If headlines about an “Instant Pot recall” or an “Instant Pot meltdown” have been making you anxious, there’s reason for relief. Your beloved pressure cooker is probably fine.
Instant Pot, the Canadian company whose electric multifunction pressure cookers became a must-have gift for many over the holiday season, said last week that it had received a small number of reports about overheating in the Gem 65 8-in-1 Multicooker. The company said it would replace the affected models of the device, which is not a pressure cooker.
Instant Pot said that the only models of the Gem affected were those from five batches, marked with the batchcodes 1728, 1730, 1731, 1734 and 1746. Customers can check to see whether their Gems were included in those batches by finding a silver label on the bottom of the cooker. The batchcode is on the bottom right of the label.
That said, if you do have a Gem in one of those batches, you should stop using it. Instant Pot has assured affected customers that they will be sent instructions on how to receive a free replacement.
The Gem multicooker, which (perhaps surprisingly) does not include pressure cooking among its eight functions, is not one of the company’s more popular models. It does not appear on the company home page and was introduced relatively recently, a company spokeswoman, Anna Meglio, said.
She could not immediately answer questions about how many customers had reported that their device had overheated or when the first reports were received. She also did not know how many of the gadgets the company was prepared to replace. Instant Pot has said it was working with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission on the replacement.
Hip Cooking, a website for fans of pressure cooking, said in an article last month that the recently released Gem was the first model introduced by the company that was not an improvement on earlier devices. The writer, Laura Pazzaglia, cited an Amazon review that pointed out “there was nothing ‘instant’ about slow cooking.” (The review is no longer available online.)
Instant Pot, a privately held company, experienced a wave of success last year, as sales of electric multicookers took off. The Instant Pot product was among the top five items sold by Amazon and Target on Black Friday and among the top three best-sellers at Kohl’s. The company told The New York Times in December that the Instant Pot’s sales have more than doubled every year since 2011. Fans of the device — so-called potheads — share recipes on Facebook and on other online forums.
So breathe easy, Instant Pot owners. And just make sure you’re cleaning those condensation collectors. Otherwise, you might have real problems.