Instant Pot Smart Pressure Cooker

The Instant Pot Smart Pressure Cooker doesn’t have the word “smart” in its name for nothing! Its revolutionary Bluetooth-enabled technology allows you to cook a meal from start to finish with the use of your Smartphone! All you do is program in the cooking steps and the pot does it all for you. I feel like I’m from the future when I use this thing…

Features/Settings

Other than the awesome Bluetooth connection, the features include:

  • 3-ply stainless steel inner pot
  • Slim design (which uses 70% less energy than most pressure cookers)
  • Measurements on the inside of the pot
  • 15 built-in smart programs including keep-warm, automatic keep-warm, slow cook, dual pressure, soup, rice, meat/stew, bean/chili, poultry, yoghurt, porridge, multigrain, and 3 different temperatures for sautéing (seriously, this thing does it all…)
  • 24-hour timer that lets you add in all the ingredients but won’t start cooking until the time you’ve programmed
  • Right and left lid holders to cater to both righties and lefties
  • Embedded microprocessor
  • Easy-to-read display

Safety

The makers of the Instant Pot Smart Pressure Cooker definitely didn’t make safety an afterthought. In fact, it almost seems like they designed the pot with safety in mind.

Some of the safety features include:

  • Pressure regulator protection
  • Anti-blockage vent that ensures food doesn’t get stuck in the vent
  • Leaky lid smart detection and protection
  • Extreme temperature protection that ensures your food won’t burn
  • Automatic pressure controller that monitors and keeps pressure in the safe range
  • Excess pressure protection that transfers excess pressure to internal chamber in the event of danger
  • Pressure regulator that ensures extreme pressure protection (pressure cannot go over the safety limit of 15.23psi)
  • Safety lid lock that prevents the pressure cooker from opening while cooking
  • Automatic temperature control that regulates temperate based on cooking program
  • High temperature warning
  • Lid Position Detection that watches the lid positioning to make sure it’s safe while cooking
  • Electrical current and temperature fuse that stops cooking process if temperatures go over the safety limits

Additionally, the pot also comes with a steam rack with a handle, silicone mitts, and a manual and recipes in English, French, Spanish, and Chinese to make using it as simple, safe, and straightforward as possible. I liked that they gave me everything I needed so that I didn’t have to go out and buy all the extras.

My experience

I love pressure cooking for a lot of reasons, but mostly for the fact that it makes cooking a lot faster and easier while sealing in nutrients and flavors. And the Instant Pot Smart Pressure Cooker is capable of all of those things…

It takes just 2-3 minutes to steam vegetables, whether they’re frozen or fresh. Any and all meats I’ve cooked in this thing have come out flavorful, tender, and moist. I’ve made mashed potatoes in 15 minutes FLAT (and no, that is not an exaggeration). Since I’m able to program the cooking steps into the Instant Pot Smart Pressure Cooker with the app, I don’t even have to watch over more complex dishes like chili, curry rice, and barbecue ribs. Honestly, it’s the least painstaking experience I’ve ever had with a pressure cooker.

And if you read my cookbooks, you know very well that I’m a person who likes to experiment with all types of cuisine… flavor, culture, and ingredient-wise. The Instant Pot Smart Pressure Cooker allowed me to continue doing that. The thing comes with 3 temperatures for sautéing, simmering, and thickening, and 3 temperatures for slow cooking. That being said, I definitely wasn’t limited in what I could create while using it (which is very important to me).

As for clean-up, the stainless steel design makes that relatively easy. As long as you soak the pot immediately after-use you really shouldn’t have any problems. Stuff that would usually stick to baking pans and frying pans just wipes right off.

One problem I did encounter while trying to clean it though was cleaning the area where the lid connects to the pot. It’s kind of difficult to get in there and so it can’t really be washed out with run-of-the-mill dish washing products. As a result, I’ve had to resort to keeping cotton swabs in a nearby cabinet to get all the gunk out.

But in the end, I can’t really complain either. Instead of using tons of pots and pans and cooking utensils, all I really get dirty is the cutting board at the pressure cooker itself. That’s a trade I’m willing to make!

As far as the app goes, I’m almost in love. Why almost, you ask?

The app makes pressure cooking even more convenient than it already was (which is very). You don’t even have to stand by the stove. You simply submit the cooking directions, and that’s it.

What’s more is that the app even comes with its very own recipes. The cooking directions or “scripts” are already in there and ready to be sent over to the Instant Pot Smart Pressure Cooker. In that aspect, you don’t really have to do any extra work at all.

But the annoying thing about the app is that the number of recipes included is limited, and so you have to turn to the web to find more recipes. And even with those recipes, you can only download the scripts. If there’s something you want to change about them, you can’t. You can only look at them and send them over to your smart pot.

Also, the app is really bad at organizing the recipe scripts. While it does put them in alphabetical order for you, you can only “search” for the recipes that the app came with. Any that you downloaded separately or entered yourself can’t be searched for. You have to scroll forever to find them which is kind of annoying. It’s definitely something I’d like to see improved.

Also, since the app works on a Bluetooth network, you can’t really go wherever you want like a wireless network will allow. In other words, I can stick around in my house and watch the status of my food through my phone but I can’t do the same at the grocery store or gym. I hope in the future they update it to work wirelessly so I can be out and about while watching my food at the same time. That would be truly revolutionary.

But all in all, I can create a gourmet, nutritious, and delicious home-cooked meal from the comfort of my sofa with the Instant Pot Smart Pressure Cooker and its app. I really can’t complain…

My advice

Every pressure cooker is different, and there are a bunch of little tricks and techniques that only those who have used the pressure cooker themselves pick up on. That being said, here are my personal tips and techniques when it comes to using the Instant Pot Smart Pressure Cooker.

My first tip is to buy a second seal for your cooker. Although the seal is made of silicone, it does hold on to food odor which is close to impossible to get out without a blowtorch. To make sure your flavors don’t transfer from one dish to another, a second seal is pretty much necessary. Use one for sweet dishes and another for savory dishes and you’ll be set!

And if you’re doing a beef or pork roast, I personally found it came out best after adding 3-5 minutes to the Instant Pot Smart Pressure Cooker’s presets. If you cook them for the amount of time that the presets suggest, things tend to come out a little undercooked.

Overview

All in all, I believe that there is definitely a lot more good to the Instant Pot Smart Pressure Cooker than there is bad. If I had to decide again whether or not to buy it, I’d definitely still buy it. It makes cooking much easier and way more relaxed than it is traditionally while still allowing me to make a variety of vastly different meals and dishes.

To give an overview, here is a list of pros and cons.

Pros:

  • Your phone cooks the food for you
  • It comes with lots of cooking settings
  • It comes with lots of safety features
  • It has an easy-to-read display
  • It’s relatively easy to clean
  • It comes with a steam rack, silicone oven mitts, and a manual including recipes

Cons:

  • Steep price tag (retails for around $135 USD)
  • The app needs some work
  • The seal absorbs food odors
  • The presets aren’t completely accurate

And there you have it. If you have the money for this kind of thing, it’s worth every penny. Those who lead busy lifestyles will especially be grateful for the few extra minutes they can sit on the couch rather than stand over a stove.

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