Pop Culture

People Are Apparently Terrified of Their Instant Pots

Image Credit: Joe Lingeman

We're not even two months into this year and I've already had at least a dozen conversations that started with someone casually mentioning what they'd last made in their Instant Pot. Really, Karen? You "branched out" into beef stew? HOW BRAVE YOU ARE.

But, according to the Wall Street Journal, those of us who have actually gathered the strength to unbox our Instant Pots are the brave ones — at least compared to the terrified people who were profiled in a recent piece. "You read the manual and get so intimidated," a Florida woman named Tina Shelley confessed to the news outlet. (I actually paused here to look at the instruction manual that came with my Instant Pot. The actual instructions for my 6-quart model fill around 18 pages, and each page is filled with a not-overwhelming combination of simple illustrations or pretty straightforward explanations. Tina has clearly never seen the directions for an IKEA shelving unit.)

She isn't alone. The Journal piece profiled a woman who returned her first Instant Pot ("so many buttons") and then reluctantly bought another one — and even then it took her another several calendar pages before she took it out of the box. Two others shared their stories of showering their respective kitchens with spaghetti sauce and soup. And poor Tina admitted that she keeps hers outside as "insurance" ... but against what? Loud beeps? Homemade yogurt? Because she's terrified that if she accidentally presses the "cake" button, her home will be buried under two tons of buttercream frosting?

My sister could very easily have been featured in the same article. Despite being a level-headed, analytical nurse practitioner, when it comes to the Instant Pot, I have legit seen her press the manual start button and then sprint to the other side of the kitchen. She looks less like she's trying to make chicken fajitas and more like she's just cut the wrong wire on a ticking bundle of explosives.

"Newbies get more confident — they might have been making eggs, and the next thing you know they make a lava cake," Anna Di Meglio, Instant Pot's marketing manager, told the Journal. "Then those newbies will be helping the next group that comes."

Assuming that the next group will take their Instant Pots out of the box.