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Old 06-07-2018, 02:03 PM   #1
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Instant Pot on Inverter

We have the dual 6 volt batteries and the 1500 watt ETI supplied inverter. We bought a 6 qt Instant Pot to make stews and soups especially. It is a 1000 watt 120 VAC device. We had never used the inverter for much. Charging an older laptop mainly. My wife asked if we could run the Instant Pot on the inverter. So a test was in order.

Under a bright New Mexico sky with the ETI 160 watt panel on the roof and a 100 watt portable panel and the batteries fully charger I put a cup of water in the pot sealed it up and set it to run in manual mode for 15 minutes. I monitored the batteries via our Victron 700 while running the test. The initial heatup dragged the batteries down by 6Ah. Once up to proper heat and pressure the pot would not draw any significant power and the solar panels recouped 1 Ah before the pot cycled on again. It would cycle on about every 5 minutes for maybe 20-30 seconds. At the end of 15 minutes we were at -5 Ah on the batteries. Most of our Instant Pot meals cook in 30 minutes it looks like the scheme will work well as long as we have bright sun to recharge the batteries.

Did you know you can bake a cake in an Instant Pot?
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Old 06-07-2018, 02:06 PM   #2
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Why does an instant pot take 30 minutes? That's not exactly instant.
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Old 06-07-2018, 02:21 PM   #3
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Why does an instant pot take 30 minutes? That's not exactly instant.
Yeah, not exactly in an instant but sure beats hours on the stovetop.
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Old 06-07-2018, 02:32 PM   #4
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Um, let's see now...…...that be 1.5 gallons. Plenty of stew for the gang.
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Old 06-07-2018, 02:50 PM   #5
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Have you ever considered a Can Cooker? Low pressure, pressure cooker (similar to Instant Pot), no electricity required AND you can bake/cook/steam a cake in it.
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Old 06-07-2018, 03:22 PM   #6
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Have you ever considered a Can Cooker? Low pressure, pressure cooker (similar to Instant Pot), no electricity required AND you can bake/cook/steam a cake in it.
Never heard of it until reading your comment. I checked it out via Youtube. Interesting alternative.
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Old 06-07-2018, 03:25 PM   #7
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The nice thing about the CanCooker is you can use it inside on stove, outside on a camp stove or over the fire.....
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Old 06-07-2018, 05:14 PM   #8
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Just found out that they have a third, smaller size ... the Can Cooker Companion. We have the Junior and, since I found myself using it in the house as well, I just ordered the Companion for the trailer. Figured since there's just the two of us, that will work and it will save a little space.

We love ours and I find myself using it quite a bit when we're out camping -- especially in inclement weather.
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Old 06-07-2018, 10:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by padlin View Post
Why does an instant pot take 30 minutes? That's not exactly instant.
Pot of Navy Beans: 5 minutes to pressure up, 30 minutes cooking under pressure, 10 minutes to pressure down. Done. 45 minutes total isn't "instant", but it's a whole lot faster than an old cast iron pot hanging over a campfire.
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Old 06-07-2018, 11:14 PM   #10
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Can of Bush's Beans. Can opener. Eat 'em cold. All done.
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Old 06-07-2018, 11:43 PM   #11
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Can of Bush's Beans. Can opener. Eat 'em cold. All done.
Hearkens me back to my younger days. But now that I'm older, more worldly and refined in my tastes, I find I prefer my "musical fruit" freshly prepared. Not to be uppity or pretentious about it. It's just one of life's little luxuries we can enjoy now that we're exiting the proverbial "rat race" and have time to actually prepare more of our meals from scratch.
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Old 06-08-2018, 01:34 AM   #12
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I have a 6 Qt instant pot at home. This is what I bring when boondocking:
https://www.amazon.com/Magefesa-Prac...+practika+plus
Here’s a review:
http://https://www.hippressurecookin...practika-plus/

You don’t need an inverter, but you do need to stay close when using it. Unlike an instant pot, you can’t leave a stovetop pressure cooker alone.

If you know how to use an Instant Pot, learning how to use a stovetop is no big deal. This is a 2nd generation PC with many built-in safety features. I bought it because it’s well made & good value. My 3.4 Qt works well for 2 people, but you can get a 6 or 8 Qt model.
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Old 06-08-2018, 07:00 AM   #13
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The instaspot cookers are a modern day version of the original pressure cooker. Having used both, the more modern version is easier, you set it and forget it, where as the original version needs to be watched as any cooking utensil on a stove should be. Both serve the same purpose, to cook in a relatively short time what sometimes takes all day to prepare. Chili and stews, and soups come to mind where it took all day. With the baby boom generation and working mom's, a short cut was needed. Just like the slo-cooker and crock pots where they are left on all day.

Another variation is the vacuum cooker where you bring to a boil and then seal the container where is cooks all day, without further heat- https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00097C642..._t2_B00EI6438C
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Old 06-08-2018, 08:16 AM   #14
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We have a 6 quart instant pot here at home, which we use constantly. We do plan on bringing it to Chilliwack soon to place in our 21'. We love the thing, and look forward to using it in the Escape.
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Old 06-08-2018, 08:45 AM   #15
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I am not fully understanding the merits of this type of cooking. It seems that all the prep time and cooking time that go into it are far from instant, and in fact more troublesome and take longer than most meals we cook camping. Most of our meals take 15 minutes or less to prep and cook, are very nutritious and very tasty. Not that any meals prepared with these pots would not be good, I just don't see the advantage of having yet another appliance. I do understand we all have preferences, not a single one being wrong, so maybe I just need some educating.

I know we ended up with an oven after many years of saying we just don't need one, and we don't, but my wife just loves using it, especially on bad weather days. Many other's likely think this is excessive, and for them it certainly could be.
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Old 06-08-2018, 09:06 AM   #16
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Yeah, it's easy to focus on the name... when it's not Instant. It's more like a hybrid slow cooker/pressure cooker. You can cook items in the Instant Pot that you should never put in a pressure cooker, like beans and rice. Those are 'frothy' foods, but cook well in an Instant Pot. To have a perfectly cooked pot roast dinner in about 30 minutes is grand. Or cooking a 'tough' piece of meat like chuck roast for BBQ sandwiches. It's not an appliance for everyone, but for those that go out for extended periods of time, it would really open up the cooking experience. Especially if you find time from cooking to eating is limited at the end of the day... like long travel days.


There's a pretty lengthy 'camp foods' thread going on right now in one of the Facebook groups. Reading through the posts, I'm seeing a lot of recipes that are NOT healthy. I understand it, when I first started camping in my Scamp, I used it as a reason to 'eat off the rails.' UGH at the end of a week I felt awful. I now eat the same way out camping as I do at home. The Instant Pot will assist in that endeavor. YMMV.
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Old 06-08-2018, 09:20 AM   #17
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I hear you on the healthy eating, Donna. I bought a 3 qt instant pot a couple of months before picking up my 17A and used it at home. Now it goes with me. I cooked a couple of turkey legs for sandwiches, and made my spicy breakfast lentils. I did a chicken balsamic ginger dish for the pot luck at the rally in about 30 minutes, plugged in outside so no heat in the Escape. It was all gone at the end of the evening, so I guess it passed muster.
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Old 06-08-2018, 09:42 AM   #18
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We are instant Pot fans as well. Imagine cooking a whole chicken in 30 minutes. 40 minutes if it’s a whole *frozen* chicken.

It’s not a replacement for every other gadget in the kitchen, by any means, but it does do some things much better and much faster, than any other device in our standard arsenal.

We were skeptical when a friend of ours first showed one to us. The thing that instantly caught our attention though was that it can hardboil a dozen eggs in five minutes, and those eggs peel magically easy, like in two seconds instead of the arduous pick pick pick. I know, it’s a little thing, but oftentimes I derive great pleasure and satisfaction from the little things. I think that’s a core personal value somewhere in my innards.

We later found a great many things that the Instant Pot excels at, and use it pretty much daily for one thing or another. Quinoa in one minute is one of my favorites.

We also use it on our inverter, but one must be judicious there and watch battery levels, because it is a serious power hog.
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Old 06-08-2018, 09:51 AM   #19
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Well, how about a Themomix (https://shop.thermomix.com/)? When we were in Germany, my cousin said these were all the 'rage' over there, and now they're coming to the U.S. The company claims it does everything except shop for the ingredients. Of course, you can only buy one through a dealer and it will only set you back about $1,500.
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Old 06-09-2018, 03:30 AM   #20
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You can cook items in the Instant Pot that you should never put in a pressure cooker, like beans and rice. Those are 'frothy' foods, but cook well in an Instant Pot.
With great reluctance I must respectively disagree with you. The instant pot is not a hybrid slow cooker, pressure cooker. It is a multi-functional electric appliance that can work as a slow cooker and pressure cooker (plus other things).

While I generally prefer to use the instant pot, the stovepot pressure cooker works just as well with beans & grains. You must take the same precautions with both appliances: do not fill the pot more than half it’s capacity when cooking frothy foods. Rice and other grains cook the same in both the stovetop & IP. Now the difference: the stovetop takes less time to reach pressure. The stovetop requires about 5 minutes less time to cook things at full pressure than the Instant Pot. The stovetop depressurizes faster than the instant pot.

Moreover, the stovetop leaves a smaller footprint than the Instant Pot. The Magefesa Perfecto stovetop PC I bought for my trailer can be used as a regular cooking pot as well as a pc, plus it fits in the same cupboard with my other pots & pans. Because it doesn’t require electricity, it is more versatile for people who don’t always camp with hook ups - or want to drag the IP out of the cupboard.

The instant pot is a set-it-and-forget-it appliance. You set the pressure level & time you want the dish to cook at pressure and the instant pot will do the rest. You can also program it to turn on at a specific time of day. Because a stovetop pc is not electric, it cannot be programmed. You turn the stove on high and wait for the pc to reach pressure. Then you need to turn down the flame to a point that will maintain correct pressure level, periodically monitor it to make sure it does not lose pressure, and keep track of the time at pressure so you can remove it from the burner when cooking time is completed.

Re healthy vs unhealthy meals, you control what is thrown into the pot. Unhealthy dishes made up of fatty, salty and sweet ingredients are easy in the IP. However, I am intrigued with Pressure Cookers because they do speed up cooking time for dried beans, soup stock and grains - all components to “healthy” meals. If I were to cook a plant based meal using dried beans & grains without a PC, I ‘d need to start cooking several hours in advance. Using a instant pot (or stovetop) can really speed things up for me. My biggest problem is remembering to soak the beans the night before.

It is so easy to “dump & forget” the ingredients for veggie, chicken or bone broth into my 6 Qt IP, I got into the habit of cooking several quarts of broth on weekends. What’s more, I control the amount of salt & fat that goes into the broth. I purchase fresh vegetables, herbs & quality protein the afternoon before. It takes about 10 minutes to prep & less than an hour to make stock in the IP and I make & freeze a different stock each weekend. It’s now easy to make A variety of soup, chilli & stews during the week. Using the 6 Qt IP, I am able to freeze whatever we don’t eat for camping trips.
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