Is the Instant Pot Worth It?

I’m sure most of you have seen this kitchen gadget that seems to be very popular these days.  Truth be told, I heard about it a little while back but couldn’t really understand the appeal or how it was actually that different than the things I already own.  Then one day a few weeks back I was preparing as much food as I could ahead of time for the work week and I could only think about how awesome it would be to be able to cut my food preparation time down.

I’m a busy single mom.  I work two jobs (I’m a teacher and I have my side hustle) and I have a decent commute each day.  By the time I pick up my daughter from preschool and get back to my house I am exhausted.  The last thing I want to do is have to start putting together a meal.  I was pretty fed up, so I started looking around the internet for things I could do to better make food in bulk, that’s when I came upon some articles on the Instant Pot.

The price tag for the machine is a bit steep, the smaller version (6 qt.) is about $100.  I decided to take a few days and really think about buying this.  I looked up recipes, read online reviews, talked to people I know, and in the end, I didn’t actually hear a single negative thing.  So I invested!  The first thing I made was shredded chicken so I could do a burrito bowl of sorts.

I seasoned my chicken and popped it in the Instant Pot set on 5 minutes.  It actually takes a few more minutes for the pot to come to pressure, so it was more like 8-10 minutes total.  I was scared at first since I had never used a pressure cooker.  However, when I didn’t blow up my kitchen I was pleasantly surprised.  The chicken came out moist and the consistency was perfect.  It was very easy to shred and I had enough prepared for a few meals.  This all took very little on my part which was exactly what I was looking for.  I will say, I would likely let the chicken marinate for awhile before cooking it, but other than that, it came out great.

This past week I ended up making mac and cheese in about 6 minutes and lentil soup in about 20 minutes.  The soup took 20 minutes because it required me to do a bit of chopping.  If you’ve ever made lentil soup before, you know that if you don’t want to have to leave the soup cooking on the stove all day, you have to soak the lentils overnight.  With the Instant Pot I just threw them in and set the timer.

Since I just bought this I’m clearly a novice user, but according to what I’ve seen online you can steam vegetables, make perfect hard boiled eggs, and even get some different inserts for the pot to make things like lasagna and cheesecake.  Maybe once I master the basics I will move on to some more advanced recipes.

Overall I would certainly recommend the Instant Pot to anyone looking to save time preparing food.  However, I would read up on the machine and research the recipes before diving in to make sure that it’s something you will actually use.  In my opinion, if I can save myself some time and use this bad boy once or twice a week I believe it’s worth the money.

Do you have an Instant Pot?  What are your favorite recipes?

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