The Solution to Mealtime Madness (BEST gift for homemakers!)

I was folding the laundry and putting away the day’s school papers one lovely afternoon. The kids were all off doing their own thing and the toddler was playing with trains as the baby babbled and practiced his pincer grasp on some bits of cereal. Suddenly my son burst in the front door, all rosy-cheeked and loud, and ask-yelled “What’s for dinner, Mom!”

My Solution for Mealtime Madness - Instant Pot Menu Plan and Review

Doh! I smacked my forehead and realized that, once again, I’d forgotten to thaw the chicken.

This is not a rare occurrence in my home. I mean, not to brag on my homemaking skills or anything, but I have the local pizza delivery guy on speed dial for just such occasions.

I forget to thaw the chicken
I forget to turn on the crock pot
I forget to do the meal planning
I forget to go grocery shopping
I forget they need to be fed every. single. day.

I am always on the lookout for ways to save time and energy in the kitchen and cope with my mom-brain. I have become quite the master of coming up with the quick dinner or just pulling a lazy-mom maneuver and pouring cold cereal.

C’mon. You’ve done it too.

One day I was at a family event and my sister started talking about her new favorite kitchen toy, the Instant Pot. My mom chimed in and said she had one too and loved it. They said it made rice. I nodded and smiled. They said it was a slow cooker. I perked up. They said it was a pressure cooker and could even make yogurt. I wrote down the name and snuck off to look it up on my phone.

BAM! Here’s my Instant Pot! THIS, my friends, is now MY new favorite kitchen toy. I still love my crock pot, although it doesn’t get as much love as it used to.


My Solution for Mealtime Madness Instant Pot Review and Menu Plan

What is the Instant Pot?

The Instant Pot is a 7-in-1 electric pressure cooker that combines several features in one great appliance. There are a few different models available, but I’ve been using and loving the 7-in-1 6-quart Duo

You can do everything you’d do with a slow cooker / crock pot, pressure cooker, steamer, rice cooker, yogurt maker, sauté pan, and warming pot. That’s a lot of functionality for the price and it doesn’t take up nearly as much space! The best thing is that you just set it and forget it. 

What I love about the Instant Pot:

  • It bails me out of dinner time crises, no speed dial delivery required
  • Easier yogurt-making and dry bean cooking
  • I now have a rice cooker (hooray!)
  • Stainless steel insert (no iffy coating)
  • Nifty pre-set buttons and controls
  • Safety features that eased my fear of pressure cooker
  • Combines several appliances in one (space saver!)
  • Speeds up cooking 2-6 times 
  • Preserves more vitamins and nutrients in pressure cooking
  • Produces tender meats, well cooked beans and grains, and more
  • Quiet, easy to clean, and compact, with a pleasant design
  • It does my taxes and tells me I’m pretty (ok, not really)

Instant Pot Action at My House

So how does a domestically challenged mommy-brained busy homeschooler like yours truly make good use of the Instant Pot? If I forget to thaw meat, throw it in the pot! If I forgot to meal plan, make something in 25 minutes!

Let me show you a recent meal plan with some notes on extra things I used the Instant Pot for that week.

Monday – Pressure cook a whole chicken with root veggies (35-50 min depending on chicken size). Add a side salad for dinner. Use the chicken bones and make broth in 30 minutes, dividing finished broth into three portions. Then rinse and soak dry black beans overnight. 

Tuesday – Pressure cook black bean soup with homemade broth (15 min – I’ll post the recipe next week!). Add a side of bread for dinner. Rinse out pot and make a batch of rice in broth for future meals.

Wednesday – Pressure cook chicken curry and serve over leftover rice (20 min) Rinse out and make a batch of yogurt.

Thursday – Pressure cook frozen chicken breasts with Italian dressing (15 min) Serve with bread and broccoli. Rinse out and soak pinto beans overnight.

Friday – Pressure cook soaked pinto beans in broth for burritos (25 minutes).

Saturday – Pressure cook hot chicken wings and serve the kids burritos again (10 minutes – muahaha gimme all the hot sauce)

Sunday – Enjoy glorious leftovers.

If the plan breaks down and I forget to soak beans or make rice… no problem! I just work a little more time in before dinner to do a 1-hour boiled water soak (more on that next week) or make rice before the main dish. 

A Few Things to Note

Different Diets and Meal Types – My meal plan is a pretty standard family-friendly one, but many MANY folks do gluten-free, vegetarian, paleo, vegan, and other kinds of meal plans very successully with the Instant Pot. There are quite a few healthy-living books and sites that love the Instant Pot. I also didn’t venture much into the super-fun recipes like baby back ribs (my parents love that IP recipe), artichokes, etc. You can make breakfast, lunch, and dessert too!

Learning Curve – There is a bit of a learning curve with the Instant Pot, but you will find the instructions and little recipe booklet helpful. For example, the times above don’t include the time it takes to come to pressure, so you need to account for that in planning when to start. Before you know it you won’t need to refer to it much. 

Recipes and Support – For recipes you can check out the Instant Pot site. I also highly recommend joining the Instant Pot community on facebook! The files alone are a wealth of information, with links to great sites and books for recipes and tips that will really help you make the most of your appliance. The group is just hopping with newbies and experienced users alike all swapping tips and recipes. I am an avid lurker. 

Adjusting Recipes – If you’re used to a stove-top pressure cooker, you may have to adjust the time a bit with the electric, usually increasing it. No biggie. I do recommend trying the minimum time expected first, because it’s easier to cook it longer than needed than to fix an overcooked dish. If you’re a slow-cooker gal like me, it just takes a bit of experimenting, keeping in mind to use the lower cooking time first and adjusting from there.

Go Pro – If you really want to go pro, you can do what my mom did and buy a second stainless steel insert so you can make a main dish and a side without too much cleaning. Many people just go ahead and buy two Instant Pots!

Follow Tauna Meyer (ProverbialHomemaker.com)’s board Pressure Cooker Tips and Recipes on Pinterest.

 

This Post Has 224 Comments

  1. This looks so fun! I would probably make a whole chicken right off the bat.

    1. This looks like a great item to have.

  2. I would probably do something with beans–bean soup or casserole.

  3. I love this Instant Pot. Thanks for sharing! I’m always looking for new kitchen gadgets.

  4. This sounds like such a time saver, especially when activities run late and we need dinner in an extra hurry.

  5. Hi, I have tried to enter the Instant Pot giveaway with no success. Any suggestions? Thanks!

  6. I have to get one.. my crock pot just died and this would be a great replacement we love making home made soups

  7. I’d make dinner on those crazy busy nights where I’m running from a to b to c and realize halfway through that I forgot to thaw out the meat! I’m always doing that! This sounds like a life-saver!

  8. I would love to try a soup using the pressure cooker. Not sure which one just yet.

  9. I would want to make lots of yummy Fall soups! This looks like a large homeschool family dream! Thank you for sharing about it!

  10. I need a lot of help with meal planning and have been looking for something like this to help. Excited for the opportunity!!!

  11. I would make a pot first. Thanks for the chance to win

  12. The first thing I would try would be great northern beans.

  13. I think I would try pressuring cooking a chicken first. 🙂

  14. What a great giveaway! Thank you 🙂

    I would be excited to try out a pressure cooker.

  15. I’ve given up entering contests and give-aways because I just never win anything, but this 7-in-1 instant pot might just be worth giving it another shot! This looks like an amazing device – something that might just be the answer to many of my challenges as homeschooling mom of 3 kids + a monkey.

  16. This is so awesome! I’d love to try a roast in it!! 🙂

  17. That sounds like a wonderful kitchen tool for this mom brain. I’d love to try it to soak beans and make some yummy soups this winter.

  18. I love easy dinner solutions! This pot looks terrific!

  19. This looks great!! I think I’d try beef stew over rice! ❤️

    1. Please note: My FB email is different from my sign-up email. I use FB and the sign-up email, every day but not the one registered with FB..just havent remembered to change it.

      1. No problem!

  20. Oh my goodness I need one of these!

  21. LOVE this Instant Pot!

  22. I would make chicken and rice 🙂 it’s a classic .

  23. I would love to try this for meats

  24. What an amazing idea! I use my crockpot year round and there have been a few times I forgot to turn it on or start the thaw myself. I have no idea what I would cook first, but I’m sure it would be the start of a beautiful friendship :)!

  25. Cool!

  26. I’d try yogurt to see how easy it is…

  27. I would love to try a roasted chicken.

  28. I would try cooking frozen chicken breasts because I never ever remember to thaw them.

  29. I think I would try cooking a whole chicken first. That sounds like amazingly easy.

  30. I would cook brown rice!

  31. The first thing I’d make is a whole chicken. Can I put it in frozen????

    1. Yes! Just increase the cooking time. 🙂

  32. This is something I definitely need to try!

  33. I can’t wait to cook a whole chicken in that short amount of time!

  34. Sounds versatie! Always looking for multifunctional time savers

  35. The first recipe I would try is Salsa Chicken – the whole family loves it! Thank you!

  36. Ahhh! I might give this to my BFFF who becomes depressed at dinner making each night. Truly sad. This would brighten her life… although then I’d need to buy one, too! 😉

  37. I so enjoy getting your emails! This cooker seems so awesome!

  38. My daughter has histamine intolerance issues and I have seen a lot that the faster cooking time reduces the amount if histamine!

  39. I want to try making the baby back ribs!!!!

  40. I have just begun looking into an electric pressure cooker! this one looks great, and thanks for including how to plan for use through the week!

    1. the first thing I’d probably make would be rice and beans!

  41. Sounds great! I have the same problem! 🙂

  42. This would save time cooking!

  43. I would cook a chicken!

  44. Oh my goodness, what WOULDN’T I try in this?!

  45. I have always wanted a rice cooker. I would cook rice.

  46. Probably the first thing I would do with the Instant Pot would be to make some rice in it. Our rice cooker is about all done in and it needs to be replaced. As we are big rice eaters (my DH is from India and no meal is complete without rice!), that would be a feature I would like to try. After that–the sky is the limit from what it sounds like. Thank you for a great give away.

  47. Make rice, because I love rice. After that who knows.

  48. Anything Mexican…my family’s favorite!

  49. OMW ( oh my word) this sounds wonderful. Is this new? Never seen or even heard about til your post. And yes I have forgot to turn my crockpot on too…. so know where you are coming from there. This item sounds like heaven on earth.

  50. I want to try oatmeal first

  51. rice!

  52. The first thing I would try is chicken and rice 🙂

  53. Rice! I would love a no mess solution to making rice. And beans too, of course.

  54. I’d make baked beans since you can do the pressure cooker soak and then cook them like a slow cooker! So cool

  55. Oh….The Instant Pot is on my wishlist.

  56. I’d love to try cooking breakfast with the Instant Pot to get a hot meal on the table more quickly.

  57. Chicken and veggies!!

  58. rice and chicken curry, maybe? but i have never made that before. my recipes suck, i really need new ones!

  59. I’d try making beef stew. Does it make bread pudding? I’d rather have dessert first.

  60. This sounds awesome!!! I would really love to try one of these!

  61. Oh my goodness… I’m not sure what I would make first. Supper? Yogurt? Oatmeal? Rice?

  62. I would make yogurt.

  63. I am always using my slow cooker to cook a whole chicken or dried beans to prep for meals. I would love this! It would make the process much quicker.

  64. Wow, this looks pretty neat. I have a huge pressure cooker, but tend not to use it because it is so big. I’m intrigued by the yogurt capabilities and versatility of this device. I recently started making my own yogurt. It sure would be awesome to win this for my homeschooling family of 5, going on 6! Thanks for doing this giveaway!

  65. I would try it for beans first!

  66. I would make a bean soup, or whole chicken for soup. I love my pressure cooker, but it needs a new gasket… this thing looks awesome! More versitile!

  67. I would love to try it with game meat and see how tender it would be.

  68. I could always use another Instant Pot! That is all I cook everything in!

  69. The first thing I would cook in an Instant Pot would be beans!

  70. I really want a pressure cooker. If I won the pot, I would pressure cook a roast first!!

  71. Making yogurt is the first thing I’ll try with Instant Pot. Fresh, homemade yogurt when ever you want/need – almost a dream come true!

  72. I love cooking for my family, this would help me out so much.

  73. I’d like to pressure cook chicken first.

  74. First thing I would try is beans!

  75. Wow! I’ve never heard of the Instant Pot! What a great gadget for the kitchen!

  76. I would make my moms meat sauce!!

  77. I’d make short ribs. We LOVE short ribs, but it’s just challenging for me to focus on making them with everything else going on.

  78. I would love to try a pot roast!

  79. My family loves homemade pulled pork. So I think that’d be the first thing I made!

  80. I’ve wanted one of these forever!!! I’d probably try chicken breasts or dried beans first.

  81. First thing I would use it for is to pressure cook meat. I’m another who forgets to thaw the chicken!

  82. Pot roast! My moms in the pressure cooker was always best, but I’ve never had had a pressure cooker.

  83. I would love to learn how to make yogurt in this. Our whole family eats yogurt, so it would save us lots of $$$ I am sure!!

  84. I would love to try a roast! I remember my Dad making roasts in the pressure cooker all the time when I was a kid.

  85. Beef stroganoff is just one of the first things I would try!

  86. What wouldn’t I cook in an Instant Pot? Probably whatever I forgot to thaw.

  87. I’d probably some type of beans to make “refried” beans for tacos one night.

  88. I would love to try to cook chicken in this!

  89. How did I not know something like this existed!

  90. Oooh, I’ve been wanting one of these!

  91. White chicken chili is in the crock pot now, and the kids are anxious for dinner already! I imagine I’d try a soup recipe first since it is perfect soup weather now. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve “scrounged” or had dinner at 9 pm because I forgot to thaw the meat. This sounds great.

  92. Cooking a meal in minutes when I forgot to plan ahead! 🙂

  93. I am looking foward to making yogurt!

  94. I would love this!! I would start by making my husband’s favorite Beef Stew with rice!!

  95. Eggs! My fresh eggs are hard to peel and I have been told that they peel perfectly when cooked in an instapot! Thanks!

  96. I had never heard of an instant pot until today. Sure could use one! We could be eating dinner before 8p.m. tonight with one of those. I am terrible with losing track of time when it comes to starting dinner.

  97. I’ve heard about a pressure cooker before, but always was leary. This makes it sound like just the lifesaver I need. lol

  98. I would try some kind of meat……probably beef.

  99. I think that I would probably try either a roast or chicken as that is our go to favorite meals for our crockpot. This sounds amazing and would love to win one of these.

  100. Probably rice. I have always wanted to make fluffy rice and it never seems to come out right.

  101. I’d love to try to make yogurt!

  102. I would make a pot roast.

  103. I think the first thing I would try is making rice – and then I would make yogurt!

  104. I’d probably make rice…then chicken!

  105. I think I’d make baked beans first

  106. WOW! I’d try our family favourite – refried beans. Useful in so many dishes, and healthy too… but they take forever to cook!

  107. roast a whole chicken then slow cook the carcass for bone broth.

  108. A roast with some root veggies!

  109. Awesome! I would use this daily!

  110. i would love to have one of these. The first thing I would make is Pork Roast!

  111. I would make prime rib first

  112. I would really like one of these! The first things I would make would be a whole chicken & root veggies.

  113. Oh my gosh, I’ve not even heard of this! I love that it speeds up cooking time, with my daughters dance schedule we don’t get home till 8 so that would be awesome! My daughter would make rice in this all the time and I love that you can cook chicken in it!

  114. Just broke my crock pot…….so to win this, would be Awesome!

  115. Beans!! No more realizing at lunch time that “I forgot to soak the beans, so have to come up with something else for supper tonight”. 🙂

  116. I would make the yogurt

  117. I have a rice cooker I use a lot. This would totally take the place of it. And the huge plus would be that looks like it is not lined in teflon. It’s impossible to find anything not teflon lined.

  118. Wow! I love this thing!! I would cook a nice roast and lots of veggies.

  119. Ah, you are like me when it comes to meals! lol It is especially crazy when you start running out of food and can’t get to the store and so you are pulling out random things and hoping they work (and that your family will eat it!). I am so there with not defrosting or turning on the crockpot, so this sounds like an excellent product. Thanks for the chance to try to win it and I will have to look at it as maybe a hopeful Christmas present at some point if I can’t get it here. 🙂

  120. Oh, and I would probably make tons of things, but chicken type dishes would be on top of the list. 🙂

  121. This would help me greatly in my #Thrivebolic diet! I am always looking for fast ways to make healthy meals, but as a homeschooling mamma or 2 with a lot of life happening daily, I tend to forget to thaw the meat! The first thing I would make is my kids favorite country style spare ribs! Then I would love to try making yogurt… that sounds interesting and we eat a lot of it, so saving $$ at the store is a huge hit for me!

  122. I’m not sure I even understand. My head kinda hurts from reading all that can be done and it sounds too good to be true 😉 but I have a family of 10 to feed and it sounds like I could do just about anything. 🙂

  123. I love that this would get rid of so many appliances. I’d try simple brown rice. Thanks for the great giveaway!

  124. Dessert of course! A cheesecake

  125. A yogurt maker is the very first thing I put onmy Amazon wish list…and there it sits, still on the list. I would probably try yogurt!

  126. I would love to use this.

  127. Beef stew!!! With Guinness!

  128. I would use it for chicken breasts first- probably chicken and rice of some kind!

  129. Looks like an interesting tool to have! I’d like to see how it works with dried beans.

  130. I would try a roast. Thanks for such a generous giveaway!

  131. I love my Instant Pot at home, and I’d love to have another one to keep in the RV. No hookups needed — my solar panels on the roof and the 2 kilowatt inverter will power the Instant Pot just fine!

  132. I would try making yogurt.

  133. Would really like to win one of these for my daughter!

  134. Thank you! I have a friend who raves about the Instant Pot. I’d love to have one!

  135. Pozole or chili

  136. Would love to make chicken bone broth followed by lots of other yummy foods for my family.

  137. I’d try to make our favorite chicken taco filling.

  138. Maybe I could actually make tender baked beans!

  139. I will let my husband cook his chicken adobo in the Instant Pot as our first dish.

  140. I already have an Instant pot (LOVE it!), but I think I need to get one of these for my parents. Mom would love being able to make pulled pork in it!

  141. Hmmm. Chicken soup. Or applesauce.

  142. I would try making yogurt.

  143. Yogurt, then chickpeas to make hummus.

  144. I would try a beef roast. Like my mother used to cook in a pressure cooker.

  145. This would be amazing. Whole chickens for me or maybe quick Swiss steak.

  146. If i win an IP i won’t leave the kitchen for an entire month, i will try cooking everything 🙂

  147. This would be great to make chicken and rice!

  148. I think the 1st thing i would try is hard boiled eggs. I heard they come out easy peel in the InstantPot!

  149. I’d probably start with something chicken, but maybe a roast after that!

  150. I’d love to have one of these!

  151. Wish me luck! My first dish will be the IP Cheesecake that I’ve been drooling over!
    I will definately post many pics of my IP successes!
    <3 <3 <3

  152. I’d probably start with rice, then dried beans and then move on to some kind of meat.

  153. I would first try making yogurt, and the second thing would be beans, so that I could serve the yogurt with the black beans and some brown basmati rice…..YUMMMMM

  154. Definitely yogurt!!

  155. I’d make yogurt first, then many cheesecakes for gifts!

  156. I would do kalua pork in it.

  157. Wow this looks like such a useful kitchen addition for my busy house … mmmm chicken and beans …… I’d love to try it!

  158. I will try smothered steak 🙂

  159. Would love to cook a pork roast for pulled pork.

  160. I can’t wait to try yogurt. It’s on the big list of things to do with the instant pot.

  161. Amazing! I would make a roast.

  162. I would like to pressure cook beans.

  163. I woud have to say that it would be rice

  164. I would make a roast of some kind. Thank you for this opportunity!

  165. pressure cooked ribs!

  166. I have been wanting an InstantPot for a few months now, seems like an amazing little machine! First thing i’d probably make is whole chicken and then bone broth!

  167. Wow. I would probably try one of our homegrown chickens just to see how fast it would cook. That sounds amazing.

  168. There are a million things I would love to try, but a breakfast item – like a quiche – is most intriguing for me.

  169. OMG! I would try anything that I forgot to thaw! I always do that too!

  170. I would love to have this pressure cooker. I am constantly forgetting to pull meat out of the freezer, so it would be great to have and still be able to make healthy meals fast!

  171. I would love to make a big roast dinner with all of the trimmings. It won’t all fit in my crockpot I have now.

  172. I think I would try to make yogurt. I love yogurt but don’t like all the sugar in most store bought ones.

  173. I would try some freezer recipes for slow cooker (maybe pulled pork to start). I never had a slow cooker before and I was going to get one and then while making a research which one to get I saw this – InstantPot, sound great 7-1.
    I have a rice cooker and pressure cooker also but I would give those away.

  174. I would do a whole chicken with veggies. Next I’d try rice! I hope I win.

  175. I’m not sure what I’d make first! I’m thinking something with beans since beans tend to take a long time to make. Or maybe a nice hearty soup!

  176. I tried again to post a comment in the IPDUO60 giveaway, but was unable to do so. There is no indication really of how to do so. Nothing I clicked on gave me opportunity to do so. I’m really not a stupid person, nor new to online/internet, but I can’t see how to proceed. Please enlighten me.

    1. This comment you just made is the entry. In the rafflecopter you simply click the button that says you commented. There are other options to enter as well. If the rafflecopter is not loading for you correctly, try this >> http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/7d587e1275/?

  177. For sure I would try your chicken breast recipe if I won that Instant Pot! Wow, frozen, even!

  178. chicken? soup? chili? beans? rice? how do you choose what to make first?

  179. Such an amazing machine, yes machine- what can’t it do!

    G

  180. Cooking rice like in anime 😀

  181. I’d try pot roast first.

  182. I would make bbq pulled chicken

  183. The first thing that I would probably try would be the cocktail fried rice with veggies. I just love the taste

  184. Pulled pork.

  185. Chickpeas – the ultimate test for a pressure cooker 🙂

  186. I would try black bean soup, my favorite! 🙂

  187. I would like to make pork in it for BBQ pork sandwiches.

  188. nice hope this compete with induction cooker

  189. I would probably try a venison roast from the deer our sons got last weekend.

  190. cooking a chicken first

  191. Something with beef!

  192. Wow! I’ve never heard of one of these before, and I’m really excited about getting one. I don’t know what I’d try first!

  193. DRY BEANS! I have the hardest time making them!

  194. Chicken

  195. I’ve never had success cooking things with dried beans, so I’d definitely use the Instant Pot for that!

  196. I’d make chicken cacciatore

  197. I will find a gluten, dairy, and egg-free pressure cooker recipe! I had a normal pressure cooker for about 10 years that I was too scared to try! This sounds like something I can handle.

  198. My cousin was just telling me about the wonders of her pressure cooker. I, too, find myself being asked at 4pm, by my kids, what our supper plans are.

  199. This sounds exactly what I need! I would first try making yogurt and then frozen chicken (I always forget to thaw too!)

  200. Could reaaly use it for cooking. Not only women cook you know

  201. The first thing I’d cook is pulled pork, then my black bean butternut squash chili. Both family favorites perfect for fall.

  202. I’d like to try making yogurt with it, plus main courses like baked beans.

  203. I would probably start off with rice; hopefully something easy I wouldn’t screw up! 🙂

  204. What a great giveaway! I would love to be able to prepare more food from scratch and this would help so much. To be able to cook meat in minutes, and grains/beans quickly would be wonderful!
    Rafflecopter isn’t cooperating but I’m definately going to save for one of these. Thanks for sharing..I love your blog

  205. Cheesecake!

  206. Thx cool giveaway

  207. I have never heard of this type of crock pot. I am eager to try it. Pork loin in a wine and garlic broth would be first on my list. Thank you.

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