Dear people of the internet: if you don't own an Instant Pot in the year of our lord 2019, it's time to hop on this bandwagon because it's going to keep on rolling forever.
Honestly, the Instant Pot is revolutionary. Like, it should go down in history as one of humanity's great inventions, alongside the wheel, the steam engine, and computers. And it continues to prove it's the kitchen device of the future, as the company just revealed at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that the Instant Pot Smart Wifi Pressure Cooker now works with Google Assistant. Now, you can start cooking food and check its progress purely with verbal commands, which is truly the stuff of sci-fi.
In all seriousness, this appliance is pretty genius, and while the price may deter some buyers who aren't convinced it's necessary for them to get dinner on the table, I'm here to say it's way more helpful than you might realize.
But first, what is an Instant Pot?
An Instant Pot is a multipurpose cooking appliance that combines all the capabilities of a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, and yogurt maker into one sleek tool. It also has pre-programmed settings for soup/broth, meat/stew, bean/chili, poultry, rice, multigrain, and porridge. By just adding in food, choosing your setting, and pressing a button, the Instant Pot will cook your food to perfection.
Instant Pot is a specific brand that's widely known (and the one I personally use), but there are other brands out there with similar multipurpose appliances, like Mueller, Cuisinart, and Gourmia. While slightly cheaper, these products simply don't measure up to the time-tested value of an Instant Pot, and the Amazon reviews reflect that.
The Instant Pot has a wide range of models and comes in three sizes: 3-quart, 6-quart, and 8-quart. I have the Instant Pot DUO60 6-Quart 7-in-1 Multi-Use Cooker and think it's the best option for most households, as it can easily cook enough food for a large family, but allows for plenty of leftovers if you live alone or with a partner. It's also the most popular model on Amazon, as it has excellent value for money.
Why the Instant Pot is worth it
There are so many reasons to love the Instant Pot-here are just a few:
It saves space. I happen to live in New York City, where counter space-and space in general-is at a premium. Who has room for 10 different appliances? Because the Instant Pot can cook just about anything, it's an all-in-one tool that keeps my kitchen way less cluttered. But whether you live in a shoebox apartment or multi-floor house, the Instant Pot still helps keep unnecessary appliances off your counter, a visual trick that makes your kitchen look bigger.
It saves time. Speaking mainly about the slow cooker function here, but the Instant Pot is so helpful for getting a healthy dinner on the table. All you have to do is toss all the ingredients in before you leave for work, and when you get home, you'll have a warm, delicious meal waiting for you. Pressure cooking is also incredibly fast, if you need to throw together a meal in the evening. Plus, the Instant Pot is an excellent tool for meal prepping a big batch of food to eat throughout the week.
It's completely safe. While it may seem counterintuitive to turn on an electrical appliance and then walk out the door, you can rest easy knowing the Instant Pot won't burn your home down. I know, I know-we're all scarred by that scene in This Is Us, but unlike the old Crock-Pot in that show, the Instant Pot is a modern appliance with built-in safety features designed to prevent overheating, blockages, excess pressure, and more. Just follow the instructions in the user manual, and you'll be totally fine.
It can even sauté ingredients. This may not seem like a big deal, but it's one of my favorite Instant Pot features. You know how a lot of recipes require you to sauté the aromatic ingredients (like onion and garlic) upfront? You can literally sauté the ingredients in the Instant Pot before throwing in all the other ingredients you need, which saves you from having to clean an extra skillet when you're all done. Which leads me to my next point...
It leaves less clean-up. For many simple recipes, you'll just have a couple of cutting boards and the Instant Pot's stainless steel cooking pot to clean when you're all done. If you hate washing dishes (like me), this is major.
The bottom line: Prevention editors and Amazon reviewers alike can agree-the Instant Pot is a game-changing tool that simplifies your life and makes eating healthy, home-cooked meals attainable for even the busiest of people. It's well worth the $100 for the 6-quart version, and once you give it a try, you'll wonder how you ever functioned without it.
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