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Ever since the Instant Pot hit the market, I’ve been a low-key hater. While I never publicly rallied against multi-cookers, in private conversation I rolled my eyes and groaned that they were pointless. Sure, they could steam, sauté, roast, pressure cook, incubate yogurt, and bring world peace — but you know what else did all of those things? My pots and pans. (Minus that last thing.) I learned how to cook at a French culinary school, and I was pretty sure that a singular gadget was not what my instructors had in mind when they taught me the ins and outs of techniques. I swore I would never get the Instant Pot, and everyone I knew was sick of the shade I kept throwing.
But because I love to poke a sleeping bear, I decided to try one. Facing the prospect of yet another long pandemic winter, I reasoned that testing a new gadget might add a little variation to the next four months of at-home meals. If nothing else, it would be entertaining. Well, guess what? I absolutely love the Instant Pot, and I want everyone to know it.
I got the 6-quart Instant Pot Pro Plus, and I’m so glad I did. The first thing I noticed was that it’s downright pretty. This baby is so sleek! It looks like a sexy spaceship. The best design feature is the invisible touch-screen, which fades to a blank screen when not in use.
A big hurdle that kept me from diving in sooner: technology fear. Buttons, programs, and gadgets are so not my thing, and I secretly worried I wouldn’t even know where to start with the Instant Pot. But the instruction manual was refreshingly easy to follow, and even enjoyable to read (their copy writer deserves a raise). Within 10 minutes of unboxing my Instant Pot, I was running a quick test of the pressure cooking feature. Information and tutorials are also very easy to find online, so if I ever need to do a quick check, I won’t be lost.
Since then, I’ve used my Instant Pot for every meal, including breakfast. It doesn’t perform cooking tasks better than other methods, but it is faster and cleaner. Need examples? The Instant Pot turned a bunch of super-tough Broccolini stalks into a tender side dish in less than five minutes. It cooked an entire bag of dried chickpeas in 40 minutes — and I didn’t have to babysit the pot. My morning steel-cut oats were ready before my coffee had even brewed.
It pains me to admit this, but the Instant Pot is also much easier to clean than my various pots and pans. It’s literally just one component (a pot … ) that lifts easily out of the machine. Who knew I spent so much time scrubbing sauté pans? Not me, apparently.
I understand that part of the allure of the Instant Pot is its versatility, but I doubt I’ll be using mine for canning or baking upside-down cakes. The Pro Plus model is also WiFi capable, meaning you can control it from your phone. That’s one techy hurdle I likely won’t be tackling; my house is small and it won’t be difficult for me to walk over to the pot and make adjustments. But if you love downloading apps, have a field day. The Instant Pot won’t replace any of my cookware, either. There are some things, like a ribeye steak, that just belong in a cast iron pan.
But will I keep this piece of sleek equipment on my counter at all times? With pleasure. Will I use it weekly? At minimum! Will I shout my newfound love from the rooftops? My friends are already sick of hearing me talk about it.
What about you? Are you Team Instant Pot? Have you been for a while now? Tell us in the comments below.