What was initially an Amazon “Prime Day” impulse buy, eventually became my most loved cooking gadget. When it arrived, it sat in storage for a few months. I’ll admit, I was intimidated by this strange contraption. What button should I push? When? For how long? It didn’t take long to figure out that it was simpler than I first thought.
Here’s why I love this appliance. Moms trust me — you need one of these!
It does anything and everything you want. Literally.
For those of you that aren’t familiar with the Instant Pot, it is essentially a multi-cooker that works as a slow cooker, pressure cooker, rice cooker, steamer, sauté/browning pan, food warmer, and even has a yogurt-making function. Before I discovered this magic pot, I had too many gadgets and not enough counter space. I can finally rid my counter of 4-5 items and leave out the one kitchen gadget that functions as everything. I recommend this recipe book on amazon because it has plenty of information for newbies and a ton of fantastic recipes.
Speaking of too many gadgets, how much fun is it to clean up the kitchen and wash all those pots and pans after dinner? Yeah, it’s not fun for me either. One-pot meals are my favorite meals. Long day at work? Throw it in the instant pot and watch some magic happen.
Click the sauté button to brown your meat and soften your veggies/onions. Throw in some pasta, and then pressure cook. Push a button and walk away — time to snuggle your kids or argue with them over whether or not they need a bath. Wait for the beep. Voilà — you have beef and cheese ziti for dinner. Cook time: about 10 minutes. Click here for my favorite delicious one-pot recipe.
Rice in 20 minutes
I hate making rice. The boiling, simmering, and stirring are the last things on my mind when my newborn and my preschooler need my attention. The Instant Pot has changed my entire way of cooking because it does everything for me. I can simply throw in the rice and water, close the lid, push the rice button, and then walk away. This Mexican casserole recipe has become one of my favorites. Search the internet for “Instant Pot recipes,” and you’ll find plenty of ideas on Pinterest and blog sites to get you started.
Meatballs in 5 minutes
My husband laughed when I told him the pasta and meatballs would be done in five minutes. Challenge accepted (and the result was so delicious)! Fresh meatballs take about five minutes, but the Instant Pot will also cook frozen food with no need to thaw. Frozen ground beef takes about 25 minutes to cook, and yes, it tastes delicious. Here you’ll find a great recipe for thawing frozen beef. I have compared the method of thawing, browning, and sautéing v. using the Instant Pot, and nobody in my family can taste the difference.
Healthy meals are easy and simple
Playing with a new kitchen appliance has inspired me to start cooking new things and begin eating healthier. Steamed and sautéed carrots in a brown sugar butter sauce has become a real treat in our house. You can find that recipe here. I’m not as tempted to spend money on fast food now that I know I can make good hearty meals in half the time, doing half the work, with a fraction of the clean-up. Meals are also more delicious and nutritious because of the sealed environment. Pressure-cooking and steaming in the Instant Pot traps the flavor in food and allows it to retain all the nutrients. You can read more about those benefits here and here.