Time is a precious commodity. If you'd like to spend less of it standing in front of a stove, consider investing in a pressure cooker, which can significantly shorten cooking times for a variety of foods. (Not convinced? Check out this story on.)
The well-known and hugely popular Instant Pot starts at around $70, though Black Friday deals are imminent. But here's a cheaper alternative right now: For a limited time, and while supplies last, Best Buy has the Gourmia GPC5 6-quart pressure-cooker for $39.99 shipped (plus tax). It normally sells for $80. If you think you might want something larger, the 8-quart model often goes on sale for $50.
If you've never owned one of these, you might be amazed by its versatility. It not only pressure cooks foods, but also steams, sautes and slow-cooks. So, yeah, if you're short on counter space, you can swap this in for your Crock Pot.
Beyond that, it offers an impressive 13 presets for things like rice, beans and meat. The 400-plus user reviews for this model average out to 4.6 stars.
About a year ago I started using a pressure cooker myself, and although they can be a little intimidating at first -- that steam-release valve! -- I can definitely understand the popularity. One of my favorite recipes so far: Instant Pot Spaghetti with Meat Sauce. (It's on the healthy side, too.)
Originally published earlier this year. Updated to reflect new sale prices and availability.
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