I'm so excited to share this post with you guys because it's about something I am OBSESSED with…. my Instant Pot!! It's the “gift that keeps on giving” hahaha. But seriously, I use mine about 3 times a week and it has been saving my life lately! If you don't have one yet, you NEED one.
The Instant Pot is a seriously great gift for ANY age. From college to busy momma to retired. It basically is Mary Poppins in a pot. It comes with 14 different settings: Soup, Meat/Stew, Bean/Chili, Poultry, Sauté/Simmer, Rice, Multigrain, Porridge, Steam, Slow Cook, Keep Warm, Yogurt, Manual, and Pressure Cook, so you seriously can do alllllmost anything with this little guy.
So what is an Instant Pot? As the microwave is to the oven, the instant pot is to the crockpot. It's a pressure cooker that can cook your food in a fraction of the time it would take in a crockpot or even the oven! If you leave for work or church or wherever and forget to put your food into your crockpot, you might as well plan on grilled cheese for dinner because there's no way your food will be done if you didn't get it in there that morning. BUT with the instant pot, you can come home from your day and your crockpot meal would be done within the hour, sometimes as quick as like 30 minutes. SO awesome!!
*EDIT: A few people have mentioned that their Instant Pot intimidates them and YES I agree, it intimidated me at first too! The scariest part for me was the steam release at the end. It steams up while it's cooking, and at the end when the timer goes off you either let it “naturally release” by just keeping it on seal and letting the steam come out slowly, or you do “quick release” by pushing the steam release over to “vent.” Steam will come shooting out of that valve and the first time you do the quick release you might fear for your life (ha!) but every time after it's not scary. You'll get used to it, just try it!!
Why use an Instant Pot instead of a crockpot Besides it being even quicker and more convenient than a crock pot, it also keeps moisture in meat so much better, so you can cook with lower fat meats and still have them taste extremely tender without drying out at all. It cooks not only at high pressure, but high heat too, which is why it cooks so efficiently.
**RIGHT NOW the instant pot ULTRA is at its all-time lowest price ever here and here! I don't own the Instant Pot Ultra myself, but from what I understand the main difference is that this version has an altitude adjustment, progress indicator when it's cooking your food, a delay cooking option for up to 24 hours to make sure the food's done right on time, and way more options for specifically and uniquely adjusting the settings on this one than the standard models. If you're going to buy an instant pot anyway this is definitely the latest and greatest and while it's the same price as the less fancy model, you might as well get the nicer one while it's at its all time lowest price!
Here are some of the recipes I've tried and LOVED in my Instant Pot!
A Bountiful Kitchen Instant Pot Beef Stroganoff: made this when we had the 18-19 year old missionaries over for dinner and they ate up every last bite! My kiddos loved it too. To die for delicious!
Our Best Bites Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes: we make these at LEAST once a week! So simple, and perfectly cooked every single time.
A Bountiful Kitchen Instant Pot Chile Verde: another huge win! It makes a ton of food and you can use it for tacos or enchiladas or burritos, or even just over rice, and the flavor is insanely good.
A Bountiful Kitchen Instant Pot Pork Tenderloin: I absolutely LOVE pork tenderloin and although I haven't made the exact dish below from my mom's blog, I used the cooking directions in this post to make this older recipe of hers that I love and have on our dinner rotation at least once a month. Everyone in my family scarfs this when I make it and it was so nice to have it done in about 45 minutes start to finish instead of 2 hours!
A Bountiful Kitchen Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs: I have to admit I actually really don't love hard boiled eggs, but my kids are obsessed!!! I also don't love trying to time boiling them and not having them crack, but this instant pot method is the easiest of all time ever and literally perfection every time!!
I also really LOVE cooking frozen chicken breasts in the instant pot! I do this maybe once or twice a week to use in any recipe that requires cooked chicken. I stick my frozen chicken breasts in the instant pot, put 1/2 cup chicken broth or water in the pot, and then set it to “poultry” 10 minutes. I make sure the valve is set to “sealing” and I allow it to naturally release, instead of pushing it to “venting” right when the timer goes off. This just allows the steam to slowly release.
If you google “instant pot frozen chicken” you'll find lots of recipes! I'm also working on a personal request to A Bountiful Kitchen to put her exact method on her blog. I kind of have an in, so I'm pretty sure she'll post that soon 😉
**UPDATE: my mom finally posted this recipe!! See her method of how to cook chicken in the instant pot here.
I bought this Instant Pot in the 8 quart size, and I absolutely love it! It's big enough to do large cuts of meat for a big crowd, but not so big I can't store it. My mom has the 6 quart and she loves hers too.
One last FUN update: my mom just released her Instant Pot ebook! You can get it FREE here!!! It's the perfect companion to the instant pot if you're gifting the Instant Pot for Mother's Day, and like I mentioned in yesterday's Mother's Day gift guide, I think every mother in America needs one.
Do you have a favorite Instant Pot recipe? Tell me about it in the comments so I can try it too!!