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Discount Diva: Go ahead, buy an Instant Pot. I did!

If you’re thinking about getting an Instant Pot Ultra but you’re not sure whether you should pull the trigger, I’m here to tell you: go for it. Trust me, I resisted the Instant Pot craze for a long time, too, but my dad got me one for my birthday and it has completely enriched my life. Here’s why.

• You’ll throw out less food. The whole reason I wanted my Instant Pot Ultra in the first place was because of the amount of money I waste on the food that goes bad in my fridge. I am always either forgetting to take meat out of the freezer in time for dinner, or taking it out the night before, forgetting to cook it, then throwing it out several days later.

When I found out you can put frozen chicken breasts into the Instant Pot and cook them without even thawing them first, I was sold.

• It’s foolproof. I am a terrible cook, yet everything I have made in my Instant pot has been delicious. The first recipe I tried, the famous Instant Pot Butter Chicken, was so good I honestly felt like weeping. It tasted like it came from my favorite Indian restaurant. I was so proud.

• Cooking meat freaks me out. I’m always worried that I won’t cook it thoroughly enough to be safe, so I end up overcooking it and making it tough. Meat comes out perfectly done in the Instant Pot every time, always cooked to a safe temperature inside, while staying super-tender, juicy and flavorful. You know those hot rotisserie chickens you pick up at the store? You won’t need to stop after work anymore once you realize how quickly you can make a yummy whole chicken in an Instant Pot.

• For someone nicknamed “Discount Diva”, I have a pretty expensive habit: buying takeout. This is because I love food but, as I mentioned, I’m a terrible cook. I’m a big fan of making big batches of food at once, then portioning it out for work all week long. But there are only a couple of things I’m OK at making, and I’ve been making them for the past 20 years. Now I can make restaurant-quality food easily and inexpensively and never get bored.

• You will actually use it. I know you think you don’t need another kitchen appliance, let alone one that costs almost $100. You were burned by that bread maker, which you just had to have but now sits on a dusty shelf in your cellar and mocks you every time you go downstairs to do a load of laundry. But this one is different. Really! Everyone I’ve talked to who has one uses it at least once a week, and most people use it a lot more.

• One-pot cooking. Instant Pot is the epitome of set it and forget. Dump everything in and walk away, like a slow cooker, but fast!

• You’re getting several appliances in one. You can use your Instant Pot Ultra as a slow cooker, a pressure cooker, a rice maker, a yogurt maker, a steamer, a warmer, a sterilizer, a pasteurizer; you can use it to make cakes, to sear and saute and to make perfect hard-boiled eggs with shells that slip right off (and never turn green!).

• There is a huge and lively group of Instant Pot zealots out there standing by to help you get the most out of your machine, with tips, tricks, recipes and answers to all your newbie questions. My two favorite Facebook groups are “Instant Pot Community” and “Instant Pot 101 for Beginners.”

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