September 18, 2021

As technology advances, so do time-saving kitchen gadgets making cooking easier than ever! Our days and nights are filled with work, school and other activities which leave less time to prepare home-cooked meals. However, small appliances like Instant Pots can save us the hassle and still give us a chance to have a delicious meal with our families.

Home-cooked meals sometimes require us to slow-cook meats, boil rice, or keep the food warm as the whole family gets together. With an Instant Pot you can do these and more at the touch of a finger. Some of the appliance’s different cooking methods include settings such as pressure cooking, slow cooking, rice making, steaming, sautéing, searing and warming.

When using a new kitchen tool, it’s important to know how to operate it properly to prolong its use and keep you safe. Pressure cooking is one setting in particular to learn about with your Instant Pot. Read the instructions carefully to make sure you understand when it’s safe to remove the lid. Here are some tips on how to use some of the settings on the Instant Pot:
• Pressure Cooker: This method saves time and energy with cooking. Try this with meats, grains, and even mashed potatoes.
• Slow Cooker: This setting is great for making flavorful dishes such as soups, shredded chicken, and tender roasts with vegetables.
• Rice Cooker: This setting cooks rice to perfection. But don’t limit yourself to just rice; try it with quinoa, barley, or oatmeal.
• Steamer: The steamer setting is perfect for thawing vegetables for dinner – or try your hand at some deliciously steamed dumplings.
• Warmer: Don’t let your hard work get cold. Keep your meal warm with this setting as the rest of your family arrives to feast.

If you need more family-friendly meal ideas, take a look at for more recipes, our Budget-Friendly and Kid Group Nutrition store tours, and our monthly cooking classes on Freezer-Friendly Family Meals. Try this recipe for Instant Pot Honey-Garlic Chicken Tacos for your next family meal.

Instant Pot Honey-Garlic Chicken Tacos
Serves 6 (2 each)

All You Need:
¾ cup Hy-Vee honey, divided
½ cup Hy-Vee ketchup
½ cup Hy-Vee less-sodium soy sauce
5 tbsp Sriracha sauce, divided
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp refrigerated ginger paste
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 tsp Stubb’s Chicken Rub with sea salt, honey, garlic and mustard
1 lb. Hy-Vee boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 (4.5-oz.) pkg Hy-Vee hard taco shells (12 shells)
Avocados, seeded, peeled and sliced, for serving
Radishes, cut into matchsticks, for serving
Green onions, sliced, for serving
Crumbled Cotija cheese, for serving

All you do:

  1. Combine ½ cup honey, ketchup, soy sauce, 3 tablespoons Sriracha, garlic, ginger paste, sesame oil and chicken rub in a medium bowl; set aside.
  2. Place chicken thighs in a single layer in a 6-qt. Instant Pot. Pour honey mixture over chicken. Lock lid in place and set valve to SEALING position. Cook on HIGH PRESSURE for 15 minutes. Allow pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes. Place towel over release valve; move to VENTING position (Quick Release) to release remaining pressure. Carefully remove lid, allowing steam to escape.
  3. Transfer chicken to a cutting board; reserve 1 cup cooking juices in cooker. Shred chicken using 2 forks; return chicken to juices in Instant Pot to keep warm.
  4. Combine remaining ¼ cup honey and remaining 2 tablespoons Sriracha in a small bowl.
  5. To serve, spoon chicken into taco shells using a slotted spoon. Top with avocados, radishes, green onions and Cotija cheese; drizzle with honey-Sriracha mixture.

Provide yourself more time around the dinner table with your family and look into new kitchen gadgets that may help. With all the benefits and possibilities an Instant Pot has, take a chance on one and create an instant hit for your next family meal.

The information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.