INSTANT POT 101 | Everything you need to know

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Very few kitchen appliances have reached such a cult following as the Instant Pot. This pressure cooker even has its very own Facebook page with over 2 million followers not to mention all the pages and pages of recipes you can Google that claim to cut prep time in half!

Well, all the gossip is true and even if you hate to cook or can burn a pot of boiling water this new (actually it has been around for decades!) way of cooking may just be for you.

Why Do You Need Another Kitchen Appliance🙄

Here’s the thing, it’s not like you need it. BUT, the Instant Pot is an “all-in-one” kitchen gadget. It boasts of being a rice cooker, a yogurt maker and even replacing that slow cooker. This one-pot marvel can also sauté and steam. Basically, the Instant Pot is a pressure cooker so it is able to cook food fast, really fast. Imagine having pulled pork in an hour instead of five or your chicken breast ready in 10 minutes. You just press a few buttons and walk away, there’s no need to keep a constant eye on it.

How does this thing work anyway🤷‍♀️

At first glance, you may be a little overwhelmed with all those buttons and words on your Instant Pot. Most of them are simply shortcuts that Instant Pot programmed ahead of time. The buttons you will probably use the most are the “Manual”, “Keep Warm” and “Cancel” function. The rest are somewhat redundant because you will probably set the timer manually. At least until you are an Instant Pot Professional.

Are you wondering which Instant Pot is best for you and your family? Click here!

Ok Instant Pot, so now what…

Put all your ingredients in, set the timer and you are done.

Just kidding. Honestly, though, it really is that easy. The hardest part is knowing how long to set the timer for what foods you want to cook. Oh and that little red thing on top can be a little intimidating too. Let’s break it down a bit.

photo creds

Cooking Times for Your Instant Pot

Setting the pressure cooker timer for two minutes doesn’t mean the entire cooking time is two minutes. You set the timer for the food though and the Instant Pot will worry about the rest of the time. I will elaborate.

If you are planning a meal to be ready at a certain time, you have to take into account the amount of time the Instant Pot needs to come to pressure and the time it then takes to depressurize. The more stuff you have in the pot and the colder it is, the longer it’ll take also. So a 5-minute chicken breast could really take about 10 to 15 minutes if it is frozen. Which is still shorter than the hour it takes in a regular oven.

That little red button though🤷‍♀️

Besides all those buttons on the front and all the funky noises, my instant pot was making that little red button on the top also intimidated me very much.

That little red button is what tells you when the pot is pressurized. That’s it, really. It starts in the down position and when the pot is ready to cook your delicious meal it will be in the upright position. The opposite happens when your food is finished cooking and the pot then depressurizes itself. I now give that thing a big eye roll and feel silly for how it made me feel.


Quick Reference to Different Ways to Use Your Instant Pot

I am a big fan of not making instructions to “wordy”. I am a ‘Just the facts, ma’am’ kind of girl. Below you will find the easiest directions on how to use your pot whether you use it as a pressure cooker, use it to saute or use it as a slow cooker. I can not take credit for anything but uploading the actual instructions that came with my InstaPot😁


Time to eat!

I will be honest, my husband got me this for Christmas and I finally used it about 9 months after. The first experience I made three frozen chicken breasts. Because it was frozen I put more time but found out it didn’t need quite all that extra time. I added some vegetable stock for the liquid and although it was a little overdone it had an excellent flavor! Had I cooked it too long in the oven it would be unedible.

Hopefully, by now, you feel a little more eager to get your hands on one of these gems. My best advice is just to go for it! Most of the recipes you find for using the instant pot give you step by step instructions. Good luck and if you have some recipes you want to share I would love to hear about them so leave them in the comments below!

Jessica Allion

I reached 200 pounds after having my children and several things have led me down my path of wanting to be healthier and better for myself and for my family; countless fitness DVDs, a gym membership, leading a weight management class at my church, and a personal trainer telling me I had good symmetry.
My husband and I have competed in several competitions from 2012 to 2015. Every competition brought more information on how to be better and stronger both mentally and physically.
I have learned many things on my fitness journey, but the one thing that I hear over and over no matter what size they are is the self-talk that many women tell themselves regarding the way they see themselves. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to have the tools and wisdom of the people around me to help women of all shapes and dynamics to help them on their journey.
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