Am I the last one to know about the Instant Pot? If the answer is no, it’s YOU then there is still time to get/ask for one of these beauties for Christmas/Hanukkah. Just click the Amazon affiliate image above.
Instant Pot is an electric pressure cooker with a bunch of smart electronics and a heating element on the bottom of the internal pot. That means you can sauté up some short ribs with seasoned flour, pour in some wine and maybe a splash of fish sauce, and be enjoying meltingly tender meat in about half an hour. You also make savory, juicy Chinese-style salt chicken (though it won’t be as crisp as the birds hanging in the shop window) and a host of other goodies by following the international links on this deceptively sparse recipe index.
In fact, it seems that the biggest market for Instant Pot may be China; half the recipes in the included cookbook are in Chinese without, unfortunately, any available translations. (The very large Instant Pot community suggests that you should cut and paste the individual recipes into a translation utility like Google Translate. The measurements went awry when I did this so I’m waiting for some kind soul to simply post their results.) So if you like to mess with Chinese and other Asian preps, this is your pot. Pho and Taiwanese beef stew are definitely on my list to try in the new year. And there are a bunch of sticky rice preps that seem promising.
How much you ask? Depends on the whim of Father Amazon. On super sale days like Cyber Monday, the price can drop into the sixties. Regular seems to be around $120. This morning it’s $99 but that may change by the time you get there. But even at regular price, its not a huge investment for all the fun you/they are going to have. Go for it.
P.S. Be sure you get the 7-in-1 Instant Pot, not the lesser 6-in-1 model. The only obvious difference is that the 7th function is the ability to make yoghurt, but there are more variables under the hood. Don’t limit your creativity to save a buck or two.