup. If you are paleo, lentils are a prehistoric non-crop and can be used in moderation.

Maybe Not

J H-G “I can’t believe I’m saying this, but no. I don’t think you need an instant pot if you have other things that do all the things the instant pot does. The only advantage might be that you can set it and forget it-you don’t have to monitor for pressure and time.”

Less Standing Around

KT “I now make most of my meals with an instant cooker. I can’t stand very long at a time so it allows me to make great meals I could no longer do otherwise.”

savor-the-southwest-instant-pot-kitchen

Gives Me Freedom

RR “I have an instant cooker, and I use it frequently. As a pressure cooker that I can set and walk away from (no watching for the jiggle on the pressure gauge!). It also functions as a slow cooker.  I use it for consistent proofing oven for dough, and as and yogurt maker. Mine has a saute function, allowing it to be a sort of tall frying pan! We recently spent a month with access to a very basic kitchen, but I brought my instant pot and was able to make so many good meals.

 

Great for Off Grid With Generator

MK “We live off grid and this is a great way to cook rice or beans quickly after a long day out working. Only have to run the generator for a short time.”

Final Answer

Let personal choice be your guide, but a number of people really like theirs.

Some Tasty Dishes in Our Cookbook!

savor-honey-bookMay we suggest our dandy little cookbook?   Christmas is coming 😉

Using Honey in New and Savory Ways offers 36 pages of tips for using honey in your cooking, as well as in all manner of dishes. A steal at only $6!

We hope you will help support some local Southwest folks!
From the review:
“Honey is for more than desserts and this book can help! Using honey in cooking savory dishes helps engage all your taste buds and adds a layer of added flavor to everyday dishes – plus holiday fare.”

Beekeeper?  We offer volume discounts – because if you sell honey in local markets you might want to offer some of these books as well.

Legal Note

© Article copyright Savor the Southwest/Jacqueline Soule.  All rights reserved. You must ask permission to republish an entire blog post or article. Okay to use a short excerpt but you must give proper credit. You must include a link back to the original post on our site. No stealing photos.

Disclaimer

The authors of this website have researched the edibility of the materials we discuss, however, humans vary in their ability to tolerate different foods, drinks, and herbs. Individuals consuming flowers, plants, animals or derivatives mentioned in this blog do so entirely at their own risk. The authors on this site cannot be held responsible for any adverse reaction. In case of doubt please consult your medical practitioner.

2 thoughts on “Kitchen Gadgets Part I – Instant Cooker

  1. I owned an Instant Pot briefly veggies I gave it away to my daughter at University. She finds it quite handy, in that she can put something to in the morning and it cooks and keeps warm till when can eat it. Love the convenience of it.

  2. I totally agree with you about Instant Pots, I’m a huge fan and wrote a cookbook about making Chinese food in them. It takes less time to cook soup and stews, that’s my favorite use for them. They’re also great for people who need an extra cooking space (for a party?) or who have limited access to a kitchen (for example, RV life, moving or home renovations, college students). Love them!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *