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I’m unboxing my Instant Pot today and I still have so many questions

Addie Broyles

I finally ordered an Instant Pot.

I’m only about two years behind the Instant Pot trend — which officially began, IMHO, in July 2016 when Instant Pot sold 200,000-plus units on Amazon Prime day — but I figured there’s no better time to start learning how to cook with it during the summer, when no one wants to turn on their oven.

With dreams of 15-minute chicken noodle soup and 40-minute from scratch hummus, I ordered the bestselling multi-cooker last week, but I’ve kept it in the box so I could unbox it in my weekly livestream on the Austin360 Facebook page. I also got a box of accessories, which I’ll also dig into on the video today at noon. (Go to to watch.)

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But as I’m warming up to the idea that I can cook everything from cakes to hard-cooked eggs in an electric device with far more buttons than I’m used to operating, I realized that I still have a lot of questions.

Like, many, many questions, including:

  • Will the steam from the pressure cooker heat up my kitchen, thus defeating the purpose of not turning on my oven?
  • Which of t he approximately 12,000 Facebook groups should I join?
  • Are people going to judge me because I’m a total IP noob?
  • How many dishes am I going to have to make until I feel someone proficient on it?
  • Are my kids going to eat it? (That’s always a question not far from my mind.)
  • Am I really going to cook more beans if I can cook them faster?
  • What am I going to do with all of those beans?
  • What happens if I try to cook without an official Instant Pot recipe?
  • What if all these Instant Pot cookbook recipes don’t really look that appealing?
  • I feel overwhelmed by just how new this cooking device feels. Is that normal?
  • Lastly, do readers really care?

As I’ve been marking my 10th food writer anniversary, I’ve been thinking more about more about the kinds of food stories that readers want to read, which stories they want to click on, which recipes they cut out and actually use. Enough people have talked to me about their love of the Instant Pot to make me realize that this isn’t a flash-in-the-pan trend, but it still feels somewhat niche, especially when you’re trying to write for many different demographics of cooks, some who have all the time and energy and money to make fancy food and others who are budgeting all of those things and prefer more simple meals.

I’ll be trying to cook the spectrum of those foods in the Instant Pot this summer, and I hope you have fun following along with me. If you have tips, recipes, suggestions, feedback, please send them to or leave a comment online. You can also join me in the livestream today to ask your own questions or satisfy your own curiosity about this newfangled appliance that has taken the food world by storm.