I have been hearing some rumors that Santa or some of his helpers have dropped off an Instant Pot at some of my loyal reader's place of cooking. I am also hearing that some of you are trying to come to terms with it. The understanding is there as Daughter Nissa's significant other who could build you a computer that might just take over China, says the Instant Pot is much too “complicated” for him. Hold on, read on, hope is on its way!

First of all, if you have been having visions of blowing up your kitchen, it is not going to happen. Old regular pressure cookers maybe yes, Instant Pot, no. Today's Instant Pot does need a liquid and heat to work as a pressure cooker but is much more friendly. The instructions are going to tell you to read the manual, and yes you should, but it still might not put you at ease or give you all the information you need.

In this day and age you are going to have tons of help on social media, and I will give you some starting tips. It also helps to have a “pothead” as a friend and in this case it means a person who knows and uses Instant Pot cooking.

Start off easy with some basic items and then expand. I would suggest to start with hard-boiled eggs, egg loaf, rice, sloppy joes and chili. Your manual should have instructions for most of these items, but here are a few tips. The hard-boiled eggs can be put in direct or you can use an oven-proof container that fits in but leaves some side room in the pot. Yes, you can cook eggs pretty easily on the stove but once you peel Instant Pot cooked eggs you will never, ever go back to the stove method.

The “egg loaf” recipe may not be in your instructions but if you use a lot of chopped, boiled eggs it is a blessing. Have at least 1 cup of water in your pot. Use an oven-proof greased container and break up to about a dozen raw eggs into it. Place the container on the trivet or a sling and place in the pot. Process at manual pressure for five minutes and use the natural release. You will end up with a cake of beautiful cooked eggs that can then be diced into pieces and no egg shells to peel! For the sloppy joes you will be using the “saute” feature, and you will not miss the stove top splash one little bit. Saute some more hamburger and add your chili ingredients and keep it at that setting for about half an hour. Because you are not covering it (unless you have the clear glass top) you can have it almost full rather than at the ⅔-full limit. The yogurt setting is totally neat even if you don't make an ounce of yogurt. This is the setting at which you raise bread and have bread ready to bake in a short time. Wait until you try the meatloaf, the Instant Pot New York Cheesecake Recipe No. 17, or lemon curd to name just a few of the goodies.

Shop the Instant Pot accessory stores and you will see a lot of helpful items. You may have some on-hand already such as the oven-proof bowls. I would also suggest getting extra color coded seals as they can take up heavy smells from things like garlic. Yogurt makers like to have a dedicated yogurt seal.

More Instant Pot hot tips next week. You will be loving your Instant Pot and maybe even joining the “having more than one” Instant Pot group! This really is a “good thing.”