A picture depicting the difference between an silver instant pot on ‘off’ function with a glass measuring jug filled with coarse brown rice on a wooden board in front of it VS a silver pressure cooker on an induction cook top with a woman in a white t-shirt placing the lid on with loose crisp green lettuce leaves on countertop in front of stove.

What is the Difference Between an Instant Pot and a Pressure Cooker

What is the difference between an instant pot and a pressure cooker you ask? Well, the first biggie is that an instant pot has a timer. I know, right? But there are other differences too. For example, most pressure cookers have two settings: high and low. An Instant Pot has 6 or more functions, including Soup/Broth, Meat/Stew, Bean/Chili, Poultry, Sauté/Simmering and Rice.

And does it really matter which one you get? Spoiler alert: I’m a big fan of the Instant Pot! Stay tuned to find out why.

Difference between an Instant Pot and a Pressure Cooker

When it comes to appliances in your kitchen there are a few important decisions to make; do you want a slow cooker, rice cooker or pressure cooker? And if you’re looking at getting a pressure cooker what’s the difference between an instant pot and a regular pressure cooker?

In this article we’re going to explore those questions so you can be armed with the information you need when it comes time for decision making. So let’s get started!

What is an Instant Pot?

An Instant Pot is electric pressure cooker with 7-in-1 multifunctional capabilities: pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, sauté pan, warmer and yogurt maker [1]. It also has 11 safety features built in making it one of the safest cooking appliances available today. The best part about these babies is that they take care of all your needs as it has its own heat source, so all you have to do is push a button and wait!

With all these functions built into one appliance it’s no wonder why they call it an “instant” pot – meals can literally be made in minutes as opposed to hours using traditional cooking methods because instant pots are so easy to use!

An opened instant pot from above with raw ingredients of peppers, rice onions in what looks like a tomato-ey sauce on a grey toned counter top with what looks like red &green jalapenos haphazardly surrounding it.

What is a Pressure Cooker?

A regular Pressure Cooker doesn’t have all of these bells whistles (or multiple functions), but instead just does one thing really well – cooks food under pressure! And it usually acquires a heat source to do its job.

It commonly has two settings (high or low), while some even come with a rapid setting designed for dishes that would normally take 8-10 minutes under high pressure, like quinoa or fish.

If you’re looking for something affordable with fewer functions then go for basic old school model-pressure cooker. But if you want something fancy pants with lots of buttons and different programs then by all means indulge in an Instant Pot!

Whatever route you decide to go just make sure you factor in how often YOU think you’ll use it because both have their pros (and cons)!

Who invented the Pressure Cooker?

The pressure cooker was invented in 1679 by a French physicist named Denis Papin [2]. He was looking for a way to reduce the cooking time of food. Papin’s invention consisted of a pot with a tight-fitting lid that could be sealed shut.

The pot was placed over a fire and the steam that was produced by the boiling water created pressure inside the pot. This pressure helped to cook the food more quickly. Papin’s invention was met with some skepticism at first, but it gradually gained popularity and is now an essential kitchen appliance in many households.

A silver pressure cooker on a silver black top induction cook top with what looks like a woman’s hand on the pressure lid blue buttoned handle.

What size Pressure Cooker do I need?

If you are in the market for a pressure cooker, one of the first decisions you’ll need to make is what size to get. Pressure cookers come in a range of sizes, from small units that are perfect for cooking a single meal to large units that can accommodate an entire family.

Of course, the size of your pressure cooker should be based on your needs. If you plan on using it to cook large meals for a crowd, then you’ll need a larger unit. However, if you’re only going to use it for occasional cooking or meal prep, then a smaller unit will suffice.

In terms of capacity, most pressure cookers can hold anywhere from 4 to 10 quarts. So, if you need to feed a family of four, then a 4-quart pressure cooker should be plenty. But if you entertain often or have a large family, then you’ll want to opt for a larger model.

What cooks food faster in a Pressure Cooker?

Okay, so my now we know what a pressure cooker is, and how to tell the difference between the rest of the multi-functional cookers out there. The heat from your chosen type of cook top will make steam pressure builds up inside the pot, trapping heat and moisture. This can cook food faster than other methods, such as boiling or baking. In addition, pressure cooking can help to preserve nutrients and flavor.

The high pressure inside a pressure cooker forces liquid and moisture into the food, which helps it to cook faster – that is really what the pressure cooker was designed to do. The intense heat also helps to break down tough connective tissue in meats, making them tenderer. Pressure cooking can also help to preserve the nutritional value of food.

Because the food is cooked quickly, there is less time for nutrients to be lost through evaporation. Additionally, the sealed environment of a pressure cooker prevents oxygen from coming into contact with the food, which can prevent nutrient degradation.

Finally, pressure cooking can help to lock in flavor. The steam provides a moist environment that allows flavors to meld together, and the high pressure amplifies aromas.

Why an Instant Pot is the best appliance for your kitchen

A sliver instant pot surround by grey toned bowls with a variety of ingredients and a glass jug half filled with water against a backdrop of a window with white metal blinds.

The Instant Pot is one of the best appliances you can buy for your kitchen – mine has really found its place in our home. It’s a pressure cooker, slow cooker, yogurt maker, rice cooker, and steamer all in one with its own heat source. It’s perfect for busy families because it can cook a meal in minutes.

And it’s perfect for novice cooks because it’s so easy to use. Just throw in your ingredients, set the timer and let the Instant Pot do its thing. I’ve been using my Instant Pot for years now, and I can’t imagine life without it.

I’ve used it to make everything from simple meals like beans to intricate dishes like Spaghetti Bolognese. It’s easy to clean, and it doesn’t take up much counter space. Plus, there are hundreds of recipes specifically designed for the Instant Pot.

But it’s not just convenient – it’s also safe. The pot has multiple safety features, including an automatic shut-off that kicks in if the pressure gets too high. So if you’re looking for an appliance that will make your life easier and help you make delicious meals, then you need an Instant Pot.

Wrapping up: Instant Pot vs Pressure Cooker

If you’re looking to save time in the kitchen without sacrificing taste or quality, in my opinion, an Instant Pot is definitely worth the investment.

Not only will it help you make quick and easy meals, but it’s also relatively fool-proof – meaning even if you’re not a great cook, your food will still turn out tasting amazing. f you’re still undecided about whether an Instant Pot is for you, don’t worry.

Just ask yourself this question: do you feel lucky, punk? (just kidding).

Ask: do you like feeling like a domestic god or goddess? If the answer is yes, then congratulations! You need an Instant Pot in your life 😉

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Charlene Gallant

Charlene is a lover of good food. She enjoys nothing more than cooking up a storm in the kitchen and sharing her favourite recipes with her readers. She also enjoys reading a good book.

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