Why the Instant Pot is the best kitchen gadget for single people
I'll be spending Valentine's Day this year with my one true love.
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This Valentine’s Day I’ll be spending the night in with my boyfriend. He’s dependable, all my friends love him, and he’s a really great cook. Sounding too good to be true? Well, I’m actually talking about my Instant Pot, a fan-favorite multi-cooker that can whip up anything from red curried lentils to butternut squash risotto. As a single woman in her 20s, I firmly believe that anyone cooking for one should own this magic cooking gadget.
I was gifted the Instant Pot 6-Quart Duo for Christmas two years ago and it has since changed my life. While it’s not the best multi-cooker we’ve ever tested (that would be the Instant Pot Ultra), I believe the Duo model has all the basic functions a single home chef will need. It’s incredibly user-friendly and acts as a slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, sauté pan, and the coveted pressure cooker. Aside from an oven, it might be the only real cooking gadget you need.
My love for the Instant Pot transcends anything I’ve ever felt for any cooking gadget—and I went through a phase where I spiralized everything for two months. It makes whipping up a meal so dang easy and whether you love cooking or hate it, you need an Instant Pot—especially if you’re single. Here’s why:
It’s incredibly fast
As a single woman, my current evening routine consists of heading to the gym after work and then vegging out with some Netflix or whatever book I’m currently reading (the single life is hard, OK? I need a break from the reality of it). But with so few hours in the day, I really don’t want to limit my screen time by cooking for an hour. With the Instant Pot, I love that I can go to the gym, throw everything into it, hop into the shower, and have a meal ready before “The Bachelor” is on.
Why wait for a spaghetti squash to roast for 40 minutes in the oven, when I can just place it in the pressure cooker and have it cooked in just seven minutes? Whether it's a curry that only needs 3 minutes on high pressure or a risotto that cooks in less than 15 minutes, dump meals have become my go-to and I am living for it.
It’s helpful when sharing a kitchen with roommates
As a single person who cannot afford to live alone, I live with two other lovely ladies—which also means I have to share a cramped kitchen. This can cause some chaos when multiple people want to use several burners or the oven. More often than not, someone is left waiting to cook their dinner and ends up very hangry.
But with the Instant Pot, I avoid all this drama. I simply place it off to the side, chop up my various ingredients, and whip up my dinner without disrupting my roommates or having to wait to use the stove. Plus, if the kitchen is particularly crowded, I can always bring my Instant Pot out to the dining table and cook there with ample space.
It eliminates the need for pricey takeout dinners
At the end of a long workweek, nothing is more tempting than ordering pad thai and rewatching “Grey’s Anatomy” for the hundredth time. But it does make me feel a little guilty knowing I have food I could cook in the fridge, and those takeout bills really do add up over time.
That’s where the Instant Pot becomes my (money-) saving grace. Since cooking in the Instant Pot takes just as long as it does for takeout to be delivered, coupled with the fact most of the cooking involves dumping everything into a bowl and pressing a button, I really have no excuse not to cook. I mean, this Instant Pot pad thai takes less than 30 minutes to make and will take care of my takeout craving—a win in my book. But believe me that pad thai urge still strikes every now and then, I’m only human. Now when I do indulge, I feel less guilty.
It helps me batch-cook healthy meals for the week
Meal prepping is essential for keeping me fed during my busy week and prevents me from wasting precious time cooking every single night. The Instant Pot is a meal-prepping machine, allowing me to prep batches of lentils, quinoa, and steamed veggies that I can use in quick meals throughout the week. It also allows me to easily make soups, curries, and stir frys that I’ll eat multiple times throughout the week for lunch and dinner—a.k.a. less cooking for me and more time hanging with friends or enjoying some alone time with Netflix.
It doesn’t take up too much space
Whether you live alone in a small apartment or are short on storage from living with several roommates, the Instant Pot shouldn’t take too much space. I have the 6-quart size and I find that it fits easily in one of my cabinets. But if you’re tighter on storage, Instant Pot also makes a 3-quart Duo that is more than large enough to cook a meal for one person (and it’s cheaper!). So no matter how small your space is, you should have room for this cult-favorite cooking device. Bonus: It can also replace your slow cooker and your rice cooker, meaning you don’t have to waste precious storage space with multiple cooking gadgets.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
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