Tips on Getting Started with the Instant Pot

This is my first photoshoot of 2018, and I couldn’t have picked a better day. The temperature was +5 C, so I was very comfortable taking photos in this cozy outfit. I’ve been getting a couple of questions about my LV Speedy 25, as I have started clipping on a bag strap to make it into a crossbody – it’s made it so much more versatile, I use it all the time now! Anyways, in today’s post I wanted to share some tips and tricks on using the Instant Pot – it is seriously life-changing – dinner time is so much easier since I bought mine!

Cougar Cheyenne Deertan Red Boots
Hat: c/o Amazon / Sweater: c/o Chicwish (Amazon) / Jeans: Silver Jeans / Boots: c/o Cougar / Bag: LV Speedy 25 / Strap: ALDO

I’m a bit of a gadget-queen when it comes to cooking (since I’m always looking for ways to make my life easier). I own a crockpot and a George Foreman grill – but nothing revolutionizes the cooking process like the Instant Pot! It takes pressure cooker technology and automates it – so you get flavour-infused meals in very little time. And unlike stove-top cooking, you don’t have to stand around, stirring and checking your food constantly.

Why do I love the Instant Pot so much? 

Cooking dinner every day is SUCH a chore. The Instant Pot makes this process so much simpler – dinner is usually ready within 20-40 minutes, and I can do other things while it’s cooking. I can make a lot of the same dishes that I would in a crockpot, but firstly – I don’t have to wait 4-6 hours, and secondly – if I need to fry spices or brown meat, I can do it using the SAUTE function in the instant-pot, rather than dirtying up any other pots. And the Instant Pot is very easy to clean – you only have to wash out the stainless steel inner pot, and you’re done! But the best part of the Instant Pot is that the food turns out REALLY yummy – I feel that with a lot of labour-saving devices, you lose out on flavour – but this tastes better than most stove-top dishes and leftovers are so tasty and get eaten up quickly too.

I had heard about Instant Pots for a while – but finally decided to buy it after reading this article – which convinced me that this wasn’t just a fad – but something that is revolutionizing the way everybody cooks:

New York Times: Inside the Home of Instant Pot, the Kitchen Gadget that Spawned a Religion

After deciding to buy one, I then had to figure out WHICH one to buy. There seemed to be so many options – different sizes, versions with bluetooth functionality – it all felt very confusing. In the end, I just picked this model up from Walmart – because I knew that I could easily return it there if it didn’t work out for me. But if you’re wondering about which type of Instant Pot to buy – this post lays it out very clearly:

External Link: Which Instant Pot Should I Buy?

Tips on Getting Started with the Instant Pot

Once you’ve purchased the Instant Pot – the next big hurdle is actually taking it out of the box! I’m not joking – it’s a serious problem – many people buy the Instant Pot – and then leave it in the box because it seems scary and intimidating. And I don’t blame them – because the manual leaves a LOT to be desired. I ended up reading blog posts and Facebook group messages to figure out how to use it – and it’s not complicated at all. So after buying the Instant Pot, set aside some time to give it a try with a simple recipe, and you’ll be hooked!

To check that your Instant Pot is working – you should start with the Water Test. I’ve linked a post below explaining how to do this:

External Link: Water Test

And now – on to my favourite part – sharing the recipes that I love!

So with each of the recipes I’m sharing – I don’t follow them exactly, but use them as a guideline, and add in my own personal touches. Here are some of the recipes I tried – I’ve also made chicken curry but it was posted in a FB group – so I don’t have a link to share. By the way – most recipes talk about QR (quick release) and NPR (natural pressure release) – learn the difference between them here.

  • One-pot Spaghetti – this is our favourite recipe so far, and a great one to try for your first time using the pot. I make this all the time – and because the pasta cooks with the sauce – it turns out SO good!
  • Salmon with Garlic Potatoes – I was excited to learn that you can make salmon in the Instant Pot BUT I still need to tweak the timing in this recipe as the fish was a little overcooked (for my taste – but some people may like it). But the potatoes – OMG, they tasted divine!
  • Mongolian Chicken – this is an easy and yummy dish to serve over white rice. I added broccoli to our version.

I’ve also been modifying a lot of my own stove-top recipes for the Instant Pot – I search for recipes that are similar to what I already cook – and use MY spices, but THEIR liquid quantities and timings. I haven’t gotten that adventurous with my Instant Pot yet – a lot of people do PIP (Pot in Pot) cooking, where they stack heat proof containers inside the Instant Pot to cook several dishes in one go!  

Louis Vuitton Speedy 25 Damier Ebene with added Crossbody Strap

For more helpful articles and recipes – follow my Instant Pot board on Pinterest! I’d also recommend looking up and joining relevant groups on Facebook – I’m a member of a general Instant Pot recipe one, as well as on that specializes in Indian Food. They’re a great source of knowledge and new ideas.

Do you own an Instant Pot? What are your favourite recipes to make in it?


  1. Rashda Malik
    January 22, 2018 / 3:51 pm

    Reading this gives me hope! Mine is still in the box sitting in the garage since October! I've joined the fb groups as well. But I think this week I'll bit the bullet and try it out.

    • Ella Pretty Blog
      January 24, 2018 / 11:20 pm

      You'll have to let me know how it turns out for you!

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