We are collectively fans of the Instant Pot. It makes amazing rice, pho, ribs, Indian butter chicken, and more. While we swore off new kitchen gadgets after bringing the R2D2-sized pot into our homes, Instant Brands has launched a new slew of appliances to test our resolve. One of them promises to bake a cake, dehydrate beef jerky, and rotisserie a whole chicken.
No doubt these appliances were released pre-holiday-shopping season for a reason: Instant Brands knows its customers are obsessed. (Thankfully, the company’s CEO seems equally obsessed with his fans.) The new small appliances from Instant Brands include a new Instant Pot Duo, called Evo Plus, that expands the multicooker’s functions to include sous-vide and pasteurization capabilities. There’s also the Instant Ace Plus Cooking and Beverage Blender, which is a blender that also cooks your soup as it purees. But perhaps most intriguing to us is the Instant Omni Plus Toaster Oven, an “11-in-1 toaster oven and air-fryer” MacGyver appliance which boasts it can “toast up to six pieces of bread at the same time, bake a 12-inch pizza, dehydrate jerky, bake a cake, or even rotisserie a whole chicken.”
My god, what other appliance could toast, bake, dehydrate, and roast? It’s like… all the functions of an oven, in one appliance. Wait. Toast? Bake? Dehydrate? Roast? Dammit, Instant Brands, this is just a fancy oven that also happens to be an air fryer. Eleven-in-one is more like two-in-one, at best. And therein lies the inherent conundrum in any Instant Brands gadget: If you truly replace several appliances with one, it saves space. But if you buy the Instant Pot and still find yourself using your slow cooker, rice maker, etc., then all you’ve done is take up more precious counter space you could have devoted to a burr grinder.