The most difficult part about eating right is finding the balance between the time it takes to cook your meals and the nutritious value they provide.
Most people that are out all day working or at school don’t want to come home and immediately begin cooking for dinner...
... But with the Instant Pot, you can easily prepare soup, cook beans dry in less than an hour, or make a chicken casserole by throwing the ingredients in and letting it work its magic.
You want a delicious Vietnamese Pho Ga in less than 30 minutes?
Look no further than the Costco Instant Pot!
Steam, simmer, and sauté your food, in all your culinary glory, with the ease of a few buttons.
Check out our favorite Instant Pots below!
What Is An Instant Pot?
"Instant Pot" is a brand name and not a category of a cooking product like a slow cooker or pressure cooker.
In the most general of terms, an Instant Pot is a highly versatile kitchen appliance which can perform the same tasks as a multitude of other devices… in one. These include pressure cookers, slow cookers, steamers, rice cookers, and more. An instant pot can be your go-to device for making anything from chicken casseroles to cheesecake, they really are that flexible.
Not only are Instant Pots highly adaptable regarding the dishes they can help prepare, but they will also help save you a lot of counter space while being completely safe and still ensuring that your food maintains all of its nutrients.
For those of us leading busy working or family lives who want to provide nutritious and wholesome meals in our homes quickly, and without compromising on nutrition, an Instant Pot may be the perfect introduction to our kitchens.
There has been a craze in popularity and demand for this brand and for good reason. See our 4 favorite models below:
The 4 Best Bets
INSTANT POT DUO 7-IN-1
INSTANT POT ULTRA 10-IN-1
INSTANT POT DUO PLUS 9-IN-1
INSTANT POT LUX V3 6-IN-1
#1 CHOICE - Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1
5 Star Editorial Rating!
The Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 is a revolutionary product in the realm of pressure cookers.
It is by far one of the best selling pressure cookers out there right now and exactly why we put it at number 1.
Like no other, the Duo is built with 3rd generation microprocessor technology to help monitor temperature, pressure, and time to adjust heat accordingly.
The stainless steel inner cooking pot made from a healthy, food grade material helps assure that your food is not only safe, but also fully sealed to trap the delicious flavors and aromas.
If you are someone who doesn’t enjoy the complexity of some recipes, note that Duo holds 14 different smart programs that help you cook soup, stew, rice, porridge, multigrain, and much more!
It can also prepare your dishes up to 70% faster than your traditional kitchen appliances.
To find out more about the array of features & pricing click on the "click for price" button!
Instant Pot Ultra 10-in-1
At a slightly higher price than the 7-in-1 model, the Instant Pot Ultra 10-in-1 is another excellent choice!
The 10-in-1 Ultra holds many of the same features as the 7-in-1, though acts as 10 different traditional kitchen appliances rather than 7.
Made with food grade stainless steel, it is so easy to cook a vast variety of foods by simply adding your ingredients to the pot and cooking it with the user-friendly digital controls.
Your favorite dishes can be prepared up to 70% faster than with traditional methods with 16 smart programs including the “Ultra Cake Maker” and “Ultra Sterilize” programs. This pot, like the 7-in-1, is stamped with ULC certification and patented with 10 safety mechanisms to eliminate common and harmful errors.
Not only do you receive the pot itself, but also an array of accessories including a steam rack, recipe booklet, serving spoon, and more, come along with the package! This Instant Pot Cooker is designed to satisfy all your cooking needs.
To find out more about the array of features that the Instant Pot Ultra offers, click the button!
Instant Pot Duo Plus 9-in-1
First off, we have the Instant Pot Duo Plus, this is a remarkable product that has can complete 9 different cooking functions. We chose this product not only because it is capable of pressure
cooking, but because of it being able to; slow cook, cook eggs, cook rice, sauté, steam, warm, sterilize and it can even make cake! With this product being so versatile it is no wonder it made It on this particular list.
The Instant Pot Duo Plus is complete with an LCD display screen, status icons (on/off, warm, hot, sound, etc.), fingerprint resistant stainless steel and dual pressure settings.
We recommend this all-in one pressure cooker for all outdoor cooking, it calls for less food and cooking waste and for more enjoyment of the experience at hand!
Instant Pot Lux V3 6-in-1
The Instant Pot Lux is a perfect device for cooking your dishes easily, and comes at a smaller price than the than the previous two.
With a 6 qt. size, 10 smart built in programs, and a rate of cooking that works 70% faster than traditional cooking appliances, this Instant Pot model will still allow you to cook tasty and nutritious meals.
The 3-ply bottom helps with heat distribution and its fully sealed environments helps to trap aromas and flavors.
The Instant Pot Lux is extremely versatile with its time functions as well, allowing you to set cook time for 24 hours in the future with up to 240 minutes of pressure cooking.
It even keeps your food warm for up to 10 hours!
If you’re worried about cleaning, then don’t fear!
The stainless steel design is easy to wipe down for the next use.
Instant Pot Accessories
Stainless Steel Inner Cooking Pot
The Instant Pot Stainless Steel Inner Cooking Pot is an accessory for your 6-quart pressure cooker.
It uses the same strong, durable, and food grade stainless steel material as the other products.
It also carries the same 3-ply bottom to help with even heat distribution.
Using a second pot makes it easy to cook multiple dishes at once!
When cleaning, it’s as easy as a swift wipe as the polished surface keeps food from sticking.
Ceramic Non-Stick Interior Coated Inner Cooking Pot
Slightly cheaper than the Stainless Steel Model, the Instant Pot Ceramic Pot is a strong, durable, plastic free ceramic pot that can be used as an addition to your 6qt pressure cooker!
It works best for slow cooking or rice cooking and the non-stick design makes it super easy to clean!
The pot is also designed to be completely dishwasher safe, as well as oven safe up to 380c / 680f.
Tempered Glass lid
The Instant Pot Tempered Glass Lid is an excellent accessory to the Instant Pot 6 qt. pressure cooker!
As a genuine cooking lid, it is able to withstand oven temperatures up to 428f if necessary.
The lid construction also comes with a built in steam vent and a stainless steel rim and handle.
The lid’s transparent design is perfect in being used to view food while it is slow cooking or sautéing, as well as helping to seal in any flavor or aromas.
Cleaning is no problem for this tempered lid, as it is backed by the same guarantee of all Instant Pot accessories in being durable and dishwasher safe!
The Instant Pot Mini Mitts provide an incredible amount of heat protection!
The food grade silicone design that meets with FDA standards paired with the ridge gripping surface, make for the perfect mitt to help in gripping the inner pot or stirring any food contents inside.
The Mini Mitts also nest inside of each other so they can be easily stored away!
Most online reviews say that these mitts are very comfortable and easy to wear.
To find out more about the array of features that the Instant Pot Mini Mitts offer, click below:
Sealing Ring 2 Pack Clear
Sealing rings on your pressure cooker typically won’t last longer than two years.
At some point, you’ll start to notice deformation and a nasty odor from absorption.
Luckily, buying these silicone rings can help in assuring years of use for an array of Instant Pot products.
The point of the durable silicone build is to help your food stay sealed up for optimal cooking.
Without it, you might as well be cooking with some traditional kitchen appliances.
You’ll also love the fact that 2 of these come for the price of 1!
Are there other benefits to Instant Pot pressure cookers besides saving time?
There are tons of benefits to the Instant Pot, let get into them! Time is the biggest factor, but there are many more positives to cooking using this technology. Instant Pot pressure cookers are huge energy savers! Think about the energy used with multiple pans above different burners or trying to roast something for hours on end using your entire oven. If the time and electricity draw is much less, you’re saving energy. Food made in pressure cookers also retains its nutrients more because of the shorter cooking time. This also goes hand in hand with a pressure cooker’s ability to destroy more toxins in foods than traditional cooking.
Is it possible to use the Instant Pot pressure cookers for pressure canning?
The short answer is no. According to the USDA, these pressure cookers can’t retain a high enough temperature for a long enough time to safely and securely can foods.
I love my conventional recipes! Can I transfer those recipes over to my Instant Pot?
Yup! Typically you’ll want to keep a few things in mind when converting a recipe into an Instant Pot recipe. Note that you can decrease your cooking time by about 70% of what you would normally do because of the quick cooking time. Secondly, because evaporation in pressure cookers is very minimal, you’ll want to make sure you decrease the amount of water in your recipes as well. This may take a bit of experimentation from recipe to recipe!
Are pressure cooking and canning the same?
No, but their history's are closely intertwined. Canning is the act of preserving foods such as fruits, vegetables, pickles, jams, jellies and other foods like that. Pressure cooking is cooking with steam to speed up cook time.
What can I cook in a pressure cooker?
With the Instant Pot Duo Plus 9 in 1 Pressure Cooker you are able to cook virtually anything, with the smaller cookers like the Cancooker JR-001 you can cook just about anything with the steam, rice and beans specifically cook extremely fast in these. When looking for a fast meal that is warm and filling pressure cookers are the way to go.
Where Should I Buy One?
You can't go wrong with Amazon, Costco, Kohl's, Walmart, Target or direct from the brand. See our full page covering this topic.
How to Use an Instant Pot
Naturally, each appliance has its own specific features and differences; therefore you should pay close attention to the operating instructions and familiarize yourself with the functions of each control panel before you settle down to start cooking.
That said, here are a few fundamental steps to follow when cooking up a storm for the first time with your new Instant Pot:
It is always wise to start with a test. In this case, add two cups of water and cook with it alone. This will help to familiarize yourself with the regular operations and how long it takes to heat, how to release the pressure and other core competencies.
Other things you should remember when cooking with your Instant Pot are that liquid is always required when cooking, remember to add at least one cup of water. Due to the nature of pressure cooking, less water will be required and the cooking speed will be significantly faster. Be sure to keep a close eye on things to avoid overcooking. The size of the items you are cooking should also be taken into account.
If you add too much water, don’t worry. In these cases, or if an item is done to your satisfaction, your Instant Pot will have a function which allows for quick release of pressure. When it comes to larger items or you have added the correct amount of water, allow the pressure to natural reduce when the heat is removed from your Instant Pot.
3 Favorite Recipes
There are heaps of recipes for the Instant Pot, check out our three favorites below:
Begin with adding a cup of water to your instant pot. Insert a steamer basket with chopped potatoes and eggs. Set your Instant Pot to a time of 4mins on manual high pressure. Once the time is up, you can do a quick steam release and remove the steamer basket.
Separate the potatoes and eggs. Remove the yolks from the eggs and place them in a separate bowl. Mash the egg yolks and add mayonnaise, mustard, and red wine vinegar.
Chop the egg whites and place them in a bowl along with the potatoes, some scallions, and chopped celery. Combine the contents of both bowls, stirring evenly and adding salt or pepper to taste.
For this delicious recipe, begin by setting your Instant Pot to sauté. Add oil and meat, cooking the meat on both sides for 3-4 minutes until it is brown. Once it is brown, set it aside.
Add one chopped onion to the warm pot, allowing it to cook for a minute before adding all of your other ingredients: 1/2 cup of tomato sauce, 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, 2 cups of water, 2 lbs. of potatoes peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces, 1 lb. of chopped carrots, and one teaspoon of salt. At this point, you can also add the browned meat. Close the pot lid and select the meat/stew function which should set the timer to around 35 minutes. At the end of the time, wait for the natural pressure release to occur before serving for best results.
For this tasty treat you will need: 3 cups of coconut milk, 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract, 1 cup of uncooked white rice, and a half cup of maple syrup.
Add the coconut milk and vanilla extract to the Instant Pot. This will then be followed by adding the rice and finally topped off by adding the maple syrup.
Cover and seal the pot, cook on manual high pressure for 18 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes, then release the remainder manually. The dish is ready to be served, sprinkled with cinnamon.
View our full page on Instant Pot recipes here!
Factors to Consider When Choosing Your Instant Pot Model
Like every product, there is an extensive range of Instant Pots on the market. The amount you will pay is mainly dependent on model, and what kind of features you will want to have for your Instant Pot. Each customer has their own budget, though you should not stretch yours. There are many on the market to match all types of kitchen budget.
Your routine will be one essential element to consider. It is likely you feel this is one primary reason why you need an Instant Pot. Here you should analyze honestly how much you think you will use your instant pot and make your purchase decision, including pricing range based on your intended (honest) volume of use.
Many models come with a plethora of features, so much so that they can be confusing or intimidating to a first time user. You should keep in mind which features you will really use and try to keep your initial model as simplified as you think you can handle. Kitchen and cooking experience may also factor in here.
The least enjoyable part of any kitchen appliance is always the cleaning. Unfortunately, the Instant Pot is no different. While some do have excellent quality self-cleaning capabilities, at least some of the burden will still fall on you.
Instant Pot Alternatives
This electric pressure cooker is along the more basic models but still manages to pack in 10 one-touch cooking options in its easy to use control panel. If you are purchasing your first electric pressure cooker and feel a little intimidated by the extensive options of Instant Pot models, then this could be an ideal first purchase. 6-quart capacity means there is also plenty of room to serve up delicious family meals in a flash.
This Corsori is another alternative choice. With its 7 in 1 programmable capability, you will never be lost for a choice in terms of cooking methods. This model also has 13 pre-programmed cooking options and six distinct levels of pressure ensure a precise final result.
This model is customizable to work alongside a full online database provided by the company with some of the most delicious recipes for you to master with ease. It also features a variety of safety features which make it perfect for families with young children wandering in the kitchen.
The Gourmia smart pot electric pressure cooker also racks up the cooking modes with 13. These are neatly laid out and easily accessible on the models trendy front digital panel. Such an array of options mean there are practically no dishes which are beyond your capability in the kitchen.
This model boasts the capability of cooking up to 70% faster than comparative models in the market which makes it ideal for the busy professional who is always on the move. The removable non-stick liner which is included with this model makes cleaning a breeze and the Gourmia features a built-in lid rest which is highly convenient to avoid wetting your countertops.
Conclusion – Which Should I Get?
Going for any of the Instant Pot or alternative models mentioned is a positive step towards a nutritious and convenient kitchen. Which one you choose will likely depend on how busy your kitchen is, and what range of meals you are seeking to have.
For families, the larger models with more cooking options may be the best selection. This also applies to those with experience in the kitchen who prefer quality and precision over speed and timing.
For the individuals or busy professionals, a smaller model with a more concise layout and more specific range of features may be ideal to fit in with lifestyle and dining choices alike.