If you enjoy using an Instant Pot at home, you’ll also love using it on the road. We sure did, but there are a few things to know about using an Instant Pot in your RV and we’re covering it all.
My First Experience Using the Instant Pot in Our Travel Trailer
I’ll never forget the first time I used my Instant Pot in our travel trailer. I added all of my ingredients, put the lid on, set the timer and was feeling pretty good about myself. As a brand new RVer, getting meals on the table was quite an accomplishment.
As the Instant Pot started steaming, cooking quickly came to a halt because I tripped the breaker and everything shut off. The air conditioner, the microwave and yes, the Instant Pot that was cooking our dinner.
Long story short, dinner was salvaged and I learned a lesson that night – when you’re using an Instant Pot in a travel trailer with a 30 amp electrical system, you have to unplug some things.
Through some experimenting, I learned that we could run our air conditioner and use the Instant Pot at the same time, as long as nothing else was plugged into the kitchen outlet.
My first time using the Instant Pot, I also had our toaster (which pulls a ton of power) and our coffee maker plugged in. Although they weren’t ‘on’ they were still pulling power. (Obviously, I’m no electrician.)
If we were somewhere we didn’t need to use the air conditioner, I could have a few other things plugged in and still use the Instant Pot.
For example, in the photo below, we were in Asheville during the fall when the temps were perfect. We didn’t need the air conditioner or heater, so I was able to plug the Instant Pot in, along with our electric kettle and coffee pot. Now, if someone tried using the microwave, it would have tripped the breaker.
Can You Use An Instant Pot in Your RV?
So, to answer the question on whether or not you can use an Instant Pot in your RV…yes, yes you can. Just know the wattage of the Instant Pot you’re using and if your RV run is a 30 or 50 amp system. You might have to experiment a time or two to see what your RV’s electrical system can handle.
Speaking of wattage, most 8 quart Instant Pots average around 1200 watts and 6-quart Instant Pots (which is what I have) are around 1000 watts. The smaller 3-quart Instant Pot averages around 700 watts.
You can find the wattage information, as well as weight, dimensions, and voltage on this Instant Pot comparison chart.
How Many Amps Does an Instant Pot Draw?
As far as how many amps an Instant Pot draws, as well as questions about using your Instant Pot while boondocking, I found a forum with way smarter mathematicians than me here.
The person asking the question on the forum thread was worried about frying their battery while using the Instant Pot and everyone gave some really good feedback. I’d recommend a quick read through it if you have some of the same concerns.
What Size Instant Pot is Best for RVing?
As far as what size Instant Pot is best for RVing, it depends on these factors:
- Your RV’s electrical system
- How many people you need to feed
- How much storage space you have
We have the 6-quart 6-in-1 Instant Pot and it’s perfect for our family of five. Leftovers for us are a pain because of the tiny fridge in the travel trailer, so the 6-quart is the perfect size to feed all of us once.
If it’s just two of you, the 3-quart size might be all you need. As Todd and I are nearing the empty nest stage in our life, I’d like to get the 3-quart size and start experimenting with recipes in it for two.
Where to Store an Instant Pot in Your RV
When we first started RVing full-time, my Instant Pot moved around quite a bit. It started out under our dinette, but that became a pain both getting it out and putting it away. Since a person or two were often sitting at the dinette, they’d have to move so I could get it out and put it away.
Then I moved it into our storage ottoman, which I tell everyone was one of our best purchases for the RV. We had this one and it was so incredibly useful.
When our daughter was with us on her breaks from college, the ottoman was her closet. When she wasn’t with us, this is where we stored the Instant Pot, our son’s roadschooling materials and a few random office supplies.
When I couldn’t store the Instant Pot in the ottoman, I stored it under our stove.
Where you store your Instant Pot all depends on how often you use it and the amount of storage space you have. Most likely you’ll end up moving it around until you find just the perfect spot. Which sums up RV living pretty perfectly. 😉
Instant Pot RV Recipes
I could talk about Instant Pot recipes all day long. In fact, I have quite a few here on TREKKN:
- Instant Pot Potato Corn Chowder Recipe (our fave!)
- Instant Pot Mexican Rice and Beans – this recipe is great for burrito bowls, taco filling or as a side dish
- Instant Pot Quinoa Tacos
- Instant Pot Shredded Beef Tacos – Just know that this makes a lot; it usually feeds us twice
- Instant Pot Soup Recipes with 5-Ingredients or Less
I’m still working on posting some of my favorite Instant Pot soup recipes, which is my favorite thing to make.
One tip I like to share with fellow RVers when it comes to broths for soup is instead of lugging around the heavy cans and cartons of soup, I always keep Better Than Bouillon on hand. I never had an issue finding this product at Walmarts across the country. You can also find it on Amazon.
Not only is this option lighter, but you also store it in the fridge and I personally think it has a much better flavor than canned and boxed broths.
Instant Pot Accessories for RV Cooking
Last but not least, let’s chat Instant Pot accessories that are helpful for RV cooking.
Instant Pot Steam Diverters are Perfect for RV Cooking
One accessory I recently found out about, is an Instant Pot steam diverter. Not only is this great for everyday use in your bricks and sticks home, but it’s also extremely helpful to use one in your RV.
Why? Well, it keeps the steam from blasting up to your ceiling or on your cabinets. And as we all know, the less moisture your RV is exposed to, the better!
Here are a few of my favorites.
Extra Instant Pot Sealing Rings
Another good Instant Pot accessory to have on hand while RVing, is extra sealing rings. You might notice after using your Instant Pot a few times that the ring starts to smell like whatever you’re cooking. Mine started smelling like garlic.
If you cook something with garlic one night and then do a dessert the next night, your dessert could taste like garlic. I mean, I love garlic but I don’t really want my apple crisp tasting like it.
Rings can also get damaged and it’s better to have an extra one on hand than to be in the middle of nowhere without one.
Here are the Instant Pot sealing ring options on Amazon. Be sure to choose the right size!
Are You Ready to Start Using Your Instant Pot in Your RV?
I hope these tips and tricks for using an Instant Pot in your RV help you in your RV cooking endeavors. If you have any favorite recipes to share with us, please do in the comment section below!
Julie Bonner is one-half of the TREKKN team. She specializes in helping you whip up delicious meals in your tiny RV kitchen, as well as RV organization tips and helping fellow RVers make their RV feel like home. Her favorite RVing spot is in Banff National Park in Canada where yes, the water really is that blue and the people really are that nice.