Life can feel chaotic at times, I get it. With work, school, family obligations and the seemingly endless list of to-dos, it's difficult to find time for everything. One area that usually suffers, and shouldn't, is meal time. Many people find themselves in a drive-thru night after night picking up dinner for the family.
That's neither healthy nor cost effective. It can also take away from quality time spent sharing a good home-cooked meal and discussing life. When you're passing around fast-food, most likely everyone takes their burger to their corner of the world to just scarf it down.
I like to cook, don't get me wrong, it's just hard to find the time. A big help has been our sponsor HelloFresh. They deliver ready to cook meals to my door a couple of times a week which saves a ton of time.
My Instant Pot® might be my favorite kitchen appliance.
The invention of the Instant Pot® has really changed the way meals can be prepared. I'm writing about this amazing cooker because I really love it!
If you're not familiar with it, keep reading and I'll share a few secrets that you'll use over and over again.
What is the Instant Pot®
The creators of the Instant Pot® set out with a goal in mind: "To find solutions that would enable busy families and professionals to prepare quality food in less time, promoting better eating and reducing the consumption of fast food."
The Instant Pot® was introduced in 2010 and quickly became a fan favorite. In fact, it's the number one selling brand on Amazon with one of the highest overall customer ratings.
With the ability to be a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, yogurt maker, cake maker, egg cooker, saute, steamer, warmer and sterilizer, the Instant Pot® can take care of pretty much whatever it is that needs to be done.
There are several versions of the Instant Pot® to choose from. (PssT! Read all the way to the end and I'll show you more options.)
The link above is the Ultra 6 Qt 10-in-1 multi-use programmable version. It has a central dial with a simple turn and press that provides added precision in program selection and adjustment.
This model has some new features that include: altitude adjustment, cooking indicator, and a steam release reset button. It can replace up to 10 common kitchen appliances and comes with 3rd generation technology and an embedded microprocessor that monitors the pressure and temperature, keeps time, and adjusts heating intensity and duration.
If you have one of these amazing cookers, you know how simple it is to use. However, there are some neat tricks that you might not know about. Let's talk about them.
Take advantage of its great memory
Cooking with Instant Pot® is full of personal choices. No two people have exactly the same tastes when it comes to how their food is prepared, i.e. food tenderness and texture. That's why Instant Pot® 'Cooking Time Tables' are for reference only.
Once you have experimented with different meals and find the perfect settings for you, Instant Pot® will remember and use them the next time you cook that meal. Soup, stew, chili or whatever it is, your cooker will remember your setting preferences and cook the meal the same way. You don't need to adjust the settings unless you weren't happy the way the dish turned out the last time you made it.
Slice even more off your cooking time
Instant Pot® is already a super fast way to prepare your meals. It's designed to cook food up to 70 percent faster than normal. That's fantastic!
But here's a little trick that can speed up the cooking process. While you are prepping your food, turn on the Instant Pot® saute function.
Doing this will preheat the cooker and save you valuable time during the cooking process. Let it heat up while you're slicing and dicing everything that you're about to cook.
Here's how the saute function works:
- Press the "Saute" function key.
- Select a temperature with the "Adjust" key for "Normal," "More" or "Less."
- When Instant Pot® reaches the given working temp, it displays "Hot" and it's ready to use.
- One full "Saute" session normally runs for 30 minutes, but you can cancel it at any time by pressing the "Cancel/Keep Warm" key and continue with a pressure cooking function.
Easily cook meals from frozen
I'm sure that we've all been there. It's almost time for dinner but you forgot to take something out of the freezer ahead of time. No worries!
With Instant Pot® you can cook food and meals from frozen in a jiffy. No longer do you have to scramble to find a healthy home-cooked meal when you forgot to thaw out that chicken.
Now, you can simply put the frozen food directly into the Instant Pot® and voila, you'll have a fully cooked meal in no time. For example, a whole chicken only takes about 35 minutes to cook from frozen in the Instant Pot®. How cool is that?
After learning about these nifty tricks you might want to try them out for yourself. There are plenty of reasons to fall in love with Instant Pot®, give it a whirl and see for yourself. By the way, here are those links I promised with more models to choose from:
Join an Instant Pot® Facebook group to become a master
If you're a beginner or even someone who has used Instant Pot® for years, there are plenty of resources to help you become a master. Here are a few Facebook groups that you could join to learn how to become an Instant Pot® wizard.
Instant Pot Beginner Recipes and Tips: This is a great start if you are looking to get into cooking with the Instant Pot®. This group focuses on beginner tips and recipes. It has over 13,000 members and usually produces 239 new posts per day.
Instant Pot Vegan Recipes: This is a huge group, the largest one on our list. It is perfect for you or that vegan friend that you might struggle to find the proper meals for. The group has over 67,000 members and posts nearly 780 times per day!
Instant Pot Vietnamese Recipes: If you are looking for some more exotic recipes, this group is for you. With a staggering 43,000 members and 380 daily posts, you will be making delicious Bò Kho in no time.
Instant Pot Indian Food: Like the above, this Asian-recipe themed group is surprisingly massive. It has over 55,000 members and posts 200 times per day. Learn how to make some delicious spicy curry here.
Dump and Push Start: This is a group dedicated to quick and convenient recipes that can be thrown together in minutes. Just my style. Here, members share their favorite simple and quick Instant Pot® recipes. This group is much more manageable in size with 28,000 members and 194 posts per day.
If you do decide to join any of these groups, I recommend "unfollowing" the group from your News Feed. They post extremely often and might completely take over your timeline if you do not do this.
To unfollow a group, click on the three dots on the top right corner of a post and click "unfollow." You can still visit the group anytime and read, but it will stop the group from bombarding your News Feed.
Bonus: Don't feel like grocery shopping? No problem
Sometimes it seems impossible to accomplish everything we need to get done in a day. Picking up groceries and making quality home-cooked meals is usually one of the first things to get cut from the list. With help from our sponsor, HelloFresh, it doesn't have to be that way any longer.
More than a million families already rely on HelloFresh for a convenient way to feed their family healthy food each week. If you haven't signed up yet, now is your chance. As a listener of the Kim Komando Show, HelloFresh is even offering a special discount.
Meals from HelloFresh are already affordable, priced at under $10 per plate. But when you use promo code KIM, you can save $30 off your first order and get free shipping. Click here to sign up and start enjoying these fresh, tasty meals from HelloFresh today!
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