One Pot to Bind Them, One Pot to Rule Them All

Cara Kobernik

Section Editor

CrossFit, Running

Instant Pot Collage

 

Meal prep can be an arduous process—menu planning, shopping, organizing, chopping, cooking, sorting into containers. I know that I am always looking for ways to make meal prep go a little faster. I had heard of pressure cookers of old, ones that explode if you choose the wrong setting, so I was a little intimidated by this whole concept until I started asking around. During my research, I discovered most of my friends had a pressure cooker of some type. Apparently, it is me who is behind the times when it comes to this kitchen tool.

 

 

Solidly Built and Versatile

My first impression of the Instant Pot upon opening the box is that it is a very good quality product. Both the insert and the inside of the pot are made of very heavy, durable metal. Seeing the quality of the inside, and the sturdy lid and seal that locks down, took away any fear I had of a disaster in my kitchen. The Instant Pot comes with a manual and a book of recipes. I found a chili recipe online that I wanted to adapt to suit my taste, so I was very excited to see how it would turn out.

 

One thing I didn’t realize about the Instant Pot until I used it for the first time was the amount of features it has. It can make soup, stew, cook meat, make rice, sauté, cook oatmeal, and steam, among other features. You can even make yogurt with it. I used the sauté function to cook the garlic, onion, and beef for the chili I made. Then, I added the tomatoes and seasonings. I cooked on a regular setting for 10 minutes, then let it cool so I could open the lid safely. The chili came out like I had it on low in my slow cooker for 6 hours. Nothing was burnt and the canned beans I had added were not overcooked. Healthy, nutrition-filled meals are very easy to prepare in this unit.

 

The Instant Pot Delivers

The Instant Pot does cook food much more quickly than a slow cooker or conventional oven, even including the time it takes for the unit to head up and cool down. One feature I found useful is the option to keep the food inside warm once it’s done cooking, for up to 10 hours. One of my favorite uses of a slow cooker is to set it up so I can come home from a long day to a hot meal. With the Instant Pot, you can still do that, because it functions both as a pressure cooker and has a slow cooker setting.

 

People who have an Instant Pot seem unable to stop talking about it. There are so many recipes and video how-tos on both Amazon and YouTube for pressure cooking. I even found a video on how to make flan in the Instant Pot with a special insert. This machine is a wonderful option for those who have small kitchens or limited storage space for separate cooking gadgets.

 

The Instant Pot Is Worth It

I give the Instant Pot a very enthusiastic thumbs up. It is a great product and does so many different things. And, for around $100, depending on the model, you really can’t go wrong with this purchase. The Instant Pot works exactly how I expected it to, even better. It can be purchased from a variety of retailers online and comes with a one-year limited warranty.

 

Instant Pot At a Glance
Features

Steam, slow cook, stir fry, pressure cook all-in-one unit

Easy components to clean

Durable heavy-duty inner metal components

Keep-warm setting

Quick cooking for meal prep

Price $79 - $ 129
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