I wanted an Instant Pot for a good year or so before I actually bought one but even though I kept adding it to my basket on Amazon, I always took it back out again as I really wasn’t sure if the Instant Pot would be something I’d use regularly or whether it would end up gathering dust like my breadmaker is at the moment. I eventually bought one so today, I’m going to answer the question ‘Is an Instant Pot worth the money?’
First of all, let me tell you exactly what an Instant Pot is just in case you don’t know – it’s essentially an electric pressure cooker which speeds up cooking by 2-6 times (depending on what you’re cooking) and uses up to 70% less energy. Because of the speed at which it cooks your food, it also seals in more of the nutrients making it healthier.
As well as the pressure cooker function, it also allows you to saute food as well as function as a slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, saute, yoghurt maker and warmer. It has 14 built-in smart programs (Soup, Meat/Stew, Bean/Chili, Poultry, Saute, Steam, Rice, Porridge, Multigrain, Slow Cook, Keep-Warm, Yogurt, Pasteurise and Fermenting) so it really should be super easy to cook whatever you want to cook.
Next, let me tell you how much I paid for my Instant Pot because at the moment they’re selling on Amazon for £99.99 with an RRP of £169.99. I’ve NEVER seen them anywhere near the £169,99 price though so definitely take the RRP with a pinch of salt. I paid £79.99 for mine in the Black Friday sale which I thought was a total bargain as I’d never seen it lower than the £99.99 before that point, I literally had it in my basket and paid for within about 30 seconds of spotting it at that price.
I ordered it on the Friday evening and it got to me on the Monday morning and I was super excited to unpack it and use it for the first time to make our tea that night.
It’s not the easiest thing to get used to, or at least it wasn’t for me and I had to read through the instructions a couple of times before I was ready to actually switch it on. In my head, I think I was a bit nervous as I remember a big whoosh of steam when my Dad used ours when I was younger. Also, as I’m typing this and picturing my Dad in our old kitchen holding the pressure cooker in one hand and a towel in the other, I’m sure I can remember there was also a bit of an unpleasant smell too – that could be my memory playing tricks on me though.
I had to refer back to the instructions for the first few times that I used it but after that, I was totally OK with it and now I’m totally confident with it on most functions.
Using the Instant Pot as a Pressure Cooker
This is the primary function of the Instant Pot and definitely the main thing that I’ve used mine for so far. I’ve perfected my recipe for Instant Pot Shredded Chicken which is genuinely worth buying the Instant Pot for on it’s own. 😉
I batch cook this on a regular basis and freeze it in portions which I then use for just about everything – pasta dishes, pizza toppings, quesadillas, nachos, quiche, fajitas, pie fillings, salads, soups, egg fried rice and so so much more. I also do a similar thing with shredded gammon which is lovely too but the chicken is definitely more popular.
It takes so little time to do that if I pop to the supermarket on a night and see some reduced chicken or a cheap gammon joint then I know I can use it to make these and have something ready to pop in the freezer in no time at all – the batch of shredded chicken that I made here was made with some ridiculously reduced price chicken that I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time for.
I’ve also used the pressure cook function to make amazing super easy risotto which tastes even nicer than the risotto you literally slave over a hot stove to make.
I’ve used it to make a version of my sausage, bean and chorizo stew and things like beef stew and chicken casserole have all worked out fab too. It makes the tenderest beef stew I’ve ever had so I’m a huge fan of stews and casseroles made in it.
Using the Instant Pot as a Slow Cooker
OK, this is the function I’m least impressed with – mainly because I tried it once to use mince and dumplings and ended up having to finish them off using the pressure cooker function. I also wasn’t too keen on the gammon joint I cooked using the slow cooker function so, at the moment, I tend to use my normal slow cooker which is a bit disappointing as I was hoping to be able to relegate that to the garage.
I do know you can get a slow cooker lid to use rather than the big bulky one that it comes with but until I’ve mastered slow cooking in it then I won’t be investing in that.
Using the Instant Pot as a Rice Cooker
Oh my goodness, rice in the Instant Pot is amazing – it’s not sticky, it’s easy to make and it works EVERY single time!
I literally measure my rice using cups and put the equivalent amount of water in and voila, perfect rice every single time in super quick time.
This is the egg fried rice we had for tea last night and it was gorgeous!
Using the Instant Pot to Saute
I love the saute function on the Instant Pot as it’s so easy and ready to go in super quick time. I’ve never been one for sauteing or sealing foods before I cook them in a stew or a casserole because it seems like such a faff but using the Instant Pot, it’s so easy and it does make a difference.
Using the Instant Pot as a Steamer.
I’ve steamed salmon and veggies in here a few times and it makes the best mash ever as I steam the potatoes and then mash them in the pot with a little butter and milk and everyone loves it!
Using the Instant Pot as a Yoghurt Maker
We’re not huge yoghurt fans so as yet, I haven’t tried this function and I can’t see a time that I will – I’ll update this if I do though.
So, as you can probably tell, I love my Instant Pot and use it pretty often so if you were to ask me if an Instant Pot was worth the money, I’d say it absolutely is. It’s versatile and makes my usual meals even nicer.
I definitely got a bargain at the price I paid but now I’ve had it, I would definitely pay the £99.99 for it. All I need to do is master the slow cooker function and then it’ll be the most used gadget in my kitchen!
Have a read of the reviews on Amazon if you want to get some more thoughts on the Instant Pot.
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