XRFTesting: Instant Pot (Video)

We tested the Instant Pot today in a Facebook Live video!
(Tested it for lead, mercury, cadmium, arsenic  – etc., – using an XRF Analyzer)
Watch the video to see the testing results.
Click the Facebook button on the video to share it from Facebook.

Click the image below to check out Instant Pots on Amazon.
The one pictured and linked here is the one we tested.

Conclusion: Some trace lead and cadmium was found in components of the Instant Pot that do not touch the food.  Since I am a hardcore lead poisoning prevention advocate I will choose to not buy one of these for my home (until they make one that is entirely lead-free.)  However one of the standards I have shared with friends is: “Would I eat food at your home if you cooked it for me in this?”  And the answer to that question is “Yes.”  I would have no problem or concern eating food that you cooked for me in the Instant Pot.

Some of the links on this page may be affiliate links where a purchase made
after clicking will support this website without costing you extra!


Happy shopping, and as always, please let me know if you have any questions.


Tamara Rubin
Environmental Activist
Unexpected Lead Expert
Mother of Four Boys

Affiliate link disclosure: If you choose to purchase any items after clicking the Amazon links above, Amazon pays me a small kick back as a thank you for sending business their way. It doesn’t cost you anything extra and helps support this website, allowing me to keep sharing information about childhood lead poisoning prevention (as well as making it possible for me to keep sharing about safe products for your home and family) ... Sharing this information in turn helps families everywhere protect their children from potential environmental toxicity in their homes. I only link to products that are the same as (or very similar to) ones that I either have direct personal experience with in my home or that I have personally tested with an XRF Instrument and found to be lead-safe or lead-free. January 2017

29 Responses to XRFTesting: Instant Pot (Video)

  1. Susan January 21, 2017 at 9:29 pm #

    It was mentioned in the other blog post that you tested Starbucks mugs too – where can we find those results?

    Thank you so much for sharing this!

  2. Suzanne January 27, 2017 at 11:07 am #

    So did you determine the age of the other instant pot you were talking about? Is the heating of the lead part that you did discover contaminate the food (through the stainless steel pot) or by releasing the pressure?

    • Tamara January 27, 2017 at 11:13 am #

      The other one was purchased in approximately October of 2016.

  3. Sarah February 18, 2017 at 8:49 pm #

    Thank you! Your work is invaluable!

  4. Sarah February 19, 2017 at 10:02 am #

    I am intrigued with how difficult it is to find a good safe crock pot! It seems like it would be simple enough to make one if you had a glass or stainless steel container that fit your slow cooker’s heating unit. But it’s hard to know where to find parts that will fit together. I have seen the vita clay crock pots and while they look like a good alternative they simply aren’t big enough for my family to justify the cost. :/ I am very tempted to purchase one of these instant pots and I want to tell myself it should be safe because the food doesn’t touch the lead components, but then I can’t help but think about all that lead close to the heating elements combined with the pressure the cooker uses…. I know that when heavy metals are heated they gas off and that concerns me. I really do hope to come to a good conclusion soon. My family is very busy and it would be lovely to have meals cooking themselves while we are away living life.

  5. Sarah February 19, 2017 at 10:12 am #

    It looks like Procter Silex claims there is no lead or cadmium in their crocks. Check number 11 of their faqs page. I wonder if this is really true?!

  6. Laura Pazzaglia April 23, 2017 at 11:31 pm #

    Hi Tamara, I really enjoyed this video – very interesting testing! BTW, the button in the base is actually a thermal sensor (the cover for it). It checks the temperature of the pot during cooking so the microprocessor can decide whether to turn it on or off.

    You mentioned that you were going to purchase a valve to massacre and see where the cadmium is. Have you been able to do that yet?



    Laura Pazzaglia
    Founder, hip pressure cooking website

  7. Michayla November 25, 2017 at 8:16 pm #

    Have you tested the 8 quart size?

    • Tamara November 26, 2017 at 10:36 am #

      I don’t believe I have. The ones I tested were all the same size.

  8. Annie Burnham December 12, 2017 at 5:47 am #

    Hi Tamara
    Is really possible to find an instant pot that is completely lead free?

    • Tamara December 12, 2017 at 1:52 pm #

      Not yet.

      • Linda December 30, 2017 at 10:31 am #

        The pressure pin on my new Instant Pot is bright red. I hope that it wouldn’t test positive for lead. Thanks for this video and for all your work.

  9. Vicky January 12, 2018 at 8:32 pm #

    I’m new to learning about lead, so I’m sorry for the silly question – but is there’s any risk to having one of these and leaving it on the kitchen counter? Will lead dust accumulate on the counter? I want to get an instant pot, but I have a toddler and I’m hoping to get pregnant again soon, so I’m concerned and trying to understand what these results mean, and what the risks are. Does the lead in this item have potential to escape -as dust, or on your fingers when touching the product? Sorry again for the silly question. I’m new to this. Thank you so much!

    • Tamara January 14, 2018 at 12:33 pm #

      I think the risk is minimal and the main issue (reason I don’t have one yet) is because this sort of thing has not been studied at all. I personally feel like it’s a huge problem that there is lead in the heating elements of all similar appliances, but I have not found one with a lead-free heating element! The Instant Pot has the lowest lead in the heating element of all similar appliances that I have tested though, and I am thinking of caving on this one (because otherwise we don’t have a pressure cooker!)

  10. always January 17, 2018 at 8:45 pm #

    Hi Tamara, do you have a favorite slow cooker? i can’t find any info on your site!! thank you.

    • Tamara January 18, 2018 at 2:25 pm #

      I don’t right now. I am still searching. I may get an Instant pot because it seems like the safest choice out there, but the lead in the heating element creeps me out (purely emotional/ non-scientific reaction!)

      • Brit January 23, 2018 at 9:56 am #

        Hello Tamara,

        I was wondering if you have tested the vitaclay multi-cookers? I understand the clay insert has no lead or other toxins (Or so they claim), but I was wondering about the inside elements as well. I would prefer to buy something that is completely lead and toxin free, not just the parts that touch food. I am between the vitaclay and this instant pot, but I don’t want to spend the extra on the vitaclay if the heating element and what not have lead.


  11. Leda Forseen May 30, 2018 at 1:37 pm #

    I am fed up with being poisoned. Thankyou for your work. In regard to the instant pot I am now planning on using an xtrema ceramic pot as liner. I have been doing a lot of research on nickle toxicity & that is the reason to use a liner. From what I have read you use steamer basket w/1 cup water & allow eXtra 5 min in cooking. Now to look @ dish & utensils.

    • Tamara May 31, 2018 at 11:02 am #

      Unfortunately the label on the bottom of the Xtrema pot is high-lead, so you might want to re-think that. Is there a plain undecorated clear glass liner that would work?

      • Leda May 31, 2018 at 6:18 pm #

        Where do I find the undecorated plain glass liner.
        I never would have guessed that label would have lead. Thankyou

        • Tamara June 1, 2018 at 9:27 am #

          You can ask Instant Pot (in the group on Facebook?) if anyone has a suggestion, or look at the line of new clear glass pyrex offerings to see if anything would work?

  12. Kristie December 7, 2018 at 6:11 am #

    I am interested in knowing if we need to worry about heavy metals being heated. I definitely know I do not want them in contact with my food. But, I wonder if it is a problem to have lead heating up (as in does it become toxic in the air)? Also, I am very interested in an electric griddle or toaster oven also. Have you done any research or testing on either of these? Thank you so much for your research!

  13. Evelin January 2, 2019 at 10:35 pm #

    I am in need of purchasing a safe and nontoxic steamer to cook my 6-month old baby food. Any suggestions you have?

    Thank you so much!

  14. James January 3, 2019 at 3:13 pm #

    I just purchased the Instant Pot LUX60V3 today. Being a food safety conscious person, I’m concerned about the lead issues I’ve been reading about. I’m wondering should return my purchase or keep it. Any suggestions?

    • Tamara January 3, 2019 at 3:20 pm #

      Hi James,

      We’ve been using it as it is has the LOWEST lead levels of all of the options out there and there is no lead in the food surface of the device. [Not sure if that helps, but it was my only option to use to convince my husband to throw out our rice cooker!] Here’s our rice cooker for comparison and the full XRF details for the Instant Pot:

      Rice Cooker: https://tamararubin.com/2018/08/leaded-miracle-rice-cooker-c-2009-made-in-china/
      Instant Pot: https://tamararubin.com/2018/08/asktamara-does-your-instant-pot-have-lead-xrf-test-results-for-a-6-quart-instant-pot-purchased-in-july-2018-from-amazon/


      • James January 3, 2019 at 4:06 pm #

        Thanks! I wanted to start using it this weekend to start cooking vegetarian meals for the upcoming week. I do own a slow cooker made by Crock Pot that’s been with me since 2012. I may use it about every two month or so. Again after reading the reviews, I’m wondering how much lead it contains.

        • Tamara January 3, 2019 at 6:34 pm #

          Hi James,

          The Crock Pots seem to range batch to batch. Some are lead-free. Some have lead-free glazes. Some have low levels of lead in either the glaze or the substrate. As a result of the batch level variation on the ceramic glazed inserts, I don’t recommend them.


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