What Is An Instant Pot and Why Do I Need One {Ask the Readers}

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Today’s Ask the Readers question comes from me. I am hoping some of you can help me.

(And this post does contain some affiliate links. If you purchase something through that link I get a small percent. Thank you for supporting this site and what I do. )

I keep hearing and reading about the Instant Pot. For those that don’t know it is basically an electric pressure cooker that does a lot more than just pressure cook. It is a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, and more. It seems to do it all in one small appliance.

Instant Pot

I am kind of fascinated by the concept of the Instant Pot.

My mom used an old stove top version of a pressure cooker for years. Growing up a lot of the meat, stews, and other meals we ate were cooked in a pressure cooker. My mom loved how quick it cooked the food and how tender the food was when it came out.

About five years ago I bought an electric pressure cooker. My sister had one and loved it. She convinced me to give it a try. I really liked it and used it a lot when I first got it. It works great for cooking dried beans, stews, roast, and other things, but all it does it pressure cook and I don’t often think to use it. So most of the time it sits in the back of my cupboard unused.

Not only that it is an older model from back when electric pressure cookers were first taking off in popularity, so it is pretty basic. This is why the Instant Pot sounds interesting to me. It does more than pressure cooks. Yes, the pressure cooking feature would be the main reason for buying it, but I love that it also does more than pressure cook.

Do any of you have an Instant Pot? Tell me why you love it? Or don’t love it? Are they worth buying? In other words do I need one? 

Lynn's Kitchen Adventures

Comments

  1. I have one and I absolutely love it. It is so easy to use that it is almost foolproof, which makes it perfect for me. I was always a bit nervous about pressure cookers because my mother was convinced that their prime function in life was to explode and cause untold loss of life and limb, not to mention property damage. I too started hearing a lot about the Instant Pot, and decided to try it. Last fall Amazon put them on sale at ridiculously, wonderfully low prices, and my son bought me the Blutetooth enabled model which is fun, but not a feature I ever use that much. It’s handy to check on the progress using my iPhone if I’m on another floo or outside, but I really don’t do much else with it. The Instant Pot produces wonderfully flavorful tender meats, and I like to cook veggies in mine too, which takes almost no time at all. It does take time for it to come up to pressure, so it isn’t totally instant. I do love the ease of this pot and being able to make something from the freezer to the table in a short period of time. I just set it and forget it until the beeps tell me it’s done. Once cooking time ends it automatically goes to the keep warm function. I have used mine several times a week since I got it last October, and I love mine so much that I am seriously considering buying a second one, or at least a second cooking pot. I would love it if they would come out with an eight quart model. The six quart is sufficient, but there are times when I would love a bigger pot. Between using this, a slow cooker, and induction burner hot plates, I haven’t used my stove top since Christmas. Another bonus is that all of these small appliances use less electricity, which pays me back with lower electric bills every month. BGE just raised our rates AGAIN! It irritates me that they tell us to conserve energy, and when we consciously lower our usage, they start whining that their profits are down so they have to raise rates. AGAIN! So I do love that even with the new higher rates, we are saving money. Rant over. If you can, buy an Instant Pot. They are wonderful appliances, and ridiculously easy to use, and perfectly safe. I have had other electric pressure cookers in the past, but this one is the best and the easiest. I think you will like it. I especially love making meat, stews, and meatloaf in mine.

  2. I have, stupidly, passed up way too many opportunities to purchase a 7-in-1 for less than $70. I’m kicking myself! Three next deal? I’m all over it! I’ve seen nothing but good stuff about these, and with nursing school starting in the fall, my time will be limited.

  3. I have one of these pots. It’s the best thing ever!! I also grew up never wanting a pressure cooker. My mother always warned me of how they would blow up and injure people. I found a slow cooker/pressure cooker at a flea market, still new in the box, and decided to try it. I loved it! I could take chicken right from the freezer to the pressure cooker and have a wonderful meal in twenty minutes. Then it died. So I did some research online and decided to get the Instant Pot. Amazon had the best price so I ordered it. It has been a great purchase for me. I probably use it four days a week. Either I slow cook in it or I pressure cook in it, whichever ever way I choose the meal is usually outstanding! The bonus is that my house smells good and my family is eating good! Win-win all the way around.

  4. Virginia says:

    I am so glad you asked this question, because I have been wondering if I would use/ need as well. I have 5 crockpot’s in various sizes and was hoping this may help cut back on that. I’m looking forward to the response this receives.

  5. Shirlene Weber says:

    I have a different brand but it is very similar. I used it several times and now I am looking for tried and true recipes because mine did not come with a book on how to use it or recipes. Grrr. I look forward to seeing what other’s have to share as well.

  6. I got an Instant Pot for Christmas. I use it an average of 5x a week. Just this morning I made hard boiled eggs (they peel effortlessly when I pressure cook them), and now I have black bean soup cooking on slow cooker mode. I have gotten rid of my slow cooker.

    I made a wonderful cheesecake a few weeks ago that turned out perfectly smooth and creamy. The yogurt function is simple to use and I can make one gallon of yogurt at a time. Dry beans can be cooked in an hour. I’m a convert!

    • Thanks for sharing that! After reading all these great reviews I am sure I need one now. :-) I appreciate all the thoughts that have been shared. It seems like pretty much everyone loves it.

  7. What is a good price for this. It sounds interesting.

  8. Cherie Klein says:

    I adore my Instant Pot. Perfect rice. Perfect quinoa. Meltingly tender potatoes, beets and other root vegetables. We do most of our cooking for the week on one day so a slow cooker isn’t feasible. With the Instant Pot I can make a spaghetti sauce in 50 minutes that tastes like it’s been simmering for 3 hours. Then I wash the inner liner and make teryaki spareribs in 20 minutes.

  9. Sally Abbott says:

    My question is we are a strange (weird) family that likes soups and beans in the winter time only. Are there things you can cook in it, that will not turn out “soupy”.

    • From what I have heard and read about it you can cook all kinds of things in it. Meat, roast, chicken, beans, sauces, ribs, etc. Someone on my Facebook page even mentioned that they cooked a cheesecake in theirs. So yes I believe you can cook way more than soup and beans in it. And my family is totally with you on the soup in winter thing. I love soup and chili in the fall and winter, but soup in August in just wrong. :-)

  10. It has been on my Amazon Wish List for about a month now due to all the awesome praises I’ve seen online about using one of these. All the amazing meals and things this does in such a short amount of time I think will be very much worth the investment. How many times have I realized I didn’t pull meat out of the freezer for dinner that night. Or I do pull the meat out and then something happens to our schedule that I don’t get to use the meat and it sits in my fridge for a few days before finally being used or put back in the freezer because it won’t be used for quite some time. I would love to be able to just pull it out when I get home and have a meal ready in no time at all. I also love the Yogurt making feature. I’ve heard great things about that and the one time I tried to make yogurt at home, I ended up with yogurt flavored soup. I never tried again because of the time and product wasted, but it sounds very successful using the IP. For people saying they don’t have recipes, there are FB groups and Pinterest sites with TONS of different recipes. Check them out.

  11. I haven’t had my instant pot very long but I love it. Makes the best hard boiled eggs, cheesecake & corn on the Cobb quickly, food tastes amazing & is better for you.
    You can whip up a meal in no time. Trust me you will love it. You will be amazed at all the foods you can cook in the fabulous pot. Enjoy!

  12. I haven’t purchased one yet but do have it on my wish list. There is a FB group I follow that gives a lot of useful help and recipes. Most are totally in love with their Instant Pot or in many occasions…pots. Be prepared to drool if you check out the FB page. https://www.facebook.com/groups/InstantPotCommunity/?ref=ts&fref=ts

  13. Kristine says:

    I have another brand that we bought in December. We finally tried it in January and really liked it, but still haven’t used it all but a couple times. I work full-time and our week nights are busy with kids activities that I still don’t have time to cook. By the time I get home from work my husband has left with our son or will be within few minutes, so I rely on freezer meals, the crockpot and left overs. I cook a lot on the weekends to prep for the coming week and so I should probably work the instant pot into that. I have found lots or wonderful recipes, so I just need to plan to try some.

  14. You need one so you can blog about how I should use mine! I got one for Christmas, and I like it – but I don’t LOVE it because I feel like I don’t know how to use it and don’t have time/confidence to explore. I actually am using it today (before I even saw your post!) for a Slow Cooker recipe that requires browning ground beef… so I could save a pot by browning right in the IP before dumping the rest of the ingredients. I have made yogurt 2x in it – the first time it turned out runny, but the second time it turned out fine. I think my starter was old the first time, so that likely caused the “fail”, but I don’t know for sure. I have tried 2 “IP specific” recipes, but none of them were hits with my family. I WANT to love it, because if not, I feel like I should get rid of the extra appliance, but I can’t figure out how to maximize it’s use for what I already cook. However, since I cook so many of your recipes, if you got one and started to post on how you incorporate into daily/weekly use, maybe I’d use mine more :) I’m already going to check out the FB page Susan linked to, and I want to try hard-boiling eggs that several have mentioned, so you might be already helping me out…!!

  15. I have a competitor’s but want in Instant Pot. Amazon has them now for $114 and change.Will be getting one soon.
    My current pc doesn’t have a “saute’/browning” function but does everything else extremely well. I use mine 4 to 5 times a week and yes cheesecake and flans are no trouble at all. I just finished 2 loaves of bread and they turned out wonderfully. The only thing you have to remember is this is “wet” cooking not dry. If i want a dry cooking method I use an air oven and I use sous vide cooking for expensive cuts of meat as well as tough cuts but I always go back to my pressure cooker for the most tender meats and veggies possible. It’s just my wife and I and we cook in the pc for one or two meals at a time.
    In my opinion, a pressure cooker, and of course the Instant Pot is an absolute must for any kitchen.

  16. I bought one in January after my mom and sister-in-law both bought one and loved theirs. I think once life slows down a little (Feb-April are the busiest months for us), I will have time find recipes and use it more. So far I’ve used it about 5-6 times and haven’t cooked anything that I truly loved. I have also been challenged by estimating how long the entire cooking process will take. For example, it might take 10 minutes to heat up, 10 minutes to cook and then about 5-10 minutes for the pressure to release. When you’re also trying to cook side dishes and time everything to be ready at the same time, it makes it a little harder to figure out. I use my slow cooker a lot and at least with that, I could just turn it to low and cook the other items and not worry about the timing. I’m sure that’ll come with more experience eventually.

    I do think it’ll be great in the summer when you want to cook something without heating up the kitchen. By then I should have more time to play with it! I hope to love it someday.

  17. I love mine, I’ve never had this much fun in the kitchen. I like to cook but I love to bake. I use my Instant pot almost every day! I make soft or hard boiled eggs, the most delicious pasta with either meatballs or Italian sausage. Steel cut oats. The best part about it besides the food being delicious is I can walk away, no standing over it. It makes fantastic rice too:) I’m excited that some of my favorite food bloggers are posting about it. Love your blog!

  18. Catherine says:

    Among all the other comments about why they (and I) love their Instant Pot, I would like to add that it has a stainless steel cooking pot and not Teflon! Extremely important to me :-)

  19. I’m thinking of buying an Instant Pot but wondering if I should get the 6-in-1 5-quart or 7-in-1 6-quart model. I will definitely want to use it for making yogurt and I notice that most people who buy the yogurt rack buy the 7-in-1 6-quart pot. Perhaps the yogurt rack is too big for the 5-quart pot?

  20. After much thought and research from myself, my mother bought me a Smart Pot Pressure Cooker a couple of months ago. I use it about once a week now, but I am still learning. So far, I have done ribs, a roast, meatloaf, and my favorite is hard boiled eggs. Those eggs turn out perfect every time! I was also afraid of pressure cookers even though I have grown up with a mother and grandmother who have canned on stovetop pressure cookers my entire life. This is must less scary though. Highly recommend!!!

  21. Cari Shepard says:

    One caveat — a lot of times you will see “ready in 10 minutes” — well, that is 10 minutes after it comes to pressure (which can take 15-30 minutes) and before pressure is released (this can take some time as well). I love that I can decide to have pinto beans at 3p and still have them on the table by 5p (and that’s without soaking them)!

  22. Can you use it as a canner as well?

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