I finally did it – I purchased an Instant Pot! I’m clearly behind the craze, but I’ve become fascinated by the home cook’s undying love and devotion for this kitchen appliance. So I finally decided to give it a try. I’ve been cooking with my new Instant Pot all week. Below you’ll find an honest review and a few recipes. While it’s not the magic appliance that I thought it might be, I did have quite a few successes. I think the most important lesson to learn is that there’s a big difference between what you CAN cook in your IP and what you SHOULD cook in your IP. I’ll break down a few other Pros and Cons below:
- Most everything I made was delicious – all of the recipes were my own recipes that I adapted to the Instant Pot after researching best practices for the appliance. So I was happy that I was able to figure out how to make some of the recipes that I already knew and loved in the IP.
- I believe that once you become comfortable with an electric pressure cooker, it really can lead to cooking that’s fast, easy, and incredibly convenient.
- What I think it’s best for: cooking dried beans (no soaking required, polenta & risotto (no stirring required), meats that are ideal for braising.
- I initially found the machine to be terribly intimidating (and I wrote a cookbook about having confidence in the kitchen!). As someone who almost never reads instruction manuals, I read this one cover to cover because it just felt so unfamiliar to me. In fact, that’s the thing that I think I dislike about the IP most overall – that it can feel more like a science experiment than actual cooking. Convenient…sure. Heartwarming and soothing…not so much.
- While I read the instruction manual I still found myself googling around for some very important details – primarily information about how to do a proper “manual” release of pressure or “natural” release. It took multiple YouTube videos before I really got it. On that note, I wish that IP would provide a video set up guide as you become familiar with your new electric pressure cooker. I really just wanted someone to tell me what to do, step by step.
- It’s really big. I was a city dweller for nearly a decade and as a result I’m not a big fan of BIG kitchen appliances. This thing is not small, and not the easiest to pull out regularly.
Overall, I’m glad I own one…but I’m not sure I’d classify the purchase as life changing. I think I’ll maybe use it once or twice a week for braising meats, making risotto (my favorite thing it does well), or using the rice cooker function. I’ve really only been getting to know my IP for a week or so – maybe my love will grow and I’ll feel more passionately about the magic of this machine. I’ll be sure to keep you updated. Recipes below!