6 Ways the Instant Pot is Changing How I Feed My Family

I am not much of a Black Friday shopper, but this past year, I made a single impulse purchase the day after Thanksgiving: an Instant Pot. Amazon was selling them for a steal, and the internet was all a’buzz about this supposedly life-changing appliance. So with a swipe of my finger on my Prime App, I jumped on the Instant Pot bandwagon. And I’m here to tell you that my life has indeed been changed.

Confession :: Cooking for my family is not something I particularly enjoy. I do it because I have to, but I dread the planning, shopping, and most of all the cleanup. So any appliance that makes this domestic chore simpler and faster automatically wins a spot on my kitchen counter.

The Instant Pot is So Much More Than a Crock Pot {but you can use it as a slow cooker}.

The Instant Pot {or Instapot as it’s affectionately called by its fans} is a single electric appliance that has either 6 or 7 functions, depending on the model. I purchased the 6 quart, 7 in 1 model. In addition to being a slow cooker, its other talents are being a pressure cooker {probably its most famous ability}, a yogurt maker, rice cooker, steamer, sauter, and warmer.

It’s Easy to Use.

Admittedly, when I first took my InstaPot out of the box, I was really intimidated by all the buttons, as well as the user manual. But instead of staying fearful, I decided that the worst that could happen was a ruined dinner, and I dove right in. Once I learned the basics, as well as pressure cooking terms like “Quick Release,” “Natural Pressure Release,” and “Pot In Pot,” I realized that the actual cooking is easier than any method I’ve ever tried.

You Can Make {almost} Anything.

From sweet to savory, breakfast to dinner, there are countless InstaPot recipes. The internet is chock full of blogs and websites that share these recipes, as well as tips and tricks to getting the most out of your appliance. I’ve joined three Instant Pot Facebook groups that are an endless source of information. And there are also tons of specialty recipes available for those with dietary restrictions or allergies.

It Cuts Down on Cooking Time.

When you use the Instant Pot as a pressure cooker, your food cooks a lot faster than on the stove or the oven. Also, you don’t have to “babysit” the pot at all: just throw in your food, lock the lid, push a button, and walk away until it’s done. It certainly makes the dinnertime “witching hour” much more manageable and less stressful, and it makes good, satisfying meals possible in a very short timeframe.

It Cooks Frozen Meat.

How many times have I ended up with takeout or a frozen pizza for dinner because I forgot to thaw meat out? Too many times than I care to admit here. With the Instant Pot, frozen meat is no longer an excuse. While it does take longer for the pot to reach full pressure when the meat is frozen {and thus lengthening the total cooking time}, the InstaPot cooks your chicken, beef, or turkey perfectly, even when it’s fresh from the freezer.

It’s Just One Pot to Clean.

Gone are the days of a sink full of pots and pans to clean after a single meal. Many of the recipes I’ve made are single pot meals meaning everything goes in the same pot at once. I have made meals where I’ve cooked foods separately; for example, I cook the meat using the pressure cooker feature, and then set it aside and cook rice using the rice cooker button. When it’s time to clean up, I rinse out the pot and throw it in the dishwasher and wash the lid with warm soapy water. Fast and easy.

I’m not usually one to buy in to the latest craze or must-have product, but I certainly hit the jackpot with my Instant Pot purchase. I’m trying new recipes every week, and my family is loving the fast, high quality meals we are now eating on a regular basis.

Some of Houston Moms Blog’s favorite Instant Pot recipes include ::

Do you own an Instant Pot? Share your favorite recipes and tips with us!

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Elizabeth was raised in Houston and met her husband Ryan shortly after graduating from Texas A&M with a journalism degree. A few years later, Grayson {Sept 2010}, turned Elizabeth’s world upside down, not only with his sparkling blue eyes and killer smile, but with his profound disabilities and diagnosis of Mitochondrial Disease. After two years of navigating the world of special needs parenting, Elizabeth and Ryan were blessed with Charlotte {Jan 2013} and Nolan {Sept 2015}, perfectly completing their party of five. Elizabeth and her crew live in Katy, and when she can steal a few moments for herself, she can be found out for Mexican food and margaritas with girlfriends, binge-listening to podcasts and audiobooks, or trying once again {unsuccessfully} to organize her closet. In addition to her role as Managing Editor of HMB, Elizabeth writes about faith, politics and special needs parenting for publications like Scary Mommy and HuffPost.You can connect with Elizabeth on Facebook,Twitter, Instagram, or ElizabethKBaker.com


  1. We got our instant pot (we call it R2D2) at the same time you did. Yes, to everything you said. I love to cook but hate the cleanup. We have made oatmeal, porcupine meatballs, ham and bean, red beans and rice, one pot pasta, and cheesecake. We have made so much oatmeal.

  2. That you don’t have to babysit the Instant Pot is not 100% true. If you are preparing a dish that requires to quick release the pressure at the end of the programmed time, you’ll still have to be there at that time and manually do that.

    There are pressure cookers that can automatically do even that step. Those I would call pressure cookers I don’t have to babysit, not the Instant Pot though.


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