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Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker? What do you search for?

Collage with picture of a kuhn rikon pressure cooker on top and an Instant Pot Duo on the bottom

Pressure Cooker vs Instant Pot

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.

My dilemma

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!

30 Comments

  1. Rita says

    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.

  2. 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.
    https://www.google.com/advanced_search
    NOT
    https://www.google.com
    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.

  3. Lynn 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!

  4. 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.

  5. Susan says

    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!

  6. Melanie says

    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!

  7. Debby says

    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.

    • rita says

      Absolutely, Debby. Thanks for your experience. I used a similar search combination before I saw your comments. Good post! Love the “cumber!”

  8. 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.

  9. Eileen says

    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.

  10. razzy 7 says

    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 this brand is superior. I have also read that illegitimate reviews on Amazon are a 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.
    https://www.google.com/advanced_search
    NOT
    https://www.google.com
    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.

  11. karen says

    I only have a pressure cooker – a big Fagor and a Cuisenart slow cooker so buying an insta pot felt too redundant and just another big appliance to figure out a home for …
    I, happily, found you by googling pressure cooker!
    thanks mike!

  12. Lisa Mitchell says

    The Instant Pot is my first experience with a pressure cooker – and now I have both a 6qt and a 3 qt! I always search for “instant pot” – but that seems to pull a mix of pressure cooker and instant pot specific recipes.

  13. Sher O says

    Always pressure cooker. Never searched Instant Pot. Never thought about it.

  14. Chris says

    I started with a stovetop model so searched for pressure cooker recipes. Then you convinced me to buy an Instant Pot, and since then I have, without realizing it, started searching for Instant Pot recipes. I guess it’s because I know it is such a hot topic, and having IP specific instructions is handy.

    I’d be tempted to drive traffic by using Instant Pot in the title, then including generic PC instructions at the end, like I’ve seen you do for folks who need to use a dutch oven.

  15. Rita says

    To support Razzy’s comments, as I see it, a search for “instant Pot” will bring you many recipes specific to Instant Pot but will overlook a wealth of the recipes that simply call for a pressure cooker, especially all of those beautiful recipes that have been out there before Instant Pot came onto the scene. And all of these missed recipes CAN be cooked in the Instant Pot. If you are concerned with timing, compare the recipe with other similar recipes that are cooked in the Instant Pot. Helpful Timing charts are also available on the Internet.

    If you prefer to use “Instant Pot” I would humbly suggest that you include “pressure cooker” somewhere in your search terms, such as “Instant Pot Pressure Cooker.”

  16. Michelle C says

    Pressure cooker, since sometimes I use my stovetop model and sometimes my Instant Pot. Pressure cooker is the overall category, Instant Pot is a subset.

  17. Susan says

    I own a pressure cooker that is not an Instant Pot. I will search using both terms but primarily I use Pressure Cooker. I have a friend who didn’t even realize that an Instant Pot was a pressure cooker so I understand your dilemma. Is there a way you can use both terms that way you get the traffic from either search?

  18. Razzy 7 says

    If you use pressure cooker, you’ll potentially reach everyone, regardless of whether they have a stovetop or electric pressure cooker and regardless of what brand of stovetop or electric they have. If you use Instant Pot you’ll miss every pressure cooker user except those who have Instant Pots. Now if Instant Pot continues to be the most popular electric pressure cooker, you’ll get more and more readers, but you’ll still miss those who use stovetops and other brands of electrics. Given the popularity of the Instant Pot, the best of both worlds is probably to use both, “Instant Pot Pressure Cooker.” That way you shouldn’t miss anyone.

  19. “Instant Pot” is my go to search phrase. I do find myself searching more and more for Instant Pot Pressure Cooker in the search query. I have no idea if Google SEO equates instant pot to pressure cooker.

  20. ayra says

    “Instant Pot” is what I have, so that’s what I search for.

  21. Oakley says

    Instant Pot was my first experience past Grandma’s pressure cooker so I look for Instant Pot. Now, I’ll think about widening my choices when searching.

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