Have you ever come home, tired and hungry, but don't want to spend ten dollars on dinner and five dollars on a delivery fee? While this might seem impossible with people's busy schedules, the Instant Pot makes this dream a reality. It is perfect for college students who want to cook themselves in order to save money but are unsure of what tools they need.

The Initial Investment

The price of an Instant Pot ranges from $60 - $180 without tax, depending on what size and what version is purchased. While this is a lot to spend, the price is easily made up for in the amount that is ultimately saved on eating out. If you eat out once a day, ten dollars a day, you spend the amount needed to purchase the cheapest Instant Pot in a week! 

Where to Store It

While this machine is bulky because it contains its own heating mechanism, it would fit easily under your bed in a dorm room or in a kitchen cabinet in an apartment. 

What to Cook

Instant Pots are versatile, but for the college students that are just beginning to cook, the rice cooker, slow cooker and pressure cooker settings are going to be the most used. These settings will allow the most flexibility for a student's day.

Pressure cooker short ribs with carrots and potatoes would be a great meal that would take an hour to cook and lasts for about three to four meals depending on the number of ribs made. And if you wanted the meal done by dinnertime, toss everything in the pot in the morning and slow cook on low until you got home from classes. Below is an easy recipe I used in my Instant Pot - both my wallet and stomach were super pleased. 

Pressure Cooker Beef Short Ribs

  • Prep Time:30 mins
  • Cook Time:1 hr 15 mins
  • Total Time:1 hr 45 mins
  • Servings:4
  • Medium


  • 4 Bone-in Short Ribs
  • 1-2 tablespoons Kosher Salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups low sodium beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar - optional
  • 2 medium carrots chopped into one inch pieces
  • 2 celery ribs chopped into one inch pieces
  • 1-2 medium Russet potatoes chopped into one inch cubes
  • Bow tie noodles - optional
Hanna Silverstein
  • Step 1

    Pat short ribs dry with a paper towel.

    Hanna Silverstein
  • Step 2

    Mix together the salt, pepper and dried thyme leaves and sprinkle evenly on all sides of the short ribs.

    Hanna Silverstein
  • Step 3

    Put 2 tablespoons of olive oil into the Instant Pot, turn on the saute function on high and add in the short ribs. Brown each side - about 1 minute per side.

    Hanna Silverstein
  • Step 4

    Add the remaining olive oil, garlic, onion and bay leaf. Saute for about 3-4 minutes or until the onion is opaque.

    Hanna Silverstein
  • Step 5

    Add the tomato paste and balsamic vinegar if it is being used and mix everything together.

    Hanna Silverstein
  • Step 6

    Place ribs back in the pot. Then add the carrots, celery, potatoes and broth and set the Instant Pot to pressure cook on high for 45 minutes. In total, it will take about 10 minutes for the pressure cooker to come to pressure and 20 minutes for the pressure to naturally release.

    Hanna Silverstein
  • Step 7

    Once the pressure has been released you can serve as is or cook bow tie pasta and serve over the noodles.

    Hanna Silverstein

Instant Pots FTW

Mackenzie Patel

Having an instant pot makes cooking so much easier, especially when our minds are distracted midterms, wine deals at Trader Joes and holiday vacations. Although it's expensive up front, an Instant Pot more than makes up for cost in flavor and quality.