You might have heard about this popular little kitchen “gadget”. It was the top selling product on Amazon’s Prime day this summer, there are more than 100 groups dedicated to it on Facebook, countless Pinterest boards dedicated to recipes and it’s the topic of many discussions in moms’ groups around the country. Meet this popular little kitchen superstar: Instant Pot.
What exactly is this pot? Instant Pot is one brand of what is known as a multi-functional cooker. This is a device that is combination of many kitchen gadgets in one place. It’s an electric pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice maker and yogurt maker all in one. There are several versions out there, but Instant Pot has a near cult-like following. I purchased a similar product 10 years ago and “upgraded” to the Instant Pot about 2 years ago. Between the two, I can say that I have used them an average of once a week for the last 10 years. I can honestly say that I don’t see that much of a difference between my old model and the Instant Pot other than the IP has more buttons. It actually seems a bit more complicated to me, but I am used to it now. From here on out, I will continue to refer to the multi-functional cookers as Instant Pot or IP but know that I am referring to the generic multi-functional cooker when I do so. Check out some pressure cooker reviews by Bestreviews.com here.
Here are my top 5 reasons the Instant Pot makes my life in the kitchen easier:
- It’s one tool for so many uses. I have been able to clean out my cupboards of many additional tools. I no longer need a separate slow cooker, rice cooker and pressure cooker. Now I just have one pot.
- This ain’t your grandma’s pressure cooker. When I first thought about pressure cookers, I recalled my mom using this scary pot that built-up steam and seemed really dangerous. In fact, my grandma’s stovetop pressure cooker blew up and caused major damage in her kitchen in the 1980s. These pots are so much easier to use and so much less intimidating. The lids have locks on them so when they come to pressure you can’t take the lid off.
- Cooking with pressure cuts cooking time in half. You can prepare just about anything in a pressure cooker from beans, to meats, to vegetables and even hard boiled eggs (and the shells peel off so easily when pressure cooked). If you’re curious about the science behind how a pressure cooker works, you can get an in-depth break down here.
- It’s the ultimate one pot wonder. You can layer different items in your pot and cook them at the same time. You can put your potatoes in the bottom and a bowl with broccoli on top to cook them both at the same time while you work on another task rather than slaving over the stove and dirtying multiple pots and pans.
- Set it and forget it. These puppies are programmable. That means you can delay the start time for the number of hours you want, set the cook time for the length you want and it will turn to a warm setting once the timer goes off. You can truly set it and go on with your life, come back and your food is ready.
There is a slight learning curve to using the Instant Pot but there are so many resources out there from the aforementioned Facebook pages, cook books and blogs to just trial and error.
My favorite time-saving hack with the IP is to take frozen boneless, skinless chicken thighs and put them in the pot frozen, dump a jar of salsa on top and turn on the pot for 11 minutes. It takes a bit for the pot to come up to pressure but within 20 minutes (of which I used 19 of them to do something else because I was not needed to attend to the IP while it did its magic) I now have Mexican chicken. This can be used in tacos, quesadillas, soups, you name it. You can do this with frozen chicken breasts as well but I find the thighs so much moister.
There are so many more tips and tricks to using the pot. I love that I can throw ingredients in, walk away and come back to a fully cooked meal.
If you use an Instant Pot or another Multi-Function Cooker, what’s your favorite recipe?