You Probably Didn't Know The Instant Pot In Your Home Can Do This

Cooking for your family all of the time can be a lot of work. Parents are busy juggling more than ever before, and it can be hard not to fall into a mealtime rut. It's frustrating when you find yourself eating the same things over and over, or ordering takeout when time doesn't even permit cooking.

There's a weapon you likely already have in your kitchen, and it could be doing way more heavy lifting for you than you may think. In recent years, Instant Pots have blown all the way up. Everywhere you look, there's an Instant Pot recipe for simple dinners, group meals, and more. Whether you're cooking for one or a whole family, there's so much your Instant Pot can do to make your life easier and your meals yummier.

If you're still learning all the different tricks that make your Instant Pot indispensable, you're not alone. Here are some of the things you didn't know you could do with your Instant Pot.

You can make alcoholic beverages

Believe it or not, there are a number of adult beverages you can make in your Instant Pot. We're not talking making batch cocktails here, but rather making alcoholic infusions in the Instant Pot. That doesn't mean you'll be able to make booze from scratch, but it's as close to homemade as most people get.

Despite the device's promises for quick results, this process is a little more involved. If you're game for a challenge and have a lot of patience, this could be a fun DIY project for you. That said, there are some safety precautions to keep in mind when you're taking this on. Evaporating alcohol under pressure in your Instant Pot can be very dangerous, so it's important to thoroughly read directions to make sure you know what you're doing. 

If you are game for it, there are some awesome recipes out there for working with different kinds of booze. Try making Instant Pot Wine, Instant Pot Moonshine, and even Instant Pot Limoncello.

Your Instant Pot can help you can your own fruit preserves

If you think about canning preserves as a major project that involves big batches of your choice fruits and a tremendous amount of space, think again. Thanks to your Instant Pot, you can run a small-scale canning operation out of your own kitchen without a tremendous mess.

"Steam canning in your Instant Pot is a great way to preserve smaller batches of food as it takes less water, less overall time to process, and doesn't heat up your entire kitchen," explains blogger Frieda Loves Bread. "Making smaller batches is actually preferred when making jams and jellies, as you will get a consistent batch each and every time."

Making the jam takes just about a half an hour. Then, you fill hot jars with your jam and seal them before putting the jars themselves on a trivet in the Instant Pot. Use the Instant Pot on the steam setting, while allowing venting, to have delicious canned preserves in a matter of minutes.

Your Instant Pot can make potpourri

If you've been doing lots of cooking with fragrant ingredients, have pets, or even teenage children that leave smells lingering, Instant Pot potpourri could be the answer to your prayers. Instant Pot potpourri utilizes natural aromatics, which are safer to breathe and better to enjoy versus the chemical aromatics in some mass-produced potpourri (per Imperfectly Happy).

It's also easy to make, with plenty of recipes online suggesting natural combinations that will make the mood in your home. You can curate fragrances by season, making use of what you're growing in your garden or what you score at your local farmer's market. These recipes are quick and easy, so you can throw them together moments before you're expecting company to really create a vibe, which is especially lovely during the holiday season (via Sugar and Soul). The best part is that they're also cost effective in comparison to pre-created mixes you might find in candle or houseware stores. 

Homemade Instant Pot potpourri is also easy to replenish. Simply add more water to your mixture at any time to bring it back to life. You'd be surprised how long one pot can last.

Instant Pots can even make lotions and lip balms

It's easy to make hard lotion bars in your Instant Pot, believe it or not. Save your dry, itchy winter skin from cold, dry air with all-natural products that can be thrown together easily. To make them, simply layer your chosen ingredients in a mason jar, just like this tutorial by Halfway Homesteaders. Melt together, then pour in molds. They freeze in about 15 minutes and can be used in or out of the shower for moisturizing.

Speaking of moisturizing, you can also get your lips in on the action with Instant Pot Chapstick. It's a great way to fine tune and customize a recipe to your liking, so you can make your kid's favorite flavors, or avoid certain allergens that can pose issues for members of your household. Simply melt your ingredients together using your Instant Pot, then pour them into empty lip calm molds. You can save your mix and re-warm to refill, which is both environmentally friendly and a major money saver.