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10 reasons I'm not buying Instant Pot after a thorough research as a busy mom of 2 kids who works and likes to eat healthy. | ifoodreal.com

My sister-in-law bought Instant Pot earlier this year, a few other mom bloggers did, and I have seen enormous amount of recipes online. Seems to be new “wonder” of the world that revolutionizes modern busy mom’s cooking. But does it really? A few weeks ago, I decided to buy one but first did my research, after which I came to conclusion that I’m probably missing out on source of income, will never get free Instant Pot to review, but I do not need Instant Pot.

And here are my reasons why I’m not buying Instant Pot.

1. Instant Pot Is Mainly for Meat

After a few weeks of comments from Instant Pot lovers, who kept talking about convenience of adding frozen meat to Instant Pot and it’s ready in 10 minutes or whatever, I realized that #1 reason I decided against Instant Pot is because we treat meat as a condiment, for health reasons obviously. Average American consumes 210 lbs of meat per year and it’s no secret that we need to do better – we need to eat less meat, it’s very hard to argue with that. Eating more plants is healthier, cheaper; it’s just many people do not know how to do that and I’m determined to show you how. First of all, check out my 30 healthy one pot vegetarian meals. Secondly, check out all vegetarian options in my recipes. And last but not least, please read do we really need that much protein?!. Eat more plants! Last thing I need is mushy steamed vegetables from IP.

2. Instant Pot Doesn’t Cook Meals Faster

Sole purpose of a pressure cooker is to help us spend less time in the kitchen, but after everything I heard and read I don’t see it being the case. You have to bring the pot to proper pressure, then release pressure in many cases “naturally” that is time consuming + actual cooking time + time pre-browning just like in a skillet + roasting after just like in an oven = where are my time savings? I just don’t get it. Like slow cooker doesn’t brown or roast, neither Instant Pot is “throw everything together, set and forget” appliance. I found a ton of recipes that require so much work before and after with those chicken breasts, totalling 40 minutes, I can do faster on a stovetop => chicken breast with tomatoes.

My sister-in-law says she loves how quickly she browns ground turkey with onions in it, then adds some buckwheat and it’s ready in minutes. Well, a skillet, a dutch oven or heavy bottom pot can do the same, maybe 4 minutes slower, but really is it big difference?! Ground turkey and buckwheat are quick cooking foods without Instant Pot.

3. Instant Pot Isn’t a Revolutionary Appliance

I have read many people using Instant Pot for cooking a stock, an oatmeal, and eggs. I honestly just don’t get why I need another appliance to do that when I own a stove and a slow cooker? Stock can be made on stovetop in an hour with barely any effort, or in slow cooker it can simmer all day without having to open the lid. My oatmeal with pre-cooked steel cut oats is ready in 10 minutes, rolled oats even faster. It takes 5 minutes to boil eggs in a pot.

4. Instant Pot Has Many Options I Will Never Use

It claims to make yogurt and cakes. What busy mom makes her yogurt? It is so time consuming and it’s there, in a store. I have tried “baking” a cake in slow cooker before and it doesn’t come out baked, it’s steamed. Same will be with pressure cooker. These type of appliances can’t perform any cooking function well besides steaming and boiling – just their nature.

If you really-really love rice cooker, buy cheap rice cooker. I honestly don’t understand the purpose of single food appliance, I can easily cook rice on a stovetop, while doing dishes.

5. Instant Pot Doesn’t Seem to Be a Great Quality

If you go to Amazon, and click on “critical reviews”, you will see over 1,300 reviews out of 20,000 that say how Instant Pot stopped working before or after 1 year and no one will replace it. It seems to be cheaply made appliance with overblown marketing, if you ask me. When you are asking me to spend $100 on a pot, it better work longer than a year.

Customer service seems to be horrible too.

6. Instant Pot Takes Lots of Space

I live in suburbs, I have fairly large kitchen with lots of cupboards, and still I really do not like too many tools and appliances because they add up and I end up using same 5 over and over again. Do I really need another one? No. And every time I want to cook I need to take it out and put it back? Sure I could leave it on a counter but it will take precious counter space.

7. Instant Pot Is Just a Trend

Like spiralizer. I bought one, paid $20 (cheap), used it 10 times and forgot about it. It’s tasty and great but between taking it out of storage, washing all the nooks and crannies, and removing marks from suction cups it leaves on my white quartz countertops, spiralizer is not for this busy mom. Chop-chop veggies route I roll.

8. Instant Pot Costs $100

Not cheap.

9. Instant Pot Needs Cleaning & Accessories

Rubber rings that help holding the pressure absorb the smell of food you are cooking hopelessly. It doesn’t come off even in a dishwasher. So, you need to buy separate rings for cooking oatmeal and chicken. Then if you want to brown food, you need a different pot. It’s a rabbit hole, if you ask me.

I know it has one pot that is dishwasher safe, but I own a slow cooker and I know how its interior and exterior needs to be cleaned, every time. I’m a clean freak and I would be wiping the buttons every time, and they better be streaks free. For me, it’s another thing to clean inside and outside.

10. No Stirring and Watching Necessary Like with Any Other Pot

Some readers left a comment on my Facebook post saying that best part they love about their Instant Pot is “no stirring and watching”. But isn’t it true for any other pot?! I have been cooking for so many years, and as long as I can remember, the only meal I made that needed stirring and watching was tomato sauce, and still…I remade marinara sauce recently with no stirring or watching on a stovetop. All meals I cook, after onions and veggies are sauteed, or meat is pre-browned, there is no watching and stirring needed. You have to do the same pre-browning step with Instant Pot as well, otherwise it’s flavourless mush.

I think modern recipes, in the past 10 years or so, have been really simplified to remove any “stirring and watching”.

 

If You Love Your Instant Pot, I’m So Happy for You

I truly am happy it works for you!!! We are still friends, OK?! It’s just my duty to share my opinion and decision. I am sticking to my Lodge dutch oven (super honest affiliate link because you can see it in every other recipe post in the last 6 months – I bought white one now) that I love so much, that produces quick one pot healthy meals and so much more.

This post may contain affiliate links. When you buy a product I make a small commission without any extra cost to you. In return, you can enjoy free recipes as well as savings on your favourite products. I also shared Clean Eating Ingredients I Buy and Kitchen Appliances +Tools I Use. Please buy local, organic and fair trade whenever feasible.

22 Comments

  1. Sarah

    Hi Olena, I want to thank you for your honesty about these ‘Instant Pots’. I have hummed and haa’d over these things for quite a while and I am a bit of a kitchen gadget addict hahaha! And after reading and appreciating your reasons of not to buy, I can quite categorically say that I totally agree with you on the fact that it is no better than I can do on the stove top and in my slow cooker! I’m an English Lady living in Wisconsin so maybe it’s the ‘European’ in us both that makes us see sense in these things hahaha! Thankyou again for your article it was very interesting. Have a great day!. Sarah.

    Reply
  2. Laurel

    I am so with you! I would rather spend my money upgrading my kitchen basics to top quality products, like top of the line blender which should get me through most of the rest of my lifetime, and the best of cookware, I use my slow cooker twice a year, Christmas and New Years Eve, to keep my mulled wine warm! Otherwise, like you, I prefer a good Dutch oven for my “one pot” cooking, for all of the reasons you stated! So versatile and because I just love to cook! And something does need to be stirred, I actually enjoy the process and the aroma of removing the lid and stirring! So satisfying for a lover of cooking.

    I get it, people are busy. I can put together a chili recipe the night before in my Dutch oven and pop it from the fridge in the morning into my oven and set my oven to a very low temp. Set the start and stop time and have the same thing. But I like my holiday mulled holiday wine so keep that heavy, ancient slow colder around.

    I have a sad looking spiralized on a shelf in a box. I wouldn’t have bought it if it hadn’t been 1/2 price. And I still don’t use it. Fun for a week and done gimmick.

    I will replace and upgrade my ‘go to’ appliances as I need to, and skip the latest shiny new item designed to snap up my money and save me tons of time. Maybe for people who just don’t love or energy like cooking at all, these newer items feel like a lifesaver. For me, cooking is my sanity, my therapist, and my connection with my grandma! I’ll take a great set of knives, pots and pans, Dutch open, and bakeware. The best blender, food processor, Stand mixer (I’m also a baker) and stick blender. With those, I can do anything!

    I don’t fault anyone for their love of appliances! I love other things! My daughter just bought a rice cooker,a year ago, and a good one from Japan. They’re using it all of the time, still. Her kids use it, she uses and wee! They are still having fun. Worth it to get her girls creating healthy meals in the kitchen, for a whole year, I’d say. I hope it continues.

    Reply
    • Olena

      I must be a non-appliance lover person then. For me, a thought of taking out an appliance with a cord from a cupboard, then using it, washing and putting back is daunting, I swear. I use my dutch oven strictly on a stovetop. Chop-chop, quick fry, 15-30 mins and ready. I use my slow cooker a lot because I’m busy and I love it (however, I hate above mentioned hassle of dealing with extra piece of equipment). Just like IP, throw everything in there, set and forget for all day about it. I see how IP could be convenient for 2-3 recipes but not worth it for me, everything else can be made in pots just as fast.
      Good quality basic appliances are a must! I have high end blender and food processor that were worth every penny. That’s it. My kettle is gas stove top, for coffee it’s French press, medium quality stick blender, waffle maker and $15 garage sale slow cooker. That’s all ifoodreal runs on. I like my counters clear and cupboards organized. I hate stuff, I just can’t stand extra gadgets, I went trough so many and I end up using same 2, and others are just collecting dust.

      Reply
      • Laurel

        I am WITH you! Love my Dutch oven, high quality food processor, stand mixer, best ever blender and stick blender. After that I just don’t need anything else! We do cheap Melitta pour over coffee. A bit of work but it keeps us from drinking too much! I dot even have a waffle maker. And like you, I can’t cluttered counters. Or clutter anywhere else in my house for that matter.

        I was trying to say (unsuccessfully) that rather than spending our money on more new (no offense to anyone) appliances, I would rather upgrade some a few of the mediocre items that I use often. My Cuisinart food processor has been in service for more than 14 years and it is tired. Not the motor, but the bowl has stress fractures and the safety locks are broken. I would upgrade that long before I would purchase the next ‘one trick pony’ or trend or item that does miracles for others. I agree that often time new convenience appliances just arent.

        Reply
        • Olena

          You explained yourself quite well without offending anyone.:) My waffle maker is strictly for kids, I don’t care about waffles. They talked me into buying an electric doughnut maker, we used twice. Such a waste.
          This year I even cleared out my utensils drawers, donated cheap dollar store ones and upgraded to quality stuff like Jamie Oliver masher and OXO peelers. They make such a difference because we use them all the time, and they are quality!
          Well, you should hint your kids about the food processor. Tell them it’s broken, Christmas is just around the corner. Have a great weekend!:)

          Reply
          • Laurel

            Haha! I LOVE this idea and I will hint! They do listen! Well, two of them do, and then tell the other two to hand over the dough. And they do because they are glad to not be on the hook for ideas or shopping. Actually Mothers Day is more likely. We shop for the little ones and that is it. Christmas does have meaning for us but it gets out of hand to the point of nobody enjoying the family time because of the stress of money flying away. Collaboratively, our family decided to save gift giving for kids and to keep it as simple as possible, getting them their ‘most wanted’ items, electronics and things that are expensive by combining our budgets. All of those odds and ends just end up in the donation bin a year later after being ignored for most of the time. No gift exchanging between adults for Christmas. The little ones make gifts for their parents. I usually help them with homemade organic granola or lotion, or sometimes we make gingerbread houses and they give them early.

            Anyway, I’m diverting! But I do love your idea and will hint for Mothers Day.

          • Olena

            That’s smart! Same here: no presents for adults, and 2-3 big ones for kids pulled together with my mom’s contributions. We just celebrate with food, activities and experiences, and it has never failed us yet.:)

  3. Debbie

    Thank you for this! I have friends that keep talking about instapots but I couldn’t figure where it was worth it, better than what I was already doing or easier! And nice to see someone else say the same. 🙂

    Reply
    • Olena

      There will always be 2 camps, and that’s totally fine. I just had to share my opinion so “our camp” knows they are not alone, because it is easy to assume everyone loves IP.

      Reply
  4. Gloria

    Totally agree, just bought mine when I had to buy a slow cooker, a pressure cooker and a steamer because they no longer worked. Now my instant pot is the only small appliance i have in my kitchen, but if you already have them it is not worth buying an Instant Pot.

    Reply
  5. Ethan

    I am looking at your comments – and the only thing that comes to my mind is “who has the time to write so much about a $100 purchase”? – get a life! It cooks the few meals I need done – just fine. My God, what are your thoughts on shoe laces….

    Reply
    • Olena

      These are my friends I’m talking to. Have you heard of such thing? Probably not. Thanks for taking time to check out a girl’s website in such detail. Clearly you have “a life”, and lots of friends.

      Reply
        • Olena

          Some male species, yes, the ones who have “a life”. -;)
          Many people I know like it, and we are all different, and it’s fine and cool. It’s just not for me.

          Reply
  6. Olga Gav

    So I just made a comment on one of your other posts and saw this after lol. I don’t mind doing things the “old fashion” way in a regular pot. lol I agree with you…this is a trend…people just use your stove tops 🙈🙊

    Reply
  7. Tina Rheinford

    Olena, there are a couple points that you have missed about why so many of us love our Instapots, you can make a dish in an hour that tastes like it cooked all day. My soups are so much better now. You can come home from work, realize you forgot to thaw something out and cook the frozen meat in your pot. It does look like you are mostly vegan so that may not be as big of an issue to you but let me tell you how wonderful a pot of creamy chicken and rice is vs. take out.

    Reply
    • Olena

      Haha, Tina, your points have truth to them. I’m not vegan or even vegetarian BUT it’s true, I realized this week because we treat meat as a condiment is one of main reasons I do not see value in IP. My dinners are quick on a stovetop and veggies do not need much cooking otherwise they are a mush (especially in IP). I love chicken and wild rice soup, in fact I’m making it in my slow cooker next week and posting a recipe. Like I said, we all are so different, with different cooking skills and tastebuds. AND because I wouldn’t encourage anyone to eat more meat BUT rather less and more veggies (hard to argue they are better, right?!), is one of other many reasons I wouldn’t recommend an Instant Pot.

      Reply
  8. Kelli @ Hungry Hobby

    I LOVE my IP and I also 100% agree with everything you said! 1) I eat meat, but can see how you wouldn’t want one if you don’t eat it as a mainstay 2) It absolutely does not save time except in the case of frozen meat. 3) It isn’t revolutionary so true 4) it has many settings you will never use – this may be true, personally I’ve found them invaluable. I’m using settings I never thought I would. I know that you can make hard boiled eggs in the same amount of time on the stove, but for me, waiting for the water to boil = torture. We will see if I ever make yogurt, but I’ve used all the other settings. 5) quality, ekk I didn’t know that but I impulse purchased mine ha ha 6) takes up space- i bought it as a replacement for my slow cooker so not really for me 7-9 totally agree 10) I disagree because of examples like the eggs. Hate waiting for water to boil. My other most favorite thing about the IP is being able to make an entire meal in one pot due to the saute function. For instance, I can steam spaghetti squash, then saute some ground turkey meat. Once it’s done I combine it with sauce and the squash and the whole meal is ready in ONE POT. So the biggest perk to the instant pot for me is not time but the saved dishes! Like I said though, love this post despite LOVING my IP I tell people these things all the time so they have something to think about before they buy another machine!

    Reply
    • Olena

      I hear you, there are some advantages and some moments I did wonder if I should have bought one, just some times haha.
      2 things. #1 – you don’t wait for water to boil, you put eggs in cold water and cook. Worked for me for decades, takes 5 minutes. #2 – even if you steamed squash in IP, you have to place it in another dish to let cool to separate into strands and then use IP for sautéing. So, 2 dishes no matter how you look at it. Any one pot meal can be cooked in one regular stove pot like good quality dutch oven. Anything else, requires more dishes, no matter how I look at it. 🙂

      Reply

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