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!

    • Thandi says:

      Brandy I have to ask: four crockpots? Four?

      • 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!

        • Ann Brookens says:

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

        • Leeuna says:

          Sarah,
          I’ve used my large electric roaster to make apple butter for the past two years. It makes delicious perfect apple butter without all the constant need to stir.

        • Teri says:

          oh, dear. I’m in with Sarah – 2 pressure canners, 2 pressure cookers, a rice cooker, a crock pot. AND AN INSTANT POT. got it on a whim a while ago – my rice cooker is too small for more than 1 1/2 cups of dry rice, so when I have a company-kinda-meal the instant pot does the rice. I have used it for a few other projects but mostly I just admire it – very handsome kitchen gadget… As I appear to have given up cooking for this year and am letting my teenagers forage in the fridge and pantry…. hmmmm. perhaps I should pull out that cookbook and come up with something. apparently you can pre-cook potatoes for baking while you wait for the oven to heat. I might try that! 😉

      • Merin says:

        Don’t judge. 🙂
        I have four whisks – all the same size. All do the same thing.
        Four whisks. We all have our thing.

        • Kara says:

          Hi, my name is Kara and I have a silicone spatula addiction. I have .. um … spatulas. Enough to fill a countertop crock. I haven’t actually counted but a bought a really cute fuchsia one last week so, you know.

          But I refuse to buy an Instant Pot. Flat out refuse.

    • 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…

      • Kathy says:

        Made me laugh. 3 freezers seems like a good number.

      • Kathy says:

        Eggs are easy to boil but …. peel can be another story. Try eggs and a risotto in your month long journey. I was hooked with the stainless steel pot and the saute. We look forward to your experience.

      • Merin says:

        I love you a little bit right now Lynn.

      • Karen says:

        omg I can’t believe how long it takes to render lard, lol. Next time I’m going to grind it and see how much that helps the time it takes. But then I have to clean the grinder of fat which won’t be easy! ~ karen

        • Bunguin says:

          Is this a Canadian thing (rendering lard)? I’ve never seen so many people in one space talking about rendering lard with such fervor and zeal….. it is like chopping wood for heat or something ?

          • Molly says:

            Rendering lard may be a Canadian thing or not, but once you’ve made the crust for chicken pot pie, or emanapadas, or gorditas, or well, any savory crust, you can’t go back. It’s a flavour like no other. Great with sweet crusts, too, but irreplaceable on savories. As a Canadian, I don’t feel the same about chopping wood.

    • Brandy says:

      Wellll…..actually now that I look it is truly 5…..hangs head in shame. lol
      I had my first one…loved it but wanted to be able to make two things at once so I would have grab and go meals for the week (I live alone) so I was bemoaning on Facebook about the lack of a second crock pot when magically one appeared on my doorstep (thank you bestie). This one came with it’s own little cute crock pot baby (that I have never used and am not quite sure what I would use it for…grin). So there’s three. I was then at Walmart and saw a really nice programmable with attached thermometer for meat that was regular price like $75 on clearance for $20….totally could not be passed up. I noticed my original crock pot has a crack in it….still totally usable but definitely there. Sooooooo………I was on Kohl’s snooping around and found another one that was on sale AND rebate AND free shipping so I paid about $2 for it….another cannot be passed up. So, yes, my name is Brandy and I own 5 crock pots…..and a pressure cooker….and two rice cookers (one electric, other is microwaveable)…and a dehydrator…and two blenders (what if one breaks)…and a toaster oven….and a food processor….but no Instant Pot. 🙂

      • Brandy says:

        My next thought is an electric skillet or griddle…….My name is Brandy and I am addicted to small kitchen appliances………

      • Emily says:

        The tiny crockpot baby is for dips – chocolate dip, cheese dip, warm bean dip, cheese dip, artichoke dip, cheese dip.

        Did I mention cheese dip?

        • Amy in StL says:

          I feel like the people who think the baby crockpot is for dips, don’t like dip. I used it once for cheese dip at a wine party and I got tired of refilling it every 5 minutes…. or 15 minutes or often enough that it interefered with my wine drinking.

      • Ruth Hirsch says:

        I used to use the baby crock pot to make whole oat oatmeal. start it before bed, yum in the morn.

  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.

    • 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…

  3. gardenbre says:

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

    • Karen says:

      Ha! I was even considering not reviewing it for 6 months because really that’s a much better test. 🙂 But we’ll go with a month. ~ karen!

  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.

    • Karen says:

      O.K. well I draw the line at ribs and pulled pork. Ribs and pork shoulder get cooked in my smoker. Case closed. But the rest are possibliities. 🙂 ~ karen!

  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.

    • 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. 😜

    • Karen says:

      Which is the exact reason I’m not convinced I’m going to love it like others do! Because I love cooking and the Instant Pot takes the cooking out of cooking. :/ ~ karen!

      • Elaine says:

        Yes, I (sort of!) understand that “cooking feeling” but wait until you get old and arthritic like me, Karen, and hate standing around stirring something on the stove while your knees, feet and back are screaming for mercy! Maybe you’ll be lucky and escape all that fun … I sure hope so.

  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.

    • Karen says:

      See that’s where the Instant Pot loses me. I LOVE that baked beans take a couple of days to make, lol. I love them cooking away all day as I do my other work. I think it really does come down to this … I think the more you like the actual process of cooking the less you will like the Instant Pot. But, it does do a really, really good job (which is why I wouldn’t just say NO, I don’t recommend it!). This review is going to be way harder than I thought, lol. ~ karen!

      • Jackie says:

        I love to cook- we both do. I just wouldn’t ordinarily take the time to make something like that on a random Wednesday, but with the pressure cooker I do.
        Also- so not a morning person, but this way I can make slow cooker recipes at night instead of needing to be awake early enough to get them started in the morning!

  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. 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.

  14. 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? 😉

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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!

  18. 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!

  19. 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!

  20. 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.

    • 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!

      • Karen says:

        Thanks Mary. Yes, the migraine is gone now. I know what causes mine. It’s from having my period. 🙂 They’re hormonal so they won’t go away until I go into menopause! I have medication for them but the odd time it doesn’t work. This was one of those times. :/ ~ karen!

        • Grammy says:

          Oh, dear. My daughter has always had them at the same time, too, ever since she was a young teenager. “They” said she’d probably stop having migraines after she had a baby, but her son is starting third grade and she’s still got them. She’s older than you, I’m pretty sure, so I’m hoping that sooner rather than later menopause will finally give her some relief. She’s going to need all the energy and wits she can muster when her kid hits puberty and starts his smartass stuff with more lust and vigor than now.

          Also, please get on with the IP review. I need it.

  21. 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.

  22. 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.
    🙁

  23. 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.

    • 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!

    • Karen says:

      I wish I could remember how much soil I used to fill my mothers! I had it all worked out. :/ I filled hers with a combination of coco coir and my homemade compost. I’ll be going over to her house this weekend to plant it already! I’ve grown Swiss Chard, green onion and kale seedling that are ready to be planted out. By the first long weekend she’ll have a ton of food already. 🙂 Ask me any questions you have and you know I’ll do my best to help. ~ karen!

      • I don’t have any compost. Wouldn’t know where to get any.

        Would it be wrong to add the soil that has Miracle Grow on the label…or is that not a good thing?

        And, top soil is ok, right? I see soil marked “for vegetables.”

        I will be Googling coco coir.

        Look at this…not even started and I don’t even know what dirt (sorry..I was corrected by the Lee Valley rep…what type of soil) to use. Seedlings haha – they are on my “learn to do” list for next year.

        Thank you, Karen, for your patience, and thank you Marie Anne for your moral support.

        • Karen says:

          Hi Susan! Meh. Soil, dirt, whatever, lol. No to the top soil. It isn’t for growing in. Just get plain old potting soil and the Miracle Grow stuff is fine. I’m not a purist about that sort of thing. Miracle Grow is a great product for people who aren’t going to make their own compost or be weird, inventive and diligent with fertilizers. The MOST important part of soil is the nutrients in it. Microbes too, but the nutrients are what your plants feed on. So that means, you can’t use the same soil every single year because your plants will have taken all the nutrients from it. What that means is you can use your Miracle Grow soil for the first year, but after that you’ll have to add fertilizer to the soil so the plants have nutrients to take in. You can add nutrients to your old soil in following years just by watering in Miracle Grow as directed on the label. ~ karen!

          • Great! Thank you. By next year, I’ll have gone through your past posts and have discovered how to make my own compost! Once upon a time, I Googled “compost”, and vaguely recall a drum thing. Neighbors are close, so I have to be carful about any odors of rotting vegetables. Thanks, again!

            • Mary says:

              Susan, ours is just four poles and chicken wire and doesn’t stink. Can big as small or big as you want. Also, at least in MN, there are compost sites run by the Counties where you can go buy some. Ours is actually free, you just need to bring a bucket and shovel it yourself. It’s at the same place you can drop off your leaves/wood.

            • Hi Mary,

              We drop off our leaves/wood in a “recycle container” on the curb, weekly.

              We aren’t offered a site to take them to, nor a place to get compost.

              But, thank you for the suggestion! I really appreciated it.

              Susan.

            • Grammy says:

              I’ve never had a stinky compost pile, and I’ve been composting for almost fifty years now. I think the trick is to not put any animal products (meaning meat, milk, cheese, etc.) in the pile. Except egg shells and pet hair. If I’m wrong about this, somebody else here will tell you. My intent is to keep you from being fearful of making a big steaming pile of smelly stuff that will bother you and your neighbors. Compost has a distinctly nice, earthy odor.

          • Brandy says:

            Don’t forget local farms/dairies if ya got ’em…guarantee they got plenty of fertilizer for ya!!!! 🙂

            Now if only I could figure out a way to have a garden and keep the blasted bratty moose (aka dogs) that live with me out of it

            • Grammy,
              I thought any food items went into a compost pile! So, only vegetable scraps.
              Huh! Learn something new every day. Thank you, Grammy!

              Hi Brandy,
              The only farms we have are a pumpkin farm and a woman who sells honey from her peach trees, and a few fresh eggs. Thank you for your suggestion, though. I appreciate it.
              Susan.

  24. Erin says:

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

  25. 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!

  26. 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.

    • Christina Contri says:

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

      • 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.

  27. 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. 🙂

  28. 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!

  29. 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?!

    • NinaMargo says:

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

    • Karen says:

      It doesn’t. Which is why it isn’t for everyone and why I thought I’d hate it immediately. When I didn’t it was a bit of a shocker, lol. Full review in a month. 😉 ~ karen!

      • NinaMargo says:

        Was expelled from Luddite Univ. when I got an Ipad and will await your IP review. Would happily replace many kitchen appliances with one (as long as it didn’t didn’t need the equivalent of the OED and a phD to learn to use it…). But will keep a crockpot handy to for that olfactory daylong hug.

  30. 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? 🙂

  31. 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).

  32. 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”.

    • Elaine says:

      Gee, the more I read, the more I’m ready to order this thing and two hours ago, I’d never heard of it! I have to invite two really good cooks (gulp!) to lunch next month – I’ve stalled them long enough. I really hate cooking but the I.P. might be my new best friend!

      I’d never heard of the VegTrug either but went on Lee Valley and would LOVE that!! I loved gardening, have a green thumb but am now in a condo with no more room on the balcony. What a great idea, though, when you have physical problems but still want to grow veggies!

      I learned so much this morning, Karen!

  33. 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!

    • Ruth Hirsch says:

      Starting to get re-interested in the IP.

      Cooks Illustrated did not give a rave review of Instant Pots. If you haven’t it might be of interest to read.
      I like their un-biased (no adverts) reviews. Tho I was sort of wanting one of these before reading theirs, so beware.

  34. Shelagh says:

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

    • Brandy says:

      Yes!!! I am not the only one!!!!

      • Shelagh says:

        To be fair I only bought one of them!

        The original is a stunning example of early 1980’s kitchen decor….a wedding present…..that might actually have been regifted as it is beige with brown and burnt orange stripes!

        The second one is the only one that I actually made a conscious decision to buy…..at a silent auction fundraiser where no one else had bid on it…at the end of the event mine was still the only bid.

        The third and fourth came quickly. My mother decided she didn’t need hers and donated it to me for the family event and then said she didn’t need it back….then my son’s fiancée said they wanted a bigger one and I could have their smaller one.

        Honestly, I have no clue where the tiny one for warm dips came from!

        But I don’t see me getting rid of any of them cause when the whole family does come over there are 18+…. and multiple crock pots are the easiest ways of cooking and feeding a crowd!

        I probably don’t need an Instant Pot but it’s an interesting idea….I don’t suppose it deep fries too?

  35. 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.

    • Karen says:

      Hi sf. Part of my criteria is that I have to be able to use my own recipes in the Instant Pot. If I can’t, then I have no use for the Instant Pot. I’ve spent years developing some of my best recipes and I’m not about to alter them or come up with new ones just to use the IP. I will try new recipes for things I don’t normally make, but if I make a stew in it, I’m going to be making my own stew recipe, not some weird stew recipe that comes in the IP recipe book. ~ karen!

      • Shauna Rudy says:

        I agree and I’m able to use my own recipes in my pressure cooker and slow cooker. I usually just look up a pressure/slow cooker version of my dish to get an idea of cook times, and that seems to work out well most of the time. You might need to use a little less liquid as there won’t be any evaporation. I would love to trade in my two appliances for one Instant Pot, especially if it also works as a rice cooker and yogurt maker, so I’m looking forward to your review!

        • Karen says:

          Yup that’s what I’ve done. Just look at recipes for cooking times (and you don’t even really need that with a lot of stuff with the Instant Pot because a lot of cook times are pre-programmed) and reduce my liquid by a bit. Since the Instant Pot also sautes if something is too liquidy at the end you can just hit saute and boil it for a couple of minutes to reduce. So that is a definite plus for the Instant Pot. ~ karen!

  36. 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.

  37. 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!

  38. Patti H says:

    My Crock-Pot had it’s 42nd birthday last Christmas. It’s still working great (did I just jinx it?!) but am looking for a good replacement when the time comes to give it the old heave-ho. I’m all for multi-purpose appliances…if they are worth the price and do what they say they will do.

  39. Mary Kay Wilburn says:

    Love it, use it all the time. Rice, ribs, lasagna – yes it was as good as in the oven, chicken, soup, chili, going to try a ham – Hubby found recipe – wrap ham in tinfoil and “steam” it….let you know after Easter how it goes. The 1st thing that goes into the RV when we leave to go camping!

  40. Jessica says:

    Will you be sharing your Instant Pot recipes also?

  41. Teri says:

    From she who has opinions…
    Got my IP on Amazon’s prime day – $90 Cdn. Then found another in their scratch and dent department for my son and DDIL. We’re still looking for the dent. Also $90 Cdn.
    If possible go for the 7 in 1 instead of the 6 in 1. The 7 does yogurt. The best. yogurt. ever!
    I would hurt anyone who tries to separate me from my Instant Pot.
    And here is a thing – invented in Canada by a Canadian. Known all over in US and GB. In Canada, not so much.

  42. Keelea says:

    Karen, I feel the exact same way you do–I LOVE the process of cooking and I love tending to it lovingly over the course of time it takes to be done. I have seen tons of praises of this pot and some delicious looking recipes on social media from friends who love it. You and I are the same when it comes to our love for doing things the right (LONG) way, so I’m going to hold off on my purchase until I read your review–hoping that it will include some delicious recipes from the month, as well. PS–your crispy sweet potato fries are a weekly go-to in our household—LOVE them!

  43. Sakura Sushi says:

    Dammit, Karen! Why can’t you just say it’s a piece of crap and not worth it and don’t get it if you know what’s good for you? That would make life so much easier for me. Back when everyone was ga-ga over slow cookers I caved and got one, since I hate cooking (hate it with the fire of a thousand suns) and this sounded like the best shortcut from heaven. Ever. Well, it certainly works well, but I made this amazing pulled chicken with an asian-inspired sauce in it, and now no matter what I do, it smells like this dish. I can’t clean it enough to get out the smell. The gasket is a pain in the ass to get in and out of the lid. The lid is hard to twist on and off the pot. The damn thing is so big. I’m a minimalist and although I have a pretty nicely outfitted kitchen, my counters are relatively clear, which means this behemoth has to go into an upper cabinet, since it takes up too much space on the counter. I could go on, but, you get the idea. I really try hard not to glomb onto every latest thing (no spiralizer no matter how tempting), but this thing is very intriguing. Please hate it. For the sake of my wallet, my kitchen storage space, and my sanity. But if you can’t hate it, please, please, please tell me how on earth you can cook both savory and sweet things in this thing without any flavor crossover?

    • Brandy says:

      Hint for the crock pot (don’t know if it will work for the instant pot). Use a liner 🙂 Love the plastic liner (like an oven bag for the crock pot) and makes clean up a breeze!!!! You find them in the same aisle as the plastic wrap and tin foil and ziploc bags

    • Shelagh says:

      I have had several crock pots for many years and never had any trouble with flavour crossover…..lamb stew to Apple cinnamon oatmeal without any issues and I’ve never used a liner.

      When I read the negative reviews for the IP they did mention that the silicone ring absorbed some flavours….on amazon they have
      Packages of silicone rings for sale….I guess if the IP is all it’s hyped to be then a few extra silicone rings for savoury and sweet wouldn’t be too much to pay?…

  44. Trying to leave a reply for “Mary”!

    Hi Mary,

    We drop off our leaves/wood in a “recycle container” on the curb, weekly.

    We aren’t offered a site to take them to, nor a place to get compost.

    But, thank you for the suggestion! I really appreciated it.

    Susan.

  45. Denise says:

    my mother bought one for me and I didn’t take it out of the box for ages for most of the same reasons as you, Karen. But it’s ability to steam hard boiled eggs so perfectly that they slide out of their shells like they were lubed up makes it worth the counter space. Ive found it does indeed do a great job at most everything I’ve thrown at it, too, but the eggs. are. amazing.

    • Grammy says:

      This. I am old have many antique kitchen utensils and artifacts that I use regularly and like to cook and have a too-small kitchen and I have never heard about this Instant Pot thing before but now I’m willing to see if it might replace some of my other modern gadgets, but not too optimistic.

      But, if Karen says it will do hard-cooked eggs like everyone here has described, I will pay full price plus shipping and find something else to get rid of on my kitchen counter to have room for it. That’s how tired I am of trying to peel them using every single method ever written or spoken about from before I was born to now.

      • Teri says:

        Grammy, have you tried putting the egg into a mason jar with about 1/2 cup of water, put your hand over the top and shake it kind of hard? I have my own chickens so our eggs are sometimes really fresh. this method seems to work best. shakem then the shells kind of slip off. perhaps not instantPot perfect, but……

        • Grammy says:

          I’ve never tried that, Teri, but now I will. My grandson loves hard-cooked eggs, and my wonderful neighbor often gives me fresh eggs from her chickens. If your method works I can get part of my exercise at the same time I make his after-school treat. When I’ve tried it, I’ll come back here and let you know (because Karen’s nice enough to let us chat over her back fence).

  46. Erich Hayner says:

    I’ve got 45 years of amateur and professional cooking experience. I can and have cooked or prepared just about anything that you could name.
    My kitchen, as it stands, has pretty much every useful piece of equipment needed. What it does not have is gimmicky junk that especially does only one task.
    The Instant Pot is easily one of the most useful pieces of equipment that I own. It does quite a few things superbly; stocks, grains, legumes, stews, braises, and especially, hard boiled eggs.
    You can throw away a countertop full of appliances, in particular, the crockpot and rice cooker. I don’t believe in owning single use tools, so this cooker was ideal.
    It’s not ideal for everything, you’ll still need a stove and oven and many things can be prepared just as quickly as normal techniques. Also, cooking with pressure is not intuitive; following recipes and trial and error is inevitable. Still, that cheesecake I made was wonderful.
    My kitchen is cooler, I have more space to work with, and I’m definitely eating healthier. The utility bills are lower too.
    Get a couple cookbooks to go along with it. If you have people to cook for on a regular basis, this is a really cool tool.

  47. Ellen says:

    I’ll be curious about your final take on it. I have some of the same issues you have/had about it and still succumbed because of the pressure cooker function. I like it for beans if I’m in a hurry but I like cooking beans on the stove better. I think they burst more under the pressure. I do not like it for rice as much as my rice cooker. I haven’t tried the other functions yet.

  48. Cary says:

    oh karen! will you please use it to “hard boil” your girls’ eggs and see if they’re easy to peel? i’ve heard this is true but need confirmation before i spend that kind of money just so i can make deviled eggs again!

  49. Nancy says:

    I LOVE my Instant Pot. I bought at Christmas time when Amazon had them on sale for $69. I use it at least 4-5 times per week. I’ve made stews, roasts, chicken legs, corned beef/cabbage/potatoes/carrots, boiled eggs, mac & cheese, pasta, rice, and everything comes out great. I’m one of those people who could NOT make perfect rice on the stovetop, so I resorted to Minute Rice. Now I can buy rice in bulk and it comes out perfect every time. I love the fact that everything is made in one pot and don’t have to have multiple pots going on the stove and hoping everything is done at the same time. Check out YouTube for lots of great recipes.

  50. Nancy says:

    If you have the attention span of a gnat, rice is extremely difficult to cook. Don’t be cruel. However, I have learned that the crispy bottom of a nearly burnt pot of rice is quite delicious.

  51. Ann says:

    I will be hanging on for your review. I have considered one as well. What I really want to know, really really really, want to know. Is how easy it is to keep clean, are there any issues with any working parts, ect? As good as all those foods are, this pot needs to be as easy to clean and still look nice since it will probably end up as something left out on the counter all the time, due to it’s size and my kitchen lay out.

    Such as with my big Ninja Blender. Love how it works. But hate that the lid sucks on and is very very hard to get off. I have already broken part of the lid trying to get it off. And the base is so hard to keep totally clean. Whether it makes as good a smoothie as any other blender is immaterial.

    • Karen says:

      I can tell you right now Ann that it’s incredibly easy to keep clean. The only thing that gets dirty is the stainless steel pot which cleans up like nothing. The underside of the lid needs a light cleaning after use but nothing is ever actually on the lid. The rubber gasket in the lid can be easily removed and cleaned separately if need be. (I had to remove it and let it soak in hot, soapy water for a few minutes after rendering lard in the Instant Pot for 24 hours. It big so it does take up a LOT of space. But I actually recommend that you leave it on the counter because you’re way more likely to use it that way. :)~ karen!

  52. Carol says:

    Please don’t make me wait a month to read what you think!!

  53. judy says:

    I hope that when you review the instant pot you will include your thoughts on how much space the unit takes up on a counter or closet; how the browning feature works for meat, such as how many batches did you need to do in order to not crowd the pan? Is the pan coated, such as teflon, and is it scratch resistent? Although it can do many things, does it do them better? I have purchased a rice cooker, a slow cooker and an electric pressure cooker. The only one I like is the pressure cooker but I have reservations about it and this might be the replacement. Looking forward to your application of good sense and practicality!

  54. Lis says:

    thank you. I bought mine many months ago and have yet to unpack it because im intimidated by it and set in my ways on how to cook.

  55. Jane says:

    Have you used it with the app?

  56. Alex says:

    Never mind the Instant Pot. Your poor head. Are you better??

  57. Heidi N. says:

    Karen, if you hate the instant pot can I have it? I have 5 teenagers. F-I-V-E. I would put it to good use.

    • Karen says:

      :/ Thanks for letting me know Janet! I’ve left a comment letting them know it’s my kitchen. Hopefully they’ll credit me. Technically the photo belongs to Canadian Living, but the kitchen belongs to me so it’s a crapshoot as to whether they’ll credit me. Thanks again for letting me know, I appreciate it! ~ karen

  58. Marti says:

    Yeah, I don’t want an Instant Pot either, but I flat out didn’t buy the rice cooker… someone gave it to me. It hogs up space in my kitchen. But I will say, when friends come over and space is limited, I like being able to put the rice cooker in another place in the apartment where it can steam the rice to its little heart’s content. That’s the only time I value that space-sucker.

    Meantime, what I really DO want (while I wait for this fantastic, amazing conclusion on the Instant Pot) is regular updates, weekly, on what you made. I want to follow along while I’m waiting. Could you please maybe add that list at the bottom, so that I can get some anticipation going?

    • Karen says:

      I wasn’t going to update weekly on the Instant Pot for fear of IP overkill, but a few people have said they want a weekly update so I may do it. I’ve cooked something in it almost every night/ day and have a lot to say about this thing. Some good, some bad. ~ k!

      • Marti says:

        No need to go into IP review… just list of what you’re making. I can wait for the full review. But you may recall, I’m weirdly curious about people’s eats. And equally weirdly protective of my rare museum cooking utensil collection.

        And don’t worry about the IP overkill. Look at the number of comments this post has had on it. I can only imagine what your analytics look like… 😉

  59. whitequeen96 says:

    YOO HOO! Karen, where aaaaare you? I hope you’re OK. Are you off for Easter week? I miss the Monday post (sniff). 🙁

  60. Tom Materman says:

    I’d be the first to admit I have an unhealthy obsession with kitchen gadgets but top of that list is pressure cookers. Ah the mighty pressure cooker and its untold possibilities. Not one pressure cooker, not 2 but 11 and counting. 6 Kuhn Rikon, 4 WMF and 1 Tefal. The thing is I bought the 7 in 1 Instant Pot on a whim at Costco 2 years ago and also decided to trial it for a month. The trial only lasted 2 weeks. Basically I hated it for 2 reasons. It is underpowered ( 1000w) and underpressured (11psi). It took an absolute age to reach working pressure and even then that pressure is 4psi less than the Kuhn Rikon. In the 24 minutes it takes to reach pressure I can have the Kuhn Rikon Hotel 5 litre up to pressure in 4 minutes and the chicken tagine cooked to succulent fall of the bone juiciness in the remaining 20. Dinner served before the Instant Pot has even started. Needless to say it went back. I love love love pressure cooking but the Instant Pot is a bad joke.

  61. Maria-TO says:

    I look forward to your 1-month thoughts on the Instant Pot. I’ve been on the fence about purchasing one of these — like, do I really need another kitchen gadget? Out of all the reviews on the www — you are the one that I would trust the most — you tell it like it is — bring it!

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