Are you on the market for a pressure cooker and wondering whether or not to go electric or stovetop? In this article, I compare the Instant Pot vs pressure cooker.
I will cover as much as we can to help you decide which is the better option for you. The Instant Pot is an electric pressure cooker which was designed to bring convenience, that the normal pressure cooker does not, by automating some steps in the cooking process.
As you will find in this article, newer or automated does not always mean better, but does that then translate into saying that the Instant Pot is a waste of time and money?
That’s not the case either. As you will see, The Instant Pot does come with a lot of benefits. What I aim to do in this article is to help you make an informed decision on whether to get the Instant Pot or stick to your manual pressure cooker.
What is Instant Pot?
Instant Pot is a brand name of a popular electric pressure cooker that has taken the market by storm. Since you are reading this article,
I can assume that you have heard about it and are reading up on it to find out if this is something for you or not. I aim to give you the platform to help you make that decision.
With old-style pressure cookers, you need to monitor it closely either by standing at the stove while pressure builds up in the pressure cooker so you could take the next step or by going away and coming back after every few minutes.
With the Instant Pot, you can simply set and forget and it will do the cooking for you and even keep food warm for up to 10 hours.
This is one of the biggest advantages that the Instant Pot has over its rivals. It also has a timer for when to start cooking.
Simply load your food and set it to start cooking at a specific time and it will start the cooking process and keep the food warm for you.
Instant Pot Models
The Instant has 3 major models namely the 6 in 1 Lux and the 7 in 1 Duo and the Ultra. The Lux was the first model to come onto the market then the Duo while the Ultra is the newest version.
The Lux and Duo models have slight differences but they are more or less the same. The Ultra has a bigger display screen plus a control knob while the other 2 models have a smaller display and button controls.
check the instant pot pros and cons
What Can You Do with the Instant Pot?
In comparison to earlier versions of electric cookers, the Instant Pot comes with more features. It comes with pre-set functions for soup, rice, meat, stew, beans, porridge, poultry as well as a steam function.
As far as functions are concerned, the Instant Pot can both slow cook and pressure cook. Slow cooking is a great way of bringing out the flavor in food.
It’s also an ideal function for the busy professional who does not have a lot of time to cook. A really cool feature of the Instant Pot is that you can make yogurt with it.
This is doubly awesome if you have kids and want to make them a good, healthy homemade treat that does not have artificial preservatives.
You can also cook meat straight out of the freezer in the Instant Pot and don’t have to wait for it to defrost. It simply takes an extra 5 minutes and you are good to go.
It is also an amazing rice cooker which will give you perfect results each time.
What I don’t like about Instant Pots
Because this is a comparison post, I want to point out a few cons of the Instant Pot. The biggest difference in comparison to a traditional stovetop pressure cooker has to be the price.
Traditional pressure cookers cost around $80 – $100 while the Instant Pot costs around $160+ depending on the model.
This really shouldn’t be an issue since the Instant Pot as an electric gadget whereas the normal pressure cooker is not.
The technology that goes into the Instant Pot is definitely going to push the price up so that you pay around double what you would for a traditional stovetop cooker.
Another thing you might need to know is that the Instant Pot has a pre-heat phase which you should take into account.
This phase can range anywhere from 10 to 40 minutes depending on the contents of the pot. What does this mean? This is the time it takes for the pot to heat up to maximum pressure before the actual cooking starts.
So, you need to add 10 to 40 minutes to your cooking time to establish how long it will actually take to cook your food.
Though you can sauté your meat in the Instant Pot, it does not generate as much heat as on a stovetop pressure cooker so you are not always going to get the best results.
Though they are generally safe, there have been some documented reports of Instant Pots exploding, which takes us to our next point.
The Dangers of the Instant Pot
This is one of the things that you need to be aware of if you are considering buying the Instant Pot. The manufactures claim that they have about 10 different safety features built into it.
One of these features is that you cannot open the lid of the Instant Pot while it is pressurized. Experiments conducted by the investigative TV show, Problem Solvers, proved that this was true for 2 of the three models that they tested but the third model opened up even when the contents were fully pressurized.
What this means generally is that serious care needs to be taken when using an Instant Pot. Even though they are built with the utmost care as far as safety is concerned, accidents can happen so you need to exercise extreme caution.
Final words on Instant Pot vs Pressure Cooker
I hope this article has helped you get better equipped as far as buying a pressure cooker is concerned. I would love to hear your comments and questions below.
Agnes is a kitchen and cooking enthusiast as well as a fitness fanatic. She loves to help readers upgrade and furnish their kitchen with the best available products! She is the primary writer behind SmartKitchenImprovement.com and hopes to share little tidbits of knowledge she’s picked up over her years as a mom and wife.