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Using my Instant Pot for the First Time

by | Apr 11, 2019 | Decorating Inspiration, My Kitchen, My Life, My Seattle House

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Using my Instant Pot for the First Time

True confession: I bought an Instant Pot a few years ago. But, I was terrified of it blowing up so I returned it.

Then last year my daughters Kylee and Courtney each bought an Instant Pot and they love theirs! They started posting Instagram stories about making the most delicious healthy meals, so I got re-inspired to buy another one.

But once again, mine sat in its box for months. Ha! I was still terrified. Plus, it’s hard to get motivated to change your ways, you know?

Using my Instant Pot for the First Time

Anyway, I finally asked my daughter Kylee to help me learn how. I documented her showing me how to use it on my Instagram stories (if you follow me there you already may have seen it)! If you missed it, I saved the videos in my story highlights so you can WATCH HERE. She had lots of helpful tips!

All in all, my Instant Pot lesson was a SUCCESS! I made black beans, so nothing fancy, but nothing blew up. (And they were delicious, and so much better for you than canned beans!).

Next up, maybe I’ll try rice! Or a one pot meal … or WHO KNOWS! THE SKY IS THE LIMIT! Well, I’m still afraid of it, to be honest (haha), but I’ll be rewatching our Instagram video and definitely will give it another try. Or at least ask for another lesson. :)

This is the closest Instant Pot to the one I have.

Two questions I’d love to have you chime in on in the comments.

Do you use an Instant Pot?

What do you make in yours (and why do you love it)?

Would you want to see more of my Instant Pot adventures/recipes … haha?

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  1. Sheila

    I use mine fairly frequently but not daily. I often take advantage of the pot-in-pot method to cook up smaller quantities of some things.
    I like it for chicken stock, vegetable stocks, rice – white, brown, or risotto-like dishes, polenta, kalua pork, potatoes for potato salad, making yogurt and whole-milk ricotta. I prefer dried beans cooked low and slow but I’ll use the IP in a pinch.

  2. joan

    I would love to see your IP video… but alas, no Instagram account (intentional).. So… so sad for me. : – (

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      Oh no, well if you want to see it you can create an account (and not even follow anyone!) just so you can see it! I can’t share the video any other way, unfortunately, sorry about that!

    • Laurie

      My IP sat in the box for 2 months, same reason, I was scared to try it! I decided to just do it one day. I’ve only made bone broth, but it makes the best and most flavourful bone broth I’ve ever had. I’m anxious to try other things now. It’s quiet, no smell until you take the lid off and so easy to use and clean. I love it!

  3. Sharon

    I bought my IP right after Christmas after listening to my daughter talk about how much she loved hers. I use it for a variety of things: hard boiled eggs, homemade soup, rice, hot wings, spare ribs (absolutely the best)…and my number one favorite is a recipe for Keto Almond Carrot Cake made in a 6-inch cake pan (found the recipe on the Internet…where else?). I’ve been married 52 years and this particular appliance has been a game-changer! I usually make extra of whatever I cook, so my husband and I can have dinner and either have the rest in a couple of days or freeze it for a later meal.

  4. Bekki McNamee

    I too am gun shy, and think it will blow up. My sister got one and loves it…..still gun shy, so I’m gonna watch your video. I do love my 3 in one (they also have a 4 in one) Ninja crock Pot/cooker. It is a Slow cooker, stove, oven, and Buffett warmer. It also is SOOOOOO easy to clean. I make a wonderful steel cut oat meal with nuts and apples, cranberries, cinnamon. And also a Egg Nog and Cranberry steel cut oatmeal…and it just wipes clean in one sweep! Nothing sticks. I use it all the time. Sear roasts on stove top, then turn on slow cook….no dirtying other pans. So, now sell me on the insta pot…I’ll go watch the video….thanks.

  5. Shari

    Hi Melissa
    I do not use an IP.
    I know a lot of people do like them.

  6. Francesca gunn

    I am also intimidated by it so I do not have one. I don’t really have the space for another gadget that my S.O. thinks he HAS TO HAVE but does not use ( hence the toaster AND a toaster oven and two different waffle makers)

  7. Gail Gilbert

    I bought one also….a few months ago…haven’t used it yet, Bought an Air Fryer and my daughter showed me how to use it, pretty easy

  8. Brenda

    You have given me courage to buy one. I was visiting my sister in AZ who is a huge fan and she showed me how easy it was to prepare such delicious pasta in a great bolognese sauce, that tasted as beautiful as if it had been cooking for hours. My next purchase. Thank you!

  9. Patricia

    I never liked pressure cookers because like you I thought I’d kill myself BUT an instant pot is not going to blow up ! The lid can only be opened when the little safety toggle is down so no ka-bom .
    We make hard boiled eggs ( 6 minutes ) and any dish that I usually want to cook for hours I can easily cook in one hour and it taste great. Also, I don’t love microwaving so I can put any dish I want to warm up in the instant pot .
    Chicken ? takes some experimenting but you will get there .

  10. LC

    Hi there, I got an IP for Christmas. I was a little hesitant about using it because I remember growing up, my grandmother would have one on the stove, the pressure thingy jiggling, and I was NOT allowed to enter the kitchen! ha ha ha! These are very different, and I think very safe. The learning curve was actually my biggest hesitation, but after one use, it was simple! My favorite recipe is for salmon with red-skinned potatoes. I LOVE one-pot cooking! The salmon cooks perfectly in 3 minutes (this is about 15 minutes including the time to come up to full pressure), and then the potatoes are just sauteed in the same pot a few minutes longer with the lid off and greens added at the end. Here’s the recipe I use:
    Good luck and happy insta-potting!

  11. Kristin D Bythewood

    We make White Rice in there and it saves a lot of time!

  12. Sheri

    I have an Instant Pot. I have had it about 6 months! I have not opened it or used it! I’m a little bit afraid! I’m going to watch your stuff on Instagram!

  13. Susan Maclean

    An instant pot is just a modern version of a pressure cooker, but better. A friend has been using hers for about 7 weeks whilst she has a new kitchen fitted (and nod, the IP did NOT blow up her original kitchen!!) and she has cooked any and everything with great success. I have used a pressure cooker for over 40 years with no blow ups, and had some great meals. When I replace it I will buy an IP> Good luck Melissa!

  14. Sandra Ewing

    I got a pressure cooker as a wedding present 50 years ago. I experimented a few times canning but rarely cooked in it. Until I discovered I could make corned beef and cabbage in less than 2 hours. Then I learned I could also makpulled barbecued pork quick and easy. In 50 years nothing blew up.

    Two years ago for Christmas I got an Instant Pot. There are things I like and dislike. I miss the jiggling and keep thinking it isn’t working. I don’t use it to save a few minutes (eggs) but for things that take hours (stews, soup, beans, etc.). I still have trouble estimating time and amount of liquid. Will keep watching you for more tips.

    Tip- I don’t like all the steam in the kitchen. So I place the IP on a wooden cutting board on my gas stove under the exhaust hood and run the fan.

  15. HeatherB

    I could have written this post!! I got one, had it for YEARS sitting in the box, got rid of it. My mom (of all people) got one and encouraged me to get another. I did. It sat in box for a while. I finally got it out, tried it, it worked, but somehow I still feel overwhelmed by it and haven’t used it again.

    I may try watching your video and see if I work up the oomph to give it another shot…

  16. Peggy

    I have an instant pot, but only use it to make yogurt. I tried the crockpot method for a while, but the results were not consistent. Not so with the instant pot. It comes out perfect every time. Maybe some day I’ll get adventurous and try something else!

  17. Judy Houle

    We love ours! I have made vegetarian curried chickpeas, tuscan chicken stew, cooked an apple and steel cut oats breakfast using the slow cooker setting (makes 6 servings which can be frozen), and some other yummy soups and stews using the pressure cooker. I spotted a lamb curry in a recipe book. That’s on my list to try next! Don’t be afraid – the pressure cooker turns an hour or more recipe into less than 30 minutes. A great timesaver on busy days!

  18. Adrienne

    I had a tremendous fail the first time I tried using my instant pot (although it was not dangerous). I spent like 3 hours trying to cook one sweet potato and I couldn’t get it to work, lol! But I’ve figured it out now (although I never tried sweet potatoes again!)

    I like to use my instant pot to make things that would otherwise take many many hours–like making my own broth, or cooking pho (which is kind of the same thing, ha). The other nice thing about the instant pot is that you can put in meat that is frozen (I can’t remember if you family eats meat or not?) so if you forget to thaw it, no big deal!

    Have fun experimenting!

  19. Cathy

    I do not have an Instanpot,t not because of the intimidation factor but because I already have some great small appliances and cookware. I have a Zojirushi rice cooker and I use it for rice, lentils, lentils and rice, quinoa, oatmeal, quick soups and so on. We are vegetarian and it is something I use several times per were, that and my Le Cruset Wok and we are good to go.

  20. Christine

    I bought my daughter-in-law an Instant Pot this month for her birthday (ahead of the day) and she loves it. There is no reason to be afraid of it unless you are not following directions or forget to put liquid in it. Virginia texted me later in the evening on the day she got it to tell me she used it right away to make dinner since you can cook frozen chicken and meat in it, if you forgot to take something out of the freezer. I thought she might like to also make yogurt with my grandson which would be healthier than the store bought sugared variety. Virginia made Mexican chicken with frozen chicken and red potatoes. I’m sure my son will enjoy using it, too, since he also cooks.

  21. Liz

    I have two Instant Pots – 6 qt and a 3 qt. – plus extra pans for each size, a glass top, and a good basket. I use it to cook eggs (perfect every time and easy to peel), chicken breasts, turkey breast (from frozen!), pork and beef roasts. And, I make lots of stews and soups.

    I like it since the pot stops cooking when the time is up – harder to burn stuff. And it keeps the kitchen cooler in the summer. Start with simple recipes, track your time since you can read recipes for the same type of food, but the times are all over the place. If you find that the meat is undercooked, just put the lid back on and cook it a few more minutes. And always make a recipe several times before making it for a guest or a special occasion.

  22. tammy

    I am loving *Dwelling*!!!! A sweet addition to my day <3!!! Grateful :-)
    ps. I do not have an IP

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      Oh thank you so much, Tammy! It makes me so happy to know you love Dwelling!!! ?

  23. Debbie - MountainMama

    My sweetie bought me one for Christmas and honestly he was more excited about it than I was. But I started reading up on it and made a bunch of recipes this winter in it…I posted some on my blog. It really is a handy gadget, but I still find myself reaching for my LeCreuset more often than anything else!

  24. Kristin Thomas

    Yes, I have an Instant Pot, and I’ve found I use it in spurts. I used it a lot when I first got it but seem to have lost motivation of late. I’m not convinced it saves THAT much time, and as mom who’s “home” during the day, I don’t find it as necessary as some women might. It is great for hard-boiled eggs and Nom Nom Paleo’s Korean Short Ribs – YUM! But, it is big and requires a lot of storage space for something I don’t use all that often. I will tell you what HAS been a game-changer in my kitchen and dinner prep, and that’s my Anova sous vide. I am in no way affiliated with this gadget but, I’m a fan. I use it for almost all our meat now – chicken breasts (my husband doesn’t want them cooked any other way), STEAK (flat iron is our go-to), pork tenderloin… I won’t go into all the pros and cons – you can find lots of info on it – but it’s been a huge hit at our house! If I had to choose between the two, sous vide hands-down!

  25. Dr.Amrita

    I do cook in my instant pot.Its great especially for rice and khichdi.But chicken turns out good too.I mistakely typed in my comment in the post on small room devorating mistake!

  26. Diane @AnExtraordinaryDay

    I haven’t used my new IP either! Whenever Prime Day was last summer… that’s when I purchased it with all kinds of good intentions. And yes to being afraid I might blow it up!! And then there’s the thing that I cook every meal, 3x a day and I’m in a rut and can’t for the life of me think about what I would cook given our grain-free, sugar-free, dairy-free, non-processed food eating. (And I don’t eat beans… unless they are yellow wax or green as in string. LOL) Maybe this summer I’ll use it as a slow cooker so I don’t heat up my kitchen roasting chickens. Who knows! Glad you were brave and didn’t have any incidents!

  27. Melinda Young

    I haven’t used an instant pot yet. I have been curious, as all my friends have one. I am not certain I need another appliance. Maybe watching what you do with yours will inspire me?! I am still curious. ?

  28. Hillary

    My favorite part about my Instant Pot is that I can cook frozen chicken breasts in 30 minutes and they come out tender like they’ve been in a slow cooker all day! It’s the best for nights I forgot to plan dinner!

  29. Veronica Nightingale

    Thanks for talking about your Instant Pot-I feel so much better! My daughter gave me an Instant Pot for Christmas – in 2017! I didn’t use it for a year and I still have to keep looking at the manual but it is getting better. I have made rice , pot roast and Shrimp Skampi. I have to watch your video and yes-I would love to see more recipes!

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