Instant Pot

The kitchen’s most buzz-worthy appliance can make a hot meal in minutes without heating up the house.

Have you ever noticed that no matter how hot it gets outside, a warm meal is never completely off the table? I mean, salads are nice, but not for every meal. Hot weather lends itself to spicy, saucy foods, and it’s no coincidence that the cuisines of Jamaica, India, Thailand, Ecuador and Mexico all incorporate piquant flavors. But who wants to stand over a hot stove all summer long? The kitchen’s most buzz-worthy appliance solves the conundrum of producing hot food without heating up the dining room. It is a rice cooker, steamer, crock pot, and pressure cooker all in one, hence its name: the Instant Pot. Plus it makes porridge and yogurt, if you’re into that sort of thing. But most importantly, it will keep you from standing over a hot stove this summer.

Developed in Ottawa, Canada, by a team of computer scientists, the first Instant Pot was released in 2010 after 18 months of development. Sales of the device began to skyrocket in 2013 with the help of word-of-mouth recommendations buoyed by savvy internet ads. The Instant Pot is an easy sell because it suits the typical modern diet: healthy ingredients cooked in a fast, user-friendly way with easy clean up.

Every year since the Instant Pot’s release, the tech team that developed it has upgraded the device’s capabilities, adding additional cook functions. There are now several versions of the Instant Pot on the market, and even a few devices with similar functionality made by other manufacturers such as Cosori, Cuisinart, Mueller Australia and Tristar. But the Instant Pot brand consistently generates the highest user ratings in its class. The top-rated multi-function pot on Amazon (which is also my device of choice) is the Instant Pot Duo 6 Qt. 7-in-1.
It has more than enough settings to make hings like stews, beans, braised meats, rice and steamed vegetables. And it’s relatively easy to use, once you get past the intimidation factor of the 18 buttons on the machine’s face. Best of all, the pressure cooker function accelerates cooking times in ways heretofore unknown to mankind: black beans (soaked overnight) become soup in 5 minutes. Cannelloni beans become salad-ready in 5 minutes. Quinoa goes from the cupboard to the table in a single minute.

Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1
$99.95, amazon.com

If altitude adjustment, cake settings, egg cooking and sterilization programs are important to you, the newer 10-in-1 Instant Pot Ultra is an excellent choice.It comes in three sizes and is embedded with a microprocessor to monitor the pressure and temperature during cooking functions. For a brief moment, there was a Bluetooth-enabled Instant Pot which you could control from your cell phone, but it is currently off the market and being reworked. Our phones do enough already, as far as I’m concerned.

Instant Pot Ultra 10-in-1
$149.35, amazon.com


An entire culture has cropped up online pertaining to the use and applications of the Instant Pot.

Do you fancy a stackable pot-in-pot steaming insert so you can cook multiple foods simultaneously in their own separate chambers? There’s a gadget for that. There’s a gadget for that! Or how about a trivet that enables you to cook 14 eggs at a time? There’s a gadget for that, too.

Better Pans Stainless Steel Stackable
$39.99, amazon.com

Aozita Stackable Egg Steamer Rack
$15.99, amazon.com

Or how about silicone lids to turn your Instant Pot into a storage container?  A travel tote to take your Instant Pot on the road?

Genuine Instant Pot Silicone Lid
$9.95, amazon.com

Instant Pot Cover Travel Carry Tote
$19.99, amazon.com

A tempered glass lid so you can watch your Instant Pot do its thing? A springform bundt pan designed especially for the Instant Pot?

Ellek Instant pot Tempered Glass Lid
$10.95, amazon.com

Debbiedoo’s Nonstick Springform Bundt Pan
$19.47, amazon.com

Yep, pretty much, any gadget that you could imagine using to augment the usefulness of your Instant Pot has already been invented by an early adopter.

And Instant Pot cooking bloggers have taken the guesswork out of formulating one-pot versions of your favorite recipes. Laura Pazzaglia, proprietor of the Hip Pressure Cooking website (and the author of a book by the same name) has emerged as the grande dame of the Instant Pot. She uses it to make everything from New England Clam Chowder and Mini-Meatball Broth to Mashed Potatoes and Moroccan Lamb Tagine. Her Instant Pot prowess attracted the attention of the company’s marketing department who decided to feature Pazzaglia’s recipes in the booklet that comes in the box with a new device.

Hip Pressure Cooking: Fast, Fresh, and Flavorful
$15.11, amazon.com

If weight-loss is a priority, then check out Michelle Freeman’s Keto Diet Instant Pot Cookbook and Marta Getty’s Paleo Instant Pot Cookbook. Diet trends may come and go, but by all indications, the Instant Pot is here to stay.

Keto Diet Instant Pot Cookbook
$5.99, amazon.com

Paleo Instant Pot Cookbook
$7.99, amazon.com

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