I’ve been living that Instant Pot life now for about two years. In the beginning, I was slow to jump on the bandwagon. I wasn’t sure if it was worth the money, if I would use it, and if I could justify the space it would take up in a kitchen with limited cabinet space. Eventually, though, I caved…and I’ve never looked back.
I love my Instant Pot!
However. Just because it’s a completely awesome kitchen appliance doesn’t mean you necessarily need one. There are still time when I prefer the oven or my crock pot (more on that below). So I decided to share a list of my Instant Pot pros and cons with you guys to help you decide if an Instant Pot is worth it or not for you.
Instant Pros and Cons
Let’s start with the pros, because I really do love this thing.
Instant Pot Pros
Anyone can cook like a pro with this device. Once you get over the initial intimidation factor, it’s really easy to use. With all of the recipes out there, you can rest assured that you’ll be able to turn out some delicious meals no matter what your cooking experience.
It’s really, really handy for meal prep. You can batch cook in this baby all day long! Hard-boiled eggs and soups and rice are a breeze, and you can make large amounts in the IP, then meal prep for the week or freeze it for later. You can also do pastas, chicken…anything, really. Because it makes a lot and doesn’t take long for most recipes, you can get a lot done in a day. I also love it for “bowl” dishes, like this Mediterranean Chicken & Rice Bowl and Eggroll in a Bowl.
You can take it with you! I mean, I wouldn’t pack it in my suitcase or anything, but I would take it on an RV trip or a road trip to a vacation rental. Because it’s only one pot, cleanup is a breeze. Which is my next point…
Cleanup is a breeze. Everything gets cooked in the pot. While there are Instant Pot accesories and other tools you might use, you are mostly keeping everything contained to one, easy-to-clean stainless steel pot. There is usually less (sometimes a lot less) to clean up.
Hard-boiled eggs are easy peasy. I had to give hard-boiled eggs their own line here because they are just so simple to make in the IP.
It’s a “set it and forget it” kinda appliance. Remember the Ronco? Set it and forget it? (I had one, by the way, and it was awesome, even though it took up most of the counter space in our little condo at the time!). The IP is the same way. Once you get that lid on, you can walk away until it’s ready.
It really intensifies flavors. This is why I love it so much for soup. I feel like soup made in the IP has so much flavor!
Instant Pot Cons
It doesn’t make things crispy. For this reason, I don’t love it for all meat dishes. I like the browning baked chicken gets from the oven or skillet, for example. There is a crisping lid you can buy for it, called the Mealthy Crisplid. And I’ve seen new Instant Pots come out with crisping features. But I don’t use my current IP for anything crispy.
Cook times can be deceiving. Before I got the IP, I would see claims like, “frozen chicken cooks in just 20 minutes!” and “hard-boiled eggs in just four minutes!” And while those are technically true cook times, the pot has to come to pressure first, and then depending on the recipe, release pressure after. So that chicken might take 15 minutes to come to pressure, 20 minutes to cook, and then 10 minutes to release the pressure. Still quicker than thawing it overnight, but not quite frozen to cooked in 20 minutes, either.
I don’t love the slow cooker feature. Most Instant Pots also have a slow cooker feature, but I just don’t love it like I love the way my slow cooker cooks. I believe it’s because the IP pot has a smaller circumference, so the food doesn’t spread out and cook as evenly. So I won’t be getting rid of my Crock Pot anytime soon!
It’s heavy. It’s kind of awkward and heavy, but I don’t have the counter space to leave it out on the counter. Sometimes I feel like I am fighting with it as I try to pull it out of my cabinet!
The pieces can be hard to clean. I love how easy it is to clean the pot part. But there are also plastic rings, and a condensation collection device, and lots of ridges around the ring. You’ve got to remove and wash the ring between uses or it will start to stink (well, maybe not stink, but definitely smell). Also, you’ve got to remember to clean out that little condensation collector that’s on the back of the pot. That FOR SURE will stink if you forget it for long enough (don’t ask me how I know!).
Overall, if you can afford it, have room, and like to meal prep, I think it’s a no-brainer. You’ll want one for sure! It’s also great for non-cooks because it’s pretty simple to figure out.
But if you don’t have the space or don’t think you would really use it, you’ll be just fine. 🙂
Let me know if you have any questions below!