The inflammasome is a protein complex that comprises an intracellular sensor (typically a Nod-like receptor), the precursor procaspase-1 and the adaptor ASC. Inflammasome activation leads to the maturation of caspase-1 and the processing of its substrates, interleukin 1β (IL-1β) and IL-18. Although initially the inflammasome was described as a complex that affects infection and inflammation, subsequent evidence has suggested that inflammasome activation influences many metabolic disorders, including atherosclerosis, type 2 diabetes, gout and obesity. Another feature of inflammation in general and the inflammasome specifically is that the activation process has a profound effect on aerobic glycolysis (the 'Warburg effect'). Here we explore how the Warburg effect might be linked to inflammation and inflammasome activation.