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 check out all vegetarian options in my recipes. Second, 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
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.
January 2018 Update
I did buy an Instant Pot, and I tried it, and here is what I think.
I pretty much agree with you on almost all of your points, except maybe for #1. We eat a lot of meat (from small, family farmers who raise their animals completely on pasture). And we are, by necessity, dairy free and mostly grain free. So we do rely on a lot of meat, and a lot of vegetables also. The IP is a pain in the rear to clean. I don’t think it’s a trend. If anything IP cooking continues to gain momentum. I held off on getting it for years for most of the same reasons you listed. I finally caved in and purchased it a couple of weeks ago for 40% off on Prime day. I still do NOT love the IP. I’m still learning to get the hang of it. Our food is expensive and I don’t like there to be fails. Which I’m definitely having my share of. I still prefer my slow cooker. I keep reminding myself that when I first started using a that appliance cooker about 6 years ago, I also had a learning curve. I actually do get better eggs from the slow cooker than the stove top. We prefer medium boiled eggs where the yolk isn’t completely solid. When I try to get that on the stove top, the egg whites stick to the shell. I don’t have that issue with eggs in the IP. Although I’m still working out the timing of how long to cook and pressure release them to get the actual yolk consistency we like the best. Rice is also a big win in the IP. My stove top rice can come out more mushy. I get restaurant quality rice out of the IP using the pre-set button as well as with trying manual instructions. Although I think there are better results with the pre-set. I usually make a big pot of broth every week on the stove, which does require watching over it and skimming, skimming, skimming for a few hours. And then more cook time. Typically 5 to 6 hours total. I can just put the same ingredients into the IP and not have to worry about any of that. And the broth is ready in about 2 hours including getting up to pressure and the natural release. And I don’t have to hover in the kitchen either. As for actual meals, so far I’ve liked my slow cooker better. I put the meat in before I go to bed, when I get up I put in the seasoning and veggies, and everything is ready in time for lunch. I don’t even have to defrost or cut up a roast for the slow cooker. I have found that the IP is much more temperamental. It works better when you defrost and then cut the meat up into cubes. So it’s more planning and work than just dumping the frozen roast into the slow cooker before I go to bed. The IP is also a pain in the butt to clean with all the little pieces that have to come off. And don’t even get me started on the silicone ring! My 4 qt slow cooker just has the lid and pot because it doesn’t even have a steam vent with a silicone ring. For the price I got the IP for, it is an exceptional rice cooker, and makes great hard boiled eggs. I did purchase an inexpensive, stainless steel, egg steamer insert that allows me to cook a batch of up to 14 eggs at the same time. I still prefer broth from the stove, but have had to resort to making it in the IP since we have gotten so busy most weeks. And as for actual meals, I’m still experimenting, but for our schedule, the slow cooker works just as well.
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