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Outside shoes? Now lodged in the very back of my closet. Hairdryer? Forgotten, untouched. Jeans? Haven’t heard that name in years. But my kitchen appliances? THRIVING. My blender has expanded its job description to include weekly dip-making. And my prized juice squeezer has helped me make more margaritas than ever before. But only one appliance could be awarded the blue ribbon of quarantine cooking: my beloved Instant Pot.
Since I got it two years ago—after finally relenting to the hype that made its way into food blogs, news outlets, and a surprising amount of IRL conversations—my Instant Pot and I have had what you’d call a slow burning relationship. It took me months to unpack it and try to learn the different functions. Even after I experimented with a recipe or two, I thought I’d probably just use it as a glorified rice cooker (though it is worth noting that the IP makes damn good rice!)
Then, quarantine happened. I used to eat out (or order in) more often than not. Now I’m getting delivery just once a week—if that—and cooking every other breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This is where my Instant Pot comes in.
The Instant Pot has a whole bunch of functions—egg, broth, porridge, slow cook—but I primarily use the pressure cooker function, which allows me to perfect everything from basic staples to the (almost) restaurant-quality meals I’ve been craving from inside my apartment.
Basic staples I make in my Instant Pot in… an instant!
Steamed veggies (<1 minute)
Quinoa (1 minute)
Rice (4 minutes)
Soft boiled eggs (~5 minutes, depending on how soft you want to go)
Complete meals that are way easier than they taste
This chicken ramen that’s as simple as throw it all in the pot and press go
This al pastor-inspired pulled pork that temporarily satisfied my Mexican food cravings
The wild rice and mushroom soup I make whenever I want something that’s hearty and vegetarian
And these hot honey ribs I’ll be making as soon as I can find ribs and remember to buy more mustard powder
In the past two months I’ve very quickly progressed from “I should wipe the dust off my Instant Pot” to Googling “Recipe for Instant Pot that I will love as much as the Instant Pot itself” every time I want to cook something new. Nothing in my apartment works as hard as this pot. Whether you’re looking to cook staples faster (and in a generally more enjoyable way) or to replicate your favorite restaurant dishes at home, I highly suggest you consider joining the cult of the Instant Pot because, even in 2020, it’s still going strong as ever.