Yes, I’ll admit I’ve riding the Instant Pot bandwagon for years. I’m usually one of those that avoids participating in popular trends, or at least I wait until the hype as died down. But there was something about the Instant Pot that really appealed to me, and as soon as mine arrive on my door step I can confidently say that I use it at least three times a week and I absolutely adore it.
Here are my top reasons why I love the Instant Pot. Plus, I’ve tossed in a couple of the limitations that it has, as it’s definitely not a perfect appliance.
I’m typically a from-scratch (or pretty close to) cook, and I’ve discovered the Instant Pot (IP) has freed up a HUGE amount of cooking time for me in the kitchen. This has allowed me to spend more time with my husband and kids, and yet I’m still able to put a fantastic meal on the table.
My favorite ways to use my Instant Pot
Risotto doesn’t require me standing over the stove for an hour constantly stirring the arborio rice while I slooowly add broth a cup at a time. While a parmesan mushroom risotto is cooking in the IP, I usually roast some shrimp to add on top. Bonus: my toddler loves risotto.
If I forget to defrost ground beef for dinner (which happens more often than not), I can still cook it from frozen in the IP and have taco meat ready to eat in under 30 minutes without standing over the stove browning the meat.
Place trivit at bottom of Instant Pot. Add 1 cup of water. Place frozen ground beef onto trivet. Manual setting (High pressure) for 25 minutes with a quick pressure release. Remove lid and carefully take out trivit. Break up the ground beef in the pot and switch to Saute setting to finish off browning any meat that may not have fully cooked. While on sauting, add any taco seasoning/ingredients and cook for about 5 minutes to allow some of the excess liquid to evaporate. Turn off saute setting once ready to serve.
In Minnesota, we love wild rice, and the IP cooks it perfectly without need to watch it on the stove. I haven’t had boiled-over rice water stuck to my glass stove cooktop in over a year. Can I get a hallelujah?!?!
I cooked a 5 lb brisket in the IP in less than two hours, and it was cut-with-a-fork tender!
Soups and stews are excellent to make in the IP. I had great success with ham & split-pea soup using my homemade ham stock.
Making beef/chicken/turkey stock is super easy and cook time is cut in half (at least) compared to making it on the stove.
While I haven’t done hard-boiled eggs in the IP, I’m told they turn out perfect and easy to peel.
Instant Pot Cold-Start Homemade Full-Fat Yogurt
Note: This recipe requires the Yogurt button on your Instant Pot. Not all models have this.
1/2 gallon (1.5 L) Fairlife whole milk
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons plain yogurt
Add all three ingredients to Instant Pot. Whisk together well. Place cover on Instant Pot and press Yogurt button to a minimum of 8:00 hours. The longer the time, the more tart the yogurt.
After 8:00 hours (or whatever time you set) has been reached. Transfer the IP bowl with yogurt to the fridge (do not stir the yogurt) and chill for minimum of 8 hours, or overnight. This can be made without the sweetened condensed milk if you’d like it unsweetened.
Makes about 8 (6 oz) servings. Estimated nutrition per serving: 300 calories, 11 g fat, 33 g carbs, 33 g sugar, 16 g protein, 153 mg sodium.
Limitations of the Instant Pot:
There can be a learning curve, and it’s still an appliance that does require some cooking skills and knowledge.
You’ll never get crispy meat. You’d need to transfer meat to the oven to get a crispy crust on it, and that would eliminate the convenience factor of the appliance.
Vegetables. Softer vegetables can easily turn to mush so you need to be careful with them, or use a different cooking method. Root vegetables probably work the best in the IP. I’ve also done corn-on-the-cob in the IP with great success.
It’s not a small appliance by any means, and does take up some significant counter/storage space.