The biggest reason for my weekly meal planning is to avoid last minute surprises. But let me tell you, even after all these preparations I don’t prefer to spend more than 30 minutes in the kitchen cooking meals. Instant Pot is an electric pressure cooker I came across few months ago that kinda solves some of the problems.
The primary difference between Instant Pot and regular pressure cooker is, you can cook everything you do with regular pressure cooker and more. I came across this pressure cooker at a friend’s house and followed one of the Instant Pot Indian facebook group for months and decided to buy one final day after I’m convinced.
I bought Instant Pot in March and have been using it every single day since then. It doesn’t do any magic, but you don’t have to count the whistles of the pressure cooker and wait to turn off the stove.
For example, when I cook Pongal, I just prepare everything in that one pot and set timer for 20 minutes and go out. As soon as it’s cooked, the cooker goes to “warm” mode. So if I set the timer before I leave the house, warm Pongal is ready when I’m back home. How nice is that?
Instead of waiting in the kitchen, I’d go and get ready in the morning while my food is cooking. I love the flexibility that comes with it.
It also has multiple modes such as slow cooker, rice, chili, yogurt etc. I use only a few of them and so far able to get through without issues.
There are a number of alternative brands in the market. However, this one has more reviews than most of them and a good support Facebook group that can help you in case if you need help.
- You don’t have to babysit the cooker. Set the timer and forget
- Easy to clean
- The cooker comes with a stainless steel pot. If you’re cooking both rice and sambar, for example, you can stack the pans inside this big pot and set timer (just like using regular pressure cooker)
- Makes yogurt without fault. I started making Yogurt at home after buying InstantPot
- Other options such as chili/slow cooker that can be used as well
- We didn’t like the rice cooked in Instant pot. It’s not evenly cooked and we no longer use it for rice
- It doesn’t cook any faster than regular pressure cooker. That said, it’s an electric pressure cooker and nothing fancy
- The options and the terms might look intimidating initially. You’ll get used to it in a week or so
Before You Buy:
I’d strongly suggest you follow some of the Instant pot Facebook groups (search “instantpot” in Facebook) and get to understand what else can be made using this cooker. But don’t make the buying decision based on just the Facebook opinions or my review.
If you’re comfortable with your regular pressure cooker and is able to manage your cooking without delays, I’d suggest you stick to it and not bother about buying one additional gadget in your kitchen. But on the other hand, if you’re someone who is looking to save time, this might be the one for you.
After a little over a year of using Instant pot, it broke down for an unknown reason and Instant Pot asked me to pay $66 for replacing the base. I bought a newer version the second time and made sure I bought insurance coverage for 4 years to cover any breakdown.
For Those Of You In India:
Preeti has a pressure cooker called Preeti Touch which is similar to InstantPot. I tried to get some info from people around and unfortunately couldn’t get any personal recommendation on this. So, not sure how good it is personally.
You can find Instantpot version of my recipes here.
If you’re interested in Indian meal planning, here is a Facebook support group for Indian weekly menu planning. This group is a great place for sharing cooking pictures, menu , and recipe suggestions. I’ll be posting the weekly menu planning in this Facebook group every week.