Don’t get me wrong; I have an Instant Pot. I bought it in 2017. But before I got a great deal on it, I had a different electric pressure cooker that lasted for years. Like so many great inventions before us, the electric pressure cooker has reinvented how we cook. In my house, it has taken the place of the slow cooker for everyday use. If you are looking for an Instant Pot knock off, I have a few suggestions below.
Because not only is the Instant Pot quick (and so quick it is), but it also gives me the most tender meat I have ever had. The slow cooker could never do that.
But there are other options (or like I prefer to call them…Instant Pot knock offs) getting great reviews on Amazon and have some lower prices to go along with those reviews.
I consider myself to be a decent (maybe even above decent) cook. There are two things I flop at, pancakes and pork. There may or may not be a coincidence that they both start with P. Perfectly inadequate until the pressure cooker came into my life.
Seriously, the best pork we have ever had! I haven’t quite figured out the pancake thing in the Instant Pot yet so if anyone has any ideas…. (call me).
Electric Pressure Cooker Saves Money
One of the best things about these knock-off Instant Pots is the ability to turn very cheap meat into a melt-in-your-mouth-drop-it-like-its-hot dinner. All in the same pot!
You can grab the least expensive cut of beef and throw it in for 45 minutes, and it comes out like a falling apart pot roast. Buy the least expensive chicken and fling it into that cooker, add some seasonings and in 30 minutes. YUM!
Also, remember that time when you forgot to pull something out of the freezer, and you were so tired from your long, crazy day that you couldn’t even come up with something to feed these people who always need to eat (All. The. Time.) so you ordered Chinese food and spent $52.90?
Well…these cookers will even perform on FROZEN MEAT!!!
Tips For Electric Pressure Cookers
A couple of things I think you should know about these cookers as well as the Instant Pot:
- When it says “Cooks a whole chicken in 15 Minutes!!!”. It takes a little longer than that. You have to account for the appliance to come up to temperature and that can take about 5-20 minutes sometimes. Then you have to take into consideration the release of pressure. That is another 5 -10 minutes. So – you are looking at more like 30 minutes instead of 15. The first time I cooked a roast, it was 8:30 at night before we ate because it took a lot longer to prepare than I thought. I would set it for 15 minutes, it would go through all the steps, and then I would find that it wasn’t done yet, so I had to go through all those steps again!
- These have a GREAT “Keep Warm” feature, which makes them a little more like a crock. So if you are heading out the door at 9 am and want to cook a roast before you leave, you can then set it to “Keep Warm,” and it will be fantastic and hot by the time you get home.
- Many of them have more than just one function. Rice cooker, slow cooker, yogurt maker, etc. These features are lovely because they can replace all the other appliances you m have. I love this as I have a tiny kitchen and don’t have a place to put 2,197 small appliances.
Alternatives To The Instant Pot
All the cookers featured here are 6 quarts and are under the price of an Instant Pot on Amazon. Substantial savings.
Most of these are 6-quart 7-in-1 small appliances, so they are a Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Saute, Yogurt Maker, Steamer & Warmer.
Pros: Reviews are high on this one, and so I am giving you this first. The price is in the mid-range end of my featured cookers, but 100% of the reviews are 5 stars (out of 5). I like that it has a stainless steel lid as opposed to a plastic lid. The cooker that I had before the Instant Pot, I think it was from a company called Dali (but I am just not sure), I got it from QVC, and the lid ended up cracking. So the stainless steel lid is a plus. The handle placement is a little different from others which makes it a bit more attractive.
Cons: This is a brand that I have never heard of before. As long as you are ok with using an unknown brand, this should be fine. Non-stick coating lines the insert. This, to me, is a con as I am not a fan. The coating limits you to the utensils you can use when preparing your food and also, it can scrape off and get into your food.
Pros: this cooker is not a 7-in-1 but a 10-in-1 appliance. It is a pressure cooker, rice cooker, slow cooker, steamer, fryer, oven, yogurt maker and warmer. The reviews on this are excellent. Also at 100% 5 Stars. I am intrigued by the fryer function, but there was no mention of it in any reviews.
Cons: Another unfamiliar brand. And this cooker was at the higher end of the price range yet still under $80.
Pros: The first thing that I noticed about this cooker was the price. The least expensive on the list with 80% of reviews still at five stars. I saw the partial stainless lid, and the buttons seemed to be easy to understand. This is a contender!
Cons: Another unfamiliar brand but an excellent looking appliance. The poor reviews had a lot to do with poor directions or missing directions and less with the performance. This cooker is missing the yogurt function so if that is a deal-breaker; you might want to pass on this one. Another review said there was no manual function, but from the photo, I see a button for manual settings.
Pros: This is a name most are familiar with, but I think mostly for tools. As we know, a cooker of this capacity could be considered a fantastic “tool” for the kitchen! As an 11-in-1 cooker, the functions include 7-in-1 cooking functions and 4-in-1 non-pressure functions. Similar to the rest of the cookers listed above.
Cons: This is higher in my price range, but we are familiar with this name. 71% gave it five stars which is the lowest percentage I am reviewing. This also has a non-stick coating on the inside of the insert. For me, this is a con. The coating limits you to the utensils you can use when preparing your food and also, it can scrape off and get into your food.
If you are looking for an electric pressure cooker and you don’t want to spend the money for an Instant Pot, there are alternatives out there. The Mey Key 10-in-1 Intelligent Pressure Cooker looks and sounds like a good choice with all the functions that you need as well as the stainless steel inset and partial stainless lid. This one also has a few more tasks including the yogurt maker. The comparable Instant Pot is $30 more than this one.