A Fast Cooker for Under $30

I got a lovely housewarming gift from my parents: a pot that cooks entire meals in minutes instead of hours. It saves time, it saves energy, doesn't heat up the whole kitchen in the summer, and it's perfect for someone like me with no patience. It was kind of neat being the only person I knew, besides, my mother, who used one. But I wondered why more people didn't use one--that pot was (and is) great, even after over 20 years' use.

Of course I'm talking about a pressure cooker. Evidently, they needed more doo-dads and a new name (Instant Pot) to become popular again. And popular they are, even though they're two to three times the price, or more, of a plain old pressure cooker and they take up counter space.

Instant pots also function as slow cookers and warmers, but it's the instant part that's appealing to people. If what you want is a pot that will cook your food in a jiffy, a pressure cooker will work. Put it on the stove, add your food with sufficient liquid, put the lid on with the weight in place, crank up the heat, and stay within earshot. When you hear the weight jiggling, turn the heat down to medium and start the timer. At the end, remove the pot from the heat and either let it cool on its own or put it in the sink and pour cold water over it. Don't touch the weight--you can get a steam burn. In the sink, it'll cool within a minute.

I've had the same pressure cooker for over 20 years (it's so old it was made in the U.S.), and only recently replaced the gasket. That's about all there is to break down on them.

A four-quart or six-quart Mirro aluminum pressure cooker is $29 compared to $80 for the cheapest 6-quart Instant Pot


FredT said…
My Mother used on for years. There was nothing that could toughen up a piece of moose quicker, making it essentially uneatable. But she would eat it anyway. So it is a tough sell to me.
Lori Miller said…
I mostly stew chicken and it's tender in no time.

My mom cooked steak in a frying pan until it was like shoe leather. I think it had more to do with that generation than with the cooking gear.
Pressure cookers / Instant Pots do seem to be getting popular again …
I still like to slow cook casseroles in the oven and appreciate the aroma coming from the kitchen :)

All the best Jan
Lori Miller said…
There's nothing like a meaty casserole to make the house smell good.
Val said…
(Late finding your new blog - Hi, Lori! Glad to see ya blogging again!)
But, ahem, I just ruined Hubby’s fancy InstaPot trying to make L reuteri yogurt... Newer models have a “Yogurt” function, his did not & I melted the plastic bottom when I put it in the oven to try to maintain temperature 😔
Thankfully he has not been using it much, so I should be able to run out & replace it before he notices that it is out of commission. (Yogurt didn’t set up properly, BTW, so I guess I’ll be drinking the first batch. Doesn’t taste bad at all!)
Lori Miller said…

I got this little yogurt maker for under $40 from Amazon--it works well. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07PBDP38D/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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