My Personal Instant Pot Review

Instant Pot image


I like the time saved using my Instant Pot for the last several months. So I have updated my review with new information that may help you.

The Instant Pot is a programmable electric pressure cooker. It is a 7-in-1 multi-function cooker combining the benefits of a pressure cooker, sauté, slow cooker, steamer, yogurt maker, rice cooker, and food warmer. It speeds up cooking time while producing nutritious healthy food in a convenient and consistent manner.

The Instant Pot is a convenient and kitchen-friendly time saver. With 14 convenient programs, you can make your everyday cooking as easy as pushing a button. The box includes rice paddle, soup spoon, steam rack, measuring cup, condensation collector, user manual, and recipe booklet.

Instant Pot imageProduct: Instant Pot
Price: $99.00
Cheapest place to buy: Amazon [ad] Warranty: Limited 1 year warranty
Manufacturer: Instant Pot Company, Ottawa, Canada

My Personal Instant Pot Review

We achieve our best cooking results using the set of smart cooking programs built into the Instant Pot. The programs are stored in and executed by an advanced microprocessor chip inside the Instant Pot control panel. These programs were chosen after extensive testing various food content by the company.

Instant Pot control panelThe Instant Pot has fourteen pre-programmed settings that automatically process the most common dishes. The control panel has an LED display, 2 pressure indicators, 3 mode indicators, 4 operation keys, and 14 function keys.

The Instant Pot has automatic cooking functions for meat/stew, beans/chili, poultry, rice, multigrain, porridge, and rice. You can also adjust the cooking times. The Instant Pot Recipe book has extensive cooking timetables.

I have been reluctant to use a pressure cooker in the past because of safety concerns. It was probably irrational to think of hot food splashing everywhere. But the Instant Pot was built with safety in mind. It has 10 safety features and is UL safety certified.

Just the other day, we could not open the pot. I made chili and let the pressure return to normal like we usually do. I took some chili out to taste and put the lid back on. When we tried opening it again, the lid would not turn to the open position. It turns out the residual heat from the chili reactivated the pressure seal preventing us from opening the pot. Venting the pot again enables us to open the pot and enjoy some great chili.

Now that we are eating healthier than before, our Instant Pot gives us plenty of options. We can:

  • braise
  • pressure cook
  • stew
  • steam
  • simmer
  • slow cook
  • saute/brown
  • ferment
  • make yogurt
  • warm food

The Instant Pot made our rice cooker and crock pot redundant! I also needed to replace the slow cooker as well because I broke the handle off while cleaning it.

The first thing my wife made with the Instant Pot was beef stew. It cooked faster under pressure in the Instant Pot than it ever did in the crock pot.

My wife also experimented making Vietnamese Braised Pork with Eggs (Thịt Kho). This is a traditional Vietnamese dish eaten as part of the New Lunar Year celebration. She does not make it very often because braising pork belly is a low and slow process.

Vietnamese traditional braised pork and whole egg food.We were not sure whether we could add whole cooked eggs to the Instant Pot while braising the pork! So she added one egg to the pot. The egg cooked fine and did not turn to mush as we imagined! So my wife added the remaining eggs and finished cooking the dish. We, particularly the grandkids, loved the results!

We also learned not to use too much water with the Instant Pot! My wife occasionally uses a water-filled pot to cook boiled purple potatoes. We debated how much water to add. We found out what worked on a stovetop does not work in an Instant Pot! Adding too much water caused the potato skins to rupture.

We like the saute feature. The Instant Pot saute feature lets you brown the meat to seal the natural juice before starting pressure cooking. So you do not have to use a separate pan to brown the meat first.

However, I prefer to brown 2 pounds of hamburger in a large skillet or wok on the stovetop. It just seemed easier because the Instant Pot is so deep.

Speaking of meat, it is important to know that the size of the 6-quart Instant Pot inner container is 6.3×8.66 inches. Cooking large cuts of meat such as a beef roast will need to be smaller than this.

Since the recipe above for Vietnamese Braised Pork with Eggs include whole hard-boiled eggs, the following video shows how easy it is to hard boil eggs in an Instant Pot.

The above video shows how the Instant Pot can cook everything consistently over time. The video shows the Instant Pot timer set to six minutes to hard boil the eggs. 6 minutes works for us! I now use the Instant Pot to boil all eggs. Because the results are always the same!

Also, because cooking a dish like Braised Pork on the stove top takes a long time, you must check it often. This is to add additional liquid to replace broth/liquid lost during cooking. There is no need to check when using an Instant Pot.

Our 70-pound rescue dog, Coco.I recently began making homemade dog food for our 7-year old, 70-pound Pitbull Terrier mixed breed. We adopted her from a senior dog sanctuary in Maryland. She has several health issues, most notably, arthritis, which reduced her mobility.  When we did a “meet and greet” before adopting her, I noticed she had difficulty climbing stairs. This was almost a deal breaker for us.

14-pound batch of homemade dog food made using an Instant Pot

15 pounds of home made dog food

Being 70 pounds, Coco eats 2 pounds of food a day. So I cook her food once a week in 15-pound batches. Unlike commercial dog food, I could control what she eats. Plus, I could eliminate grains, reduce the volume of starchy vegetables, and improve the quality of protein. My Instant Pot cooks so much faster saving me time making dog food. I could not do it without my Instant Pot.

Instant Pot Summary

The Instant Pot has proven to be a convenient, versatile kitchen tool. Easy to use and easy to clean, the Instant Pot has earned its place on our kitchen counter. No longer cooking processes for us!

Wondering if you should take the plunge and start cooking with a pressure cooker?

This is what Gordon Ramsay says about cooking on a budget, “You don’t need expensive proteins. Just make them incredible with how you cook them or prepare them – a pressure cooker is a great way of making these foods go a long way, is to cook them deliciously.”

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I hope you have enjoyed my personal review of the Instant Pot. If you have any questions or wish to share your experience, please leave a comment below.

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