I am so far behind on this InstantPot bandwagon y’all. At first I resisted because it couldn’t really be that good right? Then everyone said it really was. So I resisted because I was too savvy to jump on a hot trend and not love the product.
Well I finally got on board and I am actually pretty bummed that it took me this long! (PS I am not affiliated with InstantPot or earning any money from this post. I just realllllly love this thing!)
I put an InstantPot on my Christmas list and Santa delivered! Ok, my husband actually deserves the credit here but you get the idea. This thing is a gem!
If you are a mom and you are on the fence about the InstantPot, let me talk you into hopping over onto my side of the fence. This is where the fun stuff happens 😉
But why do I need an InstantPot…I already have a slow cooker?
Of, I get it. They kinda sorta do the same thing. Ish. Both the InstantPot and a slow cooker allow you to set up dinner and forget it. The InstantPot actually even has a slow cooker setting. But let’s get real for a minute. Who honestly has time (and brain power) to get put food in the slow cooker and turn it on in the morning? Between my commute, my job scheduled, and daycare drop-off I have to be out the door by 5:15 in the morning. On the days where I am fortunate enough that my husband is able to take the little dude to daycare, I still have to leave by 5:45. Then, I am not getting home until about 4:15 in the afternoon at the very earliest. That’s 11 hours in the slow cooker. Some foods can handle that, some can’t.
Now I am not hating on my slow cooker. Not by a long shot. It is still one of my very favorite things and a whole lot more budget friendly than the InstantPot. But it does have some limitations which the InstantPot addresses.
Hassle free dinner…in half the time (or less)
One common complaint about the InstantPot is that when they say the cooking time for something is only ten minutes, that doesn’t count for the time it takes to come to pressure or the time to release the pressure. Each of those things can easily add ten minutes. But I have yet to find a better option y’all. The other night I made stew. It took probably 10-15 minutes to come to pressure, 35 minutes to cook (which was actually too long. 25 would have been better!), and maybe 3 minutes to release all the steam. So all told that’s about 45 minutes of cooking time.
I took chicken breasts from frozen solid to table ready in about 25 minutes. That is very hard…or pretty much impossible…to beat. And all that time is hands free. You aren’t stirring something on the stove or having to do any work. While my stew cooked I was able to bake some cornbread. While the chicken cooked, I was able to feed my kid the first part of his dinner. It really couldn’t be any easier. This is so essential as a mom because, as we all know, multitasking is a mandatory part of the job description. When it is almost dinner time and I realize that my toddler isn’t going to touch the leftovers my husband and I are eating for dinner, it is a lifesaver to have the InstantPot available to cook a plain chicken breast while I set the table.
There are so many recipes out there!
I have a Pinterest board full of recipe ideas that I keep adding to. Just like the rest of Pinterest there are tons that I will probably never get around to trying. But if there is something you are interested in cooking in your InstantPot, there is a good chance that someone has created a recipe for it or a way to convert a recipe to work in the InstantPot. You can even make a cheesecake in there! I’ve tried stew, spaghetti sauce, and plain ol’ chicken for the little guys dinner. And there is a whole wide world of options I am looking forward to testing out.
As moms, we make a lot of decisions. “What’s for dinner?” is usually one of them. When you get bored of making the same things over and over it is nice to have the wide variety of recipes available to shake things up a bit!
The InstantPot takes one pot meals to a new level
Did you know that the InstantPot has a sauté function? AKA you can brown your meat before you start the meal. AKA you don’t have to get your pan AND your slow cooker insert dirty. This was literally the function that really sold me on the InstantPot as a must have kitchen gadget. Plus that same sauté function allows you to cook down soups and sauces to thicken them. (Insert praise hands emoji here)
Now if you want to bake or brown something you are still going to have to use a different dish since the InstantPot insert does not go in the oven. But if your approach to mom life is anything like mine, there aren’t a lot of recipes you’ll be following that require browning in the oven. I am all about the quick, easy diner 95% of the time!
You can sterilize baby bottles with this thing!
We are past the bottle stage. But holy cow y’all. Something that can cook and sterilize bottles? I am so sold. If you are looking for instructions on how to do this, I am not a lot of help because I haven’t tried it, but I found this tutorial! If we use bottles in the future this is something I will be keeping handy to refer back to.
Budget friendly cooking
Like a slow cooker, you can use cheaper cuts of meat and they will still come out tender. Most of us moms are shopping on a budget and I know for me, buying meat can take out a big chunk of that budget each month. Being able to buy the “tougher” cuts of meat and still have them come out delicious and tender is amazing! Score right?
Ok moms…who has an InstantPot and who is still on the fence? I’d love to have you weigh in down in the comments! What do you love about yours? Do you disagree and don’t love it? Let me know!