As the holiday season approaches, Walmart is attempting to flex with another Instant Pot exclusive. This one’s called the Gem, and like Instant Pot’s other products, it’s about as multipurpose as kitchen appliances come — but a pressure cooker, it is not.
The Gem is a microprocessor-powered slow cooker that can automatically control the timer and temperature of the unit to best suit the food. First introduced last year, it’s a set-and-forget kitchen gadget (and, as such, is better for those trying to save time than those who prefer to be more involved in their meal prep).
It does most of what you expect out of a slow cooker, plus some. The bake function sets the temperature of its non-stick liner to 375 degrees, which according to Instant Pot is the ideal temperature for baking a cake. If you want to sauté ingredients or sear protein, the Gem has settings for those needs, too, powered by a heating element that the company says is among the highest wattages in the multicooker category.
So strong is the heat, apparently, that the first version of the Gem was recalled in early 2018, according to Hip Cooking, after several owners reported issues with overheating and melting. Now, eight months following the recall, the company’s second (and assumedly improved) iteration hasn’t raised a blip so far — and Walmart is promoting it with a fresh discount: From today through Wednesday, October 31, the Gem is $58 (at least $20 cheaper than the usual price).
Along with another Walmart-exclusive Instant Pot brand item — a blender that can also cook — promotion for the Gem suggests that the retailer is leaning even further into its partnership with Instant Pot as Black Friday and Cyber Monday approach to tempt buyers from Amazon.
But will this multicooker become the widespread sensation the Instant Pot was? Unlikely — as a holiday gift or personal investment, the original Duo 7-in-1 seems like an even smarter, faster cooker that replaces more appliances in one fell swoop.
Buy Instant Pot Gem 6-Quart 8-in-1 Programmable Multicooker, $58