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There are certain things in life that are true, steadfast, and can be relied upon. Good friends are hard to come by. Always drink strong coffee. When in doubt, choose option C. Once in a while a brand comes around that inspires that same confidence. You’ve got your Apple® people, living their iLife in their iHomes with their iDog or iCat and their iFamilies. Chipotle® can do no wrong to the hordes of hungry patrons that fill their bellies with their savoury burrito bowls and crispy tacos. And now, to hundreds of thousands of Americans, there is nothing that their Instant Pot® cannot do in the kitchen.
If you are reading this and are wondering what an Instant Pot is, you, my friend, were not one of the 215,000 people in the US that purchased an Instant Pot on the last Amazon Prime Day.
In fact, the Instant Pot was the highest selling item for Amazon Prime Day, beating out, well, everything else in every other category on Amazon and we can only imagine what sales of it will be like on Black Friday!
An Instant Pot is, quite simply, an electric pressure cooker. If you are like me, you grew up with memories of a loud, scary, and menacing looking device used on the stove top. Those whistles always made me jump, and while I actually own two stove-top pressure cookers of my own, they sat in their packages accumulating dust for about six and a half years while I worked up the courage to try one out. I eventually did open up the smaller one and washed all the parts. It then sat on my counter for two weeks until I went and ordered the Instant Pot. And let me tell you, the Instant Pot was wonderful! No loud whistles and definitely no fear of blowing up the house accidentally!
Like any good Millennial, soon after I bought my Instant Pot, I went searching the Internet for recipes I could try out in my new toy. I ended up joining a host of Facebook groups dedicated to the pursuit of all things Instant Pot and I quickly realized that there were a lot of people out there that took their love of their Instant Pot way more seriously than I did. For starters, the IP, as the groups abbreviate it, has a whole host of jargon attached to it – QR, NPR, and HP are some of the most common ones.
The IP abbreviations I could live with, but to all the IP addicts out there, there are a few things that need to be cleared up…
Dear IP Addict,
I should start by telling you that I love your enthusiasm for the Instant Pot. It’s great. Infectious, really. Not infectious like an open sore, but more infectious like a really well organized cult that loves food.
I’m not even concerned about the fact that you openly admit to owning multiple Instant Pots and also take photos of said instant pots cooking away, side by side, and the only way I’m able to differentiate the pictures is by comparing the number of cats or kids in the shots. (Also, is there a correct IP:cat ratio that I missed in the manual?) I am, however, a little jealous that your house allows you to run three instant pots at the same time, since I’m pretty sure if I had three going at once and someone so much as rang the doorbell, we would blow every circuit in a two block radius.
I’m also not concerned with the fact that you travel to all locations, near and far with your IP. Camping, glamping, boating, beaches, and even resorts, it seems like you guys have no hang ups porting that baby around with you wherever you go, and apparently the airlines even let you bring it in your carry-on luggage! Personally I have enough trouble finding space for my clothes and shoes, so I can’t imagine trying to squeeze in an appliance the size of the IP!
My concern, dear IP Addicts, is that you seem to have forgotten you have a perfectly good kitchen, with (presumably) a working stove, pots and pans, and maybe even a kettle. You, like Tom Dickson of Blendtec and Will It Blend? fame, seem to be playing a game of Can It Be Pressure Cooked? While the answer is technically yes, you really shouldn’t need to try.
Some things that CAN be pressure cooked but really don’t need to be, include:
- Chai tea. Yes, you can do it, but what is the point? Is it faster? When you include the time for the IP to build pressure, make the tea, and the pressure release, definitely not. Is it convenient? No, instead of one pot, you now have a very large pot, a lid, a seal, a gasket, and a knob.
- Boiled eggs. They take 15 minutes in the Instant Pot. And buttons, timing, pressure, blah, blah, blah…since when do boiled eggs take this much work?
- Steamed vegetables. Please stop posting pictures of steamed potatoes or broccoli or steamed anything and expect me to be impressed. You’re missing the point of the pressure cooker.
- I’m not Italian, but if I were, I would imagine I would be stuck between cry-laughing and ugly crying.
My favourite thing about you IP Addicts is that you have a steadfast belief that the IP can do it all. From your misreported timings on recipes (no, the recipe doesn’t take a grand total of 2 minutes – that’s just how long the food cooked for not including time to build pressure or time to release pressure let alone time to prep!) to your naiveté as witnessed in questions about what your pressure cooker might possibly be able to do (“How do you get your Instant Pot to knead dough for you?”), you guys are a sincere bunch.
While I definitely don’t see the IP the way you see the IP, I do enjoy reading all you have to post about it. So keep posting and keep loving your Instant Pot, and I’ll keep chuckling as I continue to (*gasp*) bake my cakes in the oven, not the IP.
Take care, my dear Potheads.