The Instant Pot, my favorite kitchen gadget!

Instant Pot unboxing with Toddler S
My favorite kitchen gadget – Instant Pot, welcome to the family!

Dear Instant Pot CEO, may I kindly request to receive commission or some sort of royalty for the number of people I have marketed the Instant Pot to? Better yet, I definitely should be receiving a portion of the profits for the number of Instant Pots that have been purchased because of all my marketing. 

It really is my FAVORITE and most used kitchen gadget! I have the InstantPot 7-1 DUO. I had bought it for $109 –  2 years ago but this year there were some fantastic deals during black Friday. I believe the lowest price on this model was $69! That’s a steal. There is a newer model than the one I have which has bluetooth functionality to start your pot, kinda cool when I think about the possibilities of kickstarting breakfast right from bed! 

What is it? It’s an electric pressure cooker! No more babysitting the stove while you wait and count the whistles of a traditional pressure cooker.  

I’ve had my Instant Pot for 2+ years now. When I bought it, I was trying to juggle cooking for a baby while managing nap schedules, nursing times and trying to get out of the house. I was looking for something that I did not have to babysit while I did all of these things. I had way t0o many instances where I left the stove on while I was nursing Baby S at the time or I was impatiently waiting for the pressure cooker to be done with his meal so I could go run a quick errand before his next nap time. I was always on a time crunch! I used the Instant Pot at the time maybe once a day to steam some veggies and some khichdi for the kiddo. 

Fast forward three years later. 
I now have three nap schedules to juggle, two nursing babies  who also eat solids and a VERY hungry Toddler. My time is so valuable! 

Thankfully, the InstaPot (what us cool kids call it) is a huge time saver, one of the many things I love about it. But my one line marketing pitch for it is, “set it and forget it!” Yes, when I had one kid, I would set the pot with the raw veggies and some quinoa or khichdi and carry on with life. When I came back to the kitchen the food was ready. I didn’t have to come running back to turn it off, or check the water level or worry about something burning. I set it and walked away aka forget it! 

It was especially nice when I wanted to run a quick errand with my one child.  As you may know, with kids you are always competing with time. For me, my child would barely be awake for 2 hours at a stretch in which time I had to squeeze in nursing him, changing him, prepping his food and getting out the door. I did not like having to waste 40 minutes waiting for a pressure cooker to steam his food. The instant pot allowed me to set the food right before I stepped out of the house and it would be done when I got back, still in time for the kiddos dinner and bedtime! 

You don’t have to have kids to appreciate the Instant Pot. The Instant Pot can be a lifesaver for all the working men and woman who appreciate a home cooked meal but are always on a crunch for time. The worse feeling is walking into the house after a long day of work, a growling stomach and realizing – ugh I still have to make dinner! I remember when I was a working professional (feels like eons ago), prepping food after I came home from work felt like such a chore. I just wanted food to be ready to go and served to me! Well, although the InstantPot doesn’t necessarily serve you food (can that be what husbands are for?), it does have things ready to go, saving you lots of time after a long day. If I had the Instant Pot when I was working in corporate America, I would have definitely taken advantage of the delayed timer to have certain items prepped when I came home rather than waiting on more cooking time at the end of the day. 

Here are some of my regular “set and forget” cooking items in the Instant Pot: 

Some of these require some sautรฉing before you “set & forget” to make it a ready to eat meal but you can easily break up the steps leave the sautรฉing for afterwards. 

Instant Pot unboxing becomes a gross motor activity for Toddler S
Instant Pot unboxing – Baby approved!

There are a few other products on the market that may look just as appealing at a lower price point. One of the products that I had compared features with was the Aroma Rice Cooker. At $30, it was a LOT cheaper than what I spent on the Instant Pot but there were a few features it was lacking and resulted in my plunge in the InstaPot. The Aroma Rice Cooker, is a rice cooker so it has limited functionality and is really meant for cooking rice however, it has some bells and whistles which allows you to do a few of the things the InstaPot does mainly saute and delayed timer. I probably could have gotten away with the $30 purchase for my needs at the time but what sold the InstaPot for me were the following features: stainless steel interior pot, a lot more preset functions taking the guessing out of cooking times (recall the old vitamix, where you had to guess what angle the two dials had to be on to make a smoothie, ugh, just give me a button – thank you BlendTec) and lastly, the yogurt function. I’ll be honest, I didn’t really use the yogurt function until a few years ago when it was just way to cold for my home made yogurt to set properly on it own. For those of you who eat meat, many reviews mentioned that meat was not cooked well in the rice cooker. I’m guessing because the cooking temperature and pressure for rice does not have to be so high in comparison to meat. I believe the same was said for the cooking of beans. Can you imagine opening your cooker, ready to eat your meal only to realize it still needs another 30 minutes of cooking time?! I surely, did NOT have time for that and I know my baby would not approve of such a product!

So my money and product loyalty went to the Instant Pot!

Now, with infant twins and a toddler I use my InstaPot almost 3x’s a day. Here is what we use it for DAILY: 

Breakfast: steel cut oats (prepped in 15 minutes with no supervision)

Lunch: steamed veggies for the twins (prepped in 15 – 20 minutes with no supervision)

Dinner: steamed veggies for the twins and lentils for the Toddler and us (prepped in 20 minutes with no supervision)

Make Indian Masala Chaa/Chai in the Instant Pot
The best Insta Chaa

My most recent experiment has been making making Indian Tea/Chaa in the Instant Pot! It was so magical. Imagine having a coffee maker. You know having a cup of joe at the click of a button. Now imagine, a machine that made chaa! I mean, it’s a lifelong dream for me to have a machine that dispenses chaa. Imagine not having to deal with boiling water, and adding this, and then adding that, and then worrying about an overflowing pot of chaa and a mess to clean, not to mention that stupid strainer that needs to be scrubbed down after every use. Oh – I’m still dreaming and how I digress. The Instant Pot doesn’t save you from doing all that but it does save you the TIME and guess what? You can set it and forget it. Yes, no more babysitting that pot of chaa over the stove and no more overflowing messes to clean! The one compromise on the taste I did notice was that it doesn’t steep as well as stovetop. But this is a review for another post! 

Next step is getting you some Instant Pot friendly recipes! Stay tuned…

In the meantime  – go buy one (and Mr./Mrs. Instant Pot CEO, please send me my check)! 

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