“What do you mean you don’t have an InsaPot?!?”
I have been asked this question, oh, about five dozen times over the last couple of months. I apparently have missed a major cultural milestone: The arrival of a kitchen appliance that promises to revolutionize cooking. I haven’t seen anything like it since the mass hysteria around those bread-making machines back in the 90s. I can’t help but wonder why people love Instant Pot so much.
What Exactly Even Is an InstaPot?
For the uninitiated, the Instant Pot is a multipurpose electric cooker that packs the acts of sautéing, steaming, yogurt-making, rice-cooking, slow-cooking and pressure-cooking into one $99 gizmo that has over 20,000 ecstatic reviews on Amazon. Look for an Instant Pot cookbook on Amazon, and you’ll get over 3,000 results. This is a full-fledged cultural phenomenon.
Created by Robert Wang, who has a doctorate in computer science, the Instant Pot has foodies gushing. My friend Cheryl insists the Orange Chicken she makes in it is better than takeout. A coworker says the Maple-Smoked Brisket she made in hers is “restaurant-level…like, really, really good restaurant-level.” And the appliance has a rabid cult of acolytes who use it to make cheesecake. Are you ready to risk becoming obsessed with a kitchen gadget? Don’t say we didn’t warn you.