Everyone, it seems, is talking about Instant Pot—the revolutionary electric pressure cooker that for all the hype, promises to turn anyone from an occasional home cook into an overnight culinary rockstar.
Whether you’re on board with your own IP, still considering, or are just now learning about such a thing as an Instant Pot, discovering the world of Instant Pot is not only enlightening, it’s fun!
The latest model (10-in-1, which means it does just about everything short of vacuuming the family room) is an egg-cooker, sauté pan, slow cooker, rice cooker, cake maker, yogurt maker, sterilizer, pressure cooker, food warmer, and steamer. Whew! Overkill? Perhaps, and in the interest of full disclosure, I have not upgraded to the latest model, and still see no reason to do that at this time.
So, you bought an Instant Pot! You’re no fool. You know a miracle when you see it. You could not wait another day to get on board the Instant Pot train.
Someone on Facebook may have even promised you the best Broccoli and Beef this side of Shanghai, from scratch, start-to-finish in just 15 minutes in your Instant Pot!
And the glowing reviews of IP Barbecue Short Ribs and Cheesecake (cheesecake?!) all from scratch in a matter of minutes at the hands of even a complete kitchen klutz seemed to be some kind of gift from the food universe.
You pulled your new IP from the box, managed to figure out the sealing vent, and stumbled through the very first step (boiling water). And wondered, now what? You weren’t exactly ready to dive into Broccoli and Beef quite yet, but you were hoping for something more than mastering the perfect boiled egg.
I hear you, oh boy, do I!
Those first few weeks I used my IP for nothing more than a fast slow cooker. I did venture into the miracle of perfect hard-cooked eggs Instant Pot Style.
But I didn’t make super progress until I armed myself with a few strategic accessories, took a class, joined a Facebook Instant Pot group, learned to make a foil sling and got hooked on watching Instant Pot videos.
You have a number of choices. Pictured above is my 6-Qt Instant Pot. As you decide the model best for you, my advice is to select the size first:
- 3-quart Instant Pot is perfect if you regularly cook for two (which I do, and have this size, too).
- 6-quart Instant Pot is the most popular size because it is quite versatile if you have the right accessories
- 8-quart Instant Pot for a large family of say, six and larger.
It’s crazy how IP prices vary almost day-by-day. Generally, if you can get an Instant Pot in the size and features you desire for under $100, you’ve found a great deal.
This is my favorite accessory because of one thing: Cheesecake! It’s not easy to find a 6-inch springform or removable bottom pan that will not leak cheesecake batter (a big problem when making cheesecake in an Instant Pot.)
Two-tier stackable stainless steel insert pans allow you to cook a variety of foods simultaneously in your Instant Pot. Excellent choice for steaming vegetables, rice, meat, and fish.
Also this set can double as dessert pan or lasagna pans. These are perfect for cooking Pot-in-Pot meals. Reheat your food without losing its original flavor. Also useful for storing food
Every Instant Pot comes with one stainless steel inner pot. However, it’s often very handy to have an additional non-stick inner pot.
For example, you can use one for cooking and the other for storing leftovers with the glass or silicone lid in the fridge. I use my non-stick inner pot every morning for steel-cut oats and other things that tend to stick.
It’s just plain handy to have extra inner pots for my Instant Pots.
Your Instant Pot came with a silicone sealing ring. Here’s the deal with silicone. It absorbs odors that can remain even after washing well—even in the dishwasher. It’s not a health hazard or problem other than the odor of your last creation (onion, garlic, etc.) can affect the cheesecake or another dessert-type item.
Here’s the secret to clearing that odor. Bake ring silicone ring in a 250F degree oven for 1 hour. (A higher temp could damage the ring, so please no higher than 250F, which is a safe temp for this process. For up to an hour.) Once the ring cools, it will be odor-free!
Another idea is to have two distinctly different silicone rings—one for savory items, the other for desserts. Problem solved!
An Instant Pot comes with a pressure cooking lid into which the silicone sealing ring is inserted. It’s a heavy, safe lid for the Instant Pot. However, the machine also works as a slow cooker, warmer and a variety of other features*.
This glass lid really makes slow cooking and other non-pressure cooking features so much easier and efficient. You can see what’s going on in there! And you can so easily lift the lid as needed. This is a game-changer. You need a glass lid
*Note: This works with the Slow Cook function on all Instant Pot models purchased after Jan. 2014.
This silicone lid fits your 6-quart Instant Pot’s Inner Pot. It’s a great way to store leftovers right in the inner pot without dirtying another container, especially if you don’t have a glass lid. Made of silicone, this lid will fit your inner pot tightly, perfect for storing in the refrigerator.
A great steamer basket I use frequently! Fits perfectly in the 6- and 8-quart Instant Pot.
Take a look at this bundled set of accessories, all of which fit the 6-quart and 8-quart Instant Pot.
Includes steamer basket, egg rack springform pan, egg bites mold, magnetic cheat sheets, oven mitts, food tong, a recipe book, even 60 paper doilies. This is a nice accessory collection and would make a great gift for a new Instant Pot user.
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