A few Christmases ago, I received an Instant Pot as a gift from my brother and his wife. I took one look at it, pushed it to the corner, and commented to my husband that this year my brother took the award for weirdest holiday gift.

(See, each year we find the strangest gift and secretly award that person the year-long honor of the “What were you thinking when you bought this?” distinction. Over the years, we’ve given the award to all sorts of oddities that our friends and family have bestowed on us. That year, my brother’s gift won hands down.)

What in the world do you do with an electric pressure cooker?

Was he trying to kill us? I was pretty sure these could blow up at any moment.

Two weeks went by before I finally took another look at the box. I, of course, did what all of us do when we have questions that need answers… I “Googled” ‘Instant Pot.’ Two-and-a-half hours later, I decided this thing couldn’t be all bad and broke it out of the box. The reviews, blogs, and recipe comments claimed it would “change my life.” I read the instruction book cover to cover and performed the water test as instructed in the manual. I decided on spaghetti and meatballs, dumped in all of the ingredients, and apprehensively pressed “cook.”

The pressure built… both literally and figuratively.

Several minutes later it beeped and I let out the steam. After a quick stir, we dug in. It was good… It was easy… and surprisingly, we didn’t blow up. I began to consider all the other meals I could make in this miraculous little cooker. Visions of chicken, pork, pasta, and soup floated through my head.

Fast forward a few years.

My Instant Pot is probably used more often than any other kitchen appliance in my house, except maybe the coffee pot. When we move (we’re a military family), it is the one appliance that is never packed, but travels with me in the car. I make everything from shredded chicken for tacos, to pulled pork, to hard-boiled eggs, to yogurt, to cheesecake. It makes delicious soups and stews, amazing one-pot pasta dishes, and Chinese food that has all but eliminated the need for take-out in our house. I have to admit… I absolutely LOVE my Instant Pot!

Here are my family’s top ten Instant Pot recipes:

My Instant Pot has become indispensable.

I even ended up purchasing another one so I could “double pot” when needed.

I’ve learned the basics and that has enabled me now to start developing my own recipes. While the Instant Pot doesn’t necessarily speed up the time it takes to get dinner on the table, it allows me to put it all in the pot and do other things while it cooks versus standing at the stove.

In a time when I want to help kids with homework and not miss reading with them, this appliance frees me up to multi-task like never before.

So, my name is Christa… and I’m a “pot head.”

I have jumped head-first into this cult-like following, searching for and sharing recipes weekly. I readily share my love of electric pressure cookers with neighbors, friends, family, and even the unsuspecting souls who just happen to be looking at one in Costco. If an appliance can change your life, this one has changed mine.

If you got one for the holidays or you’ve heard the rumblings and are intrigued but apprehensive… I suggest you give it a try. The rest of the “pot-head” community and I are happy to help!

instant pot