Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Five Reasons I Wasn't Going to Buy an Instant Pot



Instant Pot IP-DUO80 7-in-1 Programmable Electric Pressure Cooker, 8 Qt

Five Reasons I Wasn't Going To Buy an Instant Pot

- But Did Anyway

1. Everyone was doing it.

I'm not a trend setter. I'm not a fad follower. Call me stubborn. Or independent. But when everyone is talking about the same product, or book, or diet...I roll my eyes and expect to find those products on the Goodwill shelf in three years.

But...when my sister-in-law, and friends, and much of the blog world, and even my mom have an Instant Pot on their kitchen counter, I begin to think that maybe I need to reconsider.

2. The name.

"Instant Pot"? That sounds like false advertising. Nothing worth doing is instant. Nothing worth eating is instant. I love quick and easy, but instant isn't believable. Besides, I'm more of the long-rise sourdough kind of gal.

I know, "7-1 Programmable Electric Pressure Cooker" doesn't have a great ring. But I've used an electric pressure cooker. They are not instant. Yes, they cook food faster, but they take time to bring the pot up to pressure and to bring the pressure down to safely open the lid.

But...even if it wasn't instant, sometimes a mom needs even a few extra minutes. My sister-in-law, a homeschool mom of six just like me, kept telling me that she used her instant pot nearly every day and didn't know how she would manage without it.

3. New technology.

My favorite kitchen gadget is my cast-iron skillet that was used by Ed's grandmother. My second favorite is an 8-quart stainless steel soup pot that was a wedding gift.

I use these two pans every day. They are indestructible. They have no buttons. They have nothing to break or wear out. I can use them every day of my life and hand them down to my grandchildren. I can use them on a campfire if the electricity is out.

But...I do love my slow cooker. And the liner has a crack and needs replaced. Maybe this was a good time to upgrade to an Instant Pot which includes a slow cooker but much more.

4. The user's manual

I don't like to read user's manuals. I don't like to figure out new gadgets. I grumped for weeks when my laptop died last year and Ed kindly bought me a new one. It took me months to grudgingly say that I liked it. I'd rather use something half broken or obsolete than learn something new.

All those buttons on the Instant Pot? Scared me silly. And a user's manual printed in several languages? I probably wouldn't even understand the English version.

But...I talked to a friend of mine who is even less in love with technology and user's manuals than I am. And she said that she figured out all those buttons in a short time. Maybe I can too. In fact, don't I tell my children that sometimes they need to try something that looks hard?

5. I am a tightwad.

I try to say I'm frugal. But it might slide into stinginess. Ask Ed who watched me fight with a half-broken hand mixer. I don't mind spending money on things that bless others. (Like the incredible amount of food this household consumes.) But buy something just to make my life easier? That is hard for a tightwad. I can usually talk myself out of any purchase just by checking the 1-star reviews on Amazon. (Never mind that the average is 4.5 stars.)

And the Instant Pot isn't cheap. Nearly everyone I knew had (and loved) the six-quart Instant Pot. But with our family's food consumption it seemed silly to me to buy anything less than an 8-quart Instant Pot. (Remember, my favorite soup pot is 8-quart.) And I could buy four or five slow cookers for the price of the 8-quart Instant Pot.

But...Ed said, "Just order it."

And so I did.

The huge box arrived on the porch last Friday. I was not. going. to. be. intimidated. The money is already spent. I couldn't waste those dollars because of fear. I pulled the Instant Pot out of the box, read the directions in the user's manual (in English I could understand), threw rice in the pot, and served it for supper that very night.

I've used the Instant Pot at least once every day since then.

 Instant Pot IP-DUO80 7-in-1 Programmable Electric Pressure Cooker, 8 Qt

So am I the only one who has crazy fears over learning to use something new?

And to all you Instant Pot users, what should I make next in my Instant Pot?

Want to learn more? This is the Instant Pot I bought. And here is the 6-quart. 

(This post contains affiliate links.)



40 comments :

  1. I gave my daughter one and she loves making cheesecake in it, she says it's better than anything she has ever bought ready made.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've heard it makes wonderful cheesecake! Need to try it.
      Gina

      Delete
  2. I bought myself one in November from Amazon for $59.00. It IS the smaller one, but since it's just my husband and myself now, it's plenty big. I love it. Our favorite dish is either chicken breasts or pork chops. I add a can of mushroom soup, fresh mushroom, onions and cook for 16 minutes for pork chops and 20-25 minutes for the chicken, depending on how big the pieces are. Oh. My! Delicious. I also use it a lot for steel cut oatmeal, making a big batch once a week and then just heating it in the mornings. I wouldn't be without it now, and like you, I put it off for quite awhile before succumbing to the pressure to buy one. I hope you learn to to love it too.
    Blessings,
    Betsy

    ReplyDelete
  3. Homemade yogurt is a big hit using the instant pot! If you are on Facebook there are lots of instant pot groups to join with food inspiration too.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I am interested in adding one to our family, but have been unsure how much we would use it. Please let us know about your successes - and failures.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I am like you, I want to see how EVERYone else likes it first! I looked at a lot of recipes for it on Pinterest, but the cheesecake may just have thrown me over the edge! Thanks for your review of it!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I LOVE MY INSTANT POT!! Hard boiled eggs (2 minutes on steam with a full NPR), risotto, brown rice in 22 minutes, bone broth, yogurt, pasta-meat-sauce-water in 6 minutes no draining, chicken piccata in 8 minutes, orange chicken, steamed whole squashed and pumpkins for purée, applesauce in 5 minutes, and the most tender beef stroganoff.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I use mine everyday as well... beans or rice or soup. It's wonderful. But like you, I don't like change or anything too technical. My cell phone is so old and does nothing - but I like it. :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. I bought one for the stainless steel insert/slow cooker feature - yet I can not stop using it! I made yogurt yesterday and today threw in some frozen meatballs to slow cook... it was great :) I do not use the pressure cooker part much, just for beans and potatoes (like sweet potato casserole!).

    ReplyDelete
  9. I highly reccomend the book "pressure cooker perfection" by America's Test Kitchen . It really helped me get comfortable with my pressure cooker and has a lot of great recipes to walk you step-by-step through the process and are already calibrated for cooking under pressure . My favorite thing to do is to make chicken stock after roasting a chicken I actually get two batches of chicken stock from every carcass it is so fast and cleaner than the stove. Also cream veggie soups are a breeze, cook, immersion blend , splash of milk and done.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Chicken stock is something I want to get in the habit of making. It is just too easy for me to throw out those bones!
      Gina

      Delete
  10. I'll comment just to reassure others like me (if there are any!) I haven't heard of an Instant Pot!! Hmm, wonder if that's what that strange lookin' crockpot was at the last fellowship dinner? Have fun cooking with it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sure you are not the only one! If so many women in my life didn't have one, I'd probably not noticed all the online conversation about the Instant Pot.
      Gina

      Delete
  11. Goodness, how I can relate to this article!! I am always among the last of the hold-outs!! I hear only great things about the Insta-pot. I'm still in the "get my friends who are more adventurous to try it and tell me' stage!" Do let us know what you think!!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I love my instate pot and use it for everything. You can even saute your meat first, which cuts down on my pots and pans. Having 5 kids, two being teen boys....every less pot counts. what I did was adapt my recipes into insta pot ones. :) I also created two week menu of full dinners to go in the insta pot and only cook when I have the time. Otherwise, one of the teens makes dinner. I usually do one or two sides and have found for a main meal, the insta pot works great. Last night I made "beef stew" but I cut the liquid in half, and made mashed potatoes (left over from the night before insta pot meal) and did a side salad. Tonight we had adapted beef stroganoff (pre cooked the meat balls), but I will leave them to simmer in the pot all day and serve them over noodles, broccoli and jello. I have yet to cook this week, because it's so easy to throw it all in. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The saute feature is one of the features that convinced me to get it. I always hated browning meat on the stove and then transferring it to the slow cooker.
      Gina

      Delete
  13. I wasn't going to buy one either for many of the reasons you listed! I mean, I was doing just fine with what I had! Then my generous in-laws surprised me with an Instant Pot for Christmas. I started using it right away and really like it. Sweet potatoes, spaghetti squash, cauliflower and things like that are cooked very quickly in the Instant Pot. I've made yogurt in it every week since January and we love it; turns out great every time! I used to make yogurt in the crock pot but the Instant Pot seems to keep it at a more consistent temp for culturing the yogurt. My favorite feature is the delayed start--which helps with the time it takes to come to pressure. I time it(for certain things) before going to work and by the time I get home, it is nearly finished cooking. If I started it when I got home, it wouldn't be any quicker than cooking the food otherwise but the timer makes it convenient!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a generous gift from you inlaws!

      I need to figure out how to do the delay start. That sounds handy for times like Sundays.
      Gina

      Delete
  14. This post is identical to my own thought process! My crock pot crock cracked as well and I decided to order the instant pot, quite begrudgingly I might add. I just wanted a slow cooker with a stainless insert instead of something that could break again. Mine came on Tuesday and I made chicken in it last night and it was tasty! Please put up your recipes as you find ones that you like!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Candice-
      How funny! We seem to be on the exact same path! I too love the stainless steel insert and hope that it will survive longer than my slow cooker.
      Gina

      Delete
  15. This is funny--and a good review:) I used to have a small house so if I did buy or receive kitchen items, I didn't know where to store them. This gadget certainly sounds handy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tina-
      My kitchen space is very limited too so I know how you about avoiding purchases just because I don't know where to put them. But for now, the Instant Pot has a place on my counter. If I keep using it every day, I won't need to find a place to store it.
      Gina

      Delete
  16. I have the Power Cooker pressure cooker which is basically the same thing with a different name. I was a little afraid of mine at first as I had never used a pressure cooker before but once I used it I was hooked! I have made wings, stew, rice and a whole chicken in mine so far. I think pressure cooking really brings out the flavors in foods. The stock I got from the cooked chicken was a beautiful, gelatinous yellow and tasted so good!

    ReplyDelete
  17. This is very interesting, because I was just starting to sit up and take notice of the Instant Pot as well, but wasn't sure if all the hype was based on reality or not, so this is quite helpful! Time will tell if I get one or not, but after reading this, I am kind of hoping its not "if," but "when?"

    ReplyDelete
  18. Yes, I bought one about a year ago. I LOVE IT! I use the pressure cooker part of it very often but I haven't used the slower part yet. I have made yogurt and it turned out very well.

    Make sure to buy one that has the stainless steel pot. I have noticed that not all of them are stainless steel.

    I love cooking beans in under an hour. Pea soup in under an hour. Cooking any kind of chicken in about 30 minutes or a piece of beef in under an hour. I have even used frozen meat since I often don't think about meals until I get home from work. I save all the juice from cooking our meats and use them for rice or anywhere else you need to use broth. I have never purchased stock and my freezer is getting full of all kinds of broth saved from my pressure cooking. The only waste is bones and the fat that floats to the top of the broth after I cool it.

    My new favorie is steel cut oats in pint sized jars. I want to try cheesecake also but I believe you need a small springform pan to insert into the stainless steel liner. I want to find one at a goodwill instead of buying a new one.

    The best way to get recipes is by people sharing them. It also gives me a better idea on how long to pressure cook something. I did buy one book but I don't love it. Instead I search the internet for bloggers who share their recipes.

    Alice

    ReplyDelete
  19. I'm the same way! I ignored it for a long time based on the silly name alone. But they had me at sauté (one less pan!), and it really earned my star of approval for making it easy to cook meat straight from the freezer, when I forget to defrost but have to leave the house in 10 minutes to pick up kids. It makes great broth too. But they surely have done a good job of getting this particular electric pressure cooker to be "the" one we're all looking at!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I have never heard of this gadget before! I most likely wouldn't buy one, but I wonder..if food cooks so fast, how can flavors develop ? I guess this ole gal is just too set in my ways! Good luck with your new pot!!

    ReplyDelete
  21. oh you sound exactly like me....about new things....I might have to start thinking about this gadget..

    ReplyDelete
  22. I think pressure cooking brings out the flavor of foods. Some of my tried and true recipes that I have converted to use in the pressure cooker seem to have more flavor than stove top or slow cooker cooking.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I laughed at all your objections. They sound like mine, except for the user's manual. I love them and read them in full for everything. And bite my tongue when Tony doesn't read them!

    ReplyDelete
  24. I'm intrigued now by this Instant Pot. I may have to wait a while because I just bought a pressure canner. I've never pressure canned before so this should be fun. It sounds like your Instant Pot is going to be much fun! Enjoy!

    ReplyDelete
  25. All of your "Reasons" were the same as my own! But Christmas deposited an Instant Pot on my kitchen counter. I have had the most enjoyable time just going through several test runs of various basic food preparation. I've experimented dried beans, rice, steamed vegetables, baked potatoes, grains, meats, etc. Winning the trial prize are boiled eggs! I had lost my knack (no matter which way I did them) for getting shells off easily. For me, the always-easy-peel boiled eggs cooked in this pot have been worth having it!!
    As you test run different foods, be sure and write a little instruction so you won't have to look up in book or net each time you do it again! I have 5 post-its inside my upper cabinet for rice, eggs, potatoes, oats, and roast chicken. More to follow!
    It has been a long while since I've had a kitchen appliance that has been as fun as the I.P. to get to learn!
    After having the I.P. for one month I found a brand new, in the box, I.P. Glass Lid that is used during the pot's slow cooker setting. What a blessing to find it!
    One more thing your readers would be interested in knowing: You will not believe how SILENT this pot is. No machine sound whatsoever. The whole pressure process is completely quiet. I was very surprised at this.
    If you are on the fence -- go ahead and try it! You will really love it.
    (Not a sales representative... heehee)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I too was shocked at how quiet it is. After the initial steam, once it seals, there is no sound. At first I was sure that it had stopped and something was wrong but now I figured out that it is just its way.
      Gina

      Delete
    2. Maybe i should reconsider? As I said before, I had never heard of this.But after the glowing reviews, it has me wondering..I think I'll check it out.

      Delete
    3. And what I meant to say about the I.P. glass lid is that I found it new in the box at a thrift store for only $3.00! That was the blessing about it!

      Delete
  26. Wow am I the only one who has never heard of this until now? Hmm maybe its not in Canada yet? This sounds very interesting.

    ReplyDelete
  27. In response to Regina, pressure canning is great and you can put away so many wonderful things for winter. As I am writing this, I am canning all my dried beans before the real canning season starts! Dried beans are easy and they are great to have on hand for a quick pot of chili, soup, refried beans and more!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Lana! I think I will try with dried beans as I have plenty of them on hand.

      Delete
  28. I read with amusement your reasoning for not buying an instant pot, they parallel mine right down to being a tightwad! Then on a visit with my cousin in Colorado last week I was gifted one. So far I have cooked rice(so long rice cooker)and steamed sweet potatoes. I am looking forward to cooking chicken and pastry this weekend. I am thinking that I will cook the chicken under pressure, remove the bones then add the pastry (slick dumplings) on the slow cooker function. As always, I enjoy your blog.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Thanks for the review. I have barely considered buying an Insta-Pot for the same reasons you listed :) But it's fun to read what people think of it.

    ReplyDelete

I'm still learning how to be a joyful homemaker and I'd love to hear from you!

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails