The first Instant Pot was sold on Amazon in 2010. It’s now 2019 and the Instant Pot brand is still going strong. Will the Instant Pot fad fade? Or is the Instant Pot here to stay? Here are some of my thoughts on the subject.
The Instant Pot: A fad or long term staying power?
The Instant Pot is the most popular brand of electronic pressure cooker. In October of 2010 their first product was launched on Amazon. And less than 9 years later it is rocking the world of kitchen appliances. In July 2018 on Amazon Prime Day the Instant Pot sold more than 300,000 units. The Instant Pot Duo has become the bestselling product on Amazon across all categories!
That’s a lot of pressure cookers sold in a short amount of time! As more people have started using their Instant Pots the word on the street has spread and more people are purchasing pots for their own kitchens (or a second or third pot for their kitchen).
Just because a lot of Instant Pots have been purchased doesn’t mean they are all getting used. Over and over I hear of people that have the the Instant Pot unopened neatly sitting in their garage. They hope that someday they’ll get past the feeling of being intimidated by it and use it. Others have jumped right in and started experimenting with their new appliance and use it most days of the week. Others have been somewhere in between. They get the Instant Pot off the shelf only to make their weekly batch of hard boiled eggs and maybe roast every now and then.
If you know me you know that I’m definitely in the camp of using the Instant Pot most days of the week. I actually have 3 different Instant Pots (two 6 quarts and one 8 quart). I keep thinking that I need to get a 3 quart pot for side dishes and rice. I should have jumped on the deal Amazon had on that a few days ago. I’m now kicking myself. Of course I’m probably the outlier as far as usage is concerned. I actually make a living off of using my Instant Pot and creating recipes for it. (Did I ever tell you how lucky I feel every day of my life?)
So yes the Instant Pot is popular! And it has made its way into many kitchens in North America. But does it having staying power? Or will it get banished to the basement or cast in the pile of donations? My opinion is that it does have staying power and will not be just a fad from 2017. Here’s why.
It’s multi-functional. Unlike a George Foreman grill, panini maker or even a rice cooker the Instant Pot can do SO many things. What other appliance
- can cook brown rice perfectly
- boil eggs that peel like a dream
- make a fall apart roast in less than two hours
- cook meats from frozen in minutes
- make a cheesecake that doesn’t have a cracked top
- make thick and creamy Greek yogurt
- steam your broccoli for you
- cook squash in minutes
- proof bread
- cook dried beans in a fraction of the time it would take on the stove
- help you make homemade cough syrup
- And more???
Think about it. It can be used for so many things! If you’re only going to buy one kitchen appliance, or you can only bring one hypothetical tool to a kitchen on a desert island, it would be difficult to find one more useful than this.
This appliance does take up a bit of space in your kitchen but it will get plenty of use unlike some other appliances that only come out once a month or less. I remember when I graduated from high school I got a sandwich maker as a gift. A sandwich maker. Do you really think that was worth keeping in my small kitchen in my dorm at college? No way. However I would NOT hesitate in the least to get a college student a 3 quart mini Instant Pot* for their college dorm. They could make so many delicious foods and QUICKLY too.
A Mom or Dad’s BFF
If you’re a parent in the throes of life I wish I could gift you an Instant Pot and magically give you all of my Instant Pot knowledge. I truly believe that for busy families the Instant Pot is a godsend. Especially for parents who work. And for parents at the stage where they’re super busy with their children’s after-school activities.
Life can get hectic around the dinnertime hour. The Instant Pot can help. It’s not magic but if you’re somewhat organized and can get to a grocery store you will be able to get dinner on the table. And it’s a yummy homemade dinner too. Not something processed or something from takeout. My suggestion to you is to check out
- 25 Instant Pot One Pot Meals
- 20 Dump and Go Instant Pot Recipes
- 5 Ingredient Instant Pot Meals
- Instant Pot or Slow Cooker Meal Plan for a Month
Bridging the Gap Between Millennials and Baby Boomers
How many of you remember your mom’s old pressure cooker on the stove? Did you hide in the corner because you were afraid it would explode? Oh man those old pressure cookers were a little dicey.
Grandma had the right idea. Pressure cookers are awesome. They can cook food that usually takes a long time in just a few minutes. However the safety of the old fashioned cookers is a little questionable. Fast forward to 2019…young millennials are LOVING their Instant Pots. They love the FAST factor and Grandma is loving the safety and convenience factor of being able to walk away from the pot. This appliance is bridging the gap between baby boomers, generation x and the millennials!
365 Days reader Pam said, “I am one of the dinosaurs that used my mom’s stove top pressure cooker…but it was too much trouble to keep it at pressure manually. I would’ve used it a LOT MORE if I had the ability I do now to walk away from it!” Now Pam is using her Instant Pot several times a week. How great is that?
Is the Instant Pot going to be like the microwave?
365 Days reader Bob says, “My feeling about the long-term use of the Instant Pot parallels the microwave oven for home use. For those of us who were around back then, we remember all of the cookbooks for the microwave that were written and sold. Too many people were trying to cook everything in their microwaves, with very limited success. I believe the IP does such a great job cooking so many things that it will be around forever, but the need to attempt to cook everything in it will fade away, just like the microwave.”
Very well said Bob! I totally agree with you. Right now we are all just so excited about pressure cooking that we are trying everything in the IP (see 6 ridiculous foods you can make in the Instant Pot). For example “how do I make a box of brownies in the Instant Pot?” Ha ha! I remember a microwave brownie recipe that I used to make in college. It wasn’t good. It was good back then because I was in college and didn’t have a refined palate but I’m fairly certain if I made it now it would be gag-worthy.
Should I throw out my slow cooker?
I hear the question, “now that I have an Instant Pot should I throw out my slow cooker?” a lot. The Instant Pot does have a slow cooker function on it. However, in my opinion, this is the one Achilles heel of the Instant Pot. The slow cooker function isn’t great.
As one Instant Pot employee stated in the official Instant Pot FB group, “”It works well but you want to start on More or High and turn it down after if it gets to hot. It works best if you get the pot hot before turning down. It only heats from the bottom so starting on low is like staying on keep warm.”
Because the Instant Pot only heats from the bottom it does not cook like a normal slow cooker. Usually slow cookers heating elements are in the sides of the crock and there is no direct heat from the bottom. That’s why you don’t have to stir your food when you’re cooking it in a slow cooker. Some people have mentioned that for certain dishes, like soup, they needed to stir when using the Instant Pot slow cooker function.
Here are some other thoughts from Instant Pot users…
–“When I need to do slow cooking I use my crock pot. There are just too many disasters with the Instant Pot. I have averaged one success for every fail. But having to throw out half my meals is discouraging.”
–“I use the saute function first, to bring up the temperature, then I switch it to the slow cooker function ”
–“with cuts of meat — no success whatsoever. I haven’t tried the slow cooker function with soups or chili, and I can see how those types of things would turn out ok.”
–“Treat the highest slow cook setting on the instant pot as the equivalent of low on the crockpot.”
–“I once quadrupled a slow cooker recipe for a party and put half in my slow cooker, half in my IP with glass lid set on slow cook. The 2 dishes came out completely differently even though they were made exactly the same! Slow cooker version was WAY better!”
–“Remember that low on the Instant Pot Slow Cooker Function is like keep warm on a traditional slow cooker. High on the Instant Pot Function is more like low/medium on a traditional slow cooker.”
So no. Don’t throw out your slow cooker. At least I wouldn’t. However if you only have room for an Instant Pot or a slow cooker I would say to keep the Instant Pot. It’s just too multifaceted to throw out!
What are your thoughts? Will the Instant Pot make its way into every kitchen in America or will it eventually fade like other fads?
You might also like…
Join the 365 Days of Instant Pot Recipes FB group!
How to Double Instant Pot Recipes
What is Natural Pressure Release and Quick Release?
7 Most Common Instant Pot Mistakes I Make
How to Halve Instant Pot Recipes
What Pressure Cooker Do You Use?
Most of the time I use my 6 quart Instant Pot Duo 60 7 in 1*. I love this Instant Pot because it has the yogurt making function which I use almost weekly. It has two pressure settings (high and low), and there are also little slots in the handles so that you can rest the lid there instead of putting it down on your counter-top.
*Karen Petersen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
Elaine Williams says
I love my IP but I also love my crock pot sometimes. What makes me crazy is that the newer models of the crock pot cook for a shorter period of time. I can’t tell you how many meals and cuts of meat I have had to throw out! I am 64 I recall distinctly when the first crock pots came on the market – more and more women were going back to work the idea of having a meal ready after an 8 (EIGHT) hour day was an excellent selling point. I could not understand why my crock pot meals were failing, over cooked and inedible! Then I read somewhere that some official decided that cooking for 8 hours at such a low temperature was “unsafe.” i.e. breading ground for bacteria. I do not recall people dropping like flies from salmonella. Why have a crock pot or slow cooker if you have to stir or whatever after four hours. I wished I worked four hours a day! I got so frustrated I got rid of the crock pots and actively looked for one from the 1970’s. I got one at a yard sale for $5 in harvest gold. Works like a charm.
I agree with 100% Elaine. It’s so frustrating! The new crockpots practically boil my food.
Brett A Ortgies says
I have an 8qt instant pot and so far it’s been doing a fantastic job. The thing is i can’t find anything on how to adjust a recipe if I want to double it. Lets say I have a pot roast recipe that uses 3lbs of Chuck however I use 6lbs. Do i double the cooking time or just follow the time the recipe gives. I’ve thought about this for quite sometime and keep coming back to use the time the recipe calls for. But still not certain.
Hi Brett I wrote an article about this hopefully it’s helpful to you! https://www.365daysofcrockpot.com/how-to-double-instant-pot-recipes/
Dee Hall says
I was already using the old time pressure cooker on the stove and switched to the IP and now have 4 IP’s-3 6 quart and 1 3 quart and I am a single person, but I love to cook and enjoy making extra to either freeze or give away. So yes I definitely think the IP’s are here to stay. I also love taking them when I camp. Actually what is not to love. Thank you for so many of your great recipes.
The only thing I don’t love is that you can’t see through the lid (like with a slow cooker) and the smell of the rings. But other than that they are perfect to me!
I LOVE my Instant Pot and probably use it 4 to 6 times per week. Of course, I probably would not use it as much if it were not for all your delicious recipes and wonderful hints and ideas. I have referred several people to your website. It’s not a fad, but the newest and best way of cooking in one pot.
Thanks Sharon! I always love reading your comments on my recipes. Thanks for being a faithful reader 🙂
I have found that if a regular recipe takes several hours, the alternate IP recipe is worth doing. If the regular recipe is fairly short (< one hour) it is not worth it to wait for the IP to create the necessary pressure.
I can understand this!
When I first saw the instant pot I was doubtful I remembered when I was a kid (I’m 52 now) the pressure cooker on the stove sounding terrifying. I love a new kitchen gadget though so I jumped right into the water pressure test and then the very first thing I made was a cheesecake which turned out great, so I’m sold. Although I admit the first few things I made I stood across the room until I got used to what sounds it made and what sound it supposed to make and when lol Instant pot often means the difference between eating a hot Pocket for dinner and eating a real meal.
Dark Beauty says
I read an article in the paper about IP vs the slow cooker and one main point brought up that I haven’t heard about is the smell. Instant pot seals the smells where as a great slow cooker fills the house with the lovely food and gets better with time! Another point is you can over cook meats or other foods with instant pot, but with a slow cooker you almost can’t burn it. You can go a few hours over and it’s still not burnt. Making homemade broth gets better with time, a slow cooker can get that 2 day bone broth done. The article says keep both!
I have a 6qt DUO and a 3qt DUO. Fad? No way! Too many people are just jumping in with their first one, while the rest of us are considering upgrades. I’ve had my 6qt for 4 years, and wonder how I ever cooked without it. I’ve given them as wedding and Christmas gifts, and all the recipients love them and use them several times a week, as I do. And while Thing 1 still gets a lot of love and frequent use, I now prefer the Mini for my family of 2. It’s like Baby Bear…just right. The thing is that once we figure out what we love to cook in it, and what doesn’t work so well, we’re hooked. When cooking our favorite foods is so effortless, we tend to use it more. At least, that’s been my experience. I only used it for roasts and eggs at first, then gradually started making more things. It went from 2-3 times a month usage to 2-3 times a week.
Since I’ve started slow cooking more things, I’m using it more than ever. Using the slow cooker for the meat lets me concentrate on pressure cooking side dishes, taking away that “everything needs attention at the same time” panic. I can cut up a chicken breast, dump it into the Mini along with a quick stir fry sauce, set it to Slow Cook Normal, and then relax for 45 minutes, until it’s time to cook the rice in my 6qt. Dinner is ready in an hour, and my hands-on time is only 10 minutes. Add 5 minutes more if I stir fry some veggies while the rice is doing it’s release thing. Beef strips take about 15 minutes more. The best part is that the meat is never overcooked, and 1 hour is fast enough for a weeknight meal. The only problem I’ve encountered with the slow cooker function is trying to cook a lot of meat or other dense food at once. Things need to be rotated a few times, or you end up with overdone food on the bottom and undercooked food above. A hunk of roast is out of the question, but 2″ pieces work well, especially if your roast is on the small side. Both pots really excel at slow cooking a small volume of food, because I can set a single layer on the bottom of the pot, where the heat is. This makes it the perfect slow cooker for 2-3 people!
I boiled eggs today and I’m currently soaking navy beans in the Mini, to become Slow Cooker Baked Beans tomorrow, using my tweaks to your Homemade Slow Cooker Pork and Beans. Later this week I’ll “bake” some potatoes to serve with a tossed salad.
I love all these thoughts and comments! Thanks for sharing!
I am a retired guy with a wife in my house and no one else. I talked her into getting a six quart insta pot just before Christmas last year. I fell in love with it right away, use it two to four times a week. No more than that as we are eating left overs between. Tell you what. It won’t go by the wayside here. The only thing I can see is if it is upgraded. I want to get a three quart for our little motor home, that is how much I love these. Hope you do to. I try to promote the insta pot whenever and wherever I can. I tell people if they get one let me know I’ll help to get them started. Also I do not use the rice button on mine as it over cooks, time funcion only. Also never use metal utensils in the inner insta pot, only the spatula and or laddie that comes with it or plastic paddle/spoon. Thats my two cents, Al
So glad you love your IP as much as I do! I promote it to random people too. I never use my rice button. Just the manual button.
I agree, Al. The Instant Pot was a game-changer for me, too.
My feeling about the long-term use of the Instant Pot parellels the microwave oven for home use. For those of us who were around back then, we remember all of the cookbooks for the microwave that were written and sold. Too many people were trying to cook everything in their microwaves, with very limited success. I believe the IP does such a great job cooking so many things that it will be around forever, but the need to attempt to cook everything in it will fade away, just like the microwave.
Bob, you are right. I totally agree with you and actually forgot to write this point in my post. Thanks for reminding me. People are going to stop trying to make boxed brownies in the IP but they will hopefully forever use it for soups and stews and roasts and potatoes and hard boiled eggs and….
Thank you Karen for all her good thoughts…
For my part, I only cooked 2 dishes in my slow cooker…
I made his two dishes in slow cooker mode in my Instant Pot. My pork roast was even better in the Instant Pot in slow cooker mode…
My beans with pork not cooked enough in slow cooker in the Instant Pot…I finish cooking in the Instant Pot and they were perfect! So I gave away my slow cooker! For my part, I cook every day with my Instant Pot ( 8 pints) and I even bought a 3 pints recently! I use it for rice, vegetables, oatmeal. I’m even going to use them on vacation.
I wonder how I could have cooked so much without this wonderful cooking tool! I wouldn’t do without it !
I convinced my niece who has 3 children to get one, she loves her Instant Pot!
It must be said that both of us were already cooking with a Presto. The advantage of the Instant Pot is that it doesn’t make any noise and we don’t have to watch it!
In my entourage I know at least two people who bought a Instant Pot and did not like it and sold them! They told me that she found it too complicated…
What mixes people up, I think, is all the functions! For my part, I don’t use them. The best way is to take recipes from the site and follow the instructions. Over time, we become familiar with the Instant Pot and we are even able to make our own recipes, it’s great!
Thank you Karen for all your good recipes, you are particularly my reference!
Thanks for this comment. You are right on when you said, “The best way is to take recipes from the site and follow the instructions. Over time, we become familiar with the Instant Pot and we are even able to make our own recipes”
I agree 100%
Gail Reese says
I have a 6 qt. Duo 7 in 1 and the 3 qt. too. I love both, and I still occasionally use ny slow cooker (just enough to not part with it). Is it a fad? I think not. It’s kind of like an electric roaster. We all have ovens and yet many have roasters too. Roasters were not a fad and neither is the Instant Pot. It’s the most versatile tool in my kitchen. Many of my friends have bought them after having tasted the recipes I’ve cooked in mine. It sells itself!
I know Gail! I totally agree. It sells itself.
I am one of the dinosaurs that used my mom’s stove top pressure cooker…but it was too much trouble to keep it at pressure manually. I would’ve used it a LOT MORE if I had the ability I do now to walk away from it!
I faced a problem with my 6 qt IP not sealing…but because of the construction of the lid and pop up tab I now pull the tab up BEFORE it comes to pressure and can walk away. Since this is not the actual valve it’s safe. Very very happy with it! It’s also easy to fix because of the construction of the base….
Oh yes the old fashioned ones were more of a pain. They’ve taken all the good attributes of an old fashioned pressure cooker and gotten rid of the annoyance factor and scariness factor. Good point Pam!