Instant Pot or Pressure cooker?
By Yaakov Galen, Editor in Chief
When I was growing up, my dad would cook delicious Mexican food. He grew up eating non-kosher and spent a fair share of time traveling and eating food in central and south America. Naturally, he brought those flavors to our fully kosher kitchen. I took pride in his adobo pulled chicken tacos and omelets smothered in salsa Verde making sure to devour every morsel. My dad was remarkably busy and therefore had to utilize a pressure cooker to execute his delicious meals in short periods of time.
After speaking with my mother and mother-in-law (yes, you read that right, my mother-in-law and I are on great terms), we concluded that pressure cookers used to make people nervous, which is why they were not a common household item, until now. The instant-pot took the fear out of pressure cooking. Instead of having to monitor a pressure cooker, the instant-pot automates that process while still achieving the same results (ish). You do have to release the steam from the pot and it can be dangerous, however, after watching a few YouTube tutorials you will be good to go.
Some gourmet chefs will shy away from the Instant pot because they prefer layering flavor into their dishes to allow them to develop flavor over time using slow cooking techniques, however, these tools are great for cooking food quickly while achieving great flavor in your home kitchen. This, however, is debated by culinary masterminds.
I will save you time trying to understand the science behind the pressure cooker vs. the instant pot. The main difference is that the pressure cooker can become more pressurized than the instant pot which achieves an even faster cook time.
If you are looking to buy a pressure cooker or an Instant Pot, I would recommend this consideration before spending a sizable chunk of money on your new exciting kitchen gadget.
Define your cooking goals!
There are certain cuisines that rely heavily on pressure cookers. To achieve the flavor of specific regional cuisines you may need to use a pressure cooker. Take Dhamaka (not kosher) for an example; it is a popular Indian restaurant in NYC that heavily relies on pressure cookers to create their famous dishes such as their pressure-cooked chicken pulao, goat neck dum biryani, and gurda kapoora. The owner of the restaurant states that his pressure cookers are essential to maintaining the integrity of his dishes.
Popular chefs, such as Heston Blumenthal claim that pressure cookers allow him to achieve certain flavors in his dishes that he would not be able to achieve otherwise.
If you are trying to mimic the flavors of specific regional dishes that call for pressurized cooking, you may want to purchase a traditional pressure cooker.
If not, and you are looking for automation and a bit more mindless cooking, the Instant-Pot is a great option. It is as simple as dumping your ingredients into the gadget, pressing the cook button, and coming back to a fully cooked dish.
So, which one will you choose? After reading TONS of reviews and having multiple in-depth conversations with inside sources, I have compiled a list of options I proudly stand behind.
The Instant Pot brand has four options. We recommend 2/4.
#1 Duo Evo Plus (Amazon)
If you are looking for pure ease of use and the fastest cook time, the Duo Evo Plus is your answer.
This model claims to be a pressure cooker, rice cooker, slow cooker, yogurt maker, sous vide, sauté, food warmer, bake, stockpot, steamer, but all I really care about is the pressure-cooking feature.
The Duo Evo Plus cooks the fastest, has 48 preset cooking options, has better handles than any other model for handling, and my favorite feature, a steam diffusing cover that automates the scary step of releasing the pressurized steam from your Instant Pot.
*If you are feeding a family of 4-5 people then the 8-quart option is your best bet.
Click here to buy: Duo Evo Plus (Amazon)
#2 Duo Nova (Amazon)
If the size of your meal is a priority, there is only one model that offers a 10-quart option, the Duo Nova.
This model only has seven cook features, pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, sauté, yogurt maker, sterilizer, and warmer, but again, all I care about is the pressure-cooking feature.
Click here to buy: Duo Nova (Amazon)
*Both options have raving reviews! Just remember, learn how to use the machine before using it. There have been serious injuries caused by the misuse of this product.
Out of the many reviews, we read online, America’s test kitchen has done the most thorough job testing and explaining which stovetop pressure cookers you should purchase.
There are four things to look out for in a pressure cooker.
- You want it to be able to reach the listed pressure capacity.
- You want it to be stainless steel because other metals will leave a metal taste in your food.
- You want no curves in the body of the pot.
- For an even cook, you want the pot to have a thick metal base.
#1 Fissler Vitaquick Pressure Cooker (Amazon)
For those who are looking to invest a bit into their kitchen gadgets, this high-quality Fissler Vitaquick stainless steel stovetop pressure cooker is your best all-around option according to America’s test kitchen.
Click here to buy: Fissler Vitaquick Pressure Cooker (Amazon)
#2 Presto Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker (Amazon)
If you are on a budget but are looking for the best all-around stovetop pressure cooker, America’s test kitchen recommends the Presto stainless steel pressure cooker.
Click here to buy: Presto Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker (Amazon)
*This is not a sponsored post. All recommended products are Koshereye tested. We hope to only provide you with amazing Kosher products and recipes. Koshereye may make a small commission if you purchase a product through our Amazon links.