WHY I WAS GOING TO BE THE FIRST PERSON TO HATE THE INSTANT POT.

It is currently 4:22 in the morning as I sit at my desk writing the first paragraph of this post.  The house is dark other than the glow from the small desk lamp to the left of my laptop.    The curious time of my writing schedule is due in part to a 4 day migraine that prevents me from lying down and to a completely whacked out sleep schedule courtesy of an addiction I suffer from.  Like most people with addictions I’m embarrassed by it and haven’t talked about it before today.

I know what you’re thinking.  You’re thinking, why even try it?  Why try something you know is scientifically proven to be addictive after even just one use?  Why??

I can tell you exactly why; because you think you’re different.  You think you’re stronger and smarter than everyone else.  You think you’re the one person in the world who can try it once, say “Meh.  Sure that was O.K. but I don’t need to do it again.“, and carry on with your life the way you always have.

I thought I was that person.  I wasn’t.  I tried it and I liked it and I wanted to do it again.

My name’s Karen and the last time I used an Instant pot was about 3 hours ago.

I’m so embarrassed.  I’m so weak.

If you read blogs, cooking websites or even your friend’s Facebook pages chances are you’ve heard about the Instant Pot. It’s this year’s Spiralizer.   If you believe the throngs of bloggers gushing over it, the Instant Pot now surpasses the previous most important revelations in cooking; fire and frozen Spring Rolls.

I thought for sure I was going to hate this thing.  I was fully and completely prepared not to like it. In fact, I was kind of looking forward to being the Black Sheep of the blogging world.  I mean I like cooking.  It isn’t a chore for me and I like doing things the old fashioned way. The right way.   If that happens to take 12 hours and require a medieval cooking utensil you can only get by stealing it from a museum … so be it.

I was not going to be suckered into this … this … this GADGET.

Instant Pot Review

If you read the first paragraph in this post you know what happened.  I kindda like this gadget.  A lot.

BUT I’m reserving my review of it until I’ve used the Instant Pot for a month.  Every day (or close to it) I’ll be making something different in my Instant Pot.  In case you don’t happen to know what it is or what it does let me explain.

The Instant Pot is part slow cooker, part fry pan, part pressure cooker. And a few other things as well.  It’s a rice cooker, a yogurt maker, a food warmer and a steamer.  This one small appliance does all of these things and from what I’ve heard, does them well.

Knowing all of this, I still didn’t think I was going to like it.  For one thing, who uses a rice cooker???  Who doesn’t know how to cook rice in a pot?  Why was cooking rice in this pot going to be any easier or better than cooking rice in a regular pot?

And yogurt.  Well, making yogourt is easy too. I make it with my eyes closed and after doing it once or twice you could make it with your eyes closed too.  I don’t need a yogourt maker.

And pressure cooking?  This was the one thing I could see the advantages in.  But even so.  Would a stew that had been pressure cooked for 30 minutes be as delicious as one that had been simmered for 3 hours?  I had my doubts.

Instant Pot Review

But I’m a tenacious little blogger, plus I’m curious, plus apparently I totally bow down to peer pressure so hopefully nobody will offer me crack in front of a police station today because I’ll probably smoke it right there and then.

So with all this love in the world for the Instant Pot why did I think I wasn’t going to like it?  Was I just being contrary?  Probably, ’cause being contrary is usually pretty fun.    But the real reason I thought I wasn’t going to like the Instant Pot was because of the horrors I found while Googling recipes for it.

Roast chicken?  People were cooking “DELICIOUS ROAST CHICKEN!” in an Instant Pot?  I doubt it.  Steaming chicken in a pressure cooker isn’t roasting chicken.  It isn’t roast anything.  Just because you browned the skin beforehand doesn’t make the mass of rubber encasing the bird any more appealing as it snaps back at you when you bite into it.  You might be able to cook chicken in an Instant Pot but give your head a shake. The only way you can roast one in it is if you throw the whole pot and chicken into a kiln.

So that annoyed me to no end.

Then there were the “DELICIOUS CHILI RECIPES!”.   Browsing around at everyone’s Instant Pot chili concoctions got me really worried.  I wasn’t seeing chili.  I was seeing soup.  Watery, thin, soup you would serve in a third world prison along with a side of a 3 legged cockroach.

Now I wasn’t just annoyed, I was terrified for these people whose addictions had gotten so out of control they were willing to justify its use no matter what the actual outcome.

So that is why I didn’t think I was going to be impressed with the Instant Pot.  And why I’m still on the fence about it actually.  Which doesn’t explain why every night, at around midnight I start a new Instant Pot concoction. Instant Potting has replaced reading as my before bed sleepy-time routine.

In the 4 days since I’ve owned The Instant Pot I’ve made oatmeal, chili, rendered pork fat and yes … rice in it.  I have very definite opinions about how each of these things turned out compared to how they turn out when I make them my normal, old fashioned, grab the rare museum cooking utensil, way.

In one month I’m going to meet you back here to give you my full review of each and every thing I made in the Instant Pot and whether or not I think it’s worth the approximately $150 price tag.

Or whether … it’s just another gadget.

A great big, gadget you wanna crush up and snort the Instant you get it.

153 Comments

  1. Brandy says:

    Yes!!! I was hoping one of the bloggers I read would do one on the Instant Pot and let me know if it’s worth shelling out the money. I already own 4 crock pots and a pressure cooker and a rice cooker so wasn’t sure if it would be worthwhile….I shall wait with baited breath for the end of the month!

  2. Paula says:

    The chicken and pork that I cook in it is so juicy and tender. ‘They’ say 20 minutes but considering the time that you have to wait until The Instant Pot reaches steam temp – it is much longer (much being a relative term) than that.

  3. gardenbre says:

    I might take mine out of the box then in a month?

  4. Kristina says:

    Get crack-alackin’ on a stew my friend. I never thought I’d put together anything as beautiful as Ina Garten’s burgundy beef in a half hour (approximately). But the Instant Pot made it eerily similar in the time I walked the dog. And the saute function rules the world when it comes to making a whole meal in one pot.

  5. Andrea says:

    Green chile posole from frozen (chile, chicken, hominy, all rock-hard and ice-cold) to amazing in an unsupervised hour of cooking time. Multitaskers, rejoice! I still make yogurt in my slow cooker, because I have that down to a routine and am lazy, but otherwise, I love my Instant Pot with the fire of a hundred suns.

  6. Tanya says:

    Ribs convinced me. And five-minute chicken drumsticks. And pulled pork in an hour. And Mongolian chicken. And chicken and wild rice soup in five mins.
    Actually, it was the creamiest, most delightful, cheesecake that did me in. Checkmate.

  7. Turbocharger says:

    I hate cooking, which is why I love the Instant Pot, or Magic Pot as I call it; not to be confused with other Magic things.
    I love that it’s inactive cooking time – meaning I can do other, more interesting things that don’t involve cooking while awaiting sustenance.

  8. MrsChrisSA says:

    Ermergherd!!!!!!
    I want one already!

    I was always very very very petrified of pressure cookers until one year we visited my sister and she had an electric pressure cooker. I was hooked.

    We returned from the holiday and I arrived home one day to a gift from my darling of a brand new electric pressure cooker. Now most women would be quite miffed with a gift like that but I can honestely say it is the very best gift I have ever received!!

    I use it all the time (being a full time working women) and find it the easiest way to cook meals at night (not every night though). In winter it is an absolute pleasure.

    Now, I want one of these!! Think I will show him his article……………………………

  9. Jackie says:

    The most convenient thing that I make in the instant pot in my grandma’s baked beans recipe. It still takes about an hour, but that’s reasonable for supper- her version takes 1-2 days!
    I never bother making it otherwise- or if I do, I feel like I need to make a huge batch.

  10. Janie says:

    I’ve had mine for a few months. I like it. It makes amazing hard boiled eggs with only 5 min cooking time. They peel easily every time…even very fresh eggs. It will come in handy for Easter eggs😁 Pasta is quick and easy. No boiling. Stew is great. Beans and rice a snap.
    I finally perfected making Tapioca pudding. No stirring for 30 minutes!

    The only problem I’ve encountered is making yogurt. The Instant Pot won’t bring the milk to 180°. You have to first use the Yogurt function then the Saute function to bring it to temp.
    Incubating is great tho. I just make it in the stainless liner and it is perfect every time.
    A great resource for beginners is https://www.hippressurecooking.com/
    Can’t wait to hear your opinion of the IP.

  11. Emily Perdios says:

    its on my next shopping list! Cant wait!

  12. Thandi says:

    That was like a saucy little undo a couple of buttons and then do them back up again review. That’s no good! A tease review? Where is my stripper review! Where is the rice? Where is the cheesecake? Where is my fan dance of beefy Guinness stew?

    This comment is brought to you by the lack of coffee and the sweet sound of plumbers removing a built in bathtub. Send help.

  13. Thandi says:

    Brandy I have to ask: four crockpots? Four?

  14. Caz says:

    Ooh! Please make several vegetarian and fish dishes. My slow cooker is on it’s last legs and I’m considering replacing it with an IP. I’m just not convinced it’s a worthwhile purchase for a family of pescotarians.

  15. Jennifer says:

    Thank you for doing this! I’ve had all the hesitations that you have but have been reading all the rave’s! A month is a long time to wait…could you do a half-way check in? 😉

  16. Jan Kolodge says:

    Oh yee of little cooking techno knowledge! 🙂
    Wait until you get into the real world of multi use cookers.
    I’ve worn out two Instant Pot type cookers over the past three years and now onto a Garmia. Which I have discovered is the best 11 in 1 multi use cooker.

  17. Sarah says:

    Four seems a little excessive. I only have three. And one pressure cooker, and three pressure canners (that I use as pressure cookers) and a rice cooker (and two electric roasters that I use as giant slow cookers) And I use them all.

    Sheesh, the excesses of four slow cookers!

  18. Leah C says:

    I’m curious to know how it does with rice. I’ve always just cooked rice in a pot (um, easy!), but then my husband bought a rice cooker. Either it’s a bad rice cooker or he hasn’t read the directions, though, because every time he makes rice or quinoa in it, a bunch of it gets dried out/almost burned and sticks to the inside of the pot.

  19. Ann Brookens says:

    Oh, Sarah! I snorted when I read your reply!

  20. Anne says:

    Welcome to the dark side! I cook in mine more than half the meals each week. Frozen to fabulous in under an hour can’t be beat!

  21. Sabina says:

    Hmmm…I’m a pretty old-fashioned young’in and I like museum quality utensils too. In fact, I scour estate sales, yard sales and garage sales for them because they just don’t make ’em like that anymore. My brother teases me because I shun the microwave for cooking anything other than water. However, I do love a good crock pot meal, so I will be awaiting your review!

  22. Mary W says:

    LOL, good luck on the plumbers and hope you had your coffee good and strong.

  23. Kelly says:

    It’s still in my shopping cart with Amazon. But I just got a new oven so I could not justify the insta-pot at the same time. I only like gadgets that I’ll use-if I could throw out my yogurt maker and slow cooker, that would be great, though! It’s funny-now there is apparently an even better machine out there. It’s a food processor that chops your food AND cooks it for you (read it this week on Epicurious) and they says it’s even better-but for around $1000. Crazy. Should really have one that grocery shops. Now THAT would be useful!

  24. Mary W says:

    One month is just in time for my birthday and I assume you will also cover the cooking for one aspect – either with gifting options or eating options. I would give almost anything to be able to make sticky rice so can’t wait for your review on rice. I can make regular rice easy enough.

  25. Marilyn says:

    It’s worth it alone for the steel-cut oats. I make a pot on Monday morning, and it serves me through the week. I have never found the perfect way to peel a boiled egg without making a chippy mess…until now. Love.

  26. Mary W says:

    I almost forgot – hope your migraine is finally over. My sister in law had them several times a week and after years of suffering, finally went to a doctor that researcher her. She had allergies, she couldn’t drink red wine or some other stuff, anxiety, stress, and when he finished – she was migraine free! She learned which was causing each particular episode and was a completely different person and people noticed her smiling and joining in conversations again. She also had lost down to 93 pounds and finally gained back to her normal weight. Migraines can kill your life force and I hope you can get yours under control soon. I’m so sorry!

  27. Monique says:

    I will believe you:)

    Afte over 40 yrs of baking..cooking etc..I have too many gadgets.Crock pots..processors and yes the Spiralizer:)
    I make rice..all kinds ..spot on..yet caved in to a mint condition Zojirushi rice cooker used once for $24.00 it’s about $250 on Amazaon.ca..

    so far only the sushi rice is spot on..my traditional..even microwave methods seem to do a better job..mind you the cup was missing..but I researched..and figured it out..
    Not sure I would use this new thing..I am looking forward to reading what you think.

    Sorry re the migraines.
    🙁

  28. Except for making a few soups in my Instant Pot, I haven’t used it much, but absolutely love that it is a dream to clean!

    Reading all the great comments above, I will pull it out again today. What I really need from you, Sunshine, is your 30 days of recipes! Please! Looking forward to them. Could you keep us updated, weekly, with just a sentence or two?

    On a different note, IT WAS ENTIRELY YOUR FAULT that I ordered a Vegtrug with the cover! I am a horrid gardener (but did have a small patch of flowers last year thanks to following you on Facebook – my neighbors were ecstatic, so were the squirrels who ate them). But, reading all the gardening posts here, I so want my own herbs, tomatoes and cabbages.

    I believe that this unit will stop the squirrels from eating the veggies, stop those moths, hinder the weeds and I won’t have to dig up the stones at the side of the house to find soil. I will have to find your post on drilling into bricks so I can bungee cord it to the house. It is very windy here. The Vegtrug is being delivered next week. Expect questions. I will desperately need your help.

    Lee Valley is calling me back today to tell me how much dirt I need to fill it. Ace has a sale on 40 lb. bags of top soil this Saturday.

    Because of this ultra-friendly group, I am not ashamed to admit that I am both excited and scared.

  29. Erin says:

    Sometimes living off-grid is a bummer.
    Let me know if they come up with a LP gas or wood fired version!

  30. Heather B says:

    I love the saute feature: you can brown your meat in the same pan or use it to render down a dish that’s too soupy after cooking. Also, it has a delay feature which is awesome! Instead of turning my slow cooker on & having the food sit at warm for a few hours until I get home I can delay the start. And boiled egg perfection! How many times have I looked at a pot of boiling eggs & tried to determine how long ago the water started boiling?

    Oh…and perfect brussel sprouts! Sorry, Karen!

  31. Susan Claire says:

    I will not give in to the siren sound of yet another gadget! I have run out of space for all the appliances I just had to have over the years, and I can’t justify any more. My last purchase sits on top of my soap cabinet in the den-all the rest of the hiding places are full. Please give this thing a bad review so I’m not tempted.

  32. danni says:

    I don’t own a pressure cooker or a crock pot.
    Or a rice cooker.
    Or a yogurt maker.
    I will be very interested to see the final verdict. I may be able to cover all the bases in one fell swoop… of the credit card. 🙂

  33. Marie Anne says:

    No need to be scared… Nature does a lot of the work! Just remember to water or set it up on a timer. Good luck!

  34. Melissa Stinson says:

    I’ve never heard of this handy dandy gadget, so I’m eager to see what concoctions you come up with. Don’t get crazy now!

  35. ronda says:

    I think half the joy of cooking is the aromas that fill the house when ox tails, or beef daube, rice pudding … anything really, is slowly cooking or baking. How does the Instant Pot fulfill that requirement?!

  36. Elaine says:

    Saute function??!!! Really? … or you kidding us, Kristina? I never heard of the Instant Pot but my ears perked up now! I’m a poor cook and always try any new gadget that comes along hoping it’ll make me look better than I am!

  37. Elaine says:

    I hate cooking too! When I was younger, I tried to only befriend the “I hate to cook” young mothers in my neighborhood. Ha. I accidentally made friends with a “good cook” and lived in fear of the day I’d have to invite her and hubby for dinner! Now, I’m older and don’t care as much – it’s one of the benefits of aging. 😜

  38. kelli says:

    Hm. The jury’s still out, so since I trust you, I’ll wait to hear what you say first. I’ve bought so many gadgets for this and that, then end up dumping them at my local Goodwill. And as I get older, I’m becoming more and more of a technical Luddite (by choice!). I mean, how are we supposed to do ANYTHING when the electricity goes out, huh? Tell me that! Can we use that thing as a tiny counter-top brazier when that happens? 🙂

  39. NinaMargo says:

    Love savoring the smell of something delicious slowly cooking, nourishing the soul.

  40. Tarra says:

    Got one last fall; was in the market for a pressure cooker anyway after too many failed pots of chickpeas. Half hour after unboxing the IP I was tucking into a fine dish of spinach dal and congratulating myself. Finding I use it 2-3 times a week (not a meat-eater though).

  41. Patti Popham says:

    I have had my IP for almost one year now and it is undoubtedly the best cooking appliance I have ever purchased. Throwing some frozen chicken into the pot, along with other ingredients and within an hour dinner is ready is really some kind of magic. One of my favorite things to make is clam chowder. One of the most magical things to make is potato salad. Cooking both potatoes and eggs at the same time, potato salad made from start to finish in about 1 1/2 hours and that includes pealing the potatoes and cooling them before mixing all together. One of The best things, in my opinion, is that while your food is cooking, you can clean up the kitchen so when it’s time to eat your kitchen is nice and clean. I’m looking forward to the next 30 days to see what recipes are your favorites and if you have any “fails”.

  42. Christina Contri says:

    Soap cabinet? Your soap has its own cabinet all to itself? Lucky soap.

  43. Shelagh says:

    Migraines, so sorry Karen.
    Menopause is actually good for something!

    I too have 4 crock pots and have, mind you only once, used them all at the same time to cook, keep warm and serve food at a buffet style family gathering.

    So, I won’t reduce the number of crock pots I own but if this instant pot lives up to the hoopla I might be tempted.

    But I’ll have to get rid of something….my kitchen is not that big!

  44. Lynn says:

    Too funny about 4 crock pots–we only have two. I bought the second one when I was rendering lard & realized I wouldn’t live long enough to finish the task with only one crock pot. And after leaving them both running for several days, cracking the Corian countertop in the process, the actual solution turned out to buy another freezer to store the pork fat till I was ready for it. So we now have 3 freezers–no waiting! Sigh–I went from having zero freezers to having 3 in the space of a few months! Life is funny…

  45. RuthG says:

    That’s just standard recipe writing practice, though? If a recipe says “boil 12 min” or “simmer 2 hr” or “bake whatever min” it doesn’t usually include the time it takes to bring a pot of water to a boil or simmer, or to preheat the oven, even though you have to do those things as part of the cooking process.

    It’s such a weird double standard…

  46. Shelagh says:

    Omigosh, I lied.
    If you count the little one that makes warm dip, I have 5 crock pots! 🙂

  47. sf says:

    I’m very happy that you are doing this (even if I have to wait a month, you tease), and I’m looking forward to seeing what kinds of recipes you make and like. I haven’t read a lot about the IP, but I do see it popping up everywhere.

    I’m actually not really a fan of the slow cooker. There are a couple things I make in mine, but overall I find most slow cooker recipes look pretty gross. I don’t want a big pot of gloppy stuff with cream of something soup in it. Even when I look for healthy slow cooker recipes, none of them actually looks good enough to try. So, I am hesitant to rush into an IP because I’m afraid I’ll get it and be all excited and then discover that what everyone has been raving about making in the IP is just another hunk of casserole or chicken with rubber skin. Anxiously awaiting your thoughts!

    Now somebody needs to make a migraine cure that can go in the IP.

  48. Susan Claire says:

    That cabinet is only for finished product- soap supplies have a humongus cabinet in there too, and I took over a small cabinet in the hall for drying. Don’t even get me started on my canning stuff.

  49. Jeanie Burch says:

    I had an instant pot in my house. A gift from my mom. I returned it. It looked too complicated. They said you could make hard boiled eggs in it quickly. But how hard is it to boil eggs on the stove? I look forward to your review.

  50. Jean S says:

    I bought one, over a month ago. Since then, I’ve been making Bone Broth, Stews, Soups, and all kinds of things. Love it more than my microwave!! I cooked fresh green beans to perfection. And barbeque ribs…cook in the IP and then transfer to the grill for a little bit of char! 20 minutes until ready!!! I love it!

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