Starting last fall, when my Facebook friends weren’t talking about the presidential election, they were all talking about the Instant Pot pressure cooker. In case you’re not sure what the Instant Pot or Instapot is, it’s a modern version of a pressure cooker.
As a devout slow cooker user–I’ve got three of them–plus a regular rice cooker user, I’m not sure if I need an Instant Pot for pressure cooking. (You’ll remember how these appliances helped me survive a kitchen renovation.) But then I talked to my friend Erin Chase, and she changed my mind.
Instant Pot Pressure Cooking
You may remember that I did a Q&A with Erin, founder of $5 Dinners, a few months ago. Recently, she answered some questions about the Instapot. Also, right now Erin is launching an online course about using your Instant Pot pressure cooker. I know that you could probably Google whatever you need to know about Instapot, but Erin’s class puts all of that Instant Pot information in one place. Plus, the class price is reasonable–just $17. Don’t delay in signing up if you want to learn how to use the Instant Pot–Erin tells me prices are going up next month.
This Instant Pot phenomenon is not a flash in the pan–see what I did there? No, seriously, some news outlets reported that more than 200,000 Insta Pots sold on Black Friday alone! Here is Erin’s take on this very hot appliance–again, see what I did there?
Q: What is the Instant Pot pressure cooker aka Instapot?
Instant Pot is a new generation of electric pressure cookers that you don’t have to worry will blow up in your kitchen. It works by heating and pressurizing food. Once the pressure and heat builds inside of the machine to a certain point, it switches to on and off heat so your food continues to cook. Once cooked the pressure is released and your dinner is ready.
Q: I already own multiple slow cookers, a rice cooker and more. Why would I need an Instapot?
The Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker (EPC) is another great tool in your kitchen to help you save time and help make getting dinner on the table easier. And usually faster, too, than a slow cooker. The Instant Pot very well may send my slow cooker into retirement. Slowly over the past year, the Instant Pot has started to take over and is now being used at least 2 times a week. On occasion, 3 times a week. I’m still using my slow cooker, yes. But now our schedule is needing more Instant Pot meals.
Q: OK, so let’s talk about your favorite dishes you can make in your Instant Pot versus your slow cooker?
I prefer the slow cooker for shredded meats and roasts that become shredded beef/pork. Like shredded chicken or pulled pork. I’ve made these in the Instant Pot and they are great, but I prefer the softer, more tenderized version from being slow cooked for 8 hours on low. I still love slow cooker roasts for shredded meats because the meat is so tender, and falls apart. Yes, the Instant Pot has a slow cook function, but the cooking time is only 4 hours. So that’s something to consider with your cooking schedule.
I prefer the Instant Pot for roasts that will be sliced as roasts. They cook much faster and much softer than the oven, but aren’t as fall apart tender as the slow cooker. Which makes them perfect for slicing and serving a “roast beef” style meat.
Other foods that I prefer in the Instant Pot:
- Hard boiled eggs
- Steel cut oatmeal
- Steamed salmon
- Steamed veggies
- Brown rice
- Roasts for slicing
- Whole chicken
- Dried beans
This preferred list is based on the dramatic increase in cooking time, as well as being “hands off” – set and forget kind of cooking. That’s just what this busy mama needs!
Q: How can you help people learn how best to use their Instant Pot?
I’m so glad you asked. They can learn more with my Electric Pressure Cooking 101 online class. The cooking class is now available and I’d love to help you learn how it all works and show you how to cook a variety of meals! With the class, you’ll get access to our “IP Hotline” FB group – where your post won’t get lost among the other thousands of posts in that giant IP FB group.
Sign up for EPC101 here. Remember: prices are going up soon so register for Erin’s class before it costs more to learn how an Instant Pot pressure cooker can save money and time for getting dinner on the table.