I am not associated with Instant Pot company. I purchased an Instant Pot pressure cooker on my own after careful research and was not sponsored by Instant Pot to write this review. This review is my honest experience and opinion. This review contains affiliated links. That means I will get a commission if you click the link and buy an item (but at no extra cost to you). Your support helps my work in bringing you useful information about non toxic products. Thank you!
One thing I have to say about Instant Pot pressure cooker is I should have bought this earlier. Instant pot is so convenient and time-saving that I use it almost every day. I originally bought this as a rice cooker since it has a stainless steel inner pot. However, I ended up using an instant pot for cooking meals so often that I ended up buying a separate rice cooker. I cook rice very often as well so it was easier for me to have meals and rice cook in a separate pot. For those of you who are looking into buying an instant pot, I share with you the pros and cons of an Instant Pot pressure cooker. I own an Instant Pot Duo Plus 60 9 in 1 pressure cooker and it has helped me in the kitchen tremendously.
If you are interested in non toxic rice cookers, please read my post ‘Non Toxic Rice Cookers – Rice Cookers With A Stainless Steel Inner Pot‘.
What is A Instant Pot Pressure Cooker?
Instant Pot pressure cooker is a multi-function pot that cooks food using steam and high pressure. The pot is sealed during cooking and uses lots of steam and pressure to cook. Then later, it lets the pressure out when the cooking is done. It cooks variety of food such as meat, stew, soup, rice, chili, porridge, yogurt, cake, egg, etc. It steams, warms, sautes, pressure cooks, and slow cooks many different dishes. It also has a sterilize function.
Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Pros
Instant Pot Is Non Toxic – Instant Pot Review
A pressure cooker has an inner pot that food comes into direct contact with. An inner pot can be made of stainless steel, aluminum or ceramic non-stick. I believe stainless steel is the safest material out of these three materials. Aluminum is a very reactive material especially with acidic, salty food. That means aluminum will leach aluminum very easily while cooking acidic and salty food. Too much aluminum in our body can cause Alzheimer’s disease or cancer. Therefore, I don’t find aluminum safe. Ceramic non-stick does not have any aluminum in contact with food. However, aluminum is inside of ceramic coating, therefore, aluminum can be leached if the ceramic coating is scratched. In my experience, ceramic coating was scratched easier than I expected. Therefore, I try to avoid ceramic coated cooking pots. Stainless steel, on the other hand, is a moderately reactive material and only reacts when cooking acidic food or cooking something for a very long time. When it reacts with food, it leaches iron, nickel and chromium. Our body naturally needs iron and chromium so they are not chemical elements of concern unless you already have health problems related to iron or chromium. The only thing is nickel can be allergic to some people. However, pressure cooking is done actually a lot faster than cooking in a conventional oven or stove top cooking. Therefore, you probably won’t have to cook something for a long time in the pot. You can also avoid cooking acidic food if you want and use the stove top for acidic dishes. On top of that, stainless steel reacts a lot less than aluminum does.
Instant Pot pressure cooker has a stainless steel inner pot. There is no chemical coatings on the stainless steel. It cooks food well without food sticking on the bottom of the pot. Stainless steel material for an inner pot was one of the main reason I purchased this item.
Instant Pot is A Multi-Function Pot – Instant Pot Review
Instant Pot is a multi-function cooking pot. It makes so many different dishes! You can find recipes using an instant pot online about almost any dish. Instant Pot can be used to warm, saute, steam, slow cook, pressure cook food. It has meat/stew, bean/chili, soup/ broth, rice, multigrain, porridge, cake, egg, yogurt making function. I had been cooking same kind of meals every day and was eager to change some dinner menus for my family. This was a great addition to my kitchen since it added whole bunch of new recipes to my cooking list using an instant pot. What’s good about Instant Pot is that many recipes using an Instant Pot tell you to put all the ingredients in the pot and just set the time. I found that extremely simple and easy for me to cook meals. You can also set the delayed cooking start time if you want the pot to cook at the time of your choice.
Instant Pot Has Shorter Cooking Time – Instant Pot Review
One of the best advantages of a pressure cooker is that it cooks food faster than other conventional cooking methods such as cooking on the stove top or in the oven. Ever since I started cooking with an instant pot, my cooking time has reduced significantly! Instant Pot reduces cooking time up to 70 percent. Even for steaming veggies or boiling eggs, I only use instant pot now. I don’t have time to wait for water to boil first and put veggies or eggs! Pressure cooking of meat is also wonderful too. The meat is so tender like it is falling off the bones with shorter cooking time! You can also cook eggs or veggies perfectly with an instant pot. I don’t know how many times I boiled eggs or veggies in the stove top and they were cooked for too long. With an instant pot, the cooking duration is timed so that eggs and veggies will come out perfectly.
Here are some examples of food I cooked with shorter amount of time. All dish needs some time to build a pressure (about 5 min.) in the beginning then actual cooking time starts as below. Then depending on a dish, you may leave the pot for a natural release of pressure 5-10 min.after cooking is done. You may also release pressure right away manually for some dishes as soon as cooking is done.
boiled eggs – 5 min.
broccoli – 1 min.
corn – 2 min.
sweet potato – 35 min.
rice -12 min.
beef stew – 35 min.
whole chicken roast – 25 min.
Honey garlic chicken – 20 min.
chicken and rice – 20 min.
spagetti – 8 min.
chill – 20 min.
Instant Pot Keeps More Nutrients In Food – Instant Pot Review
Instant Pot cooks food at lower temperature than the stove top or oven. It cooks food around 225 -235°F utilizing pressure. The maximum high temperature for Instant Pot is 250 °F/ 120 °C. Food is cooked at a lot lower temperature than a typical oven cooking temperature of 400 °F. Despite the lower temperature, a pressure cooker cooks faster utilizing pressure. With shorter cooking time and lower temperature, less nutrients are destroyed during cooking. Therefore, food cooked in Instant Pot has more nutrients preserved in the food than food cooked by conventional cooking methods. Instant Pot has higher nutrient retention rate up to 90 percent. Cooking in Instant Pot is actually healthy! In one study, boiling and steaming of broccoli caused vitamin C losses of 34% and 22%. However, pressure cooking preserved vitamin C at 90%. Sulforaphane was also gone after boiling and steaming broccoli while pressure cooking didn’t lose much of it. Sulforaphane is used to prevent cancer. It is an important nutrient, therefore, it should be preserved as much as possible while cooking.
Instant Pot Saves Space In The Kitchen – Instant Pot Review
Since Instant Pot is a multi-function pot, you don’t need a frying pan or other pots to cook. Instant Pot can do almost all the cooking by itself! Instant Pot can be also used as a rice cooker or slow cooker. Therefore, you don’t need a bulky rice cooker or slow cooker in the kitchen. Without them, your kitchen has that much more space.
Before Instant Pot, I used to use two to three different pots to cook dinner. I cooked main dish in one pot, steamed vegetables in another pot and cooked another side dish in another pot. It not only took my time and effort but also created so much dishes to be cleaned. With an Instant Pot, I only use the Instant Pot. I cook corns in the Instant Pot and put them aside. I cook potato after and put them aside. Then I cook main dish after that. This is possible since cooking is faster with an Instant Pot.
Instant Pot Saves Energy – Instant Pot Review
Instant Pot saves energy since the cooking time is shorter. It can save energy up to 70% depending your Instant Pot use. Saving energy also means saving money.
You Can Buy An Instant Pot At A Great Price – Instant Pot Review
Instant Pot is affordable and competitively priced. Amazon, especially has a great discounted price for all Instant Pots. For a multi-function kitchen gadget, you get so much from it for a very reasonable price.
Instant Pot Is Easy To Clean – Instant Pot Review
Instant Pot is easy to clean. You can just take the stainless steel inner pot out of the pot and wash it. Lid is detachable from the pot, therefore, you can easily wash the lid too. Most of the time, food doesn’t stick to the stainless steel inner pot since many dishes I cook have liquid in the dish. However, when food got stuck to the surface of stainless steel, all I had to do was pour some water in the pot and leave it for a while. Then I just washed the pot after that and whatever was on the surface of the pot came off.
Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Cons
Instant Pot’s Lid Can Be Annoying To Close – Instant Pot Review
This may be more of a personal preference. I sometimes found it annoying to put the lid back on the pot after opening the lid. I have to turn the lid so that lid clicks back on the pot. However, it doesn’t clicks back on right away if you don’t put the lid back on the exact right spot and turn. You sort of have to try to put the lid on the right spot and turn it to click back in. I wish that I didn’t have to try to find a right spot to put the lid before turning it.
Be Careful of Instant Pot’s Pressure Valve – Instant Pot Review
Pressure cooker cooks food with steam and pressure. Therefore, after cooking is done, the pot has to let the pressure out of the pot before opening the lid. Therefore, there is a pressure valve located on top of the lid for enabling pressure to release from the pot. The pressure can be released naturally or manually depending on a dish you are cooking. When the pressure is released naturally, you don’t have to do anything. Just leave the lid closed for about 10 min. (However, how long depends on the food and the liquid left in the pot for all pressure to be released.) When all the pressure is released naturally this way, you can open the lid. The lid of the pot won’t open if there is any pressure trapped in the pot. You can also do natural pressure release of 5 min. and manual release for the rest of the pressure left in the pot. For manual release, you have to point the pressure valve to ‘venting’, then pressure will release from the valve. You just have to be careful your hand or face is not in the way where pressure releases since the pressure will come out really fast and strong.
I have nothing bad to say about Instant Pot. Yes, I have mentioned that Instant Pot’s lid can be annoying to close and you have to be careful when the pressure is released manually. However, Instant Pot overall offers me so many great advantages for my cooking. I feel price is great for what I am getting from it. I am glad my dinner is cooked in non toxic pot. I am also happy that meals I cook for my family has nutrients preserved after cooking. In addition, I can find tons of recipes using an instant pot online. I felt like a I was just slaving in the kitchen making dinners before. Now I don’t feel like that any more after using an Instant Pot. I just put the ingredients in the pot and set the time. That’s it! I feel I have more time to enjoy with my family after cooking with an Instant Pot. Happy cooking, everyone!
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If you want to find more about a pressure cooker, Instant Pot, please read my post, ‘Non Toxic Pressure Cooker – Is Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Non Toxic?‘