Last year, the Instant Pot became the ultimate gadget for home cooks. Seriously, some owners developed an almost cult-like obsession with the kitchen tool and immediately took to sharing recipes and techniques with their fellow Instant Pot stans online and IRL. In addition to recipes that circulated on social media, multiple Instant Pot cookbooks, both official and unofficial, were released over the course of 2017. Two months into 2018, however, the hot new multicooker is experiencing its first recall.
On a recent episode of the popular NBC drama This Is Us, it was revealed that the show's patriarch, Jack Pearson died of smoke inhalation after his Crockpot set fire to his home. While it wasn't an Instant Pot that killed Jack, the tragic episode briefly had nearly every slow cooker user giving their favorite appliances side-eye. Coincidently, the impractical fear that the episode caused about kitchen gadgets being a fire hazard may have become a reality.
Yesterday, Instant Pot issued an official recall of 104,o00 Gem 65 8-in-1 Multicookers. According to Consumer Reports, the model was recalled because it poses a fire hazard by overheating and melting on its underside. So far, 107 accounts of overheating have been reported by Instant Pot Gem 65 8-in-1 Multicooker users. Five of those reports have alleged that the mutlicookers caused minor property damage, but thankfully, there have not been any injuries reported.
If you bought this model of Instant Pot Multicooker, which was sold exclusively at Walmart and on Walmart.com from August 2017 until January 2018, unplug the appliance and stop using it immediately. You can report a defective product by calling the Consumer Product Safety Commission hotline at 800-638-2772 or visiting saferproducts.gov. You can also return the item to Walmart for a replacement.
William Wallace, senior policy analyst for Consumers Union, says Double Insights, Instant Pot's parent company, should be investigating if its other products pose similar risks. If the answer is yes, the brand might have to ask Milo Ventimiglia to step in and go on another apology tour.
Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified which network This Is Us airs on.