Last year, I decided that I really needed to get an Instant Pot. I had been seeing them all over the Internet and I had been reading blogs about them. Time for a truth bomb. I am not the best or most willing cook. For me, cooking is something fun that I do every once in a while. It’s not something that I do every night and it’s not something that I was really taught when I was younger.
My grandmother is a baker. I’ve done a lot of baking, but something like a simple dinner for on a work night is something that I really struggle with. If you need a fully home-cooked meal from start to finish for a holiday, I’m your girl. I am the one that in our family that hosts Christmas Eve dinner from scratch with multiple sides. These are things that I can do.
However, during the week I don’t get home until five. At that time I need something that I can essentially throw together. I struggle with that. I don’t have time to spend two hours cooking and it’s difficult to come up with quick healthy meals that don’t take long to make every night of the week.
As a busy mom, the last thing I want to have to do is spend time worrying and stressing over the food we feed our family. My husband and I are a team when it comes to dinner, but even together we really struggle with coming up with these meals and getting them on the table with the million and one other things that we need to get done during the week.
A possible solution: the Instant Pot
When I heard about the Instant Pot I decided that I wanted to give it a try. I did about two weeks worth of research figured out exactly where the best place buy. I also figured out which model I wanted and watched a lot of YouTube videos. YouTube is amazing when it comes to this type of research. It’s a great resource to have. What did people do without it?
I read a bunch of recipes because why buy something if I don’t have a recipe that I’m going like? There were so many amazing recipes that I keep thinking “I could make that” and “that looks amazing!” Finally, it was time to pull the trigger. After weeks of research, I found the one that I wanted and ordered it. I’ve never looked back.
I love my IP. It is one of my favorite things in my kitchen. I also love that it’s something that has saved me a lot of time, space, and helps me run my family more efficiently. Plus we eat really well now and it’s GOOD food.
Not a miracle worker
Now I want to put something out there right from the beginning. A lot of people talk about how fast Instant Pots are. Most of the negative reviews that you read say that the Instant Pot is not as fast as it’s advertised. And for that reason, they don’t like it.
I don’t want you to purchase something that you think will allow you to cook a full meal in five minutes. So I want to clear that up right now. The Instant Pot is not going to cook your dinner in five minutes. It’s simply not. It’s not even close.
So what’s the deal with time anyway? Let’s say you pick out a recipe. The directions say 5 minutes prep, and 5 minutes cooking. So that means it’s done in 10 minutes right? Not exactly.
Because it’s a pressure cooker, it needs to get up to pressure. And sometimes that takes a while. It could take ten minutes (or longer) to come up to pressure for that 5-minute recipe. So now it’s been 5 minutes prep, 10 minutes of getting to pressure, and 5 minutes of cooking time. Ok, so if I do the math, that’s 20 minutes. Still not too bad right?
Well, if you have a quick release recipe, yup, you only have to wait 20 minutes for a meal from start to finish. But if the recipe calls for a natural release, that means you have to wait for the pressure to release from the pot without manually releasing it. That could take another 15 minutes or more. So now you’re looking at 35 minutes or more for what you thought was a ten-minute recipe.
So as you can tell, there’s a reason these reviews are out there. If you don’t do your research and buy an Instant Pot without learning about the timing of it all, you might be disappointed in the time results of it all.
That being said, it will save you time. What really makes a difference with the IP is that a lot of recipes are “
But it is amazing!
There is no standing around a stove and stirring anything. There aren’t six different dishes that have to be washed at the end of the meal. From the woman who once burned soup, I can tell you this thing is a game changer.
Instead of actively cooking, I can prep everything and then dump and walk away. Not all recipes are like this, but I tend to stick to the easy ones. I’m a creature of habit I guess and I love the ability to walk away from the pot.
Adding the Instant Pot to the kitchen has helped my family eat both healthy and unhealthy meals. All in moderation is our motto! And there are certain dishes I wouldn’t make without the Instant Pot that I make regularly now.
The risotto story
I love risotto. Like it’s my favorite food on the planet and I’d eat it all the time if I could. But I can’t stand making it myself. Because who has time to stand at a stove and stir the liquid in? It feels like it takes forever and I don’t have the luxury of cooking like that when my child is begging me to play with her and the dog needs feeding, and I’ve got four loads of laundry that have to get done tonight or nobody will have clothes to wear tomorrow.
My life dictated for the longest time that I could only eat it at restaurants. That is until I found a recipe for risotto in the Instant Pot! Here’s how it works.
I heat up my Instant Pot. Next, I brown some onions on the bottom of the pot. I add the rest of the ingredients. Then, I set the lid and set the timer on the pot. Once it’s finished and beeps at me, I do a quick release. Finally, I remove the top, give it a stir, and serve. The Instant Pot will keep the rest of it warm while we eat so our seconds taste exactly like our first plates.
To recap: Rather than spending time in my kitchen stirring a dish for 45 minutes after doing all the prep work and then cleaning up a bunch of pots and pans, I’m spending five minutes browning some onions and dumping the rest of the ingredients into a pot. Which I stir once when it’s finished and then I’m done.
There are no major issues. For clean up, all I have to do is wash the pot and the lid. Both of which can go in the dishwasher if you want.
That’s why I love my Instant Pot. It’s not because it cooks everything in five minutes. But instead, because it only takes me five minutes to prepare the dish for the pot. After that, I can walk away.
When people talk about time savings, it’s more about active cooking time vs. Instant Pot time. Instead of spending time actively cooking, I can spend my time doing other things. I could play with my daughter (who I probably haven’t seen all day). Or I could clean up my kitchen so I don’t have to do it after dinner. I also could sit down and get some extra work done. Maybe I could do some laundry. There are a lot of things I can get done for the same meal that I would have been actively cooking before.
Having a faster way to make dinner has been amazing for our family. It’s decreased my stress level and made dinner more enjoyable for me again. My husband loves it too and has made several new favorites in it. We also have started making our own freezer meals. We prep everything on Sunday during naptime and end up with enough meals to last us two weeks if we make a new
Having the ability to dump a frozen chunk of pre-made deliciousness into our Instant Pot and walking away until the timer goes off has been one of our favorite things. Plus everything tastes so amazing!
So that is why I am obsessed with my Instant Pot. I truly believe that it is a great staple to have in your kitchen especially if you like me and need something that will create a healthy dinner for you and your family. It’s a great solution for people who are very busy and don’t have a lot of time, especially during the week.
Do you have an Instant Pot? What are your thoughts?
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