First Impressions – Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker

My First Thoughts on the Instant pot Duo

Instant Pot Panel

I thought I would post a quick review to share my thoughts on my new Instant Pot Duo 60 Electric Pressure Cooker, though I have only used it four times so far.

First off, I thought that this was something I would never purchase. I am more than happy with my two stovetop pressure cookers, but lately I have been getting questions such as “How would I do this in an electric pressure cooker?”

In order to give a more accurate answer to such queries, I thought it would help to have first-hand knowledge of such a device (and it does not take a lot for me to convince myself that I need another gadget).

Instant Pot

First, the pros:

1. No need to adjust the heat once full pressure is reached, it adjusts itself automatically. This is probably the thing I like best about it.

2. The built in lid holders. It seems that every time I remove the lid from my stovetop cookers, I spend the next five minutes wandering around the kitchen trying to find somewhere to set down a hot lid where it will not burn or melt something.

Instant Pot Top Holder

3. It doubles as a yogurt maker. I can’t vouch for the quality of this feature, but I definitely plan on trying it. I have come very close to buying a yogurt maker on more than one occasion. If this works, I will be able to make yogurt without adding another machine to my already overcrowded kitchen counters.

4. Stainless steel cooking insert. My stovetop cookers are stainless steel, of course, but a lot of the electric pressure cookers (I would say most) have nonstick inserts. I don’t really trust nonstick, and try to avoid it altogether. The only nonstick pan I own is a small pan that only gets used for eggs at low heat.

Now, the not-so-pros:

1. The most annoying  thing I have noticed is with the insert. When you use the sauté feature for vegetables or to brown meat, when you stir the contents, the cooking insert spins around. All you have to do is hold it with a towel, but it seems like there is no reason they couldn’t make the insert with some sort of ridge or something so it drops in at the same position every time and stays in place.

2. Takes a little longer than a stovetop cooker. This is being a little nit-picky, but it can take a few minutes more for cooking because of the lower pressure. Also, you don’t have the option of doing a cold water release, so it can also take longer for the pressure to come down.

3. Super simple to use. Just prepare your ingredients, push a button or two, and a short time later your dinner is ready! I can see how it could attract new pressure cooker users because of the simplicity, and more pressure cooker users is a good thing (particularly if you run a pressure cooking blog).

I have only used it four times so far (for my Everyday Chili, Savory Oatmeal, pasta with sauce and sloppy joes), so this is just a preliminary review. Everything turned out great so far. I don’t know if there is a reason, or if it was just a fluke, but the steel cut oats turned out better than they ever have before.

I will try to have a more complete review sometime in the future after I have used it for awhile, and have tried the yogurt feature, of course.

To learn more, this video by Laura from Hip Pressure Cooking explains many of the features of the Instant Pot Duo.

And, coming up this weekend:

Not the same old boring oatmeal!

Savory Oatmeal

14 thoughts on “First Impressions – Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker

  1. Re. this comment from your review, “The most annoying thing I have noticed is with the insert. When you use the sauté feature for vegetables or to brown meat, when you stir the contents, the cooking insert spins around. All you have to do is hold it with a towel, but it seems like there is no reason they couldn’t make the insert with some sort of ridge or something so it drops in at the same position every time and stays in place.” I think it’s an excellent suggestion. Are you aware that IP solicits suggestions on its website? Look here: http://instantpot.com/support/suggest-a-feature/. IP says, “f you have any suggestion and request, please comment on this page. When your new features are eventually realized, we’ll send you a free product.”

    • Thanks, AvidCook! I was not aware of the suggestions section on the Instant Pot website. Thanks to your comment, I have now gone on the website and left the suggestion.

      • Terrific. Your suggestion is excellent and surely would not be difficult to implement. Maybe IP will eventually send you one of the new Bluetooth-enabled Instant Pots!

    • I have had a Instant Pot Duo since January 2014 and used it so much all year long I got a second IP when the Smart bluetooth model in December 2014. My mother used a pressure cooker when I was growing up in the 60s/70s but the Instant Pot was my first actual experience cooking with pressure. I’ve looked at a number of other electric pressure cooker models at higher and lower prices, but I think the Instant Pot offers the best design, quality, and value.

      Call me crazy, but I actually LIKE the way the inner pot spins. At 5’3″, I can only see down to the far side of the interior bottom surface of the liner pot, and I don’t want to stand on a step stool while I cook. When I am sautéing or spooning contents out of the pot, a quick spin of the pot half way around quickly and easily allows me to see the other side of the bottom pan surface.

      Many times the rim remains cool enough to grasp it with one hand if I need to keep it steady while I stir or scrape the pot bottom surface while sautéing or deglazing (and I don’t have “asbestos” fingers, either). When the rim is too hot to handle, I use a thin neoprene oven mitt on my hand to hold it steady (neoprene isn’t quite as heat resistant as thick cotton when holding hot, heavy dry items for a long time, but the neoprene is thin and doesn’t allow steam, water, or grease to penetrate).

      Instant Pot now offers a pair set of silicone mini-mitts, which work relatively well. A pair of mini-mitts is included with the new Instant Pot Smart bluetooth model, but the mitts can be purchased separately from the Instant Pot store or Amazon.com, too, at a reasonable price. The mitts nest inside each other and store nicely in a utensil drawer, though I am thinking about using a hole punch near the edges so I can hang them up next to the stove for easier/quicker access.

  2. looking forward to the savory Oat recipe, as I have oats for breakfast everyday. I have the IP duo also, yesterday I made Chile Verde 3 Lbs pork roast, cut into 3″ cubes, a little salt and pepper then seared on saute mode in a table spoon oil, then in goes 1/2 cup water, and 8 ounces of green enchilada sauce and 1/2 cup of herdez salsa Verde high pressure for 30 minutes and a 10 minute natural vent, followed by quick vent. it was tasty and fork tender, this is a very easy PCkr to use, i also made some mexican rice in it right after, I wanted to see how it would do with rice in a sauce that could scortch or burn, but it to came out perfect, better than any of my stove top PC’s have done.

    • Thanks, Gary. Your Chile Verde recipe sounds great! I’ve made Mexican rice in my stovetop cookers with no issues, except one time on my Kuhn Rikon when a rubber seal was wearing out. Replaced the part and no issues since. I was worried about the oats in the electric, but came out great, with a creamy texture like risotto. It didn’t scorch at all on the stovetop, but didn’t come out as nice as in the electric. So far, I like it a lot.

      • 1 cup of Rice basmati, Half onion chopped, 4-8 garlic cloves sliced then all sauted in IP PC with the dry rice, saute rice onions and garlic together, in a tble spn Oil, till rice get a slightly browned look to it, Then two ways to go here, Red Enchilada sauce, 6-8 ounces, 1-1/4 cup water, in the water i put a 1-2 teaspoons of Chicken better than bullion Chicken. Then using a Instant Pot PC, set to High Pressure 4 Minutes, turn to off, no warming, let sit for 10 Minutes, then release pressure. sometimes i add more garlic and cut clove in half or 4 pieces, for larger garlic taste.

        • Thanks for sharing your Mexican Rice recipe Gary. I was a bit confused though by your instructions. You wrote, “Then two ways to go here…” What are the two ways? Do you consider adding more than the originally called for 4-8 cloves garlic and using larger pieces of it the second way?

          And finally, do you have a favorite Enchilada Sauce that you like to use? I know there are a number of commercial brands, but I thought you might have identified one you particularly like.

          Thanks.

          • No I realized that I did not put the other way but found there was no way to edit my original post
            second way was to use a tomato sauce instead of a red enchilada sauce the tomato is more traditional but I like to change it up a little

          • Thanks for the follow-up Gary. I think the flavor of Mexican rice can often be very boring – at least that’s the case with much of it that’s served in Mexican restaurants. It can definitely use a flavor boost and the enchilada sauce would be perfect for that.

          • I sometimes make Mexican rice very similar to the way Gary does, but instead of Enchilada sauce or tomato sauce, I use a can of Ro-Tel (original flavor) diced tomatoes with green chiles.

  3. Welcome to the electric age! A model similar to yours with slightly different features is what I have. I have never owned the stovetop kind because they scare me. I know. Bad childhood fears. I’ve had mine for about two years. I purchased one for my dad who cares for my mom with Alzheimer’s and I gave him a few simple recipes. He uses it. I bought one for my daughter, my BFF and my assistant.

    Whole chickens are done in 22 minutes. Mine does have a quick release and doesn’t slide around while using the sautee function. Beans don’t need soaking. Pulled pork is ridiculously simple. I think once the issues are corrected, you’ll be 100 percent delighted.

    • Thanks for your comments, Janet. It sounds like you really like yours, since you have been giving them to friends and family.
      Mine does have a quick release, it’s just that you don’t have the option of holding it under running water like the stovetop models, which brings the pressure down in a matter of seconds. Just a minor complaint. I don’t use that method often, but it can come in handy if you want to add in something like vegetables near the end of cooking that don’t need as much time as the rest of the recipe.

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