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Is This Appliance About to Change the Way We Cook?

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Pressure cookers have been slow to catch on in the U.S. (which is perhaps because many of us are still under the impression that they'll blow the house down and, as Rob Mifsud wrote for Slate, they can't win a convenience competition against a microwave).

But is that set to change with the skyrocketing popularity of the Instant Pot, an appliance that—when you consider the price and the functionality and buy into all the hype—is almost hard to resist?

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The Canadian-designed electric pressure cooker—that also acts as a steamer, warmer, slow-cooker, sautéer, yogurt maker, and magic carpet—was the best-selling item in the U.S. on Amazon's July 12 Prime Day. Prime members around the world purchased over 215,000 Instant Pots—and Amazon surely sold thousands more in post-Thanksgiving sales, when the six-quart model retailed for just under $70.

Think of how many homes have welcomed a pressure cooker into their kitchen in the past year! Maybe you have?

And purchasing an Instant Pot doesn't seem to have been a bad decision in the least. In July, The Sweethome, which publishes lists of the best home goods after thorough testing, called the $99 six-quart Instant Pot IP-DUO60 the best electric pressure cooker on the market: "If you were one of the 215,000 people who bought an Instant Pot on Amazon’s Prime Day, you may be wondering if you made the right choice. You did!" The Kitchn has also wholeheartedly endorsed the Instant Pot, as has Bon Appétit.

And once you've read the reviews, convinced yourself you need one, and taken the plunge, you can join the The Instant Pot Community, a 300,000-member Facebook group in which people post questions, recipes, tips, and the occasional baby photo.

If you're a proud owner of an Instant Pot, we'd love to know...

  • What do you use it for? What are its greatest strengths?
  • Has it disappointed you in any way?
  • What do you learn about an Instant Pot only from experimenting with it (rather than just reading about it)?
  • Has it replaced any other appliances?

And if you haven't purchased an Instant Pot, do you want one? Leave your responses in the comments!