It’s My Party and I’ll Cry if I Want To
This past December I hosted a holiday party and one of my appetizers was a giant fail. It had nothing to do with the recipe or my execution. You see, my appetizer was meant to cook and stay warm in one of my favorite kitchen appliances, the slow cooker. My slow cooker was only a few years old so when it just wouldn’t stay on, I figured it was my outlet or a fuse. I moved it to another outlet and tried again… no luck. My husband happens to be an electrician, so I asked him to check it out. After about 10mins of investigation the verdict was – appliance death. Of all the days to die, it chose my party. Murphy’s Law is real.
While I didn’t actually cry, I was definitely annoyed. I can look back and feel thankful because my husband ended up gifting me something even better for Christmas a few weeks later. This new device is not only a slow cooker, but also a braiser, cooking pan, warmer, and it can sear/sauté. This miracle appliance is the Instant Pot 5-in-1 Dutch Oven. Cue the harp y’all because I am in love!
Why Do I Love It?
- The 6qt Dutch Oven pot is enameled cast iron. The pot is heavy duty and easily compares in looks and durability to Le Creuset or Staub. Not only can this pot do amazing things on the base unit, but it is also safe to use on your stovetop and in your oven.
- Because this pot has a great design and comes in assorted colors, it can go straight from cooking to the table. There is no need to transfer it to a serving dish. If an appliance can be “sexy,” this one definitely is.
- This pot saves time and energy. You can sear your protein in the pot and then add the remaining ingredients for slow cooking. One pot. Less dishes. Genius. Did I mention that both the pot and the lid are dishwasher safe? I feel like a woman had some heavy input on the design and function of this appliance.
- Because this is a cast iron dutch oven, you can literally bake a loaf of bread in it. You don’t even need to heat your oven because it bakes on the base unit. My appliance cookbook even came with a bread recipe.
- It frees up extra space on your stovetop. If your stove is like mine, it has one good burner, and the rest are for melting butter. (And I have a bougie Bosch hybrid range – yes, I am bitter.) When creating a meal that requires multiple “good” burners, this appliance has your back.
- The warming feature is great for parties because I can throw hot food in there and it does a wonderful job keeping things at temperature. It’s like my very own chafing dish without the gross smell of Sterno.
- The sear function is outstanding. If you like to smoke or sous vide meat and then do a reverse sear, this appliance is for you. You may not get grill marks, but you will get a flavorful crust and a super easy clean up!
- It comes with accessories! I was pleasantly surprised to see that it came with two silicone handle covers and a large silicone trivet. The handles get HOT, so the handle covers are essential. The trivet works great for resting the lid while cooking and for protecting your dinner table while serving from it.
While I am completely obsessed with this appliance, it does have some downsides. This pot and cooking unit weigh 21 pounds. It is heavy! It is best stored at waist level on a sturdy surface to prevent injury. I do not mind the weight because I could use more resistance training in my life.
Another ding is the price. My pot is matte black and retails for just under $230. Williams and Sonoma have an exclusive deal on the matte white version and that also retails for just under $230. Because these two design colors are trending, they are marked higher. (rude) The other colors like green, gray, blue, or red retail for around $150. If you are considering adding this appliance to your bougie kitchen, there are deals to be had. Costco occasionally carries them at a discounted price and if you can wait for Prime Day, Black Friday, or Cyber Monday, other retailers run smoking deals on these.
Happy Wife, Happy Life
As I stated earlier, the Instant Pot 5-in-1 Dutch Oven is major upgrade from the Hamilton Beach Slow Cooker that left me high and dry. I use my new appliance at least once a week and it makes cooking a joy. I am also thankful that my husband splurged and got me the black one. He knows I like to keep things neutral and that I have bougie taste. And in return I use it to make delicious meals for him. We all win in the end! Speaking of delicious meals, I have included a recipe that is meant for the 5-in-1, Braised Short Ribs. It is one of my favorite dishes!