The Money Mustache Community

Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: OmahaSteph on January 29, 2016, 08:48:53 AM

Title: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
Post by: OmahaSteph on January 29, 2016, 08:48:53 AM
I'm thinking of pulling the trigger on an Instant Pot. I've seen comments here and there on the forum praising them. Are they really that great? Is there a steep learning curve? What makes them Mustachian? Where do you get recipes?

Thanks!
Title: Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
Post by: vhalros on January 29, 2016, 08:57:45 AM
I have one, I like it. I got it used on Amazon (returned) and saved ~$30 on it. In addition to being a pressure cooker, it can replace some other kitchen devices, like a rice cooker and slow cooker. I also use it to make yogurt, which has been the biggest cost savings for me (it is possible to make yogurt with out any special appliance, but it is so easy with the instapot). It is not hard to learn how to use it; pretty much any pressure cooker recipe will work.
Title: Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
Post by: GizmoTX on January 29, 2016, 09:53:53 AM
Pressure cooking has changed how we cook: more flavor, less time. We started with stovetop & added an Instant Pot for the set it & forget it control. I make yogurt in it regularly -- you want the DUO model for this. Vegetables steam in minutes: broccoli in 2 minutes, artichokes in 20. A one pot recipe for pork chops, carrots, & roasted potatoes takes 25 minutes, including depressuring time. Dried beans are the best in a PC. DS has an IP at his college apartment that is his only small electric appliance since it truly replaces a slow cooker, rice cooker, & steamer as well as being a great pressure cooker. When friends ask me what pressure cooker to get (we have 4), I suggest they start with the Instant Pot.
Title: Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
Post by: Dollar Slice on January 29, 2016, 10:04:46 AM
What makes them Mustachian?

I just got mine, so I'm no expert, but I think the Mustachian part is because it makes it very easy to make cheap/money-saving recipes. And it is pretty hands-off (it's electric, has an automatic timer and doesn't need to be constantly monitored or adjusted) which leaves you time for other work or leisure activities.

Last night I made homemade chicken stock with leftover bones, skin and meat scraps; and then made it into split pea soup. I pressure-cooked the stock and slow-cooked the soup and only dirtied one pot, and I had time to do all of that on a weeknight because pressure-cooked stock is so fast and it is so hands-off that I could attend to other things I really had to do while it was cooking.
Title: Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
Post by: nvmama on January 29, 2016, 10:10:07 AM
I got one for a Christmas present.  I was super excited to get it but so far have only used it a few times.  I'm hoping to use it more, but so far I haven't been overly impressed.  First, it takes a long time to come up to pressure.  So far the quickest time to get to pressure was 15 minutes and when I did a roast it took almost 30 minutes to come to pressure.   So for some meals it just isn't worth it for me to use it.  When taking into consideration the amount of time to come to pressure, cook, and then decompress.   Any suggestions wound be wonderful because I really want to get more use out of it.  Another thing that I didn't care for was that some recipes call for things, such as chicken, to be put into the oven after cooking in the ip to crisp.  Which defeats the energy saving you get from using the ip.

Title: Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
Post by: PatronWizard11 on January 29, 2016, 10:11:28 AM
we have used ours 3-4 times a week ever since we got it
Title: Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
Post by: lizzzi on January 29, 2016, 10:22:50 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.
Title: Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
Post by: lizzzi on January 29, 2016, 10:23:54 AM
Just adding to what I said above: The Instant Pot is not instant. lol
Title: Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
Post by: lunahsol on January 29, 2016, 10:29:03 AM
I love it, sing its praises, and use it about 5 days a week to cook potatoes, rice, beans and lentils (from dry).  I have also steamed tamales in it - way easier than on the stove. 

Yes, there is some warm up time and cool down time for the pressure to get where it needs to be before the actual cook time starts, but it is only few minutes on each end.  Other than that, you put all the ingredients in, push a couple buttons, let it cook and then only have one pot to wash when it is done.

It has saved me a ton of money and waste by being able to cook dry beans so easily.  No more cans!!   
Title: Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
Post by: OmahaSteph on January 29, 2016, 10:31:03 AM
Well, I had been looking at rice cookers, too, so the fact that it does that AND more AND is cheaper than the rice cooker I wanted makes it worth it, I think. I don't need "instant," but I do need something that will cook all day or night without scorching everything, like my timed crock pot (even on low).

I bit the bullet and bought it. So now the question is, where do you get your recipes? Pinterest? Anyone willing to share their favorite IP recipes?
Title: Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
Post by: jeromedawg on January 29, 2016, 10:51:47 AM
I got one not long after the Amazon BF deal for around the same price ($70-80ish) via Amazon Prime. I love it. I've set my rice cooker aside and put this in place of it and can make rice in much faster time. And I've used it for several one-pot meals as well as for making bone broth/stock and porridge. It's very nice. Now, as far as buying an Instant Pot, specifically versus other brands, I can't speak to other brands since this is my first pressure cooker. I'd imagine most other pressure cookers can do the same thing or similar though. I think what it comes down to is functionality and bells & whistles, so best to do some research beforehand.

If the IP goes on sale again, I may pick up a second. I'm especially eyeing the Smart Instant Pot (that's bluetooth enabled and that you can set specific temps on for cooking stuff). 
Title: Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
Post by: sisto on January 29, 2016, 11:29:01 AM
You should check out this thread:

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/forget-the-slow-cooker-give-me-a-pressure-cooker!/
Title: Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
Post by: MgoSam on January 29, 2016, 11:41:43 AM
I'm interested in getting one. I want to learn how to use a pressure cooker because there is just so much deliciousness that can be created with them. My mom makes the best black beans in a pressure cooker, I've tried adapting her recipe with a slow cooker but it just isn't the same.

I didn't realize that it can be used to make yogurt and I am definitely in. Yogurt isn't a huge part of my budget, but I do love it and would prefer to make it if I can and have the time (I know that it's supposed to be easy but it takes a lot of time).
Title: Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
Post by: Inaya on January 29, 2016, 11:50:21 AM
I got mine a couple weeks ago with an Amazon GC I got for Christmas and some saved up Amazon credit. I'm a total fan, and I don't even pressure cook (yet!).


I had been for some time considering replacing my CrockPot. It was my grandmothers and a total workhorse with very consistent heat on Low (which I guess is an issue with some modern slow cookers?). However, the crock is not removable, so cleaning it is a huge pain to the point where I was avoiding cooking with it--and sometimes eating out instead. (I tried liners, but they left residues on the pot--and I assume in my food as well.)


And then my rice cooker died (2nd time for that model).


And then I became interested in making my own yogurt.


It pretty much seemed like a no-brainer by that point. Even my non-cooking husband has used it! (He was converting a can of condensed milk into caramel, but I'll take anything that gets him into the kitchen.) I didn't plan to use it as a pressure cooker (being out of the house 12 hours a day encourages slow cooking to the max), but I've heard about the miracles of pressure cooking, so I'm definitely looking into it.


The downside is the thing fairly large. My 550' studio apartment has very shallow cupboards and minimal counterspace. It lives permanently on my counter, and I have to put it on a stool or on the futon when I'm doing something else in the kitchen.
Title: Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
Post by: OmahaSteph on January 29, 2016, 11:53:16 AM
You should check out this thread:

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/forget-the-slow-cooker-give-me-a-pressure-cooker!/

Ohhhhhh, I knew I'd seen a discussion somewhere! Just couldn't remember where. Thanks so much!
Title: Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
Post by: sisto on January 29, 2016, 11:59:18 AM
You should check out this thread:

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/forget-the-slow-cooker-give-me-a-pressure-cooker!/

Ohhhhhh, I knew I'd seen a discussion somewhere! Just couldn't remember where. Thanks so much!
No problem. There is also a facebook page and a pinterest page dedicated to the IP. There is definitely some good stuff out there. I got mine on the BF deal, but haven't used it much. I just got back to town and will be using it more. So far I like it, especially for rice, beans, and soups.
Title: Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
Post by: bye-bye Ms. FancyPants on January 29, 2016, 12:03:24 PM
I love it - we use it about 4x/ week. Everything we cook in it is much more flavorful. I no longer cringe when I forget defrost something (which is often!)
Title: Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
Post by: dcozad999 on January 29, 2016, 02:56:06 PM
I'm interested in getting one. I want to learn how to use a pressure cooker because there is just so much deliciousness that can be created with them. My mom makes the best black beans in a pressure cooker, I've tried adapting her recipe with a slow cooker but it just isn't the same.

I didn't realize that it can be used to make yogurt and I am definitely in. Yogurt isn't a huge part of my budget, but I do love it and would prefer to make it if I can and have the time (I know that it's supposed to be easy but it takes a lot of time).


Care to post the black bean recipe?  Mine usually come out to bland so looking for something tasty.
Title: Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
Post by: redbird on January 29, 2016, 03:41:57 PM
I'd like to get an Instant Pot, but I simply don't really make slow cooking-type foods and I already have a fancy Japanese rice cooker that was over $100 new (I've had it for about 8 years now though and I use it a LOT, and not just for rice, so I definitely got my money's worth).

I'll probably buy one though if/when my rice cooker dies. So I wouldn't mind links to recipes myself.
Title: Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
Post by: Telecaster on January 29, 2016, 03:50:25 PM
I was partly inspired by the earlier thread and put one on my Amazon wishlist for Christmas.   A kind person bought it for me, I have no idea who.  It just showed up.

Since then I've been trying to use it a couple times a week at least in order to get the hang of it.   And yes, it does take time to come up to temp.  At first I was thinking "cool!  only takes 15 minutes!"  But no.  Gotta add some time on either end for warm up and cool down.

I'm still learning but there have been a few clear winners.   Beans and rice are a breeze.   All soups seem to work well.   My wife cooked the best pot roast we've ever cooked the other day.   We've done some good, not great carnitas.  Still getting the hang of chicken.  Even with browning it first, the skin doesn't seem to turn out well.  On the flip side though, I couple of times I've just dropped a whole chicken in the pot.  Hard to be simpler.  And a lot less clean up than roasting a chicken (which I love to do).   And you don't have to spatchcock or truss it or anything.   I haven't experimented a lot with vegetables, those are still a work in progress.   Two thumbs up so far.   

Title: Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
Post by: iris lily on August 16, 2018, 07:46:41 AM
I got one at Goodwill for $8. I just wanted a rice cooker but ended up with this. I havent used it for anything other than cooking rice. I guess it is faster. .?

I was looking at recipes for InstaPot risotto and all call for me to set the
Instapot on “saute”setting. I dont think I have that setting.

Do your Instapots have a “saute” setting?
Title: Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
Post by: RetiredAt63 on August 16, 2018, 07:51:00 AM
Hello! I found this topic is very useful, as I also have an instant pot. And I'm a big fan of proper nutrition. And I ran into a trade-off what is better for healthy food an instant pot or a crock-pot?  homeexpertreviews.com covered this topic extensively (https://homeexpertreviews.com/), but it just more confused me. Maybe someone knows exactly about this?

Your link jut goes to the main page.  Where is the discussion?  Can you put up a revised URL? I searched using key words healthy food slow cooker pressure cooker and also crock pot instant pot - nothing.
Title: Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
Post by: honeybbq on August 16, 2018, 09:10:59 AM
Life changing IMO.

It's Mustachian because it gives you time to do other things with your life for a very minimal investment. Instead of standing at the stove stirring, I can be playing with my kid, or in the yard tending to the garden,walking the dogs, or whatever. And I'm still cooking at home, using cheap cuts of meat or dried beans and making delicious home food that we eat as a family.

Title: Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
Post by: cats on August 16, 2018, 09:36:46 AM
We use ours multiple times per week.  We had a slow cooker previously and replaced with an IP when it broke.  From a financial perspective, I think the advantage is that while it's not instant, it is much more "instant" than the alternative options (stovetop, slow cooker) for batch & budget cooking, so it's easier to implement.  It is also quite energy efficient, so can potentially shave a bit off your power bill if you switch certain tasks from stovetop/oven/slow cooker to instant pot.

The things I like most about it:
-requires less advance planning than a slow cooker
-requires less attention than the stovetop. 
-Cooks more evenly than the pressure cooker
-more versatile

We use ours for a lot of basic stuff, like:
-rice
-lentils/beans
-making giant batches of seitan (a high protein vegan meat substitute made from wheat gluten, very cheap if you can find the gluten flour in bulk)
-any kind of soup
-any kind of curry
-tomato sauce

I have also recently started shifting making things like steamed vegetables, applesauce, and berry compote off the stovetop and into the instant pot.

Since it is not something I see mentioned a lot, I am going to give my basic recipe for seitan.  This works best if you also have a food processor.  The quantities below are the max my food processor can handle, I typically manage to squeeze three batches of this into my IP.  Note that it is a bit of a pain to clean the food processor, so really is best to make multiple batches in one go so you only have to do one round of cleaning. We mix with veggies, legumes, and sauce/seasonings for easy packed lunches during the week.

-1.5 c hot water
-1 c. cooked beans or lentils (I've been using pinto lately)
-1/4 c. nutritional yeast
-2 cloves garlic
-seasonings: whatever sounds good to you, I like things like cumin/coriander/paprika/cayenne or fennel/sage or italian seasoning, onion powder, etc.
-1 tsp salt
-1.25 c vital wheat gluten.  I find this for about $3/lb in bulk sections of health food type stores. 

Directions:

Have InstantPot set up to steam (steam rack inserted and 1 c. water in the pot)

Blend together 1 c water, beans, nutritional yeast, garlic, seasonings and salt

Add remaining 1/2 c. water and 3/4 c. wheat gluten.  Blend. 

Add remaining 1/2 c. wheat gluten.  Blend some more.  You should have a wet/sticky dough.

Place dough on a piece of parchment paper and shape into a rough sausage. Roll paper around sausage and place in IP.  Repeat 2-3x for a total of 3-4 sausages in the IP.

Pressure cook on high for 25 minutes and allow pressure to release naturally.

Title: Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
Post by: jeromedawg on August 16, 2018, 09:46:46 AM
I got one early on and we love it. We use it most for cooking rice just because it's so fast... especially brown rice, when compared to most traditional rice cookers. We are Asian btw, so rice consumption tends to be relatively high. We are not into the fancy schmancy $200 fuzzy-logic Zojirushi rice makers and never were. We are not super particular about our rice but either way we are happy with it. Of course we use it for other things too. It's very versatile. I'd say definitely go for it. There are so many things you can make in it.
Title: Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
Post by: RetiredAt63 on August 16, 2018, 10:45:16 AM
I bought one because I was not happy with my slow cooker.  I'm not using it much now, becasue I don't eat heavy meals in the summer, but I expect to use it a lot once the cold weather is back.  Plus it makes wonderful yogurt, and in decent quantities, much better than my little Salton dedicated yogurt maker.
Title: Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
Post by: firestarter2018 on August 16, 2018, 11:57:06 AM
I love mine, but you have to commit to learning how to use it up front so that you get comfortable with it. Even if you don't want to use it for "complicated" recipes, it's fantastic for rice, grains, beans, and other staples because you can set it and forget it, unlike a pot on the stove that you have to check on every now and then. As some have said, it's definitely not truly "instant" because of the time required to come up to pressure and then depressurize. But being able to throw your ingredients in, set the time, and walk away is the real selling point.

Another nice thing about the IP is that its "saute" function really heats up quick, which means when your dish is done, you can take out the meat or whatever, set it on saute, and it will reduce the remaining sauce pretty quickly.

I recommend getting a cookbook to get you started on some basics. We got "The Essential Instant Pot Cookbook" from Amazon and have been impressed with most of what we've tried so far. The risotto recipe in there is worth the price of the book alone!

I think my bottom line is that if you cook a lot *now* and like to try new recipes, then the IP is a great kitchen hacking tool. If you don't cook a lot now, the IP is not going to change that.
Title: Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
Post by: RetiredAt63 on August 17, 2018, 05:41:46 AM

I recommend getting a cookbook to get you started on some basics. We got "The Essential Instant Pot Cookbook" from Amazon and have been impressed with most of what we've tried so far. The risotto recipe in there is worth the price of the book alone!


That is a popular cookbook - I just went and put a hold on it at my library.  I am way down the line.

When I got mine I went on YouTube and found lots of videos that showed how to use it.   They were very useful.
Title: Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
Post by: Mezzie on August 17, 2018, 09:08:54 AM
I love mine. The library has a ton of Instant Pot cookbooks. :)
Title: Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
Post by: RetiredAt63 on August 17, 2018, 12:49:57 PM
I love mine. The library has a ton of Instant Pot cookbooks. :)

So does mine.  And they all have long hold lines.  Is that a way to evaluate a trend? See how many holds are on that topic?   ;-)
Title: Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
Post by: lizzzi on August 19, 2018, 11:08:43 AM
Meh. I sold mine to a neighbor for $5.00 last month when I moved out-of-state from a house (where I did a lot of cooking for a large family) to an apartment where I live alone and cook for myself. I don't miss the Insta-Pot in the slightest.
Title: Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
Post by: AMandM on August 19, 2018, 02:15:29 PM
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.
Title: Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
Post by: FINate on August 19, 2018, 02:47:16 PM
Love the Instant Pot. Bought one when we moved to a house with a smaller kitchen and were looking to save space. One appliance replaced the rice maker, slow cooker, steamer - and, we can now pressure cook and make yogurt as well.

Yogurt is super easy. Has a function for scalding the milk and another for fermenting. Sometimes we have trouble getting through 2 gallons of milk (Costco) before it starts to expire, so now we just make a batch of greek yogurt with it.

Makes great hardboiled eggs. It steams instead of boiling, so no need to spend a lot of time waiting for a pot of water to boil and they're super easy to peel - maybe from the pressure?

Also does great steaming vegetables. Cooks artichokes much faster.

My favorite thing about it is that I can sauté in the IP with the lid off to brown meat and caramelize onions, then add my other ingredients and pressure cook to finish. The browning/caramelizing adds a ton of flavor that is difficult with a slow cooker w/o dirtying more dishes.   
Title: Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
Post by: Cgbg on August 19, 2018, 04:33:39 PM
This time of year I use it for a lot of side dishes. Corn on the cob with a 2 minute cook time (and a lot less water vs boiling on the stove) and a quick release. Potatoes for potato salad in 5 minutes. Lentils for lentil tacos on really hot nights.

Winter foods like soups and curries are easier in the Instant Pot.

Title: Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
Post by: RetiredAt63 on August 19, 2018, 04:54:00 PM
This time of year I use it for a lot of side dishes. Corn on the cob with a 2 minute cook time (and a lot less water vs boiling on the stove) and a quick release. Potatoes for potato salad in 5 minutes. Lentils for lentil tacos on really hot nights.

Winter foods like soups and curries are easier in the Instant Pot.

Not to put down the Instant Pot, but I just learned a new  way to cook corn on the cob.  Remove about half the husks, so the ones that are left are the soft inner ones.  Soak for 10-15 minutes (in the sink is fine, no dirty dishes).  Microwave 2 minutes on high, turn,  another 2 minutes, for 2 cobs.  I do 3.5 minutes total for one.  Peel the rest of the husks and the silks come right off.
Title: Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
Post by: OtherJen on August 19, 2018, 05:59:47 PM
I get my recipes mostly from Pinterest

I love it for batch cooking because i typically cook 3 different batch recipes at once, so it makes that much easier. It also makes it a lot easier to cook with dry beans instead of canned, which is key since we cook 99% vegetarian, so beans are a big deal.

Also, we go through a TON of hard boiled eggs, and it’s great for those because they’re easier to peel.

Seconding the usefulness of this device for dry beans. It cooks them quickly and perfectly and pressure cooking makes them much more digestible for my husband, who didn’t grow up eating beans in a Latino household like I did. It also does a fantastic job with brown rice. Given our eating habits, the Instapot is worth it for those foods alone.

I haven’t yet tried it for boiled eggs, but your post is very encouraging.
Title: Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
Post by: pinkfloyd4ever on August 20, 2018, 09:17:51 AM
YAY! The Instant Pot is awesome, especially for those who have limited time (or desire) to spend cooking and cleaning up. Lots of IP-specific recipes out there on the internets now, including for any type of special diet you can think of (vegetarian, vegan, Paleo, Whole30, AIP, etc).

Especially great in the summer when you don't want to turn on the oven.

One tip: when cooking meat, always allow it to naturally release pressure for 10 minutes after the cooking cycle ends. If you instead release the pressure immediately after the cycle finishes, the meat will be dry and tough.
Title: Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
Post by: FINate on August 20, 2018, 10:03:00 AM
One tip: when cooking meat, always allow it to naturally release pressure for 10 minutes after the cooking cycle ends. If you instead release the pressure immediately after the cycle finishes, the meat will be dry and tough.

Good tip, thanks! Explains the natural release notes in recipes I've been wondering about.

Did pulled pork in the IP last night. One hour pressure cook, plus time to heat up and cool down, so about 1.5 hrs total and came out delicious and fork tender. I still like doing low-and-slow in the smoker when I have time, but ~1 hr vs. ~12 hrs means the IP will be our go-to most days.
Title: Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
Post by: robartsd on August 20, 2018, 12:03:24 PM
Automatic pressure cooker is very handy. It certainly can be used as a replacement for both a slow cooker and a rice cooker. Our 6 L Instant Pot Duo was about $60-70 from Amazon in a Black Friday or Cyber Monday deal in 2016. My sister got a similar price from Walmart around the same time (purchased as gift for Mom - Mom liked it so much she bought a second to be able to cook for extended family gatherings). The 6 L size seems to be the most popular and get the best promotional offers, the marginal utility of the 8 L is probably only worthwhile for very specific situations. We still sometimes use our rice cooker (we find the time delay on the rice cooker does a better job that the Instant Pot and sometimes cook something in the instant pot at the same time as cooking rice). I don't think we've used a slow cooker since getting the Instant Pot. If you think it will save you from a few restaurant meals in the near future it would be worth getting even if not on sale. If you'll never use the yogurt feature, you can probably find another brand of automatic pressure cooker right away that costs about as much as an Instant Pot on sale.

One tip: when cooking meat, always allow it to naturally release pressure for 10 minutes after the cooking cycle ends. If you instead release the pressure immediately after the cycle finishes, the meat will be dry and tough.

Good tip, thanks! Explains the natural release notes in recipes I've been wondering about.

Did pulled pork in the IP last night. One hour pressure cook, plus time to heat up and cool down, so about 1.5 hrs total and came out delicious and fork tender. I still like doing low-and-slow in the smoker when I have time, but ~1 hr vs. ~12 hrs means the IP will be our go-to most days.
On the other hand, pressure steaming veggies is a trick to do without overcooking - quick release is usually a must for them.
Title: Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
Post by: FIPurpose on August 20, 2018, 12:11:56 PM
This is the only forum where I regularly see 2 year-old threads revive without a mention.
Title: Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
Post by: DS on August 20, 2018, 01:28:47 PM
This is the only forum where I regularly see 2 year-old threads revive without a mention.

The post that revived it has been deleted. Scroll up to see the quoted text on the revival. Possibly a spam bot?
Title: Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
Post by: Dulcimina on August 20, 2018, 03:04:30 PM
One tip: when cooking meat, always allow it to naturally release pressure for 10 minutes after the cooking cycle ends. If you instead release the pressure immediately after the cycle finishes, the meat will be dry and tough.

Good tip, thanks! Explains the natural release notes in recipes I've been wondering about.

Did pulled pork in the IP last night. One hour pressure cook, plus time to heat up and cool down, so about 1.5 hrs total and came out delicious and fork tender. I still like doing low-and-slow in the smoker when I have time, but ~1 hr vs. ~12 hrs means the IP will be our go-to most days.
I cooked some pork belly in the instant pot yesterday, followed by 20 mins in the oven to brown. A lot of recipes have you baking it for a couple of hours. This worked just as well without heating up the kitchen excessively during the summer.
Title: Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
Post by: FINate on August 20, 2018, 03:12:04 PM
One tip: when cooking meat, always allow it to naturally release pressure for 10 minutes after the cooking cycle ends. If you instead release the pressure immediately after the cycle finishes, the meat will be dry and tough.

Good tip, thanks! Explains the natural release notes in recipes I've been wondering about.

Did pulled pork in the IP last night. One hour pressure cook, plus time to heat up and cool down, so about 1.5 hrs total and came out delicious and fork tender. I still like doing low-and-slow in the smoker when I have time, but ~1 hr vs. ~12 hrs means the IP will be our go-to most days.
I cooked some pork belly in the instant pot yesterday, followed by 20 mins in the oven to brown. A lot of recipes have you baking it for a couple of hours. This worked just as well without heating up the kitchen excessively during the summer.

Oh, that's interesting. I should try baby back ribs in the IP. Steam w/ high pressure to cook then finish on the BBQ. Would be a fast alternative to low-and-slow and my guess is that the flavor/texture would be better than boiling, which is fast but ends up soggy and with much of the flavor goodness in the boiling water.
Title: Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
Post by: Dulcimina on August 20, 2018, 03:47:10 PM
Try it and report back! 

The texture was good, but I did have some issues with flavor.   The flavor issues were self-imposed, I think. So, for full disclosure, the main reason I tried the instant pot in the first place is because I hate how the fat spatters everywhere.  I was hoping that steaming it would render out some of the fat, so it wouldn't spatter as much.  I didn't use a spice rub, just herbs and spices in a mix of wine/broth and then I put the fat side down in the broth instead of the meaty side to see if that would tame the spatter when I moved it to the oven. Next time, I'll just sear it on the stove with a splatter guard to protect my sanity.

Hmmm. I just realized I don't know the difference between spatter and splatter...
Title: Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
Post by: Linea_Norway on August 24, 2018, 02:54:03 AM
After reading enthusiastic reports about the Instapot on this forum, I have also been thinking about getting one. But my situation and thoughts are:

- My household has 2 adults.

- I cook rice in a small cooking pan with a lot of water. Wait until done, and drain the rice. Easy enough. Often we have short-cooking rice (8-20) minutes.

- I make occasional risotto in a wok. This requires involvement from the cook. I even made paella on a camping stove this summer.

- I boil eggs in a normal cooking pan. Make them boil, turn off the heat and forget about the eggs. When I remember them, they are finished.

- We slow-cook a few times a year in a sauté pan. The pan is not non-stick. So it has to be looked after occasionally to see if it has enough fluid left, but not all the time.

- I have made yoghurt in a normal cooking pan, using an external thermometer. It tasted good. But it wasn't cheaper than buying yoghurt in the grocery store.

- I have given up on dried beans, because they usually stay hard. I now use cooked beans and lentils from a pack and put them in the wok. They are not very expensive and taste fine.

- We usually make a healthy dinner in 15-30 minutes.

- I cook broccoli in the microwave, together with some water and plastic over the bowl. Takes just a few minutes.

- I make pasta dishes by cooking pasta in a normal cooking pan and making sauce with meat and veggies in the wok. This is a typical 15-20 minute meal, including the cutting of veggies.

- Sometimes I forget to take meat out of the freezer. Then we put a pack of sausages in warm water to thaw them quickly.

- I make whole chicken in a plastic cooking bag in the oven. This keeps it tender, but does not necessarily make it very brown. Sometimes I need to use the grill for a while.

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.
Title: Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
Post by: FIPurpose on August 24, 2018, 06:17:59 AM
I have not failed at beans yet in an instant pot. Though I still presoak them or sprout them before pressure cooking.

Yogurt is so much easier in the instant pot than stove top. I do this about every 1-2 weeks. It saves probably $5-10 instead of buying yogurt at the store.

I have not done a chicken, I like it roasted better.

You never need worry about fluid in an instant pot since almost none of it escapes.

Tough cuts of meat only take a few hours instead of half a day.

I like it though I don't have a microwave, slow cooker, etc.
Title: Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
Post by: lil_miss_frugal on August 24, 2018, 07:18:40 AM
Is there a trick to not having rice stick to the bottom of the Instant Pot? I prefer my rice cooker.
Title: Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
Post by: FIPurpose on August 24, 2018, 07:29:09 AM
Is there a trick to not having rice stick to the bottom of the Instant Pot? I prefer my rice cooker.

Depends on your recipe. If it's sticking really bad, I'm tempted to say that your overcooking it. Try trading out some cook time for natural release time.

The only other trick is to lay down a little oil before cooking. This also keeps the starch from reaching the release valve during cooking.
Title: Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
Post by: brute on August 24, 2018, 07:34:12 AM
Instant pot FTW. Sometimes I wish I had 2. Rice cooking, steaming veggies, slow cooked flavor in minutes on dishes like chicken tinga, what's not to like? Only downside is I can't can meat in it, but I never do that anyway.
Title: Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
Post by: OtherJen on August 24, 2018, 07:37:48 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.
Title: Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
Post by: lil_miss_frugal 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.
Title: Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
Post by: Jrr85 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.   
Title: Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
Post by: OtherJen 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.
Title: Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
Post by: robartsd 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 (http://beaninstitute.com/dry-vs-canned-beans-which-is-better/) 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.
Title: Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
Post by: FINate 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.
Title: Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
Post by: Ozydit 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.
Title: Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
Post by: JLee 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 :)
Title: Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
Post by: katscratch 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.
Title: Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
Post by: JLee 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
Title: Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
Post by: BlueHouse 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. 
Title: Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
Post by: mlipps 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.
Title: Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
Post by: sisto 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. 
Title: Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
Post by: Bracken_Joy 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.
Title: Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
Post by: robartsd 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 (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)
Title: Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
Post by: Kayad 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.
Title: Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
Post by: FIPurpose 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.
Title: Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
Post by: Bracken_Joy 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.
Title: Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
Post by: Kayad 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!
Title: Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
Post by: robartsd 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?
Title: Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
Post by: StreetCat 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.
Title: Re: Instant Pot - yay or nay?
Post by: mlipps 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.