Diet Family Foodie Plant Based Plant based diet Pretty Food Recipes

The Insta Pot: A Love Story

November 2, 2017

No matter what you call it (Instant Pot, Insta Pot, or even the hip “IP”), the fact is this is a power-house appliance that you will love.

The Insta Pot debuted in 2009, and in that first year on the market over 300,00 units were sold. Fast forward to 2015 and the sales number stands at over 3 million.  The majority of Inta Pots are sold on Amazon. Over 215,000 units were sold on Amazon Prime Day in 2016, and it outperformed any other product on the site!

This appliance is wildly popular because it is designed with self-regulating safety features, including sensors to monitor the unit and amount of pressure (unlike stove-top pressure cookers of the past). You plug it in, press a button, and it does the rest.

I was hesitant to purchase it as we are empty nesters and thought maybe it was a bit much for our little family of two. I also thought it was more for meat-centric dishes, which we have cut back on. After reading the reviews, recipes and the praises from professional chefs and home cooks alike, I felt it was a must-have for my kitchen. If you love cooking, you need it. If you hate cooking, you will LOVE it. It’s a win-win purchase.


I bought the Insta Pot Duo 6 Quart, which was recommended to me by a friend (the price has recently dropped from $99 to $84 on Amazon).  It comes in three sizes: 3-quart, 6-quart and 8 quart. I honestly thought that the 3-quart pot would be too small for most families (but perfect for singles and students starting out on their own). I felt the 8 quart was too large. So I settled on the 6 quart size, which was juuuuust right (yes we will revisit this fairy tale later!) I was very intimidated when I took it out of the box as there were so many buttons, but after reading the directions (which took about 3 minutes), I added the little condensation cup on the back and I was on my way to making my very first Insta Pot Bone-In Turkey Breast.

{My huge Turkey Breast, ready for it’s Insta Pot debut}

My turkey breast was large, almost 6 pounds and at first I was worried it would not fit in my IP. I was wrong! I turned it sideways to fit and it took up the entire pot and came all the way up to the top. It was also half frozen. I added a cup of water, hit the “pressure cook” button and decided it would take 50 minutes (because it was still half frozen).  50 minutes later, I turned the steam valve to “venting,” waited ’til that was done, then waited a few more minutes more which is recommended in the directions (it was now in the “warm” mode to keep the turkey warm.) It came out falling off the bone, and the broth had increased to about 3-4 cups. I drained the broth, put it back into the Insta Pot, added rice noodles, some of the shredded turkey, chopped veggies and a few other ingredients to make Thai Turkey Noodle Soup (recipe coming soon!) Pressure cooked it for 15 minutes. It was fantastic. I did all of this in one, amazing {insta} pot. Which, by the way, came out sparkling clean in the dishwasher.

{Thai Turkey Noodle Soup, recipe coming soon!}

To date I have made creamy cauliflower soup (awesome), steamed vegetables, cooked several turkey breasts (both frozen and thawed, bone in and boneless), used the little metal tray in the bottom that comes with it and cooked cherry tomatoes in a pyrex dish, spaghetti squash (no need to remove the seeds) which was done in 10 minutes. Hard-cooked eggs come out perfect and peel effortlessly because the pressure helps inflate the air pocket between the cooked white and the shell. And no ugly cracks or pock marks that are so common with eggs that are boiled on the stove top. Rice is cooked faster than a rice steamer, but the texture is heavier and chewier (which I happen to like) as opposed to the fluffiness of a rice cooker. There is also a setting for “porridge” and I have a call in to Goldilocks for that one 🙂

{Cashews, carrots, celery, onions and red peppers steamed to perfection in 10 minutes}

The Insta Pot is a 7-in-one appliance that will replace your slow cooker, electric pressure cooker, rice cooker, steamer, and yogurt maker. And if you spend a few more dollars it will sterilize things for you and make cake (seriously what more could you ask for?) Spend even a few more dollars for the bluetooth version and you can program it from your electronic device. If you are short on kitchen space, this is the only appliance you need.  If you have tons of kitchen space, this will be the perfect addition to your pantry.

Whether your diet is Plant-Based, Paleo, Vegan or Vegetarian, you will love cooking with your Insta Pot. No need to soak beans or cashews and frozen meat is cooked to perfection in less than 30 minutes. It is a life-saver for busy families and home cooks everywhere.

Do you have an Insta Pot or want to purchase one? I would love to hear how you feel about it and please share your experiences and recipes. Your recipe just might appear in my cookbook down the road!

{Pour a glass of wine or a cup of tea, and enjoy your family while your Insta Pot Duo does all the work!}

This Insta Pot Duo is a 9-in-1 version that includes a sterilizer and makes cake!

And here we have the Smart Bluetooth Insta Pot which allows you to monitor cooking from your electronic device.

I also purchased this glass lid for use when I am slow cooking or sauteing. It is only for the 6-quart size.

Next week I will review my favorite Insta Pot cookbooks. Stay tuned!

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  • Reply Beth Riddle November 7, 2017 at 3:14 am

    Hi Gay, I bought an Instant Pot during the last Amazon Prime Day and have not used it yet. It is a little intimidating. I would love some recipes, especially vegetarian ones. My hubby eats meat so I guess it would be quick and easy for me to whip up something in the pot for him. He also enjoys veggie meals. I hope to start using it soon. I look forward to the recipes you have tried.

    • Reply Gay Van Beek November 7, 2017 at 12:46 pm

      Hi Beth it looks intimidating – I was too but it is very easy. I am working on a few recipes, I have to make them two or three times before I post but I promise to let you know. John eats meat too so we do a little of both. A good starter meal is a turkey breast. It comes out perfect. The only thing different is there is a small condensation cup to add to the back. You also have to make sure the pressure cooker steam release nozzle is always closed when it’s cooking. It just moves left or right, does not click into place at all and at first I thought it was broken, but that’s the way it works.

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