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With our slow cooker going on the fritz (it was so bad and unpredictable that I had to stand there to press the ‘on’ button repeatedly until it decided, usually about 15-30 minutes later, to turn on) and the baby on the way (fear of not having any time to cook any meals), we decided to ‘splurge’/ ‘invest’ on a new Instant Pot instead of buying another slow cooker.
Unfortunately I wasn’t one of the smart/ keen people to buy the Instant Pot when it was for sale for $69 or $99 (I forget how much) on that one day that everyone bought Instant Pots, but my friend (who was one of those smart people) swears by her Instant Pot and I decided to try it for myself.
What is an Instant Pot
It certainly has a funny name, but an Instant Pot is a programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Sauté, Yogurt Marker and Warmer in one. The pressure cooker function allows you to cook much faster, making meals in about 2-6 times less time than it would take normally with 70% less energy used.
The Story Behind Instant Pot
The story of the Instant Pot is pretty cool, not only because it is a Canadian invention, from Ottawa in 2010 (as told by The Toronto Star). Robert Wang the CEO and inventor of the Instant Pot was a laid off telecom engineer (he worked for Nortel, enough said) and he wanted something more for his busy family, something faster that would be reliable and produce faster meals. He then hired someone to hack the traditional pressure cooker and slow cooker, and alas, the Instant Pot was created.
The popularity of Instant Pot really began to blow up with Amazon, there are over 2000 4.5 to 5 star reviews on Amazon.
My Instant Pot Review
After taxes, the Instant Pot was about $145 CAD and I purchased it through Amazon.ca. It’s definitely not cheap but with 7 functions in one appliance, I had dreams of throwing my rice cooker away (in addition to the defunct slow cooker). I think even though I paid 50% more than what people on Amazon Prime Day paid, it’s still worth the $145 that we paid. I didn’t get the Bluetooth version but got this one: Instant Pot LUX60 V3 6 Qt 6-in-1 Muti-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Sauté, Steamer, and Warmer
I must admit, I had never used a pressure cooker before and was actually very scared of having to release the valve for fear that the whole pot will explode, but then I learned about the ‘natural release’ function which allows it to decompress by itself over time. I usually follow Pressure Cooker/ Instant Pot recipes and follow the instructions for quick release (and trust that the decompressing won’t be drastic with quick release) when it is called for.
- In the past month or two, I have made many recipes with it so far, and definitely will not be boiling hard boiled eggs on the stove top anymore! It makes perfect hard boiled eggs and you don’t have to keep an eye on the appliance. I usually use it at least a few times a week.
- That’s the best thing about the Instant Pot, that you don’t have to keep an eye on your food from over cooking or burning, I can step away from the kitchen without having to check on the food every minute.
- I have made soups, chilis, many different weekday quick meals, and rice. Everything is so fast and easy, and tastes great.
- I like the melodic sound that comes with the Instant Pot when you close the lid. It’s sort of soothing in a weird way haha.
- We usually eat brown rice and I found the consistency of the brown rice a little too soggy. Perhaps I have yet to perfect it.
- I haven’t actually tried the slow cooker function yet but will do so soon since I do find that even though you pressure cook it, the meat isn’t as soft as if you were to slow cook the food.
- It’s a pretty big appliance (I have the 6 Quart size) and it sits on my counter top taking up space but given that I use it so often, it’s too much of a hassle to take it down and put it away (I also don’t have very much space in my cabinets either!)
- Although it says ‘5 minutes’ to cook, it usually takes a few minutes to build the food inside the pressure cooker ‘up to pressure’ and then it takes some time for it to decompress/ or release pressure, so even though the actual cook time is 5 minutes, it may take up to 30 minutes to go from raw to meal-ready. However, I’m not complaining because it’s not like I have to stand by the appliance to stir it!
The Final Verdict?
Well, you can definitely get rid of your slow cooker (or not buy one and buy one of these instead) because the Instant Pot has definitely revolutionized the way we make meals and cook!
There’s a Facebook group cult following (over 400,000 fans) that has tons of Instant Pot recipes.
I also did many recipes through this website, Pressure Cooker Recipes and found the meals to be delicious, especially their chilli and the pasta recipes.
Here’s another recipe stash for 50 Freezable Instant Pot Recipes.
Readers, do you have an Instant Pot? What’s your favourite recipe to share?