Most people don’t understand how the instant pot can change a life – and I get it, I was there once. This post is going to clearly show you why and how the Instant Pot is such a game changer, and why it’s worth it to check it out
Most of you know that I lived off the grid in a yurt for 4 years. What living “off the grid” means in real-life terms is, “very few appliances because you have to watch your solar power usage.” You can’t use things that heat up – so, no hair dryers, no toasters, that kind of thing. No Instant Pots either, if you want to have electricity for using the internet!
So I’ve been late to join this.
What exactly IS the Instant Pot?
The Instant Pot is this machine that can cook in a variety of ways.
It can sauté, slow cook, and pressure cook. It can steam eggs, make yogurt, cook multiple things at the same time. In fact, it can do so many things that it made me suspicious, because in my experience, machines that can usually do a lot of things do those “lots of things” okay but none of them really well.
The Instant Pot does them all really well for the combined dish, if that makes sense. The saute function, for example, is great because it browns the spices, meat or whatever for the dish you are cooking IN THE SAME POT.
You don’t stove-fry and then transfer to the pot.
You just fry and then switch the Pot functions.
So it does it a lot – here are some more pieces about what it is and why I love it:
1. It’s not a slow cooker
The Instant Pot looks enough like a slow-cooker that I was just not interested in it for a long time.
I hate slow cookers.
Food tastes beige in slow cookers, everything runs together and it’s just… yuck.
But the Instant Pot is NOT A SLOW COOKER!!!!
Sure it has the ability to slow cook, but that’s the feature you can probably just forget about. The one you really want is the PRESSURE COOK.
What this means is that the machine will take your food and use pressure safely and effectively to cook it.
2. It doesn’t burn stuff
I have heard that it can, but I have not experienced this. My model works great, and I love it.
Nothing burns, EVER. I cook things according to the time, and when it’s done with pressure cooking, it stays warm until I get to it.
This is serious for me, since I have such a short attention span (or maybe it’s just because I have 3 active and young kids? And can’t seem to focus on anything for very long anymore?). I burned just about everything when I would attempt to make anything remotely complicated in my pre-Instant Pot life. Yeah, you know, back in the yurt.
The Instant Pot makes it all GOOD. And keeps it EASY.
3. You can dump frozen chicken in and have it come out great
This is the real reason I took a chance and bought an Instant Pot for myself. A friend told me she dumped frozen chicken in and it came out great. I was like, HOLY COW, this is for me, man! If there is even a chance it does this, I AM IN.
Because I forget to thaw out meat for dinner ALL. THE. TIME. and am left at 5pm most nights kind of fingering the box of mac and cheese and looking wistfully at the other options in the freezer.
And it’s true!
The Instant Pot really will grab your frozen meat and apply pressure to it and cook ti gorgeously and leave you like a rockstar-of-a-mom, all hands on your hips with a smirking smile.
4. Set it and forget it
I spend some time every morning setting up the meal for the evening and then that’s it. I really do “set it and forget it” and the world is sort of my oyster again because of it.
I love eating good food, and I love food from other cultures. I didn’t have time to stand in front of the stove or oven for multiple steps that many of these complicated recipes require, nor did I want burned food. Or gross slow cooker dredge.
The Instant Pot makes all of that accessible to me again – I can make awesome Indian curries in it, Vietnamese/Taiwanese stews, kahlua pork, pretty much anything. I just get it going in the morning and then open it when we are ready to eat in the evening and voila!
1. The actual brand pot
People advised me to buy the actual brand Instant Pot (IP). I did, and it’s worked well for me, so I pass the advice on.
I got the Instant Pot DUO60 6 Qt. I think it’s the right size for us – one adult and 3 kids. I have enough space to do the pot-in-pot method, and space to make yogurt on the stand.
Since I was trying out a completely new thing, I wanted to give myself some space for the learning curve. I bought two cookbooks to start me off:
I bought the Indian one because! Indian food is too delicious!!
I bought the “essential” one because it’s just standard recipes that would teach me how to use the machine for standard things.
I worked my way through both cookbooks and I’m glad I did. I have a pretty good understanding of timing now, and I’m able to adapt non-IP-specific recipes to the IP because of that.
Don’t go overboard.
The actual pot comes with a trivet stand thing. Seriously, you don’t even need that to get started. Just get the machine and pick up what you figure you need from recipes along the way, as you get to know the machine and what you want out of it.
4. Take time for your learning curve
This is a smart machine and you are smart, too. You guys need time to get to know each other. Set yourself up to succeed by starting off with easy recipes and move forward as you understand the timings because the timings are REALLY important.
The Pot-In-Pot method is really cool but I don’t advise starting off with that until you understand how much time it takes to cook brown rice and how much time it takes for your carrot to be cooked the way you like it.
Once you have a handle on that though… the sky is your limit.
If you go out and buy a pot because of this post, I hope you a) use my affiliate links so it’ll help pay for the blog hosting (haha!) and b) that you totally adore it.
Mostly I hope for b), that you totally adore it, because I’ve been so happy with mine and I just want to share the love.