Do you ever have days where you get up early, get to your daily tasks, and before you know it it’s dinner time? Where did the day go? Wouldn’t it be nice to have a magic tool to help you make the most of your time? It’s not magic, but your electric pressure cooker can be that tool!
I was a little late to the pressure cooker craze. I finally broke down and bought an Instant Pot back in 2018 and boy am I glad I did. You see, I have a bad habit of getting caught up in my work during the day and tend to forget important things like… dinner. One of my greatest discoveries of using a pressure cooker was how you can cook a frozen roast to perfection in a little over an hour! And to this day I have found many new ways to use my Instant Pot to save my most valuable resource, time.
What Does a Pressure Cooker Do?
A pressure cooker allows boiling water to reach a higher temperature than it would on an open burner. Instead of just reaching boiling and staying at that temperature (212 deg. F), the pressure cooker allows the water to boil at a much higher temperature (up to 250 deg. F). The pressure formed when heating occurs can literally force liquid into food. This is why pressure cookers are great for quick, flavorful cooking.
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How does the Instant Pot Help You Save Time?
There are many ways a pressure cooker can help you save time. Here are just a few of the ways I use my Instant Pot for time-saving around my home.
- When you forget to take out meat to thaw for dinner a pressure cooker, like the Instant Pot, can cook the meat quickly from frozen.
- I don’t have to be in the kitchen while my dinner is cooking unlike when cooking a conventional meal. The Instant Pot allows me to be free to work on other things. And because it cooks things quickly I don’t have the worry like I do with a crock pot leaving an appliance un-monitored for long periods of time.
- Sometimes I do meal planning with freezer meals and the Instant Pot is perfect for cooking them up. It really helps me with saving time and using a pressure cooker keeps all that flavor locked in.
- There are tons of Instant Pot recipes available online or in cookbooks that can be put together rather quickly. This means you can create a nutritious meal for your family in a matter of minutes.
The Best Things to Cook in an Instant Pot to Save Time
- Roasts: I love cooking roasts in my Instant Pot. It’s one of my favorite one-pot meals. I just set the saute function, sear my roast, add the veggies, cook for a bit, then add my broth, switch to pressure cook, and boom… meal-time in about 30 minutes!
- Rice: Your Instant Pot is basically a multi-function cooker and one job it does really well is cooking rice. I love being able to cook rice quickly and having it come out perfect every time.
- Chicken: One of the most popular recipes for the Instant Pot is Crack Chicken. And let me tell you, that is for a good reason. It’s a super tasty way to do chicken and it’s a wonderful recipe if you’re on the Keto diet.
- Cabbage rolls: I love making cabbage rolls. What I don’t love is when I cooked them traditionally the meat would be cooked but the rice was always a little al dente. I finally was able to master cabbage rolls in my Instant Pot and I haven’t cooked them any other way since.
- Soups & Stews: This is where my Instant Pot gets most of its use in my home. One of my husband’s favorite dishes is my Thai Coconut Chicken Curry. I make it like a soup that can be served over rice. And oh my word is it amazing! I also can’t think of anything better than having a soup cooked in the fall to warm the soul. With my Instant Pot I can whip up a hearty stew in under 30 minutes and to me that is a game changer, especially when we’ve been busy with harvesting and preserving food all day.
- Eggs: Anyone who raises their own chickens knows what a pain it can be to hard boil fresh farm eggs. They never seem to boil right. And don’t get me started on how they rarely ever peel well. When I discovered that my Instant Pot could quickly hard-boil my fresh eggs and the peel came off without destroying the egg, I never did them on the stove again.
How a Pressure Cooker is Perfect for Your Homestead
A pressure cooker like an Instant Pot is a great time-saving tool to have on a homestead. I can attest as a busy homemaker, business owner, and homesteader I love using my pressure cooker to do tasks that once took a lot more time and focus. Some of my favorite ways to use my Instant Pot are for things that traditionally take hours to do. And there is no shame in relying on new technology when we can to free up our most valuable resource… time. You can’t tell me our great-grandparents wouldn’t have killed to have a washer and dryer in their home!
- Yogurt making: Most Instant Pots have a yogurt button. Which is pretty dang awesome! I get excited when I can make something from scratch. There is nothing I love more than being able to control what ingredients go into my food. Have you read the label of some of the most popular yogurt brands out there? No thanks! Especially when I am trying to cut back on added sugar in my diet. Using milk from my local farmer and fresh fruit from my garden to make my own yogurt. Yes, please!
- Bone broth: This is a game changer. I used to spend almost two days to make my own healthy bone broth, now it can take just a couple hours. This makes it so much easier to ensure I’m getting all those amazing nutrients from yummy bone broth in my diet.
- Rendering fat: Yes, you can render tallow/lard in your Instant Pot. What a cost and time saver!
- Cheese making: I have tried numerous times to make cheese on my stove top and have never managed to get it just right. I was trying to make mozzarella and ended up with something closer to feta. But now I am definitely going to try it in my Instant Pot. This blog post I found shows how easy it is: Easy Cheese in an Instant Pot – Urban Cheesecraft I will definitely update y’all when I make it for myself.
I Replaced 3 Appliances With My Instant Pot: An Unexpected Time Saver
One of the ways I save time with my Instant Pot that I didn’t even anticipate was by how much cleaning time I’m saving. I got rid of my rice cooker, my crockpot, and my electric steamer; which not only saved space on my counter, but now I only have one appliance to clean. Now my kitchen looks tidy and I only have to clean one appliance after dinner instead of 2 or 3. And to me that is priceless.
Time: Your Most Valuable Resource
Using a pressure cooker is just one way you can regain some of your most valuable resource, your time. There are so many articles out there on the internet that tout time management methods that work. But how many of them are actually sustainable?
I like to keep things simple. Change one thing at a time. Start with something that you tend to struggle with, for me that was getting dinner on the table before 8 pm. But now I can redirect my precious time to working on the things that need my immediate attention while dinner cooks away in my Instant Pot. It’s seriously like I have my own private cook sometimes. Now, if they would only invent something to fold and put away my laundry… I can dream, can’t I?