You don't need all those gadgets. Just the one that works.

There was a time when I needed one of these, one of those. I had every gadget and gizmo under the sun. Slow cookers. Rice cookers. Pressure cookers. Had I kept going, I might have needed a bigger house, or at least a storage unit to house it all.

Then, one day, the light came on. It was the day my step-daughter said "you need an Instant Pot".

She was right. Once I got the hang of the thing, I never looked back, and gave away or sold all the other 'cookers'. If you're young and on a budget, going WFPBNO (Whole-food, Plant-based, No oil), or live in a small place and you don't yet have an Instant Pot ... why not? It's one thing that I could no longer live without. I use it at least once a week, and usually more.

I've been using pressure cookers for decades - and they served their purpose. They were great at making cooking faster. But, not necessarily easier. There didn't seem to be any quick and sure 'cheat sheet' to times, and figuring out the pressure via little jiggler valve ... sigh. What a pain in the neck! The theory was that each little 'mark' on the valve equalled a certain pressure. So, you stood there, watching. And, waiting. And, hoping.

The Instant Pot is brilliant. It eliminates much ... actually, most of the guesswork. Set it and move on to other things. That said, it requires some thinking, and I keep a handy 'cheatsheet' of times for different foods, and I keep notes when times need to vary.

However, the Instant Pot takes up much less counter space and does a far better job than all the others. I recommend a 6-quart for most people. Smaller? Nah. You're going to always wish you'd gone bigger. But, bigger? Unless you're running a large food service, you won't need it.

I probably cook whole grains most often in my Instant Pot. Brown rice was always sort of a crap shoot in a regular pressure cooker, and even in the rice cooker the results were hit and miss. Then, other whole grains - Farro, Oat Groats and such - were really guesswork. Not so much with the IP. Then, when you consider that you can cook root vegetables and so much more - think Acorn squash, for example - in minutes, well, you've discovered heaven.

So, I hope you'll get an Instant Pot - if you don't already have one. You'll then be able to ditch all the other gizmos.

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