My Review of Instant Pot – Why It Didn’t Work For Us

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A state of emergency

About this time a year ago, our Aroma rice cooker suddenly stopped working.

For others, it might not me a big deal.

But for Mr. FAF and me who eat rice at least twice a day every day, it was declared an emergency.

It means we didn’t have rice for dinner that day.

Even if we ran to the store and got another rice cooker, it would take us another 1.5 – 2 hours to finish dinner.

Eating out was an option, but it would also require driving to the restaurant and waiting for the food.

I know it sounds like such a first-world problem.

We could have just bought a replacement from Target or Walmart that day.

But Mr. FAF insisted that he need to do more research to find a perfect rice cooker for us. Luckily, we had a smaller rice cooker we could use.

But it was too small, so we had to make two batches of rice for dinner.

And since the rice cooker was so old, a lot of the rice got stuck to the bottom and had to be soaked in water to be scrapped off the pot.

The perfect rice cooker

Mr. FAF did research for a day and announced that he would buy an Instant Pot on Amazon since it had more than 30,000 positive ratings and the instant pot was multi-functional.

The pot combines 7 kitchen appliances in 1 to save space, including: pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, saute, yogurt maker, and warmer.

Mr. FAF’s long coveted instant pot

We bought the 6 QT model for $79. I didn’t care so much about the price. I too wanted a quality rice cooker so that we wouldn’t have to be in such an awkward situation every few months or so.

But I also believed that having an appliance that serves one main purpose of cooking rice has always worked well for us. I wanted another $40 Aroma rice cooker. The previous one lasted for 3 years. After all, my dad even invested in a $150 Japanese rice cooker just to cook rice.

But Mr. FAF was so adamant I gave in. I had heard people raving about that instant pot for a while, so I was also curious how good it was.


After two days of waiting, the instant pot finally arrived with a recipe book and accessories.It took us a while to figure out how to use it. The pot looked fancy and multi-functional with a lot of buttons.

One thing I noticed right away was that the lid was a bit heavier than I’d like. For a regular rice cooker, the lid is attached to the pot. But for the instant pot, I had to find a place to put the heavy lid. The rice turned out ok, but some of it got stuck to the bottom, making it harder to wash the pot.

Overall, I wasn’t too impressed with the pot and asked Mr. FAF to return it. Mr. FAF, of course, wasn’t thrilled with the request and insisted we use it to cook soup.

We love pork bone soup and usually use a regular pot to boil the bones for 2-3 hours. However, the soup didn’t really taste like what we’d like. Mr. FAF finally gave up on the instant pot. It ended up sitting in the kitchen for 7 months until one day.

I was decluttering the kitchen and decided it was time for the instant pot to go. However, we kept it for so long, so it was no longer returnable to Amazon.

Instead, I went on some local Facebook Yard Sales groups I was already part of and advertised the instant pot for $40. I didn’t expect anyone to respond right away, but an hour later, someone wanted to buy the pot that very afternoon.

I was just so excited I could finally claim back some space in the kitchen and got $40 back for the pot. Mr. FAF was also relieved that we could sell it for some cash.


The next item on Mr. FAF’s wish list is an air fryer. I have to admit that at one point, I was obsessed with the air flyer and the health benefits it offers.

I love french fries, buffalo wings, and fried chicken. It would be so nice to not have to stand in the kitchen frying food in so much oil and having all the smell stuck to my clothes.

I actually bought an air fryer from Amazon and returned it due to buyer’s remorse. I didn’t even get to test it. This time, we are learning from our experience with the instant pot.

We won’t get anything too big or something that offers too many functions. I have to constantly remind Mr. FAF that being multi-functional is not always the best functionality.

I know a lot of people love the instant pot, and it works great for them. For Mr. FAF and me, maybe it’s our Asian diet that doesn’t call for an instant pot. Our regular rice cooker, woks, and pots work just as well.

What about you? Do you own an instant pot? Has it been working out great for you?


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20 thoughts on “My Review of Instant Pot – Why It Didn’t Work For Us”

  • LOL! I have an instant pot and an air fryer that have been sitting in the garage forever. I don’t like either of them. I do loan them out anytime a friend mentions that they are thinking about buying one so they can “test drive” them to see if they will actually get regular use. I should try listing on Next Door or something similar to see if I can sell them.

  • Aww…I am sad you did not like the instant pot. I absolutely love mine, you can do so many things with it and I find it so convenient. I even make desserts like cheesecake. I find the air fryer absolutely useless though, it is just gathering dust in my house. I hate the taste and texture of anything made in it. If any of your friends have one, I suggest borrowing it for a day or two (or atleast asking them to give you a demo) before buying it.

    • Wow I had no idea the air fryer could change the texture of the food. I’ve only heard great things about it. Thanks for sharing, Pooja!

  • Ah kitchen appliances…90% goes unused. Although we got a $30 dollar air fryer deal and I LOVE LOVE mine. Lol it makes everything crispy without heating up the oven or toaster. I can’t imagine life without it.

    I chose an air fryer over an instant pot because instant pots are pricey. I saw the lowest price $66 deal at Costco yesterday and was tempted but we already have a rice cooker and slow cooker…and we’re happy with those for now. Maybe it’s something I’ll get into down the road but the $100 regular price was like…woahhhh honey that’s $$$.

    Lol I’ll wait until an instant pot that’s good/like new condition hit Goodwill for a fraction of the cost.

    • lol I also thought about Goodwill but couldn’t find any air fryer there. I’ll keep an eye out for deals and maybe will borrow one to try first!

  • But, but the instant pot is the best. I made hainan chicken, curry, rice, flan spaghetti etc. I’m still learning but dang that thing is amazing. I suspect you have not joined any instant pot fb groups. There is a Vietnamese IP fb group, they pho the heck out of it haha. Get it ? Oh, That’s also where I learn to make instant pot viet yogurt. Sooooo good.

    • Wow you make so many yummy dishes with the instant pot! No I’m not in any IP group, but your reference is hilarious lol

  • Ha! We still have the same cheap rice cooker we bought in college, on the order of 30 years ago. The only thing we’ve replaced is the power cord.
    I might be interested in the instapot if I didn’t already have a stovepot pressure cooker. I think pressure cooking works best for beans, lentils, and stews. I’ve tried using my pressure cooker for tendon and brisket, but my husband thinks it tastes better when you just let them simmer a few hours.

      • It’s just a small, lightweight Panasonic rice cooker with an aluminum insert. I think its longevity comes from it being so simple. It does one job, and keeps on doing it.

  • Ah fads. You should have checked my post on fads first –

    I soundly denounced the Instantpot as a fad. It’s a doer of many things, but a master of none. In other words, it’s *not* a good rice cooker.

    Personally I expect to find one in my local free groups soon. The people who fell for the fad and then never use it will eventually get rid of it…

    Beware the internet fads!

    • That’s a great reminder. Everyone is raving about the instant pot and the air fryer these days, and I just can’t ignore them @_@ I think you wrote a great post to remind people not to follow a fad and spend too much money!

  • We love our Insta-Pot. Use it numerous times a week. I especially like it for chicken breasts. I can cook the meat in under 20 minutes, then do what I want. Typically I shred for chicken tacos or for white chicken chili. I primarily use it for meat and have never tried rice in it. We have an air fryer as well, but rarely use it, unless the kids are home from college and get it out. We don’t fry many things to start with so this was a purchase we could have done without… The Insta-Pot and my slow cooker are life savers!

  • I highly recommend a Tatung rice cooker, the basic model. It’s not cheap, but it’s stainless steel. Rice won’t stick to the bottom and you don’t have to eat the nonstick material. I don’t trust those Teflon stuff. Watch for a sale at NewEgg and Amazon. 🙂

    • I have never heard of this brand before. If you swear by it, it must be really good! I will tell Mr. FAF about the brand. Thank you, Joe!

  • I love my instant pot and use it almost daily. It doesn’t make good rice but it makes delicious Congee and chicken pho. I make pork belly stew unit and beef stew. Pressure cooker recipes is a good website for Asian instant pot cooking.

  • Just wanted to share in case you didn’t know – rice CAN be cooked in a regular pot on a stove. In fact I can’t think of a simpler thing to cook. Here are the instructions in case your current rice cooker ever breaks and you can’t get a new one in time for the next meal:
    1) pour rice plus 2 times the volume of water in a pot
    2) turn on the stove
    3) when water starts boiling, reduce to simmer
    4) turn off when there is no more water left in a pot

    • I thought about continuing to cook rice on the stovetop when we were considering whether to get a rice cooker. But it only takes one batch of burnt rice to realize what makes a rice cooker essential is that it consistently makes perfect rice while you put together the rest of dinner.

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