There's A Reason You Shouldn't Use Your Instant Pot For Stir Fry

Of all the small countertop appliances out there, the Instant Pot is especially revered for its ease of use and the delicious dishes it turns out — and its versatility. Although all models vary a bit as far as what they can do, the most popular versions serve as a pressure cooker or slow cooker, says the official product site. Plus, they can cook rice, make yogurt, steam veggies, sauté, sous vide, and even function as a food warmer. In fact, the entire intent of the original model was to consolidate all of those cumbersome tasks and items into one appliance, all the better to keep precious counter space from being too cluttered.

Now that the appliance has been around for a while, there are thousands of Instant Pot recipes out there for users to try. There are even entire blogs and cookbooks dedicated to publishing dishes for the gadget, from Instant Pot beef stroganoff to Instant Pot chicken curry.

Per NBC News, the product came about after a man named Robert Wang was laid off from his engineering job, and he decided to develop a device that would make it easier to produce healthy, yummy food. Although by and large he seems to have succeeded, there's one thing that the experts say his Instant Pot is just not suited for.

The Instant Pot will make your veggies and meat too soft

While it is adept at many cooking endeavors, the Instant Pot can't do everything perfectly. The experts at Allrecipes particularly caution against using the appliance to make stir-fry dishes. While the ideal texture of stir-fried veggies is tender-crisp, they won't get that way in an Instant Pot, which is a moist cooking environment and will steam them to the point that they're soggy or mushy due to its deep sides. Plus, an Instant Pot is designed to be closed and left alone so you can walk away from the cooking process. This goes against the very name of "stir fry," as "you can't stir in the pot while cooking," a Reddit user pointed out.

Instant Pot keeps adding new functions all the time, with some newer models even equipped with air-frying capabilities. However, it's still not the same as a good ol' frying pan. Although this might be a bummer to the Instant Pot enthusiasts of the world, a good wok is just as vital a component to any kitchen as this multi-function tool, especially for home cooks who love stir-fries. Per Made-In Cookware, woks are the traditional choice for stir-fries because of their heat-conducting capabilities and rounded shape, allowing cooks to quickly toss and crisp up vegetables in the scalding pan.