The week before Christmas, I was on a culinary roll.

I’d made delicious garlic button ribs in hoisin sauce, chicken crusted with spiced potato starch and delicious moist shredded chicken thighs for enchiladas, but the IP wasn’t functioning the way I’d expected. I used the liner pot to fry the chicken – without spatters. That made me a happy camper because I hate kitchen messes.

By the second week of Instant Pot ownership, though, I had to concede that all was not well in Pothead-Land.

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The thing had been touted as quiet and virtually odorless. Well, initially it was. Now, though, I was hearing a lot of hissing, not from the pressure value or release spout, where you’d expect, but from around the rim of the lid.

That didn’t worry me too much, because the stove top ones always spit and hiss like mad. But the IP was taking longer than normal to get to pressure. Steam was leaking out from around the rim of the lid. The tiny overflow cup was, indeed, overflowing.

I had a moment’s concern that I was using it too much or that I’d broken something. Then I thought, dammit, it’s a piece of kitchen equipment, not an escort hired for the evening.

Then, after my third batch of perfect boiled eggs, I realized the 2 cups of water I’d poured under the trivet had been reduced to a brownish puddle. That wasn’t good. So I filled out a support ticket the week before Christmas.

In the meantime, I kept using the IP. Until the high-pitched screaming began after about five minutes of pressure. It was loud!

Scared the crap out of me the first couple of times, but then I’d stand there, waiting for the next menu item to be done. Being an intrepid soul, I didn’t yank the cord out of the wall but watched the countdown as each cycle completed. Meat dishes were fine. However, the bone broth I was making began spurting from under the lid and overflowing onto the kitchen counter.

Now that ticked me off, because the broth oozed under my stand mixer and yogurt maker and over the edge of the counter. It did smell good, because I’d oven-roasted the chicken parts and vegetables for extra flavour, but it belonged inside the pot, not all over the place.

The customer support techie folks asked for details, so I dutifully photographed and videotaped the shenanigans. IMG_2159.

That was an adventure, trying to hold the phone steady with one hand while I was poised with a dish towel ready to toss it over the lid in case boiling liquid started to ooze out faster than expected. But it got done. Being a writer, I also composed an essay about how devastated I was, along with a tidy bullet-point list of what had gone wrong and when.

Finally, I got the good news – the company (Canadian, based in Vancouver) would send me a new one at no cost. They didn’t want the old one back – it was mine to keep. Well, the lid might have been pooched but at least I could use the second stainless steel pot insert and trivet. All I had to do was send them a photo of the cut-up warranty seal.

At first I thought, how Canadian and trusting, then it occurred to me they were being clever. With the label cut up, I would be less likely to try to con them out of a sale by returning the defective model to Amazon.

No problemo. Customer service was amazing. And for my trouble, I also have first dibs on a dep discount when the new model is released later this year.

Two weeks later, the big brown box was delivered by our UPS guy. I was back in business. And then the real fun began!