Instant Pot Travel Bag
When I got this Instant Pot bag from Quick Carry as a product sample I thought it was the coolest thing since sliced bread. But then I didn’t use it for a very long time, because I just didn’t have reason to, I started to doubt its worth and wondered if I should share it with the Kitchen Stewardship® community or not.
Then we went on this crazy six-week trip around the US and I’ve never been so grateful to have a silly little bag in my life. I can’t imagine how much stress I would have had about packing our Instant Pot just in the car, and constantly telling people, “Don’t set something on that! Don’t bump the Instant Pot, don’t hit it, don’t scratch it, don’t pull the buttons off.”
I mean, you can’t even pull the buttons off, but that’s the kind of worry that a woman has when her Instant Pot is being packed without proper security.
The other option would have been to put it in a box, which meant that it would have been much less flexible to pack, and not nearly as convenient as this bag has made things. And the bag fits right in the middle of the two captain’s chairs in our van, where I don’t think a box would have.
The Quick Carry bag has a pocket in the front, which has been nice for recipes and a knife with a solid cover, and it also has a really generous pocket that covers the entire top of the bag, so it’s a circle slightly larger than the pressure cooker and maybe two or three inches deep when all is said and done because it’s flexible. I suppose it’s probably for an extra lid or ring or something, but I didn’t use it for that!
I’ve been able to put all of my spices up there in full size jars, along with a couple bags of other spices, and even some knives and kitchen tools. It’s been so nice to be able to just take the whole thing into the kitchen and have all the basics I needed to cook, including my favorite long-handled wooden spoon right there, all together. I pack the IP in either in the lid-locked position, or sometimes with the lid on upside down if it still had a little moisture around the ring when we had to pack up to go.
We only ate out about 10-15% of the time for the entire 6-week trip, so this baby got a lot of work! I made a list of 10 meals we could make with one trip to the store and the supplies we had with us, and these are the ones that we used the Instant Pot for:
- Gallo Pinto (recipe in my son’s upcoming cookbook for kids) I always cooked dry beans with the pressure cooker for this meal, another $$ savings.
- Chicken Lentils and Rice (both the Mexican and Italian versions)
- Potatoes and hard-boiled eggs for potato salad and egg salad (see here for how to cook the basics in the Instant Pot)
- BBQ chicken and rice
- Mexican rice for nacho night found in The Everything Beans Book
- plus rice for other meals like stir fry and steaming veggies
More than once we had dinner or lunch ready for us the moment we walked in the door from being at the zoo or floating down a river, and that’s like the best gift you can give yourself in my opinion! Thank you, Instant Pot! 😉
Where to Buy an Instant Pot
This is the 6-quart Instant Pot I started out with. After a few years, we added an 8-quart partly because I knew I would use two at the same time often enough, partly because it was the Prime Day sale, and also because I wanted more space for certain recipes. Both are a pretty basic model and you don’t need more bells and whistles than that!
If you’re deciding on size, most people say it’s better to get a deal on the 6-quart and just have 2 rather than go big, BUT if your family has 5 or more people or you really like to batch cook or do more than a pound of beans, the 8-quart may be the best choice. My full Instant Pot review and buying guide for features, size, and model.
If you’d like to shop directly at Instant Pot’s website instead of Amazon (or just compare prices), check them out here.
If you’re still on the fence about adding an Instant Pot to your kitchen appliance arsenal here are my Instant Pot pros and cons.
I love this bag from Quick Carry, and I got the one that fits my 8-quart Instant Pot, which is what we brought with us just to make sure we could do double batches if necessary since I wanted to feed everyone who hosted us in their home.
If you think you might take your Instant Pot camping or on vacation or to a hotel room, this is definitely an investment worth making – I’ve even heard of people packing their IP on airplanes, and the long carrying strap would definitely make carting it through an airport a lot easier! (Although note that there may be airline regulations about taping up the box that you’ll want to research before airplane travel.)
Traveling as a family with real food in real life is a lot of work, but it’s so worth it. Learn from my experience packing a family of 6 up in a van for a two-month road trip. See what we brought with us, what we left home, how we ate healthy for cheap while we were away from home, and most impressively how we fit everything we needed for two months in the van with all 6 of us!