An Instant Pot Review: Pressure Cooking Magic+

An Instant Pot Review -…-cooking-magic/

I had a birthday not too long ago, I didn't NEED anything.   Well, at least that is what I thought, but now after using my Instant Pot DUO-60 7-in-1 for the last few weeks, I don't remember what life was like before my Instant Pot life.  I mean, I barely remember, it's like a bad dream; foggy, grey and fear inducing, always searching for something to eat.  I am so thankful Raj didn't listen to my homemade gift request, because pressure cooking has changed my life.  After working all day, I can get home and make a gourmet meal in less than an hour; using one pot.

*Contest is now closed.

I recently mentioned reading “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” and have been organizing my home room by room.  The last thing I wanted was another appliance cluttering up my kitchen. I was a little skeptical at first, but Raj sent me a link to Nom Nom Paleo, citing how much she loved her Instant Pot, and had kept it after also doing the KonMari method of organizing, (she refers to it as a “cult”.  I can get behind that).  I already have a minimal amount of counter space, no toaster (who eats bread?); and no microwave (for multiple reasons, put on your tinfoil hat, one day I might tell you about).  After some practice I can give away my slow-cooker and rice maker, this dream machine is a perfect fit for my new less-is-more, and “only what I love” life.

First I had some questions.  What does a pressure cooker do?  How does it work?  Because it's so hot will I lose all the nutrients while cooking my veggies?  I knew pressure cooking was like a steam room for my food, and that the pressure accumulated by trapping water vapor made it super charged, and other science-y stuff.  These are the basics: the trapped vapor increases the heat, shortening the cooking time, while the food retains moisture, and joy of joys, it's valuable nutrients.  You don't get the discoloration of those colored veggies like you would with regular boiling or even steaming.  It keeps your veggies with their true Technicolor hues; and along with the color, the nutrients.

There are still things I haven't had a chance to try in the Instant Pot (who has become a big enough part of my every day life to warrant a name.  Any suggestions?  It has to be powerful and sexy; maybe a womans' name since it is SO amazing at doing it all?).  Coconut yogurt is on my agenda, and the timer/slow cooker functions have still been unused; why wait when things could be ready now?  I find I need to do more eating just to try out all the recipes I want to.  Who wants to come for dinner??

Pressure cooking can be intimidating; when you think of the old days, a pressure cooking mishap would result in an entire kitchen covered with skin melting hot liquid.  There is no reason to be intimidated by the Instant Pot.  With safety features such as: a locking lid, pressure release handle, and a read out display.  You can now rest easy if your kids walk thru the kitchen while the pressure cooker does it's magic.  The Instant Pot keeps you informed and even sings you a little song when dinner is done!

How is the Instant Pot different from other electric pressure cookers?  Um… a InstantPot-IP-DUO 600x600good friend has another brand of electric
pressure cooker, but it doesn't have a yogurt function, and I like the handle on the steam release valve better on the IP.  Having never owned another electric pressure cooker I can't point out individual differences, but where the Instant Pot shines is with outstanding customer support.

Instant pot comes with an easy to use manual, but the Facebook group is second to none.  With more than 15,900 members (and growing); I have never been in an open Facebook group that is so positive and helpful!  As I scroll thru my news feed I am engaged by pictures of mouth-watering foods, and Instant Pot “hacks” or helpful tips.  It also reveals threads of people who may be having problems with IP.  From what I can tell: customer support, and standing behind a quality product are of the utmost importance to this Canadian company.  They have done a great job of moderating a sea of people, so that the support to answer questions world-wide, is just an SOS Facebook call away.  It makes you feel like you are part of a very loving and supportive family!

As my Instant Pot is pretty new, I haven't experienced any major problems yet.  I had a small problem with the pot not pressurizing, after a glance at the manual, it turned out to be an operator error.  After cleaning I hadn't seated the pressure release valve correctly in the lid; a quick adjust and we were back in business!  I have used the Instant Pot at least once per day, every day since my October birthday.  I have bought a second liner and back up seals because: every day use.  If I had a family I might have been able to justify another whole Instant Pot, but I'll have to just borrow Raj's for the multi course Instant Pot meals I have planned.

We have started a Pinterest board all about pressure cooking, not all the recipes are paleo, but they are on our radar to make them grain-, sugar-, and dairy-free!  Nom Nom Paleo has her 10 fave pressure cooking recipes here, and those are paleo!

We are  incredibly excited to offer a $50 discount for The Primal Desire tribe, and a give-away in time for New Years resolutions (enter at the bottom of the page)!

Discount on Instant Pot

I feel like this may be one of the best gifts I have ever received, and I'm really not sure I can match it for Raj's up coming birthday, he may have to settle for my un-dying appreciation.  THAT is the gift that keeps on giving (sorry Raj).  I find myself talking about my Instant Pot at parties, at work, to strangers at the grocery store.  I brag to my friends about 7 minute chicken breasts, and gourmet dinners in less than an hour.  It would take more time to get into my car and drive to pick up fast food than making something clean and nutritious at home!  If you are going to invest in just one kitchen appliance I would hands down suggest the Instant Pot DUO-60.  Enter to win, or don't wait, order one today, and then try out Raj's Pressure Cooker Butter Chicken recipe (complete with video of his first run with the Instant Pot).

Quick note from Raj:

My favorite quote from Holley about the Instant Pot so far is “This braised cabbage will only take 4 minutes in the Instant Pot, so…  I'm gonna have a nap!”

What function are you most excited about?  Post it in the comments below!  And don't forget to enter!


Check out Instant Pot on Facebook (and the Facebook Community mentioned above) and Twitter.  Instant Pot is “now available on both, and on with an in-store pick-up option”, but you can get the best price as mentioned earlier, using The Primal Desire's $50 off coupon code.
*Contest is open to legal residents of the continental US and Canada who are 18 or older.

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**Please note that Instant Pot provided us with a IP-DUO60 unit to do this review, but that all opinions provided above are our own – and that we were already members of the Instant Pot cult community prior to speaking with the company.  In our experience they truly are a one-in-a-million business and a pleasure to deal with.


WIN an Instant Pot DUO60 pressure cooker+
An Instant Pot Review: Pressure Cooking Magic+

About the Author:

Real food fan. My first love is baking, and it keeps me sane. I am new to the Paleo lifestyle, but already infatuated. Recovering sugar Junkie. Love awkward situations, drunk people and ridiculously high heeled shoes, especially when they coincide. Always looking for my next great story.


  1. Esther Cameron December 7, 2015 at 9:12 am - Reply

    OK, you’ve got me interested.
    What’s the difference between DUO & LUX?
    What extras did you buy? Are there extras you wish you had bought?
    I want one for me and one for my DIL.
    Thanks for the review.

    • Holley December 7, 2015 at 10:36 am

      Hi Esther. Best MIL ever!!! Do you have another son that is single?? 😉
      Great questions! The LUX has a single pressure setting, the DUO has high and low.
      The DUO has programmable keep warm function and a yogurt function. (The LUX has a keep warm function but no program option, and no yogurt)
      The LED readout on the DUO is 30% larger than the LUX
      The DUO has a lid fin holder on the base, a condensation collector and cord rack, the LUX does not.
      Finally the DUO has a double shield on the float valve and steam release vent, the LUX has a single shield.
      Not sure what the price difference might be? But with our promo code for $50 off I would go with the DUO.
      As for extras and accessories; I bought a couple extra seals, because you should have one on hand, and a second stainless liner. I used an existing saute pan lid that fit, and use my mason jars and corelle bakeware inside the IP on the trivet. I also had a small stainless colander I could use for steaming. But you can purchase all those extras direct. Let me know if you have any other questions! And don’t be shy to join and reach out in the Facebook group.

  2. ceecee December 7, 2015 at 8:04 pm - Reply

    The yogurt function sounds amazing.

    • Holley December 7, 2015 at 8:31 pm

      Yeah, I am excited to finally try it!

  3. Terry T December 9, 2015 at 3:02 am - Reply

    I love that you can sauté in the Instant Pot and not have to dirty another pan!

    • Raj December 9, 2015 at 11:55 am

      Oh yeah man, fewest dishes possible. When you have do do your own dishes, this is the only way to do it. I was definitely one of those eat-the-macaroni-and-cheese-strait-outta-the-pot kinda guys.

  4. Kamana December 9, 2015 at 2:35 pm - Reply

    Awesome post! As a bride -to-be I am learning a lot of new dishes and this pressure cooker sounds like a dream come true! I have always been scared to use a pressure cooker. The safety features – Especially the pressure release handle – make me confident that I can cook knowing that the only thing I have to fear is adding too much garam masala!

    • Raj December 10, 2015 at 1:38 pm

      Haha, awesome. Don’t be scared of the garam masala! (I assume that was a reference to the Pressure Cooker Butter Chicken recipe) If it’s a little unbalanced, just try adding a bit more of the other spices til you hit the “sweet spot” for your tongue’s preference.

  5. Dana December 11, 2015 at 9:49 am - Reply

    See, I’m one of those people who is absolutely terrified of pressure cookers. I always fear that it will blow up in my face (literally and theoretically). But this post definitely has me wondering if it’s a fear I could get over! Great review!

    • Holley December 11, 2015 at 2:49 pm

      I remeber being scared of the pressure canner on the stove, and we weren’t allowed in the kitchen, the Instant pot is so user friendly! And… 7 min chicken breast.

    • Holley December 11, 2015 at 2:50 pm

      The safety and support for the Instant Pot are amazing!

  6. Heidi @ Food Doodles December 11, 2015 at 11:59 am - Reply

    I might actually look into this. Your review is great and I cook a lot of brown rice, beans and things like that that take a loooooong time to cook. I can imagine this would save me lots of time!

    • Holley December 11, 2015 at 2:51 pm

      It sure would! I set a timer now so breakfast is ready when I get out of the shower, I honestly wouldn’t save any time eating out now!

  7. Sarah | (Cooking for) Kiwi & Bean December 11, 2015 at 1:45 pm - Reply

    I’ve been seeing this thing pop up EVERYWHERE lately! I was skeptical at first, but you might have convinced me! Love the idea of pressure cooking….but I’ve always been afraid of the explosion thing :-).

    • Holley December 11, 2015 at 2:53 pm

      They had a great sale a few weeks ago, so owning one (some people 2 or 3) became much easier on the pocket book. Seems like pressure cookers have a bad rep, lots of great safety features now!

  8. Isabelle @ Crumb December 11, 2015 at 3:18 pm - Reply

    OOoh. I’m intrigued. Very very intrigued.
    I’ve been debating getting into pressure cooking for a while now, since who doesn’t love the idea of making fall-off-the-bone short ribs in under an hour, and the only thing holding me back is all of those horror stories I’ve heard about exploding pressure cookers. I’m prone to disaster with regular cookware, let alone with the kind that has been known to blow up on me if I use them wrong!
    So an electric countertop version that I can program and not worry about? I think I’m already in love, and that was before you mentioned their great customer service and support community and that magical yogurt function. Keeping fingers crossed I’m the lucky winner (but if I’m not, I know what’s going on the top of my Christmas wishlist!)

    • Holley December 11, 2015 at 5:14 pm

      Absolutely! I am in love with this appliance. Good luck! But if you aren’t the lucky winner make sure you use the promo code! It’ll save you $50!

  9. Tammy December 12, 2015 at 1:16 pm - Reply

    I am so convinced I need this appliance to make my life a little bit easier

    • Holley December 12, 2015 at 8:52 pm

      I love mine! And I don’t have little ones to feed!

  10. Teresa December 21, 2015 at 8:47 pm - Reply

    My mother has an old school pressure cooker and used to cook in it all the time, but we always treated it as though it could explode any minute. This machine seems like it’s much more my speed. Quick and fear-free.

    • Raj December 21, 2015 at 9:45 pm

      I love that we all have that same image in our head!

  11. Lynda December 22, 2015 at 10:53 pm - Reply

    I have been researching the electric pressure cookers and found the IP to be far superior. I like the yogurt feature on the PHONE

  12. pzoslov December 24, 2015 at 6:49 am - Reply

    Absolutely love my IP for our plant-based lifestyle; would like to add a Duo to the family of life-changing appliances.

    • Raj December 24, 2015 at 7:42 am

      What model IP do you have currently?

  13. Aditi Bhatiya Verma December 25, 2015 at 6:45 pm - Reply

    This little gadget has made such a huge difference in how my toddler and I eat! I have had mine for about a year and have lost over 50lbs because I eat made from scratch, wholesome, nutritious meals that are made in the instant pot! Having another one would make life so much easier!

    • Raj December 25, 2015 at 7:07 pm


      All I want to say is: high five! And E-hug!

      Way to go! We are so passionate about people improve their health through better eating habits. Fantastic!

      And Merry Christmas!

    • Aditi Bhatiya Verma December 28, 2015 at 9:21 am

      Thank you! Just realized I’ve missed the giveaway 🙁 Waiting patiently for the next one!
      Happy 2016 to you and your family!!

    • Raj December 30, 2015 at 1:50 pm

      Ahhh… Yes, watch for the next one. Nothing lined up just yet, but we’ll be looking for something.

      Happy 2016 to you and yours! I have a feeling it’s gonna be a GREAT year!!!

  14. DebbieH February 22, 2017 at 9:58 am - Reply

    I know I’m late to this party but I got the Instant pot in November and have not cooked ONE meal for dinner without it! 😀 I just made my 2nd. batch of yogurt within a week and my very first cheesecake yesterday! Sooo easy & FUN to use!

    • Holley February 24, 2017 at 11:50 am

      So glad you are enjoyomg the Instant Pot Debbie!

    • Holley February 24, 2017 at 11:50 am

      So glad you are enjoying the Instant Pot Debbie!

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