Do you really need a pressure cooker or Instant Pot? Here are the pros and cons to this appliance that’s gone viral.
So pressure cookers have been around forever. They started as pots that went on the stove, with a locking lid, that built up pressure, cooking food 2-3 times faster than usual, and occasionally exploding and killing everyone in the house.
Okay, that may be a slight exaggeration. But they can be dangerous and so a lot of people didn’t want to use them, which is a shame because they can be life changing for dinner time.
Then after a while came electric pressure cookers.
Pros of Electric Pressure Cookers
The benefits here are if you’re doing a ton of cooking like for a personal chef client service, or for a party, you don’t have to take up a stove burner.
Now they’re all fancy and you can electronically set the pressure to high or low, set the cook time, and a myriad of other things that may or may not be necessary.
They’re kind of the opposite of a slow cooker. For a crockpot, you put it in and it needs to cook for hours and hours. In a pressure cooker, you put the food in and something that takes hours and hours, like short ribs, can cook in just 45 minutes or an hour.
Instead of simmering chicken stock on the stove for hours, you can make it in about an hour.
As a Personal Chef, speed is of the essence and I use my pressure cookers a lot. I have a large 8 quart Fagor stove top one, but then with all the Instant Pot craziness, I made up some justification why I needed one of those too.
Oh, I remember! It was because I thought I could get rid of my slow cooker, pressure cooker, and rice cooker. Killing three appliances with one? Count me in!
Unfortunately, that’s not what has happened at all.
Cons of the Instant Pot
First of all, if you’re really into your rice, an Instant Pot might never be able to replace your Zojirushi. Rice can be tricky depending on where you live and what kind you cook.
Second of all, I have yet to successfully use it as a slow cooker. Part of the reason is it cooks at a much lower temperature than my Rival Crock Pot one with the ceramic insert. The other I suspect is due to the fact that the Instant Pot is a vertical cylinder while the larger crock pots are now wider ovals so more food is getting the heat.
Another Pro of the Pressure Cooker
But another good thing about a pressure cooker is it doesn’t just cook long things like short ribs and roasts, it also makes food taste better! The flavor is more concentrated since the pot is sealed. There’s no escaping steam.
So, am I telling you to buy one if you don’t have one? Yes and no.
If you want all the things, sure. If you don’t have a pressure cooker and you’re intrigued by being able to cook pulled pork, pot roast, short ribs in a fraction of the time, absolutely.
You can also cook dried beans in 10 minutes, risotto etc, but will you?
If you’re short on space, really do your research and make sure you’ll be able to get rid of the other appliances before you decide to invest!
Do you have a pressure cooker or Instant Pot? Do you love it or find it overrated? Dish in the comments and let me know…