Everywhere you turn, people are raving about their Instant Pot. The excitement of cooking a roast in such a short time has everyone in a tizzy. But is a digital pressure cooker really a smart buy? Not always. In fact, there are a number of reasons you shouldn’t buy an Instant Pot.
I bought one in the summer of 2017. There was an awesome deal online, somewhere, I forget. And it sat and sat and sat. In the box. Occasionally I’d move it from my basement to my pantry and vice versa. But I never once got it out of the box. Then, it was Christmastime of last year and they were all the craze. And stores were out of them! I did well putting it on eBay and made a tidy profit because no one could find them to buy and I had one brand new in box. Ka-ching!
Should you buy an Instant Pot?
Think about appliances that have been around proven themselves useful over time. Things like blenders, hand mixers, stand mixers and toaster ovens. Will the Instant Pot be one? I’m not so sure. I remember a friend telling me “Oh but it’s so easy to cook rice in it!” Look, I’m not trying to be a condescending jerk, but is it really that hard to boil water in a pot on your stove?
1. It’s All About the Meat. It’s true. You’ll see recipes for absolutely anything you can think of, but that doesn’t mean the results will be perfect. The main reason you want to buy an Instant Pot is if you want to cook tender meat, quickly. If time really doesn’t matter to you, you can get tender meat using your slow cooker. Best of all, there’s no need to read a manual and a much shorter learning curve.
2. It Can Be Complicated. Here’s the truth. An Instant Pot has a lot of features. After all, it claims to be a multi-cooker. This means a lot of buttons and the need to sit down and read the manual. If you’re the type that has trouble setting your digital clocks when the time changes, you may not be up for an Instant Pot. If you want simple, straightforward cooking, skip it. I have another friend who said, “Oh, but I can make yogurt in it!” Yeah, sure, if you have a thermometer and an extra 10 hours on your hands, you can make yogurt in an Instant Pot. No thanks. I’ll buy my locally sourced yogurt from the Amish farm up the road and save myself the time.
3. You Don’t Have a Lot of counter space. People often rave about keeping their Instant Pot on their counter all the time. That’s probably because they can’t fit in their cabinets. An Instant Pot does not have a small footprint. If you like your countertops to stay neat and tidy, an Instant Pot may not be for you.
4. Instant Pots Are Pricey. Unless you get in on a great sale, an Instant Pot can be expensive. That’s especially true when you consider the fact that you may not use it that often. If you really want to try pressure cooking, consider a stove top model. They are a lot less expensive.
5. It’s Not as Quick as It Claims. You need to realize that most recipes for the Instant Pot are timed after the unit comes up to pressure, which can take 10 minutes or so. You then have to wait for the unit to de-pressurize once the cooking is done. In other words, the cook time is not how long you’ll have to wait.
6. How many other kitchen appliance fads do you have? Bread machine and smoothie maker, I’m looking at you. Crock pots and slow cookers seem to have withstood the test of time. Other fad appliances, not so much. I actually still use my bread machine often. And my crock pots. But my Soda Stream? Long gone. Is this just another fad? No one knows just yet. But if it proves to be a valuable addition to kitchens, they’ll be around in the future for you to buy. And probably at a lower price.
An Instant Pot may seem like the next appliance you simply must have. Do your research. Learn as much as you can about it to decide whether it’s right for you. Ask around. Because most of my friends go, “Oh, yeah, that, I hardly ever use it.”