This multifunctional kitchen gadget is so useful, you’ll wonder what you ever did without it. Take a closer look at this super-smart appliance with our Instant Pot Buying Guide.
What is Instant Pot?
If you’ve heard about Instant Pot and wondered what all the hype is about, here’s the lowdown: this isn’t just a pressure cooker, or a rice cooker, or a slow cooker… it’s all three (like having a well-trained assistant by your side). With multiple set-and-forget functions from sous vide to sauteing, get creative in the kitchen without getting stressed.
How it works
Instant Pot comes in different models, each with a wide range of functions, but they’re all based on the same advanced electric pressure-cooker technology. Embedded in the base of the cooker is a microprocessor, which connects to sensors that monitor and regulate the inner pot’s temperature and pressure for precise and safe cooking. If it detects any danger, the microprocessor is smart enough to cut power.
Because Instant Pot uses pressure, it slashes cooking times while locking in flavour and nutrients. But it’s not only about speedy results. Use the smart cooking programs, which automatically adjust the pot’s heat intensity, pressure and cooking duration, to slow cook one day and whip up dinner in less than 10 minutes the next.
What to buy
The Instant Pot Duo Crisp + Air Fryer includes healthy, oil-free air frying on its long list of functions, making it a super-versatile gadget. Use the Instant Pot settings to pressure cook, sauté, steam, sous vide, slow cook and warm food, then switch lids to air fry, roast, bake, broil and dehydrate. This double functionality means you can use the wet and crisp functions separately, or combine them to cook a one-pot feast. Sunday roast has never been easier!
Alternatively, you’ll be impressed with any Instant Pot – they’re all major overachievers.
- When calculating how long it will take to cook your meal, bear in mind that it takes time for the pot to pressurise (five to 10 minutes) and then to safely release the pressure at the end of the cooking process (10 to 20 minutes).
- Use the natural release setting for meat. This allows the steam to escape slowly, keeping the food inside warm, so it’s ideal for resting meat. The quick-release valve is best for delicate food that you don’t want to overcook, like seafood.
- Instant Pot is great for meal prep. Use it to quickly hard-boil eggs, cook a batch of rice or quinoa, make stews or soups to freeze, or bake whole potatoes.
- Avoid using Instant Pot underneath overhead cupboards: the steam can damage timber and paint. Place it under a rangehood or in a well-ventilated area.
- Make sure there’s always at least half a cup of liquid in the pot to create the steam necessary for cooking.
Instant Pot recipes you’ll love:
Enjoyed our Instant Pot Buying Guide? Explore our top Instant Pot recipes here.