INSTAPOT UNPLUGGED

A peek into the many advantages and myths around Instapot for Indian Cooking and more

There has been a lot of fanfare and craze behind the celebrity Instant Pot aka InstaPot or IP. Electric Pressure cooking has been an invention of this decade. Is the InstaPot really that quintessential?

Insta Pot from Amazon website
Robert Wang, the PhD inventor of Instant Pot wanted to make something useful for his family and looked inward in his kitchen. And the Amazon hit was conceived !!
Instapot is a Smart programmable pressure cooker allowing PRESSURE MODES, STEAM, SAUTE, SLOW COOKING, KEEP WARM, DELAY TIMER and a few built in settings making it a multifunction versatile little cooker.

I have a small kitchen and there is no room for two big cookers. I have replaced my regular big size cooker with the Instapot. I still use my small size regular cooker for making small portions of Pongal and Sambhar..

Top reasons why I love and would recommend InstaPot..

NO MORE BABY SITTING

Basically no more waiting for turning off the gadget. One can go out for errands, have a shower or just work from home after the cooker has be set. I use my IP daily for cooking rice and dal.

STEEL INTERIOR

Not aluminium, Not non stick.. A durable 3 ply steel making it a healthy choice. No regrets for this point. No issues with cleaning the base for stubborn sticks.

NO MESS COOKING

There is no seasoning sputtering out. No need to clean the counter after using the IP. Great for making one pot dishes like Rice items, Biriyani, Bisibelebath, Pongal.

In traditional cookers, over a time the bottom gets bent and the content of stacked containers start spilling outside especially with rice. No more of a concern.

The lid and the whistle of IP does not get frothy and is clean.. No more daily cleaning of the cooker top..

DELAY TIMER

Allows soaking of Rajma/Chole overnight and cooks it in the morning at the set time. Occasionally I use it for cooking rice, dal and oats too in this mode.

Off late after joining work, I keep the dal/oats/eggs over night in timer mode so that it is ready for tempering by the time I wake up. I set the rice for 12.00 noon so that my middle schooler can enjoy hot rice once he is back.

REHEATING WITH CERAMIC & GLASS COOKWARE

Unlike traditional cookers, it allows the use of Ceramic and Glass cookware. I use it extensively for reheating the food. People also use it for making Yogurt.

STEAMED ROTIS

I this feature extensively. Put a few spoons of water and heat the leftover rotis over a stand in manual for about a minute. They turn warm and moist.

IP ON THE GO

Great for road trips. From making simple things like reheating carton of Pacific tomato pepper soup, steaming Rotis, Curries, making Maggi to cooking Upma, Pongal, Pulav and Rice..

EASY POTLUCKS

With all most every Indian household in US having an InstaPot, it is a great idea to cook and carry in your house and reheat in the host’s place.. I have tried carrying Bisibelebath directly in the Instapot Steel Vessel with an add on lid.

People also use it for making tea, yogurt, sprouts, fermenting batter. You can adapt it to your need..


Let us now look into some myths and pain points with IP. If you have a battery of electric cookers and considering whether to make another addition.. Look at the pros and cons.

IS IT REALLY FAST COOKING?

When you over hear 5 minutes for cooking rice, do not be fooled by the number. 5 minutes corresponds to the cooking time under pressure. It may take 10 minutes to build the pressure and another 5 minutes to release the pressure after cooking. Since it is Steel interior, it takes longer time compared to a small aluminium cooker.

STEAMING CONVENIENCE

For a good steaming experience, the regular cooker is a better option. It is more controllable. Steaming is still possible in IP.

COOKING DALS

Sometimes the dals does not get cooked well in IP. But not a big issue. Adding more water and increasing cook time, one can get away from this.

Overall, InstaPot is a versatile handy cooker to suit different people and different needs..