Do Chefs Use the Instant Pot (Pressure Cookers?) The Instant Pot, colloquially known as the Instapot, is the most popular pressure cooker on the market. Widely loved and praised for its ease of use, safety, and hands-off cooking, it is the kitchen application of choice for many busy families.
Many Instant Pot beginners find themselves saying, “Surely this is be too good to be true.” Subsequently, one common follow-up question is, “do chefs use Instant Pots?”
Instapots are multi-cookers. In addition to pressure cooking functionality, they offer a variety of bonus features (depending on the model). Your Instant Pot can act as a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, sautér, food warm, yogurt maker, sterilizer, cake maker, canner, and sous vide-er.
Because even the most bare-bones Instant Pot models are comparable to ‘traditional’ pressure cookers, the question you really want to know is…
Answer: Yes! …and, no! The answer is nuanced, so let’s explain.
They are most commonly used in industrial settings to quickly prepare meat or stocks. However, in most scenarios, Elite Chefs avoid using pressure cookers because they provide less control over the final dish. Chefs often prefer slow cooking techniques that accentuate and pull out the flavors of the food.
Pressure cookers are popular among chefs, but they aren’t the primary cooking technique they employ. One of the most popular dishes Chefs use pressure cookers for are curries. An Instant Pot will allow them to cook curries considerably faster with little downside.
Check out this video where professional Chef Carla demos how to make Polenta Cacio e Pepe with the Instant Pot!
If you need to prepare food on a tight schedule, a pressure cooker is one of the most popular go-to cooking tools. With the power to prepare food rapidly, this innovative kitchen appliance transformed domestic kitchens.
As a result, it may appear natural for experienced cooks who are continuously pressed for time to employ it. Surprisingly, this is not always true. Do chefs make use of pressure cookers?
Time, speed, and efficiency aren’t everything! There are several key reasons why some chefs opt for a different style of cooking.
Some ingredients cook quicker than others. For example, root vegetables take longer than leafy greens. So, you might struggle to use a pressure cooker for recipes with many components that require varied cooking periods. This might not be noticeable for at-home recipes, but a Michelin star chef will disagree!
The solution: traditional pans allow chefs to keep adding ingredients at various stages of cooking.
A pressure cooker’s cover cannot be opened while cooking because all the steam (and pressure) will be released. Any recipe that requires gradual ingredient additions won’t be suitable for Instant Pots. Another solution: modify the recipe or avoid using the pressure cooker.
Chefs frequently check on their foods while they cook. The best usually continually taste, color, etc.
An Instant Pot does not allow you to monitor the food inside. Although most recipes have perfected the exact cook time, your food may be overdone or undercooked if you are experimenting with something new.
The solution: Either use an excellent recipe or take a chance. The issue frequently occurs when a recipe’s duration is unknown.
A chef’s meal is a work in progress, from start to finish. You will be hard-pressed to find a chef who doesn’t like to taste his or her meal (multiple times) while preparing it.
This continual tasting process helps them to fine-tune the flavor and texture. A pressure cooker does not allow for highly granular control. Seasoning can only be applied before or after cooking. Renowned chefs will find it tough to achieve comparable taste depth with using a pressure cooker versus traditional gradual cooking.
Pressure cookers are especially unpopular for the following dishes:
In conclusion, just because most of the top Michelin Star chefs might not use pressure cookers on a daily basis, doesn’t mean the Instant Pot isn’t a perfect addition to your kitchen! Unless you’re preparing highly specialized meals and have all day to prepare, it is unlikely that the opinion of the world’s top chefs should seriously impact your decision to use an IP in your day-to-day cooking.