Instant Pot Art

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Campus Recreation Center will host a class on cooking to promote healthy and cheap alternatives to fast food. 

“Instant Pot 101” will be from 5-6 p.m. on Wednesday night in the Wellness Kitchen Room of the East Campus Recreation and Wellness Center. Participation in the class costs $10, but sign-ups closed last Friday, according to the event sign-up page.

Peyton Millard, a senior nutritional science and dietetics double major and wellness services intern, will teach the class. She said students will learn to make Hawaiian pulled chicken sandwiches in their Instant Pots. 

Millard said the center decided to host the class to show the comparatively fast cooking time of an Instant Pot compared to other appliances. 

“Students are always on the move all the time, so it’s easier to throw food into the pressure cooker than it is to cook it on the stove,” she said.

Millard said she believes the class can teach students how to effectively use their Instant Pots to save money on food. She said many recipes for Instant Pots allow students to make multiple servings, which allows them to have multiple days’ worth of food at a cheaper cost than buying fast food daily. 

“[The Hawaiian pulled chicken] recipe is relatively cheap and makes up to six servings, so students who attend will be leaving with plenty of leftovers,” Millard said.

The class is intended to help students recognize the benefits of using an Instant Pot and educating people on how to use them in the first place, she said. 

“A lot of people have an Instant Pot but don’t know how to use them,” Millard said. “A good portion of the people coming to the class have said that’s the reason they’re coming.”

Millard said she hopes students who attend the event can learn how to use their Instant Pots, as she said there are health benefits to cooking food at home. She said college students are often unable to eat healthy food due to the time commitment, especially without a dining hall meal plan, and fast food is a quick and readily available alternative. 

“It’s so easy to be at the library, for example, and decide to order out for fast food or to be walking downtown and stop in for food there,” Millard said. “And Uber Eats and similar programs are so big right now, so there is a huge benefit to financial and physical well-being [from using an Instant Pot].”

Jen Beres, a graduate student studying nutrition and health science and a wellness services intern, will co-teach the class. She said cooking food at home helps students maintain a healthy diet. 

“It’s a cheaper alternative, it’s healthier because students are getting less fat and calories [and it] helps with portion control,” Beres said.

Millard said she hopes students attending the class leave with a better understanding of how to cook on their own.

“We hope that students can leave the class with more confidence about cooking on their own,” Millard said. “If [students] can learn how to be able to quickly make food in their Instant Pot the night before, it will really benefit their well-being.”