I Cooked Every Meal in My Instant Pot for a Week. Here’s What I Learned.

I put my Instant Pot pressure cooker to the test: Could I get fast, hot meals on the table for seven days in a row—and like them?

When my friends raved about the Instant Pot, I was a bit hesitant to jump on the bandwagon. I had a Crock-Pot and it was working fine. Why the need for a pressure cooker? For anyone who’s busy (or like me, who forgets to plan dinner until it’s about time to eat), this is the perfect tool to quickly get healthy and tasty hot meals on the table.

I cooked with only my Instant Pot for a week to see whether it could replace my beloved Crock-Pot. Here’s what I learned:

1. Always cook eggs in the Instant Pot

I boil eggs a lot. They’re the perfect protein pick-me-up and are great in a salad. I used to boil them on the stovetop, but they never came out as flawless as they do in the Instant Pot. And, they peel so much easier out of the shell. It was the first thing I cooked in my Instant Pot and now it’s a weekly staple in my house.

Learn how to make Instant Pot hard-boiled eggs.

2. The Instant Pot makes hot breakfast better

Have a busy morning? Forget about cold cereal. You can get a breakfast casserole (like this Ham and Cheddar Casserole) started before you hop in the shower. I loved having a warm and healthy breakfast and it’s even better when you have company you’d like to impress. Next on my list: this Frittata Provencal.

I also love oatmeal before work. It gives me an energy boost and helps curb my sweet tooth. This Cherry-Almond Oatmeal was absolutely delicious and it only takes twelve minutes to cook. Such a life-saver in the a.m.

3. You can cook a 5-minute soup for dinner

Though I have the best intentions to get a healthy meal on the table every night, sometimes work or school pick-up runs late or I forget to thaw meat. I found that you can easily toss a hodgepodge of ingredients you have on hand into the Instant Pot for a quick soup. (I love to put in chicken broth, fresh vegetables we have on hand or even a can of corn, a little bit of shredded cheese and ham or chicken for 5 minutes high pressure!)

Psst… I’m adding this Lentil Pumpkin Soup to my menu rotation, too.

4. The Instant Pot can double as a smoker

My husband has an electric smoker, and though I prefer it when he smokes meat, sometimes there’s too much going on to stay home and monitor the smoker. These Mesquite Ribs are ready in under an hour and almost as delicious as my husband’s signature smoked ones.

Don’t make these 5 mistakes everyone makes with an Instant Pot.

5. You can make dessert every day

Many Instant Pots come with sample recipes and mine came with one for fudge cake. SO. GOOD! It’s not often you get to make cake so quickly and enjoy it while it’s still hot and gooey. Use the recipe that came with your pressure cooker or make this Molten Mocha Cake.

I’m not going to sugarcoat it: You need an Instant Pot. If you rely heavily on a slow cooker, I’m not saying you won’t still use it. (I still prefer slow-cooked chili.) But, if you’re busy or want to save time and still feed your family in a timely manner, it’s so worth it. I’d rather spend the extra hour I would normally have spent prepping and cooking dinner with my kiddo!

Next up: We tested a bunch of brands to find out the best pressure cooker and slow cooker on the market. You won’t want to miss these best buys!

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Julia K. Porter
Dr. Julia Porter began her career as a high school English teacher in Brooklyn, NY and has taught college courses since 2008. Her personal interests include reading, writing, traveling and experiencing new cultures. She lives in Indiana with her husband, daughter and a rambunctious Australian Shepherd.