Author Topic: Instant Pot - yay or nay?  (Read 12423 times)

lil_miss_frugal

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Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
« Reply #50 on: August 24, 2018, 07:39:59 AM »
Is there a trick to not having rice stick to the bottom of the Instant Pot? I prefer my rice cooker.

What kind of rice are you cooking? I’ve found that Asian white rices (basmati, jasmine, short-grain) stick if I don’t rinse them really well (until the water starts to clear) before cooking.

I've only tried white rice. I did rinse it but not until the water ran clear. Haven't tried basmati yet.

Jrr85

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Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
« Reply #51 on: August 24, 2018, 08:09:39 AM »
It has been very helpful as a rice cooker. I like making soups in it, too. I don't think it is as quick as everyone says. You still have to do some prep work of course, and then for some things you saute first in the IP before putting the lid on and proceeding. So prep work, possibly sautéing, bringing it up to pressure, which takes 8 minutes or so in mine...the time it takes to cook...the time you have to wait before releasing. So it's OK, but I don't love it as much as I hoped I would.

This has been our experience.  But it's not some incredible time saver for most of our recipes.  Still worth it because we did a lot of slow cooking in a crock pot before, so it's not taking up any extra space. 

If we didn't already have a good number of recipes taht we can fix in 30 minutes to an hour without the instapot, we would probably be a lot more enamored with it, as the recipes are probably easier on average.   

OtherJen

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Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
« Reply #52 on: August 24, 2018, 08:18:23 AM »
It has been very helpful as a rice cooker. I like making soups in it, too. I don't think it is as quick as everyone says. You still have to do some prep work of course, and then for some things you saute first in the IP before putting the lid on and proceeding. So prep work, possibly sautéing, bringing it up to pressure, which takes 8 minutes or so in mine...the time it takes to cook...the time you have to wait before releasing. So it's OK, but I don't love it as much as I hoped I would.

This has been our experience.  But it's not some incredible time saver for most of our recipes.  Still worth it because we did a lot of slow cooking in a crock pot before, so it's not taking up any extra space. 

If we didn't already have a good number of recipes taht we can fix in 30 minutes to an hour without the instapot, we would probably be a lot more enamored with it, as the recipes are probably easier on average.

Yeah, we eat a lot of beans (cooked from dry), brown rice, and homemade stock year-round and beef and pork roasts in fall/winter, so the instant pot saves us a lot of time. But if you don’t eat those, it wouldn’t be as much of an improvement. There are many things that are faster or work better on the stovetop.

robartsd

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Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
« Reply #53 on: August 24, 2018, 10:11:55 AM »
From what I have understood, an Instapot could improve my slow-cooking and risotto-making, which I both do only a few times a year. It could also give me more options when I forget to thaw meat. And it could make me use dried beans. Would that be worth it?

It would not reduce the number of machines in my kitchen, as I don't own a rice cooker, crockpot and yoghurt machine. It would add an extra machine.
I think you're right. Going from slow cooker to automatic pressure cooker is amazing; but that doesn't match your style of cooking. I've always measured out just the right amount of water for rice, never used excess water and drained. I doubt putting in excess water and draining after cooking would work well in either the Instant Pot or a regular rice cooker. You could cook your hard boiled eggs in the Instant Pot with far less water (the you pressure steam them instead of boiling).

Dried beans are certainly cheaper than pre-cooked beans. If dry beans are $0.19 per serving cheaper than canned, it would take about 264 servings of beans cooked in a $50 automatic pressure cooker (any brand should handle beans just fine) to reach break even. That's 132 for two, or 11 times a month to pay for itself in 1 year.

FINate

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Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
« Reply #54 on: August 24, 2018, 10:41:36 AM »
It has been very helpful as a rice cooker. I like making soups in it, too. I don't think it is as quick as everyone says. You still have to do some prep work of course, and then for some things you saute first in the IP before putting the lid on and proceeding. So prep work, possibly sautéing, bringing it up to pressure, which takes 8 minutes or so in mine...the time it takes to cook...the time you have to wait before releasing. So it's OK, but I don't love it as much as I hoped I would.

This has been our experience.  But it's not some incredible time saver for most of our recipes.  Still worth it because we did a lot of slow cooking in a crock pot before, so it's not taking up any extra space. 

If we didn't already have a good number of recipes taht we can fix in 30 minutes to an hour without the instapot, we would probably be a lot more enamored with it, as the recipes are probably easier on average.

Quick note on saute/browning: You can generally exclude this step to speed things up. You won't get the Maillard reaction (usually the meat and/or onions/celery/carrots) so the dish will not be as flavorful. But it will still taste fine. I still prefer the few minutes it takes to saute and do it when possible, but if in a hurry I just skip it.

Also, you can prep many veggies the night before and cover and store in the refrigerator until you're ready to cook the following night. This is great for reducing the time from when you get home from work to when dinner is served.

Ozydit

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Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
« Reply #55 on: November 28, 2018, 06:42:19 AM »
We have the 7 in 1 programmable version like in this review https://janeskitchenmiracles.com/instapot-reviews/  Had ours for over a year now and use it 1 to 3 times per week. Perfect for setting up a meal that would normally take 8 hours in a slow cooker in a little over 30 min. We've also made yogurt in it which works great. The only problem that I have is that the low quality steel pot and plastic o-ring retain odors and flavors between meals. This is really only a problem for yogurt since usually every meal you make in it is powerful enough to override the previous meal. I don't mind it so much, but sometimes you may not want yogurt that tastes a little bit like beef stroganoff, butternut squash soup, or curry.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2018, 03:10:54 AM by Ozydit »

JLee

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Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
« Reply #56 on: November 28, 2018, 07:09:50 AM »
A lot of my friends rave about theirs because of its versatility. "It replaces your rice cooker AND your crockpot!" But I often use both my rice cooker and my crockpot for the same meal, so that's not an advantage in my book. So far I have not seen any reason to replace the appliances that I already have and use.  If the crockpot dies I might replace it with an IP.

You can do brown rice in about half an hour (time to get up to pressure, 15 minutes pressure, 5 minute release) and an 8 hour low / 4 hour high crockpot recipe in ~30 minutes.

I like it for the time savings, plus I don't have a rice cooker or crockpot so I get to have one tool instead of two :)

katscratch

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Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
« Reply #57 on: November 28, 2018, 07:22:43 AM »
We have the 7 in 1 programmable version. Had ours for over a year now and use it 1 to 3 times per week. Perfect for setting up a meal that would normally take 8 hours in a slow cooker in a little over 30 min. We've also made yogurt in it which works great. The only problem that I have is that the low quality steel pot and plastic o-ring retain odors and flavors between meals. This is really only a problem for yogurt since usually every meal you make in it is powerful enough to override the previous meal. I don't mind it so much, but sometimes you may not want yogurt that tastes a little bit like beef stroganoff, butternut squash soup, or curry.

When I make yogurt I wash the pot with a bit of baking soda (bicarb) and don't use the lid with gasket - I just use a glass lid for another cooking pot I own. I've never noticed any spice odor or flavor in my yogurt so maybe those things help (I'm sure not having the gasket on does). I also soak my gasket every few times in vinegar. Well, whenever I make curry really :) A coworker of mine just bought a second gasket to use only for yogurt and said it was about $10.

JLee

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Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
« Reply #58 on: November 28, 2018, 08:53:29 AM »
We have the 7 in 1 programmable version. Had ours for over a year now and use it 1 to 3 times per week. Perfect for setting up a meal that would normally take 8 hours in a slow cooker in a little over 30 min. We've also made yogurt in it which works great. The only problem that I have is that the low quality steel pot and plastic o-ring retain odors and flavors between meals. This is really only a problem for yogurt since usually every meal you make in it is powerful enough to override the previous meal. I don't mind it so much, but sometimes you may not want yogurt that tastes a little bit like beef stroganoff, butternut squash soup, or curry.

When I make yogurt I wash the pot with a bit of baking soda (bicarb) and don't use the lid with gasket - I just use a glass lid for another cooking pot I own. I've never noticed any spice odor or flavor in my yogurt so maybe those things help (I'm sure not having the gasket on does). I also soak my gasket every few times in vinegar. Well, whenever I make curry really :) A coworker of mine just bought a second gasket to use only for yogurt and said it was about $10.

Instant Pot branded 5-6qt $8 - https://www.amazon.com/Genuine-Instant-Pot-Sealing-Clear/dp/B008FUUQJW
3rd party 5-6qt 2-pack $6 - https://www.amazon.com/Silicone-Sealing-Rings-Instant-Quart/dp/B01LWPVCH0

BlueHouse

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Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
« Reply #59 on: November 28, 2018, 10:21:27 AM »
Another secret to making Instant Pot even better -- to get it up to pressure quickly, start out with the sauce function, which heats up really quickly, then turn it off and turn on the pressure function. It goes to pressure very fast because the inside stuff is already warm. 

mlipps

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Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
« Reply #60 on: November 28, 2018, 10:59:55 AM »
Two things I love about my IP that I don't see mentioned very often:

I personally don't like the saute function. It's too hard to control & finicky. But I do like that I can just throw the pot on my stove & sear things there, then put the pot back into the appliance. Can also do this if I make a soup & it turns out too watery and I need to boil some water off. I never felt comfortable doing that with the pot for my slow cooker because of the coatings.

Similarly, I like that the pot is stainless steel and not that stupid non stick stuff most slow cookers come with. That's why I got my instant pot in the first place--my slow cooker pot had scratched too much & I didn't want to keep replacing them.

However, when people ask me if they should get one, I usually tell them they can safely wait until their slow cooker dies or gets too scratched to use. I'm not convinced it's THAT much more useful than a slow cooker that anyone needs to own both appliances.

sisto

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Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
« Reply #61 on: November 28, 2018, 11:06:05 AM »
I got my IP on Black Friday 2-3 years ago and love it. My only complaint is that it's sometimes not big enough for what I want to make, like pork, lamb, and sometimes a whole chicken. So this year I treated myself to the 8qt version on Black Friday and passed down the smaller one to my son. He'd been talking about wanting one. He just got it and already started putting it to use. So definitely a win win situation. 

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
« Reply #62 on: November 28, 2018, 11:13:42 AM »
Two things I love about my IP that I don't see mentioned very often:

I personally don't like the saute function. It's too hard to control & finicky. But I do like that I can just throw the pot on my stove & sear things there, then put the pot back into the appliance. Can also do this if I make a soup & it turns out too watery and I need to boil some water off. I never felt comfortable doing that with the pot for my slow cooker because of the coatings.

Similarly, I like that the pot is stainless steel and not that stupid non stick stuff most slow cookers come with. That's why I got my instant pot in the first place--my slow cooker pot had scratched too much & I didn't want to keep replacing them.

However, when people ask me if they should get one, I usually tell them they can safely wait until their slow cooker dies or gets too scratched to use. I'm not convinced it's THAT much more useful than a slow cooker that anyone needs to own both appliances.

Yeah, not gonna lie, not having crocks split is a big benefit. I've had 3 different crocks break over the years, and I'm not that old! (29). I do like the stainless. It's also a LOT lighter for cleaning. I haven't gotten extra pots, but I may now that we've moved to doing rice in the IP.

robartsd

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Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
« Reply #63 on: November 29, 2018, 08:34:32 AM »
The only problem that I have is that the low quality steel pot and plastic o-ring retain odors and flavors between meals. This is really only a problem for yogurt since usually every meal you make in it is powerful enough to override the previous meal. I don't mind it so much, but sometimes you may not want yogurt that tastes a little bit like beef stroganoff, butternut squash soup, or curry.
I'm pretty sure that it is just the silicone sealing ring (not the stainless steel pot) that is retaining odor/flavor. Some people use multi-colored replacement rings and color code by flavor profile.

https://www.amazon.com/Silicone-Sealing-Instant-Accessories-Transparent/dp/B06XVYMFLV/ref=asc_df_B06XVYMFLV/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=167135614232&hvpos=1o4&hvnetw=g&hvrand=2595063145383261778&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9057151&hvtargid=pla-309484145507&psc=1

Kayad

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Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
« Reply #64 on: December 01, 2018, 02:46:44 AM »
It's a great time and money saving device.  Time saved is active cooking time much more than overall cooking time.  If I was doing it again, I'd get the 8 qt instead of the 6 qt., mainly because I wish I could make larger batches of stock.  My only complaint is the saute function is too hot, often more of a "burn the onions" setting.

Go-tos for me:  risotto (fussy to make on the stove, great in the instant pot), beans, rice (I've never had a rice cooker though), stock, and soups.

Recipes:  Serious eats, Ny times website (Melissa Clark published an instant pot cook book last year that has some good recipes), once you get the hang of it, pretty easy to adapt any soup or risotto recipe for the instant pot.

FIPurpose

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Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
« Reply #65 on: December 01, 2018, 06:36:47 AM »
People do know there are 3 settings to each function? A low medium and high. If your sautee is too hot keep hitting the sautee button until it is on low. The onions won't burn on low.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
« Reply #66 on: December 01, 2018, 08:27:37 AM »
People do know there are 3 settings to each function? A low medium and high. If your sautee is too hot keep hitting the sautee button until it is on low. The onions won't burn on low.

I actually didn't know this! I've never burned anything on it, but it's still good to know =) Thank you! I'll try that soon.

Kayad

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Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
« Reply #67 on: December 02, 2018, 08:57:49 PM »
People do know there are 3 settings to each function? A low medium and high. If your sautee is too hot keep hitting the sautee button until it is on low. The onions won't burn on low.

I think I did know this at one point and then forgot.  Thanks for reminding me!  Mine only has two settings though, one not nearly hot enough, one way too hot, so I stand by my complaint!

robartsd

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Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
« Reply #68 on: December 03, 2018, 10:16:35 AM »
People do know there are 3 settings to each function? A low medium and high. If your sautee is too hot keep hitting the sautee button until it is on low. The onions won't burn on low.

I think I did know this at one point and then forgot.  Thanks for reminding me!  Mine only has two settings though, one not nearly hot enough, one way too hot, so I stand by my complaint!
All the current Instant Pot pressure cooker models have 3 settings for sauté. Which model do you have?

StreetCat

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Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
« Reply #69 on: December 03, 2018, 07:33:38 PM »
Yay.

Very convenient and I cook more after I got it.  Real easy to make somethings like cooked beans, etc.  If you use it a couple of times every week, it will probably pay for itself in a few months.

mlipps

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Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
« Reply #70 on: December 05, 2018, 11:59:38 AM »
People do know there are 3 settings to each function? A low medium and high. If your sautee is too hot keep hitting the sautee button until it is on low. The onions won't burn on low.

I can't remember if mine has two or three settings, but I can't change it by hitting the saute button. I have to turn it "off" then restart the saute to change the temp. And whatever the settings are, I still like having the ability to dial it in more carefully. All of that is easily solved by throwing the pot onto the stove top to saute though.