Instant Pot 8 Quart Review

Is an Instant Pot 8 Quart worth it? Read a detailed list of pros and cons from an initial skeptic. I tried a lot of recipes and here is what I think!

Instant Pot 8 Quart on Slow Cook mode.

Instant pot’s are all the rage these days and to be honest, I just wasn’t interested. I have a slow cooker. I have a rice cooker. How different could it be? Well, I was gifted one and I decided to put it to the test so I could give you all an honest Instant Pot 8 Quart Review! There were things I liked, loved, and didn’t like.

Now, remember, I came into this a skeptic. I was surprised that I actually liked it and that I use it as often as I do! I have made a wide variety of dishes on a wide variety of the settings so I feel like I can finally write a comprehensive and honest review of the Instant Pot 8 Quart. I have not used the yogurt feature yet, so I can’t speak to that but I hear good things about it almost everytime I mention my Instant Pot.

Instant Pot 8 Quart Pros

I really like the saute feature. This makes slow cooker meals like The Best Homemade Marinara Sauce and Homemade Poppy Seed Chicken so much easier! No stove top step, it can all be done in the Instant Pot 8 Quart. This feature is fantastic for browning roasts before slow cooking them or sauteing apples and roasting nuts before adding them to oatmeal.

Is an Instant Pot 8 Quart worth it? Read a detailed list of pros and cons from an initial skeptic. I tried a lot of recipes and here is what I think!

I love that it replaces at least 3 appliances for me – my small slow cooker, my rice cooker, and a pressure cooker. In general, I don’t love the texture of pressure cooked meat so I still wouldn’t use it for that. But I do use a pressure cooker when I make baby food and it would be amazing for that job. The pressure cook feature is also fantastic for making oatmeal – I don’t have to babysit it and I can get it ready and done before the kids wake up and it stays warm. {PS: I am going to write a post on all the oatmeal variations I’ve been making, stay tuned!}!

None of the settings and cooking options on the Instant Pot 8 Quart are sub-par, it’s actually very high quality for the price which surprised me. It does a great job cooking brown rice, dried beans, really anything I thought it might mess up turned out.

It can take some practice getting used to the settings but I found the included instructions and basic recipes {like for rice} very accurate and explanatory – another surprise. The slow cooker settings were an adjustment for me since I use an older slow cooker with limited settings. The low setting on the Instant Pot 8 Quart is more like warm, normal is equivalent to low {on my slow cooker}, and high is equivalent to high.

The Instant Pot 8 Quart is a good size – volume wise {more on the size of it in the “cons” section}. It is big enough that I can make a recipe to feed 8-10 people but it doesn’t overcook oatmeal when I make only enough for 2 people. Again, another surprise.

Is an Instant Pot 8 Quart worth it? Read a detailed list of pros and cons from an initial skeptic. I tried a lot of recipes and here is what I think!

Instant Pot 8 Quart Cons

The first thing I noticed about the Instant Pot 8 Quart was that it is HUGE. Like so extremely wide and tall that you need a special cabinet to fit it into. I don’t have a lot of storage space for appliances or dishes in general, and I don’t have a pantry. I kept it in my garage for a couple of weeks because I didn’t have a place for it.

The other bummer about the size is that it isn’t comparable to an 8-quart slow cooker. It is tall instead of long and oblong, which makes roasting awkward cuts of meat impossible without cutting them. It’s also hard for dishes like this Slow Cooker Chicken Pot Pie, the long shape of the large slow cooker makes the ratio of filling to biscuit right, and the Instant Pot 8 Quart just wouldn’t have that.

Slow Cooker Chicken Pot Pie!

The next thing I dislike about the Instant Pot 8 Quart is that it can hold onto smells. I think it is more the lid and the rubber gasket in there that captures the smells but mine will forever smell like a roast, I suppose. The good news is this hasn’t affected the flavor of anything else I’ve made, even oatmeal and rice which take on other flavors easily.

The last thing I dislike about the instant pot is that the insert is difficult to clean. The insert is stainless steel, but it is very different from the stainless pots and pans I cook with almost daily. Food sticks more {like in a bad way, not the good stainless steel pan stick}, it is pretty lightweight, and the measurements on the insert are unhelpful. So far it has come clean with scrubbing and no staining, I will be interested to see how it holds up.

Where the lid seals on the base is also hard to clean, especially if anything drips in there. It is ridged to hold the lid in place but impossible to wipe unless you use the back of a spoon or something to guide the dishcloth around. Don’t let any drips dry in there! Scrubbing would be difficult.

This isn’t really a pro or con for me because I like the process of cooking and don’t mind spending time in the kitchen and I don’t pressure cook meat, but I didn’t find it that much faster than any other appliance. The cook times are faster when pressure cooking sometime, for sure, but you still have to wait for it to pressurize and then de-pressurize. So, if you’re looking for an appliance to get dinner ready in 5 minutes – it doesn’t exist. You can cook it for 5 minutes in the Instant Pot 8 Quart for sure, but you’ll still need to wait a bit for the pressure steps.

Do I Recommend the Instant Pot 8 Quart?

Overall, yes. I would recommend the Instant Pot 8 Quart 7-in-1 if you are interested in getting one. If you need a new rice cooker, pressure cooker or slow cooker, this would be a great option for doubling up on appliances and saving space {even though it’s big, it isn’t as big as three appliances!}. Not to mention it does much more than just slow cook, pressure cook or make rice.

I think the Instant Pot 8 Quart 7-in-1 {or the 6 quart} is an AMAZING option for a college student with limited or no kitchen space. It is so versatile and would allow them to make some easy but healthy and amazing dishes right in their dorm room. I would have killed for something like this in college!

So if you want one, click here and just order it! Or you could go to Wal-Mart to try and find one with your 3-year-old who is being potty trained and 1 year old who refuses to walk. That’s always an adventure, especially when said 3-year-old needs to go to the bathroom and only tiny stalls are available so you’re trying to keep everyone from touching every disgusting surface in the bathroom, hold the baby, make sure the toddler doesn’t fall in the toilet or pee all over you and his clothes, twist your baby’s leg accidently in the diper bag that’s haging on the stall door when you bend down to help toddler off the potty, and then stumble out in a big disheveled heap and try to wash everyones hands without sitting anyone in the literal 4 inches of water that always cover public restroom sinks.

PHEW.

Yeah, definitely just order it.

As an aside, I actually dropped the lid of my instant pot from a high cupboard and it did crack a little bit on the handle but otherwise was fine. I was worried I’d ruined it but it doesn’t have any problems.

It actually landed on my head because I’m dumb and didn’t secure the lid completely. I mean, the drop was on purpose. I just really wanted to make sure it was sturdy before I wrote this review.

Ahem.

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Is an Instant Pot 8 Quart worth it? Read a detailed list of pros and cons from an initial skeptic. I tried a lot of recipes and here is what I think!

4 Comments

  • Reply
    J. Leslie Sr.
    December 1, 2017 at 7:19 AM

    My wife really likes her Instant Pot, uses it quite a bit. A suggestion for you folks that like to keep your stainless steel utensils nice and shiny, use lemon juice! It will shine your stainless steel right up! Use either fresh, or the bottled liquid.

    • Reply
      Alli
      December 1, 2017 at 2:19 PM

      That is a great idea!! Thank you for sharing it. I’m going to give it a try.

  • Reply
    Meg
    November 28, 2017 at 5:36 PM

    Hey Alli! We LOVE our Instant Pot. We use the yogurt feature a lot – we literally make yogurt once a week. We bought two extra silicone rings and use one for sweet and one for savory. After tossing them in the dishwasher, I don’t notice a smell.
    I’ve also found the joy that is Barkeeper’s Friend. When the inside of my stainless steel pot gets looking grungy, I use that and a little elbow grease to get it shiny and then run it through the dishwasher. (I’m just a little weird. I know Barkeepers Friend is a cleaner like any other but it just seems “safer” to wash it again after using that.)
    I saw you at Walmart once and you did look a little frazzled. That’s why I didn’t introduce myself – “Oh hey, I know you’re fighting a toddler and an infant in a super-crowded store but my husband works with your husband and we follow you on Instagram, Facebook and on your blog, so let me totally bother you and chat your ear off while you’re secretly longing to punch me in the face and then go home.” We just smiled at each other and kept walking. (Although I did go home and tell my husband it was like seeing a celebrity.)
    Wow. That was long. Anyhow, keep enjoying the Instant Pot. I’ Send some yogurt your way.

    • Reply
      Alli
      November 29, 2017 at 5:21 AM

      MEG! You’re awesome, first of all. And that is such a great idea to buy extra silicone rings and to wash them in the dishwasher! I didn’t even know you could. I’ll be doing that for sure. I do love Barkeeper’s Friend for my stovetop, such a great idea for the pot. I remember seeing you at Walmart! And I’m so dumb, I am like the most distracted person ever at the store and I was worried you wouldn’t remember who I was. HA! I am so NOT a celebrity. Probably the opposite. So I’ll stop next time! I’d love to chat in “real” life. 🙂

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