An Instant Pot can feel intimidating at first for most people, but once you get familiar with how to use one, it quickly becomes an indispensable kitchen tool, leaving you wondering how you ever lived without!
That’s what happened to me. I was very resistant to getting one. I couldn’t imagine why I needed an extra piece of equipment on my kitchen counter.
I also felt it looked pretty ugly. (I'm not alone right?)
Even after I got the Instant Pot, it took me a while to really embrace it.
However, once I got into the swing of it, I realized what all the hype was about.
The Instant Pot makes cooking easier, much easier!!
The ability to set and forget is no small benefit, and the way that food tastes in the end is also almost always better.
In my opinion, a pressure cooker is an essential tool for anyone focused on eating healthier, so if you don't have one yet, an Instant Pot is a great place to start.
Health benefits of pressure cooking
- Softer and easier to digest
The higher internal temperatures that are reached under pressure help to break down the tough fiber and muscle in meats and vegetables. This will give you a softer and more easily digestible result. For example, legumes cooked in a saucepan will never get as soft, even if you cook them for hours.
- Harmonized dish
When a variety of foods are cooked in a single pot, there is a harmonization of flavor, biochemicals, and energy. This is particularly true when cooked under pressure. Even when there are multiple ingredients, a dish that’s cooked in an Instant Pot will be treated by the body as one ingredient. This means a lot less coordination is needed in the digestive tract to complete digestion and assimilation.
- Better flavor
Again due to the harmonization and blending effect, the flavor you get from a dish cooked in a pressure cooker is almost always better!
Learn more about using an Instant Pot
Would you like more clarity on why you should invest in an Instant Pot? I have compiled links to some useful information below that I think you need to know.
The first thing you should do is watch the Instant Pot demo below, and learn how an Instant Pot works. This way you will be able to understand how recipes for the Instant Pot are written, and the differences between quick release and a natural pressure release.
This post on the different setting and buttons will also be super useful to imagine all the things you can cook using an Instant Pot.
Next, I'd love for you to imagine all the different ways you can reheat leftovers in the Instant Pot. This is a tremendous help in preparing a meal.
There are so many ways to reheat, and you can literally reheat anything, helping you avoid using the microwave.
Finally, you might enjoy this post on the most common Instant Pot obstacles and how to overcome them.
9 quart, 6 quart, or 3 quart?
There are three different sizes of Instant Pots. The most common—by far—is the 6 quart size since it fits most recipes and is good for a family of four.
I cook for two people usually and I never feel like the 6-quart is too big, but if you live alone, you might want to consider the 3-quart mini pot, and if your family is larger than four, you might need the 9-quart pot.
To decide on the best size, consider how much food and liquid you can fit.
You never want to fill the pot more than half full to leave plenty of space for bubbles. This matters when cooking with the lid on, and particularly for pressure cooking.
Based on this logic:
- 9 quarts can fit 18 cups of food and liquid
- 6 quarts can fit 12 cups of food and liquid
- 3-quart can fit 6 cups of food and liquid
For my soup recipes at Buttered Veg, I typically call for 4 cups of liquid and 3-4 cups of vegetables. This makes about 6 servings.
If you wanted to make this soup recipe in a 3-quart Instant Pot, I would recommend using all the vegetables in the recipe and reducing the liquid by 2 cups.
Then, after the pressure cooking is complete, when you remove the lid you can add the additional liquid at that time and use the “saute” function to bring the soup back up to a boil.
Another option would be to cut the recipe in half.
How to buy a 3-quart Instant Pot
For the 3-quart Instant Pot, there is really only one choice: the Instant Pot Duo Mini.
It is not really a price saving to buy the smaller pot. Typically, the 3-quart and 6-quart models are the same price (when the 6-quart is on sale, as it frequently is.)
However, the 3-quart will take up less space on your kitchen counter.
How to buy a 6-quart Instant Pot
When it comes to a 6-quart Instant Pot, there are many, many choices, and there are almost always deals to be had. For those who think the Instant Pot is ugly, sometimes you can find different colors and designs.
Which 6-quart Instant Pot do I need?
The differences are based on the number of functions the pot offers, maximum length of cooking time, faster cooking times, wireless smart programming, and now there is an air fryer “crisp” lid option.
6-quart grey Duo Plus
I did a little deal hunting, and here is a Duo Plus with the grey color. The Duo plus promises a quieter steam release over the duo.
Viva - with multi-functions
In my opinion, the basic Duo, or Duo Plus is going to be sufficient for most people, but if you want the yogurt maker, egg, cake, and sterilize functions, you’ll need a Viva, and this one for just $59.99 is a steal of a deal.
Of course, the Viva is not shown on the graphic above. Maybe it's an older model, and that's why it's on sale.
To explore all the Instant Pot options, visit Amazon to see ALL the choices. Now that you know everything you need to know, you are ready to make your decision.