In a word… yes! I’ve been using mine so much lately that I don’t even bother putting it away which is the most un-like me thing ever. Whenever I post a recipe or thought about it, people either react with a story about how much they love theirs or ask if it’s worth the hype. Here is my review of the hottest kitchen gadget on the block right now, even though I’m about a year late to the game!
What is an Instant Pot:
Like Crock Pot, Instant Pot is actually a brand name. I didn’t realize that until I started doing some research for this post. But there are multiple brands that make this contraption which I think is technically called a multi-cooker.
I have the Mealthy MultiPot ($99.95) so I can’t speak to any of the others from personal experience but it looks like they’re all pretty similar. All of these multi-cookers have multiple cooking functions including:
Yogurt maker (yes, seriously)
Rice cooker (so convenient!)
I mean, what doesn’t this thing do? You can make breakfasts, quick dinners, desserts, rice, pasta, and seemingly everything in between. Plus you can even cook meat without thawing it. Literally a busy person’s dream! I also just realized that you can make banana bread and other baked goods in it. I haven’t tried that yet but mind blown over here.
I personally love it because I can make many of my favorite slow cooker recipes (or something similar) more quickly. The pressure cooker function cooks meat and other foods shockingly fast.
I got mine last year but have only really started to play with it seriously this fall so stay tuned for more as I discover all that it can do. I will give you the caveat that all pressure-cooked recipes are not created equal, and some have been total failures so I suggest using recipes from sites you know and trust as opposed to just googling random ones. It’s easy to mess up the flavor and texture and I’ve found that many of the recipes I’ve tried have been way over-salted. Like this one, which I ended up tweaking and now it’s an easy go-to for weeknight dinners.
Do I still need a slow cooker?
Honestly? In my opinion, no but you do you. Because my MultiPot has a slow cooker setting, I’ve just been using it instead of my big crock pot which took up a lot more counter space. If you’re registering for your wedding or looking for kitchen-y to put on your holiday wish list, I recommend the MultiPot over a slow cooker because it’s so versatile. And that rice maker function is underrated! If you’re like us and make a batch of brown rice every week, it will make your life 1000x easier.
Is the MultiPot really instant?
Although the pressure cooker function is faster than a slow cooker, it does take longer than you might expect which I learned the hard way when I was in a rush the first time I tried it. If a recipe calls for 12 minutes of pressure cooking, expect it to take 10 minutes to heat up, 12 minutes to cook, then 5-10 minutes to release. Be sure to include that cooking time in your plans.
How do I use my MultiPot?
I highly recommend reading the instruction manual because the first time I used it as a pressure cooker I was heavily sweating and convinced I was about to blow up my entire house. Spoiler alert: I didn’t and have since read the manual cover to cover and feel much better about my pressure cooking abilities. After much Googling, I’ve also learned that it’s totally safe, even though it sounds scary when the pressure is releasing.
For most of the functions, it’s pretty cut and dry. Press a button and go for it. But for pressure cooking, it requires a little more knowledge. When you pressure cook your food, it cooks quickly but the pressure has to release in one way or another.
How do I release pressure in my Instant Pot?
There are two ways to release pressure after using the pressure cooker function on your Instant Pot.
Natural Release: For a natural release, you don’t have to do anything and the pressure releases slowly on it’s own.
Quick Release: This is the scary sounding release because you turn the knob on top from “sealing” to “venting” (do this carefully with a towel on your finger and move away quickly because the steam that comes out is hot) and in a matter of minutes, the pressure is released from the pot and the lid unlocks.
I prefer a mixture of both. I’ll let my MultiPot do a natural release for about 10 minutes then I turn the knob to “venting” and it releases what’s left. I’m sure there are nuances to how this affects your recipes but I’m not that advanced yet!
MultiPot Recipess: Slow Cooker
Detox Lentil Soup
Chicken Taco Bowls
Eva’s Meatballs (This is the third time I’m mentioning them in one week. They’re that good)
Gluten Free Granola
Slow Cooker Applesauce
Is the MultiPot easy to clean?
So easy. The inner metal pot comes out and you can pop it right into the dishwasher. Mine is small enough that it isn’t a huge ordeal to wash by hand or fit with my other dishes.
My overall review is that I love the Mealthy MultiPot so much, and it has quickly become the most used piece of equipment in my kitchen. It helps take the stress out of delicious last minute dinners, and has taken me out of my comfort zone as I test and discover new recipes. Like I said, they haven’t all been a hit, but I’m still learning what works and what doesn’t!
Do some research into which brand to get because I know people also speak very highly of the Instant Pot Duo which is about the same price and looks pretty identical to me. I found this article that compares the two if you really want to do your research.
Tell me, do you have an Instant Pot or MultiPot? If so, what are your favorite recipes to make in it?