Thread Number: 73342  /  Tag: Small Appliances
The Instant Pot: Who Has One/What Do You Think Of It?
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Post# 968730   11/18/2017 at 14:50 by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

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I'd been hearing about something called the Instant Pot being all the rage in small kitchen appliances. I figured it was something that would come and go with the holiday gift season. Little did I know it has a widespread and passionate following. Finally saw one used in a cooking video by Phyllis Stokes (of southernfrugal.com). She pressure-cooked collard greens, but noted that it doesn't achieve the same pressure as a dedicated cooker.

A quick Google search uncovered at least a couple dozen Instant Pot cookbooks for everything from American comfort food to Indian cuisine. They appear to come in 3-, 6-, and 8-quart sizes.

Does anyone in the AW family own one of these? If so, is it all it's cracked up to be? I no longer have so much as a slow cooker and started to wonder if the Instant Pot might be a good small appliance choice for multiple applications.


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Post# 968741 , Reply# 1   11/18/2017 at 15:22 by johnrk (Houston)        
I-Pot

I bought mine about a year and a half ago. I'd owned a Farberware electric pc in the late 80's and it sucked eggs, just awful. I've been pc-ing since the late 70's because I was vegetarian and I liked getting brown rice and beans, etc., so fast. I own stovetop pc's ranging from 1.5 litres to 22 litres, still.

But I've given away all my medium-sized ones because the I-Pot is so much easier. Please, Frigilux, don't go buy one of those crappy imitations with a flimsy aluminum pot covered in nonstick. You'll learn to hate it when that crap starts flaking off--which it will under pressure. Don't be deceived by all those silly buttons on the front of any of these pots; they only do a few things and you only need to use a few of the buttons. For example, the Duo that I have (the 6 qt) has 'chili', 'stew', 'beans', 'rice', 'porridge', and I think a few more. I've never used any of them. The only buttons you need are the slow cook, the saute, and the manual (pressure cook).

The slow cook works perfectly; I've also given away 3 Crock-Pots because I simply don't need them any more. The problem with those slow cookers like West Bend that are just a thin nonstick pot on a hot plate is that food doesn't cook evenly. Believe me, with the very heavy stainless steel pot in the I-Pot it'll cook perfectly. The other great advantage with the I-Pot on slow cooker is that it has three ACCURATE heat settings. So many people have found that with modern slow cookers, that even the low setting will cause liquids to boil. The listed heat settings on my Duo are exactly what the specs say they will be, and you can indeed cook a pot roast at 170F if that's what you want. And, of course, you can set the timer easily for whatever cook time you want and then it'll shift to keep warm for 8 hours or until you turn it off. I've got blackeyed peas in the icebox now that I slow cooked overnight last night; I like the 'soup' they make on slow cook better than pressure cooked. If I'm using them for a cold salad, then I pressure cook them.

I use saute for stuff like roasts; I don't have to dirty a skillet to sear it because there are 3 saute heats and the hot one gets very hot. Again, it's s.s. so you don't have to worry about any coatings or finishes. Then, you can slow cook your roast or whatever in the same pot. I also use the saute function to make fresh iced tea. I dump the cold water in the pot, punch saute at high heat, and it'll beep to let me know the water is boiling. I don't have to watch the pot like on the stove.

Compared to stove top pressure cookers, this pc is much more efficient in its use of the steam that cooks. You only have to put a cup or so in the bottom for most things. I had a rack of St. Louis style pork ribs I wanted to fix for friends coming over last week. I could pick them up at the H-E-B, gave them my favorite pork rub, placed them in a bowl on the included trivet with foil loosely around them. I added about a cup of water, hit 'manual' and adjusted for 40 minutes. It makes no noise while cooking. At the end I did a quick steam release, took out the cooked ribs, gave them a little BBQ sauce, popped them under the broiler for about 5 minutes. I don't nuke or bake potatoes with this I-Pot; I do the same basic technique for about 45 minutes and they're beautifully steamed, whether white potatoes or sweet potatoes. You don't need all those silly 'smart' buttons; you'll remember how much to pc things and just use the manual button and adjust the time accordingly. You can cook pinto/kidney/navy beans in about 45 minutes from dry in the bag. You can cook brown rice in about 15 minutes.

I've got a friend who's been using hers for canning for her family, 45min for pints and 90min for quarts, same as I do in my AA canners.

If you do a lot of slow cooking, it's worth buying the glass accessory lid because you can look inside while stuff if cooking. They also sell a silicone fitted lid for the pot so you can put it in the icebox if you want.

The pot itself is very substantial. Think of it as an excellent heavy-duty stainless steel pot for the stove, only without handles. I've used mine many times for deep frying because the high sides keep splattering to a minimum. In fact, I bought a second pot for mine because I've run more than one thing at a time.

I bought the regular Duo but they make one that you can control from your 'smart' phone if you're so inclined. These posts cost more than some other brands, but you won't regret spending the extra when you see the difference in quality.

There are tons of great videos on YouTube re the I-Pot and their website is also great.


CLICK HERE TO GO TO johnrk's LINK


Post# 968751 , Reply# 2   11/18/2017 at 15:40 by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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No doubt about my Bay Area perspective.  I thought this was about a convenient dispensing mechanism.


Post# 968760 , Reply# 3   11/18/2017 at 16:18 by johnrk (Houston)        
Frigilux--PS

I'm also a fan of Phyllis Stokes; she has the sexiest voice on YouTube.

Here are some pc/I-Pot channels you might want to check out on YouTube:

1) Jill McKeever, Simple Daily Recipes. Now, she and her family are plant-based, live in Austin, but she has some awesome recipes unless you insist on always eating meat. She also put out an excellent book on I-Pot cooking, you can probably buy used on Amazon. I've been watching her since she first came on YT years ago, when she was using regular pc's.

2) Cooking For One - this is a cool channel focused on pressure cooking for one with the Hawkins 1.5 litre pc. Great recipes.

3) Mike Vrobel - also great pc recipes

4) Flo Lum - great I-Pot and PC stuff.

5) Great Chow - guy is a real meat lover, shows great techniques using the I-Pot.

Re what you quote Phyllis Stokes talking about, whether you use low or high pressure generally has no effect on the foods. It's true--these electric pots normally reach around 11 pounds of pressure, whereas the stovetop ones reach around 15. Things take a little longer, not a lot. I still have my original 6 quart Mirro-Matic from the late 70's and it has a 3-sided 'jiggler' where you can use 5, 10 or 15 pounds. I never used any but the 15. Supposedly, the 5 pound setting was for stuff like fish that's really fragile. But then, at only 5 pounds, why pc it at all?

Look up Lorna Sass on YouTube also. Her book, "Cooking Under Pressure" really started people getting interested in pc'ing again after years of being ignored.


Post# 968765 , Reply# 4   11/18/2017 at 16:32 by Whatsername (Boulder, CO)        

I love mine, especially at altitude here where some foods seem to take forever to cook. Any recipe I already have, there is a copycat recipe adapted for the instant pot by others online and I've never had one turn out badly.

Another plus is it blows rice cookers I've used out of the water. I consider myself a capable cook but for some reason stovetop rice just defies me. Rice cookers I have used always make the rice overdone on the bottom, leave puddles on the countertop, and have a larger minimum water requirement than I like. In the instant pot, perfect rice every time and no puddles on the counter, and I can make just one cup, so no leftovers.


Post# 968775 , Reply# 5   11/18/2017 at 16:49 by petek (Ontari ari ari O )        

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Yes, I have the Duo 80  8 qt and I'm very happy with it.  I agree with everything John says above.. The stainless pot is great.  I have a much older Bravetti automatic one as well that I've used for years but it has the nonstick pot which I don't like.  It's starting to wear .

 

Now that being said.. I wished I had just bought the 6 qt model instead of the 8 qt. . You really have to be making a big batch of stuff with the 8 qt , which can be convenient at times I guess.  I find it's just a bit too big for what I need.  oh well.  I may actually go out and get a 6qt and give this one to my niece.    

 

I've never tried the slow cook function yet.  

 

Don't be fooled by the so called quick cooking times all the time.. Remember those times don't count the time to reach pressure and the time to release pressure..  It can take a good 20 minutes to reach pressure and with the 8qt another near 15 minutes to quick realease the pressure.  All that on top of the cooking time.  Generally though, most everything cooks in 60 minutes or less start to finish.  

 

Funny, I was in Best  Buy today and they had em stacked up down the aisles. It could be a big seller this Xmas.   As well CR rated the IP pretty good.   Definitely don't buy another brand with the teflon coating. The stainless pot in the Instant Pot is actually very nice, seems well built. 

 

 


Post# 968778 , Reply# 6   11/18/2017 at 16:57 by johnrk (Houston)        
petek

Plus, it's a Canadian company! They didn't have the 8 quart when I bought my 6 quart; the Duo hadn't been out long, and the Lux was still being sold. It cost less but the lid isn't as convenient. Now apparently they're making these with all these supposed functions like 'egg cooker'. Just gimmicks, just like the washers and dryers we see.

Post# 968780 , Reply# 7   11/18/2017 at 17:02 by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

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Frigilux, Frigilux, Frigilux...

 

This AW.org. We all know there is no such thing as too many appliances. So why ask if this is worth buying?

 

LOL

 

Seriously...I've been kind of wondering about these, too. I'm even hearing them discussed favorably elsewhere.

 

I think I might have had something cooked in one probably a year ago, but I can't be sure. All I know is that it was a new-to-me gadget at the time, and it apparently had a pressure cooker feature. Not long after, I started hearing about the Instant Pot everywhere. (It was probably...er...hot in some circles already, but I live so far out of the modern world when it comes to cooking it takes a while for information about new products to reach me.)


Post# 968781 , Reply# 8   11/18/2017 at 17:02 by petek (Ontari ari ari O )        

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I'll have to try the rice cook function and see if it outperforms my Tfal electronic which cooks any type of rice perfectly. 

 

I saw that there's now an Instant Pot Mini, something like 3 quarts.. I think that would be too small for two people. And I like to have some leftovers. 


Post# 968782 , Reply# 9   11/18/2017 at 17:07 by petek (Ontari ari ari O )        

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Some Lentil soup I made soon after I bought it.. sorry for the crappy photos


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Post# 968788 , Reply# 10   11/18/2017 at 17:17 by johnrk (Houston)        
petek

I have a Tiger and, like yours, the fuzzy logic means perfect rice of every type. I use that instead of the I-Pot.

Post# 968789 , Reply# 11   11/18/2017 at 17:18 by appnut (TX)        

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When using the PC mode, is there a quick-release pressure ability--like a relief valve or do you simply have to wait for pressure to go down naturally? 


Post# 968799 , Reply# 12   11/18/2017 at 18:42 by petek (Ontari ari ari O )        

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Bob, there is a quick release lever on it.. 


Post# 968807 , Reply# 13   11/18/2017 at 19:18 by appnut (TX)        

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Peter, thank you very much!!!


Post# 968875 , Reply# 14   11/19/2017 at 06:46 by toploader55 (Massachusetts Sand Bar, Cape Cod)        

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Thanks for starting this thread.

I have been thinking about one of these.

I am still trying to justify this purchase as I have 3 pressure Cookers, a Stove, and plenty of Pots and Pans.

I don't have many CT appliances so I suppose because this machine can really multi task, I may invest.


Post# 968885 , Reply# 15   11/19/2017 at 07:36 by appnut (TX)        

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Eddie, that's exactly my sentiments.  But with moving to induction last May, I no longer have a pressure cooker.  Although I'm now thoroughly enjoying surface cooking with the induction.   But my CT appliances consist of one crock pot (used to have 2 but gave one to my partner after his died), 2 mixers, and two food processors.  Also my new stove has a slow cook function for each oven.   


Post# 968897 , Reply# 16   11/19/2017 at 08:49 by foraloysius (Groningen, the Netherlands)        
Bob

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What temperature does the slow cook function of your oven use?

Post# 968899 , Reply# 17   11/19/2017 at 09:10 by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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Friend I visited last weekend has an I-Pot.  He made batch of chili in it.  Was too salty but that's not fault of the I-Pot, LOL.  He had it on keep-warm while we were out for the afternoon and I was surprised to note the keep-warm is much more a "warm" temp than hot.  Seems a little questionable for food safety.


Post# 968908 , Reply# 18   11/19/2017 at 10:18 by appnut (TX)        

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Luigi, my slow cook function has a temperature range of 170 to 300 degrees F.  I think slow cook actually allows for very extended cooking (beyond the 12 hour limit that's programmed into the controller board (unless you change one of the system settings).  I think the convection fan doesn't come on at all either.  I've noticed that convection will cycle on & off to help maintain temperatures in the big oven even when convection isn't selected.  The instruction guide gives a range of times for cooking at various temperatures.  The feature is overtly intended for slow roasting of various types of meats.  I keep forgetting to email KitchenAid and ask them if the function can also be used as a typical slow cooker could be sued.  thus far I've used it to cook about 4 different roasts.  the results are extremely tender and flavorful but not to the point whereby the meat just completely falls apart like my experience is with a slow cooker.  I've raved about the results to my partner and he's looking forward to experiencing a meal with one of these roasts.  I love I can brown the meat in the same pot I'll be cooking the roast in the oven with.  Both ovens have the function. 


Post# 968911 , Reply# 19   11/19/2017 at 10:36 by foraloysius (Groningen, the Netherlands)        

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Thanks Bob, I was considering using my oven for slow cooking with a roast. Temperatures in Celcius are then between 75 and 150. Sounds good. I too would love to brown the meat and cook the roast in the same pot too, hence my question.

I downloaded the manual of your range to get more details, I see a scheme with time and temperature. Great reading anyway!

Hugz!


Post# 968921 , Reply# 20   11/19/2017 at 13:16 by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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I've an Instant Pot competitor: the 8 qt Power Pressure Cooker XL. I'm not all that enthused with it, mainly because the menus are too restrictive. For example, when I want to make brown rice, the rice option doesn't cook long enough to get the rice properly cooked. And you can't change the maximum time under that option. Instead I've had to select the "Beans and Lentils" option because that allows for longer cook times. I have used to to cook a pot roast or two. Those came out OK but I got tired of trying to figure out if the preset times needed more tweaking, so it went on the shelf. The "cookbook" that comes with the PPCXL is a joke. The recipes on the web site are full of typos and other errors.

For brown rice I got out the Cuisinart 6 qt pressure cooker I've had for a years now, and it does a very good job, plus you can set the time to whatever you want.

I also have a Zojirushi rice cooker, which makes excellent white, brown, sushi, etc rice. Its main drawback is it takes a very long time to cook brown rice. But that is partly because it incorporates a pre-soak period. I think it takes about 90 minutes to cook brown rice, vs. 40 minutes (including warm up time) in the Cuisinart. For white rice I still use the Zojirushi, though.


Post# 968939 , Reply# 21   11/19/2017 at 15:51 by johnrk (Houston)        
Cooking Rice

Again, Frigilux--don't be deceived into buying off-brand competitors to the I-Pot, particularly those without the heavy stainless steel pot. They aren't the same quality.

You know what I cook more rice in than anything? The little cooker shown below that you can get for around $15. I have a Tiger that I paid over a hundred for, that'll cook all sorts of stuff, including veggies and porridge, etc.

But most of the time, all I want is just enough rice for me. That's why I bought this little 3-cup (cooked) B&D. It'll make a perfect amount for one meal. It doesn't burn rice to the bottom of its little bowl. Because it is the traditional un-sealed type, there's no liquid reservoir to clean. This actually replaced another one that I'd had by Panasonic for a decade or so and broke the glass lid accidentally.

I also like the fact that it's small and light enough that I just tuck it above the sink in a small cabinet. I use a little bungee cord to wrap around the lid and hook on the side handles to keep the lid and cord from coming apart. It matches in size the little egg cooker that I use on occasion. And I use it for either brown or white and it comes out perfect.

If anyone is interested, there's a fascinating video on YouTube on the history of rice cookers. It definitely wasn't an easy path until Toshiba invented the first one.


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Post# 969000 , Reply# 22   11/19/2017 at 21:42 by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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Um, the Power Pressure Cooker XL has a heavy inner stainless steel pot... with a non-stick interior. Best of both worlds, IMHO. But don't go just by the pot - the menu options on the PPCXL, as I described, are a bit too dumbed down, to the point of making it harder to use.


Post# 969003 , Reply# 23   11/19/2017 at 22:08 by johnrk (Houston)        
Um,

With a month's experience any capable cook can ignore all the silly little buttons that serve no purpose other than to cut flexibility. Rather like our current washing machines...

As for finishes--if you like the chemical finish on your pot, then enjoy it. As for me, I make my purchases planning to keep them indefinitely. Even if and when the I-Pot dies, the heavy stainless steel pot will remain as a great stovetop pot, suitable also for induction. Me? I'm not big on chemicals like that stuff in my food--and particularly at high temps, no scientist will defend those unnecessary coatings.


Post# 969010 , Reply# 24   11/19/2017 at 23:17 by petek (Ontari ari ari O )        

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I've seen but am not familiar with the Power XL models. But my Bravetti may have been similar. It had the teflon coated pot and there was no way to adjust anything.. it has about 6 pre programmed buttons and that's it.  It worked well , in fact it's still working, but after seeing the Ipot and how more convenient it is is, with the high grade ss pot.. well being the gadget freak I am.. how could I  not.   


Post# 969014 , Reply# 25   11/20/2017 at 00:28 by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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The Instant Pot is about 50% higher priced than the PPCXL. But that's not exactly why I bought it. It was at Costco and the price had been dropped a bit. I wanted something larger than the 6 qt Cuisnart so I took a chance on the PPCXL. It does have a canning setting, which I'd only use at sea level, but that has more adjustable settings, and might work for most pressure cooking apps.

As for the inner pot... I have plenty of stove top cookware, I surely do not need to use a handle-less stainless pot on the stove where it will be difficult if not impossible to grab until it's cooled, and then it has no lid either.

And if push came to shove, I could always take a wire brush to the PPCXL inner pot and take off that non-stick coating. Then polish it up nice and shiny and put it on the shelf with all the other extra cookware I never use. LOL.

That said, I do think the Instant Pot looks like a better design. But it really isn't something I think I need, anyway. These things are gimmicks. Useful gimmicks, but nothing a competent cook can't do with simpler, older designs. Some gimmicks are better than others, but they are still gimmicks.


Post# 969015 , Reply# 26   11/20/2017 at 00:33 by johnrk (Houston)        
Quality Is Never a Gimmick-

We have seen that with the appliances with which this website is concerned.

PS - I went to look up your brand of cooker as I'd only seen it hawked on infomercials on TV. I found that looking it up on Amazon, the inner pot is stated in the description as being aluminum with a nonstick finish. I sure wouldn't recommend trying to scrape that pot with any type of steel wool, therefore. I went to their website--right now if someone buys one they can get a second one at half-price! They studiously avoid stating what their pot is made of, only showing it as a rather thin pot coated with some type of nonstick finish.

Again--if you're happy with it, that's what's important. But I'd hate to see someone who knows cooking to be disappointed using a pot that they wouldn't dream of owning otherwise.

I got rid of the equivalent pot sizes in s.s. that I owned after about 6 months with this. In this 4-bedroom house I have what would be considered a large kitchen, but like Julia Child, I don't keep extra stuff. As for not having handles on these heavy pots? Well, I'm not superman, and I would never haul a full 6- or 8-quart pot around anyway. Forty years of cooking, particularly soups, stews and chili, has enabled me to know my habits. But again, perhaps you haul those huge pots around full of food; it'd at least be a good workout on your pecs and biceps! Furthermore, lacking handles on the two heavy pots that I own makes them easier to store...


Post# 969051 , Reply# 27   11/20/2017 at 07:23 by toploader55 (Massachusetts Sand Bar, Cape Cod)        

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I think what I will do is just wait until the Spring and see how many of these Instant Pots are on Craig's List NIB after the holidays and no one wants them.

Just like the Show Time Rotisserie and the George Forman Grills.

I can just see the ads now... "Used Once, Original Box, Manual included...$40.00

LOL




This post was last edited 11/20/2017 at 07:40
Post# 969057 , Reply# 28   11/20/2017 at 07:38 by johnrk (Houston)        
Who's 'Manuel'?

The lady's unwanted husband? LOL--you made my morning...

Post# 969058 , Reply# 29   11/20/2017 at 07:42 by toploader55 (Massachusetts Sand Bar, Cape Cod)        

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Edit complete... Thank You.

I wrote that on my 1 st cup of Coffee. Not firing on all eights quite yet.


Post# 969062 , Reply# 30   11/20/2017 at 08:18 by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        
Yup, alumunum

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Sorry, I was going on the weight of the inner pot on the Cuisinart, which I've been using in lieu of the PPCXL for the past couple of months. It's a relatively heavy gauge, which led me to think it's stainless, but when I held a magnet to it just now, there wasn't even a slight attraction, so it must be aluminum. I also got the XL out of its box and saw that It has to be aluminum as well. Makes sense, since few stainless pots and pans come with non-stick coating. Probably some difficulty in getting the coating to adhere to stainless.

However I'm not sure how much of a difference the inner pot material makes to me. To me the drawback of the PPCXL is the restrictive nature of the menu buttons. The Cuisinart is much more flexible ... for brown rice, for example, I just choose the "HIGH" setting and then input any number of minutes I want, using the suggested times in the owner's manual as a guide. With the PPCXL the rice option doesn't cook long enough, so I have to select the BEANS option instead. That annoys me.

Under normal use, the inner pot in any of these appliances should never get to the temperature that would degrade a non-stick coating. On the stove top, yes, it's possible. If you put an empty pot on the burner, set it to high, and walk away for 30 minutes. So don't do that.

And no, I'm not particularly happy with the PPCXL. Which is why I've been using the Cuisinart instead. Smaller (6qt) but I find it easier to use.

If I had to do it over again, I would not have purchased the PPCXL. But one can't know such a gimmick's drawbacks until one tries it. I could probably still return it to Costco, with some grumbling. I doubt I'd get an Instant Pot as its replacement, however. Don't need another gimmick, no matter how high quality part of it is.

And to be honest, we have a number of members who look down upon any of these electric pressure cookers, because in their opinions they don't achieve a high enough pressure and temp to do true pressure cooking. They have a point. Which is why I have collection of range-top pressure cookers should I need to get something sterilized or pressure canned.




Post# 969073 , Reply# 31   11/20/2017 at 09:17 by johnrk (Houston)        
Pressure Cookers

Sudsmaster, don't let anyone BS you about some particular level of steam pressure being needed for it to be 'true' pressure cooking. That's pure nonsense. Now, pressure canning is a whole 'nother thing entirely. But, the main function of pressure cooking is, and always has been, speed. True, it can break down some tough cuts of meat, but it can also make some meats really funky, too. Plus, tests have shown that many if not most of the top-level (Fissler, Kuhn-Rikon, etc) pc's aren't running at 15 lb but instead more like 12.

I've been canning since the 80's and I'll never use one of these pots for canning because I do want 15 lb, which translates to about 264F. Less pressure than that doesn't assure that botulism, for one, is prevented. No reason to take chances.

But I still own 4 regular stovetop pc's and love them too. My 22 litre Hawkins Big Boy is large enough inside to pressure cook two whole chickens, which I'll do to harvest the meat for a big soup or chicken chili. Can't do that in one of these little pots!


Post# 969100 , Reply# 32   11/20/2017 at 13:27 by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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I have a big still new in box (16 qt, I think) Presto pressure cooker specifically for canning. I've never run it, and I want to supplement the rocker valve with a pressure gauge. I've been too busy to get into canning for the past few years, although I did some boiling water canning of jams about 10 years ago. It's a LOT of work! LOL. But to preserve special back yard produce it's the way to go. Besides freezing, of course. The Presto is aluminum, but I don't see anything wrong with that for canning, since the food itself won't be in contact with the metal (unless something goes wrong).

I used to work in a public heath school lab, and got familiar with what is needed to produce sterile glassware and media. They had huge autoclaves that could do many racks at once. I'd probably want to get some of that temperature indicator tape we used, as well.


Post# 969102 , Reply# 33   11/20/2017 at 13:38 by johnrk (Houston)        
Your Presto

is a fine canner. But don't bother with the stupid gauge. I own 3 All American canners, the least expensive of which was over $200. They still come with a gauge as they have for a century. However--they now come with the 'jiggler' also. As they state in the owner's manual, pressure gauges can easily go out of adjustment, even if you get them calibrated annually by your county agent. On the other hand, the 'jiggler' is always accurate. So trust it, and there's no need to waste money on the gauge. I can quite often and yes, the gauges on mine show around 15-17 pounds. However, the 'jiggler' is made for 15 pounds, so that's what I trust.

Keep in mind also that that nice Presto is also a fantastic pressure cooker! After all, a canner is just a much heavier-duty pressure cooker. I've made chili many times in my largest pressure canner. Of course, when full of chili it's way too heavy to even lift but that's no problem. I've canned up 18 quarts of chili in another of my canners after cooking it up in the largest one.

Aluminum is the norm for canners. Why? First, it is a great conductor of heat. Second, and more importantly, it holds down the weight. Still amazes me how few people can any more. I've canned a lot of hamburger, I've canned bacon, I've canned summer sausage, I've canned a whole lot of chicken, and so on. People somehow think they've got to have a farm or something to can. Not so. It's so cheap and when you can in that Presto, it'll keep for easily 5 years. Get it out and use it! And don't waste your money on the gauge...


Post# 969107 , Reply# 34   11/20/2017 at 13:51 by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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On a local cooking show the other day I saw a bit about a chef who cans... bread... it was some sort of rum bread, and it was canned in a glass jar. As soon as the jar opened, the bread ball puffed up to about twice its canned size. The TV host said it was very good. The chef said the bread would last in the can about nine months.

I probably won't be making chili or other foods in the big Presto. Way too much food for this house. But for canning produce, it will be nice. I'm thinking tomatoes and such. When all I had was the boiling water canner, I started freezing garden produce. That worked fine until the chest freezer acted up and I had to toss a lot of stuff. Cést la vie...



Post# 969115 , Reply# 35   11/20/2017 at 14:48 by johnrk (Houston)        
I Give Away

a lot of chili; I'm Catholic and we have St. Vincent de Paul and there are always people needing food. I get my jars back and of course lids are very cheap. I also have a pantry that stays stocked with chili. Though I can pc beans in an hour in the I-Pot if I'm in a hurry, I also keep some canned w/o seasoning. I also can a generic vegetable soup made from just frozen mixed vegetables of different types, in 1/2 pint jars. I can pull a jar of those out and use as an ingredient with other dishes.

I live in hurricane country and I lost a side-by-side in Hurricane Ike full of food back in 2008. I was on a business trip and had no time to prep, not that there's much to start with. My pantry stays much more full than my freezer these days.

I've canned butter before but I quit doing that as it's a weird texture when it's opened. Just not worth it.

You can pressure cook an entire chicken in your Presto easily. In less than an hour you can have a fully cooked chicken. I do that to save the chicken for use in recipes.



Post# 969120 , Reply# 36   11/20/2017 at 15:32 by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

sudsmaster's profile picture
Yeah, I'm not too fond of slow cooked chicken; too much like boiled. I can't imagine PC chicken is any better. The best is rotisserie or fried. Brining is my latest fad for chicken of any persuasion. It really helps with the tenderness and flavor.

I've made pulled pork in the HB slow cooker. It might also work OK in the PC, but most PC's are not big enough for a pork butt.

These days I don't have time to do big batches, and I'm tired of the extras going to waste, but when I retire bringing mass quantities to a church or homeless shelter sounds like a plan.


Post# 969139 , Reply# 37   11/20/2017 at 18:33 by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        
Rice

dadoes's profile picture
 
My microwave oven has an auto-sensor function for rice.  Works nicely.  Making a packaged jambalaya mix with sausage added this evening.  Set the rice cycle and a separate minute timer for the maximum suggested time for comparison.  The microwave is running 4 mins less than the minute timer.


Post# 969146 , Reply# 38   11/20/2017 at 19:32 by johnrk (Houston)        
Rice

What kind of rice are you using? That's interesting! And of course, with most of my extended family being from South LA, jambalaya always gets my attention.

Post# 969226 , Reply# 39   11/21/2017 at 07:01 by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

frigilux's profile picture
Thanks for the advice, input and ideas, everyone. I've had time to watch a few Instant Pot videos on YouTube. John, you've convinced me not to bother purchasing a cheaper 'wannabe' product. Instant Pot seems to have the best quality and array of features.

We'll see. I, like Bob (appnut), use my small, upper oven as a slow cooker. I've never been fond of pressure cookers, but this one appears to be safe and fairly idiot-proof.

Maybe if Frigilux slips his MasterCard to Santa one will appear under the tree this year.⛄️


Post# 969270 , Reply# 40   11/21/2017 at 15:24 by petek (Ontari ari ari O )        

petek's profile picture

Check those Black Friday deals.. I'm already seeing the Duo6 quart for $70 and no tax, here in Canada so it's bound to be a little less in the states. 


Post# 969274 , Reply# 41   11/21/2017 at 15:50 by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

sudsmaster's profile picture
---> Resisting the urge to get yet another kitchen gadget I'll use once or twice and then put into long term storage <----

Post# 969275 , Reply# 42   11/21/2017 at 15:54 by petek (Ontari ari ari O )        

petek's profile picture

You know you want one. It's calling out for you  lol 


Post# 969300 , Reply# 43   11/21/2017 at 19:42 by johnrk (Houston)        
petek

I'm so susceptible to buying small electrics in particular, not using them and then giving them away. I just gave away a Crock Pot this last week to a buddy and his wife at church. It's one of those they call the 'casserole' model because it's 9 x 13 and shallow. I used it exactly once in two years. It's perfect for stuff like enchiladas or King Ranch chicken or stuff like that. Trouble is, I just don't make casseroles.

I have a Cuisinart panini grill that I was just sure I'd love. I've used it twice over the past year, and have never used the accessory waffle griddles.

However, I truly use this I-Pot. I use it as much on slow cooker as I do pressure cooker 'cause I love beans of all types and cook some at least weekly. I keep pintos, kidneys, navies, red beans, lentils both red and green, mayacobas, all in half-gallon Mason jars. I keep 5 different rices the same. They've been staples for me for 40 years and will stay so. I've done dozens of pot roasts over the past couple of years in here. This cooker does indeed work as well as the traditional Crock Pot for me, I'm certain because of the heavy s.s. pot. And it makes superb overnight oatmeal if you're into that.

The convenience of it for pressure cooking over stovetop is just that you don't have to monitor it as closely, since it'll just switch over to 'keep warm' after the cooking is done for the set amount. Obviously you have to be there with stovetop 'cause it'll burn your cooker dry and ruin it.


Post# 969318 , Reply# 44   11/21/2017 at 21:59 by petek (Ontari ari ari O )        

petek's profile picture

So if you do a pot roast do you put the potatoes and carrots in right away or add them later?   Twice I've added them right at the beginning but they got way too mushy.  Some people on the IP page say it works for them , others say they add them them after about 45 minutes or pressure cooking (depending on the meat size)  and then let it go to pressure a 2nd time for another 5-8 minutes.. 


Post# 969320 , Reply# 45   11/21/2017 at 22:07 by johnrk (Houston)        
I Don't PC Pot Roast

because it always came out mooshy in stovetop PC's. If I don't have the time to slow cook it, I do something else. I use the I-Pot on saute/high to sear the roast, then slow cooker it. Orrington Farms makes a superb dry pot roast mix that makes the seasoning easy; it's the only one I've ever tried that I liked. I add the veggies later, except for the carrots. For me, the others are usually new potatoes and celery, and sometimes even a quartered onion in the last hour.

After the pot roast is through, I do the standard procedure recommended for a good slow cooker pot roast: I reduce the liquid. However, since it's in the I-Pot, I don't have to reduce it in a separate pot on the stove. I pull out the meat, switch back to saute/high and reduce to the level I want.

Again, I've only dirtied the I-Pot and no skillet for browning and no pot or skillet for reducing.

I have done beef brisket under pressure, but it's not my favorite. I like doing 'Jewish style' brisket on the stove but have also done it in the I-Pot.


Post# 969329 , Reply# 46   11/21/2017 at 23:20 by johnrk (Houston)        
petek

I just went looking on YouTube for slow cooker pot roast recipes I've used and know to work.

I think the one you might like the best is the one by Food Wishes. His is a superb and easy-to-make recipe without any weird ingredients. His, however, only uses sliced mushrooms, sliced celery and carrots, but no potatoes in it. His 'gravy' is also not as liquid-y as some of the others.

Go looking on YouTube under 'slow cooker pot roast'. You're gonna find a bunch of excellent recipes, just pick out one that works for you.

And BTW you don't necessarily have to use a slow cooker for these. I've certainly made excellent pot roasts like this on the stove with a heavy Magnalite roaster and I know people who always do the same thing in their oven. I just don't like heating up the whole kitchen if I don't have to.

I'd be interested in hearing some followup if you try one. I think I stated before here, I'm gonna make a pot roast for my sister and me for Thanksgiving because we like it better than turkey. And fresh pecan pie with pecans picked from my yard...


Post# 969334 , Reply# 47   11/21/2017 at 23:29 by johnrk (Houston)        
petek

Another recipe that looks amazing was just released on 11/17 on the Food Wishes channel--Tuscan Black Pepper Beef. Apparently this recipe dates to before the time of Columbus in Italy, as a way to make some really tough beef to delicious. This looks easy but also awesome, cooked for about 3 1/2 hours on the stove top.

I'm gonna try this after Thanksgiving, it just looks like something I'd like, and friends would like. And John says it reheats great, too. Says great on polenta, rice or pasta.


Post# 969341 , Reply# 48   11/22/2017 at 00:54 by johnrk (Houston)        
Another Channel

that you guys might want to check out is Rick Mammana on YouTube. Very popular cooking channel by fat middle aged guy who can be quite funny. He tests a lot of interesting electrics and recipes. However, keep in mind that he also gets most if not all of his electrics as comps from the manufacturers, and I believe it definitely slants his preferences. But it's fun watching anyway.

Another fun man-cooking website is The Vegan Zombie. The guy's a musician and he's also a terrific cook. I can vouch for his seitan making and also for his meat-less loaf and a couple of other things.


Post# 969477 , Reply# 49   11/22/2017 at 23:38 by petek (Ontari ari ari O )        

petek's profile picture

T'was me getting confused.. I forgot this thing slow cooks which I haven't tried yet either..  Tonight I need some mashed potatoes for meatloaf. I put about 4 cups of water in it. and a steamer basket, and a bunch of quartered potatoes and carrots.  While I was peeling I turned it on saute to heat up and poured in the 4 cups of "hot water" from the tap to help speed things up..   All in.. set for 7 minutes.. it took 20 minutes to reach pressure,, about 8 minutes of pressure because the timer doesn't always start as soon as the pin pops up,, then about 12 minutes to quick release the pressure , so about 40 minutes total.  That's not really any faster than had you boiled them on the stove.  Not complaining but there are some things that this one won't do as fast. Now I know for sure that when I use my smaller stove top pc.. it doesn't take near that long to come to pressure or release.. so those do have a benefit of being faster than boiling.   


Post# 969478 , Reply# 50   11/23/2017 at 00:00 by johnrk (Houston)        
petek

Making mashed potatoes, I certainly don't use either the I-Pot or any other pc. I prefer making mine from whole potatoes, just call me a purist, because they tend to be less watery than when cut up raw. But--when I'm in a hurry I do what I need to.

I can tell you now that I haven't pc's any greens or any of that type of veggie in a pc in thirty years. It's always seemed stupid to me to bring something up to pressure, only to keep it at pressure for a few minutes and then quick release. Not worth the trouble! Some pc fanatics will try to find ways to use theirs for everything but scratching their butts, but I'm not like that.

I have an aluminum steamer that I bought back in the 70's, horribly discolored because it's been through a dozen dishwashers thousands of times--and still works perfectly. It's one of those with a bottom pot, a steamer pot the same size that sits on the top, and the lid. That's what I use to steam greens of all types, which are a major part of my diet along with daily juicing of them for 40 years. I'm sure I didn't pay much for it in college, I think I bought it at an Asian restaurant supply in Houston, and Lord knows it ain't pretty--but it gets the job done.

In a very short time you'll figure out what you need the I-Pot for and what you don't. I'm cooking a pot roast for us at Thanksgiving tomorrow because no one wanted the damn turkey, and I agree. I'll be searing and slow cooking it in the I-Pot with carrots, celery, and small new potatoes. No dressing for us this year, either. No one wanted it.

BTW I just ordered, the other day on Amazon, one of those I-Pot brand sous vide cookers. I've been curious to try it on fresh fish in particular.


Post# 969761 , Reply# 51   11/24/2017 at 23:05 by johnrk (Houston)        
Frigilux-

I bought an Instant Pot Duo Mini mainly because Amazon has had them on Black Friday sale all week. It's a 3-quart that has the same basic control panel as its big brothers. I've already used it twice, once to pressure cook pinto beans and once as a slow cooker to make a small pot roast.

I've had a 1.5 quart Proctor-Silex slow cooker for several years and now am going to give it away. I've used it countless times to make just enough beans, or just enough roast or soup for me--but so I don't have to eat leftovers for days. I've bought a lot of chuck roasts, have Foodsaver'd most of it after cutting 1 day's worth chunks. With one chunk the right size for one meal for me, I could put in a couple of small red potatoes, a few baby carrots, one stalk of celery, and it was just right for a pot roast for me, or for me and a friend.

This little 3 quart I-Pot will do the same thing. It's basically only a little larger than my 3-cup Aroma rice cooker and it'll do small amounts of rice, so that cooker is getting given away to a college kid to be determined.

It's on Black Friday special at Amazon, I guess through the weekend, for $49.95. I see no difference in the high quality of my 6 quart pot. In fact, I bought an extra that I'm setting aside to give my sister for Christmas, as she always admires my original pot when she comes over and she cooks for one also.

Just thought you might want to take a look at this smaller edition if it'd suit you.


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Post# 969765 , Reply# 52   11/24/2017 at 23:55 by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

sudsmaster's profile picture
I've seen the 6 qt iPot on sale locally for $80 this weekend.

I'm still not inclined to bite. It's one more kitchen gadget I don't think I need, no matter how wonderful it may be.

Who knows, though. I may donate my PPCXL to Goodwill and then think about the iPot again later.

OTOH, donating the PPCXL and not getting an iPot means one less item of clutter in the house, as well as $80 plus tax not leaving my checking account.



Post# 969769 , Reply# 53   11/25/2017 at 00:03 by johnrk (Houston)        
I Couldn't Agree More--

You'd be amazed, probably, at the number of kitchen appliances and gadgets that I've gotten rid of in the past five years. As I said earlier, I've given away three slow cookers, four stand mixers and, I think, four pressure cookers. I've given away several large pieces of Magnalite, several s.s. pots and skillets, simply because I haven't been using them.

You reach the point where just keeping everything clean, whether in cabinets or on the counter, is a pain.

I make all my appliances earn their living these days. If not--out!


Post# 969838 , Reply# 54   11/25/2017 at 09:23 by kimball455 (Cape May, NJ)        
Great product ...

kimball455's profile picture
Hi ... Got the Instant Pot when the aluminum insert of the first electric pressure cooker I purchased fell on the floor and was bent just enough that the lid would not seal. The Instant Pot insert is well made of stainless steel with a very solid base place for heat distribution. It gets used almost every week for something.
Harry


Post# 969847 , Reply# 55   11/25/2017 at 10:49 by johnrk (Houston)        
kimball455

I just used that 6 quart s.s. pot to boil pasta yesterday evening. The lack of a handle is no problem, and with silicone gloves the large, heavy rounded lip around the top of the pot is easy to grasp if I wish. And I got rid of my 6 quart s.s. pot with a handle because it was no longer needed.

Post# 969858 , Reply# 56   11/25/2017 at 12:15 by earthling177 (Boston, MA)        

When I cook potatoes in a pressure cooker for mashing later, I cut them in 4 or 6 pieces each and put them on top of the steam rack.

Then a cup or so of water (whatever the minimum amount is to produce steam) and just steam them. They are ready in 10-15 minutes of pressure at the most, usually 8 minutes is enough, depending on how big the wedges are.

When you steam them, they cook nicely and it takes way less time to reach pressure because you are not heating a large amount of water.

Have fun!





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