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Here at How to Cuisine we are always interested in the newest and most popular ways people are creating healthy and delicious everyday meals at home. In recent years, it seems to be the Instant Pot, an electric pressure cooker, slow cooker, and rice cooker with many other functions. Instant Pot is one of the most versatile appliances you can have in your kitchen. The modern "crock-pot" was first designed back in the 1940s, however, Instant Pots seem to have rekindled a love for this style of home cooking with the company claiming it is the best-selling small kitchen appliance in the world.
It seems that the reason Instant Pots are so trendy amongst home cooks is that they are actually useful, unlike the other kitchen gadgets that one buys, uses once, and then leaves in the back of the cupboard to gather dust. They are multifunctional yet simple and safe to use with the idea that you can add your ingredients to the pot, set it, forget it and return a few hours later to a delicious warm meal ready to serve.
Video by Instant Pot on Youtube
OUR FAVORITE INSTANT POT MODELS
You may be surprised to find out that the Instant Pot company actually has numerous models and styles of their Instant Pot, with the concept being continuously developed and upgraded since the first model was released back in 2009. At the writing of this article, Instant Pot has 13+ different models to choose from allowing the customer to select what functions and set-up would work best for them and their kitchen. To help you out we have chosen our favorite Instant Pot models that we feel work best depending on cooking preferences and circumstances.
Best For Beginners
Best For Young Families
Best For Avid Home Cooks
Best For Busy People
If you simply don’t have the time to cook healthy meals for yourself and your family, then an Instant Pot is a perfect appliance. The Instant Pot Lux is one of the more basic models available but is suitable for slow-cooked meals or quick and easy steaming. Make your breakfast porridge the night before or put together your favorite chili in the morning, allowing it to slowly cook throughout the day, so when you get home it's ready to eat. The ceramic inner pot is also dishwasher-safe, meaning even less time spent in the kitchen.
There are many other models that Instant Pot has released and the company continues to innovate to make the Instant Pot the best multi-cooker on the market. Take the time to have a look at what models there are so you can choose the right one for you and your kitchen.
Image by Brooke Lark on Unsplash
With the success of Instant Pot and the sudden rise in interest for multi-functional kitchen appliances, it seems a lot of appliance companies are coming out with their own versions of multi-cookers.
Here are some popular competitors to Instant Pot and their pros and cons.
Image by Instant Pot
WHICH MULTI-COOKER IS BEST FOR YOU?
If you are looking to buy a multi-cooker, whether it is an Instant Pot or another brand, you should really think about what functions are going to be useful for you. There is no point getting the model with all the bells and whistles if you are just looking to make slow-cooker soup or steam rice. However, if you do like to experiment in the kitchen and like making things from scratch such as yogurt or you want to start canning your own tomatoes, then multi-cookers with those extra settings will allow you to do that safely and confidently.
When comparing prices with other multi-cookers, it does seem that Instant Pots are worth buying. Even though they are already competitive with their pricing, because there is such a variety of Instant Pots to choose from, you can choose the one that works within your budget. Many of the models can also be bought in different sizes adding more variations in price across the selection. To help you select the best size for you and your kitchen needs, Instant Pot says that the 3-quart size is perfect for side dishes or individual meals, the 6-Quart size can feed up to 5 people while the 8-Quart is great if you like to batch cook meals for the week ahead.
BEST INSTANT POT ACCESSORIES
Instant Pots are ideal for creating healthy delicious meals at home because you have complete control over what ingredients you add and how you choose to cook your food. Buying some additional Instant Pot accessories will even help you to avoid using excess oil by enabling you to use your Instant Pot as a steamer, air fryer and so much more. Here are some of our favorite Instant Pot accessories that we find useful:
WHERE TO FIND INSTANT POT RECIPES
The Instant Pot company is actively involved in their customer community. However, it also seems users take it upon themselves to promote the wonder of the Instant Pot without any encouragement. You can now find blogs, cookbooks, YouTube channels, Facebook communities, and even Reddit feeds all dedicated to sharing recipes and tips on how to make the most of your Instant Pot. If you have a question about the best way to use your Instant Pot, you are more likely to gain valuable advice from a Facebook community of customers rather than contacting Instant Pot customer services.
There is now a wide selection of cookbooks purely dedicated to Instant Pot cooking with some containing up to 1000 quick and easy recipes. Have a browse through what is on offer as you can also find ones that are more suitable for beginners or ones that are more focused on family-style cooking.
YouTube Channels & Blogs
Search "Instant Pot recipes" on YouTube or Google and you can find all sorts of videos and blogs of user's favorite recipes, tips on batch-cooking methods, customer knowledge, or dos & don'ts when it comes to using certain models. The "Tasty" channel has some great tried and tested Instant Pot recipes while the blog and YouTube channel "Six Sisters’ Stuff" is run by six sisters who share their recipes and real-life tips on how to feed their families regularly including the use of their Instant Pot.
The Instant Pot Website & Community
Instant Pot does have their own blog where they post up recipes and ideas for their community to try. It can be a great place to start if you are trying out your Instant Pot for the first few times as the recipes are specifically designed for Instant Pots rather than generic multi-cookers. Instant Pot also has a recipe app to help make their recipes even more accessible at home.
Facebook is also another great place to look. The official public "Instant Pot Community" page on Facebook has 2.9 million members who not only engage with Instant Pot company posts but also connect with each other. Members seem to be constantly asking and answering each other’s questions while also suggesting recipes and ideas.
THE BOTTOM LINE
It goes without saying that Instant Pot has helped to pioneer a revolutionary approach to home cooking. It is hard to distinguish what exactly makes Instant Pot the most popular brand, however, because the company's main focus is on producing only multi-cookers, rather than a broad range of kitchen appliances, they are able to innovate and excel at creating such smart yet simple cooking devices that easily trump competitors.
It is also hard to find customers speaking poorly about their Instant Pots; it seems they only want to spread the word and share their discoveries on how to simplify home-cooking the "Instant Pot way". Investing in an Instant Pot doesn’t just give you a new cooking appliance, it brings you into this unique online community allowing you to easily share experiences with others and add even more enjoyment to your home-cooking.
The information provided in this article is not nutritional or medical advice. Please read our disclaimer.