I’m an old school pressure cooking fanatic who loves his Instant Pot…but right now, I’m feeling more “old” than school.
I’ve called my pressure cooking recipes “Pressure Cooker…whatever” for years, back since I published my first pressure cooker recipe in December 2008. I became an enthusiastic Instant Pot convert after I bought a 6 quart LUX model back in 2012. In my head, pressure cooking and Instant Pot have been synonymous ever since.
Over the last year, I’ve noticed a shift. It feels like Instant Pot became the generic term for pressure cooker, the way Crock Pot is the generic term for slow cooker. And, Google’s search data bears this out:
Instant Pot vs Pressure Cooker searches, 2016-present
Data from Google Trends, Trends.Google.com
Instant Pot (the blue line) starts to creep up in 2016, occasionally peaking, but it surges way into the lead in the summer of 2017, and never looks back. Searches for “Instant Pot” take over completely during the Instant Pot craze of late 2017. Now, they’ve come back down towards earth, but they’re still way ahead of pressure cooker searches.
So, should I hold the line, “No school like the old school” style, and stick to Pressure Cooker in the title? It’s been working for years. Or do I shift with the times, and start calling out the Instant Pot specifically?
Why do I want to know? Again, because of Google. Most of my traffic, even with you loyal readers, comes from Google searches for recipes. Google cares about the title - really, really cares - and Pressure Cooker titled recipes are being pushed out of Google Search by Instant Pot titled recipes. I feel like I need to shift with the tide, but I want to check…
Do you search for Instant Pot recipes? Or Pressure Cooker recipes?
Which do you search for? Instant Pot <whatever> or Pressure Cooker <whatever>? Let me know in the comments. Thank you!
I search for instant pot because that’s what I have and I like IP-specific directions. Love your recipes! Thanks for all you do.
Pam Kaufman says
I search "pressure cooker" as I have a Power Cooker XL not an Instant Pot. I have found a lot of recipes and their instructions for the IP which I find frustrating because I have to figure out which setting is similar on my cooker.
I search for Instant Pot...
I know it sounds cumbersome, but couldn't you use "Instant Pot Pressure Cooker" in your recipe title? What's a little cumber if it gets you results, right?? I sold for years on eBay and used whatever it took to get folks looking at my ads.
Absolutely, Debby. Thanks for your experience. I used a similar search combination before I saw your comments. Good post! Love the "cumber!"
I'm with Razzy7 re: including both in your title if thats what matters to google. Interestingly I found your site searching for Feijoada and was thrilled to find I could make it either the pressure cooker or slow cooker. Thanks for a great site!
I search for Instant Pot. Not sure why. I’m quite conversant on search methodologies. I do think the instant pot was so revolutionary that I immediately subconsciously eliminated any others. Probably short sided!
Always pressure cooker
Always Instant Pot!!
Mike from Austin says
Like Rita and Alfred, I search for pressure cooker. When I see recipes that specify "Instant Pot" they seem to be trying to leverage the popularity of the device. BTW, no one tests their recipes as rigorously as you. This site is my first stop when looking for a recipe. Serious Eats is number two. (I canceled my membership to Cooks Illustrated.)
On another topic, I used your six hour sous vide rib technique last night, choosing to sauce them bulgogi-style before finishing them on the grill. I actually used lamb ribs because I have a great supplier. They are very fatty, but the sous vide process rendered (pun intended) them perfectly.
Mike Vrobel says
I search for Pressure Cooker recipes. I don’t have an Instant Pot, rather other brands of electric PCs. Your blog title doesn’t use PC so that’s not an issue. I assume you are considering changing the support wording. Could you insert Instant Pot? As in...using a Pressure Cooker, such as the Instant Pot... ? A quandary for sure!
Alfred Gorlick says
I always search for pressure cooker.
Thanks, I use multi cooker or Instant pot (I have a 6 qt)
Razzy 7 says
Pressure Cooker or Instant Pot
Good questions Mike and very important for you to answer “correctly.” Here are my thoughts.
Instant Pot does seem to be becoming ubiquitous – kind of like saying Kleenex when what is accurate is facial tissue. I’m sure the Instant Pot company would love it if you start calling your recipes Instant Pot Goulash rather than Pressure Cooker Goulash. But you don’t care what the Instant Pot Company thinks; you care about what term will get folks to your website.
Though a mouthful, you could name recipes using both terms – e.g. “Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Goulash.” That way searchers would find your recipes whether they search on “Instant Pot” or “pressure cooker.” IF you choose Instant Pot, what happens if, perish the thought, Instant Pot goes out of business or decides to rename the company?
One term I would not use is the shortened name “Insta Pot”. I see and hear that all too frequently but dislike its use because it’s just plain inaccurate and no shorthand version is necessary!
It’s also possible that while Instant Pot is dominating the market currently, that could change. What if an “up and comer” company suddenly experiences great success and seems to be taking over the market or if potential searchers start searching under that company’s name? There is a brand that suddenly has received a large number of rave reviews though I won’t mention its name because I don’t believe many, if not most of them, are legitimate reviews. I think they may be solicited and/or paid reviews. No product, especially if brand new to the market, is that good. They clearly are targeting Instant Pot and suggest that their brand is superior. I have also read that illegitimate reviews on Amazon are a huge and growing problem.
So, what word or words do I use in searching Google? By the way I always use Google Advanced Search, not just plain Google.
In the “all these words” field I type: the name of the recipe
In the “this exact word or phrase” field I type the word: pressure
I never use “Instant Pot” as a search term unless I’m looking for specific information on an actual Instant Pot. For example, Instant Pot reviews or Instant Pot Duo Plus or Instant Pot Amazon Prime Day. If looking for a recipe, I use the name of the recipe and the word “pressure”. I believe close to 100% of recipes cooked in a pressure cooker will include the word “pressure” either in the recipe name (e.g. “pressure cooker chile verde”) or in the instructions (“saute the onions in pressure cooker,” “use high pressure,” or “release the pressure naturally” though not necessarily the phrase “pressure cooker.” My searches will return recipes that are cooked in a pressure cooker be it an electric pressure cooker, a digital pressure cooker, a stovetop pressure cooker, an Instant Pot or some other brand of pressure cooker. If I searched on Instant Pot and the recipe name, I’d miss pressure cooker recipes that didn’t have the words “Instant Pot” in them. I don’t want to do that as regardless of the pressure cooker recipe I find, I can always cook it in my Instant Pot even if I need to adapt it.
Now, am I getting returns of every pressure cooker recipe I’m searching for? Can’t know for sure, but I don’t think I’m missing many. Since some recipes are known by different names, in the “all these words” field I may have to do a second search with that different name – for example, “chili verde” or “chile verde or even “green chile.”
While not related to search terms, I save recipes to my computer several ways. I have a folder on my hard drive called “Food and Cooking” and within that a folder called “Pressure Cooker.” Recipes cooked in a pressure cooker go in that folder. Sometimes I’ll name a recipe I’m saving, “Beef Stew PC” especially if I have that same recipe not cooked in a pressure cooker.
Don’t know if any of this is helpful or not, Mike.
I search for "pressure cooker" recipes and happily find many of yours, some of which I've surprisingly overlooked. Instant Pot is brand specific. It is also electronic; therefore it won't last forever like stovetop models do. I do like my Instant Pot, but if I can't take my stovetop cookers with me when I go, I'm not going. There's always the possibility that I might find a heat source available there.