There is a big chance that you know someone, a friend, family member, neighbor or co-worker who loves to talk to you about cooking gadgets, more importantly, the Instant Pot. It inspires a lot of people in social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram or Facebook to create groups that teach you how to use IP (or Instant Pots), how to clean them and assure new users that it is safe to use.
There are people on these social media platform groups that shows pictures of food that are made using IPs, even people who refer to it as their “darling.” These groups share their experiences in using Instant Pot like the fact that they no longer need to use an oven to tenderize the meat they are cooking.
Is the Instant Pot a charlatan or a miracle from the cooking gods? We tested the device for ourselves to find out. There are different models of IP, but we will focus on Instant Pot Duo60 review. The IP-DUO60 is a six-quart device that has seven state-of-the-art functionalities like slow cooking, steaming, rice cooking, sautéing, warming food, yogurt making and the most important function, pressure cooking. All these functionalities have their buttons. Not only that, the pot has other controls that can make your cooking life a lot easier. It is not a device you can easily use without prior knowledge about pressure cookers.
For one, there is a little knob at the top of the pot that has to be turned to sealing position for it to build up the pressure. If you want to set it to venting position to release the built-up steam without hurting yourself, you need to use protective oven gloves or mittens. The instant pot also has a “natural” venting option. It means that the pot will release the pressurized steam by itself, which will take more or less 15 minutes.
You will know it is safe to open its lid when the silver float valve near the knob has sunk low. The device also has a regulator control for the temperature to keep it in a safe operating range. The stainless steel interior of the Instant Pot gets the most of the cooking’s mess. Not only that, these pots are dishwasher safe, meaning they are easy to clean because all you need to do is to put it in the dishwasher, put dishwashing soap and wait for a few minutes. Sadly, its lid is not dishwasher safe.
Instant Pot Duo60 has several safety features, for more information click here.
Don’t have time to prepare slow-cook dishes?
If you are wondering why you will need a pressure, it is because the device offers a slow-cook feature that can tenderize hard ingredients much faster. If you check the internet, you will see a lot of products that promise 10-minute pasta or 2- minute asparagus. In reality, these are just the cooking time for the ingredients. It does not include how much time it takes to release the pressure. It will take more than 10 minutes for the Instant Pot to build up the pressure, depending on how much food you are making. Using the pressure cooker is not like preheating an oven. You need to put the ingredients inside the pot when it is building up the pressure.
If you want to know more about low-temperature or slow cooking, you can visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Low-temperature_cooking.
So, what is really going on here? Even though you need other gadgets to cook a meal, there are other recipes you can do without the help of other appliance. Although it is true that you can’t brown your meet in a slow cooker when cooking beef stew, the Instant Pot Duo60 has a sauté functionality that does this with a perfect result.
There is a misconception that you can’t change the heat level of the device. But in reality, if you push the “Adjust” button after you press the Sauté option, you can switch between Low, Normal and More. Changing the time setting is also the same. After you choose a program, you press the Adjust button and use the plus or minus button to increase or lower the minutes. That is one of the disadvantages of this device; you cannot add seconds to the cook time.