What is an Instant Pot?

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The kids are off to school and mom is having her friends over for a Pot party. In her kitchen. It’s BYOP (Bring Your Own Pot) but everybody is cool with that.

The family is getting into their SUV to head off for vacation when mom calls out to dad, “Honey, did you remember to pack the Pot?”

That nice retired couple in the neighborhood enjoys their Pot so much at home that they got one for their RV so they can take their Pot on the road.

Couples are getting together for an evening of drinks and laughs. And Instant Pot. BYOP.

What the what?! You may not be aware of it but these types of scenarios are playing out all over the place. Feel left out? Feel like you want to get in on it? Great! Get an Instant Pot!

What the heck is an Instant Pot? Never mind that over 1 million have been sold in the U.S. alone. Yet you’ve never heard of it. Let me clue you in. It’s an electric pressure cooker. Brand name: Instant Pot. Created by a Canadian company in 2009.

Since then, it has developed an almost cult-like following and has been selling like crazy. Mostly by word of mouth. Have you ever seen it advertised? I didn’t think so.

Social media is full of groups dedicated to the Instant Pot. They discuss recipes. They swap tips and tricks for using the Instant Pot. They celebrate successes. They lament failures. And sometimes they get into knock down drag out ‘debates’ over the best method to hard boil eggs.

So where can you get this magic Pot? Well, directly from Instant Pot online. Or Amazon. There are even reports of the Instant Pot having surfaced in Target and Walmart. It’s mainstream. Yet it isn’t.

Instant Pot isn’t just an electric pressure cooker. It is fast becoming THE coolest electric pressure cooker on the planet. The one to own. Pressure cooking has enjoyed a surge of popularity over the past few years. And if you want to be ‘with it’, you need to get it.

The Instant Pot Duo60 7-in-1 Multi-Functional Pressure Cooker seems to be the most popular and ‘in demand’ model. In addition to pressure cooking, it’s a slow cooker, a rice cooker, a steamer and warmer. It sautés and browns. And it makes yogurt! The yogurt function is the single most sought after feature in an Instant Pot. The Instant Pot Lux60 V3 model does not have a yogurt function. But it’s still a primo pot. If you don’t want to make yogurt, this could be the pot for you.

If you have a serious addiction to tech toys, gadgets, and gizmos (guilty as charged!), there is also a Bluetooth-enabled Instant Pot that allows you to control the pot and the cooking from your iPhone, your iPad, or your Android smartphone. Yes, there’s an app for that.

Once you have an Instant Pot, there’s no question that you need the paraphernalia. Pans that fit inside the pot. (Spring form? Push pans? Silicone? Stainless steel? Glass? All the pans???) Trivets for the pans to sit on. Silicone mitts to remove the pans from the Pot. And don’t forget supplies to make yogurt. A strainer. A thermometer. Jars. Check out the Users Lounge for specifics on what the Users are using in their Pots.

In addition to accessories, many Instant Pot aficionados adorn their pots with decals. Etsy stores are doing a brisk business in decals for Instant Pots. Users are also naming their Pots. Rosie (the robot maid from the Jetsons cartoon) is a popular choice.

If you’re going to hang with this crowd, you’ll need to learn what I call Instant Pot Speak, the unofficial language of the Instant Pot, and pressure cooking in general. Please do not make the mistake of calling it an InstaPot. The devotees will go off. Instant. It’s Instant. Call it an IP and you’re an insider. Know that QR means Quick Release of steam (pressure) from the pot. Know that NPR means Natural Pressure Release. (You do nothing and allow the pressure to release on its own.) Know that PIP means Pot In Pot. (You use a container inside of the pot to cook your food.) Know that 5-5-5 or 6-6-6 are just two of the many references to hard boiling eggs.

Bottom line: If you know all of these things, you, my friend, are a Pothead. Welcome to my world. Time for a Pot party.

Psst. Before you go, here’s a recipe for a Chicken and Rice Burrito Bowl to jump start your addiction. You’re welcome.

Pressure cooking is fast, easy, and fun! Please share!

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