Instant Pot Recipe App, Free with 300+ Recipes

By , July 7, 2017

white ipad horizontal (held by hands) - recipe pageWe have always been looking for a way to enhance your experience and a way to give back to the Instant Pot® users. Finally, we found it. We are launching the Instant Pot® recipe app with over 300 recipes! And it’s Free.

Instant Pot App Architect Vlad

Instant Pot App Architect Vlad

All great product needs an architect. It took us six months to find our Chief Architect Vlad and three more months for his availability. If you wonder what took us so long, blame it on Vlad. Vlad, like everybody else in the company, is an avid Instant Pot® cook. It shows in the app design. Please give Vlad a thumbs-up if you like it. Vlad will bring you more pleasant surprises down the road.  To give you something to anticipate, the recipes will also be accessible from Amazon Echo in a few weeks.

To provide you with the most diversified Instant Pot® Recipes we have partnered with book authors, chefs, health coaches, cooking instructors and bloggers to create this compilation,  which cover a wide range of cuisines and a large variety of food. Please remember to visit the authors’ sites, you will find even more exciting recipes for your Instant Pot®.  As well, we will continue to add new recipes to the app. The new app focuses 100% on the content with the intention to make it the most convenient tool for your daily cooking.

As always, we love to hear your feedback and suggestions. For recipe authors, if you want to contribute to the Instant Pot® app we are more than happy to add your contributions. Please let us know.

The Instant Pot® recipe app is available for both Apple and Android mobile devices.  Download it from http://instantpot.com/app  or scan the QR code from your mobile devices.

 

APPbanner Final 660x291 Instant Pot Recipe App, Free with 300+ Recipes

Great Cookbooks for Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker

By , November 23, 2015

mock cover1 225x300 Great Cookbooks for Instant Pot Electric Pressure CookerOne of the most common questions we hear is, “Is there a GREAT cookbook that you can recommend for use with the Instant Pot, or to include when giving an Instant Pot as a gift?”

The answer is “YES! There are several and the list is growing!”

Both those new to pressure cooking, as well as long-time pressure cooking enthusiasts have reported that they find “Hip Pressure Cooking: Fast, Fresh & Flavorful” by author and pressure cooking expert Laura Pazzaglia a particularly useful and fun book, with original, creative recipes based on sound scientific principles. Many in the Instant Pot®Community report reading it cover-to-cover like they would a novel!

I didn’t just flip through this cookbook — I read it (you know, like a book) because it is so full of useful information. And the recipes are really good too.” ~Anna

“I love the pictures! I have got to have pictures to really get my cooking mojo working.” ~ Wendy

What is so UNIQUE about this particular cookbook?

Well, the author is unique! Laura, bought her first pressure cooker after watching a friend make dinner in minutes; she quickly realized that the flavor of pressure cooked food was “like tasting food in high definition!” In 2010 she launched HipPressureCooking.com to share her discoveries, recipes, reviews and tips. Today Laura is considered one of the world’s top pressure cooking experts.

sneak1691 300x169 Great Cookbooks for Instant Pot Electric Pressure CookerMany have appreciated the icons at the top of each recipe that show a visual of what is needed to make it (i.e. a pot and a steamer, a bowl, or just a pot). That’s very helpful depending on your mood, as some days you just may not want to deal with extra bowls and/or steamer basket, so you can dismiss a recipe just by glancing at the list of needed supplies.

…and what to do for halving or doubling a recipe? THIS book tells you!

Plus, things you’ve come to expect from the Hip Pressure Cooking website –  measurements in whole vegetables (one medium carrot instead of 3/4 cups chopped carrot), the least number of ingredients to get the most effect; and,  harnessing the pressure cooker’s merits (speed, heat, evaporation and infusion) to get the most flavor in the least amount of time.

According to Laura, “The goal of the book is to cover everything that is possible to do in a pressure cooker and teach cooks how to port their craft to the pressure cooker with the most chance of success  by sharing all of the knowledge I have gained in 10+ years of pressure cooking.”

AND importantly, and to our point, Laura used the Instant Pot to create and test all of the recipes in this book, so her adaptations of stove-top methods are spot on for Instant Pot users. This is the only book that covers this appliance with new knowledge in a practical and lively manner. Highly recommended.


Read more here:
http://www.hippressurecooking.com/cookbook/

hip book ip 300x225 Great Cookbooks for Instant Pot Electric Pressure CookerLaura says, “Many of my techniques are based on science and experimenting – these little science-based tips are not always spelled out in the book, but they are the reasons my recipes always turn out well.”

For example:

“After watching a roast shrivel-up after pressure cooking, I began to research evaporation. I read a little tidbit about how evaporation happens faster when there is a wider temperature difference (for example between the room and the roasts’ juices). So that’s why I push (slower) natural release method for meats (so the super-heated juice don’t evaporate away). Accelerated evaporation is not all bad, it can be used to the cook’s advantage to accelerate reduction.  My go-to pressure cooker tomato sauce recipe uses the (faster) normal release to quickly evaporate and reduce the sauce with a little bit of help from science!”

“Liquids for building pressure can also come from different sources – including the food itself! Some of the recipes use the vegetables’ or meats’ own juices in addition to a small amount of liquid to reach pressure. Vegetables are 80-95% water so it’s easy to calculate the amount of water if you know the weight of the vegetable. I use that trick in the  Jams & Jellies chapter, too.  But there was no need to calculate the water content in the fruit – many of the recipes there reach pressure with sugar (which is a liquid).”

 

Like another well-known Italian, Laura uses the “Learn the rules so you can break them like an artist” principle. While many warn not to cook dry beans with acidic ingredients, Laura skillfully breaks this rule on occasion, with just the intended results:

“With practice, I was able to figure out that slowing down the cooking time of beans by adding an acidic ingredient (tomatoes, vinegar, wine, lemon, etc.) isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In making one-pots, you may want to slow down the bean’s cooking time so that it can catch-up to the other ingredients.  I use this trick in the ribs & bean salad one-pot recipe (below) where the beans boil in the base providing steam for the ribs above. The BBQ-sauce covered ribs above dribble down fat to flavor the beans and a bit of BBQ sauce to slow down their cooking so that they’re ready (and not falling apart) when the ribs are ready.”

hip bbq ribs 262x300 Great Cookbooks for Instant Pot Electric Pressure CookerHere’s a recipe from the “Hip Pressure Cooking: Fast, Fresh & Flavorful” (St. Martin’s 2014) which illustrates this point:

BBQ Pork Ribs with Spinach-Bean Salad
Although the BBQ in the title refers to the flavor and not the cooking method, the results should fool all but your most observant guests. The slide-under-the-broiler finish gives this dish a scorch that is both beautiful and delicious.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

1 ½ pounds baby back pork ribs
1 cup prepared barbecue sauce
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow onion, cut into large dice
1 ½ cups water
1 cup dried cannellini beans, soaked, rinsed and drained
1 bay leaf
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
6 ounces fresh spinach (about 3 cups; baby spinach is nice)

Cut the ribs apart. Coat them on all sides with most of the barbecue sauce and sprinkle with salt and pepper: set remaining sauce aside. Arrange ribs in a steamer basket; you can stand them somewhat vertically to get them to fit.

Heat the pressure cooker base on medium heat, add the oil, and heat briefly. Stir in the onion and sauté until soft, about 4 minutes. Add water, beans and bay leaf and stir.

Lower the rib-filled steamer basket into the pressure cooker and then close and lock the lid. Cook at high pressure for 20 minutes (stovetop) or 23 to 25 minutes (electric). When the time is up, open the pressure cooker with the 10-minute natural release method.

Set the upturned lid of the cooker on your countertop. Carefully lift the steamer basket out of the cooker and place it on the lid; cover with aluminum foil. Fish out and discard the bay leaf from the beans.

Mix in 1 teaspoon salt, the garlic and spinach. Using a slotted spoon, scoop bean mixture into a large oven-proof casserole (big enough to hold the ribs in one layer) with low sides. Using tongs, arrange ribs on top of beans and brush with remaining barbecue sauce.

To finish the dish, turn on oven broiler. Broil casserole until sauce on the ribs is lightly caramelized, 3 to 5 minutes. Serve immediately.

 

For some behind-the-scenes stories about how the book was written, please see:  http://www.hippressurecooking.com/category/hip-books/

Where is the book available? Some specialty bookstores do stock it, and it is of course available on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Hip-Pressure-Cooking-Fresh-Flavorful/dp/1250026377/

 

 

Making Vegan Yogurt in Instant Pot

By , June 17, 2014

soy milk yogurt 300x225 Making Vegan Yogurt in Instant PotWe always thought that thickening ingredients would always be needed to make thick creamy vegan yogurt. I have tried using soy milk (made with a Joyoung soy milk maker) without adding thickener.  The result was rather thin and watery, OK as a yogurt drink.

Donna Haney figured out a much simpler way to make fairly thick and creamy soy milk yogurt.  The method is to use store purchased unsweetened soy milk, pour it into a pint mason jar, add vegan yogurt starter, place the jar in Instant Pot IP-DUO and start the Yogurt function. 9~10 hours later the vegan yogurt is made.  Chilling it in the fridge for further firmness and better taste.

You can read Donna’s original post on facebook.  If you’re interested in vegan cooking with Instant Pot, you should join the “Instant Pot user group G-BOMBS”. Chelsea has also reproduced the entire process with a video and detailed recipe. Check out Chelsea’s blog post here.

Update on Jun 18th, 2014.

Thinking that home made soy milk should produce good vegan milk too. I tried a double measure of the soy beans with the same amount of water in my Joyoung soy milk maker. The soy milk it produced this time was pretty dense. After letting it cool down, I used Donna’s simple method to make vegan yogurt. It was a success. The firmness is very close to dairy yogurt. The flavor is tangy, probably due to the yogurt starter (Bifidobacterium).

 

 

Instant Pot Sponsors Young Athletes

By , May 19, 2014

Instant Pot is proud to be the sponsor of a pair of promising young figure skaters: Melinda & Andrew Meng, silver medalists of Junior Ice Dance at 2014 Canadian Tire National Skating Championship.  Melinda and Andrew are talented skaters and have set their goal to represent Canada in the 2018  Olympic Games.

This is our way of giving back to the community who have inspired and supported us over the years. You can find Melinda and Andrew’s page at https://www.facebook.com/melinda.and.andrew.

 

What is the iPot made for?

By , January 22, 2014

Instant Pot iPot Smartcooker 274x300 What is the iPot made for?Coming back from CES at Las Vegas, I am very pleased with the overwhelming responses from the media and the public. The Instant Pot iPot was hailed as one of the “Fourteen Hot Products from 2014 CES” and one of “The Weirdest Tech Gadgets at CES 2014”.  Techhive made an on spot video report, CNET has a more detailed review,  Sound and Vision compared the iPot to a connected slow cooker, PurpleClover asked “Exactly How Smart Should Your Home Be?”, TechGlimpse put on a coverage, Homecrux drilled down to more details….

Not all of them get the details right. This is no surprise in exhibition halls crowded with tens of thousands of people and announcements of thousands new products. Some may see iPot being cool because it uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE, Bluetooth Smart or Bluetooth 4.0/4.1) to connect iPhone/iPad to the cooker. Well, that’s not the purpose.  Here, I want to clarify the two design objectives of the iPot.

1. Solving the cooking consistency problem. Have you ever not been frustrated by failing to reproduce a cooking recipe!? The quality of cooked food out of Instant Pot is ultimately the most important thing to users. Cooking consistency is affected by many factors: food materials and their size/volume, cooking time, elevation and cooking process.  A one-size-fit-all program (3 “sizes” in Instant Pot) can only go so far.  To achieve the optimal result, we need a tailor-made cooking program for each recipe.  Once this is done, undercooked short-ribs and beans or burnt oatmeal at the bottom will be history.

2. People want to use Instant Pot in many unique ways. To get a taste of the variety, let’s sample a few.

  • GABA rice 300x266 What is the iPot made for?Making germinated brown rice.  Brown rice sprouts in warm water (38°C or 100°F) in 12~24 hours, producing unique nutty flavor and more complete amino acid. See the picture of germinated brown rice I made on right.
  • Sous vide, Onsen Tamago (hot spring eggs), etc.
  • Pasteurize milk at the lowest temperature (63°C or 145ºF) so all pathogens are killed but none of the good enzymes and nutrients are lost
  • Pressure baking
  • Decrystallize honey in the jar without destroying its health properties
  • Sanitize baby bottles, pacifiers, pump pieces.

There is clearly a long tail of these use scenarios. If we add a button for each of these functions, the control panel will soon look like a keyboard. We’ll have to leverage something with a better user interface.  A smartphone or tablet would spring right into our minds.

If you have any intriguing ways of using Instant Pot, please let us know.  We’ll add them to the iPot.  With iPot, the functionality is limitless.

Which Electric Pressure Cooker Operates at 15psi?

By , May 29, 2013

InstantPot steam release 2 267x300 Which Electric Pressure Cooker Operates at 15psi?Because most pressure cooker recipes are designed for 15psi pressure cookers. Many users are looking for 15psi electric pressure cooker.  We are asked whether Instant Pot operates at 15psi.

To answer this question, we need to clarify a concept here.  The max working pressure of a pressure cooker is the pressure which pushes up the safety device (i.e. steam release, pressure valve or by some other names) and the cooker starts letting out steams to reduce pressure. The max working pressure of stove-top pressure cookers ranges from 12psi to 21.7psi. For the high-end stove-top models, it is typically in the 16~21.7psi range. This is specified in product document and also commonly marked at the bottom of the steam release.

Instant Pot has a max working pressure of 15.23psi (105kpa). This is marked on the steam release handle, see the image on the top.  One of the design objectives of Instant Pot is not to let out steam and make noise during its operation.  So normal working pressure has to be below 15.23psi.  Instant Pot’s working pressure is in the range of 10.15~11.6 psi. If you have small amount of food/liquid in the cooker, Instant Pot may touch 15.23psi momentarily due to the heat conduction delay.

When a stove-top pressure cooker reaches its max working pressure  and starts whistling out steams, you’d turn down the heating to stop the whistling.  In such a condition, your stove-top pressure cooker may be operating at a pressure level similar to Instant Pot. You only cook the food at the max working pressure when it’s whistling continuously.

So,

  • Does Instant Pot have the same 15 psi max working pressure as common stove-top pressure cookers? Yes! It’s 15.23psi.
  • Does Instant Pot cook your food constantly at 15psi? No, it’s in the range of 10.15~11.6 psi.
15psi1 150x150 Which Electric Pressure Cooker Operates at 15psi?

Illustration of Instant Pot working pressure curve

You can see the working pressure chart on the right. Most electric pressure cookers available on the market work like this, but may not have the same max and working pressure range.

If your recipe specifies cooking at 15psi, you can adapted to Instant Pot by increasing the cooking time by 7~15%.

Note: the max working pressure is not an indicator of the max safety pressure that the cooker can withstand. If a cooker is certified with UL or equivalent, it should withstand 5 times the working pressure without leaking.

Many electric pressure cooker has a max working pressure of 13.05psi (90kpa).  You can find this out by looking at the bottom of its steam release.  A properly certified and manufactured cooker always has such rating on the parts.

 

Winter Electric Pressure Cooking Recipe Contest

By , January 23, 2013

Xmas and the New Year are busy time to families as well as businesses.  We’ve been bogged down by orders and shipping, causing the delay of announcing the winners of our 2012 Autumn recipe contest.  Without further ado, the winners are:

Congratulations to the winners!  Meanwhile, we’d also like to thank all the participants for sharing their recipes.

Instant Pot accessoriesMeanwhile, let’s start the Winter recipe contest.  In the words of the British poet Edith Sitwell,

“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.”

Please share your home cooking creativity and spread the word about our contest!

The rules of the contest remain unchanged.

  1.  The recipes must be for electric pressure cooker, published on publicly accessible websites.  If you don’t have a blog or a place to publish, we can put them on InstantPot.com recipe section.
  2. Three prizes of complete sets of Instant Pot accessories (a stainless steel cooking pot, a tempered glass lid and a spare sealing ring) will be awarded.  Free shipping to continental US (excluding Hawaii & Alaska) and Canada.
  3. The participant needs to give the right to publish one of their recipes on InstantPot.com.
  4. The winners will be chosen by Instant Pot staff in early Apr. 2013.
  5. Entries are accepted as comment to this post or submission to http://instantpot.com/recipes/share-your-recipe/
  6. The winning entries must be original and will be judged by
  • the details of description, a picture helps tremendously.
  • the practicality, and
  • the creativity

 

Evaporation Rate of Pressure Cookers

By , November 16, 2012

Water evaporation 200x300 Evaporation Rate of Pressure CookersLaura Pazzaglia is the creator of the popular HipPressureCooking.com, dedicated to make pressure cooking hip. She is more than a prodigious cook, writer and educator.  Laura has also devised a simple but ingenious benchmark to measure one key aspect of pressure cooker performance.  She calls it evaporation measure. In her own words, this is done as:

“Starting with a “cold cooker” (not heated from a previous test) pour exactly 1000g of water into the liner and pressure cook for 10 minutes, with natural release. Then remove the lid and shake vigorously into the base and pour the contents into a zeroed-out bowl on digital scale. Record the weight of remaining water. “

Dividing the missing water amount over the total gives you evaporation rate.  It’s a straight forward measure of leakage of a pressure cooker, which works for both electric and stove-top pressure cookers, probably for stock pots too.

Why is evaporation rate important?  set 4 hires 250x250 Evaporation Rate of Pressure Cookers In “Modernist Cuisine” (so far the most comprehensive and authentic  book on the art and science of cooking), Nathan Myhrvold states that sealed cooking pots trap most aromatic volatiles which make stocks more flavourful (Volume II, pages 292). We also blogged about the astonishing discovery by Dave Arnold at the International Culinary Center that leaking steam means leaking flavour. Dave Arnold’s experiments showed that not all pressure cookers are equal in preserving flavour in stocks.  Leaky ones do a bad job, sometimes worse than a stock pot.

Hence, the evaporation rate is not just a simple leakage measure but an indicator of the quality of food the pressure cooker prepares.

What did Laura find out?

“Instant Pot only had an average 2% evaporation during ten minutes of pressure cooking (compared to Cuisinart 4% and most stove top pressure cookers 3.5%).”

In comparison, an uncovered pressure cooker at a vigorous boil for the same amount of time and same weight of water and the evaporation rate is 30%. You can read Laura’s meticulous review of the Instant Pot IP-LUX60 here.

Laura has very high standards. Instant Pot didn’t earn a perfect score. She gave IP-LUX60 a “Very Good” rating. We really appreciate Laura straight to-the-point approach and constructive criticism.  These give us something to strive to improve upon in our next model.

 

Autumn Electric Pressure Cooking Recipe Contest.

By , October 9, 2012

Instant Pot accessoriesAgain, we start by announcing the winners of our Summer Electric Pressure Cooking Recipe Contest.

Congratulations to the winners!  Meanwhile, we’d also like to thank all the participants for sharing their recipes.

To quote Albert Camus,

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.

Autumn is also the seaon of harvest. Abundance of produce and ingredients call for new and creative recipes.  Let’s start the Autumn electric pressure cooking recipe contest. Our objectives are to encourage recipe sharing and make it fun and practical to cook with electric pressure cookers. Please spread the word!

The rules of the contest.

  1.  The recipes must be for electric pressure cooker, published on publicly accessible websites.  If you don’t have a blog or a place to publish, we can put them on InstantPot.com recipe section.
  2. Three prizes of complete sets of Instant Pot accessories (a stainless steel cooking pot, a tempered glass lid and a spare sealing ring) will be awarded.  Free shipping to continental US (excluding Hawaii & Alaska) and Canada.
  3. The participant needs to give the right to publish one of their recipes on InstantPot.com.
  4. The winners will be chosen by Instant Pot staff in early Jan. 2013.
  5. Entries are accepted as comment to this post or submission to http://instantpot.com/recipes/share-your-recipe/
  6. The winning entries must be original and will be judged by
  • the details of description, a picture helps tremendously.
  • the practicality, and
  • the creativity

 

What are the Effects of Cooking Rice in a Pressure Cooker

By , September 1, 2012

It’s well known that cooking rice in a pressure cooker reduces cooking time by half.  What about the cooking result? Users told us that rice cooked in Instant Pot is softer, stickier and tasted better.  We want to find out what scientists say about this.  It turns out that there are quite a few scientific research projects on this subject.  The effects of pressure cooking rice, grains and legumes can be summarized on 3 aspects.

1. Texture Change

Cooking under pressure or at higher temperature starch in rice gelatinizes to the maximum degree. This is why pressure cooked rice has a softer and stickier grain texture in comparison to boiled and steamed rice at normal pressure. Under electronic microscope, a grain of rice appears to have more pores when cooked under pressure. Please see the images between magnified 500 and 5000 times. These pores make the rice looks a bit off-white (greyish). Furthermore, tough fibers in brown rice and bran are significantly softer which give the food a better tasting texture.

Rice grain cooked under pressure. Magnified 500 times

Rice grain cooked under pressure. Magnified 500 times

Rice grain cooked at normal pressure. Magnified 500 times

Rice grain cooked at normal pressure. Magnified 500 times

Rice grain cooked under pressure. Magnified 5000 times

Rice grain cooked under pressure. Magnified 5000 times

Rice grain cooked at normal temperature. Magnified 5000 times

Rice grain cooked at normal temperature. Magnified 5000 times

2. Improving Digestibility and Increasing Nutritional Value

Starch gelatinization, a change of structure into a form that resembles gelatin, improves digestibility. Pressure cooking rice, grains and beans produces positive nutritional gain, from the increased digestibility of the macronutrients (protein, fiber and starch) and the increased bioavailability of the essential minerals.

Aflatoxin-producing members of Aspergillus are common and widespread in nature.

Aflatoxin-producing members of Aspergillus are common and widespread in nature.

3. Eliminating Harmful Fungi and Bacteria

Rice, if not stored properly, may carry fungal poisons called aflatoxins, a potent trigger of liver cancer. A survey found that 6% of uncooked rice collected from markets in Seoul contained aflatoxins.  Conventional boiling and steaming rice at under 100°C (212°F) is not sufficient to kill all aflatoxins. Study had shown that pressure cooking at higher than 100°C (212°F) was capable of reducing aflatoxin concentrations to safe levels.

 

Use your pressure cooker for rice cooking.  This will make your rice taste better, more digestible and nutritious, and most importantly carcinogenic aflatoxin free.

 

References

  • Kataria A, Chauhan BM.: “Contents and digestibility of carbohydrates of mung beans (Vigna radiata L.) as affected by domestic processing and cooking”. Plant Foods Human Nutrition . 1988;38(1):51-9.
  • Leelayuthsoontorn P, Thipayarat A.  “Textural and morphological changes of Jasmine rice under various elevated cooking conditions”.  Food Chemistry, 2006, 96(4): 606-613
  • Rashmi S, Urooj A. “Effect of processing on nutritionally important starch fractions in rice varieties”.  International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition. Jan. 2003, 54(1):27-36.
  • Sagum, R., Jayashree Arcot. “Effect of domestic processing methods on the starch, non-starch polysaccharides and in vitro starch and protein digestibility of three varieties of rice with varying levels of amylose.” Food Chemistry 2000 Vol. 70 No. 1 pp. 107-111
  • Eating Well: ”What is the Effect of Pressure Cooking on Nutrition?”
  • Science News: “Putting the Pressure on Poisons”

 

Summer Electric Pressure Cooking Recipe Contest

By , July 4, 2012

two InstantPot IP LUX60 300x238 Summer Electric Pressure Cooking Recipe ContestLet’s start by announcing the winners of our Spring contest:

Congratulations to the winners!  Meanwhile, we’d also like to thank all the participants for sharing.

When Spring departs, Summer creeps over.   Different season brings different fresh produce.  Hopefully these bring inspirations for new recipes. Here again, we start the Summer electric pressure cooking recipe contest.

Our objectives are to encourage recipe sharing and make it fun and practical to cook with electric pressure cookers. Please spread the word!

The rules of the contest.

  1. The recipes must be for electric pressure cooker, published on publicly accessible websites.  If you don’t have a blog or a place to publish, we can put them on InstantPot.com recipe section.
  2. Two prizes of Instant Pot IP-LUX60 will be awarded.  Free shipping to continental US (excluding Hawaii & Alaska) and Canada.
  3. The participant needs to give the right to publish one of their recipes on InstantPot.com.
  4. The winning entries must be original and will be judged by
    • the details of description, a picture helps tremendously.
    • the practicality, and
    • the creativity
  5. The winners will be chosen by Instant Pot staff on Sept. 30, 2012.
  6. Entries are accepted as comment to this post or submission to http://instantpot.com/recipes/share-your-recipe/

Leaking Steam Means Leaking Flavour

By , June 21, 2012

In his fascinating blog, Dave Arnold,  Director of Culinary Technology at The International Culinary Center, detailed an amazing discovery in making flavourful soup stocks.

Stove top vs Electric Pressure Cooker 300x121 Leaking Steam Means Leaking FlavourWhat’s the discovery?

“All pressure cookers aren’t created equal. The cooker you use affects flavor.”

Dave and his team of chefs and interns repeatedly tried cooking chicken stocks in two types of pressure cooker and conventional pot, did double blind testing with their eyes closed to factor out the hint of color as an indication to flavour.

To make the long story short, they concluded:

  • Stove-top pressure cookers with a jiggler type regulator  (which makes a continuous chu-chu-chu-chu sound as it operates) make the worst stocks for leaking out flavour in the steam. They are worse than the conventional stock pot.
  • Pressure cookers with spring valve regulator, which allows you to turn down heating to prevent steam leaking, make the most flavourful stocks.

Simply put, escaping steam affects taste.

I’m not sure whether the professional chefs are interested in testing home kitchen oriented Instant Pot.  But I’m rest assured that Instant Pot virtually leaks no steam during operation.  And you don’t need to stand by to turn down the heat.  For most of us, cooking is not a job or profession.

You can find Dave’s blog here: http://www.cookingissues.com/2009/11/22/pressure-cooked-stocks-we-got-schooled/

Which is Faster: Electric vs Stove-top Pressure Cooker

By , May 24, 2012

Our customers ask whether electric pressure cooker is slower than stove-top pressure cooker.  Someone claimed that stove-top cooker can be 2~3 times faster in reaching working pressure.  This may be possible with a gas-stove.  However the majority of North American families use electric stoves. We decide to run a test on this typical scenario.

Test equipments:

  • Instant Pot IP LUX60 heating stage 174x180 Which is Faster: Electric vs Stove top Pressure Cooker

    Instant Pot IP LUX60 at the heating stage

    Instant Pot IP-LUX60: 1000W, 6L inner pot. Plugged-into an electronic power meter (Kill-A-Watt P4400).

  • T Fal Safe 2 on Maytag electric range 180x135 Which is Faster: Electric vs Stove top Pressure Cooker

    T-Fal Safe 2 on Maytag electric range

    T-Fal Safe 2 Model 3271 stove-top pressure cooker, 6L capacity, which likely has a pressure rating of 11psi.

  • Maytag SuperCapacity Plus electric range with glass ceramic cooktop, coil element power rating: 2100W
  • Thermoworks Splash-Proof Super-Fast Thermapen, accuracy +/-0.4°C (0.2°F).

Test conditions:

  • Fill both Instant Pot and T-Fal with 3 liter tap water at 13.6°C
  • Set to cook at full pressure for 10 minutes. The “Manual” mode of Instant Pot was used.

After running multiple tests, the following is the results:

  • Instant Pot IP-LUX60 took 23:30 ~ 24:15 (minutes:seconds) to reach working pressure 11.6psi.  Hold pressure for 10 minutes. Total power consumption 0.35~0.36 KWH.
  • T-Fal on Maytag electric range took 24:05~24:50 to reach pressure (steam release started leaking steam and rotating).  Afterwards, power was turned down to 30% to maintain the pressure. Total power consumption based on the power rating: 0.945~0.974 KWH.

In conclusion,

  • The stove-top T-Fal + Maytag electric range take about 20~30 seconds longer to reach working pressure than Instant Pot IP-LUX60.
  • Instant Pot IP-LUX60 uses around 63% less electricity than the T-Fal in this specific test.

There are two possible explanations regarding the electricity consumption:

  1. The glass ceramic cooktop reduces heating efficiency. The whole stove was warm and the T-Fal radiated heat along the way. That’s where the energy had gone.
  2. curved 3 ply bottom of InstantPot cooking pot 180x68 Which is Faster: Electric vs Stove top Pressure Cooker

    Curved 3-ply bottom of Instant Pot stainless steel cooking pot

    Instant Pot has two layers of air insulation, which minimize energy leakage. The bottom of its inner pot is curved inwards which fits tightly on the heating element curved outwards. Thermal conduction is excellent.

When we first designed Instant Pot, the intention is to make it fast in terms of convenience.  A press-a-button set-and-forget smart cooker is our objective.   Now heating efficiency makes Instant Pot faster than stove-tops on an electric range.

2012 Spring Electric Pressure Cooker Recipe Contest

By , April 2, 2012

two InstantPot IP LUX60 300x238 2012 Spring Electric Pressure Cooker Recipe Contest In our popular Winter Electric Pressure Cooker Recipe Contest, we realized how much fun it was to interact with our users.  Most importantly, the submitted recipes substantially enhance everybody’s cooking experience.  In the spirit of sharing, we start this Spring Recipe Contest and will award two Instant Pot IP-LUX60 to the winners.

To help everybody visualizing the cooking result of the recipe, please attach pictures of the dish.

The rules of the contest.

  1. The recipes must be for electric pressure cooker, published on publicly accessible websites.  If you don’t have a blog or a place to publish, we can put them on InstantPot.com recipe section.
  2. Two prizes of Instant Pot IP-LUX60 will be awarded.  Free shipping to continental US (excluding Hawaii & Alaska) and Canada.
  3. The participant needs to give the right to publish one of their recipes on InstantPot.com.
  4. The winning entries must be original and will be judged by
    • the details of description,
    • the practicality, and
    • the creativity
  5. The winners will be chosen by Instant Pot staff on June 30, 2012.
  6. Entries are accepted as comment to this post, or submission to http://instantpot.com/recipes/share-your-recipe/

The winners of this contest is announced here and the new Summer recipe contest also starts.

2012 Winter Recipe Contest Winners

By , March 31, 2012

3 Instant Pot IP LUX60 300x185 2012 Winter Recipe Contest WinnersThere were 43 submissions with 50+ recipes for the contest.  Wow!  The user base of electric pressure cooker is surprising strong and enthusiastic!

Thank you all for participating.  It’s joyful interacting with you.

Meanwhile, it’s very difficult to choose the winners. We had debats and come up with the list based on our criteria set out on the contest terms, i.e. details of description, practicality and creativity.   A little confession to make. Our staff are apparently leaning toward recipes with pictures attached. Pictures are one key part of the description and they make the recipe enticing.

  • Kellie F.:NOT Julia Child’s Beef Bourguignon“. The recipe reflects the value and advantages of electric pressure cookers. A complicated dish with complex tastes can be made within 45 minutes.

Congratulations to the winners of the 2012 Winter contest.  We’ll contact you in email for shipping detail. To all participants, by continuing sharing, we will all end up as winners.

At Instant Pot Company, we also learned something beyond recipes.

Teresa G. said: “This is like a great cookbook!”

Indeed, we’d love to make InstantPot.com a great cookbook useful to all users. We shall continue encouraging sharing of recipes.  The contest must go on.  Every season, we’ll award 2 free Instant Pot to two authors of recipes submitted during the period.  Please keep your recipes coming.

Electric Pressure Cooker Recipe Contest

By , February 10, 2012

3 Instant Pot IP LUX60 320x198 Electric Pressure Cooker Recipe ContestOwning to its convenience, dependability and kitchen friendliness, programmable electric pressure cookers are catching on the life style of North Americans in recent years. However, relevant published recipes are hard to find.  Thanks to the suggestion from Charles T, we are going to hold a recipe contest. Winners will receive a free Instant Pot IP-LUX60. If all the users can share their recipe creations, this will be beneficial to everybody.

The rules of the contest.

  1. The recipes must be for electric pressure cooker, published on publicly accessible websites.  If you don’t have a blog or a place to publish, we can put them on InstantPot.com recipe section.
  2. Three prizes of Instant Pot IP-LUX60 will be awarded.  Free shipping to continental US (excluding Hawaii & Alaska) and Canada.
  3. The participant needs to give the right to publish one of their recipes on InstantPot.com.
  4. The winning entries must be original and will be judged by
    • the details of description,
    • the practicality, and
    • the creativity
  5. The winners will be chosen by Instant Pot staff on March 30, 2012.
  6. Entries are accepted as comment to this post, or submission to http://instantpot.com/recipes/share-your-recipe/

The winners of this Winter Recipe Contest are announced.

The new Spring Recipe Contest is now open.

Instant Pot IP-LUX60 Hardware Improvements

By , February 7, 2012
InstantPot old power connector 300x253 Instant Pot IP LUX60 Hardware Improvements

InstantPot old power connector design

The hardware design of Instant Pot has matured for many years. Millions of electric pressure cookers of the same design are in use worldwide. However, our design team have been working on improvement to safety and performance for the last 6 months. I’d like to mention two most notable hardware enhancements.

Safety First

InstantPot new power connector 300x227 Instant Pot IP LUX60 Hardware Improvements

InstantPot new power connector design

The original power cable connector has a flat surface, see image on right. Liquid could drip from the lid or water collector along the cooker housing wall into the connector, which could become a power short-circuit hazard. Although none of such incident happened, our design team added a shield to redirect water away from the connector. This shield protect the power connector from any spilling water. See the new design in the picture on right.

Better Steam Release

Instant Pot Steam release silicon cone 300x233 Instant Pot IP LUX60 Hardware Improvements

InstantPot new steam release with silicone rubber cone, see the red circle.

The original steam release has a metal cone inside to seal over the steam release pipe on the lid. Metal on metal doesn’t always create a tight seal. There were reports of steam constantly leaking from the steam release. Although the defect rate is very low, at about 0.6%, our design team believed that they can resolve the problem once for all. The solution is to use a silicone rubber cone in the steam release. The silicone rubber cone creates a tight seal over the steam release pipe. This design was shipped with the last container load of Instant Pot IP-CSG60 and we haven’t had any report of leaky steam release.

Designing Instant Pot Model IP-LUX60/50

By , January 31, 2012

After a runaway success of our model IP-CSG60/50, we have been looking for design ideas for our new models.  Our source of inspiration came from user feedback.  In general, the vast majority of our customers approves of our design philosophy of “Safe, Convenient and Dependable”.  Instant Pot is about “set and forget” cooking style, leveraging the micro-processor controlled smart cooking programs.

Summarizing the user feedback, we found two areas which need improvement or enhancement.

  1. Convenient and intuitive user interface.
  2. Versatility of cooking capabilities.

We have taken these two points to heart and implemented them in the design of our new model IP-LUX60/50.  This blog covers how the user interface is improved.  I’ll talk about how the versatility is enhanced in my next blog.

We have a confession to make.  The most support calls we received are questions about the flashing dashes and the marquee symbol (for pre-heating) in IP-CSG60/50.  We decided to use plain English on the display to make the status display intuitive. Due to the limitation of the LED display panel, it’s a small challenge to find the right words.

Now in our new model IP-LUX60/50, the followings are used.

InstantPot cooking process flow chart

Another improvement to usability is to allow manual changes to all preset cooking time.  Simply, press and hold “+” or “-” to race the number to your desired cooking time. Note this doesn’t apply to the fully automated “Rice” and “Multigrain” programs.

Improved Versatility of Instant Pot Model IP-LUX60/50

By , January 31, 2012

InstantPot IP LUX control pannel 300x280 Improved Versatility of Instant Pot Model IP LUX60/50

InstantPot IP-LUX control pannel

Our users told us that you want more capabilities from Instant Pot, especially the browning and slow cooking.  You may ask how “slow cooking” is compatible with the brand name of “Instant Pot”.

When our design started over 3 years ago, the intent was to create a smart cooking appliance so that cooking process to a user is “instant”, i.e. the press of a button. Of course, being a pressure cooker Instant Pot also speeds up cooking substantially.

To enhance Instant Pot’s versatility in cooking capabilities, we added Sauté/browning with 3 different temperature settings, ranging 105~170° C (221-338°F).  You can use “Adjust” button to choose “Less” for low temperature, “More” for high temperature (close to olive oil smoking point) and “Normal” in between.  Sauté is done with the lid opened. This function can also be used to thicken the sauce after cooking.

Following the same line of reasoning, we added 3 temperature settings for “Slow Cook”, ranging 88-99°C (190-210°F), again adjustable with “Adjust” button.  These correspond to low, normal and high temperature cooking in common slow cookers.

We also extended manual cooking time to 120 minutes to cook tough dry food, e.g. split corns, in one cooking cycle.