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Instant Pot. Multi-function cooker (Part 1)


Anna N
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I note that hummingbird kiss, FeChef and Deryn all own an Instant Pot. I bet there are others. I have been looking at them for some time but suspect that they would not be all that useful in a solo household. But I would love to hear from those who do own one what model they have and what they think about them.

What sort of things do you cook in them? Do you use them mostly for stocks? Is it primarily the pressure cooker function that matters to you? Curious minds would love to know.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

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It's my understanding that the Instant Pot while having the capability of acting as an electric pressure cooker is much more than that. I have a pressure cooker that works wonderfully on my induction cooktop. I am hoping those who have the Instant Pot will chime in with information on all its functions.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Anna - I just bought mine recently and I love it - even though I am in a solo situation as well. To start with it is really totally silent (unless it vents for a few seconds before it settles down to business which it doesn't always do) and fast! It counts down the time on a clear digital readout and then beeps several times when the programmed time is done before it automatically goes to a keep warm cycle that counts up the time, and slowly releases the steam as well - or you can easily release it yourself if you want a quick cool down.

I expected it to take a lot longer to reach pressure but it really is quick, even when something calls for high pressure (and it also does a 'lower' pressure for some things like rice).

I am using it almost daily it seems. So far I have made several (east Indian and Thai) curries, both plain rice and various rice concoctions, pulled pork, pot roast, stock, cooked whole chickens for the dog, and I even tried a cheesecake the other night. Everything came out beautifully. Yes, it can make large quantities (6 liter size) but you can make less if you want or freeze the extras (or do as I am known to do, eat the same thing for a few days). It also sautés vegetables and meat well so you don't have to pull out another pot for that activity.

It is also VERY easy to clean and I love that the insert pot is stainless, not coated with non-stick but nothing has stuck so far, has measurement markings on the inside and I used it in a pinch the other day for a mixing bowl when I was too lazy to wash my other ones.

I also have 2 regular pressure cookers and I like them but I find I don't bother to pull them out much and they also require the stove. Plug this in and away you go. 10, 20, 30 minutes later - dinner - without ever even having to watch over it.

It is my new favorite thing! And it is a Canadian product! Arrived quickly, no shipping charge, well packed. Very short learning curve (although as I mentioned on Shelby's thread - I went across the room just in case it malfunctioned the first time I used it - I don't do that any more). Worth every penny I would say. I can't yet, of course, vouch for whether it will last but it seems very well built and safe.

ps Apparently there are many built in safeguards - and one of those is that it will shut down if it can't come to pressure for some reason - like the vent isn't clear or if something burns to the bottom. I haven't had that happen (the readout will say OVRHT - overheating in the latter case I think) but I like that it is there. You don't get that protection with a regular pressure cooker.

Edited by Deryn (log)
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I have the ip-DUO60 and generally only cook for myself and my 2 boys. Roast, chicken wings, stocks, stews, etc I know there are other functions but have not used any in the short time I have had it.

 

pazzaglia is a poster here that also writes a blog, http://www.hippressurecooking.com/  There is a lot of info on her site about the Instantpot.

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Deryn,

Thanks very much. Which model did you get?

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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The same as stckciv - the IP-DUO 60. I gather the footprint (takes up about a square foot I would say) is about the same as the IP-DUO 50 but a bit taller.

I see I said 6 liter size - but it is 6 quarts. Sorry.

And I probably didn't completely answer your questions - I haven't used the chili/bean, multigrain or porridge settings yet. And I haven't yet used it as a slow cooker but steam worked for the cheesecake. I believe all except the rice setting (which is at low pressure) can be adjusted manually if you need/want more or less time for something. I did a frozen chicken for the dog for instance - didn't get it out in time to thaw it except enough to take it out of its wrapper - so I adjusted the time (meat/stew setting) to double.

Edited by Deryn (log)
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No, not at all, but then I usually use tongs to remove large pieces of meat or ladles for liquids. I don't pour out the latter. Not really any different from how you would remove your cooked products from a medium stock pot. It is quite large/tall and there is no 'handle' so pouring from a container this size would be difficult I am sure. Would not have occurred to me to try to pour anything out (although I guess if you are strong and careful you could if the contents was completely cooled).

ps I don't really get what CI was trying to say there. Perhaps in a commercial kitchen, chefs heft heavy stock pots (which have handles of course) and pour them into some other container to cool in the sink - but, at my age, I am not about to do that. No hurry here and not enough strength to try to be a hero any more.

I have over 4 lbs of large chicken legs cooking in the Instant Pot as I write this. Meat/stew setting. Saute'ed them first in the pot, added a bit of water. Will be done in less than 30 minutes. I will have a rich stock as a bonus while dog gets dinner.

Edited by Deryn (log)
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Yes, he appreciates me and the new pot ... chicken being his favorite aphrodisiac. :) He said he approved of tonight's repast.

I should clarify - it is not difficult to pour out a small amount of liquid if that is all there is - but there is no pour spout or handle so you have to grasp the edges of the pot and lift it out of course - which can be a bit difficult if it is very hot. I guess one could have designed it with a handle like a bucket but that would get hot and greasy too during cooking so I am not sure it would be an advantage.

The lid is, by the way, great because it fits upright on one of the outside handles so you don't have to find a place to set it down when you open up the machine. And the lid is very easy to put on and take off.

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I received an email from the company about the recall and instructions on getting a new unit. I never had a problem with the original unit but it is better to be safe than sorry. The new unit is working fine and I also got a glass lid with the new unit.

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Mine is not a SMART Instant Pot. I have absolutely no need to add the ability to use an iPhone (that I don't own) to control what I can walk over to in 3 seconds so even if there had not been a recall I would not have purchased that model. That said, the recall was a while ago ... not sure if they have yet corrected that particular problem but I think the SMART pot was the only one affected.

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I don't think the Smart aspect is 'worthless' at all - it is just not worth it for ME. I rarely exactly repeat a recipe. I tend to just cook things on a whim and even if I had a 1000 recipes programmed (which I wouldn't since that aspect - I worked in high tech for years but I like to actively cook not program - doesn't really fascinate me) the thing I would suddenly decide I wanted to make would not be in the list yet. So even if I had an iPhone, I wouldn't buy that version.

I was just glad that they hadn't eliminated all the other models so I too could get what I want. Now, if my husband was still around (he was an engineer too) the Smart model would have been right up his alley - and that would probably have been the model I bought too. And, Anna has an iPhone so it may suit her too, especially if they have fixed their glitch with that one.

Edited by Deryn (log)
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I am still very much on the fence about the Instant Pot suspecting that it might be the kind of toy that gets used a couple of times and then is consigned to the basement never to be seen again. When I pay five dollars at a thrift store for some gizmo or another I am perfectly happy if this is what happens. This one is a little more than five dollars!

I rather doubt that I would go for the Smart version since I have found very little use for the Bluetooth capability of my Anova.

I have a stovetop pressure cooker which cost me even more than an Instant Pot would so I am trying to make better use of it before splurging on something else.

So I am grateful for the input from everyone and if I do pull the trigger for an Instant Pot I will be sure to fess up.

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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I am still very much on the fence about the Instant Pot suspecting that it might be the kind of toy that gets used a couple of times and then is consigned to the basement never to be seen again.

 

This happens to you too??!!

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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I will be sure to report back to let you know how long my Instant Pot manages to stay useful enough to me that it is allowed to take up counter space as well, Anna. So far, so good - for about 2 months.

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This happens to you too??!!

See aside from joining up on the same day in the same year we have much in common!

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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I am still very much on the fence about the Instant Pot suspecting that it might be the kind of toy that gets used a couple of times and then is consigned to the basement never to be seen again. When I pay five dollars at a thrift store for some gizmo or another I am perfectly happy if this is what happens. This one is a little more than five dollars!

I rather doubt that I would go for the Smart version since I have found very little use for the Bluetooth capability of my Anova.

I have a stovetop pressure cooker which cost me even more than an Instant Pot would so I am trying to make better use of it before splurging on something else.

So I am grateful for the input from everyone and if I do pull the trigger for an Instant Pot I will be sure to fess up.

For me the big advantage of the digital electric pressure cooker/slow cooker, etc., is that I can go off and leave it while it does its thing automatically and then turns itself to the "keep warm" setting which it will maintain for 12 hours.  I've been doing some whole grain things where I start the process in the evening with pressure cooking the grains for about 12 minutes and then leave it entirely alone until the next morning. 

I don't have to even think about it.  The readout tells me how many hours have elapsed since it went to "keep warm". 

I've also done this with making stock when I don't want to be straining and finding a suitable storage container late at night - plus finding space in the fridge or freezer.  It is so much easier to do these tasks when I am fresh and energetic in the mornings. 

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"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Andie,

Between you and the other Queen of Gadgets, Kerry Beal, I barely have a chance! As I was waiting for my stovetop pressure cooker to reach pressure and then waiting to turn it down to maintain pressure yesterday evening .... Yep I can see the appeal.

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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This was not even on my radar and now I'm thinking about it. I have a rarely used pressure cooker, a rarely used slow cooker, a rarely used deep fat fryer and a frequently used rice cooker. I occasionally make yogurt in my proofing box. If I could get rid of all of those (except the proofing box) and replace them with one item it would open up space on my shelves. I will continue to watch this thread with interest, especially looking for rice reports.

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This was not even on my radar and now I'm thinking about it. I have a rarely used pressure cooker, a rarely used slow cooker, a rarely used deep fat fryer and a frequently used rice cooker. I occasionally make yogurt in my proofing box. If I could get rid of all of those (except the proofing box) and replace them with one item it would open up space on my shelves. I will continue to watch this thread with interest, especially looking for rice reports.

I like the way my ZO rice cooker performs on rices.  However, i cook some organic whole grains - hard red wheat, einkorn, emmer(farro), spelt, buckwheat (whole not the steamed and dried stuff) and it takes much, much longer for it to cook to the way I like it and with the rice cooker I would have to repeat the cycle two or even three times to reach the desired texture.

The electric pressure cooker solved that problem.

 

I also cook chicken or turkey parts - necks and back - for an extended period - 55 minutes at high pressure - so the bones turn to much so I can feed it to my dog (with potatoes, rice, etc.).

I then vacuum seal it in "serving" portions and freeze.  Usually early in the morning after it has been on the "keep warm" cycle overnight.

 

Have you every tried to cook the huge "smoked" turkey drumsticks that are similar in texture to leather?  I never liked them until I found I could pressure cook them until they were soft and the bones actually pliable.  THEN I add dry beans and cook them sufficient time to be sure the beans are just right - for my taste.  

 

This is the one my friend got: She paid 139.00 at Amazon - it is now on Overstock.  It has the High and Low pressure options, which I prefer.  And the controls are very intuitive.

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Andie,

 

If your Zoj died tomorrow, would you run out and get another?  Or, would you move on to cooking rice in your Aroma pressure cooker?

 

I have a nearly worn-out 13-year-old Zojirushi fuzzy logic rice cooker and a Fagor gas-powered :cool: pressure cooker.  Based on some rice cooking experiments in my pressure cooker (pot-in-pot method), I think I could be convinced to move the bulk of my rice and grain cooking to an electric pressure cooker.

 

However, if the results from the electric pressure cooker do not really differ from the stove top version, I think I'll just get another rice cooker when that day comes...

So we finish the eighteenth and he's gonna stiff me. And I say, "Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know." And he says, "Oh, uh, there won't be any money. But when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness."

So I got that goin' for me, which is nice.

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