Is it worth getting an Instant Pot?

11 weeks ago by
Community: instapot review

1 Answer

11 weeks ago by
if you don’t have a good reason to buy an Instant Pot right now, then you should probably wait until you need one. They’re rather expensive, and their success has encouraged competitors. If you don’t have an immediate need for an Instant Pot, the technology will get better if you wait, and bigger companies with bigger research and development budgets are likely to come up with something better within a few years. The product is in a rapid change phase right now, so even if you get one now, you’ll probably want an upgraded version within a few years as well, even though the one you already bought is probably still perfectly functional.

If you’re thinking about buying an Instant Pot, first read everything you can find about the differences between the Instant Pot Ultra review to the Instant Pot Smart. Comparing the differences gives clues about where Instant Pot can be headed. In particular, when I looked at the difference, I realized that the appliance I really wanted would have the best of the Instant Pot Ultra combined with the best of the Instant Pot Smart but with all the bugs worked out. Then, look at the progress of the copycats. Lots of big companies are jumping into the marketplace with products that try to copy an Instant Pot, except at a much lower price point. It shouldn’t take more than a few years for a product with the best of Ultra and a bug-free Smart with a lower price point to be released. By then, competitors are likely to create features that aren’t available in the Instant Pot. Between all of the potential future offerings, one of them is likely to be the answer to the question of why you should buy one.

That said, after thinking about all that, I decided to go ahead with buying the Instant Pot Ultra regardless, in spite of knowing that I’m likely to want a new version in a few years. Part of the reason is that I don’t have a pressure cooker at all. I have a slow cooker, but it was a cheap one and couldn’t be relied on to cook properly. I also have a separate rice cooker that is too smart for me. It gets cranky about when it’s willing to stop or start back up again. With winter coming, I figured that it’d be great to have a pressure cooker, a slow cooker that won’t boil my food on the keep warm setting, and a rice cooker that will do what it’s told without throwing a beeping fit and stubbornly refusing to turn back on. I decided that I’d be happy if I could just get rice and oatmeal without having to argue with the rice cooker. So, I went ahead and bought an Instant Pot Ultra.

I’ve had the Instant Pot Ultra for almost a month now, and it’s been used even more than I had hoped. So far, it has been used to make oatmeal, pork chops, fish, chicken breasts, vegetables, carrot stew, and lots of permutations on rice. Pressure cooking retains a whole lot more flavor than slow cooking, so everything has tasted better than I thought it would. We save water when cooking rice because the Instant Pot seals in the steam: we use 30% less water with the Instant Pot compared to using the rice cooker. Everything cooks much faster in the Instant Pot, so we save a lot of time too. We haven’t even started to experiment with all the fun recipes online, so there’s a lot of potential for using the Instant Pot even more once the holidays come and there’s time to experiment. We also have more space in the kitchen now because we no longer need the separate rice cooker and slow cooker.

Nevertheless, until you have a good idea of why you’d want to buy one and what you’d like to cook with it, the Instant Pot is still a technology product. By next year or the year after, there will very likely be a better and cheaper version (if not from Instant Pot, then at least from a competitor), which means that any unsold units of the current generation will drop in price. Unless you come across a price that is just too good to pass up, it can wait until the product improves to the point that you’re sure that you absolutely have to have one
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