Healthy Eating

Instant Pot Guide | What, Why, and How

Let's talk about what the Instant Pot is, what it can do, why you need one, and how to choose the right size and model for your home and needs!

Unless you’ve been living under a rock you have probably heard of the Instant Pot. These programmable pressure cookers are not like the stainless steel time bombs of old, they’re fast, efficient, multitasking kitchen ninjas! This Instant Pot Guide will give you the what, why and how to get started using your electric pressure cooker for healthy cooking.

Here's an Instant Pot Guide: Let's talk about what the Instant Pot is, what it can do, why you need one, and how to choose the right size and model for your home and needs!

Let’s talk about what the Instant Pot is, what it can do, why you need one, and how to choose the right size and model for your home and needs! Keep this Instant Pot guide handy to serve as your virtual shopping list and reference guide.

Instant Pot Guide | What, Why, and How

If you have been scared of pressure cookers in the past, this post will hopefully explain how much safer and efficient the Instant Pot is than those original options. For those of you who are looking for some general info so you can decide if the IP is right for you, fear not, we have that too!

Here's an Instant Pot Guide: Let's talk about what the Instant Pot is, what it can do, why you need one, and how to choose the right size and model for your home and needs!

Photo: Amazon

Instant Pot Guide| What Is It? What Does It Do?

The Instant Pot is a programmable, electric, pressure cooker. Much like a slow cooker it is a freestanding appliance for your home that does not require the use of the oven or stovetop. The Instant Pot (or IP for short) can be used to cook a variety of foods and recipes and is very multifaceted when it comes to typical kitchen tasks.

The standard model (the DUO series) combines the functions of 7 different kitchen appliances. You can use it as a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice/porridge maker, steamer, sauté/browning device, yogurt maker and a warmer. The DUO Plus, and the Ultra line add some more functions to that list. The Smart series has the same features of the Ultra line but it adds the bluetooth connectivity feature.

That being said, you combine the features of MANY countertop appliance into this one device. Aside from the many facets of it’s functions, the Instant Pot is great because it cuts cooking times by as much as 6 times in some cases. This saves you energy, time, and effort. You also gain flavor and moisture by using the Instant Pot!

Here's an Instant Pot Guide: Let's talk about what the Instant Pot is, what it can do, why you need one, and how to choose the right size and model for your home and needs!

Photo: Amazon

Instant Pot Guide | Why Do You Need One?

Next up on our Instant Pot guide is the why…We all need a good reason before we drop a whole bunch of money on a new kitchen appliance right?

Cooking healthy meals for your family doesn’t have to take a long time thanks to the Instant Pot. The Instant Pot can cut your energy consumption and cooking time way down! You can make your favorite dishes in half the time without drying it out or losing flavor.

Do you like doing dishes? Nope, me either. The Instant Pot is an awesome one pot cooking machine. You can sear your meats, use the stainless steel rack to layer meats and potatoes at once, and making many of your meals with just one pot. That pot is dishwasher safe…just sayin’!

One year of manufacturers warranty no matter where you purchase your Instant Pot means that you can cook, bake, steam, sanitize, and otherwise use your IP without fear. If you are worried about coming up with recipes you can join the Official Instant Pot Facebook group. It’s a great place to get support, ideas, and more.

Instant Pot DUO Plus 6 Qt 9-in-1 Multi- Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Yogurt Maker, Egg Cooker, Sauté, Steamer, Warmer, and SterilizerInstant Pot DUO Plus 6 Qt 9-in-1 Multi- Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Yogurt Maker, Egg Cooker, Sauté, Steamer, Warmer, and SterilizerInstant Pot LUX60 V3 6 Qt 6-in-1 Muti-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Sauté, Steamer, and WarmerInstant Pot LUX60 V3 6 Qt 6-in-1 Muti-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Sauté, Steamer, and WarmerInstant Pot Ultra 6 Qt 10-in-1 Multi- Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Yogurt Maker, Cake Maker, Egg Cooker, Sauté, Steamer, Warmer, and SterilizerInstant Pot Ultra 6 Qt 10-in-1 Multi- Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Yogurt Maker, Cake Maker, Egg Cooker, Sauté, Steamer, Warmer, and Sterilizer

The Instant Pot is SUPER safe. Here are the 10 Safety Mechanisms as listed on the Instant Pot website:

  1. Pressure Regulator, ensures working pressure to be under the safety limit
  2. Anti-Blockage Vent, prevents food debris from blocking the vent
  3. Safety Lid Lock, prevents accidental opening of the cooker while it is pressurized
  4. Designed with a sensor for lid position detection, monitors whether the lid is in an unsafe position for pressure-cooking
  5. Automatic Temperature Control, regulates temperature based on the type of program being selected
  6. High Temperature monitoring, avoids burning food
  7. Automatic Pressure Controller, keeps pressure always in a safe range
  8. Electrical current and temperature, fuse cuts off power if the current or internal temperature exceeds safety limits
  9. Excess Pressure Protection, releases excess pressure into internal chamber in a dangerous situation
  10. Smart detection of leaky lid (e.g. steam release is in open position)
Here's an Instant Pot Guide: Let's talk about what the Instant Pot is, what it can do, why you need one, and how to choose the right size and model for your home and needs!

Photo: Amazon

Instant Pot Guide| How Do I Pick The Right One?

There are several different models available online and via Amazon. Currently Instant Pot manufactures these different models: Lux, Lux Mini, Duo, Duo Plus, Duo Plus Mini, Ultra, and Smart. For your reference the Mini models of both varieties are 3 quart. The Lux comes in a 5 quart, 6 quart, and 8 quart size. Duo and Duo Plus come in 6 and 8 quart sizes. The Ultra and Smart model come in 6 quart only.

You might be wondering how to decide which size to get. Ideally for a family the 6 quart size is enough. If you are just one or two people you would probably do fine with a mini. The positives of the bigger sizes come in cooking larger quantities (obviously) and whole cuts of meat (less obvious) things like whole chickens, ham, roasts, ribs, etc. Those items do better with more room. You can only fill the Instant Pot 3/4 of the way full in order to leave adequate room for the pressure to build properly.

Here’s the Instant Pot guide breakdown on how the models and series lines work. Deciding which to get can be tough. For a lot of people it will depends on the price. The Instant Pot prices increase in this order: Lux, Duo, Duo Plus, Ultra, and Smart. The minis are the exception to this rule. The Instant Pot line also increases in features in that order. If you don’t need to cook yogurt you can go straight for the Lux and probably be thrilled! If you are primarily concerned with energy saving and bluetooth connectivity, making custom recipes with cooking directions, etc. the Smart is the model you want.

Instant Pot DUO Plus 6 Qt 9-in-1 Multi- Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Yogurt Maker, Egg Cooker, Sauté, Steamer, Warmer, and SterilizerInstant Pot DUO Plus 6 Qt 9-in-1 Multi- Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Yogurt Maker, Egg Cooker, Sauté, Steamer, Warmer, and SterilizerInstant Pot LUX60 V3 6 Qt 6-in-1 Muti-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Sauté, Steamer, and WarmerInstant Pot LUX60 V3 6 Qt 6-in-1 Muti-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Sauté, Steamer, and WarmerInstant Pot Ultra 6 Qt 10-in-1 Multi- Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Yogurt Maker, Cake Maker, Egg Cooker, Sauté, Steamer, Warmer, and SterilizerInstant Pot Ultra 6 Qt 10-in-1 Multi- Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Yogurt Maker, Cake Maker, Egg Cooker, Sauté, Steamer, Warmer, and Sterilizer

If you are somewhere in-between like me, and most people, you’ll be looking at either the Duo, the Duo Plus, or the Ultra model. The Ultra model uses a smart dial which is significantly different than most of the IP’s in the lineup. If you prefer the buttons and typical interface you can go with one of the Duo models. If you like the ability to truly customize all of the settings on your IP you will want the Ultra model. Perhaps those details don’t matter to you, for the price I’d suggest you go with a Duo or Duo Plus model. The differences between the few are simple: the Duo Plus includes an egg, and cake program, as well as sterilize feature. It’s a 9-in-1 cooker! The Duo is plenty sufficient for most at home cook and you can certainly still do eggs and cakes in your regular Duo Instant it’s just a matter of using the manual setting.

Check out all my Instant Pot recipes right here! 

Meagen Brosius
Meagen is a newlywed, animal lover, book enthusiast, who loves to write and create DIY projects in her spare time. She lives in Central Pennsylvania with her husband Dustin, their two dogs, and a massive variety of other small animals. You could on any given day catch her singing off key to random radio tunes or reorganizing her bookshelves by spine color.
Meagen Brosius

Latest posts by Meagen Brosius (see all)

You Might Also Like

No Comments

    Leave a Reply