Trend Alert: Buzzing with Instant Pot
Have you caught on to the Instant Pot craze yet ? People are going crazy about cooking with electric pressure cookers like the Instant Pot. Electric Pressure Cookers are an ideal cooking appliance for busy people who want to cook homemade meals but lack one crucial thing – time! It’s become a favorite with food bloggers and home cooks.
The stars in the lineup
About SizzlingPots Trends
Life is so interesting and dynamic because of the change, excitement, buzz and variety that trends and fads introduce. In this column, we’ll give you the 101 on the latest trends relevant to our world of food and foodies. Learn about potential impacts on your lifestyle, understand benefits and shortcomings, explore further and decide whether ( if not already) you should join in the trend or stay out !
Instant Pot LUX60 6-in-1 The “LUX” is the starter Instant Pot model, but its still pretty advanced and has most of the features in any state of the art electric pressure cooker.
Instant Pot DUO60 7-in-1 This electric pressure cooker exemplifies the trend. The “DUO” is one of our favorites, and one of the cookers we use in the SizzlingPots Test Kitchen.
Instant Pot Duo Plus 9-in-1 This “PLUS” model is a bit more advanced than the Duo60, with more automated settings, making it a 9-in-1 as compared to the 7-in-1 Duo.
Instant Pot Ultra – Smart
The “ULTRA” model is their “SMART” cooker, with bluetooth and a Smartphone app ( of course, the smart cooker app was inevitable and here it is!!!)
The “60” in the model name like DUO60 stands for the 6 quart size, which is pretty adequate for a family meal serving 4 to 6 people. A larger size, the 8 quart model, is available for the DUO and the LUX.
What’s the big deal about these pressure cookers anyway? My mom had one !
Ha! This is not your mom’s old whistle-blowing pressure cooker that used to blow steam all over the place and had to be carefully chaperoned until the food was cooked. While pressure cooking certainly isn’t a new thing, pressure cookers have advanced tremendously in recent years. Generation 3 pressure cookers like the Instant Pot DUO60 7-in-1 run on electricity, and have several digital automated functions to make cooking the easiest it’s ever been. We no longer have to worry about the complicated and sometimes frightening stove top pressure cookers and their tendency to sometimes blow up, or even burn food when not watching carefully enough. Today’s digital electric pressure cookers have literally taken all of the pressure off pressure cooking. Not just that, your food cooks in a jiffy!.
Is this a trend or a fad?
We think electric pressure cookers are here to stay. They cook food faster and healthier, they are versatile in what they can help you make, they are super efficient and are quite affordable. Once you try out one, you’ll never go back, at least for everyday dishes. They are likely to become an essential countertop appliance in every kitchen, similar to stovetops, microwaves and ovens.
How do these gadgets work?
In pressure cooking, water inside the cooking pot turns to steam when it reaches it’s boiling point of 100ºC (212ºF). Since the cooker is sealed airtight, steam cannot escape( except through a “pressure valve” and other safety measures). This leads to pressure building up inside the cooker At higher pressures, water boils at a higher temperature. At 1 bar, or 15 PSI ( pounds per square inch) , water reaches 121 °C (250 °F). Now the higher temperature makes food cook much faster. The automated functions inside an electric pressure cooker maintain precise control over the pressure and temperature levels, based on the function you’ve chosen , for the kind of meal you are making, and automatically shuts off the cooker when the food is ready.
Check out our video that demonstrates this. Also visit Wikipedia to learn more about the history of pressure cooking
What are the benefits of an electric pressure cooker?
For those who have not yet discovered the joys of pressure-cooking, here is why you should get one right away and make your time in the kitchen both enjoyable and less stressful.
1. You save time !! Get back your life !
As explained above, food cooks much faster than on a stovetop. Also, once you have done the prep and put in all the ingredients, you can shut it and walk away to do other things. No more monitoring, stirring or waiting around to turn the heat up, down or off . The cooker will shut down by itself ( or shift to a low warming mode) when the food is ready.
2. You can make several types of meals
Staples like rice, stews, soups, roasts and curries. Even things you never thought possible- like yogurt, boiled eggs (hard to soft the way you like it). You can even make cheesecake, yes you heard that right! This pot will let you make some awesome cakes and many other things that you want to. It all depends how experimental and creative you can get. Most cookers include a recipe booklet that gets you started.
3. It’s safe
Most good electric pressure cookers like the Instant Pot DUO60 7-in-1 have several redundant safety measures built in, to ensure that pressure does not build up causing the lids to blow , or hot steam to rush out etc . Check for the safety features always !
4. It’s clean
No more mess like in stovetops or traditional pressure cooking. Everything is self-contained and food does not splash about .
5. Free up your countertop !
The Instant Pot DUO60 7-in-1 replaces several other appliances. This is a genie that multi tasks, and will replace a traditional pressure cooker, electric rice cooker, egg cooker, slow cooker, porridge maker, steamer, yogurt maker, food warmer, saute pan and maybe a few more kitchen gadgets if you experiment with it.
6. Save money !
Not only is the Instant Pot DUO60 7-in-1 more efficient and makes effective use of electricity, saving you money, it also lets you cook great meals without tedious prep, monitoring or clean up. This means you will be more likely to skip the trips to the restaurants and have more home cooked delicious family meals.
“Pressure Cooking has given me time back in my day. Now I can get back to things that I’ve always wanted to do” Electric pressure cooker fan
Can the Instant Pot DUO60 7-in-1 completely replace my stovetop?
It could, if you stick to the dishes that can be made with the electric pressure cooker. However there are quite a few that turn out best on a traditional stovetop, especially those needing precise heating, like searing meat , frying etc as part of its preparation.
I’m interested in trying out this trend. What do I do next?
All you need is a good basic electric pressure cooker like the Instant Pot LUX60 6-in-1 or the Instant Pot DUO60 7-in-1 , and some proven recipes to get you started.
We’ll be including Instant Pot / Electric Pressure cooking recipes on SizzlingPots.com . SizzlingPots Club members will be able to access the full recipe. While you may find recipes easily on the internet, they may not have precise measurements and cooking instructions. But since we have figured these out, we would love to share this with the SizzlingPots community.
What’s the SizzlingPots opinion on electric pressure cookers?
We think this trend is a winner and is here for the long term. Our mission is to motivate you and to bring you back into your own kitchen and save you tons of time and money. This is one trend that aligns very nicely with our mission.
Things we love about our Instant Pot DUO60 7-in-1
For those who have not yet discovered the joys of pressure-cooking, here is why you should get one right away and make your time in the kitchen both enjoyable and less stressful. Here are a few
awesome things you need to know about the Instant Pot DUO60 7-in-1 , the model that we have been using ( although similar points may apply to any equivalent electric pressure cooker as well). There may be downsides to electric pressure cookers, we are yet to find one
It pays for itself ! Return on Investment
Let’s knock out the foremost concern that most people seem to have about this device, “The Price”. Let’s look at the numbers. You can now easily buy an Instant Pot or similar pressure cooker for $100 on any popular online store. If you are patient enough you might even find a good deal of under $70 during big sale events. Now how do we justify this $100? Here’s how fast it pays itself back. A family of four will typically spend $20 to $30 on their order every time they go out to a restaurant . Think about it, with our quite busy schedules when we are running on a tight budget, we tend to go out to eat during the weekday. We do this just because we don’t have the time to cook or are way too tired of standing in the kitchen babysitting our food and so reluctantly we choose the easiest option of going out despite the money factor. Now what if we tell you that you can actually cook a hassle free, healthier dinner in the pressure cooker in the same or even lesser amount of time that you will take to go to the restaurant and wait for your food to be served? Yes that’s exactly what we are telling you, you can cook food at home faster than you can get one in the restaurant. It’s a win-win situation. You can skip the weekday outing, have a healthier meal, save time and save $25 each week. With that said if you save $25 for 4 weeks, in a month you will have saved $100, a total return on your investment. Plus keep saving in future. Now isn’t that a great deal?
Fastest way to cook
Food cooks faster in an electric pressure cooker, thus saving time. Because the food cooks faster, less power or electricity is used resulting in saving in electricity or gas. The Pressure cooker has a sauté function that usual slow cookers or crockpots don’t have. This sauté function helps in browning onions, caramelizing veggies or even searing meats, and more uniformly than even stovetop cooking. Finally you can finish the dishes by closing the lid, then pressure cook or slow-cook it no time. This helps in cooking all the food in one pot while reducing the cooking time significantly. You will be surprised that most, if not all, dishes can be prepared in 20 minutes or less. Isn’t that a record time..?
Replaces several other kitchen gadgets
Like we mentioned earlier, while it can cook simple things like soups, pastas, rice, boiled eggs etc., it can actually do some amazing things as well. You can even make your store bought style Greek yogurt and cheesecake in this genie pot. You can even cook different dishes at the same time using the stacking method. Forget about soaking your beans, now you can just throw them into the pot and have a bean soup ready in no time
Cleaning is such a breeze
There is just this one ( in the Instant Pot Duo) stainless steel pot which is feather weight and oh so easy to clean. Warm soapy water and a regular scrub is all you need to make it look sparkling and new and ready to use for your next delicious creation.
Food is cooked under pressure at a higher boiling point than usual , resulting in the food being rendered more bacteria free and germ free. The nutrient levels of food are preserved as food is cooked for a shorter time.
Easy switch between functions
You can use the sauté function to sauté food and then switch to a manual mode or meat/stew mode and then pressure cook it. You can pressure cook your food and then keep it warm. Changing up the functions allows you to easily create complex dishes in one pot..
Simple to use
Although there are a lot of buttons on an Instant Pot/ cooker, it comes with a user manual and recipe guide that helps break each one down quickly so you can dive right into cooking with your device. Make sure you read them! Once you have read the manual, you will slowly figure things out yourself. Make sure to take down your own notes for the dishes that you cook often, like a cooking cheat sheet. This will help you in the long run and make life much simpler
You can use frozen Ingredients
One of the best things about this gadget is that it lets you cook certain cuts of meat directly out of the freezer. Although you cannot brown or sauté frozen meats, cooking from fresh will give you the best results and flavor but you definitely have the option to cook from frozen when you are short on time. We’ve tried this and were not disappointed.