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I've been considering getting my Orthodox Jewish friend who's learning to cook an Instant Pot as a surprise gift, but I'm not myself Jewish, so I'm a little lost here. If I want my friend to be able to cook both milk and meat dishes (as well as pareve, obviously), would I be safe in getting one Instant Pot with two different inserts? Or would it require a full separate Instant Pot?

(For reference, there is a write up of what an Instant Pot is here: https://www.digitaltrends.com/home/what-is-an-instant-pot/ )

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    Don't know anythign about "instant pot"s but maybe similar judaism.stackexchange.com/q/13316/759 – Double AA Aug 9 at 21:44
  • Thanks for your concern for the rules! A suggestion: even if he or she would require two separate inserts, or two separate pots, you can still get just the one, and he or she can use it just for meat or just for dairy. – msh210 Aug 11 at 20:49
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I recently got one of these as a possible replacement for my crock pot but I have not used it yet. While I can't give a sourced halachic answer, I'll share some pictures and point out some things that would concern me in considering dual use.

The pot consists of three main pieces: the heating element (with control panel), the pan you actually put food in, and the lid. Here's a picture of the heating element without the pan. The inside is metal:

Fagor unit

Here's a picture with the metal pan inserted. Note that the pan has a lip; if you overflowed the pan you could spill food onto the heating element, though the lip extends over it some so you could get lucky. The instructions that came with mine caution against overflows and say to never fill the pan more than two-thirds full.

pan in unit

So far I would be optimistic for a careful cook such as myself and using two pans. However, there's the lid to consider:

lid with rubber or silicone gasket

The lid is metal and would collect condensation from whatever's being cooked. Condensation is, by definition, liquid, so based on the answer to the crock-pot question, this would transmit the "taste" (meat or dairy) of the food to the lid. Further, there is a gasket inside the lid made of a flexible material (rubber or silicone, I think the latter). This is a replacable part (they wear out, I'm told).

Food or vapor coming into contact with the lid and/or gasket would be a problem. Possibly you could mitigate that by sealing the top of the inner pan with foil (maybe two layers), the way you can wrap food in a non-kosher oven. Your friend would have to consult his or her rabbi to be sure. The foil would probably interfere with some of the cooking functions; in particular, I don't think you would want to pressure-cook with a foil barrier.

All things considered, I expect to forego making yogurt in mine; it's not as simple as buying a second pan. However, almost everything I've ever wanted to cook in a slow-cooker has been meat or parve and I think pressure-cooking is a meat technique, so your friend would have plenty to make even in a meat-only Instant Pot.

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    Yes, the top would be a problem. I have 2 completely separate IPs and the lid and especially the silicone gasket smells and is colored by whatever I am cooking. Cannot seal with foil due to technical (not halachic, except sakana) reasons: the pressure valve. FYI, to date my “milchig” one has been used 100% parve. But then I can take a vegetable soup or pasta sauce from it and eat it with cheese. – Damila Aug 11 at 3:32
  • Thanks to you both! I might recommend he keep it pareve for now, then, if I do get him one... I've been giving him some of my recipes, but I'm a vegetarian, so most of the IP stuff I could recommend would be pareve or dairy, as would be most of the rice and bean type recipes I'd recommend. Maybe I can find a deal and get two 3 quart pots for a good price instead. Thanks! – QWriter Aug 11 at 4:43
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    The top would definitely create the issues you describe with vapor - also it is already hard enough not to make mistakes with separate pots - clearly using a pot for double use nearly guarantees mistakes – mbloch Aug 11 at 18:16

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