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Thread: Instant Pot Advice

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by W_Stewart View Post
    I was looking at a 6 qt Duo, haven't bought one yet as they are out of stock everywhere that has a decent price. What are the differences worth considering the Ultra over the Duo?
    The one difference that had me leaning heavily toward the Ultra was being able to dial in your own temperature. As Len mentioned, this make sous vide possible, though I think it would go well beyond that. I've not used the IP yet so I don't know if it suffers from this same issue, but I know a lot of slow cookers have a "low" setting that's not very low. When slow cookers first became popular, "low" was quite low. Then product safety people decided you might be brewing a big batch of bacteria if you took the food out too early when cooked on "low", so the manufacturers bumped the "low" temperature way up to be sure the food got out of the danger zone quickly. This made it so there's almost no difference between "low" and "high" on most slow cookers. I tried doing a pork shoulder in my slow cooker and the shoulder that should have taken at least 8 hours was seriously over-done in less than 4 hours. Anyway, this is a long way of getting to my point that being able to set your own temperature gives you complete control over how "slow" the food is going to cook, regardless of what the manufacturer has done with the "slow cook" setting.

    My 8 qt. Duo is still in the box. I'm debating whether I should keep it or return it and get the Ultra. The larger capacity is a bit of a plus on the Duo. They say don't go beyond 2/3 capacity for pressure cooking, which leaves you at 4 qts. pressure capacity on the 6 qt. model. The 8 qt. would get you to slightly over 5qts, which probably would work better for things like chili.

    I downloaded a copy of the manual and will have to read through it before I make a final decision.

  2. #12
    TVWBB Diamond Member Len Dennis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JayHeyl View Post
    I downloaded a copy of the manual and will have to read through it before I make a final decision.
    IMO, manual is basically useless. Browse blogs, etc for real-life opinions about the unit(s) you're interested in.
    So many recipes, so little time
    : Genesis gas grill 18.5" WSM Maverick ET-732 :

  3. #13
    TVWBB Emerald Member LMichaels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Len Dennis View Post
    From what I remember ultra is said to be able to sous vide (duo can't as the temp control is not as precise).

    here is a comparison ignore the price comparisons in that one. There are others. Just google for "ultra vs duo comparison" .

    As for 6 or 8 qt, one reviewer found the 6 qt feeds their family of 5 nicely. I wouldn't go smaller (3qt) other than for a single person/university student.

    The 6 wiĺl do a 4-5 lb butt or 5 lb chicken so how much more do you need?
    I thought you were asking about the Fagor products

  4. #14
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    I decided to keep the 8 qt. Duo. It was likely a wise decision because first use would have exceeded the capacity of the 6 qt. I made carnitas with a Cuban flair following a recipe I got from a link here at TVWBB. If I make it again I'll definitely be kicking up the spice level quite a lot, but I have to say it was quite good, and the fastest I've ever seen a pork shoulder cook to fall apart tenderness. I had two giant soft tacos and then found myself going back for a third. Fortunately I split that one with my nephew or I'd likely been in pain later.

    I think what impressed me most was that the IP did a better job of browning the pork than my 100-year-old cast iron skillet. No hots spots, no cold spots, just nice even heat with very fast recovery time. Still early days but this looks promising.

  5. #15
    TVWBB Hall of Fame Clint's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JayHeyl View Post
    I decided to keep the 8 qt. Duo. It was likely a wise decision because first use would have exceeded the capacity of the 6 qt. I made carnitas with a Cuban flair following a recipe I got from a link here at TVWBB. If I make it again I'll definitely be kicking up the spice level quite a lot, but I have to say it was quite good, and the fastest I've ever seen a pork shoulder cook to fall apart tenderness. I had two giant soft tacos and then found myself going back for a third. Fortunately I split that one with my nephew or I'd likely been in pain later.

    I think what impressed me most was that the IP did a better job of browning the pork than my 100-year-old cast iron skillet. No hots spots, no cold spots, just nice even heat with very fast recovery time. Still early days but this looks promising.
    I did carnitas again on Monday to take to a game, it worked easy and I put an 8# pork shoulder in it, cut into ~2" chunks, along with the bone that still had meat attached. (8 quart duo)

  6. #16
    TVWBB Diamond Member Len Dennis's Avatar
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    Sealing Ring: do not bother trying to get the stink of old "cooks" out of it. Gone through turkey soup, ribs and beef stew. Pheww, it smells.

    Tried washing HA! Tried outside for a day HA! Tried water and lemon peels and steam it HA! Not going to waste any more time on it.

    I've two "coloured" rings I'll use for sweet (desserts, etc) and this clear one for savoury (ribs, stews, etc).

    If you're ordering an IP, get an extra clear silicone ring AND a coloured (or two) ring for non-spicy stuff. You'll need them.
    So many recipes, so little time
    : Genesis gas grill 18.5" WSM Maverick ET-732 :

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Len Dennis View Post
    If you're ordering an IP, get an extra clear silicone ring AND a coloured (or two) ring for non-spicy stuff. You'll need them.
    Do you think this is something that will actually affect the flavor of the food or is it mostly an aesthetic issue? My first cook was pork shoulder and I didn't notice any smell at all from the ring after that. Last night I made meat sauce for pasta and the ring now has a very distinct pasta sauce smell. But it's hard to imagine the little bit of ring at the very top that's exposed to the contents when the IP is closed will actually impact the flavor of a dish.

    I should add the pasta sauce was satisfactory. Perhaps it was just suggestion from an episode of Good Eats where Alton mentioned flavors in pressure cooked meals can be a bit muted, but the sauce seemed not quite as bright as I would have liked. Next time maybe I'll add a bit of lemon juice or a hit of red wine vinegar before serving. I used a 50/50 mix of Italian sausage and ground beef. I don't normally like using ground beef in pasta sauce unless I have the time to simmer the sauce for several hours. Less than that and it just seems like tasteless blobs of meat floating in a tasty sauce. With the pressure cooker, 10 minutes of pressure cooking and a natural cool down accomplished much the same result as hours of simmering. Same with the sausage. Simmered for 3 or 4 hours the sausage becomes velvety soft, I assume because the collagen has rendered. The pressure cooker results weren't exactly the same, but they were pretty close. Certainly a major improvement over normal browning in a pan and then adding to the sauce. So, all told, very happy with how the meat came out and okay with the rest of the sauce but will probably try to brighten it up a bit next time.

    Returning to my concerns for using the IP as a slow cooker, I've been reading that the IP is kind of so-so in the slow cooker department. It's okay for very liquidy dishes but leaves something to be desired with thicker, meatier things. Apparently the problem is with the heat coming almost entirely from the bottom of the pot and not from all around as it will when using a ceramic crock. I would think a fully clad pot would solve this issue, though it would significantly drive up the cost of the IP. This left me wondering if there might be a Rube Goldberg approach to at least partially solving this. Has anyone tried wrapping the outside of the IP insert with heavy duty aluminum foil? Given the light weight I wouldn't expect it to help much, but it might carry more of the heat to the sides of the pot and improve the performance as a slow cooker.

  8. #18
    TVWBB Diamond Member Len Dennis's Avatar
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    I have read both sides (of the dual ring issue). I'd rather not take a chance on having my $12 cheesecake tasting like yesterdays ribs

    You could try it, see how it turns out and let us know
    So many recipes, so little time
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  9. #19
    TVWBB Hall of Fame timothy's Avatar
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    I like that idea of ordering different colored rings, need to borrow that.

    I've had good luck just washing and air drying mine, but I don't seal the lid when storing and I also put a small Tupperware container of baking soda ( 1/2 cup ) on the bottom. I figured a box absorbs odor's in a fridge, and it seems to work ok in the IP.

    I used mine 4 times this weekend. Ham bone broth.. Cubed potatoes, carrots, celery.. Rice.. Guinness Brats W/ Peppers onions .

    Tim
    Different smokes for different folks. Wish the Dollar Store sold gas!

  10. #20
    TVWBB Diamond Member Len Dennis's Avatar
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    I thought I read elsewhere that baking soda in that manner was a waste of time??

    I know this is a WSM site and appreciate everything Chris does (by himself) BUT maybe we should have a dedicated IP sub forum. It would be nice

    Put it under the Kitchen Appliance main forum
    So many recipes, so little time
    : Genesis gas grill 18.5" WSM Maverick ET-732 :

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