I read an intriguing article in last week’s paper about electric pressure cookers (specifically recipes for the Instant-Pot). From the description, the IP sounds like it has all the great cooking qualities of APC/SV, but 70% faster. I’m old enough to know there are usually trade-offs (when you get faster, you usually lose something too).
I remember my mothers’s old style pressure cooker. It’s how she cooked many of our fresh vegetables back in the day: corn, zucchini, string beans. (The thick pot was also great for preparing risotto!)
Can anyone comment on SV vs IP?
Is IP better for cooking particular items, and not so good at others?
I am NOT trying to stir up a SV vs IP debate - just want to know the differences.
There is no comparison between the two really. They offer different outcomes.
A pressure cooker decreases cooking times by cooking under pressure (funny that ). It’s a wet cooking method. Wet cooking methods are limited by the boiling point of water. By increasing the atmospheric pressure within the pot the boiling point is raised above 100C/212F, so the food can be hotter before the fluid hits its limiting point and boils. There are other things at play here too, but this is the essential. You’re cooking at higher temperatures to achieve the more rapid denaturing of protein and conversion of collagen to gelatin.
Sous vide, on the other hand, allows you to cook at precise low temperatures for long times to achieve the same collagen to gelatin conversion. So you can cook a high collagen piece of meat for a long time to allow for collagen conversion while still keeping it at the temperature for medium rare 54C/130F.
So, you see, they aren’t interchangeable. They are achieving the same thing, tender meat, but the actual outcome is completely different.
[quote=“Ember, post:2, topic:12826”]
decreases cooking times by cooking under pressure (funny that)[/quote]
yes, funny and ironic (since sous vide is “under vacuum”, the exact opposite).
I think I get it: Both methods result in the same thing (tender meat) but I can’t get a medium rare steak (or pork chop) with a pressure cooker. If so, sounds like it’s better suited for how my mom used it (vegetables).
I’m curious, is a pressure cooker part of your cooking arsenal?
I have yet to release my new IP from Christmas from the box, but I imagine that both machines have their place and are better in some areas that the other.
The Instant Pot has a lot of other features in addition to a pressure cooker. I use pressure cooking primarily when I need to get things done faster. They do a pretty good job on a lot of different things but like Ember said they are totally different. Meat will come out more like traditional braised dishes.
I have an electric pressure cooker, but I don’t use it much. It can do other things other than pressure cooking. But, I still haven’t let go of my rice cooker (I really should. I’m seriously short of bench space) or my yoghurt maker (can be done with IC, but I have a couple of sets of little jars for it).
I mainly use mine for making stocks. Throw everything in, press the button and a little while later try to find the bones. Of course, then you’ve got to do some extra processing to clarify it if that’s what you need.
But for regular braises I don’t use it unless I’m strapped for time and there’s no other meal option. I find that while everything cooks in the short time the flavours don’t meld and develop in the short time. So a braise done in the pressure cooker will have the same texture as one done traditionally, but it won’t taste the same.
kcwalker — IMO, the Instant Pot Ultra 60 is currently the only model in the IP line to allow (so called) immersion vacuum cooking (no pressure is involved), due to programmable temperatures that are very near conventional immersion cookers. The only differences are that the IP Ultra 60 only offers ±3°C (5°F) temp precision (VS the Anova’s 0.01°) and the IP does not “circulate” water like the Anova does, as it relies on a bottom heat source which propagates heat pretty efficiently and consistantly around the pot.** As long as you use a steam rack to keep food from resting at the bottom of the inner pot, results are quite impressive. I’d say that most people could not tell the difference between IP and Anova results for most recipes. However, the IP Ultra 60 benefits from a lot more cooking functions and possibilities than the Anova, the latter being limited to only one. This translates into a very expensive gadget that is flawed by a poorly designed application and a somewhat idiotic physical interface, as is the Joule for that matter. In all cases, it is very clear that these “new” tools have not yet reached their intelligent maturity.
** I recall reading about an early IP Ultra 60 buyer who used a cheap $20 aquarium water circulator favorably to imitate a dedicated Anova or Joule with her IP Ultra 60. I never got around to try it myself, but I’m sure that if I did, the results would be positive.
BTW, I use both the IP Ultra 60 and Anova Wi-Fi and I find both equally far from perfect. If I had to keep only one of them, it would be most definitely the IP Ultra 60 for its incredible flexibility… as I look forward to much improved and debugged next generations (in both cases). Just my 2¢!
The IP much like the water oven/water bath style precision cookers (Sous Vide Supreme and others) still circulate water, but they use natural convection to do it. The biggest issue with this style of setup is size limitation. You can only cook what fits in the pot.
My pressure cooker is more of the traditional type, which you have to heat on a stove. For my meal prep, I generally do vegetables in the pressure cooker, meat sous vide. I find that pressure cooking helps to soften vegetables (esp. cabbage, carrots, celery) for stews, which I like. And the cooking liquid makes for a flavourful soup, too!
Ember - The IP Ultra 60’s 6L SS pot (no space occupied by a circulator) is sufficient for most of my SV needs (as it probably would be for the vast majority of home cooks). As a bonus, I get the following pressure cooking programs: Ultra with customizable temps, pressure cook, meat/+poultry+fish)/stew, soup/broth, bean/chili, sterilize, rice, multigrain, porridge, egg (from soft to hard), and cake. Plus non-pressure programs like: sauté, yogurt, Ultra/SV, slow cook, and warm/reheat.
BTW, I have 2 Coleman coolers dedicated to my Anova, 9L and 16L, but I have very rarely filled them beyond 2/3. Therefore, in most cases, container size is not much of a drawback, sorry to say.
No need to be sorry. Size may not be a drawback in your use, but I came up against it early on. Different people simply use their equipment differently.
@Andre1D - Myself, I’ve had my Anova for 2 months now, and I’ve already had 4 cooks where an IP would not have fit what I needed to cook, so for me the size flexibility is definitely a factor that makes the Anova attractive. My wife and I have also been looking at picking up an IP cooker for its other cooking abilities that you’ve listed!
Off topic - @ANDRE1D I like the image you’re using for your profile picture - is that your family crest? I think I’m going to copy your usage and use my own the same way! (It’s the sincerest form of flattery! )
Mirozen - FYI, the crest is the Coat of Arms of Montréal, SV version.
Re IP: Great companion for the Anova. If you are not pressed for time, I suggest you wait for special sales when prices drop ±50%. Ex: Cyber Monday, Black Friday, Mid-Summer, etc. (Get the IP Ultra 60 if you can.)
Get both! I have three pressure cookers and two immersion precision cookers. While they both prepare dinner they serve different purposes. If I want to prepare dinner in 15 - 30 minutes, then it is the Instant Pot. If I want to have that tender restaurant quality steak, it’s the Anova.
I will give you this tip from someone who has been doing it for a while. Do NOT throw out your slow cooker when you get your Instant Pot. While the Instant Pot has the slow cooker feature and can do the job, it is not the best tool for the job. It only heats from the bottom as opposed to a crock pot and its ceramic cooking vessel.
I have the Instant Pot Smart 60, Instant Pot Duo 60, and Instant Pot Duo 80. Eight quart can’t be beat, just saying, I have never heard anyone complain that the pot was too big but I have sure complained when it was too small.
People that live in trailers and RVs and are on the road speak very highly of the little InstantPot. Storage space is at a premium.
I have actually looked at removing the range and oven from my older 36’ motorhome. I think that it is truly unnecessary for me and my ways of cooking. The Anova, Instant Pot, and Crock Pot would all fit nicely in one small cabinet. I could have that space back as counter space and another cabinet.
Ohhh it’s not an either/or…it’s an AND!! Similar but different. They both have their advantages.
I have both and love them…so far!! I seen to be cooking a lot…
Excellent advice from all, and @ANDRE1D thanks for the recommendation of the IP Ultra 60! Now to just wait for a sale!
@kcwalker - I have both; ordered on the same day in fact! I took my to Instant Pot much quicker than my Anova - for reasons I won’t go into as that’s a whole conversation itself - but suffice to say, I’m please with both my toys!
I have both 8 and 6 quart IP. The 8 is the one I use most often, at least a couple of times a week.
My Anova gets used on weekends. They both have their place in my kitchen.