There is a new love for kitchen appliances, especially those that can multi-task when it comes to cooking with less time than usual. One great example of a must-have versatile kitchen appliance is an instant pot. Most instapot reviews praise this kitchen appliance for its ability to combine an electric pressure cooker, slow cooker, yogurt maker and a rice cooker, thus cooking a 6-8 hour meal within an hour.
If you are, still new with the use and importance of an instapot, this reviews will help you with its use, mistakes to avoid while using it as well as some top recipes for it. Moreover, it highlights some buying tips as well as the best kind of instapot to buy. Therefore, read and you will be amazed at what a single cooking item can achieve in the shortest time possible.
What is an Instapot (aka Instant Pot)?
Looking for a way to cook different meals within an hour of each other, buy a quality Instapot. An instapot is a space-saving kitchen appliance that can be used to substitute the work of more than five kitchen appliances.
Depending on its make and model, it can be used as a rice/porridge cooker, slow cooker, yogurt maker, cake maker, egg cooker, browning pan/sauté, as well as a warming pot, sterilizer, steamer and a pressure cooker.
It might seem like a hard-to-use cooking item, due to the various forms of programmable cooking features. However, if you follow its user manual to the exact word from use to wash and maintain, then it can last for some time, no matter how frequent you use it.
Moreover, the best models of instapots are designed to cook your food faster and at low energy costs. Besides, it comes in different models, so you can make your pick according to your lifestyle and eating habits. This is because their prices tend to rise with features like safety features and number of food it can handle.
Therefore, if you are in the shop for a versatile and quick cooking pot, opt for an instapot. Most online instant pot reviews have nothing against this kitchen appliance, as long as you use it as stipulated by the manufacturer, it will not malfunction.
InstaPot Reviews 2018
There are different instapot types and models that you have to prioritize your need for it, before selecting a make. First, consider your serving. The more people, you want to cater for, the bigger the instant pot should be, probably from 6 quartz onwards.
You should also consider the different kinds of food, you will be using it for, be it yoghurt, cake, rice, porridge and more. This will make your selection easier.
However, if you are not tech-savvy, you can opt for an instant pot with user-friendly features for easier control and maintenance.
Moreover, you should consider your budget, as an instant pot with loads of features and the ability to handle loads of dishes has a higher price tag than those with fewer features.
Are you looking for an ideal instant pot that you can safely use to cook more than 9 meals? Then here is your instapot with 10 proven safety mechanisms that are designed to ease your mind during cooking. Some of these safety features include temperature monitor, safety lid lock, pressure regulator, and smart detection for leaky lid among others.
This electric pressure cooker cooks food up to 70% faster, with the press of a button. It can be a slow cooker, egg cooker, rice cooker, sterilizer, warm, sauté, pressure cooker as well as a yoghurt and cake maker.
Moreover, it is UL Certified and comes with extra cooking accessories like a soup spoon, measuring cup, steam rack with handles, serving spoon as well as recipe booklet.
In relation, this instapot emits zero steam and contains all the smell. Therefore, no kitchen hazards are bound to happen during its use. Besides, all its components are food grade 304, 18/8 stainless steel.
- Substitutes nine kitchen appliances.
- Energy efficiency can help reduce electricity bills.
- Space-saver and easy to clean.
- Very safe to use.
- Has too many functions that can be frustrating at first.
Why Do We Recommend This Instapot?
- User-Friendly Control Panel – This instant pot has a large blue LCD display system that makes it easier to program. It also shows you the progress of your food, as it cooks. Besides, you can adjust the settings even when the food is cooking.
- Dual Pressure Setting – You can make use of its high-pressure setting for a fast cook, up to 70% faster, and avoid over-cooking using its low-pressure setting.
- Reliable Safety Mechanism – This electric cooker has 10 safety features that guarantee your safety while cooking. These features also prevent it from damaging. Some include an anti-blockage vent, lid positioning sensor, auto-temperature controller, pressure controller, pressure protection and an electrical current and temperature fuse that cut off power if the internal temperature exceeds the safe limit.
You can use it as a pressure cooker, egg cooker, slow cooker, sauté, cake maker, rice/porridge cooker, yoghurt maker, sterilizer, warmer and a steamer. Moreover, it features an altitude adjustment system, a cooking indicator as well as a steam release reset button.
In addition, this instant pot comes with cooking accessories that maximize its performance. They include a steam rack with handles, measuring cup, soupspoon, and a serving spoon. Besides, it is UL Certified and comes with 11 safety features.
Moreover, it is the latest 3rd generation tech with an embedded microprocessor that monitors its temperature and pressure, adjusts its heating intensity and duration as well as keeps time during cooking. All its food contact areas are food grade 304, 18/8 stainless steel.
- Easy to operate.
- Substitutes ten other kitchen appliances.
- Comes with a convenient user manual and recipe booklet.
- Requires keen orientation before use to avoid recipe malfunction and accidents.
Why Do We Recommend This Instapot?
- Quick Release Button – This instapot feature allows you to do both a continuous and pulse steam release manually. Once it turns to a venting position, it will auto-reset to sealing position when you open or close its lid.
- Safety Mechanisms – It comes with 11 safety features you can rely on any time. Some are a quick-release button, smart detection of a leaky lid, auto-temperature control, temperature monitor, safety lid lock, and an anti-blockage vent among others.
- Customizable Programming Panel – You can now cook with precision, by just pressing its control buttons for temperature, pressure, and warmth among others. Likewise, you can monitor the cooking progress as well as adjust its altitudes for an easier cooking process.
You can now cook different dishes within a short time, using this 6-quartz electric pressure pot. Build with the latest technology, its microprocessor is useful when it comes to pressure and temperature monitoring as well as keeping time and adjusting the heating intensity and duration for a well-prepared meal every time.
Moreover, it is made from food grade 304 18/8 stainless steel, with zero chemical coating as well as a 3-ply-bottom for even distribution of heat during cook time. In relation, it traps all the food aroma, nutrients and flavours as it is always fully sealed during cooking time.
This instant pot is UL and ULC Certified and comes with 10 proven-to-work safety mechanisms. Some are pressure regulator, temperature monitor, pressure protection, as well as an anti-blockage vent.
- You can use it to cook many dishes.
- Comes with cooking accessories like rice paddle and stainless steam rack, to maximize its performance.
- Has a one-year limited warranty.
- Comes with a delay cook time of up to 24 hours.
- Its handle is a bit fragile.
Why Do We Recommend This Instapot?
- Dual Pressure Settings – This instant pot can cook food up to 70% faster in its high-pressure settings, reducing the cook time. However, you can also lower its pressure to a low setting to avoid overcooking soft food.
- Adjustable Temperature Setting – It comes with three-temperature settings for the slow cook as well as sauté for thickening, simmering and searing. The temperature settings are less, normal and more.
- 14 Smart Programs – You can now cook your favourite dish with just the press of a button. This is because it features fourteen different smart programs for a slow cook, keeping it warm, for manual and pressure cooking, simmer/sauté, steaming, porridge and multigrain cooking, yoghurt making as well as soup, stew/meat, bean/ chilli, and poultry cooking.
Moreover, it has 10 built-in smart programs, as well as an auto keep-warm feature and three temperature settings for the slow cooker and sautés.
You can manually set it up to 120 minutes of cook time. In addition, it has loads of safety features that make it hazard-free. Likewise, it is UL and ULC Certified.
This instant pot comes with a rice paddle, a stainless steel steam rack, soup spoon, measuring cup, a few recipes and instructions on use as well as cooking timetables. Besides, its bottom is 3-ply stainless steel. It is easy to use, as everything is just a simple press of a button.
- Features delay cook time of up to 24 hours.
- Energy efficient.
- Adjustable temperature setting, less, normal and more.
- The gasket can retain some food aroma even after being washed.
Why Do We Recommend This Instapot?
- High-Pressure Settings – You can now cook very healthy food faster, using this instapot. Its high-pressure setting reduces cook time by up to 70%, thus saving loads of energy.
- Safety Features – It comes with ten safety mechanisms that keep you safe and ensure the instapot lasts longer. Some of these features include smart detection of the leaky lid, pressure regulator, anti-blockage vent, pressure controller and lid-positioning sensor among others.
- Third Generation Technology – This instapot is made from the latest technology that allows it to keep time, monitor temperature and pressure as well as adjust the heat intensity and duration for a well-cooked meal.
How to Use Instapot?
An instant pot can be overwhelming at first, probably due to loads of features and buttons. You can always start small, use it as a rice cooker or pressure cooker as you work your way through the other functions and programs.
Assuming, you have assembled all its detached parts from the inner pot, condensation collector, power cord, lid and other accessories required for the cooking process. Here is how you can use it, but you can also make use of its user manual, as most reviews suggest.
First, you will have to familiarize yourself with your instant pot design. Nonetheless, most come with an inner pot where the food goes and an outer pot that has the control panel for different features and food products.
Besides, it also has a lid that creates an airtight seal, thus creating the pressure, which is to be released in a safe manner. You can do a quick-release where you press a button or handle as directed by the instant pot. You can also use the natural-release method, where you let the instapot cool and release the pressure naturally. A cool wet towel on top of the lid can help speed up the process.
Before, using any instapot for cooking food, you should first learn to boil water. You can add a cup or three in the inner pot, then seal with the lid and let it boil for five minutes. The water will heat and build pressure, which can then be released via quick-release or natural method.
When it comes to cooking, you will just have to select the button for your food be it rice, fish or chicken. These buttons also determine your cook time, for instance, chicken can cook for 8 minutes plus.
Moreover, every instant pot review agrees that the steam hole should never face you when releasing pressure. Do not use the quick-release method for cereals or foods with a high amount of liquid/soup, as it can splatter out of the steam valve.
After you are done, you can wash it by following the manufacturer’s directions.
Why Should You Buy an Instapot?
Instant pots come in varied types and designs, so you have to be well informed on some basic buying tips. Otherwise, you might end up with a pretty instapot that does not function at all. Looks can always be deceiving, but rest assured this instapot review will help you out.
Power Capacity – This is important as it determines how fast your instant pot can actually cook the food, so the higher the better. Most instapots have a watt range of 450-1400, so a 900 watt and above is best suited for daily use, but if it is just on some occasions you can choose one with lower watts.
Pressure Settings – First make sure the model of instapot you have selected has a locking lid as well as a steam valve for releasing pressure. You should note that changing pressure often alters the cooking time, so the higher the pressure the faster the cook time. You can find some with even 10 plus pressure settings do not be overwhelmed by it. Just make use of the food recipe as well as the user manual for proper functionality.
Quartz Size – When it comes to size, you can find it in many quartzes. This is its liquid capacity. The most popular is a 6 quartz, ideal for an average kind of family. Besides, most recipes are designed for this size. There is also 8, 16, 18 and 23 quartz for commercial use or big families. You can even get a 4 quartz for a small serving.
Internal Coating – This is the main food contact area, so it is important that the pot has a non-stick pan. However, you have to ensure the quality is high. It should be thicker with a marble appearance for better resistance.
Ease of Cleaning – It should be easy to clean and wipe, so look for the ones with touch control panels as well as few crevices and cracks for minimal food entrapment. Likewise, the instapot should be easy to disassemble and reassemble after cleaning. Consequently, you can check for more online instant pot reviews for the best brand to buy. There are many out there, so make your top five or three pick and then see if it meets your current budget. Nonetheless, it is better to go with an established reputable company for a quality instapot, no matter the price. This is because some parts often wear out with time, so replacing them should be easy with a reputable manufacturer.
#1. Spaghetti Squash
- 1, 2-pound spaghetti squash
- 1 cup of water
- Instant Pot
- Steamer basket/metal trivet
- Paring knife
- You will first, have to piece the squash 12 times, about ½-inch vents for steam to penetrate through.
- Add water to cooker insert and set the metal trivet or steamer basket inside.
- After which, put the squash in the insert and seal, then cook for 15 minutes on high pressure
- When 15 minutes are up, release the pressure, use instant pressure release. Then open it and remove the squash from the cooking pot.
- Let the squash cool for about 10 minutes then halve it and shred it with a fork, removing all the seeds.
- You can store any leftover squash in an airtight container, and refrigerate for up to five days.
#2. Turkey Chili
Ingredients for 4-6 servings
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 medium diced onion
- 1 medium green diced and cored bell pepper
- 3 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
- 3 stalks of thinly sliced celery
- 3 cloves of minced garlic
- 1 28-ounce of can crushed tomatoes
- 1 15-ounce of can black beans, should be drained and rinsed
- 1 4-ounce of can chopped green chilies, should be drained
- ½ cup of water
- 3 tablespoons of chili powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons of ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon of tamari or soy sauce, optional
- Sliced scallions, shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream and diced avocado to be used as toppings for serving
- First place the olive oil in the cooker insert and turn the sauté on, heat it until shimmering. Put turkey inside it and cook, stirring for up to 4 minutes to break it up into small pieces. You can stop stirring after the pink is gone.
- You can then add the onions, carrots, celery, garlic and bell pepper, then stir and cook for 3 minutes. After which you can add green chili, chili powder, black beans, tomatoes, cumin, tamari/soy sauce, salt and then water. Stir very well to mix all the food contents.
- Then secure the cooker lid and close its vent.
- Set cook time for 20 minutes, high pressure.
- After time run outs, open steam valve to release pressure, then remove the lid and stir the pork chili. You can taste and add salt or any seasoning needed and serve with toppings of your desire. Remember to keep the pressure/steam out of your face.
- Any leftover can be refrigerated for up to four days or frozen for up to three months
#3. Potato Risotto
Ingredients for 4-6 servings
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 chopped medium yellow onion
- 2 cups of Arborio or any other short-grain rice
- ¼ cup of white wine can be a tart wine, such as chardonnay or pinot grigio
- 1 medium golden, red, or new potato, about 8 ounces, chopped into 1/2-inch cubes. You can leave the skin on if you want
- 4 cups of salt-free vegetable stock
- 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
- 1 ½ teaspoon of salt, you can withhold if you are using purchased stock
- Sprigs of thyme, just a few
- First, preheat the instant pot by pressing sauté or brown button.
- You can then add olive oil, onions and sauté. Stir occasionally until onion starts to soften. Then add rice and stir constantly until it absorbs all the onion juice and starts to dry again. This can take up to 5 minutes.
- Add wine and stir constantly until the rice absorbs it all, add salt, potatoes, tomato paste, and stock.
- Close the cooker with the lid and cook for 5 minutes on high pressure. When it is done, use normal pressure release to relieve pressure, just twist the steam valve to open or vent positioning. Then remove the lid and tilt it away from you, keeping pressure/steam off your face.
- You can then mix the food contents, remove cooker insert and put it in a heat-safe surface area, to avoid overcooking, then sprinkle with fresh thyme and serve ASAP.
#4. Basmati Rice
- 2 cups basmati rice
- 3 cups of water
- 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon of unsalted butter, optional
- Measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- Electric pressure cooker
- Place the Basmati rice, water, and salt in the inner/insert the bowl of the cooker and lock it with its lid.
- Set cook time for 4 minutes, high pressure.
- After which, you should let steam release naturally for 10 minutes. Do not open the steam valve.
- Then carefully, quick-release the remaining pressure until the cooker lid opens. You can then add the butter, if you want and fluff it with a fork.
#5. Sweet and Spicy Braised Cabbage
Ingredients for 4 servings
- 1 tablespoon of sesame seed oil
- 1 medium cabbage, about 3 pounds, divide into 8 wedges
- 1 medium grated carrot, about 3/4 cup
- 1 ¼ cups + 2 teaspoons of water, divided
- ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon of raw demerara sugar
- ½ teaspoon of cayenne powder
- ½ teaspoon of red pepper flake
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- First, preheat the pressure cooker by pressing brown or sauté button.
- You can then add sesame oil and brown the cabbage wedges on one side only, for about 3 minutes.
- Add 1 ¼ cup of water, sugar, vinegar, hot pepper flakes and cayenne and swish it around. Then put the cabbage wedges, with browned side facing up and sprinkle some grated carrots on its top.
- Then close the cooker with its lid and let it cook for 5 minutes, at high pressure.
- After which, use normal pressure release to open the instant pot, just twist the steam valve on the lid, to vent positioning or open. Remove the lid and tilt it away from you, especially your face.
- You can then arrange the cabbage wedges and any loose cabbage leaves on a serving platter. Reheat, the liquid used to cook by pressing sauté/brown button, until it boils.
- Use a small bowl to mix cornstarch and 2 teaspoons of water to make a slurry and pour it on the cooker base.
- Boil the cooking liquid mixture until it starts to thicken, pour this sauce over the cabbage wedges and serve.
10 Common Mistakes to Avoid as a New Instapot User
Some new instapot users usually make some common mistakes before they get the grip of how everything works. Here are some few top ones to avoid.
- Forgetting to put the inner pot back and just pouring the recipe into the instapot, is one major mistake that novice and even experienced instant pot users experience. This mistake can ruin your electric pot. Therefore, every time you remove the inner pot put a wooden spoon or lid on top of it, as a reminder not to pour the recipe in it.
- Overfilling the instapot can also cause some clogging on the venting knob. You should note that every instapot has a maximum fill line, but if you pass it just relieve the pressure, open it and remove any extra liquid then reseal the instant pot again.
- You should never put your instant pot on top of a stove, no matter how much you want to save on space, as this can lead to some accidental bottom burns of your electric pressure pot.
- Another mistake is using the quick release method for a foamy food or overfilled instapot. So just, use the natural release to relieve pressure, in order to avoid any splatters.
- Hitting the timer button, when setting up your cook time is also very common, as the timer is always for delayed cooking. The timer will be lit green when ready, so just press cancel or keep warm button and your food will begin to cook again.
- Adding too much liquid in your food by accident can also affect how your final dish tastes and even looks from an overcook to a bland dish. Therefore, always be keen with the instapot fill line, depending on the food you are cooking, but do not use less than the minimum required level of water.
- Most new instant pot users often forget to put the venting knob to the sealing position. Nonetheless, if the floating valve pops up then it is in the sealing position, so double check before starting to cook your meal.
- You should never use your rice button on the instapot to cook all types or rice. This is because different rice dishes require a different amount of water and this is likely to change the cook time. Therefore, it does not make sense to use an all-one-solution for all rice types. The same concept applies to different types of grains. To sort this issue out, just use a manual button and babysit your instant pot until your meal is done, as built-in smart programs for rice or multigrain will only ruin your food.
- Most instapot users normally forget to put the sealing ring back on after washing or airing it. The sealing ring is what absorbs all the smell of the cooked food. It is made of silicone. Therefore, you can place a reminder and always place it back on before cooking your next meal.
- You should also pay close attention to your recipe, be it water level or temperature. Using hot water instead of cold can shorten your cook time leading to an undercooking. So use the correct water temperature for a tasteful meal.
1. Does an Instapot actually speed up the cooking process?
Answer: Cooking in an electric pressure cooker is always fast but can go unnoticed for some quick to cook food like shrimp and broccoli. However, for most foodstuffs that normally take longer like grains and tender pork, it can be done in less than 90 minutes. Besides, most quality instant pots can reduce cook time with up to 70%.
2. Is there any disadvantage of cooking with an Instant Pot?
Answer: This multi-functional kitchen appliance can cook loads of dishes in a short time. You just follow the cooking recipe for the given food, pour it all into its inner pot, and seal for cooking. Nonetheless, there is a big disadvantage to this, as you cannot inspect, taste or adjust the contents of the food while it cooks, you just wait for it to finish.
3. What is the minimum liquid amount needed in an Instant Pot?
Answer: The general rule is to put enough liquid to reach and maintain pressure. Therefore, absorbent food will always require more water for cooking and some to pressurize the pot. However, when cooking, food with loads of moisture, just use less liquid, but the minimum is always a cup nothing less.
4. Why Does My Food Keep Burning?
Answer: The most common reasons for food burns are insufficient water in the cooking recipe when food is stuck to the bottom during sautéing. A Bad sealing can also make your water to evaporate, thus burning the food, same as using thick liquids like thick cream soups and tomato sauce to bring your pot to pressure.
5. Can I cook frozen food without defrosting?
Answer: Yes, you can cook any frozen food without defrosting though it will take some time to pressurize. However, once the instant pot is under pressure, the cook time is the same. Besides, foods that are frozen in a flat layer usually defrost faster than those in chunks. You can always cut the chunks in small pieces before freezing, for an easier and better cooking process.
6. Why does it take long for the pot to come to pressure?
Answer: The amount of time that an instant pot takes to come to pressure is usually determined by the amount of food in the pot. The fuller it is, the longer it will take to come to pressure. The type of food also affects it pressure time, liquids take longer to pressurize than more dense food.
7. Is it safe to cook in an Instant Pot?
Answer: Yes, it is very safe to cook in an electric pressure cooker, as they are user-friendly with loads of safety mechanism to prolong its use and prevent hazards. Besides, most have 10 or more UL and ULC Certified safety features proven to work all the time.
8. What kind of cooking accessories can I use with an Instant Pot?
Answer: You can always use any oven-safe accessories or containers, but stainless steel tends to conduct heat faster, so make use of them. However, you should note that different materials will conduct heat in a different manner, thus affecting cook time. For maximum performance, use the accessories that come with your instapot.
In conclusion, this Instapot review is what you need to get started with this versatile kitchen appliance. You can learn everything you need to know about it here. Besides, it is all credible information, from the buying guides, use, and recipes for different dishes. Therefore, if you are tired of congesting your kitchen with a cake maker, a rice cooker or a slow cooker, here is an opportunity to buy one appliance that can do the work of more than seven kitchen appliances. It comes at an affordable rate, depending on model, function, and brand. The more it can handle different dishes the pricey it will be. Nonetheless, it cooks healthy food faster. Moreover, you can experiment different recipes on it. So feel free to share this instapot reviews, it might come in handy for a busy/workaholic person who loves to enjoy a home-cooked meal.