Why We Love Our Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

Are you devout fans of the Instant Pot pressure cooker like we are? Or have you been nervous about adding one to your kitchen because it has the words pressure cooker?

I know I was for the longest time. Because in my mind, pressure cookers were something that exploded and could hurt you. While that may have been true at one point, especially if you used them wrong, that’s not true with the Instapot.

instant pot reviews recipes what is instapot

What is the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

For starters, the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker or Instapot is, it’s a modern version of a pressure cooker. After our rice cooker died, we didn’t have to replace the rice cooker because the Instant Pot can make rice in 15 minutes. Now we can use it for all kinds of Instant Pot rice recipes.

However, it can make way more than cook different types of rice. Recently, I used it to make butternut squash soup in under an hour. The only thing I had to do to finish the soup was use my immersion blender —another favorite kitchen tool — to smooth out the lumps.

Also, we’ve been making our dogs’ food from scratch lately. The Instant Pot lets us cook the meat and vegetables we feed them in about 40 minutes. It really makes cooking so much easier.

How does the Instant Pot work?

As I mentioned, the Instant Pot is a new generation of electric pressure cookers. You don’t have to worry that it will blow up in your kitchen. It works by heating and pressurizing food.

Once the pressure and heat builds inside of the machine to a certain point, it switches to on and off heat so your food continues to cook. Once cooked, the pressure is released through a steam valve on the Instant Pot’s top. When the steam stops releasing, the Instant Pot beeps and you, as if to say, “Your dinner is ready.”

Instant Pot settings

You are able to use this newfangled pressure cooker to make the following, with one touch of a button on the Instant Pot:

  • Soup/Broth (use this for Instant Pot Potato Soup)
  • Meat/Stew (this is the setting we use to make the dogs’ food)
  • Bean/Chili
  • Poultry
  • Slow Cook
  • Sauce
  • Rice
  • Multigrain
  • Porridge
  • Steam
  • Yogurt
  • Pressure Cook
settings on instant pot
One-button settings on Instant Pot. Photo credit: Leah Ingram.

Instant Pot Pressure Cooker versus slow cooker or Crock Pot

The Instant Pot Pressure Cooker is another great tool in your kitchen to help you save time and help make getting dinner on the table easier. And usually faster, too, than a slow cooker.

I prefer the slow cooker for shredded meats and roasts that become shredded beef/pork. Like shredded chicken or pulled pork.

I’ve made these in the Instant Pot and they are great, but I prefer the softer, more tenderized version from being slow cooked for 8 hours on low. I still love slow cooker roasts for shredded meats because the meat is so tender, and falls apart.

As far as Instapot recipes go, I prefer the Instant Pot for roasts that will be sliced as roasts. They cook much faster and much softer than the oven, but aren’t as fall apart tender as the slow cooker. Which makes them perfect for slicing and serving a “roast beef” style meat.

Instant Pot pressure cooker recipe favorites

Other foods that I prefer in the Instant Pot and my favorite Instapot recipes include:

  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Steel cut oatmeal
  • Steamed salmon
  • Steamed veggies
  • Brown rice
  • Roasts for slicing
  • Whole chicken
  • Dried beans

As I mentioned, I’ve also made our dogs’ food as well as butternut squash in the Instant Pot.

Now, the dried beans — the Instant Pot does a terrific job of rehydrating them. This is a huge cost savings. While cans of beans aren’t really that expensive. However, bags of dried beans are dirt cheap. So, if you’re looking to save money in retirement like we are, this little bit helps.

Here are 5 super easy slow cooker recipes to try out.

Instant Pot accessories

There is so much more that you can do and make in an Instant Pot, especially if you have add ons to help. Check out these must-have Instant Pot accessories.

Finally, you should be cleaning your Instant Pot after each time you use it. Here are easy ways to clean an Instant Pot.

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