The Instant Pot thrives at making bowl-based meals. You know, like chili, stew, and fork-tender meat that’s best served over a bed of rice. The problem is that the Instant Pot is also really good at making that rice, but you can’t cook it at the same as your main course.
And so you rack your brain to remember how you made rice before you could do it in like 13 minutes with two button presses (I really like The Takeout’s method, though it takes nearly an hour including the time it takes to bring the water to boil), and try to time everything so that the rice finishes cooking at around the same time as the Instant Pot.
There’s an obvious, albeit late-capitalist, solution to this that I’ve long pondered: buying one of those miniature Instant Pots and using it as a rice cooker (and occasionally for other dishes as well), while my 6 qt. Instant Pot Ultra makes literal mincemeat of whatever protein I’m eating that evening.
If I didn’t live in a small apartment with cabinets that were already overflowing, I would have done this ages ago (seriously, I consider it on at least a weekly basis), and in fact, I’d do it in a heartbeat if the Instant Pot corporation would simply make an Instant Pot that would fit inside my Instant Pot when not in use, like a Russian doll of cooking magic.
The 3 qt. model could just about do this if not for the handles on the side and the top of the lid. Get rid of those, and maybe shave it down to more like 2 qt. or 2.5 qt. (Instant Pot Nano? Son of Instant Pot? Instant Pot: I’m Baby Edition? These ideas are free, if anyone out there is listening), and it could certainly slide into the 6 qt. Instant Pot’s inner bowl. An extra Instant Pot with enough space for side dishes that doesn’t actually take up any extra space in your kitchen? I don’t think this is an unreasonable idea! As we all know, millennials love Instant Pots, and they have small kitchens because they spend all of their money on coffee and avocado toast, so the addressable market here is huge!
And yes, I realize I could buy a tiny rice cooker like this, but I don’t want a rice cooker. I want an Instant Pot that has a real pressure seal to cook rice obscenely quickly, that I could also use for things other than rice. If you just want a rice cooker that fits in your Instant Pot, that’s available to you right now, but I have to live my truth. Ball’s in your court, Instant Pot.