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4.7 out of 5 stars425
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 28 June 2014
I have been cooking with pressure cookers for something like 20 years and have always enjoyed both the speed of cooking and the way food tastes from them. I have been aware of electric pressure cookers for a while and would check the reviews every now and again but there would always be some niggle or doubt that would put me off. Often it would be that the best items showed up on US sites with high shipping costs to the UK,

Luckily I stumbled across this device on Amazon and, for once, didn't see anything to put me off so I began the process of convincing my wife that we needed another large gadget to join the competition for cupboard space (along with stove top pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, deep fryer etc.) She was not immediately convinced, particularly as she has always been terrified of pressure cookers - as soon as they start the gentle clicking sounds that accompany them reaching operating pressure she flees the kitchen, genuinely concerned that it could explode at any moment. Eventually I wore her down and placed the order.

When it arrived I had to try it out straight away and it was instantly clear that it was a major step up compared to a regular pressure cooker. Compared to a regular, stove top pressure cooker the following are the main advantages:

Regular: Have to keep adjusting the heat to maintain a constant cooking pressure.
Instant Pot: Completely automatic - absolutely no need to fiddle during cooking. I have even felt confident enough to leave it cooking while going out of the house.

Regular: Periodic venting of steam (and the less you fiddle with the hob heat, the more you will end up with it venting)
Instant Pot: Because the temperature is so carefully controlled you get a brief wisp of steam as it reaches operating pressure but after that there is no venting whatsoever.

Regular: With some foods (particularly those with less liquid) it can be hard to bring the cooker up to pressure without burning the contents sitting on the bottom of the pan.
Instant Pot: Again, because it carefully controls the pot temperature it seems to completely avoid overheating food sitting on the bottom of the pot. It has taken me a few uses to prove to myself that this is true but it has won me over and I trust it completely now.

Regular: No delay timer and no cooking timer.
Instant Pot: I haven't yet used the delay timer on my Instant Pot, but it is there for when I need it. However, the cooking timer is fantastic as it detects when the pot reaches operating pressure and only then begins to count down. At the end of cooking it switches to "keep warm" mode which is sufficiently gentle to let the pot depressurise (you can, of course, open the vent to reduce the pressure quickly).

Most impressive of all, my wife decided to try the Instant Pot while I was at work and at no point 'phoned me to ask questions about it - having never used a pressure cooker before in her life she used it to make soup and is now a convert.

Beyond the advantages it has as a pressure cooker, it has other functions that make it perfectly suited for making complete meals.

The first is the saute setting which has 3 heat levels; on high it is excellent for searing meat, on normal it is good for reducing sauces and on low it is perfect for very slowly caramelising onions - it takes a good 30 minutes to get some colour into onions on this setting. Perfect.

It should also be noted that where it is described as a steamer, it is in fact a pressure steamer and the results of this are, again impressive. It is obviously faster to cook food this way than in a regular steamer but, in addition, the results have a lot more flavour. So far I have only tried pressure steaming vegetables but I am looking forward to trying it with some fish.

As an example of how we are regularly using this brilliant device, this is the meal we made a couple of nights ago:

Set to saute on low heat.
Saute a couple of medium onions thinly sliced and some finely copped garlic until soft and sweet. Remove and put in a bowl.
Set to saute mode on high heat.
Place two seasoned pork chops in the pot and sear well on each side. Take out and set aside.
Deglaze pot with chicken stock with a bit of wholegrain mustard and honey added.
Cancel saute mode.
Add a thinly sliced apple..
Add chopped carrots, beetroot, celery, sliced broccoli stem etc.
Put the onions back in and lay the seared chops on top.
Add a little more chicken stock if necessary, put the lid on, set the vent to sealing and pressure cook for 15 minutes.
Wait for the pressure to drop.
Remove the pork and the vegetables with a slotted spoon.
Set to saute mode on normal heat and reduce the sauce, adding a little arrowroot (or similar) dissolved in cold water.
Serve.

We were thrilled with this: the pork was falling off the bone, the vegetables were quite soft but still had loads of flavour and the sauce was rich and tasty. One pot, plus a plate for the onions and the chops and probably only about 50 minutes from start to finish (depending on how slowly you like to cook your onions) with around half of that time needing no attention at all. We think that is quite remarkable.

Today, we had roast chicken for lunch and after stripping the meat from the carcass I put the bones in the Instant Pot, covered them with water and pressure cooked for 45 minutes, leaving it to depressurise naturally. I then strained the stock and added it back to the pot along with the left over roast vegetables and chicken meat, brought it up to a simmer with saute mode and then blended it gently to make a rich chicken and roast vegetable soup.

I haven't yet tried it as a rice cooker or slow cooker but I have very high hopes and will report back when I have had time to try test it out a few times.

In summary, I consider it a kitchen essential and over the course of a week it has transformed many of our meals. It is the best pressure cooker I have ever owned by far but it is also so much more than that. Needless to say, the stove top pressure cooker, slow cooker and rice cooker will all be going on eBay very soon.

We love it, love it, love it.
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on 6 August 2014
I've been considering buying a pressure cooker for quite a while now, but never did because I do find them a bit...scary (hey, high pressure boiling...what if I screw something up and make it explode??) ;)
So, when I heard about Instant Pot it did not take long before I had one delivered.
Instant Pot takes all the scary parts out of the picture since it regulate everything by itself, all you need to worry about is what to fill it up with.
Once that is solved all you have to do is push a few buttons and you'll have a nice, pressure cooked, meal in no-time!
(Yup, it takes a lot of the guess work out too by having a whole bunch of preset options for you to choose from depending on what you're cooking!)
I used to simmer bone broths in my slow cooker for plus 24 hours, now I can make the same volume in less than 2 hours.
I also precooked ribs to throw on the grill, and the meat was literally falling of the bones, so incredibly tender!
I'm definitely hooked, and look forward to all the stews and soups for the coming autumn/winter I will be able to cook after coming home from work and enjoy by dinner time.
If you consider buying a pressure cooker I do advise you to give Instant Pot a serious thought, it's fantastic!

//Peter, Sweden
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on 26 November 2014
I've had this for about 5 months now and wanted to wait to leave a review till I had really used it properly using most functions and many dishes. Well, this is a really really fantastic bit of kit for those that enjoy cooking, I can't comment for those that don't as i really love cooking so you are getting a review here from someone that is quite demanding on quality and performance of preferred expensive kitchen goods. I could go on for hours about how great the Instant Pot is as it is so impressive. The build quality if 1st class and that's obvious as soon as you unpack it. It is all it claims to be and works as well as it claims to. I've used every function it has and it has not let me down. The keep warm after cooking feature is awesome, the timer for both cooking and delay in start of cooking is a nice touch. You don't need any experience to use it, but if you do then it helps as you can easily convert recipes that have been written for regular pressure cookers for this one. You will see what i mean by that when you buy one. There is a great Instant Pot community page on Facebook, so if you get stuck or if you pull off a recipe you love you can post it on there. Some traditional slow cooker recipes call for a tea towel to go under the lid to catch the drips so as not to spoil the bake, you can still do this with the Instant Pot and have to just purchase the glass lid, which is not expensive and worth it if you do cook a lot of different dishes. For the men or tomb boys, it's ticks all the gadget boxes as it has loads of buttons, a digital timer display and makes various beeping noises and it's shiny! I am my own Captain Kirk in the Kitchen with this now. I just love it, I was hoping that is was all it claimed to be when I ordered it and be assured it really is. Great to see innovation and quality builds still exist at a price that is not too silly. Buy it, use it, and you will love it, as will the people you cook for.
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on 16 February 2016
Ok - So after about 6 months of use I can give my opinion on this cooker.
In short - I LOVE IT. It is a fantastic piece of equipment that we have used DAILY. It is so easy to use that my 70 year old mother in law swears by it. The different programs are very straightforward and get cooking times right about 99% of the time. Every so often you may need to turn it on again for another 30 mins say if you are cooking a whole chicken for the first time. I have stopped using a traditional slow cooker because this cooker cooks food BETTER than a slow cooker in a fraction of the time. For example, I want to make some pulled pork. So I will grill the joint or sear it on the outside to give it some color then throw it in the cooker for 3 hours with all my ingredients of choice. It will come out beautifully cooked and pretty much melt in your mouth which will make everyone think you slaved over the meal for hours on end, but in reality you pop it in the cooker and 3 hours later its pretty much ready to serve! I use it too cook Quinoa as well since it comes out perfect every time and I don't have to worry about a pot on the hob.
In the end, I would buy another in a heart beat if this one breaks down on me for whatever reason (which I doubt as the build quality seems solid). Also worth mentioning that it is so easy to clean up (though I have never put the pot or the lid in the dishwasher which I am pretty sure you shouldn't anyways)
10/10
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on 8 July 2014
I bought this primarily to replace a rice cooker, which whilst very, very, good, had a non-stick coating which was starting to peel. I am aware of the health hazards of Teflon and so decided to replace the cooker. I searched Amazon for a rice cooker that had a stainless steel bowl and the Instant pot was what came up.

When it arrived, I was very impressed with the build quality and eager to start using it. In the first few days I made the lentil chilli in the recipe book provided, baked beans (vegan version), vegetable soup and a huge pot of houmous. The pot was brilliant I am finding that I am able to replace many of the tinned or packaged items that we were using at home. This is a big bonus for me as I am very concerned about the environment and this cooker means that I am able to cut down on the waste generated in the kitchen and it means that I don't have to worry about BPA in tins. Also, things such as baked beans and houmous, taste much better and are cheaper too.

The only reason that I did not give the Instant Pot five stars is that I don't seem to be able too cook rice in it without it sticking really badly. I have tried soaked and dry rice, greasing the pot, the rice program, a manual program and releasing the steam after different intervals, but it still sticks. If anyone has any tips on rice cooking, I would love to hear them.
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on 21 May 2014
I received my Instant Pot on Friday (great service by the way as only ordered late on Wednesday) and have spent much of the weekend trying out the various functions. I must say that everything has met or exceeded my expectations! The pressure cooker function works brilliantly and is virtually silent when cooking. I also slow cooked a pork shoulder with onions, garlic and chilli. It produced beautifully flavoured meat and I made a sauce with the residue using the sauté function! Highly recommended!
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on 17 May 2016
We originally bought it as a rice cooker, but we soon realized how incredibly valuable and versatile it is in the kitchen. Now, in addition to using it for its original intended purpose (cooking rice), we use it to make soups, chilis, beans, certain meat dishes, among other things. It is wonderfully quick. Also, it acts as another cooking space, freeing up the stove and/or oven to make larger meals for groups, for example.

I would say the only downside (not enough of a downside to knock a star off the rating) is that it requires a bit of experimentation to get the recipes working the way you like it. The included cook book is effectively only guidance rather than exact cooking instructions. The amount of water you use, and the time you leave it cooking will depend on the exact recipe you are making and your taste.

Overall, this is a highly effective multipurpose cooking appliance that deserves a spot in any home that would is interested in trying a new means of cooking a variety of dishes.
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on 21 October 2014
I had been contemplating buying a pressure cooker mainly for cooking dried pulses for a while, but was a little nervous of a stove-top one. I was also keen on the concept of a slow cooker which I could leave to slowly cook whilst out. But with limited kitchen space, both worktop and cupboard, buying both was problematic. So, while quite a big outlay, the Instant-Pot seemed to cover both bases, and then a bit more.

Having had neither pressure nor slow cookers before to compare with, I am really happy with my purchase. A juicy whole chicken in 25mins, Beans and Pulses cook straight from dry in at most 30mins. Stock cooks overnight from chicken bones in the slow cooker. It holds a lot, so would be suitable for cooking meals for a family, although it will also cook just enough for two.

But I'm happiest at the ability to combine cooking methods, using just the instant-pot.

Successes so far include - chilli con carne - pressure cooked kidney beans from dry, then sauted mince, onions and spices, added stock and tomatoes and slow cooked for 1½ hours, great, only one pot to wash up, and apart from sauteing I was able to leave it to get on with cooking. And BBQ ribs, pressured for 20 mins, with a little water, sauce added, then slow cooked on high for 1 hour, nice sticky sauce and melt in the mouth ribs that would normally have taken me 3 - 4 hours.

I find it nice and simple to work - has a number of presets on which you can adjust time and temperature, and I have the quick start guide up inside a cupboard so even when brand-new I could set it going without having to trawl through the instruction booklet. It came with a recipe book which a list of cooking times for all sort of things. I am using more than I could have imagined, and I can envisage many more dishes to make. Although it is quite bulky, it's a 'live-on-the-worktop' item, used too often to be relegated to a cupboard.
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on 28 May 2014
I bought the InstantPot(R) a few weeks ago and after cooking some of my favourite recipes with it, I am really excited about it. It reduces cooking time to half or a third the amount you need without a pressure cooker, and overall preparation time until the meal is on the table is reduced to half the time or even less.
I have started to cook meals after work I wouldn't even have thought of preparing before I had the InstantPot. It is really a great addition to our kitchen. It is easy to clean also, just put the inner stainless steel pot and the silicone sealing ring into the dishwasher.
The lid has to be cleaned by hand, and I always take care to keep the two valves clean (the pressure valve and the release valve) to assure faultless function.
I find the electric pressure cooker much more convenient than the stovetop counterpart where you have to adjust the heat to maintain the correct pressure - it's really set, go, and don't worry about it any more. I wouldn't want to miss it any more!
I really do recommend this cooker, it is easy to use and with its many build in programs really a hassle free appliance!
InstantPot comes with a British plug, but we are using it in Germany with a plug-adapter. It works very well, no problems here!
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on 7 June 2014
As always with Amazon the Instant Pot® arrived promptly. It was well packaged and unpacked is clearly a solid device with a quality feel to it. You know how some things just feel ‘flimsy’? not this item. It came with instruction manual, useful recipe booklet and crib sheet to remind you of basic operations and what the readout means, all of which are well produced and genuinely useful. I liked that the recipe booklet gave web links to further info.

To help the reader visualise the Instant Pot®s’ size I can say it sits between the bread maker (which is bigger) and the slow cooker, a seven litre model, (which is smaller). It is large (better so you can cook family meals in it) but - you must bear in mind - this beauty is gonna get rid of your rice cooker and your slow cooker and your pressure cooker - so you will free up lots of space!

First things first is to make use of the Instant Pot®’s versatility so I dived in to cook a version of Mexican style red beans. First up was pressure cooking the dry beans - wow! even being used to pressure cooking, four minutes to cook dried beans was a surprise!, then, having emptied out the beans, sauté the veg and again, surprising, the speed with which this heats up (1KW rating) so quick and easy, fried off the aromatics and reintroduce back the beans. Add the last few ingredients and set the Instant Pot® to slow cook for six and half hours and off to bed. Woke to the lovely smell of spicy beans being kept warm for me having bean (pun intended) cooked to perfection. Breakfast that day was Ranch Eggs - delish!

To call the Instant Pot® a kitchen ‘gadget’ is an injustice, it is a kitchen essential. It takes the best of multiple devices, improves upon their respective functions and saves 70% countertop space, 70% energy (very cool!) 70% effort (ok I cannot guarantee the last one…)

Negatives? It took me a few tries to figure out how to exit one mode (Saute) to get to,say, slow cook or pressure cook. The answer? press ‘manual’ first to cancel previous mode!

Worth the money? definitely! Recommended? Yes!
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