With a full-time day job and a full-ish time night gig, making dinner has become a pastime in our household. Grab ‘n go, fend for yourself, or just find whatever you can became our anthem or we usually ended up siphoning something from my parent’s house. Per Pinterest, there are a million and one ways I could go ahead “prep myself” before I wreck myself, but see reasonings above as to why I don’t even have time to do that.
Enter the Instant Pot. Everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) and their mother was talking about this gadget on my Facebook feed over Black Friday weekend (helllllooooooooo, amazing sale). So I asked the question, convinced that I too did not need yet another device to stuff into my cabinets (looking at you, fancy Frappuccino machine).
As you can see from the responses, people were a little rabid about this thing and if I had an affiliate link, I apparently would also be rich because these things were then flying off of Amazon’s shelves. The skeptic that I am, I still hesitated buying because I just kept thinking, “Could this thing REALLY be that amazing? I mean, honestly.” But after some hard selling from my friend’s, I decided to give this beauty a whirl (and no, this is not like Twilight because for that series, I WILL NOT EVER CAVE. NEVER EVER. CAN EDWARD MAKE MY DINNER IN 5 MINUTES FLAT?! Nope)
So what is it?
The Instant Pot (non-affiliate) is a 7-in-1 device (Whaaaaaa?) and does the following: Multi-Functional Cooker–Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Saute/Browning, Yogurt Maker, Steamer & Warmer (Perfect. So if I get this blasted thing to work, I can also clean out my cabinets. Even better!) With 14 different settings (Soup, Meat/Stew, Bean/Chili, Poultry, Sauté, Steam, Rice, Porridge, Multigrain, Slow Cook, Keep-Warm, Yogurt, Pasteurize and Fermented Rice (Jiu Niang)), I apparently can also be a four star chef and more (sign me up!)
Look at how fancy! All the buttons! So shiny! Sucking me in! For the first few days, it sat by my front door. I felt like it required a little bit of planning. After a trip to Mariano’s, I grabbed some essentials, chicken, vegetables, spices, and more and headed back to make my first few recipes. I put it up to the Facebook gurus again for their best and simplest recipe to really WOW Jim and convince him that this little Instant Pot would change our lives.
The people spoke and chicken and potatoes came up the winner. I literally took raw chicken, 4 yukon gold potatoes, about a 1/2 cup of water, spices, and hit the manual setting – for 15 minutes. THAT’S IT. Like raw potatoes, raw meat, GO! I “started” dinner at about 5:10 pm after a busy day. And Jim was home at 5:40 pm and DINNER WAS ALREADY READY. DINNER THAT I COOKED. IN MY INSTANTPOT. ALL IN THE SAME THING. NOT 100 DISHES. ARE YOU HEARING THIS?! I was intentional about dinner, but listen, if I can come home and make dinner IN 15 MINUTES AND NOT TEAR APART MY KITCHEN, this machine just might save my sanity and my marriage.
So what else could this little device do for me? I decided to try my hand at soup! (And here comes that recipe that is as mouth-watering as it looks!)
Cheddar Potato Broccoli Soup
1 head of broccoli
4 Yukon gold potatoes (diced into small chunks)
1 box of broth (32 oz.)
Garlic/2 tablespoons of butter
1 cup of milk (I used 1%)
1 cup cheddar (and to garnish)
(That’s it. For real. No fancy roux, no watching a pot boil, nada, just those ingredients, for delicious soup in a hot minute).
Saute garlic and butter for one minute in your Instant Pot (yes, there’s a button for this. No, you don’t have to use a separate pan. Go crazy!) Then, fill with broccoli chunks, potatoes (again, RAW), box of broth, salt and pepper. CLOSE IT UP and manual for 6 minutes (it will take some time to pressurize, but STILL it’s just sitting there anyways – hop to it!) Release steam and remove top. NOW you CAN keep it all in one pot and use an immersion blender to mix it all up. Then it’s only ONE true pan. If you’re like me and don’t have one, then using a blender or Nutribullet right quick is perfect (albeit another dish).
Mix up that soup til it gets nice and creamy! Once you do, add your milk and your cheese, stir to combine and voila – your soup is DONE! No, for real. IT IS READY TO EAT and took like 15 minutes which means if your husband is en route, you can LITERALLY PUT THINGS INTO THIS MAGIC MACHINE AND IT POPS OUT A FANTASTIC DINNER IN LIKE A HOT MINUTE.
And I’m for real. I topped with bacon and cheese and there you have it. YOU GUYS. I made dinner more in the last two days than I have since August (and the food was NOT HORRID).
So will the Instant Pot solve world peace or clean my house? Probably not. Maybe. But it will DEFINITELY be a game changer for us in the next few weeks and months (and with the crew of fans of it on FB, I am sure I will not be without recipe inspiration).
Welcome to my gadget family, little Instant Pot. I just might end up making room in my cabinets for you after all.