Unless you’re a chef, or just enjoying cooking, coming up with interesting recipes on a daily basis can be a chore. That’s why you need a smart Instant Pot (or pressure cooker). But which one?
Many of us are hampered by a lack of space in the kitchen. So that means along with not having a lot of room to spread out while cooking, you probably don’t have the cabinet space for every latest and greatest kitchen appliance.
And then there’s the small matter of having the free time to do all the cooking, which is many times easier said than done.
But there’s one kitchen gadget that you might not have heard of that’s designed to make it substantially easier to quickly cook tasty and interesting meals: an Instant Pot, also known as a pressure cooker.
We’ll be taking a closer look at what exactly are Instant Pots, how they can take the place of up to seven other kitchen tools, and provide a great Bluetooth-enabled option that can help you dive right into creating great, healthy meal options.
What Is an Instant Pot (or Electric Pressure Cooker)?
An Instant Pot is a new take on the old-school pressure cooker that you might have somewhere deep in your kitchen cabinets.
If you’re unaware of the cooking method, it’s definitely something you should take note of.
The namesake “pressure” comes from boiling a liquid inside a pressurized container. Because at high pressure, water boils faster. The faster boil means that cooking is substantially quicker than other options. It also uses less energy. More important, though, is its flexibility.
What’s a Smart Instant Pot?
Instead of requiring a stove, the current pressure cooker generation is electric and features an interactive LED display, a number of other buttons that allow you to select what’s cooking and how to cook it, and Bluetooth for connecting to your smartphone.
That’s where the “smart” part comes in. A smart Instant Pot connects to your smartphone for additional customization. For example, it’s possible to create food programs and run them from the app:
And even better, the small Instant Pot can do a lot more than pressure cook. It can act as a slow cooker, rice/porridge cooker, yogurt maker, a steamer, warmer, and even sauté or sear items.
Today’s electric models are also much safer than the older pressure cookers. Along with receiving UL and ULC certification, there are 10 specific technologies to help make the entire cooking experience safe.
For example, an automatic pressure controller keeps the pressure in a safe range. And if there is ever an excess amount of pressure, it will be put into an external chamber for safety.
The bottom line is that there is that Instant Pots are as safe as other cooking tools.
A Great Choice
If you’re looking to purchase an Instant Pot with all the bells and whistles along with a big dose of smart technology, we’ve found the model for you. While there are a lot of smart electric pressure cookers out there, one stands out.
The Instant Pot Smart Bluetooth 6 Quart offers all of the features that have made Instant Pots so popular.
Along with a cooking pot, buyers receive a steam rack with handles, recipe booklet, serving spoon, soup spoon, measuring cups, and mini red mitts to protect your hands when dealing with hot food.
Along with replacing the bundle of common kitchen appliances, there are 14 different smart programs available to help cook a perfect meal.
One way to interact with the appliance is through the buttons and LED screen on the front of the device. Another is through the application, which makes cooking with it a lot easier.
After choosing a function, the pot starts cooking in 10 seconds. You can even delay cooking for up to 24 hours. After cooking completes, the cooker automatically switches over to warming mode for up to 10 hours after.
Instant Pot + Bluetooth = Smart Pressure Cooker
Thanks to built-in Bluetooth, cooks can take advantage of a number of other great features. You’ll first need to pair the cooker to your tablet or smartphone with Bluetooth 4.0. Then it’s time to download and install the companion app on either iOS or Android devices.
Once that’s done, as long as you’re in range of the cooker, you’ll be able to completely control the device. You can issue a cooking command, obtain the current status, examine error codes, and more.
But the best feature of the app is easily the ability to write and share different scripts that provide even more custom control on what you’re cooking.
Creating a Cooking Script
When creating a cooking script, there are six different parameters to mix and match: heat for a period, heat to a temperature, heat to a pressure, pause, hold the pressure, and hold the temperature.
With the scripting option, you can even dip your toes into the world of sous vide cooking some food like eggs, meat, and vegetables. Scripts are shareable with others through the app.
The app also features even more great recipe ideas.
Smart Instant Pot Alternatives and Accessories
If the features of the Bluetooth model don’t interest you, and you’re looking to save money, the Instant Pot DUO60 is a nice option. Most reviewers love it. The Wirecutter recommends it above all other similar devices. Amazon scores it 4.6/5 stars. However, it was criticized for its lack of user-friendliness — an issue the Instant Pot Smart doesn’t have.
That model has the same capacity and cooking features as the smart model but lacks the Bluetooth connectivity, wireless control, and recipe scripting.
Where to Buy an Instant Pot or Electric Pressure Cooker
Amazon isn’t the only place to buy them. Instant Pots are available at a number of different online and brick-and-mortar retailers. There are also a number of other brands out there, such as Crock-Pot, Elechome, and more. (However, the best-reviewed device with smart features is the Instant Pot Smart.)
Unfortunately, the only retailer with the smart model in stock is Best Buy. If you’re just looking for the non-smart DUO60 model, the best price online right now is Kohl’s — if you use Kohl’s SAVEMORE20 coupon code. With the code, if you buy more than $100, you get 20 percent off. If you buy under $100, you get 15 percent off. That’s currently the best deal online.
While the Instant Pot comes with a recipe book, there’s no shortage of online resources to help you find that perfect meal to cook.
And with just a quick Google search, you can also find a massive amount of other social media groups and sites who can provide any Instant Pot recipe imaginable. So there’s no excuse for not finding something to cook for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Get to Cooking
As you can see, using an instant pot can open up a whole new world of culinary options no matter the size of your kitchen or your cooking prowess.
Since you can create everything from yogurt to chili in the easy-to-use package, an instant pot should be on the top of most everyone’s list of must-have kitchen appliances.
Are you using an Instant Pot in your kitchen? What do you think of the cooking appliance? Let us know in the comments!