Black Friday has passed, but the ever-popular Instant Pot is still at the lowest price we’ve seen it yet. The internet-viral do-it-all pressure cooker has been discounted to $49.99 at Amazon, Walmart, and Target.
So is this perennially hyped gadget worth it? As someone who finally caved in last Black Friday to the original 6-quart, the answer is a solid yes, especially if you have the counter or storage space to keep this mealtime weapon in your reserves.
It’s not perfect: Even the 6-quart model is quite bulky, the rubber sealing ring on the lid holds onto smells for probably eternity despite multiple cleaning efforts and hacks, and the scary “burn” message pops up often enough to make you doubt everything.
But it is convenient: My household has enjoyed delicious Instant Pot beans, soups, stews, meaty entrées, and more, relying just on the pressure cooking, slow cooking, and sauté functions (it’s also supposed to be a steamer, yogurt maker, and warmer.) The best part is that the food tends to last several meals.
While the actual total time involved in getting from prep to eating can be longer than claimed in Instant Pot recipes (it takes a while for the pot to build up enough pressure to begin cooking and to naturally release pressure after it’s done), the one-pot, set-it-and-forget-it magic of the Instant Pot is not exaggerated. It’s a powerful kitchen solution.