Can you believe some people still have their Instant Pot in the box? 

Here’s how to take the plunge and use that Instant Pot for the first time! 

Picture this: a happy family is given the gift of an Instant Pot by a well-meaning friend or relative, but for whatever reason the shiny new cooker never quite made it out of the packaging. And there it sits, still cramped up in its box, waiting to be loved. 

It’s a sad story. But it could be the story of someone you know! Could it even be yours? 

Why wouldn’t you use it?

Pretty much everyone who tries an Instant Pot gets hooked. Immediately. They realize what an amazing helper it is in the kitchen, and discover the myriad things you can do with it. 

So what’s stopping people from trying it that first time? 

We’ve got some theories about that! Let’s take a look at some possible reasons why you wouldn’t try out your new cooker, and debunk the myths. 

Reason #1: I don’t want to become one of these crazy Instant Pot addicts

Ok, we get itfrom an outsider’s perspective, hearing about the whole Instant Pot experience can sometimes feel a little bit like hearing about a cult. Get these “Instant Pot-Heads” started and they won’t stop! They’ll go on and on at dinner parties, raving about how they cooked an entire juicy chicken from frozen or made the most scrumptious fall-off-the-bone ribs in under an hour. The sort of passion the Instant Pot often engenders can be… strange… intimidating, even. 

That’s fair! 

But this passion only exists because the Instant Pot truly is a game changer. That’s why there are literally millions of fans raving about it on our Facebook communityOnce you get it on your counter, you’ll find you may never want to put it away. It’s that useful.  

And yes, we could agree to try not to be so vehemently enthusiastic about it in public..but let’s be honest, it wouldn’t last. Wreally like our Instant Pots! 

Reason #2: I don’t know how to use it

This is a totally valid reason to be hesitant. But it’s not a reason to never try!  

Everything is new and strange the first time, but we promise, in no time you’ll be an expert in how it all works, and using the Instant Pot every day to make things you never thought possible. 

Learning how is easy. The Initial Test Run (or, the ‘Water Test’) is a great place to start! The Water Test is an easy hands-on learning experience, leading you through all the same motions you’ll go through when cooking your amazing meals. Plus you get to learn about the 3 stages of pressure cooking, different venting methods, and what to look for to make sure your cooker is working the way it should.  

There’s also a whole playlist of videos on the official Instant Pot YouTube page devoted to helping you get to know your Instant Pot and learn how to use it for the first timeplus scads of recipe videos and other stuff too! 

Reason #3: Isn’t pressure cooking dangerous?

This is a pretty common concern, based on the old stove-top pressure cookers. We, too, remember the days of yore when our mothers and grandmothers wouldn’t let the kids into the kitchen because they were pressure cooking a stew. One of our staff members recalls an explosion that covered her mother’s ceiling and cabinets in tomato sauce—not exactly a warm, fuzzy memory!  

But, what we at Instant Pot would really like to get across is: this ain’t your grandma’s pressure cookerThe Instant Pot is a modern electric pressure cooker that has been granted UL & ULC certification, with up to 13 separate safety mechanisms built in to protect you, your family, and your cooker from damage. 

Reason #4I cook just fine without it, thank you very much

Of course you do! People also cooked just fine before electricity or blenders or food processors or microwave ovens or any number of things you probably have in your kitchen and wouldn’t consider living without.  

Just like the appliances mentioned above, the reason why people are so infatuated with the Instant Pot is that it truly does represent a leap forward in cooking technology, on a scale that hasn’t been seen in decades. Revamping pressure cooking to work with microprocessors had created a whole new way of cooking that is fast, convenient, safe, healthy, easy, and environmentally responsible. And it’s fun! 

Sure, you don’t need to use it. But if the idea of being able to put your ingredients together, set the cooker, then walk away until it’s done a few minutes later appeals to you, you should consider trying it out and seeing just what all the fuss is about. 

Reason #5I can’t be bothered opening the box

Ok, you’re lazy. We get it. In fact, we embrace it. Perhaps for the first time in history, being lazy is a good thing! 

Lazy people, they say, find the best, most effective shortcuts, and the Instant Pot is the best shortcut ever for lazy people. A lot of the food you can make in it is way easier than ordering delivery, not to mention less expensive, and you’ll be eating it way quicker! 

The true beauty of the Instant Pot is not that it’s fast (although it is!). It’s not that it makes healthier food that tastes better (which it does!). It’s not even that it’s fun to use (which it is!). The most beautiful thing about the Instant Pot is that you can “set it and forget it.” Put your ingredients in, set the controls, and walk away until it’s done. 

No watching. No stirring. No spilling. No boiling over. No burning. Very little effort. 

Lazy people, rejoicey’know, if you feel like it. 

Reason #6I don’t know what to cook in it

Wow, you’re really searching for excuses now. Are you aware that Instant Pot has over a thousand recipes on our website, and that there are thousands and thousands and thousands more available online?  

If you like yogurt, making yogurt in your Instant Pot will pay for itself in under a year. 

If you like a nice hot cereal for breakfast, steel cut oats in the Instant Pot will make you wish it was morning all day. 

If you enjoy a nice dessert, Instant Pot cheesecake will make you the happiest person you know. 

If you like rice, perfect rice every time in your Instant Pot will make the cooker your new best friend. 

Not interested in yogurt, oatmeal, cheesecake or rice? Fine. 

Pick your favorite food. Open a new tab and type your favorite food into a search engine. Add the words “Instant Pot” and hit search. Go on, do it. We’ll wait. 

We’re gonna bet you got back thousands, if not millions of links for ways to make your favorite meal in the Instant Pot. 

Can you really not think of anything to cook in it? 

Beginner help for using that Instant Pot for the first time

If you’ve got kids, here’s something you’ve probably heard yourself say to them more than once: “All you have to do it try it, you never know, you might like it!” 

Open the box, get it out, and follow the instructions for doing the Water TestYou’ll be confident with the knowledge that your cooker is working properly, and it helps you get used to the sights, sounds, and feel of the Instant Pot.

Once you’re comfy, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and start cooking! Based on experience, here are some of our suggestions for dishes you might want to try first. Not only are they simple, use common ingredients, and help you get to know your way around the Instant Pot, they also taste great! 

Instant pot recipes Mac and cheese

Instant pot recipes colo marinated ribs
Instant pot recipes hard boiled eggs
Instant pot recipes honey bourbon chicken
Instant pot recipes zuppa toscana
Instant pot recipes whole roast chicken and gravy

To get recipes and tips for using the Instant Pot delivered to your inbox every week, sign up for Instant Pot’s The Dish newsletter. 

And if you’re ever stuck with something, we strongly encourage you to join the Instant Pot Community on FacebookYou’ll find millions of die-hard users who like nothing more than to share their passion for cooking and helping out a fellow foodie in need. 

Enjoy using your not-new-but-new-to-you Instant Pot.

We know you’re going to love it. 

11 replies
  1. K Thompson
    K Thompson says:

    I must be doing some thing wrong can’t get the slow cooking part to work right, there no high or low setting. Then my rice doesn’t turn out right either. For everything else and pressure cooking it’s bomb!

    Reply
  2. Carla B
    Carla B says:

    I, too, had some reservations after I bought a 6qt InstaPot; it seemed to take forever to do all the prep then the wait times threw me off. I was frustrated and wasn’t sure how to “just get over it”. Then a friend mentioned she used her InstaPot several times a week and it came to me: I hosted an InstaPot Party; the only request was that everyone bring all ingredients prepped and their (various sized InstaPots). I asked the “expert” to assign each of us a recipe (we did lasagna, Tuscan Chicken and a pot roast). She emailed each of us the recipe and we gathered in my kitchen, all pots plugged in and we just started with our expert explaining each step. We were all amazed at the results and we had a lovely meal, trying all the dishes. We even had one friend bring dessert as she had no InstaPot but wanted to consider a purchase! Another on-the-fence friend brought bread. It turns out that the prep seemed to be the hurdle once we understood the warming-up times, etc. Now, I prep everything for dinner early in the day and then just calculate the warm-up times, venting times, etc, and go for it!

    Reply
  3. Robert
    Robert says:

    Inn an effort to conquer this device I watched the water test. It is not possible to see what buttons to press as the person’s obscure the buttons. There is no voice over too help Consistent with previous comments

    Reply
    • Bj Honkamp
      Bj Honkamp says:

      depends on whether you like to cook. if you work 6 to 6 get an instant pot. that way when you come home you’ll have a hot dinner and then you can crash & burn! no dishes to speak of and if your daring enough, eat off a paper plate! anyway, i’m not a great cook, however, with instant pot i’m a super cook. only takes 6 or 7 minutes to do rice, 20 minutes to do a complete beef stew dinner that you would spend all day cooking. in short, try it, you’ll like it.
      bj

      Reply
      • Diane
        Diane says:

        Just bought one finally. I’m not a great cook. Have chronic fatigue and no energy to cook so hoping this is gonna help. Thanks for your post. It’s encouraging.

        Reply
        • Instant Pot
          Instant Pot says:

          Hi Diane,

          We have lots of resources on our site to help you learn how to use your Instant Pot Multi-Use Pressure Cooker.

          Check out all of our videos and recipes available.

          If you ever need assistance our Customer Care Team would love to help.

          Reply
  4. Tam
    Tam says:

    This article is for me. I’ve had my IP for 2 years and never used it for a couple of the reasons listed above! I’m going to use it soon.

    Reply

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