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!
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.