How the *&!! Do I Use This Instant Pot? 5 Ways to Get the Instant Pot Out of the Cabinet and Into Your Meal Rotation

Tips and tricks on How to Use the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

do you have an instant pot in your cabinet but you don't know what to do with it? are you intimidated by the instant pot?

Do you have an Instant Pot? Maybe you heard so much about the Instant Pot (generically known as a programmable pressure cooker) and finally gave into temptation, to figure out what all the buzz is about? Or, maybe you received an Instant Pot as a gift?

I've had so many people tell me they have an Instant Pot but haven't used it, or only used it a couple of times, because they're not sure what to do with it, or they're intimidated. 

It might be an epidemic - fear of the Instant Pot!

Are you like many people, and now your Instant Pot is another kitchen appliance that's collecting dust? Does the Instant Pot overwhelm you and you haven't taken the time to figure it out?

I'm here to help you get it out of the cabinet and get started with 5 Ideas on to How to Use the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker. If you can overcome the fear of the gadget, using the Instant Pot as part of your routine will save you so much time!

Quickly, before we start. If you don't have an Instant Pot yet, I highly recommend getting one - to save time on healthy, family-friendly meals. Here's the one I have - Instant Pot DUO80 8 Qt 7-in-1 Multi- Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Sauté, Yogurt Maker and Warmer.

I think the larger 8 Qt is worth the extra money.

Or, if you have another brand of programmable pressure cooker like Breville, Salton, Wolfgang Puck, or others, these tips are still relevant. We seem to use the term Instant Pot to refer to all programmable pressure cookers. Somehow Instant Pot has become the common term, like Kleenex is to tissue!

1.  Just Start. Get the Instant Pot Out of the Cabinet.

This goes without saying, but take the Instant Pot out of the box and clean it.  I know a few who have left it in the box for over a year, too nervous to deal with it. Just take it out of the box. Look at the instruction manual (you don't need to read the whole thing) and perform the water test. That's about it.

2. Start by Cooking Something Easy

Pick out an easy recipe, with just 1-2 ingredients, to get comfortable and build some confidence. 

You could try making one of these simple foods. Refer to this page on the Instant Pot website for cooking times. This page has an easy cooking time download you can print for reference.

  • Shredded chicken breasts - put chicken breasts (frozen or thawed) in the InstantPot with some salt, pepper, broth or water. 
  • Applesauce - peel and core apples and throw into the pot with some water, lemon juice and cinnamon.
  • RiceInstant Pot recommends you use a 1:1 water to rice ratio and pre-rinse the rice. Again, simple. 
  • Boiled eggsadd eggs into the steamer basket, put water in the Instant Pot and set for 5 minutes.

3. Use the Instant Pot When You Face an Emergency Situation (when all  your food is frozen and you forgot to thaw something for dinner)

You forgot to thaw out something for dinner. Panic! Before the Instant Pot, this situation might result in ordering out.

No need to resort to unplanned take-out. 

You can throw any frozen meat into the pot (chicken, turkey, ham, roast, even shrimp), with some liquid (broth or even water) and seasoning. Refer to the Instant Pot cooking times page for specifics. Keep in mind, it takes time for the pressure to build up before the cooking time so always set aside more time (usually 8-10 extra minutes).

🎯 One tip is to set the Instant Pot to saute first, to heat up the pot more quickly, and get the cooking started. Then, start the pressure cooking after that.

That's it. So easy!

Then, serve the meat with vegetables and a side your family loves (rice, quinoa, pasta, tortillas, whatever you like to eat with meat).

4. Plan an Instant Pot Week

Plan an Instant Pot week. Find 5 or 6 go-to recipes to try and then focus one week on making all your dinners in the Instant Pot. This is an easy way to put quick, healthy food on the table, and also to rip off the Instant Pot band-aid and build that confidence! 

Here are a few Instant Pot meal plan resources:

5. Join an Instant Pot Facebook Group for inspiration and to find answers to your questions

Here are a few of my go-to Facebook groups for the Instant Pot. If you want something more specific, search for specific Facebook groups. There are lots of choices out there (everything from Instant Pot for WeightWatchers to Instant Pot Indian food).

Go for it now before you change your mind. Get the Instant Pot out of the cabinet and try one of these ideas for how to use the Instant Pot pressure cooker. You'll be so excited that you used it and wonder why you didn't take the plunge sooner. 

I look forward to hearing about your Instant Pot adventures. Drop me a comment below to share what you made and how it went. I can't wait to hear about it!



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