The Instant Pot was one of the hottest kitchen appliances sold this holiday season. Sales of this trendy pressure cooker broke records, with some stores running out of pots.
And while the Instant Pot has created an almost cult-like following among its fans, some who call themselves Potheads, others are ready to kick it to the curb.
Social media is rife with the daily drama of people struggling with their Instant Pot, or IP for short. Among the biggest complaints is that they don’t know how to use it, or it’s not the magic bullet they hoped it would be.
Owning the IP won’t turn you into Julia Child overnight. It takes a minimal amount of cooking skill to master it. But once you pop out a lip-smacking rack of ribs, you think you can cook anything.
The IP owes its success to a safer design, relatively low cost and a quicker cooking time. Its Canadian inventor, Robert Wang, didn’t intend to turn the kitchen appliance world upside. He just wanted to created a device that combined several cooking functions in one. And thanks to the power of Amazon he did just that, according to an article in the New York Times.
Sales of IPs jumped 68 percent during a 12-month period ending in October, according to the NPD Group, a market research company. And interest remains strong.
A hotbed for Instant Pot recipe sharing and griping is the Facebook group, Instant Pot Community. To give you some idea how hot the IP is, the group’s membership has doubled from half a million several months ago to 1 million today.
Karen Elizabeth Youngs of Marshfield, Massachusetts humorously posted her frustrations recently on the Facebook group,
“I’m quickly realizing this is for people who LIKE to cook. The name of this appliance is kinda misleading. ... I thought it would make cooking/life easier. So far every recipe I look at makes me homicidal. Too many ingredients, too many steps. I HATE cooking. Looks like it will be a dust collector in my closet.”
Youngs post didn’t sit well with some hardcore IP users, who urged her to try simple recipes before giving up. She wasn’t convinced.
“I bought it based on several friends who rave about it. So far I just want to run it over with my car,” she wrote.
For others, the IP has changed their world.
Tiffani Blazek of Oak Harbor, Washington wrote this on Facebook: “I feel like my IP and I have moved to a new level in our relationship.”
On Instagram, there are more than 100,000 posts from IP users showing of their cooking skills.
Brigitte Theriault, a professional chef, has been using the Instant Pot for more than a year and considers it a vital kitchen appliance.
“It saves you time and it saves you from having to plan to put your meal in the slow cooker the morning of the day before,” she said. “It helps people cook more often and more efficiently. It makes perfect rice, beans from scratch in less than an hour, a perfect stew that takes only 30 minutes to cook, a 6 minute risotto you don’t have to stir. It’s an amazing tool, and that’s why it’s reached a cult following. People love it and love it for a good reason.”