A Beginner’s Guide to the Instant Pot

Beginner’s Guide to Instant Pots

Are you one of the lucky ones who got an Instant Pot this year for Christmas? Or maybe you already had one, but never really took the plunge. Keep reading for some tips to get you started!

If you are overwhelmed and uninspired in your kitchen, you probably have too many small appliances. We are so fortunate to have so many resources these days, but more is not always better. If you want to feel more inspired in your kitchen, consider minimizing and simplifying.

Did you know an Instant Pot can take the place of a slow cooker, pressure cooker, rice cooker, steamer, and saute pan?

If you are curious why this small appliance is all the rage and wondering if it is right for you, keep reading. 

PSI Conversion

Are you wondering if you can convert psi (pounds per square inch) pressure cooker recipes to your instant pot? The answer is yes. You can convert those recipes easily and create an ideal alternative to larger pressure cookers. So, rest assured if you are one of those moms who has nightmares about exploding pressure cookers. PSI conversion is fairly easy. The typical pressure cooker works at 15 psi, while the instant pot works at 11 psi. The only thing you need to know about converting the recipes is to cook them for just a few extra minutes, usually 5 to 10 depending on if the recipe is meatless.

Multiple Cooking Magic Wonder

In addition to the multiple appliances the instant pot takes over, it also cooks multiple foods. You can cook meats, stews, soups, rice, and even saute vegetables in the instant pot. This means that you truly have a one pot meal that tastes like you cooked it in traditional ways (like you slaved in the kitchen all day). In most cases, you won’t even need to clean between adding ingredients. So you can start off with sauteing vegetables, add meat to brown, and then add the rice or pasta for final cooking. Everything has a setting so you don’t even have to worry about standing over it and timing each step. Phew!

Freezer Cooking is Possible

If you are one of those super organized moms who use freezer cooking methods to cut down on food costs and to make cooking easier, I’m super jealous of you. 🙂 But the good news is, you can use an instant pot for your organized, efficient freezer meals. To convert from using the slow cooker and pressure cooker options to the instant pot, you will need to freeze items individually instead of premixed. So freeze the meat, the sauce, the vegetables all in separate bags and then add them at the appropriate point in the cooking process.

This is just a quick beginner’s guide to having an instant pot. There’s still a lot to learn! Once you get the hang of it, it might become your most favorite, ultimate multipurpose kitchen tool.

Instant Pot Healthy Dinner Ideas

After a busy and hectic day, you need to get a healthy dinner on the table-fast. Your instant pot is there to help you!  

Instant Beef Stew

Long gone are the days of beef stew simmering on the stove for hours at a time. With an instant pot, you can whip up a hearty, tasty stew in less than an hour. It really is as simple as adding your ingredients and pushing the “stew” button. Make your stew healthier by using organic, grass-fed beef and adding lots of vegetables.  

Chicken and Brown Rice Soup

Shredded chicken can be premade in your instant pot and used later in soups like chicken and brown rice soup. All you need is brown rice, broth of your choice, some vegetables of your choice, and the shredded chicken. Cook for about an hour and enjoy. Perfect for fall and winter meals where you want something comforting, healthy and filling. To make this even healthier, use organic free-range chicken, brown rice, and lots of veggies. 

Refried Beans

Refried beans can be used as the base for many meals. Take pinto beans, broth, and some seasonings and place them in your instant pot. Cook the beans down until they are easy to blend. Blend with an immersion blender and cook for a few more minutes. You will have an easy refried bean meal that can be added to rice, meat, or used as a vegetarian base for burritos and taco salads. Beans are a great source of protein, fiber, micronutrients, and phytochemicals.  

You can start with these ideas and work your way up to bigger meals. These meals are designed to be healthy, work with your instant pot, and give you a simple meal that is filling and tastes good. The goal is to learn to use your instant pot for a variety of options so you find yourself making healthy dinner meals each night.

What’s your favorite instant pot recipe?

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