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Instant pots - enlighten me

(18 Posts)
marbles Wed 05-Feb-20 14:50:00

In the last week on social media suddenly everyone seems to be talking about instant pots. Whether it's showing off what they have cooked in one, posting on local selling groups because they love it so much they want a bigger one. What are they? Do I need one? Does it do stuff that other gadgets don't do? Will it just sit on my worktop gathering dust? I love eating (but not cooking really) and if it's going to make it easier to prepare wonderful meals, then I would like to know more. But given I know nothing about them it would be useful to hear from anyone who has one. Of course I can go to John Lewis and ask there. but I always think it's better to get recommendations from people who use things and aren't going to benefit if I buy one or not.

marbles Wed 05-Feb-20 14:50:25

I forgot to say, what's the difference between one and a slow cooker?

tanith Wed 05-Feb-20 15:01:37

I think they are a cross between slow cooker and pressure cooker. I’ve not got one but honestly I’d think it will be a dust gatherer.

SirChenjin Wed 05-Feb-20 15:01:56

I’ve never heard of them so looked it up - apparently they’re “multicookers are electronically controlled, combined pressure cookers and slow cookers. The original cookers are marketed as 6-in-1 or more appliances designed to consolidate the cooking and preparing of food to one device”. I like the sound of that so will watch with interest. Sorry I can’t offer any advice or recommendations smile

marbles Wed 05-Feb-20 15:21:27

Thank you - I have found people's social media posts confusing. One said that they never used their oven now. Another showcased a dinner that can't possibly have been cooked all in one or the meat would have been raw or the vegetables turned into soup. I suspect dust gathering, but so many people are eulogising I thought I would find out more

lemongrove Wed 05-Feb-20 15:32:05

Perhaps I will stick to Pot Noodles.😁

Charleygirl5 Wed 05-Feb-20 15:41:28

I have seen them advertised on Ideal World and the size of them took my breath away- they were huge and heaven knows where it would sit in my kitchen. The cost also was mind blowing. The one I saw recently also chopped and grated the food. I would not buy it for myself at any price but if one was eg cooking for 4 or so regularly there was a possibility it may be useful.

GrandmaMoira Wed 05-Feb-20 15:53:07

Marbles - I haven't used an Instant Pot but in a slow cooker you have to chop root vegetables fairly small to cook with meat such as stewing beef. It must be something to do with chemical changes in the food due to the method of cooking.

BlueBelle Wed 05-Feb-20 16:31:05

Never heard of them and I must have a lot of non cooks on my social media as I ve never seen them mentioned sounds like a slow cooker and really unnecessary if you already have oh slow cooker
I cook most things in one pot anyway (a wok)

Blinko Wed 05-Feb-20 17:24:19

It's an American thing, I believe. An instant pot is essentially a pressure cooker.

starshine Wed 05-Feb-20 18:13:27

I use mine at least twice a week - Sunday is a bulk session for the freezer and soup making session. I often use it as a slow cooker on my volunteering day too. I have the Pressure King Pro not the Instant Pot but it's essentially the same thing. Rice cooks beautifully in it but I find it simpler to use the hob for that. Beef joints and casseroles are superb as are cakes. Mine was bought as a gift but, having been a long time user of a stove top pressure cooker, I wouldn't be without it.

paddyanne Wed 05-Feb-20 20:09:04

I have the Pressure King Pro for Scotch brotho and its fab I can cook 5 pounds of stew for steak pies for the freezer in under an hour ,a ham joint in 30 minutes.No rattling and hissing like old pressure cookers and its easy to clean .I've lamb in it now for stock for Scotch broth

paddyanne Wed 05-Feb-20 20:13:06

I use the PKP for fast scotch broth

MawB Wed 05-Feb-20 20:15:22

I use my pressure cooker at least once a week. I find my friends and family tend to divide into Team Pressure Cooker and Team Slow Cooker. DD1 is the latter, DD2, the former. I do have both but with my lifestyle now I find the slow cooker less necessary. While I was teaching, I used the slow cooker a lot more to provide a hot meal at the end of the day.

BlueSapphire Wed 05-Feb-20 20:30:26

I have a pressure cooker and a slow cooker; which one I use depends on what I'm cooking. The pressure cooker makes a very good stew with meat and all the vegetables including potatoes in about 10-20 minutes. Had a pea and ham casserole this week which gave me two main meals and two smaller lunches, some of which are in the freezer. Sometimes it suits me to cook in the morning in which case I use the slow cooker. Would be no benefit to me to change, but if I were starting from scratch I would probably consider an instant pot/multi-cooker.

Doodledog Wed 05-Feb-20 21:16:54

I have recently bought an Instant pot and I love it.

I was given a pressure cookers a wedding present, and have always been scared of it- probably because my mum had an even older one that was truly terrifying, and I was convinced they were all the same. My husband occasionally used it on pressure, but I only ever used it as a giant pan if i wanted industrial quantities of soup.

The Instant Pot is an electric version, and you don't need to release the pressure when it's ready. You can if you want to, and some recipes require it, but I just move the pressure knob with a wooden spoon, and that's it - no lifting of a metal weight or anything.

I have made a lot of pulse-based recipes in it, as my husband is vegetarian, so we eat them regularly, and I've had a go at other things, too.

It will work as a slow cooker, a rice cooker and a yoghurt maker, but I can't speak for those functions as I haven't tried them.

The recipe books are very American, however, and a lot call for jars of sauces that we can't get here. I prefer to cook from scratch a lot of the time anyway, so that can be a nuisance.

Oh, and Lidl have them in for a lot cheaper than the branded ones. I noticed that today, but the price didn't stick in my head as I already have a branded one.

starshine Wed 05-Feb-20 21:37:35

I forgot to mention that it makes fabulous yoghurt - saves me a good deal of money!

MiniMoon Wed 05-Feb-20 22:35:57

I have a Ninja Foodi. It's like an Instant Pot, but has an air crisp lid attached, and a separate pressure lid. My DH bought it for me as an early Christmas present. I love it. It can air fry, grill, bake, slow cook, sear/sautè, steam and pressure cook. I'll never again make pork chops in my oven. Mine doesn't have the dehydrate function, so I can't make yogurt.
So far, I've had great results with everything I've made.