Life moves at an ever-increasing pace, and families struggle to keep up. Preparing healthy meals often is pushed to the side in favor of time-saving takeout and fast food. But good nutritious meals are a must for a growing, healthy family. Ready to cross the dinner finish line with the least hassle and fastest time? It’s the perfect moment to give the Instant Pot (aka pressure cooker) a try. We offer six reasons.
1. It’s a time-saver
We know how much people love their slow cookers. They can be an easy way to ready a meal, but a lot of early-morning prep is required. And when you’re trying to put breakfast on the table and hustle kids off to school, the dicing, chopping and mixing required at that point in the day could be a challenge. With an Instant Pot, you still have the prep work, but you time-shift it to later, because most Instant Pot meals will be ready to serve in about half an hour. Fans call it “magic” and their “best friend” for making delish dishes like this Buffalo Mac & Cheese in a flash. One piece of advice: If you’re making meat dishes, such as this Beef Brisket, don’t just hit the “beef” button and go. Meat tends to take longer, so follow the times as recommended in each recipe. Try all of our favorite Instant Pot recipes.
2. It makes meal prep easy peasy
You’ll have no more multiple pots and serving dishes to scrub after a meal. The Instant Pot cooks two to six times faster and it replaces six to seven common kitchen appliances. The stainless steel pot with no coating will cook this delicious Apple Balsamic Chicken in minutes. Plus, it cleans easily and the inner pot is dishwasher-safe. A favorite feature is the saute setting, which lets you thicken dishes or even cook pasta in a homemade soup right in the Instant Pot.
Looking to purchase an Instant Pot? Use this guide to find out which is best for you.
3. It’s a healthy cooking companion
Endless recipes for Instant Pots are yummy, fast and good for you. Take Pressure Cooker Turkey with Berry Compote; it has lean white meat, tangy raspberries and blueberries, and chili flakes for a kick. Light and delicious. Your Instant Pot doubles as a slow cooker, too. Stay healthy with these skinny slow-cooked recipes.
3. It’s programmable
The Instant Pot has microprocessor-controlled programming features that offer one-button timing for cooking a multitude of foods, including “soup,” “meat/stew,” “poultry” and “bean/chili” buttons. It can also cook rice and grains, with one-touch buttons for each. You can override all of these instant features with manual settings. We recommend experimenting with tasty dishes like this Fritatta Provencal.
4. It’s not just for the savory stuff
Does your family crave something sweet to top off a meal? Or would you like to serve a tasty treat to guests? The Instant Pot makes delectable desserts that family and friends will love—even Molten Mocha Cake.
5. It takes the fear out of pressure-cooking
We’ve all heard horror stories about the dangers of pressure cookers. Lids blowing off. Steam causing burns. Well, the Instant Pot comes with several important safety features that make it far less risky to use. Read the instructions carefully, and don’t be in a hurry to use the quick-release (QR) mode. This feature vents steam rapidly, which is OK for vegetables. But with red meat, it’s best to let the dish sit for about 10 minutes after the cook time is complete. Then vent by pressing down on the knob (rather than turning it) in what is called a “natural pressure release.” If you’re still hesitant, we settled the Instant Pot vs. pressure cooker debate once and for all.
6. It offers the best of both worlds
Perfect for smaller kitchens, or for anyone who likes to minimize the number of gadgets he or she works with, the Instant Pot has a button that transforms its pressure-cooking capabilities into a slow cooker. So, you can pressure-cook it when you’re in a hurry. Or when you have time in the morning, you can try one of these slow cooker favorites.
As with all cooking gear, you need to spend some time with an Instant Pot to get into the cooking groove and figure out what works best for you (the best instant pot recipes will make the learning curve easy). But trust us, you’ll love the flexibility and simplicity of this device. And your family will love all the delicious meals.