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Pressure cookers have been around for decades, but there has been a surge in popularity for these kitchen appliances since the Instant Pot was introduced back in 2010. It seems everyone and their dog jumped on the Instant Pot train, and it’s not slowing down any time soon!

It’s understandable why the Instant Pot quickly became one of the most popular kitchen appliances, with the latest numbers saying over 53 million Americans have one in their home! However, as with anything that rises through the ranks of commercialism, there are myths and half-truths aplenty. Let’s debunk some of those myths and set the record straight.

Food Cooked In Instant Pot Is Less Nutritious

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There’s a myth going around that meals cooked in an Instant Pot are somehow less nutritious than meals cooked in the oven or in a pan. However, that’s simply not true. In fact, since pressure cookers cook at around 240 degrees, it preserves a lot of vitamins and minerals. Even more than baking, since most meals are cooked at 300-350 degrees.

“Many people believe instant pots kill the nutrients of food when cooking them at high temperatures, labeling it an unhealthy means of cooking,” Grace Woinicz, CEO at The Brilliant Kitchen said in an interview with Mashed. “This is unlikely as most research shows that pressure-cooked food retains more of its nutrients than other cooking methods such as boiling, cbaking, and steaming.”

Instant Pot Will Cook Everything For You

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A lot of Instant Pot meals are “dump and go.” As in, dump a bunch of ingredients in the pot, set it to the correct temp, and let the pressure cooker do its thing. While there are many meals and dishes that this works out well for, you should be aware that there are some things the Instant Pot just can’t replicate. For example, cake. Sure, you can technically make cake and other desserts in the Instant Pot, but it won’t be quite the same as baking in the oven.

Another thing that might not turn out in the Instant Pot is potatoes, surprisingly. Or at the very least, they won’t be the texture you’re used to from baking in the oven. This is because both cakes and potatoes need dry heat to obtain the correct texture. Mashed potatoes are the exception, since they probably shouldn’t be crispy.

It May Randomly Explode

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This is a scary myth, but thankfully it’s just that – a myth! The truth is, there are 10-13 safety measures in place (depending on your model of Instant Pot) to ensure nothing like that ever happens. Vicky Cano, chef at Mealfan, had this to say on the subject. “Instant Pot cannot explode! It is designed in a way that it has in-built safety features which cause the Instant Pot to automatically stop working in case of pressure build-up or any other unforeseen issue.”

Instant Pots Always Cook Food Faster

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Yes, most things cook in a fraction of the time using an Instant Pot versus traditional cooking methods. However, that’s not always the case, so make sure to do your research ahead of time! For example, Instant Pot brown rice takes about 40 minutes to cook, while cooking on the stovetop takes about 20 minutes.

Pressure Cooking Sterilizes Food

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The myth that cooking in an Instant Pot automatically sterilizes food is actually quite dangerous. Some people have taken this to the extreme and believe food cooked in a pressure cooker doesn’t need to be refrigerated. Full stop. Please always refrigerate food cooked in your Instant Pot unless the recipe specifies it can be left out. Eating food that has been cooked and left out on the counter can result in food poisoning.

The Instant Pot can sterilize things if it’s on the highest setting for at least 30 minutes. Therefore, the 10 & 20-minute meals at a medium temperature are far from sterile.

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