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Instapot Basics

Have you been hearing a lot about instant pots lately? I know I sure have. So I did a little digging and came up with some basic information about the instapot and what you can and shouldn’t use them for.

Instapot Basics

In this fast-paced modern world, it can be difficult to find the time to do most things other than work and sleep. With the demanding schedules of daily life and the ability to reach most people nearly 24 hours a day, it can be tough to find the time to make delicious healthy food. If you’re interested in making the leap to some carefree cooking, you might be interested in cooking with an Instant Pot.

What is an instapot?

Instapot is a Canadian brand of multicooker. A multicooker is an electronically controlled small kitchen appliance that does the job of a slow cooker, electric pressure cooker, steamer, rice cooker, yogurt maker, browning pan, and warming pot. The idea is to reduce the number of kitchen gadgets by consolidating a few into one piece of equipment.

How is an instapot different from other similar kitchen gadgets?

Unlike a standard pressure cooker, an instapot uses its own electricity and can be programmed up to a day in advance. Therefore it clears a burner on your stove and can, potentially, be more cost-effective.

The main difference between an instant pot and a slow cooker is that it is capable of cooking your food more quickly because of its pressure cooker function.

What can you cook in an instant pot?

There are a variety of things that you can cook in a multicooker. Here is a simple list to give you an idea:

  • Yogurt
  • Rice
  • Risotto
  • Pilaf
  • Casseroles
  • Soup
  • Stew
  • Chili

  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Oatmeal
  • Whole chicken
  • Baked potatoes
  • Warm salads
  • Warm dips and fondue
  • Cake
  • Puddings and custards

What can you not cook in an instant pot?

Although you can cook a lot of things in a multicooker, there are limits to what it can do. Here are 5 things that you shouldn’t attempt to make in your instapot.

  • Deep-fried foods — they won’t get crispy
  • Cookies — ditto
  • Noodles — they create too much pressure
  • Creamy sauces — dairy tends to curdle
  • Pie — the pie crust will get too soft

There are other things that you should probably shun unless you know what you’re doing, but this is a list of things to avoid that most instapot experts agree upon.

What are the top benefits of using a multicooker?

Why would you want to own and use a multicooker? Here are three of the top reasons>

Cook food while you do other things

One of the primary reasons people shy away from cooking is the time it takes to make a good meal in the standard way. It takes time to cook food on a stovetop. With an Instant Pot, you can cook food very quickly, but you don’t have to be in the kitchen the entire time. There is a warm setting you can use for when the meal is done, so you can catch up on laundry or run a quick errand. On weekends, you can set it to cook and warm food while you complete important household tasks. The kind of freedom that a multicooker can provide is only limited by your imagination.

Makes cooking meat easier

One of the best things about a multicooker is the way that it can cook meat. Usually, meat preparation involves standing over the meat and moving it around periodically, which ties you to the task, making it very difficult to accomplish anything else during that timeframe. With an instapot, you can set it to start and stop cooking at the appropriate time and pursue other activities. Also, you can choose to cook meat without having to thaw it. All you have to do is set the timer to include the thaw time, and the Instant Pot will take care of the rest.

Save money on healthy food

Another upside to using a multicooker is the potentially massive savings on food. You won’t have to eat take out or order food in. You’ll be able to easily make fresh, healthy food at home almost as quickly (possibly even more quickly) than it would take to go out to eat.

Who should consider using an instapot?

Anyone who doesn’t have a lot of time on their hands is a good candidate for using a multicooker. However, it has a lot of benefits that are special to parents. New parents can make their own baby food, even in large batches. It also lets parents prep a meal while they aren’t busy caring for their little one and program it to cook when they are busy with the baby.

Did I miss anything? What questions do you have about instapots? Ask in a comment below and I’ll work on another post to give you some answers.

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About the author

Carma Spence has been experimenting in the kitchen since she was four years old and loves trying out new recipe ideas. She is the author of Bonkers for Bundt Cakes and Your Perfect Pie, as well as author and contributor to several more non-food-related books. With Carma's Cookery, she is taking her passion for empowering people and blending it with her passion for cooking, gift-giving and entertaining.

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