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A few times each year the Paleosphere explodes with excitement over a kitchen gadget known as the Instant Pot. I’ve watched with intrigue for years as people buy them and claim that their lives will never be the same. This year, I finally decided to see what all the fuss was about and I purchased one from Amazon.
As a new mom who is beyond sleep-deprived, I wanted to believe that the Instant Pot would change my life by allowing me to prep meals quickly. I always had intentions of using the slow cooker, but then noon would roll around and I would realize that whatever dish I had been planning wouldn’t have enough time to fully cook by dinnertime. The Instant Pot eliminates that hassle by allowing me to “slow cook” my meals with just a few minutes of prep time and, in most cases, less than 30 minutes of cook time.
The first time I pulled the Instant Pot out of the box, the instructions seemed overwhelming. I felt like it would take me a while to catch on, but instead, after I followed the step-by-step instructions for the first time, I realized that it was easy to remember and I had no problems repeating them the second time without having to consult the manual.
It’s been a few months since I got my Instant Pot, and I have to say: no one is exaggerating when they say that it is life-changing. I have used mine at least every other day. I’ve prepped home-made baby food for my son, and I’ve made chicken, beef, bison, pork, and chicken liver pate. I’ve made chili, soup, rice, and stew. I haven’t had a single dish turn out badly, and I am so enamored with it that I ordered a second bowl to go inside the Instant Pot to make batch cooking even easier. I also ordered a second sealing ring since it can retain scent or flavors from the meals you’re cooking, so I have one that I use for garlic or onion flavored dishes, and one that I use for other flavors.
Why should YOU consider getting an Instant Pot?
- It makes prepping and cooking your own bone broth as easy as it gets because you can make it in just a few hours instead of 24 or more.
- It makes meat prep the easiest thing ever, and you don’t have to plan ahead. You can even add a little extra cook time and cook frozen meat without having to thaw it.
- You can set your meal to cook and then leave it on the “keep warm” setting so that it’s ready and waiting when you get home from work, for up to 10 hours.
- You can use it as a slow cooker, so it allows you to eliminate a bulky kitchen appliance from your cabinets, although I don’t know why you would opt for slow-cooking versus instant cooking with its handy keep warm feature.
- You can use it to make your own coconut yogurt much more quickly than waiting for yogurt to culture the traditional way.
- You can batch cook enough baby food in a few hours to feed your child for a month or longer. Bonus: pressure cooking retains more nutrients than boiling or roasting in the oven, which is probably best utilized when you’re making food for your little one.
I’ve been asked if the Instant Pot requires any “special” cleaning, and I have to say, it’s very easy to maintain.
- The larger, outer portion of the Instant Pot is the same as any crockpot casing, and should just be wiped down with a damp cloth.
- The inner, removable stainless steel pot cleans up easily with a quick soap and water soak, and is also dishwasher safe.
- The lid of the Instant Pot can be scrubbed with soapy water, but should not be placed in the dishwasher.
- The sealing ring can be removed from the lid and is easily cleaned after a quick suds and rinse — it doesn’t really get caked with food.
Where to Find Instant Pot Recipes
The manual that comes with the Instant Pot will give you some basic cooking times for different kind of meat and other ingredients, but if you’re looking for some tried and true Paleo Instant Pot recipes, here are some of my favorites:
Additionally, a number of our very own recipes can be easily modified to work with your Instant Pot! Try cooking them this way the next time they pop up on your Paleo meal plan.
- Crockpot Lamb Curry Stew: Use the sauté feature on the Instant Pot to brown the lamb, and then add the rest of the ingredients. Seal the pot. Choose the “meat/stew” setting and adjust time to 15 minutes. (Larger cuts of meat may require a few more minutes of cooking.)
- Bison Chili: Use the sauté feature for the onions, celery, and garlic and then add the rest of the ingredients. Seal the pot, and choose the “bean/chili” setting.
- Three Pepper Pork Stew: Use the sauté feature to brown the pork, and then add the rest of the ingredients to the inner pot. Use the “meat/stew” setting and adjust the time to 45 minutes.
- Crock Pot Pork Loin: Add all ingredients to the Instant Pot and use the “meat/stew” setting, and adjust the time to 55 minutes.
- Cuban-Style Slow Cooker Flank Steak: Add all ingredients to the Instant Pot and use the “meat/stew” setting, adjusting the time to 40 minutes.
- Slow Cooker Southwest Chicken and Sweet Potato Stew: Add all ingredients to Instant Pot and choose the “poultry” setting, adjusting time to 35 minutes.
You can really cook anything in the Instant Pot, so let us know what your favorite recipe variations are in the comments! If you’ve been on the fence about this magical kitchen appliance, then I would definitely say: what are you waiting for?
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