So You Bought An Instant Pot. Now What?

So You Bought An Instant Pot. Now What?

Ok fine I admit it: I am a kitchen gadget junkie. From the day I took my first perfect, tiny little cake out of my Easy Bake Oven at age 8, I was hooked. From there I collected kitchen gadgets with an enthusiasm that often confused both friends and family.  There was the Vitamix, KitchenAid, dehydrator, Magic Bullet, rice cooker, the list goes on. That being said, I waited a while before I got an Instant Pot.  The reasons were 1) counter space is at a premium in my house and 2) pressure cookers terrified me (we’ve all seen the old-school ones blow up on Top Chef). When I finally braved my fears and brought one home it was equal parts love-at-first-stew as well as a sad disbelief that past Drew had lived without one for so long. Sound over the top? IT’S NOT! This thing is awesome. 

Things I love about it:

It seriously does ALL THE THINGS. Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Saute/Browning, Yogurt Maker, Steamer & Warmer. By getting the Instant Pot, it’s almost guaranteed that a few of your current kitchen gadgets will be rendered obsolete. If counter space is minimal at your place, like it is at mine, this thing is a life saver. Thank you for your service, rice cooker, I’m letting you go to the highest Craigslist bidder. 

You only dirty one pan. Who likes doing dishes? Not this girl. That’s why I love that you can saute or brown food directly in it and then switch to a different cooking mode instead of having to brown something in a pan and then put it in the cooker. My favorite slow-cooked chili has gone from a 3-pan operation down to one!

Makes pressure cooking accessible. Pressure cooking is such a cool and time-saving way to cook, and I think most of us would have never experienced because it seemed complicated and intimidating. Pressure cooking with the IP is seriously so. easy. The first time I used it, I kept waiting for the lid to blow off, but it just let out a cute jet of steam and a few minutes later, I opened the pot to perfectly cooked potatoes. 

You don’t have to plan ahead. Sometimes (or all the time) life gets busy and it’s hard to plan very far in advance what you want to have for dinner. The IP cuts down on cooking time so much, that you could start a meal that would normally take hours to cook (think slow-braised meats, beans, or even sweet potatoes or squash) and have it ready in 30 min. Last Thursday, I came home late and in a panic because I had no dinner plans and I was already starving. I threw some chicken thighs and a jar of salsa in my IP and voilà! 10 min later I had delicious salsa chicken. Hanger crisis averted.

So you heard people talking about it and you bought one. Or maybe your mom gave you one for Christmas. And you’re like “oh wow, this sounds great!” but then you unpacked it and you got overwhelmed and it’s been sitting on a chair in your dining room for three weeks. Or maybe you cooked rice in and and thought it was cool, but aren’t sure what else to do. Well I’m here to help you out, because I was intimidated at first too. 

Here are some of my favorite Instant Pot recipes to help you get started:

Main Dishes

Korean Grass Fed Short Ribs (cook 50 min on high in IP)
Indian Curry Lamb Spare Ribs
Pressure Cooker Kalua Pig
Salsa Chicken Tacos
Crispy Mojo Pork
Mocha Rubbed Pot Roast
Butter Chicken
Sweet + Sour Mango Chicken Thighs
Grain-free Meatballs + Sauce
Carne Guisada
Buffalo Chicken + Sweet Potatoes
Vietnamese Lemongrass Beef Stew
(I make this at least once a week)

Everything Else

Curried Cream of Broccoli Soup
Chicken Enchilada Soup
Spaghetti Squash
Crispy Potatoes
Bone Broth
Hardboiled Eggs
Pressure-steamed Artichokes
3 Minute Applesauce
Vanilla Extract

Pick yours up here if you don’t have one yet!

Note: I’m not affiliated with Instant Pot in any way, I’m just obsessed with it and wanted to share the love 🙂