I bought an Instant Pot almost exactly one year ago (as part of the Black Friday sales) and as it’s my Instant Pot anniversary, so I wanted to share 10 things I love about it, and why it’s great for paleo cooking (and any other cooking as well).
To say it was love, at first sight, was an understatement. It’s likely no surprise to you guys that I love to cook, so finding new ways to make magic happen in the kitchen is always a welcome challenge for me.
No matter how much we like cooking, I think many people who spend enough time in the kitchen know how important it is to switch things up. What better way to do just that than with a fun and fancy new gadget?
The Instant Pot fits the bill. It’s a multi-cooker that basically encompasses everything you love about pressure cooking and slow cooking into one. It has 7 cooking functions (9 in the latest models), which sets it apart from many kitchen appliances with a single purpose. It has a 6-quart stainless steel pot with bigger options for all your cooking needs. You can transform any slow cooker recipe into a “fast” cooker recipe, use it as a rice cooker or a yoghurt maker, and repurpose stove-top pressure cooker recipes with it. You can even make cakes with Instant Pot!
Here is a handy comparison guide to 3 most popular models of Instant Pot.
Yes – there is a slight learning curve, but it’s worth getting past. I love the ease and efficiency of the Instant Pot. It makes meal prep, creating and developing new recipes, and getting food on the table fast and fun. It’s also easy breezy to clean, so I truly have zero complaints. I have plenty of good things to say, though.
If you’re looking to purchase one yourself, I wanted to share some of the things I love the most about my pressure cooker. It’s not available in all countries (sadly) but if you’re in the U.S, UK, Canada and some other European countries, make sure to check out upcoming holidays sales for specials. This is the one I own! You might also want to get a few Instant Pot accessories to get the most of its functions.
1. Bone broth takes a fraction of the time
If you’ve dabbled with making bone broth, you know one thing is true: it takes forever. This labour of love is often worth the gorgeous results, but some of us have a higher demand for it than others. It’s lovely to have something simmering on the stove for long hours, but it’s not always practical. With the Instant Pot, you can make it in a fraction of the time. I set my Instant Pot for just around 2-3 hours on HIGH pressure – about 100 minutes – for the perfect broth that gels every time. It’s basically a guarantee, and you still extract all of the nutrients. Here is how to make nutritious Instant Pot chicken bone broth.
2. It’s great for batch cooking
If you like to get your meal prep done at the beginning of the week, not having an Instant Pot is a huge disservice! The Instant Pot effortlessly creates big batches of food. You can cook large cuts of meat in little time, big batches of easy-to-freeze meals like soups, stews, and curries. I love to make some pressure cooker pulled pork or shredded chicken for easy protein options.
Oh, and boiled eggs! If you get frustrated with your eggshells sticking, the Instant Pot will change the game. You don’t have to keep a watching eye over them, and they’ll peel perfectly every time. I can easily just pop in one recipe after the other in a single afternoon without doing much more than pressing a couple of buttons. Meal prep has never been simpler.
3. I can cook tough cuts of meat very quickly
Tough cuts of meat are underrated. They’re affordable and delicious if you cook them right. Cooking them “right” also generally means cooking them for a long time to break down the tissues and make it edible. Slow cooking and braising meat can be fun, but I love the ability to make these dishes without remembering to get it started in the morning. Chuck roast, pork butt or shoulder, brisket, and anything else you can think of can generally be done in 1-2 hours with your Instant Pot.
Recipes to try:
Instant Pot chipotle brisket– from Fed & Fit
Moroccan Lamb Stew With Carrots & Potatoes
Leg of lamb stew with dates and cinnamon from Instant Pot Eats
Sunday pot roast from Favorite Family Recipes
Instant Pot Lamb Shoulder Roast Greek-Style
My Shredded Beef Ragu
4. Super quick for making soups
Soup is such a staple for me. I love how I can pretty much add anything I have handy to broth (probably made in my Instant Pot…) and have it transform before my eyes. I love when the flavours really get a chance to meld together, so simmering it on the stove for an entire day is something I’m no stranger to.
With the Instant Pot, I can basically dump my ingredients in without much rhyme or reason and have it all cook together – and fast! Some soups only take 10-20 minutes, including the meat. It’s nothing short of magic if you ask me. It works for cooking blended soups too, cooking everything down so you can toss it in the blender with ease.
Recipes to try:
Instant Pot Carrot & Ginger Soup from Clean Eating Kitchen
Italian Farmhouse Vegetable Soup from Instant Pot Eats
Sweet Potato Tortilla Soup from Instant Pot Eats
5. You can use Instant pot to make Yoghurt
It literally has a yoghurt button. Buying non-dairy yoghurt at the store can be a pain. It’s full of additives or sugar, and if it’s not, it’s not notoriously affordable. Making it at home means you’re in control of the ingredients, and it costs a fraction of the price. It’s not hard with the Instant Pot at all. The yoghurt button essentially does the work for you. With this function, you’re going to set it overnight making it one of the longer processes, but it’s worth the wait. Try this coconut yoghurt from Detoxinista.
6. It’s great for summer
It’s great for every season, but I especially love mine when the weather is hot and the sun is out! You know it can be downright painful to stand over a hot stove or turn the oven on when it’s hot out, especially if you don’t have AC. With the Instant Pot, you’ll have a whole lot less heat flow happening in the kitchen. In fact, you only have to face it if you do a quick release, in which case, you can open a window to let out the steam a bit.
It also helps you save time so you can spend more of it enjoying summer activities – something I value a ton! It’s also great for preserving the summer harvest and for cooking dishes to bring to summer potlucks and parties. Try this Instant Pot potato salad from Clean Eating Kitchen this summer.
7. You can cook multiple things at once
Cooking a single thing at a time isn’t always ideal considering the time crunch and the need to make a main dish and sides. The Instant Pot makes this challenge one that’s simple to overcome. You can easily layer different foods inside the pot with a steaming basket or with tin foil. Just make sure to align the cooking times right.
For example, making meat and potatoes simultaneously is a breeze, and depending on the size of the cuts, you can estimate the same approximate cooking times without your food mixing. I often use the Instant Pot trivet for this.
Try this hearty and nutritious Instant Pot Chicken & Potatoes dish.
8. DIY your pantry
The Instant Pot will have you saying goodbye to any canned goods. You can DIY your own condiments and pantry staples like sauces, jams, and compotes. The best part? You don’t even have to do any canning. This is great for those of you who have gardens and need options to preserve fruits and veggies. It saves a ton of time and you can customise your food to your own tastes (plus avoid extra sugar!). When it comes to eating paleo, finding compliant canned goods can be nearly impossible. Save the trouble and make it yourself.
9. Stovetop functions
It’s actually really good for simple and quick veggie dishes and sauteeing things. This means that you can heat up your oil, sear your roast before you pressure cook it, stir up some zucchini noodles for a pasta craving, or fast cauliflower rice. Either way, the saute function is one I use before nearly every meal I make in my Instant Pot.
Yes – I know it’s not always considered “healthy” but it’s hard not to make if you have an Instant Pot! If I’m entertaining, I will often make a rice dish as it’s still gluten-free and it is one of my ‘allowed’ occasional grains. That way, I can cater for vegetarian friends as well. The Instant Pot makes the best risotto – as in, it’s hard to mess it up so to speak. So, I often use it to make a risotto or other simple rice dishes.
If you decide to get one, here are the first 10 Instant Pot beginner recipes to get you started.
In case you didn’t read the whole thing, here’s the long story, short: I LOVE MY INSTANT POT! It’s versatile, inspiring, and makes cooking impressive dishes easy all year-round. Let me know if you love your Instant Pot, too! If you want to get one, check out this article on where to find the Instant Pot in your country.