So what’s all the hype and fuss surrounding the Instant Pot? It turns out it’s not just another faddy kitchen appliance that gets used once then shoved in a cupboard.

The modern take on the pressure cooker works for many dishes that were once limited to the oven or stove top. Let’s have a look at what the Instant Pot can do:

1. Brown Rice

Brown rice is a nutritious food, but can be hard to get right for home cooks. If you screw up the rice-to-water ratio, you end up with mushy or soupy rice, and if you leave it on the stove too long it comes out dry or burnt. The whole cooking process for brown rice takes around 45 minutes to an hour.

How Instant Pot Helps

Instant pot is like a rice cooker in that it gives perfectly steamed rice that requires very little babysitting on your part.

When making brown rice in an electric pressure cooker, use a ratio of approximately 2 cups of rice to 2.5 cups of water. Cook for 22 to 24 minutes, and leave the pot to release the pressure naturally for around 5 to 10 minutes. Your rice should come out fluffy and perfectly done.

2. Cheesecake

Homemade cheesecake rarely turns out as good as you can get at your favorite diner. Cheesecakes have to be baked in a hot water bath or you end up with ugly cracks breaking up the surface. It takes 20 minutes to prep, two hours to cook plus cooling time; so baking a cheesecake can take the best part of a day.

new york cheesecake

How Instant Pot Helps

Prepare the crust and cream cheese filling like you normally would, then place the cake on a steaming rack in the Instant Pot above one-and-a-quarter cups of water. Instead of sitting in a water bath in the oven, the cake steams, meaning it has a perfectly smooth top.

Let it cook on manual pressure for 37 minutes, then let the Instant Pot release the pressure naturally for another 25. You still need to let the cake cool for a couple of hours though – there’s no shortcut for that, unfortunately.

3. Poached Eggs

Achieving the perfect poached egg at home can be difficult. Get it wrong and you end up with ragged, watery whites and a yolk that’s broken or overcooked. The stovetop method involves dropping the egg gently into boiling water, which leaves a lot of room for a bad result.

How Instant Pot Helps

Poaching eggs with Instant Pot is easy. Crack the eggs into silicone cups instead of directly into a pot. Once the cups are filled, put them on a steaming rack inside the Instant Pot above one cup of water. Seal the lid and steam them for a few minutes to get round, neat poached eggs.

4. Risotto

Risotto can be one of the most difficult recipes to master on the stovetop, with all the constant stirring until it reaches the perfect consistency. If you’re doing it right, risotto can take up to half an hour of adding liquid and stirring.

How Instant Pot Helps

You can make creamy risotto in the Instant Pot in seven minutes and with no stirring.

Coat the rice in the preheated pressure cooker like you would on the stovetop, then once the rice has toasted, add the broth, seal the lid and cook for five to six minutes. After releasing the pressure and giving the rice a stir, your risotto should be ready to plate.

5. Mac and Cheese

There’s nothing quite like homemade macaroni and cheese, but it needs a lot of work. You have to cook the pasta, make a roux sauce and bake it all together in the oven. It also creates a lot of dirty dishes and pans to clean up.

How Instant Pot Helps

Instant Pot mac and cheese is even more convenient than the boxed variety. Put all the ingredients – dry pasta, water, butter, seasonings – in the pressure cooker. Leave it to cook at high pressure for four minutes, then release the pressure and add evaporated milk and shredded cheeses. Mix everything together for the perfect comfort food.

6. Baked Potatoes

Traditionally baked potatoes aren’t difficult to make, they’re just time consuming. To get fluffy baked potatoes you need to cook them for around 45 minutes.

potatoes au gratin

How Instant Pot Helps

Simple just got simpler. Add a cup of water to the bottom of your pressure cooker, put the potato on the steaming rack and close the lid. Cook at high pressure for 12 to 20 minutes, then naturally release the pressure for another 10 minutes.

7. Pot Roast

Who doesn’t love a pot roast on a winter Sunday when you’ve got all day to mess around? Making one on a weeknight is a different matter, when you just don’t have the three or four hours it takes to slowly cook the tougher cuts of meat until they are falling apart.

How Instant Pot Helps

You can make a pot roast even on a weeknight with your Instant Pot. It cuts your cooking time in half, and tastes just as good as a chuck roast done in a Dutch oven. Brown your meat, sauté your onions and garlic inside the hot Instant Pot. Add a cup of chicken stock and cook at high pressure for 45 minutes. Let the cooker depressurise naturally for another 25 minutes, then remove the roast and add vegetables. Cook them on high for four minutes, then release the pressure quickly before taking out the vegetables and using the juices to make gravy.