Best Answer: If your kitchen is getting a little crowded with a multitude of appliances and you want to cut back a bit to reduce some clutter, then the Instant Pot would be a great fit for your kitchen. The Instant Pot is designed to replace at least six appliances with the base model, and the more expensive models can replace even more. With the Instant Pot, you can do almost anything, such as cook frozen meats, fork-tender roasts in a little over an hour, dry beans in an hour, meal prep for an entire week, create your own yogurt, sauté and brown meats, make desserts, sterilize, sous vide, and more.
So the main way to determine if I'm a good fit is if I want to reduce clutter?
Pretty much. Instant Pot is a brand name for a pressure cooker, just like Crock-Pot is the popular brand name for slow cookers. Instant Pot makes several different models of pressure cookers, and even though the main function of all of them is to pressure cook, they can also replace several of your existing kitchen appliances as well. Here's what the Instant Pot can do out-of-the-box:
- Pressure cook
- Sauté (use instead of the stove if you want)
- Rice Cooker
- Yogurt maker (except for LUX models)
- Slow cook (most reports are this doesn't work as well as a dedicated slow cooker)
- Sterilize (Ultra)
- Cake (Ultra)
- Sous Vide (Ultra and Max)
If you look at everything that the Instant Pot is capable of doing, and if you have some dedicated appliances for those purposes, you can get rid of a lot of unnecessary junk. The only exception is your slow cooker, because of how the Instant Pot's heating element is only on the bottom, and doesn't heat up the sides like an actual slow cooker. It's entirely plausible to slow cook something with an Instant Pot, but it does take a bit of adjusting (you need to have it on the "More" setting for it to have enough heat).
I have multiple Instant Pots in my kitchen and I'm able to cook a main dish in one and sides in the other, such as vegetables or rice. Plus, the sauté feature lets you brown meats for more flavor and you still only have one pot to clean up, rather than multiple pots and pans.
I have a pretty small kitchen. Will I have trouble using the Instant Pot?
The Instant Pot does not take up a lot of space, especially with the 3- and 6-quart sizes. If you opt for the 8-quart size, do note that it's a bit taller and wider than the 6-quart, so it may be harder to fit into smaller cabinets. However, the smaller sizes should be able to fit into most standard kitchen cabinets, or you can opt for something like a rolling cart.
Even if your kitchen has smaller counters, the Instant Pot can fit on the countertop if it isn't too cluttered. If you have absolutely no space, then having the Instant Pot on a sturdy fold-out table should be fine, as long as you the power cord can reach an outlet.
It's strongly advised to not place the Instant Pot on the stovetop, because accidents do happen and the plastic bottom can melt if the burners get turned on. If you have no where else to put your Instant Pot and absolutely must use the stovetop, you should place something on top of it as a barrier between the burner and the Instant Pot, such as a cutting board. And the burner knobs should be removed so you don't bump into them and accidentally turn them on.
So I don't need to babysit my food as it cooks in the Instant Pot?
That's right! Once you put your food in, close that lid, select your mode, input the cook time, then sit back and relax! Or go take care of some household chores. Or get more work done. Or watch some television or read a book. Whatever you do, don't just sit there staring at the Instant Pot, because then you'll feel like it's never cooking (even though it is).
This is one of the main reasons why I absolutely love cooking with the Instant Pot. It's a dump-it-and-forget-it kind of thing. I don't have to slave over the stovetop, stirring and making sure the food doesn't burn. Plus, I can just relax or get caught up on work or chores while dinner is cooking. The time you save not having to watch over the food makes the Instant Pot worth it.
So if you often find yourself too busy running around to really cook dinner for yourself or the family, then the Instant Pot is perfect for your kitchen. You can make anything from simple one-pot meals to more complicated dinners without having to stand in the kitchen and babysit the food.
The Instant Pot is great for anyone who wants to declutter, has a small kitchen, and doesn't have time to just stand around watching food cook.
The go-to option for many
The Instant Pot DUO60 is the most popular Instant Pot model. With this one, you'll have all of the basics covered, and the size is big enough to feed up to a family of four with plenty of leftovers.
A little higher up
When you need a little more out of your Pot
The Instant Pot Ultra is a great high-tech model of the Instant Pot. It has additional features like Sterilizing, and you can use a setting to do pseudo-Sous Vide cooking if you don't have a sous vide circulator.
The one Instant Pot to rule them all
The Max is the newest and top-of-the-line model of Instant Pot. It can do everything the Ultra can, but it also does pressurized canning and has a dedicated Sous Vide feature. If you want the absolute best that Instant Pot can offer, the Max is the way to go.
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