My wife and I have been using the Instant Pot exclusively to feed our family for over a month now. We absolutely love it! Not only is it easy to use and versatile, it’s energy efficient. As full-time RVers who boondock 99% of the time, versatility and efficiency are our top two priorities.
The Instant Pot uses between 1,000 and 1,200 watts. Traditional burners (including induction burners) use about 1,800 watts. Because the Instant Pot is pressurized and sealed, it cooks faster using less energy – it has truly been a game changer for us as far as energy conservation goes – and it can do just about anything!
We can’t function without our coffee in the morning. When we were living a more conventional lifestyle, we were in a rush all the time. We didn’t have time to make good coffee. We’d simply pop a K-cup in our Keurig and grab it in a dash to the car so we could make it to work on time.
Prior to our Instant Pot, we drank instant coffee (bleh!). Our induction burner simply used too much energy. So, instead of using our precious battery power to boil water, we’d toss a few tablespoons of brown caffeine powder into cold water, hold our nose, and chug our energy kick as fast as possible.
We enjoy a good cup of coffee though, so the Instant Pot was a big increase in our happiness on the road. Now, we set our Instant Pot on Sauté and we have 64oz of steaming hot water in 5 minutes. We use cheap Folgers coffee and a relatively nice French Press Coffee Maker, and we have Starbucks quality coffee in less than 10 minutes. It’s a great way to start the day!
We sell solid lotion bars on Etsy, which are all-natural moisturizers that are absolutely amazing (if I do say so, myself). Since we’ve had our Instant Pot, every solid lotion bar, chapstick, and bee stick that we’ve sold, has been made in our Instant Pot on the road!
The Instant Pot may not be part of an income stream for you, but the fact that it CAN be is HUGE for anyone who needs to figure out how to make extra money on the road. If you want to make and sell your own solid lotion, just google “solid lotion recipe” or send me an e-mail if you’re interested in whole sale pricing.
We normally use public showers because we don’t have a hot water heater in our bus. Rec centers, truck stops, gyms, are our go-to resources for relatively inexpensive showers on the road. Rec centers are our favorite because we can turn a $10 shower into a day of entertainment – they normally have a gym, a pool, basketball courts, a kids area, and free wifi. The last rec center we went to had a lazy river and two water slides!
While rec centers and public showers are our favorites, our Instant Pot has been very handy when we’re past the 7 day no shower mark (pretty much our max). When we have to use our Instant Pot for showers, we toss a few pots full of boiling water into our bath tub and take quick baths. It sounds primitive (and it kind of is) but having no hot water has actually saved us hundreds of gallons of water, which is necessary when you’re living off-grid on a 65 gallon water tank.
Having a toddler can be dirty. Living in a 175 sq ft bus off-grid can be dirty. Conserving water and taking limited showers can be dirty. Most of the time, we’re just dirty – not the dirty kind of dirty – the fun kind of dirty from living outside and conserving resources.
We don’t have a dish washer and we don’t have a washer and dryer. Believe it or not, the Instant Pot is a great way to clean things. Obviously, there are size limitations, but when your toddler has used both her cups for milk and the whole family has used both of their wash cloths, we break out the Instant Pot.
The Instant Pot can boil quickly, and therefore sanitize quickly. So, when your cups, silverware, wash cloths, or underwear need to be cleaned ASAP, throw them in the Instant Pot with some water and boil for 8 minutes and boom, you’ve got fresh undies and clean silverware!
I know what you’re thinking, ”No way am I cleaning undies in silverware together!” Well then don’t, but I can assure you, nothing will survive being boiled for 8 minutes. It’s save, and it’ll probably be the cleanest undies you’ve ever worn (and as clean as the cleanest utensils you’ve ever eaten off).
Oh, yeah! You can also cook in the Instant Pot!
I’ll admit, the Instant Pot wasn’t very easy to use at first. If we were still in our house, it would have been the type of kitchen appliance we used once and then put in our closet “just in case.” Our first attempts were edible, but they weren’t very success either.
When we decided we wanted an Instant Pot, it was because of the specs and reviews. We knew the Instant Pot would cook faster than most burners, use less electricity than most burners, and be more versatile than most burners. Our decision was based on objective information. There was no “try it first” option. Our only option was to figure it out, and we did!
Hard boiled eggs are cheap protein and they’re easy to grab and go. The Instant Pot cooks perfect hard boiled eggs in less than 6 minutes!
Rice is a cheap, versatile, and very difficult to make unless it’s in a rice cooker or in an Instant Pot. We cook rice and chicken almost on a weekly basis. Rice from an Instant Pot is the most moist and fluffy rice I’ve ever eaten. You could probably make sushi with Instant Pot rice.
We’ve made tacos, dips, chicken breasts, oatmeal, chicken wings, soup, stew, stir fry, overnight oats, and many other AMAZING meals! There is almost no limit to what you can cook in the Instant Pot. You can even bake a cake and make homemade yogurt in certain Instant Pot models!