UPDATED: More details on “the stirring” feature are revealed.
Instant Pot’s gave a peek of their upcoming pressure cooker model at pre-International Housewares Show news conference in New York, yesterday. Where top cooking websites were able to take a few photos of the pre-production model and ask questions.
Since this was a quick preview, it’s likely that there are some finer points of this new model that might have been missed or misreported so we’ll need to wait for Instant Pot to release more information about it or for Hip Cooking to get their hands on it for more details.
Here’s a round-up of what I’ve been shown and told from Instant Pot, along with reports from The Kitchn and Bon Appetit have seen.
Late Spring Release
The new model should be released in May or June 2018 – a precise date will be released later.
New Pressure Setting
The new model is called “Max” a reference to the “Maximum Pressure” it can reach. It will have three pressure levels the two standard “low” and “high” pressure (which is 11.6 psi). The new pressure setting is “max” pressure – which is a completely new pressure setting for electric pressure cookers which can reach, and maintain, the temperature equivalent to 15psi.
The higher pressure setting has made it possible for Instant Pot to propose a “pressure canning” function. However, as of the time of this writing, it is important to note that the National Center for Home Food Preservation (NCHFP) – the organization that shares tested processing times, temperatures and pressure for pressure canning – has yet to announce their support for this (or any) electric pressure cooker to be used for canning.
Using “untested” processing times means that food pressure canned in this unit could look and smell great but be contaminated by a tasteless and odorless deadly toxin. It also could not be, but there is no way to know without proper testing from a certified independent laboratory following the guidelines set out by the USDA to establish processing times and pressures.
Releases Pressure by Itself
The lid will feature an automated valve, that will open by itself to release pressure. It will have three venting options: vent fully, vent intermittently or don’t vent at all.
Both TheKitchn and the Bon Appetit’s articles mention a stirring option – I have not personally heard or seen it. But it could be. Instant Pot does have power going into the lid to control the valve, so this power could control something else as well.
However, in a recent interview with Bob Wang posted on wirecutter, mentions that “stirring” is achieved by releasing short bursts of pressure to break the pressure equilibrium. Wang notes that “As soon as some of the pressure is released, the liquid bubbles up and takes whatever you’re cooking for the ride”. According to Robert Wang, “this agitation makes a cloudier and more collagen-rich bone broth.”
This feature is actually a variation of the novel technique I came up with for Instant Pot four years ago to make a cloudy bone broth – but with the added benefit of the valve opening itself.
While in an earlier version of this article we discussed in the comments how a “stirring” feature would be great for thick recipes – such as risotto or polenta – short bursts of pressure are actually a terrible idea for pressure cooking thick recipes. Quick bursts of pressure will certainly take the thick recipe for a ride but it will be right out of the pressure valve to redecorate your kitchen!
The Max will have the spin-dial, previously seen on the Ultra, but also have a touch-screen. Making it easier to choose an option by tapping on it, and then spinning the dial to set it.
Additional options will include a temperature sensor in the lid which tracks the temperature of the steam inside, the ability to lock the interface so kids and spouses won’t change the programming and few favorite features from the previous model which include: tracking the cooking program, turning off all the sounds, and altitude adjustment. There may also be some kind of connectivity – but there are no specific details about this, yet.
Here’s are the latest articles with information on Instant Pot’s new model (we’ll add more sources as they’re published):
- Exclusive Scoop: Here’s a First Look at the Brand New Instant Pot, Coming Out in Spring – TheKitchn
- The Instant Pot Max Is the Next Generation of the Cult Favorite Product – Bon Appetit
- What’s Different on the New Instant Pot MAX?-wirecutter
- The New Instant Pot Max has a canning feature. Is it safe?-CNet