The difference between a standard pressure cooker and the Instant Pot comes down to usability, technology and control. While old-time pressure cookers were often subject to explosion, causing mess and often injury, the Instant Pot is designed with safety mechanisms that make it much safer to use. There are currently four generations of the Instant Pot out in the world, each more advanced than the last. By incorporating digital controls into the design of the Instant Pot, users have a seemingly endless amount of control over their breakfast, lunch or dinner. So, what specifically can one do with one of these ingenious devices? Anything. According to the product description, with the push of one button, users cans make "ribs, soups, beans, rice, poultry, yogurt, desserts and more" at the rate of up to six times faster than a standard method of cooking.
While both are still used widely at home and in restaurants, there's no denying that the level of control you get from an Instant Pot is second to none — especially with newer editions which include Alexa integration and WiFi connectivity. Once you read the instructions — and we urge that you do so — making anything from stew to yogurt is ridiculously easy. For instance, making pulled pork is as simple as adding meat and spices into the pot, pressing a button and waiting 40 minutes. When you compare that to the four to eight hours it can take to prepare in a slow cooker, one can understand the popularity of this device.
When it comes to choosing an Instant Pot over a pressure cooker, it's all about preference.
"It's a really great piece of equipment," says chef and Redditor, CricketPinata, also known as Wesley S., who is the kitchen manager at Rosemary in Nashville, Tennessee, in an email interview. "I used to have a rice cooker and a pressure cooker, and now I just use the Instant Pot to schedule everything." The chef says that the gadget not only cuts down on prep time but he's able to keep his space free from clutter in the kitchen.
"I like all of the different things it can do, and the Instant Pot being automated means I can work on prep-work elsewhere in the kitchen while setting something up to finish on its own. It's a really useful tool that makes my life easier," says Wesley.
While it always depends on personal preference, the user-friendly features of the Instant Pot give it a certain air of approachability and innovative intelligence not matched by many other kitchen devices.
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Originally Published: Nov 27, 2019