If you're like most homeowners, there's never enough space to store all the awesome kitchen gadgets you own. There are lots of solutions to this problem in your kitchen. This article is about my new kitchen gadget that's saving me time and storage space. That's because it serves multiple purposes so I was able to replace the appliances on the left … with a single gadget on the right (I'm going to keep you guessing).
First let's reviews the most obvious ways to find more storage space in your kitchen:
- Add more cabinets to your kitchen, although that can be challenging if they're 20 years old.
- Organize your existing cabinets better with any of these amazing kitchen drawer organizers, so you can store more in the same space.
- Add open shelving which is becoming more popular, making it easier to find what you want.
- Get rid of the awesome kitchen gadgets you've collected over the years but never use (read: Kitchen Gadgets: What Do We Really Need?).
- Replace multiple appliances with one appliance. It's one of the new and amazing kitchen gadgets, the Instant Pot. It can replace seven other kitchen gadgets, saving space storing my small kitchen appliances.
I'm not a foodie (prefer sharing great homeowner tips), so you won't find me talking about the latest kitchen gadgets very often. That doesn't mean I don't like great meals prepared at home. Thankfully my husband does most of the cooking in our house, yah!
Did you already guess which of the new and awesome kitchen gadgets I'm talking about? It's called the Instant Pot. If you're like me, you want to research before you buy a new product. One of the best ways to do this is to read customer reviews online. Here are a few of the 18,000+ customer reviews on Amazon.
“I love the ease of throwing things in and not having to babysit. I've made soups, Italian dishes, yogurt and cheesecakes, plus basics like: spaghetti squash, boiled eggs, chicken breast, potatoes.”
“Holy Moly, I love this pot. Cooking is quicker, easier and I have more time for me. What did I ever do without it! I recommend purchasing the cook books to expand your horizons and enjoy.”
“I'm a slow cooker addict. No joke, I own 7 of them … I was afraid to try this thing but after weeks of searching out recipes, I gave in. After 1 meal, I'm obsessed! I tried my beef stew which takes 8 hours in the slow cooker. After 45 minutes, we were sitting down to a delicious meal!”
The reviews for the Instant Pot are great. There's a huge community on Facebook (more than 450,000 members) sharing recipes. But remember I like writing more than cooking. So I wanted to make sure I'd really use the Instant Pot before ordering one. That's when I decided to walk through the seven kitchen appliances that the Instant Pot replaces. If you think I missed anything please share below so I can update this post. You can also visit the InstantPot website for more product details.
Awesome Kitchen Gadgets #1: Pressure Cooker
The first thing I found intriguing is the name. The Instant Pot product name is the 7-in-1 Multi-Functional Pressure Cooker (available in 5, 6 and 8 quart sizes). While I vaguely recall owning a pressure cooker years ago, it's never been one of my go-to kitchen gadgets. That's because one of those “won't ever forget” experiences as a child, was the pressure cooker malfunctioning and the potato soup painting the kitchen walls and ceiling.
Awesome Kitchen Gadgets #2: Slow Cooker
I was surprised to learn that crock pot is simply one of the brands selling slow cookers. They're one of my favorite kitchen appliances for meal preparation. I use it frequently when I want to start something in the morning and forget about it until dinner time. I also love that it's a “meal in one pot” although you often have to brown the meat before tossing it into the pot.
My preference is a ceramic slow cooker that makes serving dinner easy. The ceramic is dishwasher safe, and I even find myself using the dish for other meals. Stainless steel seems to be more popular. I was amazed that the new improvements to the traditional slow cooker, from built-in temperature probes to blue-tooth enabled cookers.
Awesome Kitchen Gadgets #3: Rice Cooker
This is what piqued my interest as I needed a new rice cooker. Mine is thirty years old, going back to my first trip to Japan. We didn't use it much until we moved to Tokyo, living there for three plus years. Now we can't imagine life without a rice cooker so it's one of the few kitchen gadgets that I keep on the counter.
Now that I've ordered my Instant Pot, I no longer have to buy a new rice cooker. I definitely know this will let me keep just three amazing kitchen gadgets on my countertop. They are the Instant Pot, my husband's Keurig and a blender. But if you're serious about having a traditional rice cooker, here's one that is similar to mine, a “floral” Tiger Rice Cooker and Steamer.
PS Make sure you use the cup that comes with the rice maker because it's smaller than our traditional 8 oz cup.
Awesome Kitchen Gadgets #4: Yogurt Maker
While I try to eat yogurt every day, I've never tried to make my own yogurt. It's possible with the Instant Pot, I will try a few experiments making yogurt. It might be fun, it might be cheaper but it will take more time and time is what I never have enough of. What's interesting is I'm looking forward to making more homemade soups, especially ones with beans and lentils which I've avoided because of the prep required.
So I'd love to understand what motivates you to make your own yogurt? Are you trying to save money? Want healthier, organic yogurt? Believe homemade yogurt tastes better?
Awesome Kitchen Gadgets #5, 6 & 7: Saute/Browning, Steamer & Warmer
I can't imagine too many homeowners who have special pans for saute/browning, so it's not clear that you'll truly replace any pans with the Instant Pot. However you will save the time spent washing the pan you use to saute/brown meats before placing them in a slow cooker. In fact many of today's slow cookers provide this feature even if your old one doesn't.
On the few occasions I've needed warmers for large gatherings, I rented them. If you do a lot of entertaining, this might be a good investment but they're big and take up lots of storage space. Maybe a good rule is one that says, rent the awesome kitchen gadgets you only have storage space for in … the garage?
For fun I have to share with you what I found when searching Amazon for steamers…
Why I Bought My Instant Pot
So why did I buy my Instant Pot? It was a pretty easy decision:
- The reviews and community told me it was a quality product.
- One appliance is replacing two gadgets, plus one I didn't have -- a pressure cooker.
- Home made soups made in the pressure will save money, and provide healthier meals.
- One multi-purpose appliance frees up kitchen storage space.
- Why wouldn't I buy it? So how about you?