What is an Instant Pot? Here’s 8 Reasons to Try It!

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If you haven’t noticed, I’m a pretty big fan of my Instant Pot. As my life has gotten busier with kids and work, I prefer to spend as little time in my kitchen as possible, and my electric pressure cooker helps make that happen.

megan gilmore holding Instant PotThis post is sponsored by Instant Pot

That being said, I didn’t fall in love with my Instant Pot right away, partially because I was intimidated to even open the box. Today I want to give you 8 reasons to try it, so that you won’t wait as long as I did to get started!

What is an Instant Pot?

The Instant Pot often gets lumped into the “slow cooker” category, but it’s so much more than that. Instant Pot is the most popular brand of electric multi-cookers, and I love that it can pressure cook (my favorite way to use it), steam, slow cook, sauté, and some models can even make yogurt.

vegetables in instant pot

How does the Instant Pot work?

It’s important to know how the Instant Pot works, so that you’ll avoid potential user errors. The main thing to keep in mind is that an electric pressure cooker heats liquid from the bottom of the pot, and that heated liquid will create steam. When you seal the lid to your pot, that steam gets trapped inside and will begin to build up pressure.

how to use instant pot

So, keep in mind that any recipe you attempt in the Instant Pot must have sufficient liquid at the bottom of the pot to build up steam, and you must make sure the lid is securely sealed to trap that steam pressure inside.

8 Reasons Why I Love my Instant Pot

Now that we’ve covered what an Instant Pot is, and how it works, I want to tell you why I love it. Keep in mind that I am not the sort of person who uses a slow cooker very often, but I use my Instant Pot on near-daily basis.

hands holding stainless steel pot

  1. It makes the cooking process hands-off. Despite it’s name, the Instant Pot isn’t always ready in an “instant.” While it’s not always faster than cooking your meal on the stove, the main appeal of the electric pressure cooker is that it can make the process hands-off. Just add your ingredients, press a button, and walk away! You don’t have to wait for water to come to a boil, or watch for burning on the stove, so you can accomplish something else around your house as your meal cooks to perfection– making you FEEL like you have more time on your hands!
  2. It preserves more nutrition in your food. When you think of pressure cooking, you might assume that the temperature inside the pot is extra-high to cook food so quickly, but the opposite is actually true. Because the pressure in the pot alters the boiling point of water, the temperature in the Instant Pot doesn’t go higher than 250ºF, which is lower than the average temperature that you would use for the stove top or oven. Since the Instant Pot also cooks food faster, there is less opportunity for nutrients to be lost. A 1995 study found that pressure cooking preserves ascorbic acid and beta carotene in foods better than other methods of cooking.
  3. It has a non-toxic stainless steel inner pot. I love that the Instant Pot comes with a stainless steel pot, so that I don’t have to worry about my food touching non-stick surfaces or any sort of glaze that could be contaminated with lead.
  4. You can cook two dishes at once. What I love most about my Instant Pot is that I can cook a main course on the bottom of the pot, while also cooking a side dish situated on a trivet in the SAME POT at the SAME TIME. This method is called pot-in-pot cooking, and it makes me ultra-efficient in the kitchen.
  5. It makes perfect baked goods. If you haven’t tried Instant Pot brownies yet, don’t wait another minute. I love baking in the Instant Pot because the steam pressure ensures the final result is moist and tender, and you’ll never run the risk of burning something if you get distracted. The Instant Pot automatically stops the cooking cycle when it’s completed!
  6. You can save time & skip the oil. One of the things I love about pressure cooking is how it can enhance the flavors of your ingredients without the need to always sauté something first. This means that, in many cases, you can skip the oil often used to sauté, and save yourself 10 minutes of time spent standing and stirring a pot. Try my Instant Pot Lentil Soup or Instant Pot Vegan Chili and see for yourself how much flavor these easy “dump meals” have!
  7. It makes meal prep a breeze. If you like to cook things in bulk for meal prep, such as quinoa or beans from scratch, the Instant Pot makes your life easier. Simply add the ingredients and press a button (no need to watch the stove for boiling!), and then your hands are free to chop salad veggies, whip up a salad dressing, or make snacks for the week at the same time. It makes you ultra-efficient in the kitchen!
  8. You’ll dirty only one pot. Since the Instant Pot has a sauté function, so you can start your meal directly in there, instead of having to sear or sauté something on the stove first. This also means you can simmer or reduce sauces in the same pot when a pressure cooking cycle is over. The large stainless steel pot is even perfect for assembling large salads, like my Quinoa & Black Bean Salad, right after it finishes cooking the quinoa. I love having only one pot to clean after our meal is done!hands cleaning the pot

I hope this helps shed some light on why I love my Instant Pot so much, and will inspire you to give yours a try if you’ve been intimidated to use it up until now. I’ve listed some of my favorite Instant Pot recipes below to help you get started.

Instant Pot Recipes

Reader Feedback: Have you tried cooking with an Instant Pot yet? Let me know your favorite way to use it, and if you have any recipe requests that you’d like to see!

My Instant Pot Faves:
Get more recipes + meal plans in my books:

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Comments

andrea

I had my instant pot for for a year! Before I tried it because I was too intimidated!! Love this post

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