Gift Idea: Instant Pot

By now you must have heard of the Instant Pot. This is one pot with many functions. It is a slow cooker, a pressure cooker, a rice cooker, a yogurt maker, it steams, it sears, and a few more things. I’ve seen many recipes on Pinterest for the Instant Pot. I understand you can purchase other items that will fit in it, such as a small cheesecake pan. So should you get one? That’s still up for debate.

I myself have bought one three times – all as gifts. Right now I don’t feel I need one because I have a slow cooker, a pressure cooker, and a yogurt maker. All are in good shape and don’t need replacement any time soon. The people I’ve gotten the Instant Pot for didn’t have any of the appliances in the list so this would be a first for them.

Its name can be misleading as nothing is really instant. I believe the name focuses on the pressure cooking part of it because a pressure cooker does cook much faster than standard methods. For instance I can cook a 3+ lb chuck roast to make pot roast in about 45 minutes as opposed to about 2.5 hours on the stove or in the over or even longer in a slow cooker. What these times don’t include for the pressure cooker is the start up time to build up the steam or the time it takes for the pressure to release.

If the person you are buying for hasn’t done much cooking, I understand it may take a while to learn to do all the things that the appliance is capable of. You would have to read the manual and follow the directions.

Some more pluses are you can brown your meat and cook in same pot unlike using a slow cooker. You can start with your meat frozen and still cook in about the same amount of time.

Victor Crew

Tech Gadget Gifts for the Cook or Baker

As a tech lover, I wondered what kind of tech was out there for the kitchen now that people are baking for the holidays. So I wandered over to Williams-Sonoma.com and looked to see what they had for tech lovers. Wouldn’t you know it, they had a list of “Gifts by Recipient” and sure enough there was a “Techie” page listed.

Here are a few of the products listed on the “Techie” page:

Williams-Sonoma smart thermometer listed at $149.95. So why so expensive for a thermometer? Well it has Wi-Fi connectivity and through their app for iOS, you can stay posted on the cooking details. It can estimate how much time is left, you can create alerts. Nice!

There are various stands and covers for your iPad so you use an online (or local) recipe on your counter. There are other gadgets to help make your cooking experiences easier. Be sure to check out the page!

Jody Victor