Why I Don’t Like the Instant Pot (+ Curried Lentil & Sweet Potato Stew)

9 Reviews / 4.1 Average
Adapted from Rachael Ray Magazine
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Okay, so after all the crazy hype, I caved and bought an Instant Pot (one brand of electric pressure cooker). I figured it must be one amazing machine with how much everyone seems to love it. And I have to say, I might be the minority here, but I don’t like the Instant Pot! Anyone want to buy a slightly used Instant Pot? (kidding! sort of, haha). I honestly went into this with an open mind and have used it several times for all different types of recipes to really get a good feel for what it can do.

Why I Don't Like the Instant Pot on 100 Days of Real Food

Recipes I Tried in the Instant Pot

First I made “baked” potatoes. I quickly learned that the way the potatoes turn out is fine if you’re using them in another recipe (similar to if you boiled them), but not exactly fine for eating as a side item. Which is what I was planning to do, LOL. Baking them in the oven would have been MUCH better for this application – lesson learned.

Next, I thought I’d try a more complex recipe, and what better place to start than the Instant Pot recipe booklet that came with my machine, right? Um, I quickly learned there must have been a language barrier or something when developing those recipes because steps and important info seemed to be missing at times. But I winged it anyway and made an okay butternut squash soup. I chose that recipe because normally I would roast the squash in the oven first, so I thought it would be a good test run that would allow me to skip a step. I suppose it was a decent time saver if you really want butternut squash soup when you happen to be short on time (I would normally plan that dish when I do have the time).

Next, I decided to make something I’ve made in my slow cooker dozens of times so I could really get a good idea of how the outcome compares – Pork Carnitas Tacos (with the addition of a cup of broth because you can never use the Instant Pot without liquid!). Normally I would start the pork shoulder in the slow cooker early in the morning. I even thought about starting it (since I’ve gotten into the habit of checking our menu board to see if I need to defrost or start anything for whatever dinner is planned), but then I remembered I was going to wait to do the pork later in the Instant Pot.

Well, as it turns out, it takes about 50+ minutes to make a pork shoulder in the Instant Pot, and I have to say that was not the best timing for me to start dinner on a weeknight. I usually do a quick 30 minute or so meal OR start it early in the morning and be done with it (kind of like I wanted to do!) on busy weeknights. But, I wanted to see how the meat would turn out this way, and while I personally thought the flavor was pretty good, it was apparent right away the meat was not as tender as it usually is from the slow cooker. And the rest of my family honestly didn’t like it as much as usual. They said thumbs up slow cooker, thumbs down Instant Pot on this one.

This also sealed the deal for me that I do not like NOT being able to open the lid at all to check on the food (or even take a little food out early). Maybe I could have cooked it a little longer for more tender meat, but I’d have to start the whole process of building up the pressure again to do that. And my poor daughter was already late to her evening gymnastics class because I was like, “Sorry, I can’t open the Instant Pot for 12 more minutes!” (#momfail – I know.) Normally I would have quickly given her a taco even if I planned to cook it a little longer (in the slow cooker) before the rest of the family ate. But no, not this time.

Lastly, I made the Curried Lentil & Sweet Potato Stew below, which was a very tasty recipe, but I have to say it ended up being slightly overcooked. (I adjusted the timing in the recipe below so that doesn’t happen to you!)  You see, if I would have made this stew in the slow cooker or even on the stove top, I could have opened the lid and checked on it to prevent this from happening.

I will also add that I was a little impressed when I realized I could cook this soup in the Instant Pot in only 5 minutes. Wow, 5 minutes is fast for soup, right?! But, NO. I forgot it takes several minutes for the pressure to build before the 5 minutes even starts and then since you can’t use the “quick release” option for soup (because it would possibly splatter), you have to wait for the “natural release” method, which can take 10 – 15 minutes!!! I could have honestly made the soup faster than that in a darn pot on the stove. Not to mention the 10 minutes I wasted wondering if the regular pressure release had automatically started or if I was supposed to push a button to make it start (see reason #3 below!).

Instant Pot Curried Lentil & Sweet Potato Stew on 100 Days of Real Food

So yes, I have not at all been impressed with the Instant Pot so far and putting all my thoughts together in one place like this is really driving home this conclusion for me!

Reasons I Do Not Like My Instant Pot (so far)

I might try a couple more things in my Instant Pot just to be sure I don’t change my mind (it was not a cheap appliance!), but after my experience so far, these are the things I do not like:

  1. It’s one of the more complicated kitchen appliances I’ve used.
    Maybe because it can do SO much, all the different settings can seem a little confusing. Even after using it four times so far, I would by no means say I “get it.” Maybe I would feel differently if I took one of those online courses to help (see below!).
  2. The recipes I’ve considered – both in the booklet and online – don’t seem to be very clear.
    This is probably because of all those settings and buttons I mentioned. The recipes will say things like “start the meat on high pressure” leaving me wondering if I hit the “meat” button or the “pressure” button. (The answer, I’ve learned, is the meat button!). I had a hard time finding recipes that tell me exactly what buttons to push and when, especially in the recipe booklet that comes with the machine.
  3. No confirmation the appliance is starting.
    Once you figure out the right button to use and push it, there is no start button, which each and every time left me wondering if it was good to go. I realize stovetop pressure cookers and even slow cookers don’t have a start button, but for whatever reason, it felt like something was missing with this machine. It does start a countdown timer after the pressure builds up, but nothing special happens before then. One time I guess my pressure valve wasn’t totally secure so the pressure never started counting down at all, and I was thinking, “This is taking forever to see the countdown timer, and I have no idea why.” As it turns out, it won’t ever start if any air is seeping out of the valve (more time wasted!). Long story short, I did not find the keypad to be very intuitive.
  4. Cannot (easily) open the lid.
    I really should have put this reason right at the top because it is a BIG downfall for me. As I mentioned above, I ended up with overcooked food, undercooked food, and food I couldn’t take out a little early all because I could not easily open the lid. Also, as I was cleaning up from making the soup, I realized there was still a little broth left in the jar. My instinct was to open the lid and add it in, but NO! Not with the instant pot. I guess I just have a hard time making mystery food I can’t check on or taste test as much as my heart desires along the way. And while I could do a “quick release” in the middle of a recipe if I really wanted to check or add something, I’d have to start with building up the pressure again (which adds more time) to start it over. Right or wrong, that’s a little bit of a deterrent for me and simply not as quick and easy as opening the lid of a pot on the stove (or slow cooker).
  5. Takes longer than you think.
    As I mentioned, I got a little excited about being able to cook soup in only 4 or 5 minutes, but that duration is very misleading. Each and every time you use the Instant Pot, it takes a couple minutes for the pressure to build (this is during the time I’m wondering if it’s even working because it doesn’t really indicate it’s started – see item #3 above!) before the countdown timer starts. Then at the end, you have to release the pressure one of two ways – “manual release” doesn’t take all that long, but “natural release” for soups can take 10 to 15 minutes. In the end, I did not find it saved me a whole lot of time once you add all this up together.
  6. I don’t like sautéing food in it.
    Don’t get me wrong, it’s totally convenient to sauté and then slow cook (or pressure cook) right in the same bowl. BUT, from a cooking tool standpoint, I don’t really like cooking in the Instant Pot insert all that much. The insert moves all around when you’re trying to stir the food, and you can’t really hold it to keep it in place because it’s hot! This is a minor downfall in the grand scheme of things, but worth being mentioned.

I am sorry if I am the bearer of bad news here, but I’m just wanting to share my honest opinion about the latest craze – especially before you decide to invest in this pricey appliance! But, as with anything, there are two sides to every story …

Why Others Like the Instant Pot

Now, I had a little chat with Kiran on my team to find out her opinion of the Instant Pot (she’s had one longer than I have), and as it turns out, she was never a huge slow cooker fan and LOVES her Instant Pot so much more. She said since she’s a vegetarian, she feels like most of the really good slow cooker recipes are meat based (which she’ll still make for her family), but since she personally relies more on foods like beans and lentils and homemade vegetarian soups, the Instant Pot has been really great for her.

Based on that feedback, I’m thinking of trying my refried bean recipe in the Instant Pot to see if it makes me like it any better. Dried beans do normally take a long time to cook, so I can see how that would be helpful. But at the same time, I kind of like to start the slow cooker in the morning because it’s such a nice feeling to have it all done for you at the end of the day! (I realize you can slow cook in the Instant Pot too – I know, it does SO much! LOL

But I suppose if you aren’t good at remembering to start your slow cooker, you might just be the biggest Instant Pot fan yet. I’ve also heard the Instant Pot is great if you forget to defrost your meat and want to start a dish with frozen meat. So, I guess this could be a really helpful appliance if planning ahead is not your strong point or you just prefer to be more spontaneous!

If you do own an Instant Pot (or want to get one, despite my opinion!), my friend Erin Chase – the $5 Dinner Mom – has put together some fabulous resources for people at all different stages of Instant Pot use. Check out her programs to help you get started or help you feel less confused! Oh, and I should mention Erin swears by boiled eggs in the Instant Pot. It takes 7 minutes (after the pressure builds, of course) and apparently the outcome is superior to stovetop with shells that are super easy to peel. I’ll think about trying that too – if I can figure out what button to push, LOL.

Here are the other foods Erin prefers in the Instant Pot:

  • Steel cut oatmeal
  • Steamed salmon
  • Steamed veggies
  • Brown rice
  • Roasts for slicing
  • Whole chicken
  • Dried beans

Maybe I should’ve taken her course before I started using the Instant Pot myself – plenty more options for me to try here!

Curried Lentil & Sweet Potato Stew – Instant Pot or Stove Top

Whether you have an Instant Pot or not, I’ve got a yummy new recipe to share with you today! My 9-year-old was especially excited about this one for some reason and was sure to tell me, “I really like lentils,” multiple times after we ate this stew. I did not know this about her and was glad to be informed because lentils are easy to make, good for you, and inexpensive – yay! She even asked if she could take the leftovers to school the next day – of course! So I hope your family enjoys this quick and easy recipe as much as we did – no matter how you make it!

Check out this Vegetable Stew as well!

Curried Lentil and Sweet Potato Stew on 100 Days of Real Food

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  1. You’ve got to keep trying! I feel like you managed to choose the perfect storm of odd things to make that didn’t turn out. Boil some eggs, cook a whole frozen chicken and then make bone broth, make dal (from lentils), cook dried beans and make some chicken breasts into pulled chicken with sauce! I have mostly found recipes on Pinterest and I’ve never looked at the manual.

  2. Hmmm…….thanks for this! I have been back and forth with getting one. I think the one thing I have read that I like the best is cooking beans in it….but I can easily cook them in one of my different size crock pots or on the stove or pressure can some which I have meant to do for a long time! I like the idea of cooking them fast but……for me probably not worth it to buy, store and figure out how to use just to cook beans….which is probably what I would do. I do not like that I could not open it and check on cooking…..I did not realize that! I see recipes for things like instant pot cheesecake……and I think why? I have an awesome recipe. So thanks again! Think I will skip this one!

  3. I agree with a lot of what you said. I’ve sort of got a love/hate relationship with it. I’ve tried to cook your pork tacos in the instant pot (we usually do it in the crockpot) but have had no luck and have to go back and cook it again and rebuild the pressure, and its not ready and everyone is starving. It does often take a very long time to get pressure and I wonder if its working. And I have had the fail where the valve wasn’t sealed and nothing was happening, big waste of time. But we do use it weekly to cook beans, rice and hardboil eggs and sometimes bone broth but guess that makes it not a super great investment for just those things :) When I first purchased it I made some really good lamb shanks in it from Nom Nom Paleo. She has a few really good recipes if you are looking for more do with yours.

  4. I have a stove top stainless steel Fagor Elite 6 qt. pressure cooker that I truly enjoy using (for some items). In my opinion it cannot be beat for baby back ribs and the best chicken wings ever. I have a GE Cafe gas range so there is a nice large burner that I use to quickly bring it to temperature while I am preparing whatever basting concoction I decide to use. I STILL have to broil both of these in the oven for about 20 minutes, basting and turning every five minutes to dry out the meat that has excessive moisture from pressure cooking and add the baste to similate a long slow cooking.
    The baby back ribs come out tasting like I slow roasted them on the barbecue all day, and spicing up the liquid in the pressure cooker for the wings infuses a delicate flavor to the meat, in addition to whatever BBQ sauce I decide to use when broiling.
    I have found, as you have, that not everything is best done in a pressure cooker…baked potatoes being one of them, unless you slice them open and bake them for about 15 minutes to reduce the excess moisture from steaming them in the pressure cooker. I would never cook a duck in a pressure cooker either. The slow cooker is fabulous for making the best duck you have ever had…bar none.
    As far as the pressure release, the Fagor releases steam rather quickly (several minutes) when done ‘naturally’.
    Before I bought the stove top model I did a lot of research and, for me, it was much more versatile than the electric model. For instance, If I am pressure cooking a meat, I can add all sorts of liquids to infuse flavor into it (like sesame oil, teryaki sauce, rice wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar or whatever else I think might I would like to try along with fresh herbs. When the cooking process is done and the meat is removed, I skim the fat, turn up the heat and reduce the cooking liquid to pour over plattered meat for an exquisite flavor.
    To me, pressure cooking isnt about saving a lot of time (though it often does), it is about ending up with a much better tasting meal that tastes like you slaved over the stove or BBQ all day to achieve.

  5. Jennifer McLaughlin

    I was very sad to hear your review. I absolutely LOVE my IP (I got rid of 2 crock pots and a rice cooker and am so pleased). There’s a wonderful IP community group on Facebook with tons of tips and very good recipes. Of course it’s not meant to cook everything, but it doubles as a slow cooker which I use constantly and it makes the BEST brown rice – never crunchy and undercooked. Don’t give up on it yet! Try this recipe, I made it last week and the stew meat was fall apart tender. https://www.budgetbytes.com/2017/01/instant-pot-beef-stew/

  6. 5 stars
    I agree with you. I’ve been hesitant to get it, and after reading about some of the things friends have encountered with theirs–especially the long learning curve–I’ve decided against it. Also, I really don’t need yet another appliance to take up space in my limited kitchen.

  7. I agree with you. I’ve been hesitant to get it, and after reading about some of the things friends have encountered with theirs–especially the long learning curve–I’ve decided against it. Also, I really don’t need yet another appliance to take up space in my limited kitchen.

  8. I decided to get me an Instant Pot after my niece had purchased one and loved it. I agree with you on some points you made. The cook book that comes with the pot was almost totally useless! Hate it!! You are right on about the baked potatoes. I haven’t used it as a slow cooker as yet, just not quite comfortable with trying that. I will in the future. I have no problem with the lid to our pot, it is very easy to work with. I also love my Pot for other reasons. Have cooked rice successfully in it many times. We always instant hot water in our kitchen so I start out with hot water in the Pot which speeds things up, of course. Last night I fixed the best chicken noodle soup from scratch I have ever made. Put chicken thigh pieces in with hot chicken broth and seasoning, put the lid on, cooked on manual for 15 min. I then took the lid off, added the veggies and noodles and cooked on saute for 10 minutes and it was delicious!! I also agree with Jill about the boiled eggs. I have had only success with the pot as I said, but I will be looking for a different cook book for sure.

  9. The one thing I love my instant pot for is “hard-boiling” (steaming) eggs. I can fit a dozen on my rack (one in each “hole”, one resting between each leg and the wall of the pot, and if I put three in the center, they hold each other up!) One cup of water, then I set it for manual, 5 minutes, and even it beeps, hit the dial for a quick release. I use the silicone mitts to lift the pot out and drain the hot water in the sink, run cold water in the pot and go to peeling! They practically peel themselves (another gem is cooking a good three pounds of frozen ground beef, just set it and walk away! No more standing at the stove browning it.) The slow cooker function on my pot was a fail when I tried a roast, but I’ll try again someday… Maybe! I ❤ my slow cooker, too!

  10. I find this so interesting because the things that I love most are some of the things you dislike. My favorite part is walking away and not opening the pot until it’s done. I also think that perhaps you didn’t chose great starter recipes. The booklet that comes with it doesn’t have good recipes. You will find much better recipes online. Search for instant pot specific ones, and they will have the buttons and timing laid out more specifically. I think that it creates a texture that is far superior to a slow cooker for meats. I have about 4 things I cook in a slow cooker that I think are worth eating. Everything else I’ve ever cooked in a slow cooker I felt was not good either in terms of texture, or flavor, or too much liquid, or some other issue. If you can use the pressure cooker correctly, the result is so much more predictable and controllable. But, it does take some getting used to. I also think that you will find many more people who are eating paleo, gluten free, or some version of paleo using the instant pot, and so the number of recipes from paleo folks is much greater than non paleo folks. I would try the beans.

  11. Your refried bean recipe was one of the first things I did in the IP. Try it – you’ll like how quickly it cooks compared to the slow cooker and it turns out just fine.

  12. Saute in the IP tip: Use an Ove Glove. Other than that, as the author mentioned, the pot moves around.

    As far as recipes and feedback is concerned, there is a Facebook IP group with thousands of members who have been more than helpful with me. As the author stated, recipes in the book are vague.

    LOVE whole chicken and making dried beans from scratch in the IP. No soaking! (I did find because I had older beans that I needed to add more time.) Have yet to try lentils, as I figured that they were easily made on the stove top. Will have to try eggs and the quinoa that Tricia mentioned. Will also try the steel cut oats.

  13. Tasmin McDonald

    I must admit that I have some of the same concerns as you with the Instant Pot. I had high hopes because I’ve never owned a pressure cooker and I thought this would be a nice introduction. I was really disappointed in how it cooked a whole chicken. The first time I made the whole chicken, I took the “cook” time for actual time. I was 15 minutes from dinner and the chicken was way underdone. I had to pull almost cooked pieces from the bone and saute on stove so my husband could have dinner before he left for work. Me and the kiddos had to eat dinner later. So, I learned the time factors but I now only use it for cooking my steel cut oatmeal and other grains. I also use it for the slow cooker function because it is all I own for now. I am disappointed for such an expensive appliance.

  14. An Instant Pot Fav for my family is Bone broth. Not just homemade chicken broth/stock, but actual BONE broth. You cook the bones until the literally crumble away and disintegrate into the broth. Super easy in an IP. Apparently bone marrow is extremely good for you.

  15. Thank you for this review! I’ve been tempted to try the Instant Pot but was not sold on it. I meal plan, prepare and cook food in many similar ways that you do, and your post was VERY helpful. I think for those of us that have figured out the key to thinking ahead in our meals, the Instant Pot doesn’t do much for the kitchen.

  16. Lisa,
    I think you need to try some other recipes. I LOVE my instant pot. I’ve only explored a few recipes but they are dynamic additions for our family. Here are 2 of our favorites
    1. “1-minute” quinoa: 1 c. of quinoa (pre-rinsed) I use a brand from Costco that doesn’t need to be rinsed. & 1 1/2 c. of chicken broth or bone broth. Set to manual for 1 minute. After that minute is up…let it release naturally for 10-15 mins. Then fluff with a fork. *We use this as a side or the base for our taco bowls instead of rice.
    2. Whole chicken: This is the recipe I use. We love it and it’s so incredibly tender http://healinggourmet.com/healthy-recipes/pressure-cooker-chicken/

  17. I have also been underwhelmed with my electric pressure cooker…. for many of the reasons you listed above!! I’ve just started using it as another slow cooker (the most expensive one I’ve ever owned).

    Thanks for you honest review and the delicious stew recipe!

  18. Lisa, have you considered that perhaps you purchases the wrong brand of a pressure cooker ? Quick pressure release button, beep when presssure is done building and cooking begins, option to enter cooking time vs using a meat button, poultry button etc. … all of these options are standard on the Cuisinart pressure cooker. And it takes 3 minutes to build pressure.

  19. I looked at the Insta Pot when the commercials came out but did not want to spend the mucho dollars. So Jan. 12th when I wanted to learn to cook Brown rice without messing it up we went to WalMart and for $45.00 I found the Aroma pot that does what I want and makes brown and white rice, Sautés, steams veggies and is a 16 cup slow cooker. There are only 2 of us. I already had a small electric pot that I make soup in and a large 20 yr old slow cooker. This month I spent my major bucks on the Zojirushi virtuoso Breadmaker and I do love it. My old one gave out. Since my fall last year I have early stages of arthritis in my finger joints and kneading dough is too painful.

  20. Haven’t used my slow cooker since July 2015. Soups have much better depth of flavor in a shorter amount of time. Yes, you could make as quickly on the stove, but the flavors won’t be nearly as good. I think that if you are a “recipe” cooker, the IP is not always for you, but if you truly know how to cook by layering flavors, adjusting seasonings, etc, then the transition is easy. Sorry you are disappointed, but there are times I use it 3-4 times per day. Mostly because I didn’t have to look after it. Steel cut oats, hard boiled eggs (30 at a time!!) , soup, pulled pork or chicken. Whole chicken in an IP is waaaay faster than the slow cooker. And tastier because the seasonings don’t get so watered down if you do the chicken on the rack. Learning curve, definitely. You just don’t get it yet.

  21. I love the IP for the benefit of boiled eggs that peel like a dream, fast artichokes and perfect rice – these alone enough to make it worthwhile. Also butternut squash to bake into breads or muffins. And easy spaghetti squash. And the slow cooker benefits are exactly the same. Most crockpots seem to lose their “low” or “heat” quickly – and the IP is just technologically advanced; I don’t think it will fail in the settings.

  22. Well I have a different brand and love it for certain things like jambalaya and spaghetti, infuses flavor wonderfully. I do also have a slow cooker for other things like roasts and potatoes. So I thumbs up everything Thanks for the review interesting to hear what not to try lol

  23. Bone broth is quick in the instant pot 2 hrs vs 12? Also dried beans. I do not care for large roasts in it, but soups work well. Rice was bad.

  24. I’d have to say I agree with a few of the negatives, but I think it IS important to consider what you will do with it. One thing it rocks at is meat. I cooked for a camp this past summer. I could not in any way monitor slow-cooking barbecue all day. We only had 3 in the kitchen. But. Over 2 days, with minimal hands-on time, and using 2 pots, I cooked 40 pounds of pork shoulder. On the first one, I had to restart and cook a little longer. After that, I had the timing down, and I got amazing flavor cooking the hunks of meat an hour and a half (total time from saute to release) per 4-5 pound piece. The reviews were great–the Pot made up for the lack of time by forcing the spices into the meat. I also LOVE it for cooking beans from dry to YUM in a relatively much shorter time. I also use it as a slow cooker–just like my old crock pot. So for me, since it replaces that one and also gives me the options for pressure cooking, it works.

  25. The InstantPot has been a life changer for me! I am vegetarian so don’t cook meat. But seriously quinoa in 1 minute! Brown rice perfect in 20. I use it for all my beans and so much better than canned beans. Best beets ever! I could go on and on. Most all of the recipes I’ve tried have worked great (again can’t speak to the meat). Dinner is always on the table in less than 30 min. I think it takes a little getting used to but it is not “complicated”. Vegan under Pressure and Hip Pressure Cooking are 2 good cookbooks. It don’t find it takes more than 5 minutes to come up to pressure most times and I usually do a quick release. (Have not had problems with splatter) Keep trying!

  26. There is a slow cook feature on the Instant Pot you may want to try. I love cooking dry beans in mine. Also I like the time delay feature. I have put frozen chicken in before church with BBQ sauce.
    Also, try boiled eggs. Not really any quicker but oh so easy to peel!

  27. 5 stars
    I have my crock pot and I love it too. I don’t want the instant pot, I have an oven and stove too. I don’t need 5oo things to use to cook. So I agree with you too.

  28. Natalie Gunderson

    Loved your review of the Instant Pot…not only because I’ve been a little annoyed with the instant pot craze and naturally suspicious of anything that seems too good to be true; but also because sometimes a negative review is refreshing. So many “reviews” you read these days are either unverified, or a celebrity endorsement, and it is nice to know that I can count on your genuine feedback :)

    1. Ha Has! Yes, I had the same experience initially. Took hours of me watching youtube videos trying to figure out if my pot was actually working or not. But I’m going to stick with it because i do like to saute in it. And I use lots of hard boiled eggs every week. I want to try to use it to replace my slow cooker which is on it’s last legs. I like the lightweight insert pot as it is much easier for all of us to carry and much easier for my children to wash up than my heavy slow cooker insert is for them. Thanks for your great site and your honest review!

  29. I like mine for a couple of time saving recipes. Makes wonderful yogurt without all the watching/worrying. I make all my dry beans in there and freeze in canning jars. And steel cut oats!!!! I don’t use it for any other foods really. I still use a good ole fashioned crock pot

  30. So sad you didn’t like the instant pot. I purchased mine and it has been a game changer. Recently made corned beef and my Irish husband said it was the best he has ever had. Perhaps you need to try a few more recipes?? :) Soups, pulled pork and stews have all been amazing!

  31. It doesn’t sound like you tried recipes that worked very well at all! I was given the Instant Pot as a gift and was very skeptical. I would keep mine if only for the rice cooking … we use it several times a week for that. And rice + meat (I’ve tried chicken and shrimp) works so great :).

  32. Hardboiled eggs, shells steam off the egg so peeling a snap.
    Greens cook in 0 min (for baby or tender greens like beet or dandelion) to 6 min for collards, etc. (Then I freeze in smoothie portion size or dinner side dish size)
    Pasta in meat sauce, no babysitting a pasta pot so it doesnt boil over. Both cook at same time.
    Rly good chicken alfredo type dish i came up with. Easy, quick.
    Cauliflower done in 10 min, whole.
    Yogurt, PC and crockpot in same counterspace. Score.
    Never trust the timing. Add 15 min for NR and 15 min to pressurize. Some recipes take longer to pressurize.

  33. Lisa – I am fan of your blog, and also a man of science, so I will tend to hold you to a higher standard. It’s an occupational hazard, and, as you did, I will apologize in advance for what I am about to write. Like any kitchen tool, the IP is good for some things, but not so good for others. I will admit that many of the applications, used to sell the machine, do not do well in the IP. That said, your responsibility is to objectively report on the pros and cons of any tool … and that, you did not do. I think a casual mention as to whether you like the tool is OK, but I think it a mistake to have “Don’t Like” in the title of your report, and then list all the negatives you have found. If it helps any, I agree with some of your analysis.

  34. I think there is a learning curve when you first use the instant pot but once that is over it is a magic pot. I had a sick mom and working full time and it made my life/time great getting things out quickly and not having to babysit my food. Everything is not for everybody but any pressure cooker instant pot or even a stove top pressure cooker can make your life easier. I respect your opinion but I can’t wait for holidays cooking is so much easier.

  35. I just have a normal pressure cooker. I was afraid to use it for a long time, but once I did, I was so happy. I used it mostly to cook beans. I can have them done in less than 15min. A huge life saver. I only cook them for 7 minutes after it pressure is ready, and then do a quick release. I have also cooked rice (brown and white), both of which were great, and done hardboiled eggs. Again it was a lifesaver for the hardboiled eggs. It takes about 15 min total, and the peel very easily. Which is a huge plus with fresh backyard eggs, that normally are terrible to peel if they are too fresh. Lastly I cooked a 6lb roast in 40 minutes. And it shred very nicely. While I prefer my crockpot for roasts, if I’m in a pinch, it works well.

  36. Oh, i love it! I bought it back in 2013 or 2014.. was frustrated using it in the beginning.. but i love it now.. guess it grows on you, theres a learning curve! Awesome for cooking meat stews and lentils .. delish!

  37. Lisa, I’m with you. I have the InstantPot and I do not like it at all.. it takes WAYYYY longer than I expected with the build up/down time.. I thought I was losing my mind with the ambiguity of the recipes – what button to push and so on! I even looked at other websites and still could not figure it out. It’s so great in theory, and so frustrating in practice! Slow cooker is much more my speed!

  38. I am with you Lisa. My folks purchased one for our larger than average family and after reading through the directions and my mom giving a demonstration, I quickly realized it was not for me. I know old dogs can learn learn new tricks, but this forty something busy momma doesn’t want to invest the time to learn how to redo/re-cook recipes when our current method already works well. At this season of life, keeping it simple is the best option for our family.