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Why The Instant Pot Is My Preferred Brand of Pressure Cooker

I get asked all the time: “Is the Instant Pot worth it?”

To which, I respond with a resounding YES!

I happily gave away my slow cooker for the Instant Pot and haven’t regretted it for one minute. After all, look at everything the Instant Pot can do:

Unfamiliar with the Instant Pot? It’s an electric programmable pressure cooker that cooks food quickly without compromising food quality or integrity. It can cook frozen ground beef in 25 minutes and roast a whole chicken in 30. It can make hard boiled eggs in 2 minutes …and there’s no need for an ice bath!!!! It can make delicious bone broth in 1 hour — the stuff that used to take me 24 hours to make. People rave about its ability to make perfect cheesecake and creamy oatmeal in a fraction of the time. It can also serve as a yogurt maker and rice maker. AND it functions as a slow cookerAAAAAAAAND you can make up freezer meals and cook them STRAIGHT from frozen — no thawing!

And that’s only the tip of the iceberg.

The Instant Pot is part of a new breed of electric programmable pressure cookers. But you should know that it is a brand name, not the actual item category.

There are many manufacturers who make their own electric programmable pressure cookers. Once a year Aldi even sells its own home-branded product for $35!

NPR actually ran an article about the Instant Pot’s ginormous leap to fame (and how it is quickly becoming comparable with Xerox, Frigidaire, and Kleenex for being synonymous for the product it represents).

So back to the question everyone asks. Is the Instant Pot the best brand? What about all the other options out there?

Why The Instant Pot Is My Preferred Brand of Pressure Cooker

The Instant Pot comes with lots of features that are common among electric programmable pressure cookers (such as pre-programmed buttons and a visual display). But there are noteworthy differences.

Intimidated by opening your Instant Pot box and reading the manual? I totally get it. Don’t be. Follow this step by step picture tutorial and you’ll be cooking in minutes.

How to Unbox the Instant Pot in 10 Easy Steps

1. Stainless Steel Interior

The Instant Pot uses an entirely stainless steel bowl and lid. As far as I’ve seen, this is the ONLY brand that offers this option – everyone else uses nonstick. I personally prefer a stainless steel bowl because it won’t scratch or become compromised. The durability is fantastic. And if stainless steel is a deal breaker for you, you can also purchase a separate ceramic bowl.

Instant Pot

2. Button Options

Some models of the Instant Pot allow you to make yogurt or rice, with just one touch of the button. I know some friends who bought a second IP just to exclusively use for the yogurt feature.

The Instant Pot’s biggest rival — in cost, size, and popularity — doesn’t even offer this as an option.

Additionally, the Instant Pot has lots of pre-set button options (Poultry, Beans, Rice, Stew) so you don’t have to remember what time to select every time you cook. Just push one button and you’re good to go.

3. Customer Service

The Instant Pot has unrivaled customer service. Problem with your pot? Contact IP’s fantastic customer service department and they’ll open a ticket for you. They’re prompt, and professional, and generous.

How To Unbox The Instant Pot4. Replacement Parts

When Aldi offered their electric programmable pressure cooker for $35 this fall, I was tempted. Sooooo tempted. After all, I’ve loved the convenience of my Instant Pot! Surely a cheap secondary unit would be fine for small things, like potatoes or eggs.

Until I realized that with these cheaper brands there is no way to get replacement parts – from pot liners to sealing rings.

The Instant Pot is the only brand I’ve seen that makes its parts easily available on Amazon. And if you do any measure of cooking, you’ll DEFINITELY want a secondary sealing ring for sweet/savory smelling foods.

(Strong smells can “stain” the silicone sealing ring and Instant Pot says on their website that they have about a two-year lifespan of daily use before they wear out – they aren’t meant to last forever.) 

Warning: it is important that you buy a sealing ring made by Instant Pot and not other knock offs (like Instant Perrrt or Noosa). Find out why — scroll down to the section about sealing rings on this post.

There’s no way I was going to spend 1/3 of the cost of an Instant Pot on a product that I couldn’t get basic parts for.

I should state that Power Pressure XL (Instant Pot’s next biggest competitor) has their parts available from their own direct-sales page. But the ease of ordering Instant Pot spare parts with two-day shipping from Amazon is not to be under estimated!

Find out what accessories are recommended — and how to use them — in this incredibly popular post.

Instant Pot Accessories and How To Use Them

5. Community Support

The Instant Pot has a lively and amazing Facebook community. You can often get answers to questions in minutes – and get all sorts of amazing ideas along the way. I love that there is a network to help everyone figure out how to use their units. People ask questions, post pictures. It’s great.

Push your Instant Pot to the max. Learn how to make freezer meals that you can cook straight from frozen.

How To Make Instant Pot Freezer Meals

6. Volume of Recipes

As NPR stated, the Instant Pot has gone viral in popularity. There are many fantastic websites (such as Hip Pressure Cooking and This Old Gal) that are dedicated to pressure cooking in general – whether stove top or electric. But as the Instant Pot grows in popularity, more and more recipes are being specifically written for this product, pushing its features to the max.

Once A Month Meals even has a whole recipe section dedicated to making freezer meals.

And let’s face it. It’s way more catchy to say you’re making “Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes” than “Pressure Cooked Spuds.” HAHA!

You can catch all of our Instant Pot recipes (which are all gluten-free and dairy-free).

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Check out all our Instant Pot Recipes!

Don’t miss our popular Instant Pot Tip posts:

How to Unbox the Instant Pot in 10 Easy Steps

Instant Pot Accessories and How To Use Them

How To Make Instant Pot Freezer Meals

How to Travel with the Instant Pot

Interested in an Instant Pot, but not sure this brand is for you? Consider these reasons why the Instant Pot is my favorite programmable pressure cooker.

1 Comment

  1. Stacey MacGregor

    February 8, 2017 at 3:15 pm

    I too absolutely adore my Instant Pot!!!
    I’ve been cooking both professionally and for family for over 40 years and this is by FAR the BEST appliance I have ever used!
    I simply cant say enough! You really have to have one to know what youve been missing.
    There are a lot of multi cookers on the market but none come close to the Instant Pot and the stainless steel pot seals the deal.

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