Is The Instant Pot Worth the Hype?

Mealthy MultiPot

In a word… yes! I’ve been using mine so much lately that I don’t even bother putting it away which is the most un-like me thing ever. Whenever I post a recipe or thought about it, people either react with a story about how much they love theirs or ask if it’s worth the hype. Here is my review of the hottest kitchen gadget on the block right now, even though I’m about a year late to the game!

What is an Instant Pot:
Like Crock Pot, Instant Pot is actually a brand name. I didn’t realize that until I started doing some research for this post. But there are multiple brands that make this contraption which I think is technically called a multi-cooker.

I have the Mealthy MultiPot ($99.95) so I can’t speak to any of the others from personal experience but it looks like they’re all pretty similar. All of these multi-cookers have multiple cooking functions including:

Slow cooker
Pressure cooker
Sautée pan
Yogurt maker (yes, seriously)
Rice cooker (so convenient!)

I mean, what doesn’t this thing do? You can make breakfasts, quick dinners, desserts, rice, pasta, and seemingly everything in between. Plus you can even cook meat without thawing it. Literally a busy person’s dream! I also just realized that you can make banana bread and other baked goods in it. I haven’t tried that yet but mind blown over here.

I personally love it because I can make many of my favorite slow cooker recipes (or something similar) more quickly. The pressure cooker function cooks meat and other foods shockingly fast.

I got mine last year but have only really started to play with it seriously this fall so stay tuned for more as I discover all that it can do. I will give you the caveat that all pressure-cooked recipes are not created equal, and some have been total failures so I suggest using recipes from sites you know and trust as opposed to just googling random ones. It’s easy to mess up the flavor and texture and I’ve found that many of the recipes I’ve tried have been way over-salted. Like this one, which I ended up tweaking and now it’s an easy go-to for weeknight dinners.

Do I still need a slow cooker?
Honestly? In my opinion, no but you do you. Because my MultiPot has a slow cooker setting, I’ve just been using it instead of my big crock pot which took up a lot more counter space. If you’re registering for your wedding or looking for kitchen-y to put on your holiday wish list, I recommend the MultiPot over a slow cooker because it’s so versatile. And that rice maker function is underrated! If you’re like us and make a batch of brown rice every week, it will make your life 1000x easier.

Is the MultiPot really instant?
Although the pressure cooker function is faster than a slow cooker, it does take longer than you might expect which I learned the hard way when I was in a rush the first time I tried it. If a recipe calls for 12 minutes of pressure cooking, expect it to take 10 minutes to heat up, 12 minutes to cook, then 5-10 minutes to release. Be sure to include that cooking time in your plans.

How do I use my MultiPot?
I highly recommend reading the instruction manual because the first time I used it as a pressure cooker I was heavily sweating and convinced I was about to blow up my entire house. Spoiler alert: I didn’t and have since read the manual cover to cover and feel much better about my pressure cooking abilities. After much Googling, I’ve also learned that it’s totally safe, even though it sounds scary when the pressure is releasing.

For most of the functions, it’s pretty cut and dry. Press a button and go for it. But for pressure cooking, it requires a little more knowledge. When you pressure cook your food, it cooks quickly but the pressure has to release in one way or another.

How do I release pressure in my Instant Pot?
There are two ways to release pressure after using the pressure cooker function on your Instant Pot.

Natural Release: For a natural release, you don’t have to do anything and the pressure releases slowly on it’s own.

Quick Release: This is the scary sounding release because you turn the knob on top from “sealing” to “venting” (do this carefully with a towel on your finger and move away quickly because the steam that comes out is hot) and in a matter of minutes, the pressure is released from the pot and the lid unlocks.

I prefer a mixture of both. I’ll let my MultiPot do a natural release for about 10 minutes then I turn the knob to “venting” and it releases what’s left. I’m sure there are nuances to how this affects your recipes but I’m not that advanced yet!

MultiPot Recipes: Pressure Cooker
Honey Terriyaki Chicken Bowls
Bon Appetit Dal
Polenta Cacio e Pepe
General Tso’s Chicken

MultiPot Recipess: Slow Cooker
Detox Lentil Soup
Chicken Taco Bowls
Turkey Chili
Eva’s Meatballs (This is the third time I’m mentioning them in one week. They’re that good)
Gluten Free Granola
Slow Cooker Applesauce

Is the MultiPot easy to clean?
So easy. The inner metal pot comes out and you can pop it right into the dishwasher. Mine is small enough that it isn’t a huge ordeal to wash by hand or fit with my other dishes.

My overall review is that I love the Mealthy MultiPot so much, and it has quickly become the most used piece of equipment in my kitchen. It helps take the stress out of delicious last minute dinners, and has taken me out of my comfort zone as I test and discover new recipes. Like I said, they haven’t all been a hit, but I’m still learning what works and what doesn’t!

Do some research into which brand to get because I know people also speak very highly of the Instant Pot Duo which is about the same price and looks pretty identical to me. I found this article that compares the two if you really want to do your research.

Tell me, do you have an Instant Pot or MultiPot? If so, what are your favorite recipes to make in it?

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  1. Maddie said:

    Thanks for this review! I’ve been on the fence about whether to get one of these!

    10.17.18 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      I highly recommend it! It’s a good thing to ask for for Christmas or the holidays too.

      10.17.18 · Reply
  2. Sandra said:

    I have the Instant Pot and learned the hard way that the slow cooker functionality is just meh. I had several slow cooker recipes that I had used for years in my slow cooker and when I tried them in the Instant Pot, they didn’t cook — i.e., not just did not cook right, they literally were still raw hours after cooking on the slow cook setting (even a day later, the recipe still had not cooked all the way through!). I have heard from multiple others that they have also had this experience so I am curious about yours with the Instant Pot slow cooking setting. Were these slow cooker recipes that you used in the Instant Pot after previously making in a slow cooker? If so, did you have to make any adaptions? Or were you using Instant Pot slow cooker recipes that may have already undergone some adaptations?

    10.17.18 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      That’s so funny. I’ve been using it instead of my regular slow cooker for all of my usual recipes and haven’t had that issue at all. Maybe the MultiPot is different from the InstantPot in that regard? I’m not sure! I would definitely call the company, maybe the one you have is defective because raw meat after hours of cooking makes no sense!

      10.17.18 · Reply
      • Sandra said:

        I am wondering if the comment clarifying your model is not the Instant Pot (which is what I own) has something to do with it. I’ve tried numerous things, followed their directions to a t (re: venting) and they even sent me a new one, all with the same, uncooked result. However, I do know numerous other people have Gad similar issues with the Instant Pot slow cooked functionality so I now realize it’s not me. Just wasn’t sure if you had found a unique unlock but I guess not…

        10.17.18 · Reply
        • Julia said:

          Such a bummer, I’m so sorry! Maybe it is brand specific. Good luck though! I hope you figure it out because it’s so nice to not have to have both the slow cooker and the Instant Pot.

          10.17.18 · Reply
    • Amy said:

      You do have to keep the vent open and adjust the temperature when you use the slow cooker mode. I’ve used my instant pot for many slow cooker recipes and never had a problem, so I would definitely call customer service about that.

      10.17.18 · Reply
  3. Barbara said:

    Not a recipe, but we love to hard boil eggs in the morning using the Instant Pot. They come out perfectly cooked! We also make steel cut oats in the morning, setting it the night before.

    10.17.18 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Whattttt??? Ok I have to try that. Any tricks?

      10.17.18 · Reply
      • Kristie W. said:

        We do 5 minutes on high, 5 minute natural release, and 5 or so minutes in an ice bath

        10.19.18 · Reply
  4. Liz said:

    I don’t have an instant pot, but I did make Eva’s meatballs in the slow cooker after you first posted about them and I am OBSESSED. They are amazing, and definitely worth mentioning 3 times in one week 😉

    10.17.18 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Yas! So glad you tried them. I literally have made them twice in a week now. They’re also magical because Amalia eats them and Anel and I love them too.

      10.17.18 · Reply
  5. Jasmine said:

    Hi! Thanks for the review. I have an actual Instant Pot and love it!

    However, the Instant Pot is a trademarked brand name of product – the original and super famous multi-cooker. You should edit your post to not use the brand name interchangeably when referring to the Mealthy Multi-Pot (which on their site never refer to as an Instant Pot). They are not the same, and your post is entirely about your experience with the Mealthy Multi-Pot. This is especially crucial if you got this for free or in any way sponsored.

    10.17.18 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Ok fair enough!! Going through and updating it now. I had no idea that it wasn’t the generic name until this morning… but good to know 🙂

      10.17.18 · Reply
  6. Meredith said:

    I’ve made everything from ribs to cheesecake in mine. I love it and the ribs were better than hours of bbq! Though the trick to going from savory to sweet is to have another sealing ring so your cheesecake doesn’t smell like meat… learned that the hard way. Going to make chicken and wild rice soup tomorrow, so easy and freezes well!

    10.17.18 · Reply
  7. Kristie W. said:

    We have a Crockpot Express and really like it, however I didn’t realize there was a warmup period #oops, so our first meal took longer than planned. Now we know better!

    Our favorites so far have been Honey Garlic Chicken and stuffed peppers.

    10.19.18 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Sounds like you skipped the manual like I did haha. But now that you know, isn’t it the best? Send over links to your recipes if you have them!

      10.21.18 · Reply
  8. hillary said:

    OMG the Instant Pot was a life-changer for me! I make bone broth every week to store for the week, and this makes it PERFECTLY every time. I also did a great coq au vin last week that was amazing. It also makes the perfect eggs (hard or soft boiled) in batches if that is your thing. Literally one of the most useful pieces of equipment in my kitchen!

    PS – I totally get you on it being the item that doesn’t get put away :/ between this and my air fryer (again, life changing), one of them is always “out” and in use!

    10.23.18 · Reply
  9. Trisha said:

    I literally laughed out loud when you said that you were heavily sweating and convinced you were going to blow up your house the first time you used your multi-cooker! I did the exact same thing because I’d only skimmed through the instruction manual, but have since read every single word in it… Twice! I have an Instant Pot multi-cooker, and several times have made the ‘Italian Post Roast’ recipe as well as the ‘Saucy Chipolte Barbecue Pork’ recipe in their ‘All-Time Best Recipes’ cookbook. Both are excellent dishes, but trust me as a south Louisiana-native, for the bbq pork recipe, unless you want your lips to burn and your nose to cry, for the love of Cajun spicy foods, do NOT use 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper if you’re using a spicy bbq sauce and a chipolte marinade as called for in this recipe! If you make this particular recipe, at the most, use only 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (thankfully, I already knew to do that), otherwise you’ll be reaching for a pitcher of water and a box of tissues instead of a glass of sweet tea and hand towels! 😉

    10.28.18 · Reply
  10. Denice Sanders said:

    I’ve had my Instant Pot for almost 9 months. I use it all of the time! My mother had a pressure cookie you used the stove top. That thing was scary. Ihadit blow out soup all over the kitchen ceiling se real times. What fun!

    Instant Pot has a much nicer disposition.

    9.5.20 · Reply