Now that it's December, we've officially entered the height of comfort-food season. Irresistible-sounding recipes for slow-cooking stews have had us on the hunt for the best crockpot to add to our kitchen appliance arsenal since the beginning of fall, but during our search, we made a surprising discovery: The internet's favorite slow cooker isn't a slow cooker at all—it's an Instant Pot. Because people are seriously losing it over this $70 kitchen appliance with 4.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon, we went through over 24,000 Instant Pot reviews to find out if it lives up to the hype.
Scroll on to find out why people rave that this tool a must-buy for "people who say they can't cook."
The First Mess
It's Easy to Use
"There are so many people who say they can't cook, but I swear I'm on a whole new level of not being able to cook. This little appliance [has helped] expand our menu, and I have learned to do so much with it that I will sum [it] up in a nutshell: I love how easy it is and how I throw everything in it comes out done. No stirring and not many messy dishes. I seriously can't believe how many foods can be cooked in here!" — Aundrea
"I deliberated about buying one of these for so long (over a year). I regret all of this deliberation because now that I have it, I'm not sure how I lived without it. I have *always* sucked at making rice. I can't even make instant rice turn out correctly. We had a tiny rice cooker that finally completely died, and that's what prompted me to make this purchase. Ohhh the rice. It turns out perfectly every time. I can even make brown rice now. It's amazing. I push a button and walk away and end up with edible rice every.single.time." — Laura
"I love that I can make anything in it in a very short amount of time and don't have to watch it, stir it or even worry about it. I make stews, soups, and roasts that taste like they've been cooking for several hours all in under an hour!! It's almost hard to believe!" — c.hayville
It Saves Time
"I am a holistic nutritionist and … many of the meals I prepare require advance planning and preparation. I was looking for something that would support my food choices and perhaps make it a little less time-consuming. I had no idea there were electric, programmable pressure cookers out there … until I began researching them … I was amazed at how easy and delicious it was to make soup that would normally take a couple of hours. I just coarsely chopped the vegetables, threw those in the pot, added the seasonings, and the liquid, started the pressure cooker option, and in 20 minutes all I had to do was use my immersion blender to puree the soup, add some cheese, stir, and it was ready to eat." — Sandy Nannen
"I didn't fully appreciate, until several days in, just how amazing this aspect of the Instant Pot is: you can start something cooking in it, and then *walk away* - even leave the house, and it will finish cooking just like you instructed, and be *perfectly done*, and then it will *keep it warm for up to 10 hours*! Not keep cooking it, just *keep it warm*. For up to 10 hours! You can put something in there in the morning, leave for the day, and come back to a perfectly cooked whatever, just waiting for you! Booyah!" — Anne P. Mitchell
"With most dishes, you can add it all to the pot, and basically set it and forget it. It's similar to a crock pot in that respect, but much better, and waaay faster. With the Instant Pot, you don't have to plan hours (or even a whole day) ahead and put the ingredients in to cook before you leave in the morning, as with a crock pot. You can literally get home in the afternoon, take meat/chicken/fish out of the freezer, put a few things together in with your frozen entree, and have a fully cooked delicious dinner in a little over an hour or less." — T B
It's Easy to Clean
"Clean-up is so easy. Take out the pot and let it soak for a while. Trust me, when you let your cooker soak for a day, the crusts and stains of food will come right up with a little elbow grease. Be sure to clean the lid and take out the transparent rubbery part from the inside of the lid. Don't forget to clean the outside of the cooker either, as food can sometimes get stuck in the lip of the cooker." — Autonomous J.E.N.
"Clean up is a breeze, the stainless steel is almost like non-stick and doesn't need a lot of scrubbing." — Phoebe
"This is a must-have item! It functions perfectly and the multiple jobs it does reduces how many appliances I need. I'm able to make a terrific carnitas dinner in 45 minutes! It always amazes me how quickly tough cuts of meat tenderize. I can pre-sear meat in this (which reduces clean up time with multiple pans) reduces the number of pans I need to clean." — JVMJVM
And now, seven vegetarian soup recipes so good even staunch carnivores will want seconds.