What to Look for When Selecting an Instant Pot

Daniel Wellington

An Instant Pot is one of the hottest kitchen tools. While you can purchase official Instant Pot machines, you’ll find there is a wide range of similar products on the market today. If you hate spending hours of time each day cooking meals for your family, the Instant Pot can help to speed up the process. While you may think that an Instant Pot is only for main courses, you can in fact use it to create desserts, soups, and much more. Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about choosing an Instant Pot for your kitchen.

What is an Instant Pot?

Before we go any further, let’s discuss what an Instant Pot is if you aren’t familiar with this popular kitchen tool. Instant Pot is a brand of pressure cooker or multicooker. They work by creating heat thanks to their tight seal, which means the temperature of the cooker is much higher than water’s boiling point, and no steam can escape from the device. Therefore, your food will cook much quicker than a traditional stove or oven, as the temperature is so much higher. If you are familiar with Crock Pots, an Instant Pot takes this type of device one step further. For anyone who hates spending hours in the kitchen each day, you can just put all of the ingredients for your meal in the Instant Pot and then walk away. You’ll return to a perfectly cooked meal that will be ready to serve to your family.

How Quickly Does an Instant Pot Cook Food?

Thanks to the high heat and the pressure of the Instant Pot, it will cook far quicker than an oven or stove. In under an hour, you can cook pulled pork, which would never be possible in the oven. However, you need to also add some time on to each dish for the machine to come to pressure, which is usually somewhere between 15 and 20 minutes. Some dishes require you to let the pressure slowly repeat, which could add another 40 minutes to the cooking time. Make sure you allow for this extra time when cooking so that your family isn’t waiting at the dinner table starving.

What Features Should You Look for on an Instant Pot?

When purchasing any form of pressure cooker, you’ll want to ensure it has a good amount of features to choose from. The more features your device has, the more you’ll be able to cook in the device. You often see machines that are 6-in-1 or 10-in-1, and these will allow you to cook any meal you could imagine. Try to find a machine that includes a slow cooker, high and low-pressure settings, rice cooker, yogurt maker, air fryer, and much more. One of the most popular settings on the Instant Pot is the sauté setting, which allows it to work in a similar way as an electric skillet. If you are keen to make soups or delicate vegetable dishes, make sure you find a low-pressure option, as this will help you to create these types of dishes.

The Size of the Instant Pot

Depending on how many people you have to feed each day, you’ll want to think about the size of the Instant Pot you purchase. A 6-quart machine is the most popular option, as this is ideal for families of four or five people. If you are using this device for just yourself or you and a partner, a 3-quart mini Instant Pot will do the trick. However, if you love entertaining a huge group of family members, you might want to invest in an 8 or 10 quart Instant Pot. The larger machines are ideal for cooking large pieces of meat and will allow you to meal prep for the week in advance.

An Easy to Clean Solution

Another consideration when choosing an Instant Pot is opting for a solution that is easy to clean. Some of the cheaper machines from different brands may not be made of such high-quality materials, so you’ll want to keep this in mind. Most Instant Pots are super easy to clean, as you’ll want to just take out the liner and the lid and then wash it with dish soap and water. You could also place it in your dishwasher if you think that’s easier. Some people do prefer to keep two sealing rings on hand in their home, as you may find they absorb odors. Whatever you do, make sure you take good care of your machine as this will help to extend its life.

The Instant Pot is an incredible device for speeding up cooking and offering new meals to your family. If you find you struggle to have the time to make delicious meals for your family after a busy day at work, the Instant Pot allows you to just add everything to the device and then leave it to work its magic. For anyone who dreads cooking but is bored of their staple dishes, you’ll want to find a fun Instant Pot cookbook to ensure you get some more inspiration and ideas for your meals. You’ll enjoy fancy breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, all of which will keep your family satisfied until the next meal you prepare in the Instant Pot.