I’m the first to admit that I’m no Gordon Ramsay in the kitchen, but I do like having a go at making dinners and even the occasional baked goods! In this review, the first that has seen me venture into the kitchen, we take a look at the Instant Pot Rio Wide Multi-Cooker 7.1L!

The team at Instant Brands call this Instant Pot Rio Wide Multi-Cooker 7.1L “Revolutionary, Innovative” and tell us that it’s a “One-Pot Wonder” and in the few weeks I’ve had it at home (provided at no cost to me in return for an honest and unbiased review) I’ve tried to choose and create a selection of dinners that would need to stand up to the most harsh and outspoken critics, my children.

Like Peter mentions in his trial of the WiFi connected smaller sibling to the Instant Pot Rio Wide Multi-Cooker 7.1L, the Instant Pot is pretty much every kitchen bench appliance one could want aside from maybe an Air Fryer. This thing does it all. As well as pressure cooker type kitchen dinner type stuff, it’s known to batch up yoghurt and even help you whip up a tasty dessert or two, including cake! While I can’t see an obvious menu option for that, a quick Google and I have found recipes that allow me to make cake in the Instant Pot Rio Wide Multi-Cooker 7.1L – and so I’ll likely give that a whirl somewhere down the track.

Instant Pot Rio Wide Multi-Cooker 7.1L comes with the main unit, an internal stainless steel pot with a decently heavy base, a wire rack insert and the lock down lid. You also have a condensation drip collector built into the main unit that is easy to remove and clean when the need arises.

Upon unpacking the Instant Pot Rio Wide Multi-Cooker 7.1L I came across sufficient warning to help me avoid steaming myself in the face – always a good idea to avoid that! – and some direction on setup and how to get hold of the Android / iPhone Instant Pot app that has instructions and recipes all in the one place. You also have a very detailed booklet included in the box so you don’t need to download an app if you’re averse to apps, it’s very detailed in what the Instant Pot can and can’t do – well worth a read with a good cup of tea.

In “typical bloke” fashion, I decided I didn’t need instructions to set the unit up and running, and instead went straight ahead and gave it a good wash, you can wash the main unit with a damp cloth, the stainless steel pot and lid can all go in the dishwasher, though I chose to hand wash in the sink and let them drip-dry.

After the wash and dry, I’d chosen to kick off my trials with a lamb roast and vegetables – how hard can it be! Now the main difference with a pressure cooker is the time everything takes, or, doesn’t take! The process is all very quick – the longest part being a natural (vs a forced) steam release, where some recipes will suggest you wait 15 minutes for the steam to naturally dissipate – but when you only pressure cook your lamb for 7 minutes per pound, you get that time back.

As I said, the first dish I tried in the Instant Pot was a roast lamb, I used the sauté function first to brown off my boneless lamb roast before pressure cooking it whole, garlic cloves and a spice rub – I’ve never pressure cooked a lamb roast before, and I have to say I was very impressed! The boys wanted crunchy roast potatoes, so after the lamb was done I pulled it out to let it rest, I used the juices from the lamb to pressure cook the vegetables, again, a very quick process! Then when they were done and the lamb rested, I popped them under the broiler to crust up the tops and we were done. The question on everyone’s lips, did the kids eat their dinner – they did!

The Instant Pot team list the features and benefits, the main takeaways for me are the wide base – you could quick easily do a whole chicken in this thing. The Rio Wide Multi-Cooker 7.1L also has a veritable array of  customisable smart programs for pressure cooking, slow cooking, meat/stew, poultry, beans/chilli, rice, multigrain, soup/broth, steam, sauté, yoghurt, cake (see! cake!) and keep warm. (You can keep your food warm for up to 10 hours after cooking finishes)

The other main call out, and as chief dishwasher in our house I can confirm this is true, it’s easy to clean as I touched on up above.

The second dish I wanted to have a crack at was a chilli con carne, I’ll typically semi-slow cook this one on the stove, and do the rice in a separate rice cooker, but I figured why not use the Instant Pot for the lot, see how convenient or inconvenient it was. I browned off my onions and garlic, added the mince and browned that off too, after that I lost track of my order and, during a phone call, just added everything else I typically like in my chilli.  This was around about lunch time, so when I got it all in there and closed the lid, the very intuitive control panel presenting me with the various available functions of the Instant Pot, I pressed ‘slow cook’ and GO – and that was it. The only change I made to the slow cooking cycle was that I pressed OFF after about 5 hours and emptied the chilli (after tasting it and making sure I was happy as a clam) into a bowl, gave the stainless steel pot a quick wash and then tried my hand at rice in a pressure cooker! Easy! – Meal cooked, served up, another winner!

Now, that’s not to say I could cook up some truly tragic dishes, I’m sure I will, but that won’t be the fault of the Instant Pot dear reader, I assure you – me and cooking ain’t friends!

I only have one gripe with the Instant Pot Rio Wide Multi-Cooker 7.1L, and that is that it doesn’t have a removable power cable. I prefer a removable cable for two reasons, easier to store (pop the cable inside the cooker and put it in the cupboard) and, heaven forbid the cable gets damaged, that’s not the end of the cooker (without a trip to an appliance repairing place).

My other (I said one, I meant 1.5) very minor gripe – its so big! She’s tough to fit in most space I’ve got left in my kitchen, so we’ll have to do a rearrange, as this one is staying! I’m very excited about the next creation I try with the Instant Pot Rio Wide Multi-Cooker 7.1L, and I’m MOST excited about trying my hand at – for the very first time – Christmas pudding in the pressure cooker! Bring it on.

The Instant Pot Rio Wide Multi-Cooker 7.1L has a RRP of $349.00 but at time of publishing it is on discount for $299 from their website.

DRN would like to thank Instant Pot for providing the review unit.