What I LIKE about it:
1. It really cooks as well as they say — all the different types of meat I’ve cooked so far all came out tender and juicy. It makes all the dishes that much more flavourful and delicious!
2. Easy to clean — I’ve managed to burn and have food stuck to the bottom couple of times, but it was as easy as pouring water and letting it sit for 5-10mins. Then you can just “wipe off” the food, it was as easy as that.
3. Truly very versatile— so far it has replaced my rice cooker, pans and pots, slow cooker and that’s just to name a few. I’ve seen people baking bread in it on YouTube, but I haven’t tried that one yet.
4. Smell — I haven’t had issues with smell so far. I do wash all the parts as recommended, and smell it every time anticipating it would happen, but so far so good.
5. What’s in the box — the Australian version comes with a steam rack, 2 silicone lid rings, a manual and a safety guide. I’ve seen others also have a rice spoon and a ladle, but I Guess that’s the US version.
6. Saves a lot of time —Since I got this pressure cooker I started making French onion soup weekly (picture attached). Onions are perfectly caramelised every time, and the best part — it takes only 35mins to cook vs 1h50min it would otherwise take. Vegetables for ratatouille cook in 5mins under high pressure, and don’t even get me started on Beef Bourguignon & coq au vin. During these extended iso times, cooking has really become an escape for me.
7. Great for defrosting — my newly discovered cooking hack, and it saves so much time! You can throw in a 1kg of chicken, completely frozen, pour a cup of water (I use hot), then cook under high pressure using the ‘poultry’ setting. It cooks in 15-20mins. Similarly, you can put a completely frozen minced meat on a steam rack, pour a cup of water, then it also cooks in 15-20 mins under high pressure. Then break it up, and just sauté with veggies as needed. Currently loving this defrosting feature.
Not CONs really, just something to keep in mind:
1. Steam Valve — it can take a while to get used to. The manual recommends doing a “water test” before the initial use, and it took me several tries to get it right. It is easy to remove the Float Valve Silicone Cap ( picture 6) with the plastic and paper during the initial unboxing and not think twice about it, but without it the instant pot can’t keep pressure in it! I’ve attached a short video of the ‘water test’, and really wish I’ve seen it before doing it myself.
2. It’s not so instant — initially I thought it would really just take me 15-20mins to cook a meal, but it takes time to pressurise (about 10mins or so), then time to cook, and then some to depressurise ( also around 10mins). You can use the Quick Release (QR) button, but letting depressurise naturally makes rice, for example, extra fluffy. Of course, in the end it all adds up.
3. Food can still burn — this can happen while sautéing, and it shows the “burn” message on the screen and shuts off. The best way to avoid that is to add a cup of water, but then it looks more like “stew” rather than “sauté” (in my experience).
Overall, I couldn’t recommend it enough. It’s so versatile, retains flavours, easy to clean, and lets me do my thing once I’m done chopping and throwing everything in. Mine is 5.7L and we are a family of 4 (2 adults, 2 small kids), so whatever I cook can last for 2 days (3-4 meals paired with different sides), which frees up so much of my time. It’s very safe to use despite my initial fear of using it as the lid *WON’T OPEN* until it’s completely depressurised.
Also, it’s worth mentioning that I got mine on an “offer” on Black Friday ahead of all the holiday cooking. You can get similar offers on Boxing Day, Prime Day, and other major sale events.
EDIT: after more than a month of daily use, I do feel there is a slight smell (like smell of rice or veggies). It’s not a distinct smell, you just know it’s not a brand new instant pot anymore. On the other hand, I’ve downloaded the ‘instant pot’ app, which has many easy to follow step by step recipes, highly recommend it! Also the TASTY app has many instant pot video recipes, which are so great for inspiration.
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