I’m sure you’ve heard of the Instant pot by now. It’s been the hot new cooking appliance for the past few months. Chances are that you’ve seen it on the shelves of your local superstore, on Amazon, or maybe you’ve come across one of the many blog posts, social media posts, or forum posts singing the praises of this fresh take on the old-fashioned pressure cooker.
I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of a pressure cooker, but to be perfectly honest, it’s always scared me. The Instant Pot is the perfect solution for people like me, who like the idea of cooking a tender roast in a fraction of the time that it takes in the oven or slow cooker.
While our mothers and grandmothers were comfortable using a stovetop pressure cooker, most women of this generation have been intimidated by the hissing and the potential of having it blow up. Because of this, pressure cooking has fallen out of favor in the last few decades. All that has changed with the arrival of the Instant Pot – a self-contained, electrical pressure cooker with plenty of built-in safety features.
Super Fast Cooking
With the promise of being able to cook a meal in 3 to 10 minutes of pressure cooking, it is no surprise that this new electric appliance is quickly gaining a large fan base. Instant Pots are flying off the shelves. One of the shopping networks sold 100,000 of them recently. You can find plenty of fans online who share their favorite recipes, tips, and adaptations on blogs and popular Instant Pot Facebook groups.
The instant pot is a self-contained unit that sits on your counter top and plugs into an outlet. It takes up about as much space as a rice cooker or a small slow cooker. The Instant Pot is a smart pressure cooker that’s controlled through a digital interface. You tell it how long you want to cook your meal under pressure, set the timer and you’re good to go. It automatically brings up and holds the pressure at a safe level and will not allow you to open the pot while it’s pressurized. This makes it as easy to operate as a microwave.
Hands Off Cooking
It is not surprising then that this new take on an old kitchen tool is quickly gaining popularity. The cooking is very hands-off. You simply set it, and then walk away until your food is ready. It has all the advantages of using the slow cooker, but takes a fraction of the time. Perfect when you want to get a home cooked meal on the table fast.
But Are They Safe?
Pressure cookers have been around for a long time, and you may have heard some frightening stories about them exploding in the kitchen due – which is usually due to user error. While they are a great cooking tool and most of us can remember a grandmother, aunt, or other relative having one and cooking with it regularly, most of us in this day and age have been more than a little bit intimidated by the regular stove top models.
I can’t say I blame you, if you feel the same. We’re in the same boat. While I love the idea of being able to cook food quickly and in a healthy way by cooking it under pressure, I have never been comfortable being in the same room with one, not to mention actually using it. The hissing, steaming, and rattling alone is enough to send the bravest of home cooks to the hills.
Enter the “Instant Pot”
Thankfully there’s a new pressure cooker kid on the block – the Instant Pot – and it’s much safer and more convenient to use than the standard stove top models. It has a total of 10 built in safety features that will keep you and your loved ones safe and secure. Combined, they ensure that it is almost impossible to go wrong due to user error or equipment failure.
Built-In Safety Features
Let’s take the locking mechanism as an example. With a regular stove-top pressure cooker, it’s easy to try to lift the lid while the container is still under pressure and burn yourself with the hot steam that will escape violently. The Instant Pot lid will not open until the pressure is back to normal.
Automatic pressure control and pressure regulators keep the pressure in the pot under control. This means you can’t generate the kind of pressure inside your pot that could cause it to explode all over your kitchen. If you ask me, that’s a very good thing.
It even has sensors built in that keep temperature in check and keep you from burning you food in cases where there isn’t enough liquid in the pot to build up the appropriate cooking pressure. Instead of continuing to heat on high and burning the food inside the pressure cooker, it simply switches to the keep warm function, allowing you to add liquid and start over.
10 Proven Safety Mechanisms
- Pressure Regulator Protection
- Anti-Block Vent
- Leaky Lid Protection
- Extreme Temperature and Power Protection
- Excess Pressure Protection
- Safety Lid Lock
- Lid Lock Detection
- Automatic Pressure Control
- Automatic Temperature Control
- High Temperature
You can check the Instant Pot website for full details on all 10 safety features of the Instant Pot and how they make pressure cooking safer than ever. As long as you make sure the device isn’t damaged and keep the sealing ring, lid, and vent clean, cooking in this smart new appliance is as safe as anything else you do in the kitchen.
And I’ll admin, the first time I used my Instant Pot, I was pretty leery of it. When I first turned it on with the food in it, I left the kitchen, just in case. But it turned out A-ok. And yes, there’s still a bit of hissing steam before your cooker hits full pressure and the safety valve closes, but that just makes it fun and exciting. After the first few times of using your Instant Pot, you won’t even think twice about it. Give it a try. I think you’ll love this fast new way to cook healthy, homemade meals.