What do you think of the InstaPot?

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Bensbites
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What do you think of the InstaPot?

Post by Bensbites » Wed Oct 25, 2017 12:14 pm

I am tempted to pick one up. I am not sure I need it, but I keep hearing rave reviews. This is my first round of research...

gladius
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Re: What do you think of the InstaPot?

Post by gladius » Wed Oct 25, 2017 12:30 pm

There are many electric pressure cookers to choose from and like most kitchen appliances check reviews and warranty. You might also want to look at stove-top models that may suit you better.

I looked many years ago and settled on stove-top PC brand Kuhn Rikon which have served me well for many years. So much so I own three of them and really enjoy cooking with them.

RickR
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Re: What do you think of the InstaPot?

Post by RickR » Wed Oct 25, 2017 12:38 pm

Based on my experience with one:

- It's extremely useful for dried beans and grains like quinoa. Cooking time is a fraction of the conventional stovetop method.

- It does a good job on rice. Not as nice as a dedicated rice cooker, but much easier than a pot on a stove. It does a really good job on risotto, without the constant stirring.

- It is outstanding for tenderizing less expensive cuts of meat in stews and braises.

- It makes excellent stock and soups, but the quantity is much smaller than you can make in a stockpot.

- If you don't mind letting it work overnight, it is an excellent yogurt maker.

Kalaeb
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Re: What do you think of the InstaPot?

Post by Kalaeb » Wed Oct 25, 2017 12:43 pm

I have three kids...as a result little time to cook that translates to absolute love for my Instapot. End up using it 4 or 5 times a week. Not complicated to use, relatively easy to clean. Had it for about a year with no issues.

Rufus Leaking
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Re: What do you think of the InstaPot?

Post by Rufus Leaking » Wed Oct 25, 2017 10:17 pm

It's made in China. Unless I'm being lied to about a products origin, I never buy Chinese. I never buy from Amazon and Ive never set foot in a Walmart. The only way to save America is to follow my lead here.

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jbart65
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Re: What do you think of the InstaPot?

Post by jbart65 » Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:18 am

Been thinking of getting an electric cooker or pressure cooker just for beans. This is on my shortlist.
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Kit Craft
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Re: What do you think of the InstaPot?

Post by Kit Craft » Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:31 am

I've never used one but I could see where it would come in handy. A few family members have them and swear by them. They cook a lot of stuff with them. But these are people who don't much care for cooking, fwiw.

salemj
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Re: What do you think of the InstaPot?

Post by salemj » Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:48 am

Never used but I will say that to me, it is categorically different than a pressure-cooker. If you want to pressure-cook, just get a pressure-cooker—it will last longer and serve you better. The idea behind the instant pot (which has been done by others) is to combine electronics and internal temperature control in a way that a standard pressure-cooker lacks. This makes it kinda like comparing an dutch-oven in the oven (normal pressure-cooker: uses outside heat controls but speeds things up and contains them) to a bread machine (ability to cook inside the machine and for automated changes and processing).

I, for one, would try a pressure-cooker before I tried an instant pot for a number of reasons. But for people who actually desire "automated" assistance (such as people with kids and lots of distractions!) I think an instant pot is probably a HUGE advantage over a regular pressure-cooker.
~Joe

Comments: I'm short, a home cook, prefer lighter, thinner blades, and own mostly Konosukes but have used over a dozen brands.

gastro gnome
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Re: What do you think of the InstaPot?

Post by gastro gnome » Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:57 am

I was deciding between an electric pressure cooker and a modern stovetop model during the Instapot craze.

Ultimately, I chose a regular stovetop model for a few reasons.
- It takes up less space so storage should be easier
- There is less to go wrong (i.e. it won't stop working if an electronic component fails)
- The benefit of having a multi-function cooker is kind of lost on me. I know how to cook rice. I don't need a slow cooker
- The benefit of having it start and stop automatically is an advantage for the Instapot, but not a huge one. I have kitchen timers and I can turn the stove off. It does automatically regulate the pressure as well (i.e. it will turn down the heat if it is venting too much), but I have not found this too difficult to manage on the stovetop model either.

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jbart65
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Re: What do you think of the InstaPot?

Post by jbart65 » Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:13 am

I only feel a need for this type of cooker for beans. I don't like canned beans, but I don't cook beans as much as I would like because of the time involved.

These devices are too small for stock - I use a 12-quart pan that doesn't have a fill line. Nor do I need one for stews and the like.

Aside from beans, I could see myself perhaps cooking pork shoulder for use in other dishes. But that's really about it. I also like the aroma of what I am cooking in the kitchen.

what pressure cooker did you get, Mike? I just need a 4-6 qt one.
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keithmarder
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Re: What do you think of the InstaPot?

Post by keithmarder » Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:35 am

Kenji Lopez Alt, my personal food guru, swears by the InstaPot. He says it is interchangeable with any pressure cooker. That said, I have no room for it, and feel like I'd use it twice and it would collect dust.

Bensbites
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Re: What do you think of the InstaPot?

Post by Bensbites » Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:03 am

I have had my Instant Pot for several months now. I have come to a few conclusions. 1) it is not a magical device that the internet claims it to be, I am not surprised. 2) it is the best rice/grain cooker I have used, and the most expensive. 3) it is a great way to prepare one pot meals with an on/off timer. 4) this is safer than my stove considering my 2 yr old likes to climb up on a chair and help me, he doesn’t notice the fire coming out of the burner on the stove.

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jbart65
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Re: What do you think of the InstaPot?

Post by jbart65 » Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:31 pm

thought Lopez had a Breville. In any case, I might just grab a 4-qt Presto on the cheap and try it with beans.
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gastro gnome
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Re: What do you think of the InstaPot?

Post by gastro gnome » Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:00 pm

Jeffry, I decided to get a Kuhn Rikon. I figured: go Swiss or go home.

That being said, once I got the pressure cooker I concluded: this is just a pot with an expensive lid.

Do whatever works best for your perceived usage. I find it invaluable for beans. i make some soups (like chicken) straight from raw ingredients. The chicken chile verde at Serious Eats is a remarkable return on time invested (and a great dish in its own right).

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mauichef
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Re: What do you think of the InstaPot?

Post by mauichef » Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:08 pm

keithmarder wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:35 am
Kenji Lopez Alt, my personal food guru, swears by the InstaPot. He says it is interchangeable with any pressure cooker. That said, I have no room for it, and feel like I'd use it twice and it would collect dust.
Boy has he changed his tune! It was due to him that I sent my InstaPot back unused. He said that this is not for chefs but for people who don't like to cook.
Better buying a proper pressure cooker. Now I see he is singing the praises of an InstaPot. What changed?

I gave it lots of thought, aside from his suggestions, and came to the conclusion that I would not use any of the functions other than the pressure cooker part. So why not get one that does just that.
I don't use a slow cooker at all. And never need to set and forget anything. Or time cook. YMMV.

gladius
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Re: What do you think of the InstaPot?

Post by gladius » Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:21 pm

Here is the PC article:

https://www.seriouseats.com/2016/08/equ ... eview.html

It is a comparison and finds the InstaPot a "good value buy". He also makes some percentage using Amazon click-through links.

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mauichef
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Re: What do you think of the InstaPot?

Post by mauichef » Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:27 pm

Yes I saw that Arnold. And that is what is curious. He has removed the article about why InstaPot type cookers are not the best of people who like to cook. He was very forthright about it too.

Kalaeb
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Re: What do you think of the InstaPot?

Post by Kalaeb » Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:58 pm

Kit Craft wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:31 am
But these are people who don't much care for cooking, fwiw.
I hear this comment a lot, nothing could be further from the truth. If I did not care about cooking I would be buying takeout and feeding my kids Subway leading them to obesity like the rest of America. The reality is, this is a great tool for busy people. Lets face it, many of us work at least 50 hours and many more than 60 hours. It does not produce exquisite meals, phenomenally soft meats, or slow simmmered dished...it does not really excell at any one thing. It makes okay meat, pretty good soups, above average carbs etc However, where the instapot really excels is it allows me to do is provide a pretty good and healthy meal to my 3 kids in a reasonable amount of time. It allows me to get all my ingredients ready in the am and put them in when I get home from work, press a button and help kids with homework, reading, practice. Set a timer for food to be done when I get back from taking the kids to swimming and provides easy clean up for after I get the kids to bed. I love to cook, I did it professionally for almost 20 years, but right now I have to prioritize time, for those people who still care about cooking and providing a healthy meal to their kids this is a life saver. If you have time to spend an hour sipping red wine while you dice one onion with your freshly sharpened knife then this is likely not for you.

I don't use it every day, but man, is it a champ when I do.

RickR
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Re: What do you think of the InstaPot?

Post by RickR » Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:46 pm

I've had an Instant Pot for over a year, and it can't be beat for cooking beans and grains. I use it two or three times a week. Before I bought one, I owned what other posters have called a "proper pressure cooker" that was a PITA to use and didn't do anything better than the Instant Pot. If you are interested in wasting time nursemaiding a "proper pressure cooker", then by all means buy one. On the other hand, if you just want something that does the job, get an Instant Pot.

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jbart65
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Re: What do you think of the InstaPot?

Post by jbart65 » Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:49 pm

People use whatever they use to suit their circumstances and desires. I have no problem with that - Lopez generally tries not to come off as a snob. I am all for another tool in my kit that helps speed up certain things at certain times.

Which ones you got, Matt and RickR? How long to cook beans, and how well, do they turn out? I'd use black beans, chickpeas and large white beans more often with a decent pressure/electric cooker.
Jeffry B

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