Posted on 11 Comments

Why I Love my Electric Pressure Cooker, aka Knockoff Instant Pot

This was originally posted in 2017. Since I’ve found my pressure cooker to be super helpful with eating healthy at home, it seems appropriate to share for the new year.

Last Christmas my lovely parents bought us an 8 qt. GoWise Pressure cooker that I have used almost daily ever since. This is the exact one I have:

With all the sales happening, and the Instant Pot craze still going strong, I know lots of people will be getting an electric pressure cooker and then wondering what to do with it. At least that’s what I did. Now that I’ve used mine for a while, I have some favorite uses for it to share with newbies. I have never used an official Instant Pot, so I can’t say how they compare. They should work about the same, though, so if you have an Instant Pot or other similar electric pressure cooker you should be able to enjoy all this awesomeness, too.

Boiled eggs: Boiled eggs on the stovetop are easy, unless you’re getting ready for work or school or have young children or are otherwise easily distracted. Then you either burn them or undercook them. Peeling them also is hit or miss. Sometimes the shell comes off easily, other times it takes half the egg white with it.

In the electric pressure cooker, I can put a dozen eggs in the steamer basket with a little water, push the button for eggs (mine has 1,3, and 5 minute settings for soft, medium and hard), and forget about it. The end result is perfectly cooked eggs that peel so easily my two year old can do it.

Potatoes: Even in the microwave, I have a hard time getting potatoes and sweet potatoes to cook properly. It seems like I always have to restart it a few times to finally get them done. With the pressure cooker, I set it for 15-17 minutes depending on how soft I want them, and they are always done. I’m trying to quit using my microwave all together, too, so the pressure cooker is definitely the faster option compares to the oven.

Slow cooker recipes: Anything you’d make in a crockpot can be cooked in the pressure cooker. You can either use the slow cooker setting, or, if you forgot about cooking dinner until after lunch, you can cook it under pressure and have it done in an hour or less.

Not only that, but, unlike with a slow cooker, you can use the sauté setting to brown meats or anything that needs browning first. That means more flavor with fewer dirty dishes.

Beans: If I forget to presoak dry beans, I’ll put them in my pressure cooker for five minutes to do a quick presoak, drain, and add back to the pot along with the seasonings and broth or cooking water, then cook using the bean setting. It’s possible to skip the presoak entirely and go straight to cooking, if I’m short on time, but I prefer to presoak when I can.

If I get them cooking early enough in the day, I’ll switch to the slow cooker setting after they’ve cooked with pressure. That gives them the super yummy, second day flavor on day one.

Stews, soups and curries: Browning meats and onions in the pot add flavor, and you can use the pressure then slow cook trick to further develop the flavor.

Bone broth: Normally I would simmer bones all day on the stove for broth. With the pressure cooker, I set it to the two hour maximum time and get yummy bone broth.

Stackable foods: Smaller meats like chicken breasts, vegetables and rice can be put into separate heat-proof containers and steam cooked at the same time. I usually cook too much at once to do that, but when it works out, it is handy and doesn’t heat up the kitchen like using the oven.

Rice: It cooks rice even better than my little rice cooker, and I don’t risk burning it like I do on the stovetop. (There’s lots of distractions here, people.) I don’t use it much for rice, though, since I usually cook curries and things I serve with rice in the pressure cooker. Whenever my rice cooker dies, though, I’m seriously considering a second, smaller pressure cooker as a replacement.

Yogurt: I haven’t quite perfected yogurt with any method yet, but so far, the best I’ve made is in jars on the trivet in the pressure cooker. It is still a little runny, but it works well for smoothies.

Baking: I’ve only done this once, but thought I’d mention it. You can bake cakes and breads in it by setting the bread or cake pan on the trivet and adding water to the pot for steam. This helps keep the bread or cake moist, which is especially handy for baking with gluten or grain-free flours.

Like this article? To make sure you don’t miss out on future posts, sign up for my newsletter.

11 thoughts on “Why I Love my Electric Pressure Cooker, aka Knockoff Instant Pot

  1. […] In the interest of being totally transparent regarding the things I recommend, I think it’s only fair that I post an update to my Why I Love my Electric Pressure Cooker, aka Knockoff Instant Pot post. […]

  2. […] Soups, stews and beans are usually cheap, filling and can be a one pot meal. Having a few recipes you like and keeping the ingredients on hand can really help save money on food. They also are easy to make in bulk and usually freeze well, so making a bunch and having it for lunch or in the freezer for nights that dinner plans don’t work out helps prevent eating out. I love crock pots or pressure cookers for making soups and stews. It’s absolutely not necessary to run out and buy a slow cooker or pressure cooker, but if it’s something you’ve been considering, I love my electric pressure cooker for so many things. […]

  3. Why does any brand other than an Instant Pot have to be a “knock-off”? That’s rather insulting. So for those of us who have been using electric pressure cookers for almost 20 years, does that mean we haven’t really been cooking in worthy devices? I, for one, love my non-Instant Pot and can make anything in it that someone with an Instant Pot can.

    1. Hi Michelle! No insult was intended. I use another brand as well and love it. It seems like, for whatever reason Instant Pot has become the go-to term for electric pressure cookers, like saying Kleenex instead of tissue or Crayola instead of crayon.

      1. Well since I have IP, AND pressure cooker XL. Plus a presto canner. IP, & Pressure cooker are same device. IP=SS pressure cooker insert. PRESSER COOKER XL=Non stick, inner pot. Had mine recoated, 5 Yrs old.Canner is used on stove. 5 stars for all. Yogurt press button., goes 12 hours. Make banana bread using glass pryex dish, on trivet. Baked it. My 220 stove sits there, looking pretty.

        1. Thanks for commenting! I think you brought up one of the key reasons a lot of people like the Instant Pot and that’s the stainless steel inner pot. It is possible to find other brands, like my GoWise, that use stainless steel instead of a non-stick inner pot. I do remember that being a big selling point when the Instant Pot brand was introduced.

          It is amazing how much you can do with the electric pressure cookers. Before I got mine, I used my slow cooker frequently. I liked the idea of making the same soups and stews in a pressure cooker without it taking all day like with the slow cooker. Now my slow cooker sits and I’m thinking of getting a second, smaller electric pressure cooker to use for sides, desserts, etc. while my big one cooks the main dish.

    2. The InstaPot came out well after the Pressure Pro. So the InstaPot would be the knockoff.

  4. I have the exact same brand and I love it for all the same reasons! I purchased my GoWise EPC mainly because of the stainless steel liner. Mine might be older because I don’t have a yogurt selection. I have purchased many of the IP accessories though.

    1. That’s awesome! I haven’t bought any accessories for mine. Are there any you’ve found particularly helpful?

  5. I bought a Farberware cooker for half the price. I love it and use it daily. Why are there complaints about the non-stick lining? It is a safety issue?
    I am cooking pulled pork for Super Bowl right now. So easy!

    1. Hi Sharon,
      There are some possible health concerns with Teflon coating, which is why a lot of people avoid it. This article talks a bit about it:

      Personally, I switched to all stainless steel and cast iron cookware 14 years ago while pregnant with my firstborn because of the health concerns. The above article mentions that they’ve removed the main component of concern (PFOA) in 2013, so I’m not sure if there’s still reason to avoid it. Even back then, I think the main concern was if the coating got scratched or damaged.

      Since switching, though, I’ve found another benefit: I can use any utensils I want without worrying about scratching my pots and pans. I mostly use metal cooking utensils now that last forever without them cracking or melting, whereas before I had to replace them frequently.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.