Christine Chan gladly holds up her Instant Pot, which is one of her favorite kitchen appliances

Best Answer: While there are many features of the Instant Pot that make it enticing, the biggest reason that made the purchase worthwhile is the fact that I can pretty much just dump in all of the ingredients, set the timer, and forget about it while relaxing or catching up on other stuff around the house. Once the Instant Pot beeps, then I know a tasty meal is just waiting, ready to get served. It also reduces the amount of kitchen appliances you need, since it has multiple cooking modes. The Instant Pot has proven to be an invaluable kitchen tool, and it's even turned someone who never cared for cooking before into someone who loves to cook and try new recipes often.

Amazon: Instant Pot DUO60 6 Qt 7-in-1 Multi-Cooker ($98)

So you don't need to watch your food as it cooks?

That's exactly right! Some recipes that I've come across do have a few additional steps, like sautéing some ingredients before pressure cooking, sautéing afterwards to make the sauces or liquid thicker, or transferring to the oven afterwards. For the most part, however, these additional steps are optional — if you don't feel like doing more work, you don't have to. Just put all of your ingredients in the Instant Pot in the right order, add the thin liquid, close the lid, select your mode (usually Pressure Cook or Manual), set the time, and then walk away.

Instant Pot DUO80 turned on with food inside

One of the things I didn't like about cooking is the fact that you need to always stand over the stove to make sure that your food doesn't burn, get overcooked, boil over, or any other possible mishaps. I didn't necessarily like being tied to the kitchen.

With the Instant Pot, I'm basically just putting all of my faith into letting it work its magic, but then I can spend time with my loved ones, finish up work for the day, reading a book, catch up on news, clean up the house, or whatever else. I can do whatever I want while dinner is cooking and not have to worry about a thing.

It also reduces the number of appliances you need

I live in a decently sized house, but the problem is that my kitchen is fairly small, so I don't have a lot of space for every kitchen appliance. With the Instant Pot's multiple cooking functionalities, I can do without a few "staples," such as a rice cooker and slow cooker.

Ever since I got my first Instant Pot a few years ago, I've been making rice with it constantly, especially with the Pot-in-Pot (PIP) method. The PIP method is when you cook food in an oven-safe pan or bowl (stainless steel works great) that sits on top of a metal rack or trivet at the bottom of the inner cooking pot. I usually end up cooking the rice together with chicken or pork, since they have about the same cooking time (around 10 minutes). The rice comes out perfectly every time (using a 1:1 ratio of rice to water), so I have little need for a rice cooker.

Cooking rice in Instant Pot with PIP method

Since the Instant Pot is an electric pressure cooker, it also eliminates the need to have a slow cooker around. Slow cooker recipes can be converted for the Instant Pot, and they end up taking much less time. Why would I need to slow cook something for eight hours when I can get pretty much the same result in just one hour? I've cooked up some delicious pot roasts, chili, and bone broth in my Instant Pot, and it didn't need to be sitting and cooking all day, which is a win in my book.

Christine Chan cooking pork chops in the Instant Pot

For the yogurt lovers, the Instant Pot is capable of making yogurt too, eliminating the need for a separate appliance for that as well. If your stove is unavailable, the Instant Pot's sauté feature works well in a pinch.

It may ignite a new passion for cooking you didn't know you had

I'll admit that before the Instant Pot, I didn't have much of a passion for cooking. As I said, I didn't care much for having to stand around watching food cook because I would rather be doing something else.

But after my first Instant Pot recipe (kalua pork), I fell in love. I became eager to find new recipes to try, and I didn't mind going grocery shopping and prepping food to cook for dinner. It eventually led me down the road to other cooking techniques, like Sous Vide and using cast iron skillets for a lot of things.

A rare steak cooked by sous vide and then seared in a cast iron skillet

I tend to think about my Instant Pot as my "gateway appliance" because it made me fall in love with cooking. I considered myself a foodie before, but I never was into making my own food. Nowadays, I love finding new recipes to try out, and I've been enjoying experimenting with my cooking, whether it's in the Instant Pot, cooked in a cast iron skillet on the stove and oven, or with my Sous Vide circulator.

So even if you don't really think of yourself as a cook, try getting an Instant Pot. It will just open up a whole new world for you.

Our pick

Instant Pot DUO60 6 Qt 7-in-1 Multi-Cooker

A whole new world of cooking

The Instant Pot DUO60 is the best-selling and most popular Instant Pot out there. It does all the things that most people would use it for, and it's big enough to feed a family of four with enough leftovers for a few days. It also comes in 3 and 8-quart sizes if you need to go smaller for side dishes or bigger for larger families.

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