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Instant Pot question


goldberry
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I'm thinking of getting an Instant Pot, primarily because I live at high altitude (above 8500) and my rice always sucks.  In addition, I can't make beans without cooking them for several days.  :glare:

 

I have been told Instant Pot is the answer!  I'm thinking of getting this baby one

https://www.amazon.com/Instant-Pot-Mini-Programmable-Pressure/dp/B06Y1YD5W7/ref=sr_1_3?s=kitchen&ie=UTF8&qid=1513819941&sr=1-3&keywords=instant+pot+3+qt

 

 

It's just me and DH with occasional visitors.  I would use mostly for rice, beans, but also I heard you can bake potatoes?  I would totally bake potatoes.  Will this small one work well enough for what I want?  Any reason I should get a big one over a small one?  (I hate appliances taking up too much space.

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hmmm, while I think the small size would work fine, it is hard for me to make sense of buying one that small; especially when you don't fill them up to the top when making soup, you must leave head room, so you're never getting the full use of the quarts included.  

I would consider what you might make beyond beans and rice, because you might fall in love and start using it more often. Do you make soups or stews?  If so, what size pot do you normally make for that and will it fit in the smaller IP? 

Also, look at the actual size differences in the two you're comparing, sometimes the larger one isn't really substantially larger, at least not enough to skip it on size alone. 

Another consideration is for pot-in-pot cooking - this is the method that you actually cook something in a bowl inside the pressure cooker and is how I usually cook my rice. You will need enough space for the interior bowl, so again, you may want one that is larger. Plus I also love being able to cook my rice on top of whatever else I'm making for dinner. Or cooking potatoes on top of the shepards pie filling, so I need one on the larger side. I'm still kicking myself for not getting the 8qt during the last sale.

But, if you're still not sure - buy the 3qt and when you fall in love and decide you now need 2 instant pots, then you can buy the larger size then. I'm already looking forward to having a second one and know it will get just as much use as my first. 

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For just 2 people, I'd get the small one because it's on sale now. If you decide you love it, you might want a second one so you can get the bigger one later.

 

ETA: I have the 6qt and find that most days I could probably get by with a smaller one. I'm actually buying the smaller size for Christmas.

Edited by Tohru
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Get the 6 qt. You CAN make a small amount in it, but you can't make a large amount in the mini ;-)

I have a 6, and sometimes it is filled as far as allowed to make stew etc. and sometimes it has a mere cup of rice and a cup of water. Instant Pot don't care :-) And you will be better able to fit in awkward shaped stuff like a 4-lb chicken, ribs, or chunks of squash in the larger size.

Edited by JFSinIL
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If you are really going to use it primarily for rice, I would get a rice cooker. I think it does a better job with rice than my instant pot. I have both and use both. But I prefer the rice cooker for rice. I only use the instant pot if I need large quantities.

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That is, until someone hit a dial on the glass top stove and melted the entire bottom out.

 

😭

 

When we first got a glass top stove, our cat turned on the burner at night!   :scared:   Based on advice (from the Hive of course!) we now cover the controls with a pretty trivet.  Win!  A few times we have forgotten, and the cat has turned it on AGAIN.  This is with a 5 second lock button. 

 

Back to topic... I don't cook a lot of meat.  Would three or four potatoes fit in the 3 quart?

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I have a rice cooker I love, and I just replaced my 6 qt stovetop pressure cooker with another one, but if I didn’t already own these appliances plus a crockpot I would probably buy the instapot. I cook for 2-3 most days and 3 qts would just be frustrating. It might work for a single woman? It would be half full that 1 1/2 qts and that’s just not very much.

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When we first got a glass top stove, our cat turned on the burner at night!   :scared:   Based on advice (from the Hive of course!) we now cover the controls with a pretty trivet.  Win!  A few times we have forgotten, and the cat has turned it on AGAIN.  This is with a 5 second lock button. 

 

Back to topic... I don't cook a lot of meat.  Would three or four potatoes fit in the 3 quart?

It depends on how big they are, I don't see large russets fitting unless chopped up and even then it depends.

 

Do you have a 3 quart pot? You can check what fits and doesn't fit in there because it should be a close approximation - things like potatoes can come up to the rim and still get the lid on (to clarify - these would only have a cup of water added, not cooked submerged). But for beans/rice/submerged items, you need to have a couple inches below the top of the pot clearance.

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I got the 3 quart instant pot on Black Friday. I am still learning, and haven't made much yet, but I find the size fine for our small family. Most of the time I am just cooking for myself and DS15. i can make enough in the 3 quart to have leftovers for 1 additional meal, but end up with too much left over.

 

I live at 6500 ft and have similar problems with dried beans. I haven't tried any in the IP yet, but I am planning to after the holidays. I can cook 6 eggs at once which is enough for us.

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I've done baked potatoes in it.  I've tried to crisp potato wedges in it....diced up some golden potatoes, drizzled with olive oil & spices....they had a lovely flavor with a slightly crisp edge but nothing I could call crispy.  I used the sautée feature to get some crust on it, then finished with a quick pressure.

Yeah anything that cooks with steam pressure isn't going to be crispy/crusty. I would steam them first, then oil and try the sautee feature or just toss them under the broiler for even better results.

 

ETA: I used to hate any two step recipes like that, but found that it still much faster than roasting a whole pan in the oven with tasty result. Plus, I don't have to heat my kitchen up in the summer. 

Edited by xixstar
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