Do you have Instant Pot fever?

 chicken tikka masala

If my friends are any indication, thousands of people took advantage of the steep discount on the Instant Pot multi-function cooker during Amazon Prime Day a couple of weeks ago. It seems like everywhere I turn, I discover an Instant Pot devotee.

While electric pressure cookers have been around for nearly 30 years, recent advances in programming have turned what was once a "unitasker" into the Swiss Army knife of kitchen electrics. The Instant Pot claims to be not only a pressure cooker, but also a rice cooker, steamer, porridge maker, a browning device, a yogurt maker, and a warmer. Fans of the device have given it very high ratings on Amazon, and cooking forums are abuzz with a multitude of uses for the Instant Pot.

Indexed blog The Kitchn has discussed the appliance on a few occasions, and has just released a list of 50 things you can make in the Instant Pot. The article focuses on the pressure cooker and slow cooker aspects of the appliance, and features recipes like the Slow cooker chicken tikka masala pictured above.

I've seen people rave over a cheesecake made in the Instant Pot, and there are plenty of other uses being proclaimed as fantastic. The EYB Library contains a handful of recipes featuring the Instant Pot, although you can use any of the slow cooker or pressure cooker recipes already indexed. I've yet to make the plunge, so I can't comment on how fabulous the Instant Pot is or isn't. After reading the cheesecake recipe I am not sure I'm convinced - it takes 40 minutes to cook, and requires you to carefully wrap a 7-inch springform pan in paper towels and then foil to prevent moisture from getting on the cheesecake.  I think I'll stick with my boring silicone cake pan/water bath in the oven method.

For those who've tried the Instant Pot, do you like it? If so, what are your favorite uses for it?

5 Comments

  • chawkins  on  7/21/2016 at 6:59 PM

    I love mine. I particularly like cooking rice in it, one cup jasmine rice, one cup water, high pressure for 1 minute and you get perfect rice every single time. No need to worry about the amount of liquid evaporated. The other feature that appeal is that once the mode and timer are set you can just walk away and it will do its own thing.

  • Nancith  on  7/21/2016 at 8:11 PM

    I've had one on my Amazon wishlist for a long time--good to know it performs as expected!

  • Aggie92  on  7/22/2016 at 9:47 AM

    I like mine, but it does have a learning curve. It makes fantastic chili and only takes about 1 hour from the time you turn it on to releasing the pressure at the end. I initially bought it to help cook beans consistently at high altitude and am still trying to figure out the timing for various beans. The timing charts from various websites and the Instant Pot handbook are all over the place. It therefor requires some trial and error and more often than not I am way overcooking the beans and they are complete mush. Then I wind up opening a can of beans and turning the mushy ones into hummus or refried beans. The biggest drawback is not being able to lift the lid and check on the progress without releasing the pressure which is difficult for beans since they are starchy and can spray bean juice all over the kitchen if you do a quick release. I have tried the slow cooker function and find it runs a little hotter than my dedicated slow cooker so I need to adjust the timing. I highly recommend "The Great Big Pressure Cooker Cookbook" as it has easy to follow, tasty recipes with timing instructions for both electric and stove top cookers.

  • biblioholicbeth  on  7/28/2016 at 11:06 PM

    I have one, and I absolutely LOVE it. The best thing is chicken cooked from frozen to the perfect tenderness by pushing the poultry button. A little liquid and the chicken, and it comes out perfectly every. single. time.

  • Sandy.Toes  on  1/19/2017 at 2:41 PM

    I don't know where that cheesecake wrapping info comes from, but it's not at all necessary. All that's needed is to spray some foil with cooking spray and cover the springform pan. Simple. Works every time. When I tell people that potato salad becomes a one-pot weeknight recipe, they're usually sold. I cook diced potatoes and eggs at the same time. While those cool I make my sauce. I can do this for 2 people or 10, it's all the same and cooks in 5 minutes. Tomato sauce in 45 minutes is about 95% as good as the 4 hours oven-cooked stuff. Chicken chile verde that's dump and cook, yeah, I really like this thing.

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