Friday, June 30, 2023

Instant Pot on our boat success and failure

Having had our Instant Pot 6qt at home for a couple of months and I love it. Using it every few days to cook dinners, cakes even cheesecake. So much so that I bought a 3qt Instant Pot for on the boat, although with a little concern about power consumption. We have a total of 3×100AH batteries,  that's over 3kwh if we run them to zero.

Last night I tried the Instant Pot on the boat for the first time and it was both a huge success as well as a dismal failure. 

1st, the Sucess
So the power consumption is 1000 W for the 6 qt model. I think that's right. It's only 700 W  for the 3qt model, and that was not too certain. Different people report different wattages so I didn't know for certain. Because I have ta complete Victron system on Eximius, when I plug something in, it shows me how much power is being used. 

When I plugged in the 3 qt instant pot and set it for high pressure cooking, the system showed the power consumption was 700watts.Thats a good start, but it gets better!

The Instant Pot takes a few minutes to get up to pressure,  it's basically boiling the water inside the Pot. Once it's approaching the pressure level, the pressure lock valve will pop up and the display will soon show the countdown of the number of minutes that were set.

This is where the Instant Pot shines! Once the Instant Pot reaches pressure,  the power consumption dropped to 1 watt! Yes, 1 watt!!!

I was cooking baked potatoes,  OK, they are steamed rather than baked, but I probably cook potatoes every week at home, they are a quick and easy dinner. I make a thick cheese sauce with butter, Ricotta and grated cheese blend adding pepper and salt to taste then topping them with more grated cheese. Delicious! 

On the boat I saw the power consumption pop back up to 700 watts foe about a minute twice during the cooking of the potatoes. 

I didn't time it, but I believe that the cooker only consumed 700watts for about 8 minutes of the 17minute cook time.
Roughly that's 700×8 ÷ 60 = about 90 watthours. And that is about 2% of the available power.

OK, time to fessup on the failure. 
The potatoes cooked perfectly, 17 minutes with a quick release (in the cockpit to avoid the heat steaming the cabin) I then removed the potatoes, added 1/2 cup of milk to reminaning water and a packet of cheesey pasta shells and a couple of cups of frozen broccoli then set the Instant Pot to pressure cook high for 3 minutes. 

Don't try that!!,

After the 3mins of cook time, I unplugged the Instant Pot again and took it out to the cockpit for the quick pressure release. 

Don't do that!!!

Cheesey sauce blew out of the pressure vent!! And things didn't get any better.  I scooped the pasta out of the pot and topped each of the potatoes with cheesey broccoli pasta and sauce.

Definitely not a success! Peggy did a stellar job of maybe eating half, but did not enjoy the meal. I should not really call it a meal, more like a mess.

The good news is that the Instant Pot worked great and consumed very little power but the chef needs to practice..... a lot 

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