Only truly great things develop a cult-like following: Riverdale, Star Wars, Apple products and... the Instant Pot.
Yep, the Instant Pot has quickly become the internet's favourite cooking tool, and you know that saying, "Get so good they can't ignore you?" Well Instant Pot, after Black Friday, I officially can't ignore you any more. The hype is real.
Word on the street is that the Instant Pot single-handedly acts as a slow cooker, pressure cooker, rice cooker, steamer, sterilizer, yogurt-maker and so much more.
But yet I'm still wondering, Is the Instant Pot really worth it?
So, I did what I always do when I have a kitchen, cooking or health related question: I turned to the members of That Clean Life.
"Guys. Talk to me about the Instant Pot. Do you have one? What makes it so awesome? What do you make in it? And if you have a slow cooker, would you still get one? Tell me everything."
Turns out, I'm not the only one curious about the Instant Pot. About 10% of you who responded were either wondering the same thing as me, or had decided it wasn't worth it.
Then about 10% said they have an Instant Pot, and still don't fully understand the hype. They noted that it can be a bit complicated to use, and the slow cooker is a lot more straight forward.
"After 3 years I still don't know how I feel about my Instant Pot. If you hate reading instructions DO NOT get an Instant Pot. I've never made an Instant Pot meal that didn't involve a solid 10 minutes of googling." - Ashley
"I got mine last year for Christmas and I still have mixed emotions about it. I also have a Crock Pot that I still use almost weekly, more than my Instant Pot. After a year, I still find it tricky figuring out the cooking times for different meats or veggies. I find myself googling a lot of recipes to figure out cooking times. With the slow cooker, there’s no thinking involved and it (mostly) always turns out." - Michelle
As for the remaining 80%? Well, the very large majority of That Clean Lifers who do have an Instant Pot absolutely love it.
If you are considering buying an Instant Pot for yourself or as a gift, here's why That Clean Lifers say that this appliance is definitely worth it, what they use it for and how to get the most out of it.
It's one appliance that does the job of 10+ appliances.
"I love my Instant Pot. I got it this summer and use it for most meals. You can use it as a slow cooker, pressure cooker, rice maker and yogurt maker. I make chili, soups, stews, hard boiled eggs, pulled chicken, etc. in it. Your Curried Chicken Crock Pot Stew is amazing in it, and when I freeze a batch, I can reheat it quickly using the Instant Pot too." - Jill
It saves time and cooks things fast.
"Using the Instant Pot, I can make any Crock Pot recipe in a fraction of the time. I made the best ribs ever in 50 minutes in the Instant Pot with That Clean Life's BBQ Sauce. Best ribs I have ever had. You won't regret it! " -Rachel
It cleans up easily and cuts down on dirty dishes.
"Only one pot and it cleans really easily." - Michelle
"I like that, unlike a slow cooker, I can do the browning of the meat and onions in the same pot and don’t lose any of the goodness from the bits in the pan." - Karine
It makes a great bone broth a lot faster
"I like how I can make a great bone broth in 2 hours on the pressure setting, instead of 12 to 24 hours." -Jenn
It cooks foods right from frozen
"I love that if I forget to take meat out to defrost I can still cook it in the same amount of time in the Instant Pot. I did a whole chicken from frozen and it didn’t take much longer than doing a thawed chicken in the oven." -Karine
It cooks things perfectly every time without much effort.
"I find that it cooks the same dish exactly the same each time, so my meat is never dry and other meals are consistently fantastic. Worth the investment!" -Sharisse
It is great for non-meat eaters too.
"It has a rice cooker, a sauté setting and mine has a yogurt setting too. You can cook dried legumes in a fraction of the time with the pressure cooker setting for meatless dishes." -Jenn
"I'm a vegan and I used it! Lots of dishes can be made vegan - especially with dried pulses, rice and quinoa. " -Vanessa
Pro Instant Pot Tips:
Now, if you do decide to take the plunge and hop aboard the Instant Pot train, here are some tips from the IPOGs (Instant Pot Original Gangsters).
1. Buy an extra silicone ring to use for sweet Instant Pot creations. The Instant Pot can start to take on the flavour of meat and spices, which doesn't mix well when you switch to making something sweet like oats. (Holly Anne and Karine)
2. Soak your beans before cooking to decrease lectins. Especially if you have an irritable gut. (Lace)
3. Be aware that cooking times like the "3-minute oats", do not include the time it takes for pressure to build up in the pot. Or the time after for the pressure to release before opening the pot up again. (Jessica)
4. When using it as a slow cooker, be aware that it only heats from the bottom, rather than all around. Get the temperature up first by sautéing or putting the pressure on for a bit before slow cooking, otherwise it can take forever for meals to cook on the slow cooker setting. (Lauren)
5. Buy the 7 in 1, 8 quart model. You can fit a lot more in it than the 6 quart. (Rachel)
6. If you have the space, keep your slow cooker and use both it and the Instant Pot. Having both will cut way back on meal prep time. (Rachel)
7. Cook the perfect quinoa in 6 minutes. Simply put one cup of dry quinoa in on the sauté feature for 5 minutes to toast it, then add 1 cup of water and set to high for 1 minute. (Rachel)
With all of this being said, I still have yet to make a decision on whether or not the Instant Pot is for me. Space is limited in my cupboards, and I already have a slow cooker, which makes it tough to justify another similar appliance. But the thought of faster bone broth, 50 minute ribs and super charging my Meal Prep Sundays is pretty tempting...
What do you think? Are you an Instant Pot fan? Are you thinking about buying one? What's holding you back? Share with us your thoughts in the comments below!