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One of the most stressful things that I deal with on a daily basis is what to feed my kids. I want it to be nutritious but I don’t want it to take a lot of time to make. If I can minimize the number of pots and plans to clean up, all the better!
I have been interested in getting an Instant Pot for about a year now but hesitated because I wasn’t sure if it was safe and if the food I prepared in it would retain its nutrients. I bought 2 Instant Pots that are very similar (one is a DUO and one is a LUX, you can find them for 6 qt or 8 qt. You can also find them here, currently on sale with free shipping.
My friend Liz is an amazing cook and she was raving about how she made Beef Bolognese and the pasta turned out great. No need to boil a separate pot for pasta (now you’ve really got my attention!). And she said she made it in record time and didn’t have to stand by the pot while it cooked. Just let the pressure cooker do its thing. Sounds too good to be true? Read on!
I discussed it with our holistic pediatrician (who raved about Instant Pot cooking) and did further research on my own. I value the work by the Weston A Price Foundation and found an article which states, “Some studies have shown that pressure cooking retains far more of certain nutrients than almost every other method of preparation.”
Things to consider:
Inner Pot Material – Stainless steel or other material?
Not all pressure cookers are made of the same material. It was important to me that my pressure cooker be made of stainless steel as I prefer to minimize the amount of cooking that I do on teflon. If this is important to you, make sure to check the material of the inner pot before you purchase your pressure cooker.
Size – 6 qt or 8 qt?
Most families will do well with a 6 quart however my two older children consume adult size portions and I prefer to have leftovers. This is great for making chicken broth and big stews so I went with the 8 quart. It easily fits big meals with room to spare. I also plan on using the slow cooker function on it for when we have parties.
The awesome thing about this Instant Pot is that you can use it as a slow cooker if you don’t want your meal cooked quickly. Most pressure cookers have multiple features, this Instant Pot may also be used for Soup/Broth, Meat/Stew, Cake, Egg, Sauté, Rice, Multigrain, Porridge, Steam.
The much anticipated Instant Pot arrived but I was a bit intimidated at first. The 8 quart is rather large but what I was most nervous about was all of the buttons on the display. It turns out that the extra buttons are great but if in doubt, you can just use the default button to pressure cook either high or low and set how long it will cook for.
Now that I’ve made different meals in my Instant Pot, I feel comfortable playing around with the buttons.
My mother in law was with me when I prepared my first meal in it and we were both excited to see how it would turn out. She has used an old school stove top pressure cooker and said this electric one was so much nicer with all of the safety features.
If you love your Instant Pot, this is really helpful:
1) A glass cover for once your meal is cooked.
Keeping it in the Instant Pot once your meal is cooked keeps it warm but it is a hassle to twist and take off the cover. You also can’t see what’s inside. This glass cover allows you to easily access the food and see what’s inside. Please note that you cannot cook with this cover on, this glass cover is only used once your food is done cooking.
If you do purchase a glass cover, make sure that you check the qt size that you are buying so that you purchase the size that is right for your pressure cooker.
I am a new Instant Pot user so I haven’t tried this out yet, but I plan to get:
2) A round cake pan that can go on a stand above what I’m cooking so that I can cook more than one thing in my Instant Pot at the same time.
I liked the Instant Pot so much that I ordered another one and had it delivered to where we were vacationing. We typically eat out a lot when we go on vacation and it’s really expensive. It’s also much more fattening than what I would cook. The Instant Pot allowed me to make healthier meals quickly with a lot less clean up.
We were staying near friends and family so I knew I would be able to put the Instant Pot to use and leave it for my family to use once we left. Now when I go back and visit, I will have access to an Instant Pot – win/win!
I have a couple of slow cooker recipes that I love and I can do them in the Instant Pot slowly. If I need it faster, I can use the high pressure setting – cooking game changer. The only way that I knew to make Kalua Pork was in my crock pot and setting it on high for 6 hours minimum. Now I can do it in my Instant Pot in 2 hours. A fraction of the time and the meat came out better in the Instant Pot even though it cooked in less time!
How many times have you decided what you wanted to make for dinner but you forgot to defrost it? Well with the Instant Pot, you can cook your meal with frozen meat. Full disclosure, I have not needed to do this yet however I have seen recipes specifically geared towards taking your meat out of the freezer and putting it in the Instant Pot.
An instant Pot will save me a lot of time each week, which was my initial motivation for getting one. Now that I’ve made a variety of meals in it, I have to say that I’ve become an Instant Pot junkie. I now look at recipes in a whole new light – how can I tailor it so I can put it in the Instant Pot? The flavors come together so nicely, in a fraction of the time, and there are less pots and pans to clean up.
How about you? Do you use an Instant Pot? What’s your favorite meal to make in it?
The Ultimate Healthy Meal Planning Bundle appealed to me because it has over 100 Instant Pot recipes. It also has books on meal planning and shopping lists.
For Instant Pot & Slow Cooker
- 21 Healthy Instant Pot Dinners by Nancylynn Sicilia ( $7.99 )
- Easy Instant Pot Recipes by Justine Howell ( $9.99 )
- Eat the Clock! Easy Instant Pot Recipes on the Table
- in Under 45 Minutes by Kara Carrero ( $8.99 )
- Freezer Meal Boot Camp Packs #1 and #2 by Leslie Lambert ( $12.99 )
- From Freezer to Crock to Table: How to Make 20 Slow Cooker Freezer Meals in Less than 3 Hours by Karen Petersen ( $3.99 )
- Hangry Beyond Belief: A 30 Day Pressure Cooker Meal Plan for the Busy Cook by Jessica Van Slyke ( $3.99 )
- Instant Pot Favorites: Healthier Instant Pot Recipes that your Family will Love! by Becca Ludlum ( $7.99 )
- Mama and Baby Love Slow Cooker Freezer Meals ( $14.99 )
- Master the Electric Pressure Cooker by Marci Buttars and Cami Graham ( $14.99 )
- Meal Plan: 20 Slow Cooker Freezer Dump Meals for under $150 by Lauren Greutman( $5.97)
- Traditional Cooking School’s Pressure Cooker Favorites by Wardee Harmon ( $9.99 )
My favorites in the bundle related to the Instant Pot are:
Hangry Beyond Belief: A 30 Day Pressure Cooker Meal Plan for the Busy Cook. This beautiful e-book really caught my eye and has one of my first Instant Pot recipes that I tried (Hearty Beef Stew), it became a family favorite so I’m excited to go through the rest of this e-book. At the end of the e-book, there are 4 weeks of meal plans along with their shopping lists.
Eat the Clocks Easy Instant Pot Recipes on the Table in Under 45 minutes includes an Instant Pot Cheat Sheet and useful abbreviations which are helpful for Instant Pot cooking lingo. When you search through Instant Pot recipes, you will see abbreviations like NPR, QR, PIP and this e-book has the best tips all in one place.
There are also Vegan, Gluten Free, Paleo, Keto, Budget Meals, Freezer/Batch CookingMeals and Meal Planning strategies and planners. The last day to grab the bundle is on Jan 5th.
If the thought of 10-15 minutes of cooking prep amounts to dinner being ready in an hour while you do other things appeals to you…an Instant Pot may be the answer for you. No need to stay in the kitchen. You can play with your kids, give them a bath, do laundry…whatever you want.
If you had all the time in the world, is there something that you would like to accomplish? Maybe take some art classes or pursue a different career? Get in better shape? Create lasting traditions and have more quality time with your family? Are you so exhausted by everything that you have to do that you can’t even imagine what you would like to do? If so, I encourage you to start dreaming and grab the free downloads from my resource library so that you can get back your time and stay focused on your goals each day. Get access to my FREE resource library here.