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INSTA-POTS

 
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Do you find Insta-Pots more useful than just a pressure cooker on the stovetop?
Kathy
 
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The Instant Pot ... and sous vide, have revolutionized cooking, I think.  Because of these new contraptions, probability of making a mistake resulting in black food has plummeted to less than 5%.

I use one or the other, I dunno, 5 times/week?  
 
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K. Lopez wrote:Do you find Insta-Pots more useful than just a pressure cooker on the stovetop?
Kathy



Not at all... I refuse to use anything non-stick because they are still using PFAS/PFOS chemicals (they may claim to be free on one or another or a couple, but they are just using a familial chemical with a different name (PFOx or PFAx), and they are all just as bad. (There are new laws that are trying to end that deception from the chemical corporation).

I heard you can get a stainless insert for an insta-pot , but honestly... Why bother, it’s still an awfully big lump of plastic... I like my stove top pressure cookers and canners, they work great and are easy to use and clean.

Good Luck!
 
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I'm not impressed with the Instapot. We have one, my daughter likes it for beans, but I don't have little use for it. Ours is stainless steel, so that is available. But the whole thing is a pain to clean, especially the top and vent.
 
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My son loves to buy kitchen gadgets. So of course we have an insta-pot.  He used it a lot when he first got it, but now it just takes up a lot of valuable space. I'm old school. I haven't even tried it.
 
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Well I must be even older school than you Jen, as I have absolutely no idea what an Insta-pot is!!  Had to look it up - not the kind of thing I'd ever use.
 
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I have an instapot and use it weekly to make yogurt for the next week. Chick peas for hummus. A frozen pork roast and 90 minutes for pulled pork. I use it quite a bit, 3-4 days a week for something. The air fryer (a gift) I just haven't figured out yet.
 
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Paul Eusey wrote:

K. Lopez wrote:Do you find Insta-Pots more useful than just a pressure cooker on the stovetop?
Kathy



Not at all... I refuse to use anything non-stick because they are still using PFAS/PFOS chemicals (they may claim to be free on one or another or a couple, but they are just using a familial chemical with a different name (PFOx or PFAx), and they are all just as bad. (There are new laws that are trying to end that deception from the chemical corporation)



I actually bought our instant pot years before it was "cool," because I wanted a non-toxic slow-cooker. I just kept finding out how there were heavy metals in the ones made of clay, and there was teflon in the metal ones. The only stainless steel thing with a slow-cooker function was the Instant Pot. I hadn't wanted a pressure cooker, but it does have a slow cooker function. Ironically, I think I've used the slow-cooker function maybe once. The pressure cooker function is more useful to us.  

The lid of our instant pot is plastic, but the rest of the thing is mostly metal. We bought ours 8 years ago, and it's still going strong. I like that I can "set it and forget it." We use it mostly for making bone broth, as well as cooking in the summer. It heats up the house a lot less than stove-top cooking. It's pretty energy efficient. Ours doesn't have the yogurt setting, but I wish it did!
 
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The insta-pot is good for broths and slow-stewed meats but that’s about all we’ve used it for. I’m not a huge fan of the way the meat all has a similar texture, it’s pull apart, slow cooked for sure in the insta-pot. I know you can make yogurt and there’s a bunch of other settings on it, but haven’t bothered with them. It’s worth for the speediness of broth.
 
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I have two, one gift, one garbage picked...

I like them for making broth, rice and beans, but my favorite thing is to pressure cook a fatty pork roast then cook off the water and brown it in onion, garlic,  peppers, cumin and  its own juices.
It's heaven on a corn tortilla or a toasted bun.
But frankly, I think any pressure cooker could do as well.
Some people ask a big deal about being able to set them  as and forget  them,  but I find the pre-sets give very poor results.
To avoid soggy rice or cruchy beans I look up
settings vetted by the online insta pot  community and adjust from there.
 
Olga Booker
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I guess I am one of the lucky ones.  I have been cooking on a wood burning stove for the last 35 years, so if I want a slow cooker, I just put my cast iron pot on the side and it can simmer all day, or even 2 or 3 days for a bone broth.  Probably why I never knew about those insta-pots!
 
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I haven't found an Instant Pot recipe I couldn't do on my stovetop pressure cooker (13 years old and as good looking as the day we got it as a wedding gift)

I wouldn't like a heating pressured kitchen implement to run unattended in my house, so I don't see how the delayed function would be useful (plus it means food sitting at room temp for a while, right?)

And there's more that can go wrong with a device that has electronic components, heating components and a vessel combined. If my range breaks, I can fix most of that myself. If the instapot breaks, I'm doubtful I'll be able to find standard after-market parts for it.
 
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We have an Instant Pot. It gets used maybe once a week.....largely to cook rice.   It is a handy added appliance to have ...but a rice cooker would have been less expensive.  Ours is stainless.
 
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I bought my instant pot because life is busy on the farm and I'm often called away from the stove - sometimes for hours - which isn't great when I'm cooking rice on the stovetop pressure cooker.  Having the timer that turns itself off and to 'keep warm'.  It's saved a lot of time being able to get it going, then get on with my day knowing that food will be ready for me when I'm ready for it.

My Instant pot is Stainless Steel top and bottom.  It has a silicone seal.

With tests from my style of cooking, it is about 10% the amount of electricity as the oven and about 40% of the electricity of cooking the same amount and amount of time on the stove - only the stove takes much longer to cook.  
 
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I got the instant pot with a removable, handled, dishwasher cleanable, stovetop usable, inside pot.
I've used most of the settings - slow cooker, pressure cooker, sous vide, rice cooker, saute, & keep warm.
Used to use the expensive stove top pressure cooker, now mostly using the instant pot instead, as I don't have to monitor it constantly and it will come to temp, cook for a specific time, and shut itself off. If I don't have electricity I'll go back to the stove top one. Otherwise it's really nice to do rice while working on the rest of the meal. "saute" to melt the butter and mix in rice, "cancel", "rice" add broth etc., "start", close lid, let it make rice and keep it warm. Also love being able to sear meat, then add the rest of ingredients and pressure cook or slow cook in the same pot. (I'm more of a pressure vs slow cook kind of cook). If you're in a hurry, release the pressure after cooking and resting, instead of waiting for it to depressurize on its own.
Just have to remember to push "start" after programming.
Only problem I have had is that the sous vide setting will not hold a specific temperature (checked with a thermometer), so unusable for that (bummer, as salmon cooked sous vide is yummy!).
 
Olga Booker
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So many people waxing lyrical about this pot, I had to look at it in more details again.  Oh, boy, 1000W to 1200W electric consumption depending on the size!  Enough to make my eyes water. Our solar system in the Pyrenees was delivering 1500W.  A few days without sunshine and there goes my rice!

 
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Joan Candalino wrote:Otherwise it's really nice to do rice while working on the rest of the meal. "saute" to melt the butter and mix in rice, "cancel", "rice" add broth etc., "start", close lid, let it make rice and keep it warm.



I'll do the same thing with my stove top one. Turn on the heat to sauté ingredients. Add liquid. Add lid and wait for pressure to come up (generally within a few seconds). Lower the heat and set kitchen timer. Move the pot to trivet once the timer rings. It's essentially the same thing, except I turn a knob instead of pressing buttons :)
 
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I use ours for hard boiling eggs.
4 minutes and they are perfect !!
 
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We got an Instant Pot when our 30 y.o. pressure cooker's handle died. We'd debated the alternatives, and I was swaying towards a new Stainless Pressure cooker, but Hubby was pressuring me (bad pun...) to get a larger one than I wanted.  (He's not the one who has to lift it or find a spot in the closet!) Before we'd come around to consensus, he saw an Instant Pot on sale and I was so desperate for *something* to replace the pressure cooker, I agreed.
1. It's bigger - won't fit in the cupboard and requires more water in the bottom than my old cooker.
2. It's inner pot is stainless - I'm much happier with that than the aluminum pressure cooker - I'm thinking I'm too exposed to aluminum and trying to reduce that.
3. It can be plugged in outdoors in hot weather.
4. It doesn't go to as high a pressure as my old pressure cooker so things take longer. I've adapted recipes and learned to set timers.
5. I find it takes longer to come up to pressure than my old cooker, so it's not much help for things that only need a few minutes at pressure. Yes, you can release the pressure if you want to come down quickly, but that's a more likely to get messy stuff in the pressure mechanism than lifting the old pot over to the sink and dribbling some water on it.
6. The rice setting is for "white" rice - I had to adapt the pressure setting to do brown.
7. My old slow cooker is easier to check on and add things to. I hadn't heard there were concerns about the pots, so I'll have to look into that.

Bottom line - I use it for bone broth and cooking beans. I went back to a pot on the stove for rice and my old slow-cooker, although I should try again as I think I messed up the instructions on that one - electronic things and me tend not to play nice - I'm known for confusing the machine and myself to the point of requiring a hard re-boot!
 
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Welcome, K Lopez!
There was a similar discussion about a year ago here started by R Ranson that you might find useful.
https://permies.com/t/119228/kitchen/Instant-Pot-pressure-cooker-slow
Lots of folks shared how they use their Insta-Pots, and some of their other kitchen cookers.
 
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Dennis Barrow wrote:I use ours for hard boiling eggs.
4 minutes and they are perfect !!



Des the 4 minutes include time to pressurize/de-pressurize?
 
Stacy Witscher
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For those of you using it for broth or stock, are you using a single chicken carcass or just a meals worth of pork or beef bones. It seems awfully small for broth. My stock pot is 16 quarts. I've never seen an Insta-pot that large, or maybe I just haven't looked enough.
 
Jay Angler
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Stacy Witscher wrote:For those of you using it for broth or stock, are you using a single chicken carcass or just a meals worth of pork or beef bones. It seems awfully small for broth. My stock pot is 16 quarts. I've never seen an Insta-pot that large, or maybe I just haven't looked enough.

I tend to broth up whatever bones are around after a meal or two. Otherwise I'd risk discovering science experiments in the back of the fridge. Depending on what we've eaten (duck and chicken carcasses are the most common) I'll end up with a liter or less of broth. If I pour it into a jar while it's hot and there's fat that floats to the top, the fat will seal it and keep it good in the fridge for a week or more. I use the fat in baking - yes it's not perfectly "white" but the flavorful things I make cover any slight flavor in the fat and at least I know I'm eating fat from well raised animals.

If for some reason I've got a large quantity of bones, I haul out my large pressure canner.
 
William Bronson
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I often run the same bones through twice.
The second time, I simmer down the resulting broth for a while, then combine it with the first batch.

This makes me realize that I do get a lot of value from the automatic features.
I wouldn't want to do the bones twice on the stove top, too much attention involved.

 
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Someone just gifted me the 8 quart instant pot (the largest model) and I'm over the moon. Last night I cooked 6 large red potatoes, 8 fat carrots, and a whole 4lb FROZEN SOLID chicken in just over an hour. From frozen to falling-off-the-bone tender. I'm in love. This weekend I'm going to try out the yogurt feature, and I can already confirm it makes the easiest-peel hardboiled eggs I've ever made. Next week I'm going to try out a corned beef roast from the freezer, though on slow cook mode rather than pressure. I love it.
 
r ranson
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When I do a bone broth in the instant pot,  it turns out to be jelly and needs watering down to use.
 
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Kena Landry wrote:I haven't found an Instant Pot recipe I couldn't do on my stovetop pressure cooker (13 years old and as good looking as the day we got it as a wedding gift)

I wouldn't like a heating pressured kitchen implement to run unattended in my house, so I don't see how the delayed function would be useful (plus it means food sitting at room temp for a while, right?)



They can be set to keep the food in the safe heated temp range.

We have one, but I'm more inclined to use the stove or the slow cooker. Hubs, on the other hand, uses it often - not quite as often as the sous vide, which is almost a daily thing. When our stove died (as in blew up, with John standing in front of it - he's fine,  minor, as explosions go, but, still a dead stove), right before Thanksgiving, and no one could get us a replacement in time, we used all the gadgets, including the stuff I never wanted, and had a wonderful dinner.
 
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William Bronson wrote:

Dennis Barrow wrote:I use ours for hard boiling eggs.
4 minutes and they are perfect !!



Des the 4 minutes include time to pressurize/de-pressurize?



William Bronson, the 4 minutes is pressurized / cook time.  I let the instapot depressurize on its own and them submerse the eggs in ice water bath to cool.
I crack the shells at the bubble end of the egg and usually run cool water at the tap lightly over the egg and the shells come off near perfect each time.
 
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I make most main courses with mine. I love it.
 
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I have 4 pressure cookers, different sizes and use them often. Hopefully more this year! . I have not used insta pot. I tried my ‘rice cooker this week but will go back to a plain stove top pan to cook rice since it tastes better and is easier.
thanks, Marie
 
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Dennis Barrow wrote:

William Bronson, the 4 minutes is pressurized / cook time.  I let the instapot depressurize on its own and them submerse the eggs in ice water bath to cool.
I crack the shells at the bubble end of the egg and usually run cool water at the tap lightly over the egg and the shells come off near perfect each time.

I'm assuming you're talking about standard large or extra large chicken eggs?

Many of our chicken eggs are more like jumbo-sized and our duck eggs are even larger, so I'm wondering if I'd have to adjust the timing at all? Any thoughts?
 
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Experiment?
The more food, the longer it takes to come to pressure and release,  that's why double the recipe or frozen food has the same at pressure time.

Then again,  chicken time varies a lot depending on size and bone.

But I don't know eggs...so?
 
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I use our Insta Pot several times a week. The most use is for our weekly batch of bone broth. 90-150 minutes, depending on the type of bones, and the bones are soft and all the goodness has been pulled out. The broth gels very well when cooled. This saves me a lot of time tending broth on the stove.

I also love it for cooking dry beans. Even beans that are several years old cook up smooth and soft.

It cooks excellent rice also.

I've seen a lot of recipes for the Insta Pot but most look like they are stovetop recipes that you can use in the machine. Not really interested in that aspect.
 
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I just made breakfast in my instant pot.

1 pound favourite short pasta.  4 cups water.  1 broth cube and some spicy cock sauce to taste.  On high  for 1/2 the stovetop cook time minus one min.

For first helping, spoon hot pasta in bowl and top with butter, salt, pepper, and cheese.  Maybe some garlic.

For the rest of the pasta, mix with sauce of choice and put in casserole dish for oven reheat or with tomato sauce for fried pasta.  

 
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Paul Eusey wrote:

K. Lopez wrote:Do you find Insta-Pots more useful than just a pressure cooker on the stovetop?
Kathy



Not at all... I refuse to use anything non-stick because they are still using PFAS/PFOS chemicals (they may claim to be free on one or another or a couple, but they are just using a familial chemical with a different name (PFOx or PFAx), and they are all just as bad. (There are new laws that are trying to end that deception from the chemical corporation).

I heard you can get a stainless insert for an insta-pot , but honestly... Why bother, it’s still an awfully big lump of plastic... I like my stove top pressure cookers and canners, they work great and are easy to use and clean.

Good Luck!



Every Instant Pot I've ever purchased (I have two different sizes) always came with a stainless steel insert. The Ninja Foodi, on the other hand, which I actually love/use more, comes with that nasty nonstick insert; a stainless steel insert is available from a third party.

I agree with Gary. I use my sous vide contraption and my Instant Pots and my Ninja Foodi constantly. And now, being newly acquainted with chaffles (Google it!), I don't think I could live without my Dash multi mini waffle iron. Today I had chaffles made with fresh asparagus out of my garden, and yesterday I made some using my own homemade kimchi. Both were divine. Both were great for somebody who is not at all a cook and is often at a loss for what to do with fresh produce.

 
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I have 2 insta pots,   I find it useful in one to be making yogurt, in the other cooking a full meal.


It does not replace a stove top,    but for what it does it does it perfectly every time.

The best feature for me is the keep warm feature which means I do not have to be there right when the food is done, but means I will have a hot meal when I get to it.       Perfect for me working outside, and I come in and the food is perfectly cooked.

I have stopped cooking huge meals in it,  the reason being it is so fast in cooking small meals I do not have to deal with left overs for the next week unless I want to ;-)

i have been looking into using a rocket stove to make charcoal,   and then with the charcoal charge batteries to run my insta pot on cloudy days,    I have it running off solar now.

 
You ridiculous clown, did you think you could get away with it? This is my favorite tiny ad!
Rocket Mass Heater Plans: Annex 6
https://permies.com/wiki/138231/Rocket-Mass-Heater-Plans-Annex
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