November 25


Are Instant Pots Worth It? Buying Guide

By Robin Hatch

November 25, 2020

An Instant Pot is a multi-functional cooking pot. It can be used in many ways but is most often used as a slow cooker or a rice cooker. Many Instant Pot recipe books have instructions on cooking everything from steak, chicken, and vegetables to pancakes and mac & cheese, making this a versatile kitchen appliance.

The Instant Pot is worth it if you regularly use crock pots and pressure cookers. The Instant Pot will save you time and provide you with the means to expand your cooking repertoire all in one pot!

You will love the Instant Pot if you are familiar with using a crockpot or a pressure cooker. If you are a dedicated user of either of these two cooking appliances, you will be very impressed by the versatility of the Instant Pot.

Even though the cooking methods may seem similar, the result is entirely different. The Instant Pot will offer you much more flexibility in the kitchen than a stand-alone crockpot or pressure cooker can.

Instant Pot Buying Guide

An Instant Pot is an electric cooking pot with numerous built-in features that help you prepare excellent meals and reduce your time in the kitchen.

The Instant Pot effectively replaces seven well know kitchen appliances. If you buy an Instant Pot, you will no longer need a conventional pressure cooker, a slow cooker, a rice cooker, a steamer, a yogurt maker, a warmer, or a sauté pan.

Instant Pot

The Instant Pot has a one-touch control pad on the front, which controls the appliance.

Many Instant Pots have up to 15 pre-set cooking programs that take away all the stress of having to work out how long to cook your favorite meal – the Instant Pot does all the thinking for you. 

The Instant Pot is the ultimate convenience cooking pot! It may require an extra 15 minutes of cooking time for the machine to come up to pressure for fast cooking, but the actual cooking time is reduced by about 70 percent once the heat is correct.

Instant Pot Features

The original Instant Pot is a brand all on its own, but many manufacturers offer similar style pots under different brands. These appliances vary in what they offer; for example, the Instant Pot has a slow-cooker function, while many other brands do not.

This multi-cooker is designed to cook almost anything you and your family like to eat. It can produce tasty slow-cooked stews and tender, perfectly cooked meat. 

Some Instant Pots have features to bake cakes, cook eggs, sauté vegetables, and make yogurt, all in one electric pot. 

An added function to the Instant Pot is the pre-set timing function.

Pre-set your Instant Pot to start cooking your food at a particular time of the day and have a tasty, warm meal ready for you.

The Instant Pot has sensors and an automatic feature for temperature and pressure, which reduces the likelihood of overcooked or burnt food. 

The Instant Pot has an automatic keep-warm setting, which aids in food safety by keeping your food warm and out of the danger zone of between 40 degrees F and 140 degrees F, where bacteria breed.

The Instant Pot Models

Below are different Instant Pot models.

  • Duo Classic 7 in-1 – Pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, yogurt maker, and warmer
  • Duo Nova 7 in 1 – Best for beginners
  • Duo Evo Plus 10 in 1 – The most innovative
  • Duo Crisp 11 in 1 – Includes an air fryer
  • Ultra 10 in 1 – Best for the Home Chef
  • Max 9 in 1 – Best for home canning and sterilizing 
  • Duo Plus 9 in 1 – Best for parents
  • Lux 6 in 1 – Best basic
  • Smart WiFi Chef 9 in 1 – Best for the Tech Chef

Sizes And Materials

The Instant Pot was designed by Canadians and is extensively used throughout North America and Europe. The electrical configurations are found in the 110v and 220v markets.

There are many different Instant Pots, each with various features and designs. They range in size from 3-quart to 8-quart Pots.

The 6-quart size Instant Pot was recently voted the best overall Instant Pot by the Good Housekeeping Institute.

Although it does not have settings for sterilizing or making eggs or cakes, it was judged to be the most practical option for a decent-size meal without taking up too much counter space.

The Instant Pot is designed to replace at least six kitchen appliances to reduce clutter and not take up too much space on your countertop.

The Instant Pot has an outer pot or base, a stainless-steel inner pot, and a lid. Each lid has a silicone gasket, which prevents steam from escaping and helps regulate pressure in the pot – the gasket can be replaced if damaged. All items have built-in safety mechanisms to avoid any accidents in the kitchen.

As an additional safety feature, the Instant Pot has a floating valve – this is an indicator that pops up while the food is cooking when it’s unsafe to open the lid. The lid will automatically lock when it is at a dangerous pressure level.

The steam can be released using either the quick release feature, which ejects steam quickly from the pot, or the natural release feature, which emits steam slowly over time. 

The Instant Pot’s small footprint does not take up a lot of countertop space. The 3- and 6-quart size pots should fit comfortably on any standard counter space.

The 8 and 10-quart pots are taller and wider, so they may need a bigger space. If you have no available space other than standing the pot on top of the stove, make sure that your stove is switched off at the main plug, and stand the pot on a wooden cutting board for extra safety.

Instant Pot Cooking Methods

For conventional cooking, pots of various sizes are used on the stovetop, or pans are used for roasting and baking inside the oven. The Instant Pot combines these pots and pans into one easy-to-use appliance that can be plugged in, switched on, and ready to use in much less time than it takes to heat an oven.

To obtain the same cooking results as conventional cooking pots and pans, use the following guide to achieve the required results:

  • Low-Pressure Valve-Closed Equivalent to Medium heat on the stovetop
  • High-Pressure Valve-Closed Equivalent to High heat on the stovetop
  • Low-Pressure Valve-Open Equivalent to medium heat with a tight lid cover on the stovetop
  • High-Pressure Valve-Open Equivalent to High heat with a tight lid cover on the stovetop
  • Sear Lid-Open Equivalent to Frying on high heat on the stovetop 

Instant Pot Accessories

While several accessories are available for use with the Instant Pot, some are necessary to use all the accessible functions. The accessories include:

  • Trivet – a pot stand for the inner pot
  • Steamer Basket – for steaming vegetables
  • Silicone lid – perfect for storing leftovers
  • Spring foam pan – for Instant Pot cheesecake
  • Egg steamer rack – boiling eggs
  • Yogurt cups – homemade yogurt
  • Silicone molds – for baking muffins
  • Spring foam pan – for baking cakes
  • Reusable silicone baking cups – poaching eggs, mini cheesecakes
  • Stackable steamer pans 
  • Silicone kitchen tongs
  • Silicone gloves

Next Steps

Learn more about the Instant Pot below.

Ninja Foodi Vs. Instant Pot: Which Is Better?

Are Instant Pots Dishwasher Safe? Cleaning Guide

Instant Pots are energy-efficient kitchen appliances because the cooking chamber, or inner pot, is completely insulated.

This means that the cooker does not need to exert as much energy to heat up as a standard cooking pot. This feature saves you time in the kitchen and uses less power over a shorter time, thereby saving you money.

I would recommend the Instant Pot to anyone who requires a quicker, more convenient cooking mode.

We’ve compiled a complete list of frequently asked kitchen questions for new and experienced homeowners.

Our team of experts answers these questions to help assist you through DIY projects and home repairs.

Robin Hatch

About the author

For over a decade, Robin has been a real estate agent, interior design specialist, and mother. Through her trials and tribulations, she wanted to create the perfect website to help you save money and make your home look beautiful.

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