So, I took the plunge and have purchased an Instant Pot. Onr reason was that I was needing a new slow cooker, and this can do that, but also can do just about anything I make in the slow cooker, faster.
I opened it last night and did the test run recommended, and then made rice for dd. It came out sticky, but I wanted it to. She asked if I could make sticky rice, and yes, I can! Today, on a whim, I went to the store to get the BOGO baby back ribs and tried those. Very good. They cook in 23 minutes(I had a very full pot), but there is added time for the pot to heat, then decrease pressure. So, it was maybe 45 minutes of total time in the pot. There was time I took to prep them too, because we like a rub. Then, they need a quick sear om the grill or in the oven, to caramelize some sauce or brown them up. So, it was not exactly no time at all, but they are falling off the bone, and tasty and a lot faster than 4 hours in a smoker.
I also made black beans this afternoon, starting with a pound bag of dry beans. This would be quicker had I soaked them overnight. However, I was able to do a quick soak method with the pot, that happened right in the pot, by heating them, then letting them sit for an hour. Then, I rinsed them, and proceeded to actually cook them in 15 minutes. I actually did 13 minutes, because I hoped they would remain a bit intact. They are very good, but I would use less water next time. More of a thick soup, but still good. I was able to saute my onions and garlic and peppers in the pot, before cooking as well. This cannot be done with a crock pot.
Lastly, I made rice again, lol. I wanted to try to make fluffy, not sticky, rice. Dh prefers it fluffy, and separated. He actually is in bed, with a bad tummy, so I figured he might like some plain rice later. How ironic he felt off this afternoon when I was going crazy cooking all this great food! The kids wont eat it either.
All in all, I would say it was a success! I shopped, prepped and cooked the ribs, beans and rice from 12-6, with minimal cleanup, and all in one pot. One hour was just with the beans sitting there, and I was not working my butt off. Some time was waiting for cycles to run.