Author Topic: Instant pot or something more...serious? Looking for opinions!  (Read 3835 times)

Allie

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Since everyone is raving about the instant pot, I checked it out.  I was thinking of buying one as soon as a good deal came along until I saw thesurvivalpodcasts pressure cooker/canner combo.  It has fewer buttons, but appears to do most of what the instant pot does plus it pressure and water bath cans!  I have a crock pot already, so instant pot slow cooking functions and yogurt making don't really impress me.  But canning with a button push.  Pressure canning with a button push.  That sounds awesome.

Anyone have either?  Thoughts on canning in the electric pot?  Any reason I shouldn't pay the extra $90 for canning features?  Pressure canning features?  Am I being blinded by visions of home canned stew, beans, broth, and low acid veggies and missing something?

Link from survival podcast site to canner...

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00VTL8STO/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&fpl=fresh&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=&pf_rd_r=69NZTE4HYZ7BS8XH3C5K&pf_rd_t=36701&pf_rd_p=6aad23bd-3035-4a40-b691-0eefb1a18396&pf_rd_i=desktop&linkCode=sl1&tag=nimifa-20&linkId=f18b405becda58ff958ddfb21998bcfb

Rural

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Re: Instant pot or something more...serious? Looking for opinions!
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2016, 04:51:42 PM »
Well, it will only do four quarts at a time. How do you can?


When I can, I'm generally trying to store a very large bulk of food in a shelf-stable way at harvest time, so I'd want to be able to do more at a time. Of course, it's so much trouble in my big stovetop canner, and I have so much freezer space, that I haven't bothered in a number of years, so consider that.


If I were considering it, I'd read over the canning process in the manual (surely it's online somewhere) and weigh it against the stovetop canner. And then I'd probably pass anyway because the stovetop canner and woodstove serve as a backup plan for me in cases of long-term power outage - this one would not, being electric.

Metric Mouse

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Re: Instant pot or something more...serious? Looking for opinions!
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2016, 12:06:03 AM »
I'd agree with Rural, and get a stove top model. They'll do more at a time, and have fewer parts to break in the future. Between dehydrating and canning one can store quite a large amount of food that might otherwise go to waste.

Jack

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Re: Instant pot or something more...serious? Looking for opinions!
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2016, 12:28:19 PM »
I've never understood the point of the Instant Pot -- or the electronic pressure canner you linked. Why should I bother with fancy stuff that can break when I've already got a perfectly good stove on which I can place a regular dumb non-electric pot and it'll work just fine?

Metric Mouse

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Re: Instant pot or something more...serious? Looking for opinions!
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2016, 12:34:32 PM »
I've never understood the point of the Instant Pot -- or the electronic pressure canner you linked. Why should I bother with fancy stuff that can break when I've already got a perfectly good stove on which I can place a regular dumb non-electric pot and it'll work just fine?

Do you even Can, bro?

Kidding - Instant Pots have their value, but there are more 'mustachian' ways to achieve the same results, as Rural mentioned. If someone only needs exactly the capacity of an instant pot, it might be fine, but there are absolutely more efficient ways to cook as you've pointed out.

Allie

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Re: Instant pot or something more...serious? Looking for opinions!
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2016, 01:00:26 PM »
The appeal of the electric canner/cooker is the same reason I'd use a crock pot instead of simmering things on the stove.  The idea that I can set it up in the garage, away from the kids, where it won't heat the house up, push a button and not worry about it.  75 degrees in the house, kids who want to go to the park...canning is not going to happen.  Hot water baths steaming on the stove in the summer with the kids underfoot is more hassle than it is worth.  But, if there were a good alternative, I'd be interested in giving it a try.


mskyle

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Re: Instant pot or something more...serious? Looking for opinions!
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2016, 01:57:54 PM »
The appeal of the electric canner/cooker is the same reason I'd use a crock pot instead of simmering things on the stove.  The idea that I can set it up in the garage, away from the kids, where it won't heat the house up, push a button and not worry about it.  75 degrees in the house, kids who want to go to the park...canning is not going to happen.  Hot water baths steaming on the stove in the summer with the kids underfoot is more hassle than it is worth.  But, if there were a good alternative, I'd be interested in giving it a try.

I feel like the actual sterilization part is only about half the hassle of canning... there's also cleaning and heating up the jars, preparing the food to be canned, etc. If you're doing small batches and sterilizing them in the garage it seems like all those tangential things would take up even more time. I have never actually pressure canned though, only boiling water.

Also, how high does the pressure/temp get on that cooker? The Instant Pot used to say it was OK for canning, but they've backtracked. The National Center for Home Food Preservation (which is admittedly VERY conservative in their recommendations) says not to can in electric pressure cookers.

Rural

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Re: Instant pot or something more...serious? Looking for opinions!
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2016, 02:25:50 PM »
 Oh, don't get me wrong, everyone. The instantpot is absolutely 100% completely worthwhile. I hardly cook with anything else since I got mine in December. What I'm questioning is the utility of a pressure canner that will only do 4 quarts at a time that wouldn't be a benefit to me, and I would recommend to the OP  to buy the Instantpot instead.


Food is better and faster in the instantpot, mornings are less stressful because I don't have to set up the crock, etc, we're both more comfortable not leaving the house for hours with a crockpot going, and I get a lot done while supper is cooking because I don't have to babysit the stove. Also saving a lot of money on cooling because it releases virtually no heat into the house, and ditto for dehumidifying (a big deal here) because of the low volume of steam it produces. I'm also saving a great deal on yogurt over store bought. I never really got around to making yogurt before, but in the instantpot I can sterilize the jars and scald the milk at the same time, then just check temps once or twice as it's cooling down and incubate right there without shuffling everything around, I can also keep backup meals on hand in shelf stable form, throw in a few ingredients, push a button, and know we can eat in ten minutes. Our eating out/picking up takeout rate has plunged, and we're eating far fewer overprocessed grocery store frozen meals.

CanuckExpat

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Re: Instant pot or something more...serious? Looking for opinions!
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2016, 11:16:28 PM »
As someone else mentioned, double check on what you intend on canning..
The problem with an electric pressure canner (as opposed to stove top) is if you want to can meat.

Do you can now, will you can in the future?

We have an electric pressure cooker, love it and use it all the time. We don't really can, nor probably would we even if we could.

Rural

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Re: Instant pot or something more...serious? Looking for opinions!
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2016, 06:22:03 AM »
As someone else mentioned, double check on what you intend on canning..
The problem with an electric pressure canner (as opposed to stove top) is if you want to can meat.

Do you can now, will you can in the future?

We have an electric pressure cooker, love it and use it all the time. We don't really can, nor probably would we even if we could.


Oh, I didn't know electric pressure canners aren't safe for meat - what's the limitation, if you know?


Cranky

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Re: Instant pot or something more...serious? Looking for opinions!
« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2016, 08:39:17 AM »
I have a regular pressure canner, not terribly big, and I use it every summer. I mostly can tomatoes, and I prefer to pressure can them. Mine only does 4 quarts, but I mostly do pints, and 7 pints of tomatoes out of a home garden is a heck of a lot of tomatoes.

It's absolutely true that the actual prep work is what takes time. Running the canner is the easy part.

I have never cared for the texture of pressure cooked food, personally, and I like doing my prep work first thing in the morning, so I'm definitely in the crockpot camp for that stuff.

Dicey

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Re: Instant pot or something more...serious? Looking for opinions!
« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2016, 03:09:35 PM »
Hey cranky, please talk to me about pints. I have a surplus of that size but always use lots of tomatoes, so never considered using smaller jars. Do you just use twice as many jars when you cook? Any tips and tricks? Thanks!

CanuckExpat

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Re: Instant pot or something more...serious? Looking for opinions!
« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2016, 10:29:31 PM »
Oh, I didn't know electric pressure canners aren't safe for meat - what's the limitation, if you know?

Based on what I read once here: No Pressure Canning in electric pressure & multi-cookers says NCHFP

I think it's not specifically that they aren't safe, but that they have yet to be proven safe (at least by The National Center for Home Food Preservation)
A bit of a distinction but perhaps an important point, depending on where you stand

Rural

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Re: Instant pot or something more...serious? Looking for opinions!
« Reply #13 on: July 25, 2016, 03:09:29 AM »
Oh, I didn't know electric pressure canners aren't safe for meat - what's the limitation, if you know?

Based on what I read once here: No Pressure Canning in electric pressure & multi-cookers says NCHFP

I think it's not specifically that they aren't safe, but that they have yet to be proven safe (at least by The National Center for Home Food Preservation)
A bit of a distinction but perhaps an important point, depending on where you stand


Thanks for the link - it led me straight to NCHFP (which is a division of the USDA). They say no pressure canning in electric pressure cookers at all, meat or otherwise. The only exception is one electric canner from Ball, and it's not a cooker. They seem to be concerned about temperature consistency.


http://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/nchfp/factsheets/electric_cookers.html


Cranky

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Re: Instant pot or something more...serious? Looking for opinions!
« Reply #14 on: July 25, 2016, 06:43:17 AM »
Hey cranky, please talk to me about pints. I have a surplus of that size but always use lots of tomatoes, so never considered using smaller jars. Do you just use twice as many jars when you cook? Any tips and tricks? Thanks!

I find that a lot of recipes call for a 14 oz. can of tomatoes, which is basically a pint, so that's easier for me anyway.

My tomatoes ripen over a period of weeks anyway, so if I do a batch of 7 pints once or twice/week through August and September, that's lots of tomatoes. And I always dehydrate some for when I just want to throw a few into a soup or something.

When I'm sick of canning tomatoes, I make a big batch of spaghetti sauce for the freezer.