Ditch the crock pot- There’s a new mealtime life saver in town!
I’m always looking for ways to make this mom life more simple and easier. Cooking dinners for my family was one area that would make my head spin after having a baby. In simpler times, when it was just my husband and I, I lived for cooking. I would rush home from work just to start prepping dinner at 4pm. I’d put on some music, pour a glass of wine and start cutting vegetables- it was my favorite pastime!
Now after adding kids to the mix and everything that comes along with the stress of being a working or stay at home mom, I really didn’t enjoy it as much as I used to. It was more stressful than relaxing now, once you account for the food shopping, meal planning, prepping, making the babies and toddler’s food, and don’t forget the clean up!
I just needed something that could quickly and easily get a healthy, yet filling, meal that requires little clean up, and delicious- was that too much to ask?
I was a little skeptical of the Instant Pot at first, like what can I do with this thing that can’t be done in my crock pot? Do I really need ANOTHER kitchen gadget? My counter top is already cluttered enough!
Once I started using it, I realized all of the hype was for a good reason. I’ll admit it took me a couple meals to really understand and get familiar with the functions (there’s a bit of a learning curve because it’s not just an on/off device).
Here are some reasons that I know you will love the Instant Pot as a busy mom.
This alone is what sold me on buying the instant pot. It’s always been such a pet peeve of mine that I’d have to brown my meat before putting it into a crock pot. It gets so much more flavor when you brown it, as opposed to just throwing it into a pot. That also requires getting another pot dirty and by that time your meat is already practically cooked, so what’s the point of throwing it in the crock pot then? It just always seemed like a big waste of time to me. The Instant Pot allows you to sauté your meat and vegetables quickly right in the same pot, before adding the rest of your ingredients to pressure or slow cook. Saves one big step and another pot to wash!
This is what we are always looking for, right? Ways to save time! Little conveniences like this make me smile. The benefit of a pressure cooker is that it can do the work of a slow cooker/crock pot, but in less than 20 minutes compared to 6-8 hours. Who has that kind of time to wait around for a meal to be ready? Especially when it packs in all the same flavors as the slow cooker.
Last Minute Preparation
You don’t have to plan your meals so far in advance. I don’t know about you, but when I leave for work at 6am, I’m not ready to throw a meal in the crock pot (although I know some moms do this). Also, I don’t get home until 5pm, so I can’t leave food cooking for 12 hours even if it is on automatic shut off (trust me, I tried this before and everything burned). I know I need to get better at meal planning, but often I am thinking about what to make for dinner while I’m at work that same day, and pick up some last minute ingredients on my lunch break! In that case I definitely can’t use a slow cooker to prepare a meal when I get home.
One Pot Meals
I do enjoy cooking so making the meal isn’t the problem, but cleaning up after it is. Although my husband does the majority of the clean up, I’d love for him to not have to spend an extra hour in the kitchen at 8pm cleaning up all the pots and dishes I used. There are so many one pot meals you can make with this thing and that drastically reduces clean up time. With the Instant Pot rack insert you can make the entree and side dish, but not have to combine them. It’s a beautiful thing.
Set it & Forget it
I love that I can make an entire meal without standing over the stove at all. When I get home from work I can quickly prep my ingredients, toss it in the Instant Pot, close the lid, and not have to worry about it until I’m ready to serve dinner. It has an automatic shut off and steam release so this way I can get the baby fed, give her a bath, or make lunch for tomorrow- all while dinner is being cooked!
Here are some great one-pot meals for beginners. You really can’t mess these up!
Along with whole meals, the Instant Pot can make yogurt, soups, rice, even desserts! It’s truly an all-in-one gadget and I regret not purchasing one sooner! If you’re on the fence about getting one, hope off and try it. You won’t be disappointed! Happy cooking!