Eat Empowered, Healthy Eating Tips

Why the Instant Pot Might Actually Solve All of Your Kitchen Problems

87

We didn’t quite get the crazy amount of buzz around the Instant Pot, a decidedly unsexy kitchen device that’s basically an upgraded pressure cooker.

Then, our very own Karen Rogers, Nutritious Life’s brilliant COO, started raving about how it changed her life. Karen got it last fall and has been using it at least three times a week ever since. “It’s magic,” she says. “I don’t think I’ve ever used another appliance as consistently before…except maybe my Roomba, but that’s for another time…”

Naturally, we were intrigued. So we had Karen explain how the pot basically solved all of her kitchen problems—in case it might do the same for you. Here’s what she had to say.

Who’s the Instant Pot For?

I hate to cook. I’d rather be anywhere else than in the kitchen, but I’m all about eating healthy, so that makes it really hard. Or expensive. It’s also tough because a lot of times I’m cooking one thing for myself, another thing for my two super picky kids, and then my husband, who really isn’t into eating healthy unless the meal is perfectly delicious, is doing his own thing.

So, I’m always looking for the easiest solutions.

I never liked Crock Pots because I don’t like the smell when the food is cooking or for the three days after while it lingers in the kitchen, and I also don’t plan ahead. I can never remember to take things out the night before or find the time to put everything into the pot before work in the morning.

Why the Instant Pot is Life-Changing

I associated pressure cookers with my mom making stews when I was a kid, which I hated. But the Instant Pot does so much more. A few reasons I love it?

1. It Eliminates the Need for Prep

I really want to be into Sunday meal prep, but it just never works out. I lift weights 4-5 days per week and the hardest thing for me was always stocking up on protein sources (and even if you do all of the meal prep, baked chicken tastes terrible after the third day). With the Instant Pot, you don’t even have to defrost meat before you cook it.

RELATED: 5 YouTube Channels to Seriously Inspire Your Meal Prep

This has become my go-to strategy: I dump frozen chicken breasts into the Instant Pot with a half cup of chicken broth and some spices. I close the lid, set it to 12 minutes, and that’s it. You just hit start and it beeps when it’s done, and it’s perfectly cooked every time. Then I take my hand-held blender and shred the chicken right in the pot, and I have perfect shredded chicken I keep in the fridge for a few days, to put on salads, in tacos, or basically on anything. Because it gets stored kind of “wet” from the broth, it stays moist and doesn’t get dry like baked chicken breasts do.

instant pot

2. It Saves You Tons of Time

The scenario I just described does take a little longer than 12 minutes because the Instant Pot has to get the pressure up before the timer starts. When it’s done, you’ll have to also wait a few minutes for the pressure to release. But still, frozen to perfectly cooked chicken in, say, 20 minutes? That’s amazing. And the best part is that I don’t have to stand over the stove and watch it. During that time, I’m doing other stuff like making the kids lunches, answering emails, or getting anything else done. I just have to listen for the beep. I get all of that time in between back.

RELATED: Delicious, Healthy Ingredients You Can Make With 7 Ingredients or Less

3. It Cuts Down on Clean Up

You throw everything in one pot and that pot can go in the dishwasher. Enough said.

4. You Can Cook Anything

Okay, it is large and takes up a lot of kitchen real estate. But unlike a Vitamix, you can literally make anything in it. In fact, if you google a recipe these days, the second thing that comes up is almost always “how to cook it in an Instant Pot.” I used to try all of the “magical” hard-boiled egg recipes online and none ever quite worked. Now, they’re perfect every time. The eggs just slip out of the shell.

For my kids, I can do spaghetti. You just dump the spaghetti and the water and the sauce all in the pot together and eight minutes later it’s ready. If you want meat sauce, you can saute the meat in the pot first and then pour everything on top.

They also make these little pots that go in the bigger pot so that you can cook a few things at one time. For instance, I’ll put quinoa in one pot and frozen broccoli in another and all of it is done in three minutes.

Seriously, I think I’ll be using this thing for a very long time.

 

(Photos: Shutterstock)

87