The biggest plus to owning an Instant Pot is the fact that it is so portable. You can literally bring it around everywhere you want to go – all you need is a power source.
This makes the Instant Pot a dream appliance for those who are planning to live off-grid.
Whether you choose to hit the road in your RV, Campervan, or Car, there’s no doubt you can definitely find a way to power your Instant Pot to cook all your favorite meals. One such method is to use an inverter.
Inverters that convert DC electricity from your car battery into AC electricity can be used to power your Instant Pot to the required wattage for it to function properly with a negligible risk of damage to either item. As a result, if your inverter can power other AC appliances you have with you, it can definitely power your Instant Pot!
In general, the wattage requirements of Instant Pots vary in accordance to the size of Instant Pot that you use. The key thing to remember here is the bigger your Instant Pot size, the more wattage is required for it to function.
We’ll be using two examples for this article, the 3-quart version and the 6-quart version of the Instant Pot.
This is because these two sizes are the best in terms of quantity and portability, and are two of the most efficient choices of cooking appliances whenever you’re planning to live off-grid.
The 3-quart Instant Pot uses an average of 700 watts, while the 6-quart uses around 1000 watts. Most inverters have an average output of between 300 watts and up to a whopping 3000 watts.
It’s always worth remembering that you should always plan to set aside enough wattage available in your inverter to power your Instant Pot, especially if you’re using other appliances at the same time.
This is because if you don’t have enough watts available, your Instant Pot will not have enough power to cook properly.
What Special Tools Do I Need to Run an Instant Pot off an Inverter?
One of the best parts about running an Instant Pot off your Inverter is the fact that you don’t need any special tools or requirements at all. You simply need to plug it into your inverter outlets, just like any other electrical appliance that you use.
Of course, in order to use your Instant Pot with your inverter, you’ll need to ensure that your inverter is properly hooked up.
Small inverters (up to 500W) are okay to run from your vehicle’s cigarette lighter socket. However, any inverters with wattage above that will need to be connected to your car battery terminals.
This includes sine wave power inverters, that can go up to 2000 watts (2kWh), which is enough to power a 6-quart Instant Pot, and at least 1 more heavy-duty electrical appliance as well.
What About Running an Instant Pot on Solar?
Having solar panels installed on your vehicle is a great way for you to power all of your devices and appliances while you’re living off-grid.
It’s easy to use your Instant Pot on Solar – simply plug it into your solar power inverter as you would with any other electronic device you use in your vehicle.
The only thing you need to make sure of is that you have enough solar panels pumping out the wattage required to charge your batteries.
A safe bet is to have at least 300W (3 x 100W solar panels should suffice) installed on your vehicle so that your batteries are kept sufficiently charged, and in turn, they can power your 3-quart or 6-quart Instant Pot effectively during operation.
A useful tip to note when it comes to solar power batteries is that regular batteries like FLA, AGM, or Gel batteries should be charged and should not be used when it goes below 50%, while LiFePO4 (lithium iron phosphate) batteries can be used up to the final 1% of juice without any risk of damage to the components.
So if you’re using FLA, AGM, or Gel batteries in your vehicle, try not to cook with your Instant Pot when your battery capacity hits 50% or under, to avoid issues.
Whereas if you’re using LiFePO4 batteries, you won’t have any problems cooking delicious meals and desserts in your Instant Pot all the way down to the last 1% of power.
Using an Instant Pot with an inverter is about as safe as using any other electrical appliance in your van, car, or RV when you’re living off-grid.
Unless you have an issue with frayed wires in your Instant Pot’s power plug and you’ve got flammable materials just under those wires, the risk of it catching fire is very low.
Inverters regulate the DC current from a battery into AC current which is safe for all electrical appliances, including Instant Pots.
And there are built-in fuses with most, if not all inverters that are sold on the market that will protect your off-road rig from any electrical fires or overheating.
However, the one thing you’ll need when cooking off-road with your Instant Pot, no matter what vehicle you’re in, is a flat surface.
Instant Pots are designed to work best when they are placed upright, on a flat surface. This prevents any of the liquid or food inside it from spilling out and causing a short circuit that might disrupt the electricity supply to your entire rig.
Wattage Chart for Different Instant Pot Sizes
Here is a handy wattage chart for all the different sizes of Instant Pots you can use with your car’s inverter.
|3 quarts Instant Pot||6 quarts Instant Pot||8 quarts Instant Pot|
|700 Watts||1000 Watts||1200 Watts|
Recommended Inverters to Use With Instant Pots
Making great meals in your Instant Pot requires the use of a good Inverter. Here are some options you can use for your vehicle to power your Instant Pot and all other electronic appliances that you are bringing on the road with you.
With 1100 watts of peak power at your disposal, the Krieger power inverter is plenty for powering your 3-quart or 6-quart Instant Pot while you’re on the road.
If you need to power more appliances when living off-grid, you’ll need to have a pure sine wave power inverter – such as this one from Giandel.
This gives you 2200 watts of pure sine wave power that eliminates interference – however, this is quite a big investment in terms of price.
4000 watts is probably more than required for powering even the biggest-sized Instant Pot, but if you need to have many electronic appliances powered up and ready to go wherever you are on the road, this beefcake from Energizer will truly be an indispensable part of your gear.
For many of us who live off road, inverters are the lifesaver that keeps our devices such as laptops and other electronic appliances charged and powered up so that we can use them just as we would at home.
The bottom line is, if you have an inverter for your vehicle, then you’ll definitely be able to power your Instant Pot and cook all of your favorite meals with it.
However, you’ll need to ensure that your inverter can provide 800 to 1000 watts of power at the very least, to prevent your Instant Pot from malfunctioning.
A wattage that is too low can result in your Instant Pot not being able to reach proper cooking temperatures, leaving you with half-cooked or badly cooked food.
One good thing to remember is, if your inverter is plugged into your vehicle’s cigarette lighter socket, chances are, it won’t provide enough power to cook using the Instant Pot – these only put out a maximum of 500 watts.
The best type of inverters are ones that connect to your car battery – these will definitely have enough power to allow you to use your Instant Pot, as well as use other electronic appliances at the same time.