About a week or so ago Betty, (my 82 year old beer drinking, Orange Is The New Black watching mother) called me to ruminate about gum or cats or ISIS or something – I can’t really remember.  In the same conversation she told me she needed to borrow my Instant Pot.  There was a recipe in the newspaper she wanted to try but it required an Instant Pot.  The Instant Pot, if you don’t know, is the new “miracle ” small appliance that has taken the blogging world by storm. I have no idea if it’s taken the world of regular home cooks by storm or not, but according to my nephew who works at Canada Post a plethora of them are being shipped to homes across Canada on a daily basis.

The Instant Pot, which looks like a large slow cooker, used to be a 6 in 1 machine, but the new and improved version is a 7 in 1 machine.

Instant Pot Review




This one machine is capable of doing all of these things.  Unfortunately for The Instant Pot, I’m capable of doing all of these things as well, usually without the aid of a special machine.  As you may have guessed, this review isn’t going to bode well for the Instant Pot.

By the way, it’s the yogurt maker that they added to the latest edition of the Instant Pot that turned it from a 6 in 1 to a 7 in 1 machine.  And it’s a good thing they did because without the addition of that, my review of this thing would have gone from underwhelmed to abysmally underwhelmed.  And guess what?  They now make a 9 in 1 machine!

I’m Karen.  And I’m the only blogger to hate The Instant Pot.  Or so I thought but in truth …

Nope.  No, I was not the only person to hate The Instant Pot.  I am joined by a long line of people who didn’t like the Instant Pot but who aren’t quite as vocal about their distain for this thing as the people who are obsessed with it.  The obsessed people who will herein be referred to as The Cult of Instant Pot Lovers Who Maybe Don’t Actually Love Cooking so Therefore Love That The Instant Pot Allows You to Lock Your Dinner Up And Out Of Sight Like a Kidnapped Baby.

Kaitlin from TheKitchn didn’t like it.

Lisa from 100DaysofRealfood didn’t like it.

And, and … well I’m sure I could find more detractors out there if I could just figure out how to make it into the small kitchen appliance section of the dark web.

The Cult of the Instant Pot is the group of people who are willing to do or say anything to prove that this very useable, yet kind of unremarkable gadget is going to change your life.  After owning the 7 in 1 Instant Pot for a few months my life has not changed any more than it changed after getting a teeth cleaning and WAY less than it changed after buying a Soda Stream.

But I like cooking.  I like the process of cooking. I like stirring, and tasting and adding salt.  You do not do these things with an Instant Pot.  You put the food in, close it up and hope for the best. Which is my biggest beef with it.  Cooking for me is something to be enjoyed and experienced and food is to be nurtured and tasted throughout the cooking process.  There is none of that with an Instant Pot.

Imagine you’re an artist and you have a blank canvas and all your oil paints and brushes in front of you.  You take your time building the perfect painting, adding things and blending them and taking your time lovingly creating it.  That’s cooking.

Now imagine you whip off a kind of shitty paint by number in 13 minutes.  That’s cooking with an Instant Pot.

I know The Cult is currently looking for ways to poison me with some sort of Instant Pot concoction (that has gooey, rubbery chicken skin in it) but if that’s the case I know I have at least 2 hours because even though the Instant Pot Cult claims they can make “Bone Broth” soup in 20 minutes, what they don’t mention is you can’t.

Why not?  Because of reason #1 I didn’t like the Instant Pot.

  1.  The Instant Pot isn’t as fast as its cooking time.  Even though it works great and really did create the most delicious chili I’ve ever made in my life, the Instant Pot takes a really long time to come up to pressure before you can start cooking in it. At least 20 minutes.  So you spend all your time prepping, doing whatever you need to do to make soup or chili (just like you would if you were doing it on the stove) and then you have to sit and wait for 20 minutes while it comes up to pressure.  Once it does you really do have a reduced cooking time for a lot of things. My chili cooked in the Instant Pot in 10 minutes.  You heard me. I pressure cooked it for TEN minutes.  Normally I’d simmer that sucker for 3 hours.   But then after it’s insanely quick cooking time you need to let it depressurize.  Another 20 minutes in most cases.  For chili or other slow simmering dishes the Instant Pot excels. It really and truly does.  The pressure cooking blends and melds all the flavours right into the meat (just like any pressure cooker would). But if that’s all you want to do with the Instant Pot you’d be better off getting a better, stronger pressure cooker that comes up to pressure faster.
  2. The Instant Pot doesn’t allow you to taste your food as you go. Or even check on it.  Want to cook some chicken or duck or other meat that might dry out and get rubbery if it’s overdone?  You throw it in The Instant Pot and hope for the best.  Ditto for seasoning which I always do at the beginning, middle and end of making almost any recipe.  The good news is, because the Instant Pot does such a good job of bringing out the flavours of most ingredients, underseasoned food usually isn’t an issue.
  3. The saute function isn’t hot enough.  I guess hot enough isn’t maybe the right choice of words.  The pot gets hot enough for sauteing but the second you add any food to it, the Instant Pot isn’t strong enough to keep it hot so you have to wait for it to heat back up again before anything can brown. So it takes 3X as long to saute or brown meat in an Instant Pot as it would in a pan on the stove.
  4. You can’t do big batches.  I was really excited about making broth in The Instant Pot because everyone who has done so said it’s fast and it’s great.  Sign me up.  Then I started thinking … that’s not a lot of broth.  When I do chicken or beef broth/stock I do a LOT of it, and then I can it all.  I do this maybe 3 times a year.  The Instant Pot comes in 3 sizes: 5, 6 or 8 quarts.  By the time I got my ingredients into the Instant Pot and accounting for the fact that you can’t fill it up completely because it’s a pressure cooker, that wasn’t going to leave me with very many quarts of broth.  So in the end I didn’t even try making broth in it.
  5. There’s no temperature gauge.  I mentioned the yogurt maker was the saving grace of this thing and as someone who makes homemade yogurt on a regular basis it really is a feature I liked. BUT … there is not temperature gauge and with yogurt (as with a lot of other things) you need to know what temperature your food is at.  To test the yogurt to make sure it’s at 180 degrees you need to use a manual thermometer.  The first time I made yogurt it didn’t turn out at all.  The second and third times it turned out perfectly.  I attribute this to the fact that the later times I checked the temperature with a thermometer.
  6. Most things I did with it I could do better and easier without The Instant Pot.  The Oatmeal I made with the Instant Pot was fine but using my method for Overnight Oatmeal is easier and faster.  Plus there’s something in me that thinks an old fashioned dish is better when cooked the old fashioned way.  If I’m making a dinner that includes rice it’s easier to just put some rice and water in a pot on the stove than to drag out the Instant Pot.  If I’m cooking a whole chicken the only reason I’m doing that is so I can either stuff it or get a nice crispy skin.   Neither of which is possible with the Instant Pot.

Over the course of my review I made Cherry Cheesecake, Yogurt, Oatmeal, Chili, Chicken and rice, Hard Boiled eggs and a bunch of other things in my Instant Pot.  Some turned out great, some turned out terrible. Some cooked quicker than normal and some took longer to cook than my regular way of cooking them.

Believe it or not I do have some good things to say about the Instant Pot.  Really I do.  Although I still overwhelmingly hate it for my own cooking needs for the most part, I would say …

  1. It’s easy to clean.  If you don’t consider you can’t get the stink out of the rubber gasket no matter what you do.  I know this is going to get the other two Instant Pot haters riled up but I really didn’t find cleaning this thing to be difficult at all.  It’s stainless steel which means it cleans really easily with just a sponge.  The only issue is the rubber gasket which takes on the scent of each and every thing you cook in your Instant Pot.  Mine currently smells like ground beef cheesecake.  I haven’t noticed that the smell of the gasket translates into flavour mingling in the dishes.  The gasket itself just doesn’t smell good and HOLDS the smells.  True Instant Pot enthusiasts order extra gaskets online so they have one for sweet and one for savoury cooking.
  2. YOGURT!  I know how to make yogurt with my eyes closed, my hands tied behind my back and a gag ball in my mouth.  This is the method I have used for years and it’s served me well, but the Instant Pot really does make it easier.  And as long as you check your temperatures the results are perfect.
  3. Flavour enhancing qualities.  Stews, chilis and other meat or bean based dishes will taste better because of the pressure cooking.  Pressure cooking not only cooks meals faster because it raises the temperature inside the pot, but because it pulls liquid into the meats and beans making them softer and full of whatever flavour your sauce/liquid has.  It took me years to perfect this chili recipe of mine and with God and all the Instant Pot nerds as witness, I will never cook it on the stove again.  Instant Pot all the way.

So what about that newspaper recipe my mom wanted to borrow my Instant Pot for?  After explaining the Syrian conflict in a nutshell to her and asking her if she had any white thread, I asked her to read me the recipe over the phone.  Turns out the recipe said you needed an Instant Pot but … you didn’t.  Not even a little bit.  In fact, they were just using it to cook the chicken for a stir fry which would be 10 gazillion times faster to just cook in a pan.

And therein lies my true distain for The Instant Pot and it’s gurgling cult of followers. They want you to think you can and should cook EVERYTHING in the Instant Pot.  Just because you *can* do something doesn’t mean you should.

I’ll fully admit that I kind of had my back up about this whole Instant Pot craze right from the beginning but I truly kept an open mind throughout my review.

I do not recommend the Instant Pot to anyone who enjoys the art of cooking.

I don’t even recommend it to people who want to be able to make cooking easier. It doesn’t really do that.

It’s not like The Instant Pot chops and measures out your ingredients for you.  If you’re looking for something to make cooking easier, I’d recommend Blue Apron or another food delivery service that pre-portions meals and ingredients and delivers them to your door before I recommended an Instant Pot.  Yes, I’ve worked with Blue Apron before on posts and  no they aren’t paying me to mention them in this post.  It just truly makes more sense to me.

But … I like cooking.  I like stirring and tasting and seasoning.  I like the smell of something simmering on the stove all day long.  I like the take my time with the painting.

If you don’t by all means … buy an Instant Pot this instant.

This post was paid for by Instant Pot.

Just kidding.


  1. Janet Goddard says:

    Have you tried soaking the gasket in hot water and baking soda? I have had good luck with this method for plast-icky stuff that smells.

    • Karen says:

      Not baking soda, but vinegar. The one reader is right when they say if you just leave the lid off, the smell will eventually dissipate, but not for the next night’s meal for instance. It really doesn’t seem to transfer to the cooking, it just smells. ~ karen!

      • Mark says:

        Yes, the gasket gets smelly, and I find the instantPot is finicky to clean, unlike a saucepan. I have the devil of a time getting the little cover off the steam regulator thing. I find the instantPot isn’t very big (I have the 6 qt model) and slow. On the plus side, I can imagine that it would be good in the summer (wouldn’t heat up the kitchen as much as the oven). I have used my instantPot a few times but it’s not a regular thing. I do know people with larger families who really love it, though…

    • FACM says:

      Interesting. I store the gasket from my pressure cooker separately; never ever had smell issues. Also I wash mine in the dishwasher. Not sure if it’s something to do with material used in rbe IP?

  2. Stephanie Kilian says:

    Many of us find cooking a chore. I am not a gourmet chef. Get diner on the table. The IP does this, with less thought and time.

    • Karen says:

      It has nothing to do with gourmet or not gourmet. It has to do with achieving what it’s supposed to achieve which is making dinner faster. I didn’t find it made or did most things particularly faster or easier than doing it on the stove and/or oven. ~ karen!

  3. Sandra Blackwell says:

    My brother got me an instant pot for christmas, because I couldn’t find the weight for my mom’s pressure cooker (I found it later). I used it once as a slow cooker, which I already had several of, and tried rice twice. I could make it better and much faster in a pan on the stove. I never used it again.

  4. Jessica says:

    I was gifted an IP, and I just can’t get into it for so many of the reasons you stated. Here I thought I was the only one not wowed. I do use it here and there when I just DGAF about dinner ( helllllooooo pulled chicken from various parts!) but over all it’s just not my thing. I actually store all my pumping supplies in it so that they are convenient but out of sight 😁

    • Karen says:

      LOL! Well there’s a use the Instant Pot Cult probably haven’t blogged about. That could be one of their new tag lines ” For Dinners You Don’t Give a F About!”. Either that, or For All Your Pumping Storage Needs. ~ karen!

    • Monica says:

      I got an instapot as a gift and I too hate it! I love to cook and have taken a cooking bootcamp so I don’t mind an elaborate meal. I’ve made chicken tinga tacos with it and it tasted so bland compared to the stove top version. I also have had stews come out very dry and burned. It’s hard because I followed a recipe but then couldn’t check it or stir it while it cooked. I’m planning on donating or reselling mine.

  5. Kelly says:

    The main ingredient in all of my food is love and it doesn’t seem like you can add any love with Instant Pot. No thank you!

  6. JulieD says:

    Thanks for the thorough review. I’ve been on the look out for a slow cooker that has a lock down lid so I can transport it for church potlucks – mine is about to bite the dust. I’ve been wondering if an IP might be a good solution since it is more versatile. Still haven’t decided, but this data will make the decision easier.

    • Jan in Waterdown says:

      Hi Julied, I have a Hamilton Beach “Stay or Go” slow cooker which has clamps that when engaged, hold the lid firmly on the entire pot allowing for relatively safe transportation. I don’t know where you live, but I bought mine at Canadian Tire for about $35 when it was on 1/2 price. Cheers!

    • Karen says:

      Hi JulieD! If you’re in need of a slow cooker then I’d say the Instant Pot would be good for you. A regular slow cooker is much cheaper but this will do things a slow cooker won’t. ~ karen!

      • JulieD says:

        Thanks Karen,
        Yeah, I bought a rice cooker years ago when remodeling my kitchen, and then never used it again once I got my stove back. So I got rid of it, then 2 weeks later realized it would have been perfect to take along that week-so the rice cooking and the yogurt capability are making me lean toward the IP.

  7. Jan in Waterdown says:

    And btw KB, you maaaay be many things (generous, talented and hot come immediately to mind) but “basic” sure as hell ain’t one of them! lol

    • Karen says:

      omg I *loved* that comment. Loved it. THIS is the kind of insanity the Instant Pot brings out in people. I wasn’t kidding when I referred to it as The Cult, lol. ~ karen!

      • Rob says:

        Sounds like the clash of the IP cult vs the traditional cooking cult, one no better than the other. I sense a certain smugness and superiority complex among traditional cooks. I don’t see it as insanity that people love an appliance that makes their life easier no more than that others love the traditional way of cooking.
        No need for name calling or insulting to get your point across. Each cult has its merits.

  8. Marie Platts says:

    I think k you missed the entire point of what an instant pot is used for. Your review could be said for a slow cooker, except food in a slow cooker always tastes mushy. The pony is that you dump everything g in and hit a button, which is perfect for busy mom’s that have to run multiple kids to multiple activities. Do you ever do freezer cooking or forget to thaw your meat? That’s what you use an instant pot for. I’d never use an instant pot to make a fancy meal, that’s not it’s design.

  9. Kittyninja says:

    I certainly don’t hate my pot and not sad I own it but agree it isn’t a true miracle pot .
    Similar to your chilli , are usually cook a pot of spaghetti sauce for at least four hours and on days I don’t have time I can make the sauce get it hot drop in the meatballs walk away and it’s done in under an hour . Yogurt feature is nice but I’ve done it in a crockpot as well I’ve used it for some vegetables in the broth came out all right but you’re right the actual size of the pot isn’t that big , and some of the joy is taken out of it but you do sometimes gain time or more importantly make up for lost time that it wasn’t your fault you didn’t get home at noon to start dinner you just couldn’t

  10. Elena says:

    Wow, it must be nice to live in world were you don’t have a real job and have all the time to sit there and keep checking on shit. I feel dumber for having read this blog post. The instant pot is amazing and you are a basic bitch.

    • Jan in Waterdown says:

      So if you feel dumber after reading this blog, I can’t imagine how you must feel after sharing your insightful opinion. Please consider taking your reading and thoughts elsewhere. We’ll all feel better.

    • Martina says:

      Wow…you really seem to have some anger issues…maybe some time in the woodpile with an axe will calm you down…just a thought.

    • Karen says:

      That *might* just be the funniest comment I’ve read. On this blog or any other. Ever. ~ karen!

      • Jan in Waterdown says:

        Oh crap, did I just get punked?? So glad I did the polite version of what I was thinking!

      • Pam'a says:

        I was briefly catapulted out into the ugly world of trolls… And just knew that post was going to elicit 26 versions of “That sh*t don’t fly in here.”

        Your minions will kill for you– but in civil fashion, without leaving a mess. ;)

        • Karen says:

          LOL. True, Pam’a. Honestly the comment made me laugh out loud. I mean, I got called a bitch because I didn’t recommend the Instant Pot?!?! That’s all kinds of funny. ~ karen!

    • GL says:

      I smell an IP vendor. Maybe pull
      over until those meds kick-in. That was supernaturally tacky and a smidgen of sad. It’s a pot and an opinion. You’re life must be swell if this is the target of your anger.

  11. Hayden says:

    I think you’re conflating 2 things: 1) is pressure cooking a good thing, and 2) is the instant pot a good pressure cooker. Also, the hype that it will “change your life” vs be a useful tool in your culinary toolkit may have raised your expectations unreasonably.

    Stovetop pressure cookers (like a Fagor don’t have some of the annoying problems you mentioned. They’re essentially a pot you put on your stove with a fancy lid, so they sear quite well. Since there’s no electronics, you can depressurize them in a minute or so by putting it in your sink and running water from the faucet on it.

    Countertop pressure cookers like the instant pot have one very nice advantage over stovetop pressure cookers: you stick the food in it, set the time, and turn it on. You don’t have to watch it while it comes up to pressure and then lower the heat. And it turns off when it’s done (although you may want to manually depressurize it). That’s a very nice convenience when you want to do something else while it’s cooking.

    And as far as is pressure cooking a good thing, I’ve found that it can make many recipes fit into my weeknight schedule that would otherwise take too long.

    Searing in the instant pot is annoying. I feel like I’m back in college cooking over a hot plate. I have had better results taking the insert out and putting it on my stove. But mostly, I just sear in a traditional pan and put the results in the instant pot.

    You mentioned that you didn’t try making stock. I find that making very high quality stock with my pressure cooker is so easy, I don’t make huge amounts anymore and make it on demand. If I neglected to soak some beans overnight, I can still make very good beans fairly quickly.

    Here’s 2 recipes that make delicious soups very easily (although the carrot prep is a bit annoying):

    • Carlene says:

      I have a countertop (electric) pressure cooker and it’s one of my favorite kitchen appliances, especially in the winter. I can’t tell if the IP is similar to what I have or if it’s a whole different appliance altogether. It seems like the IP might be a weaker version of what I have? Which would be annoying for sure.

      Stews, soups, and chili are amazing when I make them in my electric pressure cooker. I also really like cooking in the oven with my Lodge cast-iron Dutch oven when it’s cold outside. I’d say the Dutch oven tastes better in terms of browning meats and sauces while they cook, while the pressure cooker is great for infusing flavor directly into meats and cooking things SO QUICKLY (and is great year-round for warm days when I want the oven OFF).

      I also make small batches of stock and bone broth in my pressure cooker, like Hayden said. Takes less than an hour to have nearly perfect stock/broth, and I tend to make it with any bone/chicken carcass leftovers from recent meals if the pressure cooker is still out on the counter. I can get a good amount of liquid which gels amazingly well — in fact, I like the quality of broth so much that I haven’t made larger stovetop batches in at least two years.

      My pressure cooker also heats up fast, usually reaches pressure in just a few minutes, and has the “scary valve” at the top for instant release if I want it. I just wear an oven mitt to avoid hot steam, try to scooch it out from under my cabinets so they avoid a steam bath, and I’m fine.

      Not sure if this makes me Team Inferior InstaPot or Team Basic B*tch… seems like there’s no winning side when kitchen appliances cause this much excitement :-)

      • Carlene says:

        I’m also not sure how or why I managed to upload a photo of myself here, my apologies!

      • Karen says:

        LOL! I’d love to know how you did that. And I’ve left you abandoned I just remembered! Email me so we can get back on the secret project of ours! ~ karen

  12. Stephbo says:

    I grew up in a home where my mom only has a few cooking tricks, and they’re the type that come inside a Cracker Jack box. Therefore, pressure cooking is a mystery to me. I don’t understand what it is, how it works, or what to cook with it. Since you panned the IP in favour of regular appliances and cooking methods, I’d love a tutorial on pressure cooking.

  13. Gina-Lee Glass says:

    I’m not a bandwagon kind of girl. I’m more inclined to sit in my lawn chair with a Guinness and watch as the bandwagoneers all start jumping ship. Like rats. Because the ship didn’t really have the delightful cargo of cheese that they were promised. I have pots and fingers and brains. Even with my five daughters, I can cook many things without a fancy schmancy pot. I think it’s great if you like gadgets but I have pots and fingers and brains. Just sayin’. Yogurt? I’m lactose intolerant.

  14. Amy says:

    I have an instant pot and I really like it, but let me explain why and how I use it.

    First, I’m a graduate student and I’m really busy. So it’s nice to do some meal prep on the weekends, then have a couple of meals with leftovers that can cook while I’m working all day.

    Second, I live in a crappy apartment with almost no cooling abilities. Even turning on the stove for 10-20 minutes will bring up the temperature of the room several degrees. I seriously don’t even want to boil noodles in the summer. You can forget about the oven completely. The instant pot gives me more cooking options than a microwave.

    Third, my crappy apartment is also really small. So I have very limited kitchen cabinet and counter space. The instant pot has several functions and is compact. I don’t have space for each, or even a few of the individual gadgets.

    I’m also confused about two complaints- I will open it and add things to it, or check on the food sometimes when it’s slow cooking. For the pressure cooking function, while it does take a while to get up to pressure, you can depressurize it in about a minute.

    Yes, the instant pot has limitations, but it can be very useful for some people!

  15. Sondra says:

    I love my iPot! Here’s the reasons why: Set it and forget it or quick release and use immediately. Once you learn the correct timing for a dish or item then you know every time it will be the same unlike stove top models of which I’ve owned many over the years and used them consistently but cautiously. I NEVER cooked veggies in a stove top – fast road to ruin but I do now cook many vegetables in the iPot! The iPot is consistent, predictable, safe and sits on my counter being used many times per week unlike the expensive Kuhn Rikon babies in the cabinet.

    Not everything should be cooked in a PC for the best outcomes. “Practice makes perfect” is also necessary to turn out just right beans, veggies, etc. Keep a record. Most recipes over cook everything for my taste so I’ve learned through trial and error. Only like the pressure and saute modes on the iPot, the rest I don’t care about or use.

    I hate to cook! I used to love it but I’ve been doing it for 50+ years making almost everything from scratch including grinding my grains and baking all my own bread – I’m tired, so therefore these days any way I can short circuit a task, reduce electricity costs and/or heat in my kitchen then I’m all for it. Hooray for great meals from the iPot!

    Those are many reasons to love an iPot for me.

  16. LibrarianNancy says:

    Thanks for the honest review about the instant pot, Karen! I was hoping that the IP would replace some of my kitchen appliances. But while it does a lot of stuff, it sounds like it doesn’t do them well enough to warrant the expense. Guess I’ll hang onto my pressure cooker and slow cooker. I do have an air fryer – while I sometimes make frozen breaded chicken tenders or fish fillets in it, I look upon it more like a little convection oven. It heats in just a few minutes. Since it’s just me and the dogs now, it’s a good size to throw in a boneless chicken breast and some veggies when I get home from work, then go about the business of getting the dogs fed, going through the mail, and pouring a glass of wine. Dinner is ready just about the time I’m ready for a second glass of wine. And you’re absolutely right – French fries should be fried in oil, and eggs made on the stovetop come out perfect every time. :-)

  17. I’m not and Instant Pot cult member, but when you spend 14-15 hrs per day away from home (commuting and job), by the time you drag your ass in the house to deal with the inevitable cat puke, the dog MUST GO OUT RIGHT NOW, and your grumbling tummy, the Instant Pot is a godsend. I can throw the whatevers in there, choose the cook time, and BAM! go clean up the cat puke and take the dog for a walk. The food is ready in what feels like no time, and it’ll stay warm until I’m ready to eat it. Now, when I want to savor the experience of cooking I do just that, but for my weekdays I’ll take the Instant Pot over everything else.

    • Karen says:

      See that’s what I don’t get. I can cook almost any meal as fast or faster without an Instant Pot. :/ I must be missing something. Dunno what, but something, lol. Maybe it’s something as simple as the Instant Pot chromosome. ~ karen!

      • Maybe we just cook different things, Karen. I cook a LOT of chicken – boneless, skinless breasts. And LEAN pork, and fish..okay, the fish I haven’t done in the pot yet. I’m afraid it’ll turn to mush. Anyway, I grow my own herbs, I can get all the flavor out of the herb and meat combos with the pot and I literally don’t give it a thought while I’m doing other things.

      • whitequeen96 says:

        While you might be able to cook things the “old way” just as fast as in an IP, you have to BE there. Standing over a hot stove, stirring, seasoning, tasting; just not my thing! I like to put everything in, lock down the top, and walk away until it’s done. And I HATE using my oven – heats up the kitchen and is one more thing you have to clean (every 10 yrs. for me, ’cause I use it as little as possible)>

  18. Tena Greear says:

    I love my instant pot! I bought one for my daughter and she is crazy about it too. After a full day I can actually put a good meal on the table before 8 o’clock at night. I agree it doesn’t take the place of all cooking but anything that makes cooking easier and quicker has my vote.

  19. Kim from Milwaukee says:

    I agree….it seems to be a glorified crock pot to me. I can make yogurt in my crock pot just as easily, as well as soups, broth, etc. The only thing I like about it is it cooks beans without having to soak them, in about a half hour. If I’m making chili I can do it all in the IP and it turns out great.

    Not much for boiled eggs, but if it makes them peelable I might keep it, otherwise it may end up in my sister’s kitchen for rice cooking.

    I was really hoping it would roast a chicken nicely, but I don’t have the patience to brown it and then cook it, rather just rotisserie it in my convection oven.

    Karen, thanks for trying it out for everyone…it’s fun to see what it does for you, and I know you’ll always give it to us straight!

  20. MartiJ says:

    A few more affiliate links and I think you’ll have this whole thing down! Hooray!

    I was very skeptical when you started this, but you have solidly convinced me. I will not be needing an Instant Pot. Thank you for confirming what we both know: we like cooking.

    • Karen says:

      Ha! The Blue Apron isn’t an affiliate link. Just genuine love for them. No kickback, no payment. :) Because … I do love and encourage cooking. ~ k!

  21. susang says:

    not really an IP comment but I want the recipes for the butter chicken and the coconut yogurt that was made in the IP.
    karen what do you use the whey from the yogurt for other than keeping the chickens happy?

    • Karen says:

      I’m sorry to say I do nothing with my whey. NOTHING! Chickens get it, and that’s about it. :/ ~ karen!

      • Cary says:

        hey Karen! I have heard whey is great for the garden!

        • Sondra says:

          Whey can also be used to ferment veggies! Lots of recipes on the Internet.

        • JulieD says:

          I second that-lactofermentation. When I make sauerkraut I like to put in whey if I have it.

        • Sondra says:

          Another yummy quick ferment is fresh tomato salsas that you make with whey. Put everything together in a sealed lock down jar, sit on a plate and then stash in a dark cabinet for a few days. Recipes out there on the Net.

  22. Jenifer says:

    I have not ever used the Instant Pot but my HUSBAND has and likes it…therefore, it works for me. He made numerous roasts in it this winter so we didn’t have to eat hot dogs or take out pizza every time I needed to work late. YAY!!

    Bon Appetit! :)

  23. Deborah Kimbell says:

    I am so with you on this. I bought it expecting great things. Have used it 3 times and hate it. I like to look at my food. I like to smell it, season as I go, adjust the heat to thicken sauce, etc.

    And it seems to take twice as long to do everything!

    I found the Instant Pot food bland and overcooked. I suppose I could fiddle with the recipes and make them work, but it’s much easier to just cook.

    I have tried for three months to give the thing away, complete with Instant Pot cookbooks, but have no takers, which suggests that others are wiser than the dupe that I clearly am. So it sits in the basement until I finally take it to the thrift store.

    Thanks for having the patience to test more than I did!

  24. Jody says:

    Will the next version 8 in 1 include an ice cream maker. If that happens I’m in!

  25. Jen TOPP says:

    You have saved me from another appliance purchase that eventually lies dormant in my already-stuffed cabinets. And for that, I thank you.

  26. Alyssa says:

    My crock pot died a couple of weeks ago, and I was hoping this would help me decide if I should get an IP instead. I think I still might- and I do love cooking. I’m spending a small fortune on yogurt right now, so it should pay for itself in two weeks… just kidding. Maybe three. I swear I’ll never cook a whole chicken in it and call it “roasted” though. I like the idea of having a multi purpose tool – slow cooker, pressure cooker, yogurt maker.

    • Cary says:

      funny you should mention it paying for itself! Mine paid for itself in two weeks because it was so much fun playing with it that we didn’t get our weekly sushi takeout!

  27. Ellen says:

    I think it might be great for some people – teeny tiny kitchens, non-cookers with no time. As a retired person I have plenty of time to cook and my kitchen, while far from large, has plenty of room for cooking. The only thing that almost tempted me was the pressure cooking function because when we purchased our induction range my much loved aluminum pressure cooker had to go. I think a stainless pressure cooker is going to serve my needs better.

    • JulieD says:

      Ooh yes, I have a stainless 8 quart. I liked it before, but I loved it once I got an induction range. It comes up to temp so fast, and adjusting it to the correct heat level is a snap.

  28. Elizabeth says:

    I have to admit that I like the IP but not for the reasons most people do. I have 3 kids with food allergies which means that I have to bring food and cooking gear on every vacation we take. I like the IP because, while it might not be the best, I can cook anything I need to with just one tool. Also, I love the ability to cook bone broth quickly. Leaving my stove on for 2 days in the summer is rough. Other then these two circumstances it stays put away.

  29. Tanya says:

    Who knew kitchen appliances and Pulp Fiction had so much in common! Like you Karen, I love the art of cooking. So this appliance will not be added to my arsenal. Thanks for the honest review and saving me some potential frustration!

  30. Laurie says:

    Hi Karen, just a few thoughts. I agree with many of your points. It sometimes does take some time to come to pressure, but there are tricks to cut that time down, and they really work. Also, the time it takes to release the pressure is cut down to just seconds when you use the quick release. I love my pot because like Kat, I am a cook & collapse person during the week. Although I love cooking ribs the authentic way, I also love having fall off the bone ribs ready in less than an hour for a quick weeknight dinner. Traditional pressure cookers have been around for many years, and I always wanted to try one, but I was too scared of having a potential bomb on my stovetop! As far as the stinky gasket, if you store it with the lid inverted, the stinky-ness isn’t as much of an issue. That being said, I wouldn’t want to do any baking in it, that just seems silly!

  31. anne says:

    I think the Instant Pot is a great addition so much that I take it camping with me. It had a huge learning curve though. I love to cook but there are so many times I’d rather be painting than stirring over a pot. I love that I can walk away and let it do the cooking. I had the same problems with the saute feature until I figured out there were setting on that as well I beep it up to high and have no problem. I also do a lot of instant release which isn’t a scary thing with this pot. So I don’t really wait much time for it to depressurize. So the way I do thing it is much quicker. I agree the flavor infuses more from soups and stews in the Instant Pot. I agree that you can ruin some things by wrong temps and cooking times but again that is the learning curve with this appliance. I seem to remember my Mom saying the same kind of things when microwave ovens came out.

    • FACM says:

      I don’t even use a microwave to cook anything. Only to reheat something or heat a frozen food that I can’t reheat on the stove. Or to sanitize my sponges.

  32. Jo says:

    Thanks for this! I was nearly swayed by all the hype but your insight into what you (and I) Like about cooking – the tasting and adjusting and fiddling til it’s right – as well as the crucial stock making point about making a lot when in fact I do make it, have helped me realize that my gigantic slow cooker does not need a neighbor.
    Now I’m hoping you will take this in good spirit, because I fear your mockery even though it might be deserved… you see, the thing is, inasmuch as you have helped me with many many tasks and how to’s and bracing ‘get her done’s’, I would like to offer help in one small, very insignificant way, and only because the word shows up twice. If you disdain my effort that’s fair, but just so as you know, I too turn off spell check cause I like to make up words and add a lot of slang when I write to people. Sorta. Kinda. youbetcha. That sort of thing that ends up with red squiggly lines all over my text. Kinda Hate spellcheck. Just sayin’.

    • Karen says:

      Um, I have no idea what you’re talking about Jo. You’re gonna have to cut to the chase and be blunt … :) ~ karen!

      • Jo says:

        sorry Karen. I was being too cagey. It’s the word disdain. Spelled with two d’s. Thththththat’s all. No biggy. (my son’s would give me a Big eyeroll right about now).

  33. Melissa says:

    I received one as a gift, and have tried a couple things that work. First, unlike slow cooking, meats come out juicy. I’ve slow-cooked pork shoulder and even though it’s sitting in liquid, why is it dry?? Not so in the instant pot. So (relatively) quick pork for carnitas works. Second, there was a meatball and pasta recipe I did that was tasty, but more importantly, my picky kid loved it. Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

    I will agree with the small size (ooh, chicken broth, but you end up with … one quart?? What’s the bother?) Also, I did the creme brulee (really, custard that you later brulee) and sure, it worked, but I couldn’t do all the little cups at once, so had to take turns.

    Since it was a gift, I’m keeping it and pulling it out once in a while, probably more often in winter. But I’m not Thrilled to Death, nor am I cooking everything in there.

  34. Kathryn says:

    I got one at Christmas time because I moved into a house with a tiny kitchen, so I got rid of the slow cooker and pressure cooker and a bunch of the pots and pans that I used to have room for, and it does all of the things I need it to do. I threw a sweet potato and a frozen pork chop in it the other day and had a great dinner in very short time, without turning on the oven for a single sweet potato.

    It didn’t change my life, but it is a handy thing to have in the kitchen. Likewise, the soda stream means we’re not storing bottles of fizzy water in the same tiny kitchen.

  35. Cary says:

    IP lover here! I love the art of cooking too! I think the love of the instant pot has to do with lifestyles. For instance, last night I was babysitting my grandkids and we decided we wanted to watch The Karate Kid instead of our previous plans of playing outside while grilling a whole chicken. So I turned the IP on “sauté more” to preheat (a very important step) while I trimmed, trussed and seasoned the chicken, browned the breast side for 10 minutes in a bit of oil, and the other three sides about two minutes each. I removed the chicken, added a cup of brown rice, stirred til translucent, then added 1 1/2 cups of the bone broth I had previously made in the IP. (I added more stock for the rice than usually called for because it was going to be in the IP a little longer in order to cook the chicken.) I plopped the chicken back on top, sealed her up and manual hi pressured for 25 minutes. I let it natural pressure release for 5 minutes, took out the chicken and threw it in the preheated oven on convection roast at 425° to brown and finish cooking while I threw some fresh broccoli in the pot with the rice and set to manual for 0 minutes. Everything was done at the same time. The chicken was a golden brown, very moist, and cooked perfectly, as I had under-cooked it in the IP so as not to over cook the rice. The rice and broccoli were amazing and I only had to pause the movie once! :) It took a little over an hour, the same amount of time it would’ve taken me to grill a spatchcocked chicken. Had I decided to roast the chicken, which I love to do, it would’ve taken much longer. It’s been fun playing with it and figuring out my own way of doing things, using other folks’ recipes as a guide. It makes the best rice, white or brown. Killer risotto. No stirring! (I have my own recipe for that as well, as the ones I read were not tasty enough for me.) I make coconut “yogurt”, no need to bring it up to 180° so the temp thing isn’t a factor for me. Par cooking ribs in the IP makes them so juicy! And peeling my girls’ fresh eggs is a dream! ❤️

    • Karen says:

      But … But … but you could have done all of that in your oven in the same amount of time, couldn’t you have? Without so much tossing about. No? A small chicken only takes an hour to roast, broccoli on a pan in the same oven to roast at the same time, rice on the stove in a regular pot, 20 min. ~ karen!

      • Gayle Choojitarom says:

        I live in south Louisiana where temps run above 80*F 9-10 months per year. Just the thought of boiling 2 pots of water while running the oven makes me perspire. Like any other tool, it’s not for everything. A great hammer doesn’t make everything in the house a nail. In my family, between my New Orleans upbringing and my husband’s Asian background, we cook lots of rice, beans, gumbos, stews, Creoles, etouffées, stocks for pho, etc. It does these items, plus several more, very well, and does them without heating up my entire house.

        Also, comparing cooking to a painting isn’t quite the same, is it? An artist can take weeks, years even, to complete a work of art. Try that with dinner.

        • SandyToes says:

          What Gayle said. In Tampa we have similar weather, and it’s just not practical to cook stovetop or oven braises, long-simmering chili, etc… for most of the year. Pressure cooking means I don’t have to wait for cold weather to enjoy these things.

      • Cary says:

        I was feeding 4 people, my chicken was almost 6 pounds. (I use the low and slow method of roasting where you start it off at 500° for 15 minutes then turn the oven down to 275° for hours.) But I suppose I could have roasted it at 350° in about an hour and a half, but roasted broccoli takes about 20 minutes. Pause the movie to throw the broccoli in. Brown rice takes 45 minutes. Pause the movie to boil the stock. Pause the movie to add the rice. 🤣 See!? 😆😘😆

  36. Al says:

    Single guy here. Instant Pot is my saving grace. All I know is that I can throw some meat, veggies and a can of whatever in there, press a button and when it beeps I have food. Blue Apron is terrible for single guys. Way too much food and way too much mess.

    Also, instant pot travels. Blue Apron does not. Instant Pot reheats leftovers better than a microwave too.

    Best thing in my whole kitchen.

    • Catherine says:

      What size InstaPot do you recommend for a single?

      I hate stirring and cleaning so actually the Instant Pot is appealing…

      • Karen says:

        Catherine, Get the 6 quart. Anything smaller will be kind of useless. ~ karen!

        • Al says:

          If I ever filled my 5qt instant pot, I know I have made way too much food. I don’t want 3 days worth of leftovers!

      • Al says:

        I have the small one. People don’t understand the single, light eater lifestyle. The small, 5qt is plenty big for me.

  37. Annette says:

    The Instapot . . . coming soon to a yard sale near you.

  38. Kari In Dallas says:

    I’d love to hear your thoughts on the Air Fryer…have a friend who loves it, but am ambivalent at this point. Seems like another gadget that takes up space I could use for my collection of cast iron skillets,

    • Karen says:

      Hi Kari. Someone just emailed me last week about an air fryer. I’ll tell you what I told her. I’ve looked into them for the past few years and ultimately decided not to buy one. I don’t eat fried foods all that much and when I do fry foods in a deep fryer, I want them to be fried! Also air fryers take a lot longer than a deep fryer (45 minutes for french fries I believe) and part of what gives these fried foods their appeal is the taste of the actual fat, not just the fact that the food gets crispy.

      If you don’t eat french fries every night or even every week I’d pass on the air fryer if I were you. They’re loud, expensive, take a long time to cook and are a large appliance to have to store for something you’ll probably only use once a month or so. :) (for me anyway) ~ karen!

  39. Amanda says:

    Thank you so much for testing the instant pot. I’m so glad i don’t “need” one. My suspicions about this thing have been confirmed! Especially the time factor. I love to cook, too, so, yeah, this thing is…just not for me. I still don’t understand the whole hard boiled egg thing. It’s so easy to make perfectly hard boil eggs in a pot on the stove.

  40. Amanda says:

    Thank you so much for testing the instant pot. I’m so glad i don’t “need” one. My suspicions about this thing have been confirmed! Especially the time factor. I love to cook, too, so, yeah, this thing…just not for me. I still don’t understand the whole hard boiled egg thing. It’s so easy to make perfectly hard boil eggs in a pot on the stove.

    • Cary says:

      it is virtually impossible to peel fresh eggs. I have chickens and I wouldn’t even attempt to boil their eggs because I wouldn’t be able to get the peel off! But with my instant pot they peel like a dream! It was worth the 99 bucks I spent on it just so that I could now make hard boiled eggs and deviled eggs and egg salad and soft boiled eggs where the peels literally slip off! 🐣

      • Valerie says:

        When Karen’s Instant Pot article on cooking hard boiled eggs first appeared I remember adding a comment about this. No matter what the age of the eggs for easy peeling boil eggs for 8-10 minutes and run under cold water from the tap, letting it run for about a minute. Let the eggs sit in the cold water for 15 minutes and the shell will peel off easily. There is no need to add baking soda to the water or anything else. The cold water pouring on the eggs at the end of the boiling time causes the white to shrink away from the shell.

        • Cary says:

          that’s the same method I use for store-bought eggs. unfortunately I have not had success with that method using my girls’ eggs :(

      • Anne Scharff says:

        I too have chickens. Drop the fresh eggs after boiling into ice water. They will peel perfectly.

      • Birdy says:

        Late responding…but, if you have a steamer basket, you can fill your pot with water just to the bottom of the steamer basket, place eggs in basket, bring to a boil, cover, steam for 20 minutes, remove from heat, run under cold water to stop cooking and peel. The shells will come off easily. No IP needed.

  41. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    So like most of these amazing cooking gadgets they come out a couple of years you will be able to get one at a yard sale for $2 bucks!

    • Nancy W says:

      I got my bread machine at a yard sale for 3 bucks!

      • Connie says:

        Yes, on that note, we will be seeing them sooner than later from all the brides that received this as a wedding present. The Instant Pot was recommend to me by the Life Style group – Always Hungry, and me thinks it was a ploy for that company to get a kickback.

  42. Rachel says:

    Great review and hilarious post, as always! For someone who loves to cook and be a part of each step, your review and feelings about the appliance makes a lot of sense.

    I don’t love cooking. But I do it. A lot. Every day. I have a hungry toddler at home who would rather I play trucks and read him books than attend to a stove. So, I use the Instant Pot to make beans (the boy can’t get enough beans) and ridiculously good Butter Chicken and spicy carrot soup and even hard boiled eggs sometimes when I can’t be next to the stove because a little person is exclaiming “halp pwease!” because his favorite fire truck rolled underneath the media stand and he can’t get it out (and, despite my best efforts, I haven’t trained the cat to fetch toys yet either).

    So, I love the Instant Pot and I’m so glad I have one. Even though, like you said, the rubber gasket sure does smell like the last thing I made! :)

  43. Grammy says:

    Thanks for the honest and thorough review. I expected no less from you.

    Sounds like I’d like the Instant Pot for a few things, but not enough things to find a place for it in my small kitchen. I’m one of those people who doesn’t find most cooking too difficult or time-consuming, plus I’m retired. I wouldn’t fault any working person for buying it and using it, or any other thing that enables them to get dinner on the table after commuting and working all day. I used to do that, and the memory of those days will never leave me.

    So it sounds like Instant Pot is pure gold for those who need it and not so much for those of us who don’t. Like most things in life. Thanks for checking it out for us, Karen.

  44. Rebecca says:

    Well said, as usual. 😊

  45. Kat says:

    I don’t often comment here although I love your blog and read it every time. I love your blog and I love the Instant Pot and I love cooking. I don’t use the Instant Pot for everything and I don’t want to use it for everything, but I work a sixty to seventy hour week and believe me there is a great advantage some days to being able to shove a soup or curry or chilli or similar in and collapse while it cooks.

    I don’t care if it takes a bit of time to heat up – though putting everything in hot helps, and I do most of the seasoning/adding at the end, so I don’t care about that bit either. What I do care about is that it gives me something hot and healthy with minimal effort after a very, very long day’s work. But I wouldn’t use it to roast anything or make desserts or cakes etc or for food that needs a delicate touch. And I’ve learned with time to cook much better with it than I did at the start.

    Even if I could afford a pre prepped service like Blue Apron every day (which I couldn’t) I live in an area where that option doesn’t exist – and also I want to use my own (and local organic) food.

    I get your point. And I still love mine for the uses I put it to.

    • Thandi says:

      Excellent points! I’m not too keen on trying one, it’s just not the way I cook, but I totally hear you on the Collapse & Cook method of feeding yourself in the week. You’ve just given me some great ammunition to talk my spouse into buying a pressure cooker ;-)

      • Catherine says:

        Precisely, a good big pressure cooker will accomplish the cook and collapse goal better, and will be faster coming up to pressure. Plus you can still make the bone broth and the use the pressure cooker to actually can the broth so it is shelf stable.

  46. marilyn meagher says:

    I love to cook as well so I wouldn’t bother with this gadget.

    • Dwight says:

      I have been using a CuisineArt stove top pressure cooker made in Belgium for the past 40 years. I was raised on watching my mother’s steam belching weight wiggling model, which always fascinated me. So, I thought I would try an 8 qt IP. It worked great. Pressure cooking is fun!

  47. I was so confused by the craze. Although I can’t give a fair review, never having tried one, it seems ridiculous. Two thumbs down from Portland, Oregon.

    • FACM says:

      Agree. I already use a pressure cooker, slow cooker and other pots/pans/steamer basket, blender as needed. So far I haven’t been hindered by the few useful utensils I have. And I like my hands-on spontaneous, sometimes partly improvised as I go along cooking. For me cooking is a very relaxing, sensory zen-like experience.

  48. chloe crofton says:

    Great review and very honest! I do not like instant anything in the kitchen either, as
    it just takes any skills you have and makes them pointless.
    I grew up learning to enjoy every step of baking and cooking with a lot of recipe following.
    We took shortcuts or worked as a team to make things efficient and out the door faster.
    Literally as we were running a bakery and cafe! The people are what make things, I am not ready for robotic beings to be taking over that part of my life yet! Cooking is also tactile and involves smell, touch, asking taster assistants, taste yourself and sight! Without the interaction of your senses with the dish- it will just be plain- in my view. I also think that making things even easier for non cooks in the kitchen with too many gadgets to cheat the cooking process just limits their ability to become great cooks in the future! People want everything quick easy and instant, and crafts, cooking, baking, diy whatever creative and time using tasks are not interesting to all in 2017. Lost arts will be the base of your blog soon
    as everyone does it herself virtually and only use their hands to use their smartphones, tablets, gps and instant pots! Thanks for cheering my evening anyway! Chloe

    • Tina says:


    • karin sorensen says:

      well said! true and sad. but I’m not worried, since with Karen and all TAODS I’m in perfect company.

      we are of the creating tribe
      the trial and error folks,
      the take your time and enjoy folks.

    • Agnes says:

      Instant pot is great for those who come home tired after work, but want a nice home cooked meal without having to wait too long. You keep it on the counter so that you don’t have to pull it out. You don’t use it just for 1-pot meals. As you cook your meat on the stove or grill, cook unsoaked dry beans in instant pot for a nice bean salad. Then you steam vegetables in the instant pot using quick release; don’t wait for it to come to room pressure gradually. And voila, you have a well balanced meal. So many options and opportunities. My son got me an instant pot for Christmas last year. It has tremendously cut my time in the kitchen.

  49. Paula says:

    I own it, too. I really enjoy the flavour but like you mentioned, I only use it for a few things and so far, only in the winter.

    • SandyToes says:

      Hello Paula,

      I live in a hot climate and one of my favorite things about the Instant Pot is that I can make long-cooking chilis, stews, braises, and Marcella’s Bolognese any time I want, because it doesn’t overheat my kitchen. Before I bought it I used to pray for cold weather (which is mostly December-early March) so I could use my oven or stovetop for 3 hours or more. Heck, Super Bowl chili wasn’t even a given, because it might be 80 degrees.

      • Julia Fabrin says:

        Hey I just want to ask – how long do you cook Marcellas Bolognese in the instant pot for? It’s one of my fav stovetop recipes and would love to try cook it in the IP!

      • Julia Fabrin says:

        Oh and do you still cook off the alcohol in the wine before setting the IP to pressure? Sorry just really interested in how you’ve adapted the recipe :) and thanks!

  50. Kath says:

    Soooo anyway- re: yogurt making, I’m confused. Is the gag ball a requirement?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Seed Starting Calculator

  • About Karen