Do You Need an Instant Pot?
Photo credit: https://www.thekitchn.com/
Anyone who knows-knows me, knows that I'm a minimalist. I don't have a lot of stuff for the sake of having it. I wear almost everything in my closet with some regularity (aside from formal dresses). The minute I no longer wear or use something, I get rid of it. I don't like single-use products, and I typically shy away from kitchen gadgets. Cherry pitter, anyone?
So, when the Instant Pot came out, I didn't think anything of it. I went on with my life, cooking in my pots and pans every night. Then I saw it featured on a recipe blog I follow. Then another. Then I saw the seemingly never ending 5-star reviews on Amazon. Then I started seeing Melissa Clark's recipes for the Instant Pot. Then I saw people dressing up as an Instant Pot for Halloween. What was all this hype about?
I went back on Amazon to read the reviews to see why so many people were obsessed...and I mean OBSESSED...with this appliance. "I made the best yogurt ever!" "I don't use my stove anymore." "It cooks in a fraction of the time." "I can dump and walk away." "It makes no mess." And the list goes on.
So...a handful of years ago, I bit the bullet and bought one. Admittedly, it sat in the box for a couple months out of fear that I would use it incorrectly and it would dangerously explode all over my kitchen. But then, I mustered up some courage and gave it a shot. I remember thinking...is that all I do? I push a button and walk away? It didn't feel right. But, I trusted the instructions and walked away anyway. And when I came back, magic had happened. Somehow, the soup I was making was cooked in no time. The beans were soft, the grains perfect. I was sold.
There are some complaints about the Instant Pot. Some don't like that you can't see what's going on during the cooking process. I get that. Others complain that it makes your veggies mushy. It definitely can do that. And yet others think the time it needs to build up and then release pressure doesn't make it "instant." That's fair. But, given all of those things, I still believe it's one of the best kitchen appliances out there. It can do so much - soups, stews, meats, beans, risotto, yogurt, cakes, eggs, etc. - easily, and for a relatively small investment. And it's literally just one pot to wash (or put in the dishwasher).
I use my Instant Pot probably 2-3x/week, more in the winter. I don't use it for quick things, like pastas or steamed vegetables. But, for all of the soups and stews and Indian food I make, it's my go to. And in my minimalist ways, I've broken up with slow cooker (because the Instant Pot can do that, too) and have given it away. I tell clients about it all the time, because it just...makes life easier. And we all need a little bit of easier right about now.