There’s a showdown in your kitchen, and we’re here to tell you the winner, hands down. While slow cookers have earned a loyal following (and thousands of incredibly delish recipes!), multicookers are their grown-up cousin, dishing up delectable food in under an hour. Still on the fence about the switch? Here’s how the Instant Pot won us over. (Note, Instant Pot is a trademarked name for a specific popular brand of multicooker, aka electric pressure cooker, aka instant cooker.)
It’ll Save You Time
As much as we love cooking, during a busy week it can be nice to have dinner waiting for us when we get home. An instant cooker is like a best friend that ensures your food’s ready right away. (Say hello to Pressure Cooker Buffalo Shrimp Mac & Cheese!) Unlike a slow cooker, which requires that you prep everything before you rush out the door, an Instant Pot works fast enough for you to prep and toss ingredients in the evening. For many recipes, you’ll have something on your plate within about 30 minutes. That’ll fit in our busy schedule!
Pro tip: If you do like planning ahead, most Instant Pots have settings that will keep your food warm for several hours.
Unlike a slow-cooker, an Instant Pot can both saute and cook. Think of it as your one-stop shop for all the ingredients in your dish. Often, it’ll save you the hassle of dirtying another pan and prepping a different set of food. Think: You can spend less time cooking and cleaning and more time enjoying your meal. Seriously. After you’re done cooking a Pressure Cooker Sausage Stuffed Flank Steak, it’ll take near 3 minutes to cook these brussels sprouts!
It Can Cook Almost Everything
To say an instant cooker accommodates all tastes is a bit of an understatement: It can handle everything from breakfast dishes, like our pressure cooker ham & cheddar breakfast casserole, to an impressive dessert, pressure cooker maple creme brulee, to a snack like nachos. (Seriously—try our pressure cooker hearty pork & black bean nachos; you won’t be disappointed.) Even better, it cooks everything well. Your potatoes will be fluffy, your meat tender, and your rice done in just a matter of minutes. If you’re craving something cold, it can even make yogurt!
It Likes the Environment
Or, at least, it’s conscious of it. Studies have found that swapping your slow cooker for an Instant Pot can save up to 70 percent electricity, so you’re reducing both your bills and your environmental footprint. Celebrate how eco-friendly you’re being with this pressure cooker Mediterranean chicken orzo.
You Don’t Have to Worry about Your Meat
Even if you’re leaving your raw beef and chicken in a slow cooker for hours on end, you’re leaving it at a very low temperature, which risks undercooking. (Pro tip: Be sure to brown slow cooker meat beforehand to avoid this.) An Instant Pot circumvents this issue by cooking things quickly at bacteria-neutralizing temperatures.
You Can Directly Cook Frozen Foods
For the chef-on-the-go, meal-prepping and freezing are just part of the weekday routine. Having an Instant Pot on hand means you can easily throw your ready-made meals together and call it a day. On the other hand, slow cookers keep frozen food lingering at a temperature that can cause bacterial growth. Instant pots being, well, instant will keep your food safe.
While slow cookers have their merits, Instant Pots are kitchen heavyweights, able to take on a variety of duties and satisfy an even wider variety of cravings.