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Small Appliances

The Instant Pot Community is the best page on Facebook

Commentary: I joined the Instant Pot Community group on Facebook to learn why the cooker had such a fervent following. I stay because of the recipes, camaraderie and low-stakes, politics-free internet drama.

Josh Miller/CNET

A couple of days before Easter, I thought the Instant Pot Community would implode under the weight of hard-boiled eggs posts. 

The Instant Pot Community is the official, company-sanctioned Facebook page of the electric pressure cooker. There are a little more than 1.4 million members, and the number keeps growing. Eleven moderators are the gatekeepers; you have to request to join the Instant Pot Community and answer a few questions about what you'd like to get out of membership. Any posts you write have to get a once-over from the moderators, as well.

It's pretty easy to boil eggs in an Instant Pot, but there's debate about which technique is best.

Alina Bradford/CNET

I had been a member of this Facebook group for several weeks by the time Easter weekend approached. I joined to learn why people adored the Instant Pot, keep up with the latest in product news and maybe pick up a few recipes to use in my own cooker. What I found was a diverse collection of active supportive members who share a passion for not just their Instant Pot, but for home cooking and community.

The arrival of spring revealed just how passionate Instant Pot fans can be even about the most simple recipes. A few weeks before Easter, posts to the page began to center around cooking hard-boiled eggs in the Instant Pot. They're an easy dish to make in the cooker -- you just add some water, put your eggs on a trivet and let them cook under pressure. 

Folks needed them by the dozens for dying and deviling on Resurrection Sunday, and they turned to the community for tips and to share successful egg stories. Instant Pot newbies were in a tizzy under the pressure to create the perfect egg-centric Easter spread, and longtime users were ready to brag about their successes: 

"I used the 5/5/5 method for hard boiling Easter eggs this morning. Half the eggs cracked. What did I do wrong?"

"Hard boiled eggs: I want to hard boil about 3-4 dozen eggs for my kids for Easter. Can I do them all at once? Or should I do in batches?"

"Happy Easter all and I finally tried making my hard boiled eggs in the Instant Pot..... I will never do it any other way again. Perfect eggs just like people have said. I was amazed!! The more I play with the pot, the more I love it!"

And with every post, no matter how mundane the observation, at least one other Instant Pot Community member was willing to give their two cents. There were compliments on the picture of a platter of pink, blue and green deviled eggs; stories of how they've cooked two dozen eggs simultaneously with no problems; words of encouragement and recipes for the folks who opened their Instant Pot to find a cooker full of cracked shells.

At a time when the official language of the internet is snark, Instant Pot Community members showed a genuine investment in the eggs of their virtual neighbors. 

The compassion extends beyond seasonal dishes. In April, a mother who had lost her adult son posted a message to the Instant Pot Community looking for easy comfort foods to make to take her mind off of her lost. More than 2,000 people responded with their condolences.

"I'm so touched by the compassion of total strangers. Thank you for reaching out with thoughts, prayers, stories, virtual, hugs, private messages and recipes," she wrote in response.

Instant Pot and nearly a million and a half of its fans have created a place where you can take a break from the dumpster fire of the internet. It's hard to find a post on the Facebook page about politics, and when you do, it's about how happy members are to have a place where they don't have to talk politics

The Instant Pot Community is a place where it's safe to waste a little bit of time without worrying about your blood pressure going up -- unless the topic is eggs. Then the moderators politely reel in the conversation.

"We are taking an Egg Break," a moderator posted on March 30. "I am not approving another egg question today. They are on the site, PLEASE scroll for the answers."

More on Chowhound: How to make your life easier with Instant Pot

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