Is This Appliance the New Instant Pot?

It seems like there's a new gadget looking to take the slow cooker's throne every week! Find out what separates VitaClay, the latest gizmo, from your Instant Pot and slow cooker.

Photo: VitaClay

When the Instant Pot first came on the scene, we were amazed. It pressure cooks, it slow cooks, it even makes yogurt! It had a few of us tempted to ditch our slow cookers all together. Now, what if there’s even a newer gadget out there looking to be the next Instant Pot? Enter the VitaClay Cooker.

What is it?

Looking at the VitaClay Cooker, you might think that’s just a slow cooker. You’d be partially right. The VitaClay Cooker (and its several variations) all offer programmable cooking. However, much like the Instant Pot and all its models, the VitaClay Cooker offers much more. The various settings include rice, soup, porridge and yogurt. This sounds pretty familiar, right?

But what makes the VitaClay different?

However, what really differentiates VitaClay products from other multicookers is that its insert is made of clay. In fact, the removable insert nestled inside the cooker looks a lot like a terracotta pot you have in your garden. VitaClay claims that cooking in nontoxic clay can have some health benefits, like alkalizing your food (making it less acidic). On a very practical level, though, the clay pot actually heats very evenly—much like a cast iron pan—making it perfect for making stews, broths and much more. This clay pot sets the VitaClay apart from the Instant Pot’s stainless steel insert or many slow cookers’ ceramic liners.

Additionally, the VitaClay Cooker also works a bit differently than a slow cooker or Instant Pot. Rather than heating foods very slowly like a slow cooker or using pressure like the Instant Pot, the VitaClay cooks in a way that closely resembles traditional stovetop cooking. Its slow setting brings the ingredients up to a boil quickly and then lets the slowly simmer away until done. Because of that even-heating clay and alternative cooking method, most recipes can be made in less than two hours (of course this varies on your settings and recipes).

Is it easy to care for?

Unlike the dishwasher-ready stainless steel and ceramic pots that accompany our other favorite gadgets, the clay insert requires just a bit more care. Because the liner is clay, it should never be submerged in cold water when it’s still hot—it will crack. Rather the pot should be allowed to cool and then rinsed and cleaned with mild detergent by hand.

But who should really buy it?

If you’ve already got a slow cooker and an Instant Pot at home, there’s probably no need for you to rush out and grab a VitaClay. However, if you’re in the market for a new slow cooker or know some newlyweds looking to furnish their first kitchen, VitaClay Cookers are a great alternative.

It’s also worth mentioning that VitaClay products are especially popular among healthy and organic eating circles. The organic, nontoxic clay cooking vessel is a big draw for folks looking for more natural cooking tools.

In the end, we don’t expect anyone to toss their slow cookers, but every foodie loves to scope out a new gadget or two!

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Lisa Kaminski
Lisa is an editor at Taste of Home where she gets to embrace her passion for baking. She pours this love of all things sweet (and sometimes savory) into Bakeable, Taste of Home's baking club. Lisa is also dedicated to finding and testing the best ingredients, kitchen gear and home products for our Test Kitchen-Preferred program. At home, you'll find her working on embroidery and other crafts.