Every few years, there's a brand new kitchen gadget that's guaranteed to change your life. It's only years later we find out whether that's true. Some gadgets indeed changed the way we prepare food, and are now a permanent part of most kitchens. These include the refrigerator, toaster, dishwasher, automatic coffeemaker, and microwave. The electric can opener, blender, and electric kettle are appliances that are crucial for those who have them, but unnecessary for those who don't. Then there are the fads that come and go, like the waffle iron, George Foreman grill, bread maker, Keurig, Sodastream, and now the Instant Pot.
The Instant Pot (an electric pressure cooker) took off in 2016, peaked between 2018 and 2020, and has been on the decline since then. Bettina Makalintal traces the arc of Instant Pot fever at Eater, from the glowing converts who swore the appliance changed their lives to the many used Instant Pots for sale online. It appears that the hot appliance that's taking its place is an air fryer. I'm not all that sure that the air fryer is still ascendant; my youngest daughter got one at a flea market for $15, the same model that sells for $75 in stores. How long will it take her to realize that she doesn't use it enough to devote precious kitchen counter space to it? If the Instant Pot is going the way of the fondue pot, will the air fryer be far behind?
(Image credit: Ajay Suresh)
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