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If you don't yet believe in miracles, you should get yourself an Instant Pot. The multi-function pressure cooker has been a hot ticket item for the past few years with Amazon reviewers saying, "I'm impressed" and, "This product is my best friend and I would marry it and grow old with it if I could." A bit dramatic? Maybe, but if you try it, you'll get it.
However, the price of an Instant Pot could soon skyrocket
Here's some unfortunate news: The price of an Instant Pot could soon rise if proposed tariffs on Chinese imports goes into effect next month. In a letter to the U.S. Trade Representative, Instant Pot's parent company Corelle Brands LLC said that the price of the appliance would increase by the full tariff amount of 25 percent, but argued for its cookers to be exempt. (According to Bloomberg, they also stated that there are currently no domestic producers of electric multi-cookers and they did not see any "other viable options" for moving production to another country.)
While the decision to implement the tariffs is still up in the air, one thing we know for sure if that now is the best time to buy an Instant Pot. Not only because it's price may go up, but because today on Amazon, the appliance is on sale!
The Instant Pot Duo (an Amazon Best-Seller and mentioned above) is currently 20 to 30 percent off, depending on size. It's basically seven kitchen appliances in one: pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, sauté, yogurt maker and warmer. The 3-quart version is currently priced at $50.99 (down from $79.95) and is great for small spaces, as well as making side dishes and dips. The 6-quart version is priced at $79.95 (originally $99.95) and is your average size for making soups and roasts and feeding a small family. And the 8-quart version is now going for $99.99 (normally $139.95), which is big enough to feed a small party!
The Instant Pot Duo Plus is also on sale and comes with two additional settings for making eggs and sterilizing things (new parents, you can use this for bottles!). The 3-quart and 6-quart versions are currently $10 off at $88.84 and $119.95 respectively. The 8-quart version is nearly $30 off, priced at $130.89.
If you're contemplating getting yourself an Instant Pot, now is the time to buy. You don't know what you're missing until you've cooked a beautifully tender, pull-apart-with-your-fork roast in under 2 hours.
Things you should never put in an Instant Pot
Things you should never put in an Instant Pot
If you're looking for a nice crispy piece of fried chicken or golden fried mozzarella sticks, you're going to want to try good old frying (or use an air fryer). An Instant Pot makes everything moist and tender — definitely not crispy. The texture will be off.
Stay away from putting Instant Oatmeal, Minute Rice or anything else with a short cooking time in your Instant Pot. Remember, once your food is done cooking, it can take your cooker's natural release 10-15 minutes to finish the job (and that can be longer than the actual recipe or food calls for).
The point of stir-fry is to keep veggies crispy by heating and browning everything at once, and both are hard to do in an Instant Pot. You can't monitor the heat in your pot and you most definitely can't create a crisp.
Mac 'n cheese and Fettuccine Alfredo are both delicious, but not necessarily when they're made in an Instant Pot. When dairy is heated up too quickly, which is one of the main functions of an Instant Pot, it can curdle. If you're making a creamy dish, add the sauce when you're done cooking, right before plating.
Baking bread in your Instant Pot isn't going to be terrible, but it isn't going to be the best bread you've ever had either. Imagine a soft, steamed bread without a crust. Try it at your own risk.
Making cookies in an Instant Pot is a no-go for a few reasons. One, there's not a whole lot of surface area so you can't make that many of them. Second, you can make them faster in the oven. And finally, the high pressure isn't going to give you the crisped edges that hold all the best cookies together. Steer clear!
Steaks cook up quickly on a grill, faster than they do in an Instant Pot. And according to Julia Nickerson of Savory Tooth, who gave a tip to Huffington Post, "You’ll likely end up with bland, watery and overdone steak if you try to cook it in the Instant Pot.”
The problem with making burgers in an Instant Pot is similar to steak — it's just not good. The best part about a burger is the caramelized edges, which you won't get using an Instant Pot. You'll get a tender, steamed patty.
Canning (jams, preserves, etc.)
Pressure canning requires you to accurately monitor the temperature as you cook, especially if you want to be safe and avoid something as dangerous as botulism. With an Instant Pot, you can't monitor the temperature (only the pressure), so it's best to avoid if you want to be safe.
Yes, one of the main functions the Instant Pot advertises is the ability to make yogurt. However, that can take as many as 9 hours to make, plus chilling time. (Remember, heating up dairy too fast can make it curdle!) You're better off buying yogurt at the store, unless you need a large vat of it. In that case, you do you.
Too much sauce
Sauce is great — it's practically the American way to drench everything in it. However, when cooking with an Instant Pot, don't think you can use it as a substitute for liquids like water, broth or stock. The pressure cooker needs liquid to create steam to create the pressure.
“If you’re using sauce, you have to dilute it. That’s really critical because if you’re using a thicker sauce, you’re going to get the burn message. There’s not enough liquid in it, and the unit is going to say something is wrong because it can’t build pressure," Anna Di Meglio, the marketing manager for Instant Pot told Eat This, Not That.