Book Review – How to Instant Pot: Mastering All the Functions of the One Pot That Will Change the Way You Cook by Daniel Shumski.

3 out of 5 stars

I would like to thank Workman Publishing Company for providing me with a free electronic ARC of this book, via Netgalley, in exchange for an open and honest review.

Okay, starting with my honesty… I don’t own an Instant Pot. I do have a slow cooker/ pressure cooker all in one from Philips I was sent a few years ago to review and I do so love it. Being a fan of slow cooking and the occasional pressure cooking, I still felt this would be an interesting and useful cookbook. It was. But, as said, I don’t have an Instant Pot and I went into reading and reviewing ‘How to Instant Pot’ knowing I was at a disadvantage to truly getting the most out of this book. My fault, not theirs and my rating is not based on this at all.

Saying all that, I could therefore be wrong when I say I felt this looked to be a pretty helpful and comprehensive cookbook for those who own an Instant Pot. I mean, for one thing it is a LOT more detailed and helpful than anything I have ever received, or found online, from Philips or from others on how to use my Philips All-In-One.

‘How to Instant Pot’ starts with a good introduction not only to this book itself, but also to how to USE your Instant Pot. Always important to know, when learning to use a new kitchen appliance. The details were clear precise, and came with good images when needed. It not only went over what the different physical parts of the Instant Pot were, but what the different settings it had did.

There are then different sections of recipes, tips and tricks for the different functions an Instant Pot has. Pressure Cooking, Slow Cooking, Steamer, Rice Cooker, etc… All laid out nice and neatly in clear to understand and following instructions with some pretty gorgeous images of certain meals lined up with their ingredients and methods.

I could not fault the overall format and layout. It was perfect for ‘how to’ cookbook of this nature. I have no idea what the paper format actually looks like, but I would love if it was in ring binder form for easy flip access throughout the different sections. But maybe that is just me?

If I loved it so much, why did I give such an average rating? Well, if I am honest, there just wasn’t a heck of a lot in ‘How to Instant Pot’ that I would make or eat… Not in the ways it instructs you to. But this is down to my own boring food allergies and intolerances, my family’s preference for how meals taste and, well, because I have been cooking similar recipes a certain way for 30 odd years and I can’t see the slight differences shown in ‘How to Instant Pot’ worth the change and possible dissent from my fussy kids and husband.

So, my averaging rating is due to personal reasons and not at all to do with the high quality of work displayed in ‘How to Instant Pot’. I am simply the wrong person for this book and the faults are all with me.

How to Instant Potnib

Would I recommend this book to others?

Yes I would. Admittedly I would mainly be saying to people they would really benefit from having an Instant Pot to get the very most out of this cookbook… but to be honest, anyone struggling to figure out how to use their new All-In-One and who can’t find decent help or cook books from the appliance maker (yes Philips, I am talking about YOU), I really do feel they may get some good help too.

Yes it won’t be EXACTLY the same or 100% helpful if they aren’t using an Instant Pot… but there is still a LOT of beneficial information, and helpful recipes within ‘How to Instant Pot’ that a Philips user may finally be able to get their All-In-One to work too.

Would I buy this book for myself?

Sadly, no. But again, I want to emphasise this is purely because I, personally, didn’t get a lot out of it. The fault lies with me the reader and not the book. It is a good book, just not a good match to me.

In summary: A good, in-depth look at how to use an Instant Pot, may be helpful in how to use other, similar, All-In-One appliances.


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