Make Instant Pot apple cider with your kids! This is an adaptation of a recipe from “Snackable Science Experiments for Kids” and yields 5 cups of delicious apple cider. Add cinnamon, cloves or allspice. Experiment and discover what combination of flavors you like best and learn about the filtration process! This post contains affiliate links.
When we lived in Ohio our friends invited us to their apple orchard at the end of the season to make fresh apple cider. We used all of the apples that normally you’d think weren’t fit for eating. They weren’t bad, but they were bruised. Homemade cider was such a great way to use them up and it was such a great family activity with jobs for everyone.
We don’t have a cider press, nor do we access to enough apples to make large batches of cider like we did in Ohio, but it doesn’t matter because you can make apple cider in your instant pot! My kids had a great time helping with this project and the steps are super fun.
I recently cracked open our copy of Snackable Science Experiments by Emma Vanstone (also the author of This Is Rocket Science) and saw a recipe for freshly filtered apple cider. It brought back all of those fun memories of making it as a family and I realized that Ruby wasn’t even born the last time we made cider and is now 7 years old. It was time to share how simple and delicious homemade cider is with her.
Snackable Science Experiments is a fun book with 60 edible tests to taste and try. Kitchen science experiments are my favorite because they not only teach important lessons, but you end up with a yummy treat in the end!
What are your favorite edible experiments? Have you tried homemade rock candy? Kids can learn how to grow crystals and their patience is rewarded with a sweet treat in the end. Making gingerbread houses is a great way to learn about engineering. There are so many things to learn by exploring in the kitchen! If you’re looking for edible crafts for kids, you’ll definitely want to check out one of our other favorite crafty books for kids and the frozen banana penguins that were inspired by it!
Not only will kids learn hand-eye coordination by making the projects in Scackable Science Experiments, they will get to investigate, create, build, explore, discover, imagine and invent yummy projects to eat. This book would make a great birthday or Christmas gift. Packed with creative un-plugged fun.
Our Adaptations for Making Apple Cider In an Instant Pot
We changed up a couple of things from the book, but ultimately ended up with a batch of yummy cider, and the kids had fun and learned along the way. The main adjustment that we made was to make the apple cider in our Instant Pot. Instant Pot apple cider pressure cooks for 15 minutes, then naturally releases for 15 minutes followed by a quick release. Cider over the stove takes over 3 hours to simmer, but your house smells AMAZING while it simmers. If you don’t have an Instant Pot, no worries! Just grab a copy of the book and follow the instructions for stovetop simmering!
Things Kids Can Learn from Making Apple Cider
- How do different varieties of apples taste?
- What spices blend well with apples?
- How does filtration work?
How To Make Instant Pot Apple Cider With Kids
First you’ll need apples. It doesn’t really matter what kind. We used a combination of yellow delicious and gala. You’ll also need 2 cinnamon sticks and some water. Simple, right?
Slicing fruit is one of their favorite things to do. I bought this little dog knife for my kids years ago and it works great for cutting soft fruits. Sharp enough to cut fruit, yet dull enough to not cut skin.
Note: To cut apples with the dog knife, you will need to slice them in half first, then the kids can quarter them. The knife isn’t strong enough to cut a whole apple in half.
8 apples were quartered and placed in the instant pot. Ruby poured 4 cups of water over them and added 2 cinnamon sticks.
The recipe in Snackable Science Experiments even suggests adding oranges or sugar and experimenting with spices which will yield a flavor closer to one of our favorite drinks, holiday wassail.
Each snackable experiment in this book gets kid thinking and discovering new ways to play with food!
Once your apples and water are ready, go ahead and place them in the Instant Pot and set it to pressure cook on high for 15 minutes. Allow it to naturally release for 15 minutes, then quick release until the pressures reaches normal. Remove the lid.
Now to learn about filtration!
When the kids opened the pot they commented that it looked like chunky apple sauce. It totally did, and would have made delicious applesauce if we had drained all of the water out and mashed the apples down a bit more. I asked them what we could do to make it look like cider. Ruby looked at the book and said that we needed a strainer!
We ran it through a strainer then poured off the juice. Then we started mashing it with a potato masher which pushed more of the pulp through. Finally, we pulled out a rubber spatula and pressed even more juice out of the pulp.
Note: the book suggests using cheese cloth for a final filter. This will create a cider that is less cloudy, but all apple cider has sediment at the bottom of the jug. If you don’t use a cheesecloth for the second strain, just give it a quick stir before serving.
She said, “I can’t believe how good this smells!”
We enjoyed our cider warm, but you can refrigerate it as well.
Instant Pot Apple Cider
- pressure cooker
- 8 apples
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 4 c water
- Quarter apples and place in instant pot.
- Pour water over apples and add cinnamon sticks.
- Cover with lid.
- Pressure cook on high for 15 minutes.
- Let the pressure naturally release for 15 minutes then quick release to finish.
- Strain apples through a sieve.
- Mash apples to push them through.
- Strain a second time or press through a cheese cloth.
- Refrigerate leftovers.
Looking for more creative projects to make with your kids? Sew with Me has 60 sewing projects to help kids learn how to sew. Useful items such as scrunchies, pillowcases, gift bags and more!