Monday, November 28, 2016

Instant Pot pressure cookers on deep sale today

I've written twice before about the Instant Pot, an electronic pressure cooker that helps make healthy food in a time-efficient manner (1, 2).  At some point, I'll write another review of my Instant Pot, but the gist is that it still works flawlessly and looks sharp after more than four years of frequent use.  Here are a few of the reasons why I like it so much:
  • It increases my efficiency in the kitchen, especially with beans, beets, artichokes, and bone broth.  It's automatic, so you can do something else while it works.
  • It's durable.  The inner pot is stainless steel without a nonstick liner, and the gaskets are silicone.  The whole thing has a solid, quality feel.
  • It replaces multiple bulky kitchen items.  It isn't just a pressure cooker, but also a steamer, slow cooker, and rice maker.  The latest version is also a yogurt maker.
Today only, Amazon is offering the Instant Pot on deep discount.  If you're considering getting one, today is the day.  The older version (LUX50) is only $49, and the newer version (DUO60) is only $69.  That's an incredible value for what this thing does.  

If you purchase through the following links, you'll be benefiting my work at no additional cost to yourself:


RLL said...

Amazon is showing the price as $130.

Stephan Guyenet said...

Yes, the sale was on Nov 28!

Jeff D said...

After discovering seeing these were on sale via your blog I quickly researched two things: pressure-cooker chicken stock and pressure-cooked potatoes. Seemed legit for my interests so I ordered...
I made steel-cut oats this morning. 3 minutes? What? And they tasted better with quicker cleanup than my stovetop variety. I'm sold in this thing already. Thanks!

Stephan Guyenet said...

Thanks Jeff, glad you like it. Mine is totally indispensable at this point. I use it a lot for chickpeas.

CC said...

Aw geez - hope this is not a duplicate, but it seemed like I was kicked out after hitting publish.

I was about ready to move from stove top to slow cooker for bone broth. I understand that broth should not be vigorously boiled to ensure gelling (around 190 - 200 degrees). Would pressure cooking create higher temps? If so, does the slow cooker setting permit you to select a temp, or is it just low-high settings?

Also, per Nourishing Traditions, it's crucial to skim the scum when initially bringing the broth to a simmer, which I think you couldn't do with the Instant Pot. Do you do this step separately, or do you skip it and live dangerously?

Thanks so much for your blog. I appreciate your reasoned analyses. If I decide to get the pot, I'll use your links. I'll go for the 8 qt - I like big batches ; )

Stephan Guyenet said...

Hi CC,

I'm not familiar with the temperature issue you brought up, but I will note that some professional chefs make bone broth in pressure cookers.

I don't worry about the scum. I don't see the point of skimming it. I've heard of that for beans but never for broth. I used to skim the scum on my beans but now I don't do that either. It goes away as you keep cooking and doesn't seem to affect anything.

I'm all about efficiency in the kitchen, so any extra step I can leave out is gone.

Jeff D said...

@ CC - My wife let me get an Instant Pot on the condition I give up another piece of kitchen equipment. I chose to donate our venerable slow-cooker, which we formerly used to make chicken stock. I don't regret it one bit. The Instant Pot works so much better and faster. I too have heard of the temperature issue when making stocks and found I always got the best gelling at the "low" setting on a slow-cooker (probably 190 or so), but it took six hours. However, when making stock in the pressure-cooker it gels even firmer which I suppose is a result of the super-heated water's ability to extract and break down even more connective tissue. It takes one hour. As well, and for the same reason the stock will be much more flavorful and complex by extracting more peptides and other flavor compounds. Regarding the scum, totally unnecessary to skim it, even if making it in a slow-cooker. I think the majority of undesirable bits and bone dust are removed by skimming the fat and straining after it's cooled.

Lynn M. said...

I just happened to look here on Nov. 28 for any blog updates. After recently having a rice cooker, steamer, and 2 burners on my stove bit the dust, I succumbed to the combination of your enthusiastic pitch for the Instant Pot with the further inducement of getting it half price and used your link to purchase a DUO60, which arrived 2 days ago. So far I've cooked broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and butternut squash using the manual pressure setting. I like how the pressurized cooking makes the vegetables more tender with far less heat exposure. Compared to the original type of pressure cookers, this electric pressure cooker makes it far easier to fine tune exactly how long foods cook, and with a lower pressure so the vegetables retain their shape. I look forward to making broth, cooking grains and beans, and exploring all the functions of the DUO60.

CC said...

I don’t mean to turn Stephan’s excellent blog into a bone broth forum, but thought I should provide the references to where I got the “don’t boil” and “skim skum” instructions.

Per Quinn Farrar Wilson in Bone broth : 101 essential recipes and age-old remedies to heal your body (p 27): “ never want your broth to come to a boil – if your broth begins to boil, the collagen and gelatin will break down. The boiling point for liquid is 212 degrees F, so to protect the integrity of your broth, your cooking temperature always has to be lower than that. But you also don’t want the temperature to drop below 165 F. A simple simmer will bring your broth to the correct heat, but if you want to be precise, you can place a meat thermometer in the pot…I’ve found that the best broth is produced with a cooking temperature between 190 F and 200 F.”

Per Sally Fallon in Nourishing Traditions (p 122) “A large amount of skum will come to the top, and it is important to remove this with a spoon.” This was where I first learned to make stock, so didn’t question it. I recall a reference to "impurities," but can't find it now.

In the end, I suspect that bone broth is part art and part science. There are probably endless methods, so I don’t see how any one is likely better than another - ingredients are probably more important. The temperature issue made intuitive sense to me though, hence the question re: temps for the instant pot. At any rate, how ever you make it, bone broth is the nectar of the gods in my book.

RLL said...

With this recommendation I bought two, one for me and one for a gift. In my experience a pressure cooker gets about twice as much flavor and gelatin than simply a stock pot. This means that for the same flavor you can make twice as much soup. The higher temperature does not reduce the jelling at all. So far I have tried both the bones from a Christmas Prime Rib, and raw bones from a chicken.

The yogurt program also works well. I haven't used the slow cooker or bean program yet, but will in not too long.

Sam said...

do you see any downsides when cooking, especially meat at temps above boiling, 212F ? i thought, you’re not suppose to heat/cook meat/proteins above 212.

Unknown said...

Nice Sale! But don't forget the quality of the product. Thank you.

- Gustavo Woltmann

RLL said...

Sam - get any one of the standard books on the science of cooking, here is a classic:

In our downsizing move, we lost several of my cook books so cannot give you a page number.