Do you want to learn how to use your instant pot more confidently?
Today I am going to acquaint you with the kitchen appliance that is taking busy moms everywhere by storm. Over the course of this three part series, I am going to share with you why I prefer my Instant Pot over my crock pot, give you some easy beginner recipes, help you with time management, and share with you a cheat sheet for cooking times. Sound good?
Let's get started.
In the beginning...
I didn't want to jump on the instant pot bandwagon. I was perfectly happy with my crock pot. Until I tried to double my favorite chili recipe. And my beloved crock pot overflowed. Enter my eager husband, who loves any excuse to try the latest gadget. After a bit of research, we found the best price at Kohl's, printed a coupon, and the instant pot was ours.
I never looked back.
Although it is handy to have both a crock pot and an instant pot, the instant pot gets far more use. And here's why:
The instant pot has a "keep warm" feature.
This is a big deal to me because my crock pot does not. What I love about this feature is that I can prepare meat early and let it "keep warm" while I am preparing sides. I use the Instant Pot a lot to saute ground beef for tacos. If the taco meat is ready but the toppings are not or we're going to eat later than planned, I can put the pot in "keep warm" mode and be confident that the meat will stay hot until we are ready to eat.
The instant pot can function as a crock pot.
This eliminates the need to find space for another appliance in my already crowded kitchen cabinets! I kept my crock pot because it's nice to have both when cooking for a crowd. For example, providing shredded chicken (crock pot) and ground beef (instant pot) for a taco bar. Yes, we love tacos at our house!
The instant pot is much easier to wash!
The instant pot comes with two parts: the heating element and the inner pot. The inner pot lifts out for washing, and because it is made of stainless steel, it is super easy to wash. I have never had any trouble with food sticking to it. It is also extremely light weight, which is completely opposite of my heavy duty ceramic crock pot.
So, now that you know why you need an instant pot (and you're probably already on Amazon finding the best price out there), I want to share with you three recipes that are on heavy rotation over here. Super, super easy, very few ingredient recipes. Here goes...
3 Easy Recipes for the Beginner...
Instant Pot "Salsa Chicken"
This one is a staple in our house. We use this salsa chicken for chicken tacos, enchiladas, salads, and just by itself! And you can't beat five ingredients!!! Here is a link to Skinnytaste's version of Salsa Chicken: Instant Pot Easy Salsa Chicken.
Instant Pot Chicken Breasts
Once I mastered shredded chicken, I wondered, can I make flavorful and juicy chicken breasts in my instant pot? Turns out it is just about as easy as the shredded chicken. There's just one more simple step--sauteing, which guess what? My magic pot can do that, too! Just season the chicken, and saute it on both sides. Then add the trivet to the pot, place chicken on top and finish cooking with the pressure cooker feature. Voila! You have perfectly seasoned chicken to use on top of salads, in pasta dishes, or in a chicken sandwich. Easy peasy.
Instant Pot Spaghetti with Meat Sauce
Speaking of pasta, did you know you can make spaghetti with meat sauce in your instant pot? One pot. For everything. Can I get an amen from the mamas? We love spaghetti here, but I do NOT love cleaning all the pots that usually accumulate as a result. Enter Instant Pot Spaghetti with Meat Sauce (Skinnytaste again--she's pretty amazing). This is one of the first recipes I made with my instant pot. My husband took one bite and said, "I could eat this once a week." And that's sayin' something! Coming from the man who doctors all my cooking with Sriracha, that's quite the compliment. :)
So, have I sold you yet? Back in the fall, my friend Melissa admitted to me that she was scared of her instant pot, but once I gave her a few recipes and she got over the hump, she was the one sending me the recipes! I'm pretty sure she uses hers most nights of the week. As a busy, working mom of three, she is really good at meal prep, so the instant pot is a must.
If you are already a seasoned instant pot user, do you have an easy instant pot recipe to share with me? Leave me a comment with a link to your favorite. I'm always open to trying new meals in my instant pot--especially the ones with five ingredients or less, m'kay?
I can't wait to tell you how I manage my time when it comes to the instant pot. My first story will be about how I make the Instant Pot Spaghetti with Meat Sauce work on baseball practice nights. Jonah finishes practice at 6 pm which can make for a super late dinner time unless I am proactive. Imagine walking into your home at dinnertime to the smell of savory tomato sauce. In just ten minutes you are twirling your fork around noodles that are perfectly al dente, and sinking your teeth into a rich, meaty sauce. This recipe is delicious and practically perfect for busy, practice nights. Actually, perfect for any night.
Hope I see you next time!