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Favorite Christmas Gifts

craftsy-learnit-logoNeed a last minute gift?

Craftsy classes are online, awesome quality, and you can buy them minutes before giving as a gift. All Craftsy classes are under $20 on Dec 17. See our recommended classes here. [note: Check back here for a last minute sale on all Craftsy classes a few days before Christmas.]

Our favorite appliance?

The Instant Pot is incredibly versatile, a nearly essential tool for any cook. And at (usually) under $100, it’s a real bargain. I have the 6 qt 7-in1 version (pictured). It’s one of the top sellers on Amazon. Get the product details here.
Instant Pot 7-in-1 pressure cooker

Instant Pot DUO60 6 Qt 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Sauté, Yogurt Maker and Warmer

 

  • Incredibly easy to use, intuitive
  • Saves time, pressure cooking is a snap
  • Replaces a half dozen other appliances, saves space!
  • Huge value for the price!

 

 

I also use my Cuisinart Multicooker all the time – I’ve had it about 5 years and couldn’t live without it. Well, doesn’t the Instant Pot take the place of this multicooker? Yes and no.

Cuisinart 6 qt Multicooker

Cuisinart MSC-600 3-In-1 Cook Central 6-Quart Multi-Cooker: Slow Cooker, Brown/Saute, Steamer

  • Easy to use
  • Removable nonstick cooking pot
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Ideal for many different dishes: bread pudding, eggs, roasts

 

Why do I use both so much when the Instant Pot seems to do everything the Cuisinart does and much more? Well, the shape of the Cuisinart Multicooker is ideal for certain foods that I wouldn’t do in the Instant Pot. For instance, the Multicooker makes the best bread pudding I’ve ever had. With large batches, the oven tends to cook unevenly – bread pudding will get too brown around the edges while the center is not fully cooked. And I’ve made amazing frittatas and chile relleno casseroles in it. Also, large cuts of meat – like big pot roasts or chuck roasts often fit perfectly in the Multicooker. I would never make bread pudding in the Instant Pot just because of the cylindrical shape. It probably works fine – just looks odd.

I also often remove the inner pot from the Multicooker and put it on the stove to sear meat or saute onions. Well, I can so that with the inner pot in the Multicooker base. I can also sear meat very well in the Instant Pot. Why use the inner pot on the stove? Because I’m short and it lowers my searing/sauteing activities by a couple inches – just more comfortable.

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