Whether you like cooking or not, an Instant Pot is a kitchen tool that you need to add to your kitchen. I intensely dislike cooking, but my Instant Pot makes cooking delicious meals super easy, fast, and, dare I say it, fun!
While I may not post about it here very often, I REALLY dislike cooking. I mean, I would do 10 loads of laundry every single day if it meant never preparing another meal. I’m not remotely exaggerating when I say that I would be incredibly happy if I never had to step foot in a kitchen again. Despite my intense dislike of food preparation, there has been one thing getting me in the kitchen more and more and that is my Instant Pot. I bought one on a whim on Amazon Prime Day and I’ve become obsessed with it. Seriously. Obsessed.
In fact, I’m so obsessed that I wanted to put together an all-inclusive guide for any of you that are considering an Instant Pot that describes exactly why you need one NOW. If you’re thinking that you really don’t need one more kitchen tool, you’re wrong. The Instant Pot can (and will) replace some of those other items in your arsenal, including your crock pot, rice cooker, and steamer. Trust me: You need an Instant Pot.
Why You Need an Instant Pot
The best part about cooking with the Instant Pot is that it is kind of like a slow cooker (pretty hands-off), but much faster. Many recipes are “dump” recipes, so you just dump everything into the Instant Pot and it creates an amazing dish. Desserts, too! You can even make monkey bread in your Instant Pot!
Your Instant Pot will save you money: You get home from work and you’re tired. You don’t feel like cooking but you know spending another $30 on take-out isn’t a good idea. The Instant Pot can be “set it and forget it,” though more detailed recipes call for more than the pressing of a button.
Your Instant Pot is environmentally friendly: Because of the slashed cooking time, your electric pressure cooker is saving energy, making it more efficient and environmentally friendly (or “green”).
Different Instant Pot Models
It’s true that the Instant Pot is an electric pressure cooker, but not all pressure cookers are created equal!
Which Instant Pot is right for your family? Only you will know how to answer that, but we’ll talk about a few details of the more popular models so you can make a better decision.
IPDUO-60 – This model is the most popular Instant Pot to date. It is a top seller on Amazon, and for good reason. It’s priced just right and gets the job done. There are three sizes available: 3-quart, 6-quart, and 8-quart. If you’re single or a couple, the 3-quart is perfect. For a family, I’d recommend getting the 6- or 8-quart. Just like with a slow cooker, I’d rather have enough space to cook more than not enough space. This model is a 7-in-1, meaning it combines an electric pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, yogurt maker, and more. There are 14 programs available to use on the IPDUO-60.
IPDUO Plus60 – This model is just a slight upgrade (both in functionality and price) from the DUO-60. This model adds options for cakes, eggs, and sterilization settings.
IP-ULTRA – This is one of the newest Instant Pot models. I love that this model has a dial to adjust times rather than just the buttons. Set custom cook times, temperatures, and pressures with the IP-ULTRA. I also love that it shows whether the Instant Pot is preheating, cooking, etc. Staring at the Instant Pot screen and not knowing if it’s preheating or cooking drives me crazy for some reason. This model also has all of the features of the DUO PLUS.
Smart Bluetooth 6QT – Do you NEED a bluetooth Instant Pot? No, probably not. What is neat about the Bluetooth option is that you can monitor your food, of course, but you can also use the app to write and execute your own recipe scripts. Just think, you can be sitting in your office and telling your Instant Pot to start working. Crazy, right?!
|Instant Pot Model||Description||Smart Built-In Programs||Pre-Set Temperatures|
|IPDUO-60||7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker||14||12|
|IPDUO Plus60||9-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker||14||13|
|IP-ULTRA||10-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker||16||21|
|Smart Bluetooth 6QT||7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker||14||12|
Setting Up Your InstantPot
This video isn’t fancy, but it does a great job of explaining what you need to know to get your pressure cooker up and running.
Instant Pot Settings
If you’re a new Instant Pot user, you might be a bit confused about which button should be used for which foods. What does this setting mean, what does that setting mean? Let’s talk basics so you can get started!
Manual: The manual setting on your Instant Pot is basically an “all-purpose” button. Simply hit the + to add time, or – to take time away. If you have a newer Instant Pot, you might notice “Pressure Cook” in place of where “Manual” once was.
Sauté: The sauté function is one you will probably use most often. Yes, you can sauté in the Instant Pot with the lid off! Use this function to soften veggies or to brown meat before pressure cooking. The “low” setting is for simmer, “normal” for browning, and charring on “high.”
Keep Warm/Cancel: Use this button when you want to turn your Instant Pot off.
Porridge: Using the Porridge function, “normal” is for rice porridge. “High” is for grains and beans.
Yogurt: Did you know you can make yogurt in your Instant Pot?! YES! Here’s a simple Instant Pot Yogurt Recipe. Use small mason jars to store yogurt in the fridge for the week! It’s a perfect breakfast idea for kids and Moms.
Your Instant Pot has other functions you will want to try out. They’re very self-explanatory: Soup, Rice, Poultry, etc. My favorite thing to do with the Poultry function is to add 1 cup broth and 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts. After brought to pressure, it only takes about 20 minutes to cook the chicken. It’s perfect for shredding and making chicken dips.
Instant Pot Accessories You’ll Love
You can do a whole lot of cooking with nothing but the Instant Pot, but once you become as obsessed with your pressure cooker as I am, I guarantee there are a few accessories you’ll want to pick up, too. (If you already have the Instant Pot itself, these might make great items to add to your holiday wish list!)
Egg Cooker Trivet – Cook up to 7 “hard-boiled” eggs in just a few minutes!
Stainless Steel Steamer with Handle – Steaming meat and vegetables has never been so easy! The extendable handle makes this my #1 choice for steamer baskets.
Tempered Glass Lid – Many users like this glass lid to use their pressure cooker more like a slow cooker.
Multipurpose Pans – If you never try any other dessert, you MUST make cheesecake in your Instant Pot. These multipurpose pans are great for steaming meats and veggies but also for making the perfect cheesecake!
|Tip: Before buying any accessories for your Instant Pot, check the reviews and description to make sure each accessory will fit the exact Instant Pot model you have.|
Instant Pot Cookbooks You Need to Try
One of the many great things about the Instant Pot is that you can pretty much throw anything in there and have a delicious meal made a few minutes later. But, when you get tired of creating your own masterpieces, you might want to invest in an Instant Pot cookbook or two to provide you with more inspiration.
Electric Pressure Cooker Cookbook – A #1 bestseller on Amazon with over 200,000 copies sold, this healthy cookbook has over 100 recipes and will get you started on your Instant Pot Journey. The best part? It’s FREE with Kindle Unlimited!
Everyday Healthy IP Meals – There are more than 500 recipes included in this cookbook! Those with Kindle Unlimited subscriptions can access this cookbook for free!
550 Delicious Recipes – Another Instant Pot cookbook with 550 healthy recipes. Those with Kindle Unlimited subscriptions can also access this cookbook for free!
|Tip: If you haven’t signed up for Kindle Unlimited yet, it’s totally worth it! For less than $10 a month, you get access to thousands and thousands of free ebooks, including an assortment of Instant Pot cookbooks!|
Best Instant Pot Recipes
There are thousands upon thousands of Instant Pot recipes available online or in cookbooks, but here are just a few of my favorites that I recommend trying.
If you’re interested in cooking rice in your Instant Pot, I love this recipe for Cilantro Lime Rice. I’m also a bit of a rice pudding aficionado (yes, really!), and this rice pudding recipe is one of the best I’ve tried.
I already mentioned how you can make cheesecake in an Instant Pot, and this Samoa Cheesecake is amazing. If you love the Girl Scout Cookie, I guarantee you’re going to love this treat!
One of the few things I love making each fall is homemade applesauce. While I used to do it on the stovetop, I now make Instant Pot applesauce! It’s so much easier and tastes just as delicious. (Perhaps it tastes even more delicious because it takes less effort? hmmm…) Here’s one of my favorite pressure cooker applesauce recipes.
Chances are, one of the first things you’ll try to make in your Instant Pot is hard-boiled eggs. That’s the first thing everyone I know has made. They’re pretty simple and there’s not a lot of pressure (pun intended) – if something goes wrong you can just throw them out and start again with minimal fuss. If you love a good hard-boiled egg, I recommend this six-minute hard-boiled egg recipe. My best friend has been really into making poached eggs in her Instant Pot!
I’m a comfort food kind of gal, which explains why some of my favorite Instant Pot recipes aren’t particularly healthy. They are incredibly tasty though, which I think is a fair trade-off! If you’re looking for quick recipes to pull out on a chilly night, check out these recipes for chicken and dumplings, 8-minute mac and cheese, and pulled pork.
|Tip: Tip: Most pressure cooker recipes online can be converted to Instant Pot recipes fairly simply, including converting slow cooker recipes to the Instant Pot.|
Instant Pot Groups to Join
Once you get into the groove of using your Instant Pot, I guarantee you’re going to want to connect with others that feel the same way you do. Instant Pot Groups are fantastic for getting your Instant geek on, but they’re also wonderful places to trade tips, tricks, and recipes.
With over 700,000 members, the Instant Pot Community is the largest IP group I’ve found. It’s a very active group with tons of new recipes posted each day! This group is the #1 place to ask questions and get recipes.
Though Instant Pot for Busy People has “only” 10,000 members, it’s still a very active and helpful group. If you’re busy like most moms, you’ll want to add this group to your arsenal of time-saving tips and tricks.
Another amazing resource for new Instant Pot users is the Instant Pot Recipes & Tips for Beginners group!
There’s even a group for vegetarians: Instant Pot Vegetarians. I’ve seen groups for basically every diet: Instant Pot Keto, Instant Pot Vegan, Instant Pot Paleo, Instant Pot Weight Watchers. Do a search on Facebook and you’ll find more groups than you could ever use!
Instant Pot Retailers
If I’ve convinced you that you need to buy an Instant Pot, there are quite a few different stores where you can find them. Some of the most popular Instant Pot retailers include:
As for getting the best deal on an Instant Pot, I highly recommend keeping an eye out for Instant Pot Black Friday Sales. One of the aforementioned Instant Pot retailers – if not all of them – is sure to have a sale! (OK, maybe not Williams-Sonoma. They’re not exactly known for their good deals.)
Another great opportunity to get an Instant Pot for less is at next year’s Amazon Prime Day Sale. This product has been one of their top sellers at the past couple of sales, so there’s no reason to believe they won’t offer it at an incredible discount again next year.
Why Instant Pot?
I absolutely love my Instant Pot for a few reasons: it saves time, it saves money, and it makes less work when it comes to dinner, dessert, and even breakfast! The main reason that I think ALL families could use an Instant Pot, though, is that it makes cooking fun! (Trust me: I’m cooking-phobic and now don’t think I can live without mine.) Anything that’s this affordable and saves my sanity is worth it for my family and I think it will be for yours, too.