Instant pots started to be popular a few years back and became a must-have kitchen gadget to many. Through reviews and testimonies, social media, and word of mouth, instant pots turned into a kitchen staple instead of just a craze. If you’re considering to purchase an instant pot, you’ll need to do a bit of research to determine which one suits you best. Here are a few things to look for when you’re buying an instant pot:
- The Size
Instant pots come in different sizes. It’s crucial that you’re aware of what sizes are available and which one you need so that you won’t have problems with space, portability, and other things. Most brands offer 3 quart, 6 quart, and 8-quart sizes. Here are factors that can affect your choice:
- The number of people in your household you’re cooking for. The 3qt. size can serve 2-3 people and is ideal for single servings. The 6qt. size can prepare for 4-6 people and is suitable for most families; and the 8qt. size can serve more than six people.
- The space in your kitchen. Instant pots, or instapots, need enough space so that you can change settings, switch up cooking, and other things. Having an 8qt. pot may feel too bulky if you have a small apartment kitchen.
- Your mobility. Some people like instant pots because it allows them to take one cooking ware for various functions, especially when traveling. If you’re someone who’s always traveling or moving around and want to take an instant pot, then the size will matter.
- The functions
There are various instant pot models available across different brands. While the common factor is that any instant pot is multi-functional, there’s still differences in what you can and can’t do with one or another. You have to know the functions you need depending on your cooking habits and dietary regulations, and ensure it’s compatible with the instant pot you’re buying. Some common ones are:
- Pressure cooker. All instant pots in the market have this ability, but you need to double-check if the model you’re looking at has both high and low-pressure cooking. This can be handy when making chicken korma.
- Slow cooker. This is also a function present in every instapot, handy when you want to ensure slow cooking for meat or vegetables without ruining its shape.
- Rice cooker. Instant pots can also easily cook rice.
- This is handy if you want to make steamed vegetables, chicken, or fish.
- Yogurt maker. This isn’t something all models have, but it’s included in many versions. If you’re an avid fan of yogurt and make your own, don’t hesitate to ask if this function is available.
- Cake maker. This function is also not included in all models, so check before purchase if this is something essential to you.
- The built-in programs
Another edge that instant pots over other single-function cookers is the integrated programs that have been added into it. These programs vary according to the model and brand, so it’s vital that you know what the features are before purchase. You can compare different models and different brands so that you have a better idea of what you’re getting into. Here are some built-in programs in instant pots:
- Some instant pots are Bluetooth-enabled which allows you to control the cooker using your mobile device or tablets.
- More recent instapot models are WiFi enabled, allowing you to set your cooker from your living room while watching a movie and so on.
- A lot of instant pots have built-in recipes that you can use in your instant pots, which you can simply program for cooking with the help of an app that you can download on your devices.
- Safety mechanism. A lot of concern with instant pots come from safety, as many have seen how pressure cookers can “explode” when left unattended. However, instant pots have several mechanisms to ensure its safety. You need to follow instructions provided in the manual and still take necessary precautions advised.
Here are a few safety mechanisms that can vary in different models:
- Lid detection – to alert when the lid isn’t locked properly
- Automatic temperature control – to regulate the temperature of the inner pot to a safe range
- Lid locks – to ensure the cooker isn’t opened with high pressure
- Easily-controllable buttons – to correct temperature, pressure, heat, and so on
- Steam release – to release excess pressure
- Custom-programming. Some instant pot models give you the freedom to customize settings and recipes freely.
Instant pots draw attention because they’re versatile and efficient. They’ve been seen to use less energy than other single-function-cookers, and using one pot for almost everything is a convenience that many want to have. As you consider purchasing this kitchen staple, remember what you need to look for as listed above, so you have the best instapot experience.