Getting Started With The Instant Pot


I (like many of YOU!) took the plunge on Black Friday and purchased the Instant Pot. I just couldn’t pass it up after hearing so many rave about it! I was curious and intrigued by the fact that it wasn’t just a safe and easy-to-use electric pressure cooker, but actually several appliances in one. It seemed to be a whole new way of getting a healthy homemade dinner on the table in record time.  I’m all about simple and efficient cooking, and the Instant Pot is both of those things, so I was giddy about adding it to our kitchen.

I have had the Instant Pot a little over a week, and I’ve used it to make 7 things so far.  I AM HOOKED. I cannot believe the versatility of the Instant Pot, and I can’t wait to make more with it.  I could use it almost daily because it has so many different uses!


Different Uses of the Instant Pot

You can saute in it, use it as a slow cooker, a steamer, a yogurt maker, a rice maker, or simply as a safe and easy-to-use pressure cooker. You can make homemade beans, all types of meats, stews, and soups. You can make hard-boiled eggs or steel-cut oats in just minutes. I even saw a recipe for cheesecake made in it!

I am new to pressure cooking, but there is a surge in popularity thanks to electric pressure cookers like the Instant Pot, which means there is an abundance of resources.

I was not intimidated like I had been in the past with using a stove-top pressure cooker.  Thanks to the manual, Pinterest and YouTube, any questions I’ve had have been answered.


Dishwasher Safe Insert + Steamer Basket

The Instant Pot comes with a stainless steel insert that is easy to clean and dishwasher safe. It also comes with a steamer basket, which I’ve already used to hold hard- boiled eggs, a sweet potato, and carrots.

For perfectly cooked ‘baked’ potatoes, you simply put a cup of water in the instant pot, insert the steamer basket, pile on the potatoes, and cook for 12 minutes. Just push a button and walk away! No heating up the oven. No more hockey puck potatoes that over-cooked in the microwave. No more waiting over an hour for them to bake. There is a new instant potato in town and it is a whole potato in an Instant Pot, not those dried up potato flakes!


Sauteing In The Instant Pot

Unlike the Crockpot, you can saute your aromatics (garlic, onions and herbs) and brown your meat right in the pot with the touch of a button, then add your liquid, and with the push of another button start pressure cooking or slow cooking. Dinner is served in minutes. Sure beats hours that the oven can take to roast meat!


Pressure Cooked Flavor

Pressure cooking is done all in one pot, and the flavors are pressed right into the food which makes it extra flavorful. I made beef stew and could not believe how great the flavor was. It tasted like it had slow simmered all day, but only took 45 minutes. The recipe I used had red wine in it, and after pushing the pressure button I walked away with a glass of the leftover wine in hand and sipped while reading a book while dinner cooked! It was the most delicious and easiest beef stew I have ever made!


Foods I’ve Made So Far

“Hard Boiled” Eggs – 8 minutes, manual release

How? Place 1 cup of water in the bottom of the cooker. Place steam basket in pot. Add however many eggs you want to cook. Place the lid on and hit the ‘Manual’ button, set it for 8 minutes. Right after the 8 minutes of cooking time, depressurize the cooker and add the eggs to a bowl of cold water. YOU WILL NOT BELIEVE how easy your eggs are to peel. The pressure cooking causes the shell to slide right off!

 Instant Pot Apple Sauce – 3 minutes, manual release

This was so delicious and made the perfect after school snack for my girls. It was so much better than store-bought applesauce!

Macaroni n Cheese – 20 minutes

Delicious and creamy Mac n Cheese made in minutes. Made my teenagers happy! *Update: I like this Mac n Cheese recipe the MOST. It has great flavor!

Getting Started With The Instant Pot

Balsamic Beets – 20 minutes, natural release

I am a newbie when it comes to liking beets. I can’t get over how good they are for the body, especially for cancer survivors, so I have worked hard at liking them. This recipe was easy to make and quite delicious! The skin rubs right off after steaming and running the beets under cold water. Beets are such a beautiful color, and the balsamic dressing gives them such great flavor and shine!

Instant Pot Beef Stew Recipe


Beef Stew – 45 minutes

1 T oil

2 lbs round beef cubes

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

2 T butter

1 can tomato paste

4 carrots, chopped

2 Yukon potatoes, chopped

1 yellow onion, chopped

2 T ground mustard

3 cups beef broth

3 cups red wine



1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed

Put flour on a plate. Season with salt and pepper. Toss beef cubes in the flour. Set Instant Pot to Saute. Add oil. When hot add seasoned meat and brown. Once browned, add a bit of beef broth to deglaze the pan. Add all the rest of the ingredients except for the peas. Make sure to include the excess seasoned flour left on the plate. Pressure Cook High for 45 minutes. Manual release. When finished stir in the peas while on the keep warm setting, they will cook in just a couple of minutes in the hot stew. Serve with crusty bread to dip and enjoy!

Glazed Carrots – 4 minutes

Peel and cut up your carrots. Add 1 T. butter to pot, 1 T honey, S & P, 1/4 t. baking soda. Pressure cook for 4 minutes. Manual Release. Stir and enjoy.

Baked Sweet Potatoes – 13 minutes

Add a cup of water to the bottom of Instant Pot. Add the steamer rack. Add whole sweet potatoes. Set using Manual for 13 minutes. Pressure cook on high.



Above is a great video introduction to the Instant Pot and how to do the initial water test.

I will continue sharing my Instant Pot recipes, and have also started an Instant Pot Pinterest Board!

Do you want to purchase an Instant Pot of your own? Use this link and I will receive a small percentage with no extra cost to you!

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  • Kathy
    December 22, 2016 at 9:37 pm

    Just curious…what size of the Instant Pot do you have? Also, I don’t see the steamer basket in the Amazon link…am I missing it? Tks.! This looks really useful for those who want to cook something (good) in a short amount of time.

    • AmyNewNostalgia
      December 30, 2016 at 5:17 pm

      I have the 6 qt…the same one I linked. It comes with a steamer rack, not a basket. 🙂 I love mine!!

  • Earlene
    December 11, 2016 at 4:34 pm

    I am a big chicken! I have one and have used it one time in the past 3 years! Amy, I just need a kick! I forget I have it and then get a little intimidated by it! Go figure! I think I’m just afraid of pushing the wrong buttons and wrecking it!

    • AmyNewNostalgia
      December 12, 2016 at 11:33 am

      Thats funny! If you search youtube instant pot videos, it might just help to see how others use it. Start simple like hard-boiled eggs. 🙂 I will be posting more detailed ways of using it. Let me know if you pull it back out!

  • kathy w
    December 10, 2016 at 3:53 pm

    Thanks for the review on the instant pot. I have been thinking about it and reading reviews. I really appreciate that you included the recipes you used, that is really helpful and I am sold. I really enjoy reading your blog, I have been a follower a long time.

    • AmyNewNostalgia
      December 12, 2016 at 11:33 am

      Such a sweet comment from a long-time follower. I so appreciate your words! Thanks for the feedback with what made the post helpful, for that is my goal!

  • Emily @ Recipes to Nourish
    December 10, 2016 at 2:21 pm

    Isn’t the Instant Pot the best?! Thanks for linking to my apple sauce recipe.

    • AmyNewNostalgia
      December 12, 2016 at 11:34 am

      It really is Emily! I’ve been bitten by the Instant Pot bug for sure. Thanks for sharing such a great recipe.

  • Alison
    December 10, 2016 at 3:24 am

    I bought one on Black Friday after I saw your FB post. I haven’t used it yet but am excited to try some of the thing you detailed in this post.

    • AmyNewNostalgia
      December 12, 2016 at 11:35 am

      I think you will love it. The first steps is the water test (video in post) then maybe try hard boiled eggs since they are so simple.

      • Alison
        December 15, 2016 at 10:09 am

        I’m just about to do the water test using the video you posted. Thanks!

        • AmyNewNostalgia
          January 4, 2017 at 8:37 pm

          You are welcome! I hope you are enjoying it! Curious to know what you have made so far!