Raise your hand if you got an Instant Pot for Christmas OR already had one. How often have you used it?

I’m sure it has already transformed your life. You’re cooking more healthy family meals at home and are constantly finding new ways to use it. (LOL!)

Truth? I’ve had one for about a year now, and I’ve only cooked a few things in it. I do have one recipe I like and have cooked it several times. Seems like I don’t have the time to find a recipe I want to try, have all the ingredients on hand or the time to learn the controls of my Instant Pot. My husband says I’m always surprised that mealtime comes around so regularly!

And I have another confession to make – one that is going to determine what I share with you. I’m really a very picky eater. I like my food
plain and predictable. I’m not very adventurous when it comes to trying out new foods. And that presents a problem. There are lots of Instant Pot recipes out there, but most contain ingredients I don’t regularly buy and would never eat in the first place!

So – let’s talk a little about features of the Instant Pot first and meal situations for which it would be a good idea to use it. Then we’ll talk about recipes.

As you probably already know, the Instant Pot (and by the way, that’s not the only brand on the market) uses pressure and heat to cook a wide variety of foods more quickly than other methods. The pressure also tenderizes meats well. Most instant pots are programmable, with settings to sear, sauté, steam, slow-cook and simmer. All the settings and programming alone can confuse you and leave you saying “I’ll try it out when I have more time to actually read the manual”, and you never do.

If your recipe calls for the food to be crispy or crunchy, don’t use an Instant Pot. But for many other foods, it works great. It is especially good
for meats (pot roast comes to mind). You can also cook vegetables, mac and cheese, soups, chili, and the list goes on and on.

Real Simple’s recent article by Laura Fisher, “6 Things to Know Before You Use Your New Instant Pot”, is a good starting place
to familiarize yourself with the basics. You can access that here: https://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/tools-products/appliances/how-to-use-instant-pot. 

If you want the CliffsNotes version (do they still have those??) of the article, here it is.

  1. Start out using the Manual setting and leave the programming to learn later
  2. Even though cooking time is greatly reduced, you need to add time for preheating and pressure release.
  3. Don’t let it scare you. Instant Pots are much safer than the old “jiggling-top” pressure cookers. (I had one of those and was always nervous when it started jiggling too much!) Just be careful with the quick-release function and avoid the rush of escaping steam.
  4. The Instant Pot is great for quick cooking, but if want the flavors of the recipe to develop more, use the slow cooker instead.
  5. At least start out using recipes that are designed for the Instant Pot.
  6. Just in case you go out on your own without a recipe, at least include some liquid.

Have a great Instant Pot recipe to share? Let us know about your experiences and tips in the comments section.

In the next post, I’ll start sharing some recipes I like and tips for success with them. See you then!

And, just in case you’re one of the few people who didn’t get an Instant Pot for Christmas, you can order yours here: https://amzn.to/2Rzop0h. It’s on sale now at Amazon!

Disclosure: Bear in mind that the above link is an affiliate link and if you go through it to make a purchase, I will earn a commission.
Keep in mind that I link companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.