Tired of using your crock pot and want to opt for something better? Instant Pots are the answer! This kitchen appliance serves a multitude of purposes, acting as a slow cooker, pressure cooker, steamer, and so much more!

Although Instant Pot has been around for over 8 years, the product continues to develop and is a pretty big hit for Amazon consumers! But before we share how to use an Instant Pot, let's talk about what this incredible kitchen appliance can do.

Are There Any Benefits To Owning An Instant Pot?

100% yes, there are many benefits for Instant Pot owner! Founder and CEO of Instant Pot, Dr. Robert Wang, said that his company's goal is "to be known as providing the best kitchen experience by offering unsurpassed user interface design and connected technologies." The amount of functions this appliance has is unbeatable!

What is it capable of doing?

Instant Pots can cook just about ANYTHING that you've been craving! Want to cook rice fast? It can do it! Steam vegetables? Instant Pot can also do that! It can even make yogurt (yes, we are shocked as well). While the Instant Pot is able to cook food within just a few hours or less, it also has a cool feature that allows for a delayed programmable start!

How do they compare to a crockpot?


  • Instant Pot: Starting at $60, the Instant Pot ranks #1 on Amazon in the 'Best Sellers' category for Slow Cookers
  • Crock Pot: Cheaper than an Instant Pot, at $37, Crock-Pot's brand on Amazon actually ranks #2 in the 'Best Sellers' category for Slow Cookers


  • While crockpots may be less complicated (in terms of technical functionality), they do take 3X more in time to cook, since they cook at a lower temperature for longer time. Instant Pots cook meals faster (some in just under an hour), under a higher temperature.

For those who enjoy meal prepping, they may turn to a crockpot. But if you want to fix something fast to eat, an Instant Pot might be a better option for you!

How To Use An Instant Pot:

According to Instant Pot's website, the most important step is the water test. This test should be performed to ensure that everything is working and to learn more about the steam release.

Once the water test is complete, you can FINALLY get to cooking in your Instant Pot!

Pressure Cook: Commonly used for rice, soup, meat, stews, beans/chili, and cake.

  1. Add ingredients to the inner pot
  2. Turn the lid clockwise until you hear a 'ding'
  3. Select the 'Pressure Cook' button
  4. 'Keep Warm' to turn setting on or off
  5. 'Venting' to choose between NR (Natural Release), PR (Pulse Release), or QR (Quick Release) to select auto-venting
  6. 'Minute' to adjust time (this will vary by recipe) and you can turn the dial to adjust time
  7. Pressure Level - Choose between low, high, and max
  8. 'Start' when you're ready to cook and then 3 beeps will go off (Smart Program will complete after 10 beeps)
  9. Pressure will release depending on method for venting
  10. Check 'Pressure Indicator' and the 'Float Valve'
  11. Turn lid counter-clockwise until you hear a 'ding'

Slow Cook: Commonly used for meats, pastas, and soups.

  1. Add ingredients to inner pot
  2. Place lid on cooker base
  3. Select the 'Slow Cook' button
  4. Select 'Hour' to adjust cook time
  5. Select 'Temperature' to choose between low and high
  6. 'Keep Warm' to turn setting on or off
  7. 'Start' when you're ready to cook and then 3 beeps will go off (Smart Program will complete after 10 beeps)
  8. When finished, remove lid from cooker base

Sauté: Commonly used for browning meat, stir-frying, and pan-searing.

  1. The lid will NOT be used for sautéing
  2. Place inner pot in cooker base
  3. Select 'Sauté' button
  4. 'Minute' to adjust time (Maximum sauté time is 30 minutes)
  5. Select 'Temperature' to choose between low, high, and custom
  6. 'Start' when you're ready to cook and then 3 beeps will go off
  7. When your screen displays "Hot", you can add in your ingredients into the inner pot
  8. Wait for timer to go off or select 'Cancel' to turn off the Smart Program

Important to note - Some Instant Pots (like the Smart Wifi Instant Pot) has a Yogurt option!

What Are The Best Meals To Cook?

There are a TON of recipes out there for your Instant Pot. Here are 7 of our favorite recipes:

  1. Cheese Fondue: Ditch the cheese platter and opt for some cheese fondue with some soft baked pretzels.
  2. Classic Spaghetti: Simple, yet so full of flavor. And this recipe takes less than 20 minutes to make!
  3. Shepard's Pie: This would be perfect for a cold fall or winter night in.
  4. Walnut Streusel Banana Bread: Talk about texture! For all of those banana bread lovers out there, this looks heavenly!
  5. Shrimp Bisque: If you're a fan of seafood, this bisque recipe might just change your life.
  6. Pork Ribs: These are a perfect option for summer barbecues and would pair great with some mac n' cheese.
  7. Mint Oreo Cheesecake: Cheesecake in under 2 hours? Sign us up!

The 9 Instant Pot Types:

Instant Pot is a brand itself, however, it has different sizes and models.

  1. Max
  2. Smart Wifi
  3. Ultra 10-in-1 (Series)
  4. Duo Plus 9-in-1 (Series)
  5. Duo 7-in-1 (Series)
  6. Lux 6 in 1 Series
  7. Viva 9-in-1 (Series)
  8. Nova Plus
  9. Smart Bluetooth

If you're unsure about which model to purchase, you can check out Instant Pot's product comparisons.

Where to buy?

Instant pots were designed to speed up the cooking process and to make your life easier! For more Instant Pot recipes ideas, check out some of our favorites here!

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