For those of us who aren’t yet familiar with this kitchen appliance trending the market, here’s a brief overview. An instant pot is a small yet multi-functional cooker. And by multi-functional we mean that it can be easily used as a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, and even a cake maker. Wow, right? But before you jump the gun and get ready to go buy one and substitute it for your age-old pressure cooker, you must read the following.
How to Use Instant Pot as Slow Cooker
Yes, it’s true that you can use your instant pot to function as a slow cooker to enjoy all those delicious recipes that require slow cooking time and perfectly retain all the nutritional juices in it. However, it’s good to know the following before you go ahead with this decision.
- The instant pot gets heated only at the bottom. This is different in conventional slow cookers which hear up from the bottom as well as on all the sides too.
- The settings indicated on the instant pot “slow cook function” aren’t too accurate. This means while using instant pot as slow cooker, you set the time, and then walk out of the kitchen to carry on with other work, chances are that you may have selected the “keep warm” setting by mistake.
In a normal slow cooker, the timings can be set to keep warm, low, and high. However, the instant pot comes with these settings as less, normal, and more. Therefore, it may not always be clear if you select the option as “less”, you may have selected the keep warm setting, which would not result in slow cooking.
So what is the solution? Here’s how to use instant pot as slow cooker for the most effective results.
- Select the “Slow Cook” setting on your instant pot.
- Now press Adjust to choose between different heat settings – less, normal and more.
- Set the time by using the + and – buttons.
- Now you can comfortably walk away if needed without a worry.
What Can You Cook With the Instant Pot Slow Cooker Function?
Now that you know how to use instant pot as slow cooker, let’s get started with cooking some yummy stuff. Here’s a brief on what all you can conveniently cook in your instant pot by switching it to the slow cooker mode.
- You can literally prepare a hearty meals for the family in less than half an hour. Anything from rice and chicken to beef stew, chili, and a whole roasted chicken would take just about half to one hour max, everything included.
- Baking a full loaf of bread for breakfast is also possible in your instant pot.
- It’s ideal to prepare liquid dishes like butternut squash soup or any other vegetarian/chicken soup of your choice.
- Get some instant dishes ready for unexpected guests like sweet potatoes, chili, oats, and mac and cheese for kids’ mid-meal snacks.
- What’s more, dry beans that generally need to be soaked overnight are cooked and ready in just 30 minutes in an instant pot converted slow cooker.
Why You Shouldn’t Be Using Your Instant Pot as a Slow Cooker?
All said and done, agreed that an instant pot does seem to be a promising replacement to your slow cooker. But certain users feel otherwise. Some people who have used instant pots and tried and tested it for slow cooking purposes feel that the appliance may be versatile in function but it fails to produce the same results as those derived in a slow cooker. Let’s look at some of the possible reasons why an instant pot shouldn’t be used as a slow cooker.
- The lid of an instant pot is exactly the same as that of a pressure cooker – it locks and seals at the same place. This means even lesser steam is allowed to evaporate from an instant pot when compared with that in a slow cooker. The result: you might end up with a dish literally swimming inside the liquid because of high moisture retention and lower steam evaporation and this may also show you the burn sign on your pot.
- As mentioned earlier, the control panel on an instant pot is not that intuitive. It can be quite confusing for a first-timer. Besides, even if you get a hang of it eventually, you might not be able to accurately get the same settings right as those desired for slow cooking. In other words, the instant pot slow cooker setting isn’t too reliable.
- The instant pot does not come with an auto-warm switch unlike in conventional slow cookers.
If you know how to use instant pot as slow cooker, and you’re ready to live with a few glitches along, it’s a good option to try.