I’ve been on a bit of a minimalism kick ever since we moved into this house. There’s nothing like moving all of your stuff to make you want to get rid of it, right? So, a little while back my mom got this thing called an InstantPot and she used it for a few months, then surprised me for my birthday with one. I was so excited because somehow in the moving process I lost the seal to my pressure cooker, so I’ve been missing my pressure cooker. Now, I have a pressure cooker, yogurt maker, well…. we’ll talk about all that stuff in a sec. Spoiler: It’s amazing. Every minimalist needs one. Seriously.
What the InstantPot does
It’s a 6 quart machine that does all of these nifty things:
- Yogurt maker
- Slow cooker
- Pressure cooker
- Soup maker
It has a very nice function where you can set it to delay cooking time, which is amazing when you’re going to be out doing your town day or just letting a roast thaw in the crock pot so you don’t have to think about it later, it’s a great function.
The yogurt making mode is really nice because you can adjust the cooking time, which is good because the standard 8 hours never works well for me, I always have to cook mine at least 10 hours. (I’ll write a post about that later, cause the yogurt is a staple in our house now.)
The slow cooker is to die for. I had this crock pot from Hamilton Beach that I never had any problems with. I was just your basic crock pot, with a Warm, Low and High function and I didn’t have any complaints about it. Then I used the InstantPot and oh my gosh. The meat was more way more tender, the cook time was faster and it’s amazing. I used it for recipes like my Red Bean Taco Soup and it worked really well.
The pressure cooker function works beautifully. Here’s the great thing about it: there is a valve which prevents it from blowing up, which wasn’t something I ever worried about, but apparently it’s a common fear. In fact, most modern pressure cookers have a release valve so that can’t happen…. just fyi for the worrying minds out there. 😉 You can run it on Low or High pressure and it runs on a timer. The great thing about the InstantPot over having just a plain jane pressure cooker is that it has some great presets that work very well.
The steamer has saved my marriage. Okay, well, maybe not quite, but it’s definitely amazing. My husband grew up with an almost vegetarian diet. He really likes vegetables and likes them a lot. I like fruit. If I could live off fruit, bread and cheese with an occasional beef dish I would be a very happy person. One thing we can both agree on are the steamed vegetables I make in the InstantPot. At least two or three times a week now we’re eating delicious broccoli that’s so stupid simple to make you won’t even believe it if you taste it. I should probably turn that into a blog post one day. We also love the steamed carrots and my husband is a very happy man because I also happily eat green beans and he doesn’t have to eat them “from the stove” as he says very disdainfully. I haven’t made greens in it, because I worked at Edible Arrangements too long and handled too many not-good greens after the holidays were over that I just can’t make myself do it. I eat them at my in-laws to be polite, and that’s literally the only time I force myself to do it. Because – greens. Ew. But, back to the steamer, it’s awesome. I have found that I don’t have to cook things as long as the instruction booklet says, but if I wanted them very soft, for things like baby food the booklet is perfect. If you like your veggies a little more on the raw side, try starting off with your time cut in half from what the booklet says.
Sautee mode works well. I’m not sure there is a lot to say about it, you can adjust the temp, just like with he pressure cooker and slow cooker function and I’ve never had any problem with it.
Tips for the new InstantPot user
I knew it was going to be complicated to use, because of everything it did it has to be, but at the same time I think the manual isn’t the best I feel like the layout and print could have been better designed to make it easier to scan and look up things really quickly, but all in all the information in it was good. If you’re a techie person you can also just look up cooking times and information on InstantPot’s website.
The second thing about the manual (not the actual machine) was that I had to look up on Instapot’s Youtube channel to find the actual yogurt recipe, because it wasn’t in the recipe book included or the instructions. I tried making yogurt unsuccessfully 3 times, then quit before my mother in law told me a few tips and now I make it every week.
I have found that I have to be super aware of whether the pressure cooker’s vent is set to Sealed or Venting. I’ve never had a pressure cooker with that option, so it’s just something that I need to be mindful of so I’m not ruining recipes, lol.
I have tested every function of the InstantPot. I wasn’t sure how I would feel about it, because I’m really suspicious of “all in one” type of gadgets. I figure, it can’t be great at all of the things it’s supposed to do, but I was wrong. The InstantPot’s performance in all areas has not only worked beautifully, but it’s allowed us to eat healthier by making it easy to make healthier meals in less time with less prep. I don’t have to go find the veggie steamer, the crock pot, pressure cooker or yogurt maker on any given day. At this point, it just lives on my counter because I use it almost everyday, sometimes more than once a day. I can’t say strongly enough how happy I was to get rid of my pressure cooker, slow cooker, steamer and yogurt maker and swap them for this beautiful baby.