Instant Pot IP-DUO60 7-in-1 Multi-Functional Pressure Cooker, 6Qt/1000W
Price Point: $120
If you have arrived at this post from our Slow Cooker Challenge, the Instant Pot IP-DUO60 7-in-1 Multi-Functional Pressure Cooker, 6Qt/1000W by Instant Pot is one you’ve already heard me talk quite a bit about. This multi-functional pot can act as a slow cooker as one of its seven functions. I’ll describe how well it functions as a slow cooker first.
When using the Instant Pot as a slow cooker, you can sear your meat directly in the pot. This allows you to keep all the flavor of the meat, since all of that meat goodness from searing will end up deglazing from the pan into your dish. What does that mean?
Well, when you sear meat you typically create a bunch of stuck-on, caramelized meat flavor on the bottom of whatever pan you use. That flavor is concentrated, and perfect for amping up the flavor of any dish. However, it’s stuck to the bottom of the pan. By removing the meat you just seared, and letting your pan get hot with nothing else in it for a minute or two, and then pouring in a liquid of some type (I usually use broth) you can de-glaze the pan which basically means all the flavor mixes into the liquid. Then you use the liquid in your dish. Instant flavor.
With the Instant Pot, you save yourself a few steps, since you won’t have to use a separate pan for searing and the deglazing process will happen as you slow cook your food. This works extremely well in the Instant Pot if you are using two pounds or less meat. With more meat than that, the searing process is slow because of the small heat contact surface on the bottom of the pan.
Another huge benefit of the Instant Pot is its ability to function as a pressure cooker. Let’s say you get home and you are ready for dinner, but the meat you’ve slow cooked since lunch isn’t quite as tender as you had hoped. Just set the pot to pressure cook for 15-20 minutes and then manually release the pressure. Now your meat is much more tender. Or, let’s say you fixed up a slow cooker meal in a bag and forgot to start it in the morning. Just put it in the Instant Pot and set it to pressure cook for whatever length of time is suggested in the Instant Pot manual. Usually this is 30 -45 minutes, and your meal is ready to go. We’ve used this function several times already.
The Instant Pot works extremely well as a slow cooker, offering three temperature settings to fine tune the cooking process.
Besides slow cooking and pressure cooking, the Instant Pot will also function as a rice cooker, a yogurt maker, a steamer, a warmer, and can sauté vegetables or brown meat.
Bottom Line: This product has 4.5 stars on Amazon and is currently the slow cooker of choice in our home. My other all-time favorite for *just slow cooking* is the very basic 7 quart Crockpot ($30.00) with a single knob, plain lid, and no programming functions. This particular plain, basic crock pot is often on sale at Walmart around the holidays, and I’ve seen it recently for as low as $19.99 in that store.