Instant Pot, the internet’s favorite multi-functional kitchen appliance for preparing soups, meats and rice, is branching out into smoothies, almond milk, and ice cream. That’s right, Instant Pot is making a blender — and it can cook your food.
True to Instant Pot’s multi-purpose gimmick, the Instant Pot Ace Blender will not be limited to traditional blender settings. In addition to standard buttons like “puree” and “pulse,” the familiar Instant Pot control panel has buttons for soup and various plant-based milks. And rather than transferring blended soup to a stovetop or springing for an immersion blender, the Instant Pot Ace Blender will heat things up for you.
The Instant Pot Ace Blender features low, medium and high blending speeds, and eight pre-programmed settings. Four are traditional “cold blending programs”: smoothie, crushed ice, ice cream, and nut/oat milk. The other four are where the heating comes in: In order to cook with the Ace Blender, you use one of the pre-set “hot blending programs,” for pureeing, rice milk, soy milk, or soup.
One catch: You’ll only be able to purchase it at Walmart. As our friends at The Verge pointed out, Amazon was largely responsible for the Instant Pot’s success, between rave reviews and Black Friday deals. It’s an odd move, then, to make this new product a Walmart exclusive. Seems Instant Pot will continue to be a pawn in the ongoing battle between the two retailers. (Earlier this year, Walmart offered an even better Instant Pot discount than Amazon, less than a week after Prime Day.)
Instant Pot isn’t the only kitchen manufacturer appealing to millennials and city dwellers by claiming to replace several appliances with one multi-purpose device, but it has been one of the most successful. Opinions on whether or not these devices actually save time and space are often mixed. Will Instant Pot’s Ace Blender replace your immersion blender? Can it compete with established brands like Vitamix? Only time (or the Kitchen Gadget Test Show) can tell.
The Instant Pot Ace Blender will cost $99.99 and come with a 5 oz. measuring cup, food tamper, cheesecloth (for straining those plant milks), and cleaning brush. It will be available at Walmart starting on September 23.