There Are So Many Choices, Let’s Look At How To Choose The Right Instant Cooker
You’ve heard about the Instant Cooker, also know as the Instant Pot. Are you ready to buy one and give this modern take on pressure cooking a try? You head to the store or your favorite online store. And discover that there are quite a few different models of Instant Pot available, in different sizes, with different functionality. Let me quickly run you through the most popular models and sizes. So you can make an informed decision on what to get.
Let’s start by talking about size.
The size of the meals you want to cook. Or even the size of your family will determine what Instant Pot is the right size for you. Most come in the following sizes:
- 5 Quart
- 6 Quart
- 8 Quart
The 5-quart size works well if you’re mainly cooking for one to three people. It works great for dorm rooms and is a must-have in a small apartment. Unless that description fits you, I highly recommend going with the standard 6-quart size.
The six-quart model is the most versatile and also the most popular size. Some of the models available will only come in this size. It’s perfect for the average family and will fit all your pressure cooking needs. If in doubt, go with this size.
The 8-quart size is available in a few models. And is a good fit for larger families. Or if you know you’ll be cooking a lot of large meals for family gatherings, church dinners and such.
With size decisions out of the way, let’s take a quick look at the different models available. There are three different main models with a couple of variations thrown in to keep you on your toes.
Here Are The Main Models Of Instant Cookers
The Instant Pot Lux
This is the basic Instant Pot model and the one I recommend for most people new to pressure cooking. You may also hear as this one as the 6-in-1 model. It’s a pressure cooker, slow cooker, steamer, rice cooker, with sauté and keep warm functions. For a total of six different ways of cooking.
The Instant Pot Duo
This is also called the 7-in-1 and will do everything the Lux can, but is also a yogurt maker. If making your own yogurt at home is on your list of things you want to do regularly. Spring for the duo, otherwise, go with the basic lux model and save a few dollars.
The Instant Pot Smart + app
The latest main model in the Instant Pot lineup is the Smart one. It will do everything the previous two models do and more. The digital interface on the pot itself and the app that connects to your instant pot. It allows you to control temperature and cooking durations for your meals as you see fit.
If you like gadgets prefer the ease of being able to save your favorite recipes. And instant pot settings on your smartphone and love full control over your pot, this is the model to get.
But, If you’re on a budget, go for the Lux model. If you’re a big fan of making yogurt. Consider the Duo, and if your budget allows, go for the latest model with full smartphone app integration. To be perfectly honest, it’s hard to go wrong no matter what model of instant pot you choose.
Now The Question Is, Is An Instant Cooker Worth The Money?
Let’s take a look at the instant pot and whether or not it’s worth spending the money on one. Depending on the time of year, and what kind of deal you can find. The average Instant Pot will set you back anywhere from $70 to $150. While this doesn’t make it the cheapest kitchen appliance on the market, it’s also nowhere near the highest.
On the other hand, you can pick up a stovetop pressure cooker or basic slow cooker for around $25. Does that mean the Instant Pot is overpriced, or something you shouldn’t consider buying? I don’t think so. While the Instant Pot may not be the right choice for everyone. It can quickly become one of your most valued and most often used appliances.
Let’s Take A Peek At The Stove Top Pressure Cooker
For example, the inexpensive stove top pressure cooker will do you no good if you’re too intimidated to use it. Or it ends up in the back of the cabinet. Because you don’t have the time and patience to keep an eye on the pressure. And adjust the stovetop as needed. When you have young children underfoot. You may not be comfortable using a traditional pressure cooker so the Instant Pot provides a great alternative.
If you’re good at planning ahead and starting dinner first thing in the morning to slow cook a roast. You may not need an Instant Pot. If on the other hand, you’re like me and forget to get it started. The Instant Pot may just be the solution you need to get dinner on the table quickly.
Last but not least, let’s talk hard cash. The expense of buying the Instant Cooker will easily be worth it. If it keeps you from going out to eat. Or picking up food on your way home. If you know you can get dinner cooked in 45 minutes without having to stir pots. It becomes a lot easier to go home. And start that pot of chili, or the pot roast, and relax while it cooks. If it keeps you from ordering out even just once a week. It won’t be long for the Instant Pot to pay for itself.
At The End Of The Day
the decision is yours to make. If you aren’t sure if you’ll actually use it, the Instant Pot may be a waste of money. Or If on the other hand, you think you’ll use it quite a bit then keep it on your counter. And use it as your pressure cooker, slow cooker, and rice cooker. It will be an investment that’s well worth it. Look through some recipes. Borrow a friend’s Instant Pot if possible. And see if this seems like the type of appliance that will work well for you and your lifestyle.
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