If you follow the world of trendy food Instagrammers and bloggers you’ve probably seen the humorous works of Daniel Shumski. Will it waffle? Will it skillet? are all questions that he asks and answers. This time he doesn’t ask a question but he does answer tons and tons of them, namely, wtf do I do with this thing?

Instant Pots have risen in popularity pretty quickly since they came on the market, and with good reason. I’ll admit it — I was TERRIFIED of my stovetop pressure cooker, thanks to my parents warning me it would explode if I didn’t quit jumping around the kitchen (ya’ll scarred me for life with this). I still used it to quickly cook dried beans mostly, but with the kind of great skepticism and derision that led to my beans generally never getting cooked all the way through without bringing them back up to pressure a second time.

So when the Instant Pot was on sale last Thanksgiving, I pounced and became the proud owner of a DUO60 model. For most of the first year of having it I just kind of used it for ingredients — beans, cooking whole spaghetti squashes and sweet potatoes, and omg the best was using it to make easily peel-able hardboiled eggs! But this book introduced me to actually making meals in it, finally.

As soon as I got the book I flagged about 15 recipes I had to make ASAP and I really did get started the next day. My first recipe from the book was the autumn squash soup which was really great minus peeling those stupid things. It made more than four quarts of soup and I enjoyed two and froze two for later because that’s a lot of the same soup to eat in a week. The spice ratio was perfect here, and it was great for the small “cold” snap we had a few weeks ago in South Carolina.

instant pot acorn squash soup

Next I made ricotta cheese which was ridiculously easy. You can start this on a weekend morning and be using it for dinner if you so choose. I put mine into a ricotta basil pasta bake and it was quite enjoyable.

instant pot ricotta cheese

Risotto was next, though this recipe is pretty different than my usual. I followed the directions for plain risotto and sauteed onions and peppers on the side to add, plus a healthy handful of Parmesan cheese. I’m not 100% sold on this versus my preferred method, but it did taste good and kept me from having to stir. I’ve never seen such fluffy Arborio rice.

instant pot risotto

I was pretty excited to make French onion soup one evening until I saw the time involved. 10 hours for the recipe means you’ll need to plan this one out and I think I got the timing pretty right. On a Friday or Saturday night before you go to bed, slice your onions and put them in the Instant Pot.

instant pot french onion soup

Follow the book’s directions to set them to slow cook overnight for seven hours. In the morning, you’ll be able to add the next ingredients and set it to cook for the remaining hours. By lunch, you’ll be ready to broil your bread and cheese on top in a soup crock. Or if you’re a morning person, you can slice and set before work (which sounds impossible but you do you).

instant pot french onion soup

Lastly I went for a sweeter dish and used several apples I intended to eat for work snacks and turned them into apple butter! I l-o-v-e apple butter and was glad to get to use these apples this way. After the turmoil of peeling, this was such an easy recipe but again, not as Instant as you might imagine. This uses the slow cooker function to soften the apples to perfection. I’ve been using it in my morning yogurt this week. Which, I could make the yogurt in the Instant Pot too but I haven’t yet with the instructions from the book.

instant pot apple butter

This is just some of the recipes I’ve tried from How to Instant Pot, for which I was selected to be a recipe ambassador and thoroughly enjoyed. If I didn’t already have a copy of this book I would legit buy it for myself when it’s released on Oct. 31. It’s taken a once-a-week use appliance for me and made it into a multiple times a week workhorse in my kitchen.

Do you have an Instant Pot or are you thinking about getting one? Let’s talk about it in the comments.