In the last few weeks there’s been a lot of talk about the “toy” of the season. But the real must-have item is for grownups and it’s made right here in Ottawa: the Instant Pot.
Type the #instantpot hashtag on Facebook and you’ll see it’s identified as a Popular Search. No kidding: 96, 657 people are talking about it. A thousand people are talking about #instantpotrecipes. They’re sharing them too! There’s even an Instant Pot Company Facebook Community where you can find recipes, chat with other users and more.
What’s all the fuss about? The Instant Pot is a countertop appliance that works as a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, porridge cooker, sauté pan, steamer, yogurt maker and serving/warming pot. All in one device that’s quiet, safe and easy to use.
As the website notes, “If you live a fast-paced, health-oriented and green-conscious life style, Instant Pot is designed specifically for you.
“ It speeds up cooking by 2~6 times using up to 70% less energy, and, above all, produces nutritious healthy food in a convenient and consistent fashion.” What’s more, there’re no steam, spillage, cooking smell or excess heat in the kitchen.
And people all over the world are raving about the results. It works. If you check the right side of the Instant Pot home page, you’ll get an idea of the range of recipes people are trying and sharing. The lists include Shrimp and Pork Dumplings, New York Cheesecake #17, Broccoli Soup, Easy Mac and Cheese and Lemon Chicken Dinner All-in-One. Family cooks are making breakfast, lunch and dinner using their Instant Pots.
But the really amazing thing is that the Instant Pot was “cooked up” right here in the city by ex-Nortel workers. In fact Laura Robin wrote a story about it in the Ottawa Citizen in November. In her words, Robert “Wang, along with six others, spent 18 months designing the first Instant Pot, which came out in 2010 and was basically an electric pressure cooker and a slow cooker in one tidy countertop appliance. But the inventors, several of whom, like Wang, have PhDs in computer science, haven’t stopped tinkering.
“We plan to release a new model every 12 to 18 months, based on customer feedback,” says Wang, who is now working on a fifth-generation Instant Pot.” They cost between $80 and about $300, depending on the size, model and sales site, and to date over a million Instant Pots have been sold. Want one? For details, see instantpot.com.