in partnership
chili .jpg
Hip Turkey Chili Using the Instant Pot. (Image: Instant Pot) 

Instant Pot: Is it really worth all the hype?

The Instant Pot.

It's rapid-fire cooking at its finest. I first heard of the apparently magical contraption, like many of us, on Facebook. Recipe groups and food pics started filling up my feed. I've said it before and I'll say it again...I don't like to cook. But everyone was making it look so dang easy.

So I thought maybe, just maybe, this was my shot. My calling. My opportunity to become the chef of my husband's dreams, the example of home-cooking amazement that my daughter deserves. Essentially, here is what I was thinking the Instant Pot would turn me into:

And while my hair rarely looks that coiffed during dinner (it usually has some of my daughter's macaroni and cheese sprinkled in), and I can't remember the last time I wore a dress while cooking - my life has changed!

If you’ve been living an Instant Pot-free existence until now, here’s the deal:

The Instant Pot is a multi-cooker that has functions for cooking soup, rice, grains and porridge; steaming vegetables; making yogurt; cooking beans and chili; braising meat; simmering; slow cooking; sautéing; and warming.

Yeah - all that, in one pot. Hence the reason people are freaking out. It looks kind of like a pressure cooker, but with a digital panel on its front with a number of buttons indicating its different settings.

The pressure cooker function cooks food crazy-fast. You can run to the gym for a quick workout and come home to a fully cooked pork shoulder in 45 minutes. I used the Instant Pot every day for a week, making chicken with veggies, pork tacos, and cauliflower soup. You can make more delicious-sounding items, but as usual I'm dieting and trying to eat healthier.

My husband also used it to make chili for a 'chili cook-off' in our neighborhood and the crowd was more interested in looking at the Instant Pot versus sampling his chili. Not sure what that means? Sorry hun.

But I will say, you guys, I KILLED IT. I'm basically a five-star star chef now. IT WAS EASY. I'm a busy mom who hates to cook (and don't get me wrong, I still hate to cook) but I don't hate it as much as usual. That's saying a lot. All the dinners I made turned out totally acceptable. My husband even said, and I quote, they were "amazing". I think he was just pleased that I was taking the lead in the kitchen for once.

When I made chicken and greens I honestly didn't really notice a big difference in cook time, but I felt like the other meals I made were ready much faster. All the recipes I made were from the Instant Pot website, btw - there are tons!

A huge reason I don't like cooking is because I don't like the mess - but with one-stop-pot-cooking - it wasn't bad at all. Everything cooks in an inner pot, which just so happens to be lightweight, easy to remove, and dishwasher-safe. Brilliant!

The only thing I didn't like about the Instant Pot is the price (it can vary, but they're usually around $99.95). When you think about all the things it does, the price makes sense - but pulling the trigger on a $100+ expense can be tough (unless it's shoes, or outfits for my toddler).

Conclusion: If you honestly think you'd use it at least a couple times a month, I suggest trying it out. As a non-cooker it made my life easier, so I can't even imagine what it would do for someone who cooks every night.

Also, since it speeds up cooking by 2~6 times, it uses up to 70 percent less energy - so the Seattleite in me can totally support that.