Instant Pot Pressure Cooker: Review + Recipes

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Instant Pot Review and Recipes
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Over the last few years, I’ve been simplifying and reducing the tools and appliances in our kitchen and only keeping the ones we use often. In fact, our kitchen now has a simple assortment of unusual appliances and tools that we use every day. One appliance that has definitely earned its place on the list is the Instant Pot.

While it may feel like everyone in the world owns an Instant Pot now based on Instagram or social media, according to the most recent stats I could find (2018), only about 12% of households own one.

So, this review is for all of those “holdouts” because I promise you… it will change your life!

What Is an Instant Pot?

In short, it is an electric, programmable pressure cooker with a lot of extra functionality. It definitely isn’t our grandparent’s stove-top pressure cooker!

Although I’ve had one for a while, I haven’t even tried all of the uses for it yet. Our family uses it mostly as a basic pressure cooker and I now make many of my slow-cooker recipes in the Instant Pot instead (…a fast cooker?).

Instant Pot advertises that it is a single kitchen appliance that does the work of seven kitchen gadgets, including a rice-cooker, yogurt-maker, steamer and pressure cooker.

In essence, it is a fancy electric pressure cooker but it does this job exceptionally well.

Pros and Cons of Instant Pot

In my quest to simplify life, I decided to only keep kitchen appliances that serve more than one purpose. The Instant Pot met my criteria of being multiple-use so I decided to give it a try. It has quickly become one of my favorite kitchen tools and now I use it often.

Instant Pot: The Pros

All Stainless Interior: Unlike most electric pressure cookers, the Instant Pot has a fully stainless-steel interior so this is the only part that touches the food. While parts of the exterior are plastic or other materials, these do not come in contact with the food and there is no Teflon or non-stick surface.

Multi-Use: As a multi-use gadget it could conceivably replace a slow-cooker, rice-cooker, sauté-pan, and steamer. I’ve even had friends tell me that they now use the Instant Pot so often that they rarely use their stove and oven. I certainly can’t see the Instant Pot replacing my oven and stove, but it definitely could if I ever needed it to if one of those appliances broke.

Replace the Slow Cooker: The Instant Pot has largely replaced our slow-cooker and I’m considering even getting rid of the Crock-Pot completely since the Instant Pot works more quickly and often provides better results. I could see an electric pressure cooker like this one being especially helpful for anyone with a small kitchen as it could replace several other kitchen appliances.

Time Saving: This is perhaps the biggest benefit I noticed right away with the Instant Pot. It can cook a slow-cooker recipe that takes 6-8 hours in just an hour and I can even prepare a roast for dinner in about 40 minutes. This is tremendously helpful on days that we aren’t home during the day and I need to prepare a meal quickly at night (or days that I forget to defrost food until the afternoon or to put food in the slow-cooker in the morning).

Good Price Point: While the Instant Pot does cost more than most single-use kitchen appliances like slow-cookers and rice-cookers, it is cost-effective if you use it to replace one or more of these other gadgets. I found mine 50% off on sale here, and it has definitely already paid for itself in space and time savings.

Programmable: This is one advantage of the Instant Pot over regular pressure cookers and most slow-cookers. Since it cooks so quickly, I sometimes don’t need to start cooking a recipe as soon as I put it in the Instant Pot but I want to have it ready to go. The Instant Pot lets you program up to 24-hours in advance and has quite a few options pre-programmed for easy use.

Energy Efficient: Like a slow-cooker the heat source is electric and built in so it doesn’t require a separate gas or electric stove and is more energy efficient. Since it is self-regulated, it is also safer and easier to use (in my opinion).

Easy to Clean: Since the cooking bowl is all stainless steel it is easy to clean by hand and can even be placed in the dishwasher.

Instant Pot: The Cons

The Price (Up-front): Like I said, I found the price reasonable considering the other kitchen appliances that it replaced, but it does retail for up to $150 if you buy one with all the bells and whistles (though I found mine for under $100 here). If I’d known about this when we got married and registered for this instead of various other appliances, it definitely would’ve been a cost savings, but if, like me, you already have these other appliances, the cost can seem like a lot up front. Also, as I said, I don’t use many of the extra settings, so if you buy a basic model you might never miss the extra features.

Learning Curve: I’ve always been a little terrified of pressure cookers since a relative once severely burned her face in a pressure-cooker accident, and while the Instant Pot seems easier to use than many pressure-cookers, it is a new style of cooking with a little bit of a learning curve. It only took me a couple of uses to get comfortable using it, but I’d recommend reading the (short) instruction manual first before using the first time. It definitely didn’t feel intuitive the first couple of times I used the Instant Pot, but it was easy to learn.

Misleading Prep Times: When I first starting using the Instant Pot, dinner was late more than a few times because the recipes I was following said things like “cook on manual for 7 minutes.” I didn’t realize at first that the IP takes time to come to pressure and then release pressure, so a 7 minute cook time might actually mean 20-30 minutes. This still isn’t long to wait (especially when you’re talking about a tender roast ready in under 30 minutes!), but now I know to leave extra time when planning.

Lower PSI: Stovetop pressure cookers typically operate at around 15 PSI, while electric ones, like the Instant Pot range from 10-12 PSI. This can be both an advantage and disadvantage as electric cookers have built-in feedback that makes them more efficient but they do cook *slightly* slower than stovetop pressure cookers. I personally prefer the electric pressure cooker because it is easier to use and doesn’t require constant monitoring, but if speed is your main concern, the Instant Pot is slightly (5-10 minutes) slower on some recipes.

Safety: The Instant Pot is much safer than most other types of pressure cookers but it is still a pressure cooker and can release steam and cause severe burns if misused. I’ve never had trouble with ours and wasn’t able to find any cases of someone being harmed while using it correctly, but I am still very careful using it around my kids. I make sure it is in a sturdy place in the corner/back of the counter and that there are no chairs or stools that would let kids get to it or tamper with the lid. While I am a fan of kids in the kitchen, this is one device I don’t let them use.

Instant Pot Recipes

I have a few years of experience now with the Instant Pot and have gotten past the (short) learning curve. I’ve been creating my own recipes (here’s one of our current favorites!) but I’ve also tried some from other bloggers, especially when I was learning how to use the Instant Pot and wanted to make sure I didn’t mess up any meals (hint- I’ve found that it is really hard to screw up a recipe with the Instant Pot!).

Some of my favorite Instant Pot recipes are:

You can even make apple cider or applesauce in the Instant Pot!

A Simplified Kitchen

I wouldn’t go as far as saying that I have a minimalist kitchen (or that I’d even try to when cooking for 7 people three times a day) but I would say that I have finally created a simplified kitchen and it works really well for our needs. In hindsight, I wish I’d known what I know now when selecting items for our wedding registry, since we’ve gotten rid of many of the items we thought we “had to have” when registering.

In the past few years, we’ve:

  • Replaced the coffee pot with a French Press
  • Ditched the vegetable and onion chopper and replaced it with… a knife
  • Replaced plastic and heavy glass dishes with stainless steel ones for the kids (dishwasher & oven safe, and unbreakable)
  • Ditched the juicer (we just make smoothies instead)
  • Replaced the multiple different types of specialty glasses with quart-size multi-use mason jars
  • Got rid of the toaster, bread maker, and other appliances we just never used

Most of the kitchen appliances we got as wedding gifts have broken or been donated and the ones that remain get used daily:

The Bottom Line

I bought this version of the Instant Pot (the 6-in-1) and I really like it. As I said, I got it on sale and it has more than paid for itself in time savings in the past few months. There is also a 7-in-1 version that also makes yogurt but since we make yogurt in the oven, I didn’t think this extra functionality was needed.

There is also a much-fancier Bluetooth enabled version that I wouldn’t personally recommend, since we are trying to reduce our exposure to Bluetooth/Wi-Fi but also because it doesn’t offer much extra functionality (besides being able to program from a smartphone) for the price (almost double).

I was skeptical about the Instant Pot so I put off trying it for a long time. I was surprised how much I really like it (and over 5,000 Amazon reviewers seem to agree!). In hindsight, I wish I’d tried it much earlier and can see this being my go-to wedding gift for friends in the future.

Unlike very basic kitchen tools like knives and quality pans, the Instant Pot is definitely not an absolute kitchen necessity but I would definitely recommend it to friends and family and it is becoming one of my most used kitchen tools. It is even great for camping!

Ever tried the Instant Pot? What did you think?

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


149 responses to “Instant Pot Pressure Cooker: Review + Recipes”

  1. Elena Avatar

    I love simplifying things, too. We recently re-modeled our kitchen and had to get new appliances. I got a Bosch stove with a convection oven. Oven temp can be set anywhere from 80 to 500 degrees, so it can be used as bread proofer, yogurt maker (I make 12 quarts of yogurt at a time), and dehydrator.

  2. Marisa Avatar

    I have one…it is collecting dust in the basement. My first issue was the chemical scent it gave off every time I turned it on. Then, it all just seemed so complicated for me, but I am willing to try it again after reading this post. BTW, I cook each GAPS meal for five, then an extra meal for the baby on her own diet. I’m willing to find better ways to save time! It might come in handy on our road trips….

  3. John Avatar

    We got the Instant Pot IP-DUO60 some months ago. Wow this thing rocks. I have not used the yogur making feature.
    This thing is worth every penny I spent on it
    Looking forward to trying your recipes!

    1. Tabitha Teeter Avatar
      Tabitha Teeter

      I recommend you Order another seal/gasket for yogurt. I didn’t know the perfume from my chili or curries would permeate the yogurt. We had a lot of Indian food after that batch of yogurt so it wasn’t wasted, but I have a second seal exclusively for yogurt.

      1. Kathy H Avatar

        You don’t need to use the seal for yogurt, you are pressure cooking it, just incubating. I did get a second seal for sweets like cakes & cheesecake.

        1. Tabitha Avatar

          Wow. Thanks. I will try that and save my second seal for later.

          I hope we save others from having chili/onion perfumed yogurt. 😉

  4. Shelley Avatar

    I’ve been watching the instant pot craze from afar for awhile myself and its nice to hear someone else with a big a family give it a go.
    My kids are teens now so probably eat a bit more than your brood – does it make enough to feed all of you in one recipe (I usually double every recipe I make since I feed a minimum of 6, 4 of them hungry teens and left overs are highly coveted at this busy household).
    Do you have any references on vitamins and mineral retention when using the instant pot? I have wondered if the high pressure destroys any of the nutritional content . . .
    Being able to make bone broth more efficiently would certainly be a plus, as well as being able to make some of our favorite slow cooker dinners without having to plan so far ahead.
    Thanks for the great post.

    1. Kim Avatar

      I too want to know about the vitamin and mineral retention because usually high heat in my mind means loss of nutrients. I am guessing the IP uses an extreme high heat to cook so quickly is that right? That question has stopped me from purchasing a pressure cooker so far. Has anyone researched into this?

  5. Jen Avatar

    I clicked through to the Whole Chicken in 30 Minutes recipe, which says that grassfed/pastured meat cooks tender in the Instant Pot.

  6. Tina Avatar

    I can’t wait to try this recipe! I have always used the crock pot to make mine. It turns out great but this seems so much better.

  7. Mary Avatar

    I love mine, and like you have already replaced a BUNCH of other kitchen small appliances with it, or gone back to ‘old school’ methods of food preparation. My kitchen feels so much more open and clean now! Even if I didn’t use my Instant-Pot for anything else, I’d keep it for making yogurt. It’s so simple and pretty much fool-proof. Have made two pots of it just this week, one regular and one to strain for greek style yogurt. LOVE IT! Just came online to look for a recipe for barbeque pulled pork for it, and found your note in an email.

  8. Jen Avatar

    Does anyone know how this is for cooking grassfed/pastured meat, which typically is tough unless it is slow-cooked? Thanks for your thoughts!

    1. Sandra Avatar

      Such Meat cooked in pressure cooker should work good! The moisture is kind of pushed into meat ( that is how it was explained to me)

    2. Stacy Avatar

      A pressure cooker works great for grass-fed/pastured meat. That is all I ever use. Because the pressure cooker seals in the moisture to cook with steam/pressure, there is very little evaporation and the meat turns out so tender, moist and delicious!

    3. Christine Avatar

      We grow our own meat and the Instant Pot works wonders with all our meat!

  9. Aimee Avatar

    My favorite features of the Instant Pot: No nasty Teflon; Ability to sear and then cook in the same pot.

  10. Rebecca Avatar

    There is a facebook group that offers a lot of advice for using an Instant Pot – just search for “instant pot” on facebook. I actually bought one from for a great price, and returned it without opening it because I just don’t feel like I have the time to learn how to use it now. Also, most of the good recipes I have seen are for some kind of meat-based dish, and I am trying to make most of our meals vegetarian based. I don’t know, maybe I’ll give it another try at some point. The people that have them seem to love the instant pot.

  11. Mary Darnall Avatar
    Mary Darnall

    I got one and am afraid to use if for long periods of time because of the type of stainless steel used. Have you contacted the company to see if the metal leaches toxins at all? I know you are so great with researching, I figured I would ask before I checked into it. But I definately will if you haven’t already.
    Thanks! I love everything you do!

    1. Erin Avatar

      Hi Mary,
      Did you ever get an answer to this? I just read that the stainless steel contains up 8-10% nickel, which would seem to be a problem to someone like me who has a nickel allergy. I”m trying to contact Instant Pot and anyone else to see what they know. Thanks!

      1. Barbara Avatar

        I have just been diagnosed with my nickel allergy. I’ve had my instapot now for about 1 year. I’ve also been itching for about the same time period. You may have hit my problem. Thanks for this information .

  12. Nona Avatar

    I make bone broth regularly, simmering for up to 30 hours to ensure getting all the nutrients, minerals, etc.

    Do you or anyone have any thoughts or advice on how long to cook bones, etc. in the Instant Pot?

    1. Sandra Avatar

      I have made it many times in IP! So simple…I think I have how to in a pic on my iPad…lookong now! Wish I could post pic?

    2. Nona Avatar

      If anyone has the same question I had, click on Katie’s second recipe: bone broth. All is revealed

  13. Jen Avatar

    I love my Instant Pot but I have only used the pressure cooker setting and used it to make rice. I should really explore the other options.


    1. Robert Avatar

      My favorite uses for it are hard-boiled eggs, steaming potatoes or beets, cooking beans, bone broth, and making a pork roast. The sweet potatoes and beets lose a little of their sweetness compared to baking them in f0il in the oven, but for me the easy cleanup and shorter cooking time makes up for it.

  14. Emily McMillan Avatar
    Emily McMillan

    I bought this same Insta Pot but I was nervous about using it as it doesn’t appear to have a stainless steel interior, it looks like Teflon but I couldn’t find the actual information anywhere in the manual. Just curious how you found out it has a stainless steel
    Interiors because it doesn’t appear that way?

    1. Sandra Avatar

      I believe I did see one selling with Teflon from the company website…a cheaper one?

      1. Jessica Avatar

        What is your opinion on the Ninja toaster oven/air fryer? I have an IP and love it, but we use a toaster oven all the time and don’t know what is the safest one.

    2. Beverly Boytim Avatar
      Beverly Boytim

      Yes, we got one with a Teflon interior first. I believe it was a bigger one (we wanted the biggest they made) than 6 quarts. It looks like they make an 8 quart all stainless interior now though.

      1. Tanya Avatar

        That was not an Instant Pot. They all come with a stainless steel pot. And they don’t offer an 8qt. (Yet, one is due to release later in the spring.) Basically, the Instant Pot (brand name) is an electric pressure cooker but not all electric pressure cookers are Instant Pots.

        1. Beverly Boytim Avatar
          Beverly Boytim

          This is on the Instant Pot website – maybe they had it for a time? I know for certain that we ordered an Instant Pot (in December) and returned it because it had a non-stick coating – we even exchanged it for a “newer model” with stainless steel….

          Instant Pot Non-Stick Inner Pot (6Qt) – OUT OF STOCK
          Instant Pot Non-Stick Inner Pot (6Qt) – OUT OF STOCK
          Made from aluminum with non-stick coating
          Not sticky to food, easy cleaning and dishwasher safe
          Capacity: 6Qt.
          Suitable for Instant Pot IP-DUO60, IP-LUX60, IP-CSG60
          SKU IP-NONSTICK-60
          Weight 1.35 lbs

          Our price: US$29.95
          Market price: US$39.95
          Quantity Out of stock

  15. Dianne Avatar

    I have one in my cabinet gathering dust. I bought it on a home shopping channel and they did awesome things with it. I got it and had trouble getting my lid to work right after I seared some meat in it before I cooked it. I really didn’t know how to use it, but this makes me want to pull it out and give it another try.

    1. karen Avatar

      I had trouble too I just jiggled it so it would stop steaming. Also make sure the rubber gasket is in the right way. I love making rice in it.

    2. Sammy Avatar

      Are you sure it’s the actual Instant Pot? My neighbors ordered a different brand on the home shopping, buy one get one 1/2 off. We never got it to work correctly and they finally sent both back. Love my Instant Pot!

    3. Rebecca Avatar

      I bought one ,have had it less than a year , I contacted Customer service because it turned out to be a lemon. They want ME to run “tests”. I don’t think so! They can take it back and send me a new one and THEY can run tests! Still waiting on them. I loved it for a few months till all the functions stopped working. Not a good way to treat a customer.

  16. Nona Avatar

    I like to make bone broth and cook it for up to 30 hours (sometimes longer) to extract the minerals, etc. from the bones, feet, etc.

    Do you know if cutting my bone broth cooking time with the Instant Pot will likewise reduce the minerals and other nutrients that are released from the cooking?

      1. Nona Avatar

        Katie’s bone broth recipe explains this. You’ll find the recipe in the recipe section of her post.

  17. Jake Avatar

    Oh ya! I got one for Christmas and have used it 4-5 times a week since then. Steel cut oats are a breeze in the morning now.

    1. Aurora Avatar

      I’m curious what is your oat to water ratio for the instant pot? I used the directions on the box of steel cut oats and cooked in instant pot and it was waaaay to much water. I ended up just pouring the excess water off and they were totally fine but I’d rather do it the right way. Loving mine too got it for xmas and I love it.

  18. Sabdra Avatar

    Welcome to the IP users! There are many IP Facebook communities, I personally belong to many. The newest one is Viramix, Instant Pot. There is one that is “only” vegan. It is unbieveable the foods that they cook in it! Ex: cheesecake. So many tips and help.

  19. Bea Avatar

    Do Amazon post to Australia? And even if they did, would the appliance work due to our different power points, plugs and currents? It looks like an amazing appliance but I don’t want to waste money finding that I couldn’t use it, lol.

    1. Alissa Avatar

      Hi Bea, I know this is a couple is months old, so you may have your answer already, but in case anyone else is wondering… You need to order from for the power source to be suitable. Shipping is about $50. We just ordered one, can’t wait for it to arrive! It is due to release in Australia in aug/sept (check their Facebook for more updates) but we didn’t want to wait that long!

      1. Liesl Avatar

        Hi Alissa
        I am curious to find out if you received your Instant Pot. I am also in Australia and would like to order.

      2. Tara Avatar

        Hi Alissa, I just want to see how you are going with your Instant Pot? I am pretty keen. I am in Australia too. Thanks in advance.

        1. Alissa Avatar

          Hi Liesl and Tara, yes, we received our instant pot a few months ago, shipping was super fast, less than a week if I remember correctly. We love it, and use it all the time! You do need an adapter for the plug, but the UK voltage is still 220/240, so it is safer to use in Aus than the US model. I was comparing it to my mum’s electric pressure cooker (Target/Breftons) and the instant pot is so much quicker to come to pressure, and much more versatile. If you are considering getting one… Go for it!

          1. Liesl Avatar

            Thanks Alissa, that is good to hear. I will order mine straight away.
            I have a Thermomix, must be honest, I am not crazy about it. Too small for a family of five.

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