For the past year or more it has been the talk of the kitchen: The Instant Pot. But where did it come from? Why does everyone you know suddenly have one? How do they work?
To attempt to answer these questions (and likely raise more) we turned to the wise sage of our time, Twitter, using the oracle better known as Echo.
Got a question or something we missed? Tell us about it @UnionMetrics.
A brief history of the Instant Pot
If you’re completely lost on what an Instant Pot is, here’s some light background reading for you from NPR; it sums up how Instant Pots- which have been around for years- gained popularity through social media word-of-mouth marketing over the second half of 2016, through 2017 and now into 2018.
They’re not the only game in town, but they are top-of-mind when it comes to convenient kitchen multi-taskers.
“While kitchen appliance giants such as Cuisinart, Breville and Fagor also produce electric pressure cookers, Pazzaglia praises the Instant Pot’s convenient features, particularly the stainless steel inner pot. Of course, a catchy name doesn’t hurt either. ‘Like Kleenex came to represent tissues and Xerox photocopiers, Instant Pot is coming to represent electric pressure multi-cookers,’ says Pazzaglia. ‘It’s both corny and fun and doesn’t come with any of the hang-ups and historical fear that the words ‘pressure cooker’ bring about.’”
So there’s your brief history from NPR circa 2017. We dove into the Twitter archives to see what else we could find.
A brief history of the Instant Pot according to Twitter
It’s always interesting to track the history of something via Twitter. Looking at mentions of “instant pot” between mid-2016 and mid-2017, you can see spikes around Black Friday and some other holidays (like just before Father’s Day):
Notable tweets include people discussing holiday deals:
Amazon has the Instant Pot on sale for $49. My #1 kitchen appliance & one I highly rec, esp. at this price! https://t.co/ybXQ6V31l0
— Angela James (@angelajames) November 25, 2016
Looking at the same query again from 2017 to 2018, there’s a lot more chatter:
The big spike this time came around the holidays, after Black Friday. Notable tweets aren’t just recipes, but jokes about using the Instant Pot as well as references to its die-hard users.
An update: I’m terrified of my instant pot and the steam/pressure release and I’m convinced it will explode
— Tatyahna (@tatyahnaaa) December 19, 2017
These devotees — they call themselves “Potheads” — use their Instant Pots for virtually every kitchen task imaginable https://t.co/gaEBevXucj
— The New York Times (@nytimes) December 18, 2017
Potheads. Thanks for that one, New York Times.
So far in 2018, the conversation shows no signs of slowing down.
Bloggers are still sharing recipes, “Potheads” are sharing their cooking successes, and everyone is making jokes about the cult among us that we have accepted we are living with for the foreseeable future.
i just wanna be as passionate about something as my mom is about her instant pot pic.twitter.com/qWTIrVvPLc
— Soph (@sophiebeauches) January 26, 2018
I can’t make rice in my instant pot bc I’m currently making barbacoa in my instant pot what do I do use a REGULAR POT I would never
— pabLO escobar………. nun (@lolocoles) January 30, 2018
my friend got an instant pot and now 2 out of every 3 posts on my facebook feed are about her instant pot
— smorgasporg (@theKatriarch) January 30, 2018
It is Instant Pot’s world and we are just living in it.
Dinner will be ready at 6.