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As homesteaders, we always need to find more time, and cooking from scratch takes up chunks of it.
We all only have 24 hours – the same for everyone, and if cooking from scratch is a conscious choice for your family, you have to figure out how to make it work.
Between homesteading, homeschooling, a freelance writing career, and being a wife and mother, it doesn’t leave me with tons of time to cook from scratch.
Yes, I know that I can cook faster if I use pre-made ingredients at the store, but I also don’t want to do that.
I’m not perfect. You’ll find plenty of things in my kitchen that aren’t made from scratch.
I wanted to put that out there because we are all just doing our best, right?
I’ve found that one way I can cook from scratch on the homestead is by using an Instant Pot. Instant Pots (or whatever off-brand you pick) are essential pressure cookers, and they can revolutionize how you cook in your kitchen.
So, let me show you how my Instant Pot saves me time on the homestead. Those minutes count!
Why You Need an Instant Pot
There are few times that I say I LOVE a product. The Instant Pot is true love. Because we are focused on saving money, I would never share it if I felt that it wouldn’t benefit your family. Here are the reasons why I love it so much.
1. It Saves Me Money
I can cook dinner in 25 minutes. As I started to write this post, I considered calling for pizza. Our night was busy with an EMT class, soccer, and a Montessori meeting.
Take out sounded great, right? I made dinner in 20 minutes in the Instant Pot, a shorter time than pizza!
2. It Doesn’t Heat Up The Kitchen
You know those hot summer when you can’t stand the idea of standing in front of a stove or oven? Put your dinner into the Instant Pot! While it does heat up, it won’t heat your entire kitchen.
3. It’s Portable
Are you heading to the beach and want to save some money? Make dinners in the Instant Pot. It weighs close to 5lbs, and it isn’t huge. You can easily put it in the trunk of your car and use it.
I make dips in it for parties, and I always take it when we go camping. You wouldn’t believe how many easy camping dishes you can make with an Instant Pot. Now, we do “camp” in a cabin, but it’s in the woods, so it counts, right?
4. It Replaces Other Kitchen Devices
I love my slow cooker, but I’ve rarely used it since I purchased an IP. Who needs a rice cooker or yogurt maker now? I don’t! If you plan to pressure can, the IP can do that as well.
8 Ways to Cook From Scratch with An Instant Pot
1. Make One-Pot Meals
The very first time I used the IP, I followed a recipe for a Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole. I was totally skeptical. Hello, I was putting UNCOOKED pasta into this thing! 25 minutes later, I was blown away by the amazingness on my plate.
Since that time, we have been known to toss a variety of ingredients into the IP, creating tons of one-pot meals. Chicken stir fry, chicken and wild rice, spaghetti, beef roasts with potatoes and carrots.
There are so many great recipes.
2. Cook Rice or Quinoa
I can honestly tell you that rice and I used to not be friends. It always had that crunchy texture, even after I cooked it exactly what the directions told me to do.
I love rice, so disappointment typically followed. Instant Pot changed my relationship with rice. Every time I use it for dinner, it is always perfectly cooked! Even my rice-cooking challenged husband succeeds.
3. Cook Whole Beans
I’ve always had a rocky relationship with beans too. My husband LOVES good baked beans with dinner, but no matter how I tried, I couldn’t get the right texture as the cans.
With the Instant Pot, you can cook whole, unsoaked beans in 60 minutes or less! That’s amazing, and the texture is always on point.
That means no more excuses for using those canned beans. You can pressure can beans as well!
4. Cook Baked Potatoes
I LOVE baked potatoes, but they can take an hour to cook. If you know me, you know that I tend to forget everything. I can’t tell you how many times I forgot to put them into the oven.
You only need 25 minutes in the Instant Pot to create the perfect baked potatoes.
5. Make The Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs
Hard-boiled eggs are a favorite in our family. My husband takes a few to work each day. I add them to my salads and chicken salad.
With the IP, you only need 7 minutes to perfect hard-boiled eggs! You can see directions here. It really is simple.
6. Cook A Whole Chicken
One of the top ways that I save money is by purchasing whole chickens instead of all boneless, skinless chicken breasts. I typically would roast or boil a whole chicken, but I always forget when I needed to put it into the oven.
Are you holding onto your seat?
You can cook a whole chicken in 30 minutes in the IP. Did your mouth fall open? Mine did the first time I read it and then tried.
7. Make Smaller Batches of Stock
Sometimes, I don’t have time to make and preserve large batches of chicken broth or beef stock. Time is limited folks!
Instead, you can use the IP to make smaller batches of your favorite stock. I’ve made beef stock in the IP several times, and it turns out fantastic. It’s so full of body and flavor.
8. Make Ricotta Cheese & Yogurt
You might be aware that your IP can make yogurt. There is a yogurt button after all!
You might not know that you can make ricotta cheese in the Instant Pot. That’s right! Making homemade ricotta cheese in the Instant Pot is a real thing and it’s delicious and fast.
Who can ask for more?
Cooking From Scratch With An Instant Pot
When you make the decision to cook more food from scratch, you might find yourself worrying about the time investment to do so.
I won’t lie and tell you that it takes no time. It does take time, but you can save time on the homestead by cooking from scratch with an Instant Pot. A small investment will save you a lot of time.