It turns out that the Instant Pot (combo pressure cooker and crockpot on steroids) is designed for someone like me—and probably someone like you too!
*This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. This means that if you click on one of these links and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission. This does not cost you a penny more and Is one of the ways I support my blog and family. You can read my full disclosure policy here.
What Makes the Instant Pot So Awesome?
I could probably write more than one post about why the Instant Pot is such an awesome addition to your kitchenand cooking routine, but I will hit the most important features that blow meaway.
1. You can cook food and entire meals directly out of the freezer.
How many times do you get to the end of the day and then think about what you’ll fix for supper? I am guilty of doing that most nights of the week. So the fact that I can pull frozen chicken breasts out of the freezer and add them directly to the Instant Pot to cook dinner is amazing and it doesn’t look as bad as when my husband
2. Use the sautee feature for cooking pasta, thicken sauces, make
roux, and brown or sear meat.
I love using a crockpot, but they don’t brown your meats. So, if I am cooking a recipe that requires you to brown something before you put it in the crockpot, well I just might as well cook it on the stove!
I also love to cook a good gumbo, but that requires me to stand at the stovetop stirring for no less than 30 minutes—no joke! The sautee feature on the Instant pot does this for you. Wow.
3. It’s easy to clean.
I don’t think I even need to comment on this one. Who likes to stand at the sink scrubbing cooked on food off of a pot? Right, no one.
4. It can make popcorn.
This is just neat because it’s a way to make popcorn that won’t smell up your microwave.
5. The Instant Pot can make cheesecake!
Really? I can’t wait to try the pumpkin cheesecake recipe (at the bottom of this post) for Thanksgiving this year.
6. You cook meat in bulk and freeze for later.
One of my best cooking tips for making things easier when you have a chronic illness is to take apart a pack of chicken breasts (or any type of meat) as soon as I get home from the grocery store and season, pack it separately, and put it in the freezer. Using the Instant Pot to also be able to cook meat in bulk and then freeze it takes this tip one step further. A great way to batch your cooking and save time and energy.
How to Get Started Using an Instant Pot
I know it might be intimidating the first time you unpack your Instant Pot. You can get started immediately by visiting Paint the Kitchen Red. They have a great quick-start guide for the first time you set up and use your Instant Pot.
She also mentions that it is important to try your first recipe with something simple like cooking rice or hard-boiled eggs. Also, make sure to use an“official” Instant Pot recipe from experienced bloggers or cookbooks. And definitely don’t deviate from the cooking instructions in the recipe.
Instant Pot for Beginners
There are a lot of buttons on your Instant Pot and many of the buttons can be used for multiple functions and purposes. Just like an oven, there are many options of temperatures used in cooking. The Instant Pot doesn’t just use different temperatures to cook food, it also uses different pressures (keep in mind it is a combo pressure cooker and crockpot.) This post from the Awe Filled Homemaker takes you button by button through all of the functions of the Instant Pot.
An important part of her article references that the cook time found in the Instant Pot manual, as well as recipes, is not the same as the time it takes for your food/recipe to be ready. Just like an oven, it takes time for the Instant Pot to heat up, then it takes time for the correct amount of pressure to be released. One example given is that 7minutes of cook time
Tips and Hacks for Using the Instant Pot
There are many Instant Pot
- If you use the Instant Pot often, consider buying an extra stainless steel insert.
- Don’t fill your pot to the brim because some recipes expand during cooking.
- Adjust your recipe for your altitude.
- Perform the water test to make sure your instant pot works properly.
- Learn the difference between quick and natural release.
- Account for total prep time and cook time when planning your meals.
- Start off with easy “hard to mess-up” recipes like these hard-boiled eggs.
- Most parts are dishwasher safe and you should wipe down the outer unit after each use.
- Cook meat longer than it tells you. here
- Let it depressurize by itself.
- You always need liquid at least a 1 cup of water of liquid at all times.
- Put pasta on top.
- Put meat on the bottom.
- Regular pressure-cooker recipes need to be converted.
- Always place the inner pot back into Instant Pot before pouring in the ingredients.
- Make sure the venting knob is in the sealing position.
- Cooking times are based on size, not weight.
- The sealing ring can be removed.
- Clean the steel insert and lid after each use.
- Use multiple buttons when cooking.
- You can and should adjust the temperature.
- Add 10-15 minutes to cooking time when using pressure.
- Purchase extra sealing rings (sweet and savory) because they hold the smell.
**You can grab a free printable of Instant Pot Cooking Times over at The Typical Mom.
55 Instant Pot Recipes
I have collected some amazing recipes for you to try in your Instant Pot. Let me know which ones you try in the comment section below!
- Panera Copycat Broccoli & Cheddar Soup
- Herb Potatoes
- Chili Con Queso
- Corn on the Cobb
- Bacon Ranch Potatoes
- Parmesan Garlic Artichokes
- Sweet Potatoes
- 15-Minute Mexican Rice
- Brown Sugar Carrots
- Mushroom Risotto
- Cilantro Lime Rice
- Mac N Cheese
- Fried Rice
- Rosemary Mashed Potatoes
- Instant Pot Spaghetti
- Chicken & Dumplings
- Loaded Baked Potato Soup
- Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Instant Pot Goulash
- Instant Pot Chili
- 1-Hour Pot Roast
- Chicken Teriyaki Rice & Vegetables
- Shepherd’s Pie
- Tuscan Chicken Pasta
- Instant Pot Chicken Marsala
- Instant Pot Beef & Broccoli
- Pulled BBQ Chicken
- Instant Pot French Dip Sandwiches
- Instant Pot Baby Back Ribs
- Shredded Mexican Chicken
- Buttery Ranch Pork Chops
- Instant Pot Meatloaf
- Orange Chicken
- Chicken Fajitas
- Chicken Florentine
- Chicken Breasts
- Lemon Pepper Salmon
- Honey Ham
- Honey BBQ Chicken Wings
- 4 Ingredient Peach Cobbler
- Rice Pudding
- Key Lime Pie
- New York Cheesecake
- Peanut Butter Brownies
- Banana Bread
- Chocolate Lava Cake
- Pumpkin Cheesecake
- Apple Dumplings
- Creme Brulee
- Angel Food Cake
- Apple Crisp
- Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
- Lemon Poppy Seed Cake
- Cherry Cake
I can’t wait to hear back from you on how the instant pot has made cooking easier for you! Just drop a comment below.
Read More About Kitchen & Cooking Hacks . . .
- 30 Mind-Blowing Kitchen Hacks that Make Cooking Easier (with a Chronic Illness)
- 17 Marvelously Useful Kitchen Gadgets (That Will Make Your Life Easier)
- Grocery Delivery Versus Grocery Pickup (What’s Best for You?)
- How to Make Grocery Shopping Easier When You Have a Chronic Illness (and Even If You Don’t)
Do you have any other cooking tips for people living with chronic illness?