I have found so many useful ways to take advantage of my slow cooker. It is a huge time saver that allows me to do so much more during the evenings. In a previous post, I discussed 3 Simple Ways to Benefit from Your Slow Cooker. Besides saving time, you also save money and it motivates you to plan your meal ahead of time and be more organized when planning your meals.
7-in-1 Instant Pot
The most popular slow cooker I’ve heard about is the Instant Pot. I am seriously considering exchanging my current slow cooker to an Instant Pot. The one in particular that I’ve been researching is the Instant Pot DUO60 6 Qt 7-in-1 Multi-Use. When they say “multi-use,” they mean used for a multitude of functions. I’ll discuss each one along with the pros and cons of the Instant Pot and then you can decide if it’s worth trying.
Programmable Pressure Cooker
This is great if you use freezer meals regularly which is also hugely popular because of the amount of time it helps you to save.
The delayed timer is a super helpful function. You can turn on the delayed timer in the morning and by the time you come from work, you have fresh piping hot homemade food ready to eat for dinner.
You can make perfect rice every time by following exactly the instructions in the booklet that comes with the Instant Pot.
Unlike stove top pressure-cooking where you need to monitor continuously for whistles, and turning off the stove, the Instant pot avoids that. Also, since it is an electric pressure cooker with built-in settings, it will automatically turn off the cooking for you. The advantage is that you don’t need to stand over the stove the entire time.
The sauté function has three temperature settings: ‘normal’ heats to 320 degrees, ‘more’ heats to 338 degrees, and ‘less’ heats to 221 degrees (all in Fahrenheit.) Like the pressure cooker aspect of this pot, this is also beneficial for persons that prepares freezer meals regularly. You can sauté your meals and then freeze future meals.
I’ve never tried to make my own yogurt but for those of you that are adventurous or want to make your yogurt from scratch, you can use the Instant Pot.
You can use the warmer to keep your food warm if everyone isn’t ready to eat right away.
You can get your Instant Pot below:
Instant Pot Specifications and Accessories
For those of you that like knowing the technical details, it has a stainless steel (18/8) inner cooking pot made from food grade 304. It has no chemical coating, has a 3-ply bottom for even heat distribution, fully sealed environment traps the flavors, nutrients and aromas within the food.
It has been built with the latest 3rd generation technology and the microprocessor monitors pressure, temperature, keeps time, and adjusts heating intensity and duration to achieve your desired results every time.
The pot itself is 14.17 x 14.84 x 13.31 inches and it is UL and ULC certified with 10 safety mechanisms to provide you with added assurance, designed to eliminate many common errors.
Accessories include, stainless steel steam rack with handles, rice paddle, soup spoon, measuring cup, condensation collector and recipe booklet.
Amazon also has a bundle package under “Frequently bought together” that includes a deal on the Instant Pot, an Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Cookbook: 500 Everyday Recipes for Beginners and Advanced Users and Genuine Instant Pot Tempered Clear Glass Lid, 9 in. (23 cm.)
However, if you don’t buy the accessories, you will still get the most of your 7-in-1 Instant Pot. I love joining Facebook groups for my slow cooker recipes as well as the awesome blogs out there that also share the slow cooking recipes on their website or via their newsletter. In fact, to get you started with a few free recipes, you can read my post here on 4 Easy Broths Using A Slow Cooker.
Instant Pot Recommendations
To fully take advantage of meal planning freezer meals, I recommend also getting 64oz freezer containers. After your cooking your meal in the Instant Pot, you can place the leftovers in the containers. When you are ready to use, you pop the frozen meal right back into you Instant Pot. This is something that cannot be done in a crock pot as you must thaw out your frozen meals slightly before using. The best part is, the containers are reusable, dishwasher-safe, microwave-safe and of course perfect for your freezer.
I also suggest getting a marking/grease pencil to easily, cleanly and safely label your freezer meals. Unlike Sharpie markers that don’t work well on plastic containers, these are fantastic. You can label your Instant Pot freezer meals with the name of the recipe and cooking instructions and it doesn’t get smudged in the freezer.
I highly recommend taking advantage of the Amazon’s Black Friday sales. If you’ve been waiting for a slow cooker, crock pot or Instant Pot, now’s the perfect chance to try one at the lowest cost for the year.
Instant Pot Cons
Like any new appliance, sometimes you need time to become familiar with the best way to use it. In the beginning, it may be a little frustrating or your recipes may not come out the way you expected. It takes time and some trial and error to get the exact recipe timings to your taste and texture.
Another con is that while most reviewers loved their Instant Pot, a few have complained that it lasted a few months but then stopped working. Unfortunately, I bought a nice and expensive juicer that did the same thing. It worked fine until it just stopped working altogether. On the other hand, I’ve had my current slow cooker and blender for a while and they are still running smoothly despite how long I’ve had it.
I would recommend always reading the warranty with anything you purchase online and make sure your order from a reputable company that has a great customer service department in case you need to make any returns.
Instant Pot Conclusion
I’ll keep my overall review conclusion brief and to the point: if you’re looking for an appliance that replaces 7 common kitchen appliances, it’s worth a try. And if you currently own an Instant Pot, I would love to hear your experience using it in the comments below!