How To Convert Recipes To Instant Pot (2024)

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Now that the Instant Pot is taking over the cooking world, we all want to know: how can we convert recipes to Instant Pot cook time and temperatures?

If you don’t know about the Instant Pot, you can find out more here. You can figure out which model Instant Pot would work best for you, as well!

If you’re looking to go backwards from an Instant Pot to a slow cooker, you’ll want to see this post: How to Convert Instant Pot recipes to Crockpot.

Looking for easy to print Instant Pot recipes? Visit my eBook store!

How To Convert Recipes To Instant Pot (1)

I decided to do a little research to find out the best ways to convert recipes to Instant Pot cooking times and settings. It seems like a sort of hit or miss process but there are some way to make sure your recipes come out right every time!

How To Convert Recipes To Instant Pot

It is never an exact science when trying to convert slow cooker recipes to Instant Pot cooking times and methods, or other recipes either to be honest. Use these tips and tricks to get started; before you know it you’ll be a pro and no recipe will be safe from your conversions!

General Tips:

Hold Off On Dairy Ingredients

Cooking dairy ingredients in the Instant Pot is a lot different than cooking them on the stove, in the oven, or in a slow cooker.

If a recipe calls for dairy ingredients make sure to add them once you have cooked and depressurized your Instant Pot. This is key when trying to convert recipes to Instant Pot cooking.

The high heat and pressure and cause dairy and milk ingredients to scorch and that’s an easy way to ruin dinner.

Scale Recipes To Fit The Instant Pot

When you are working to convert recipes to Instant Pot it’s about more than just cooking time and temperatures. You should be mindful of how full the Instant Pot will get.

If you are using anything that expands (think about pasta, rice, beans, etc.) you will need to scale the recipe back to make sure it won’t overfill your Instant Pot.

Pressure cookers should never be more than 2/3 full for safety and proper cooking. Full Instant Pot = a pot that won’t come to pressure. I’ve written about the differences between Instant Pot sizes and what this means for cooking.

Take Advantage of Instant Pot Features

The Instant Pot, unlike slow cookers or the oven, can sauté vegetables and sear meat before cooking.

If you are going to convert recipes to Instant Pot cooking times and temperatures be sure to take advantage of the sauté feature to make sure everything is cooking properly and all of the usual flavors come together!

My Favorite Tip: Use Similar Recipes As A Guide

Not all recipes are suitable for the Instant Pot or a pressure cooker. When trying to convert recipes to Instant Pot cook times make sure that the recipe is a) suitable for such a cooking environment and b) similar to another Instant Pot recipe!

Using a similar recipe that contains similar ingredients will help you calculate a cook time and temperature.

For example, when deciding how to cook my Crock Pot Stuffed Pepper Soup in the Instant Pot vs the Crock Pot, I looked for similar soups and chilis online to see how they were cooked. That gave me a great starting point for converting my recipe!

Instant Pot Meat Cooking Times

Use this post and free printable to determine how long to cook meats in the Instant Pot. I’ve found that some people like to add or decrease time based on their preferences, but this is a great place to begin.

Instant Pot Vegetable Cooking Times

Use this post and free printable to determine how long to cook and steam your vegetables in the Instant Pot! Vegetables are pretty delicate and there are a few great guidelines here for making sure they always come out perfect.

How to Convert Slow Cooker Recipes to Instant Pot:

Figure Out The Instant Pot Cooking Time

The hardest part to figure out when trying to convert recipes to Instant Pot standards is the cook time.

This Instant Pot Cooking Timesfor meat,this one for vegetables, and these cook time charts are lifesavers if you don’t have a similar recipe that you can use for that information. They’ll help you determine the base cooking time that is necessary for your ingredients–save them to your phone or tablet!

Match Up Your Ingredients

If you don’t want to cook in stages, make sure the ingredients you are using have similar cook times. Determine your cook times using the charts linked above and then make sure you alter the ingredients so that they have similar cook times.

If that means pre-cooking a few of the items or cutting up meat so it is in smaller chunks you may have to do some trial and error in this process the first few times around!

Determine How Much Liquid To Use in your Instant Pot

Another big part of Instant Pot cooking that is not so important in other recipes is the amount of liquid you need to use. A good general rule of thumb when trying to convert recipes to Instant Pot cooking is to use at least 1 cup of water for your 6 qt pot, 1 1/2 for your 8 qt. I’ve written an article about the differences between Instant Pot models and how to make sure your recipes always turn out, no matter what model you have.

There will be very little water lost when cooking with a pressure cooker so adjust this accordingly if you have a lot of wet vegetables or chicken in your recipe. Items that have a high water content already won’t need the full amount of water or liquid to cook properly in the Instant Pot.

Select The Proper Pressure Release

If you are not sure which pressure release to use just do the quick release method, where you open the valve immediately after the cook time is complete. While meat can usually benefit from a natural pressure release (where the pot finishes cooking and the pressure naturally releases without you moving the valve), things like rice, pasta, and delicate vegetables can overcook quickly at the end and do better with the quick pressure release.

Keep Track of What Works and What Does Not Work

The best way to figure out how to convert recipes to Instant Pot cooking methods is by trial and error.

You might get a couple flops but the best way to learn is to try and then keep track of what works and what does not. Jot down times and temperatures next to your recipes so you know what to use the next time around!

How to Convert Cook Times for Higher Altitudes

There is a whole system for converting cooking times for higher altitudes. It’s really easy and I’ve made a great cheat sheet for those of you who need this info. It’s right here!

Looking for some delicious Instant Pot recipes to try?

  • Healthier Instant Pot Recipes
  • Instant Pot Dinners
  • Instant Pot Beef Gyros
  • Instant Pot Meal Prep
  • Instant Pot Dessert Recipes
  • Healthy Cracked Out Chicken
  • 21 Day Fix Instant Pot Recipes Without Chicken
  • Instant Pot Favorites | Printable eBook

How To Convert Recipes To Instant Pot (2)

Becca Ludlum

Healthy recipe creator, self-confessed food snob, and certified Level 1 Precision Nutrition Coach. I create healthy recipes with minimally processed ingredients, but have never turned down a homemade brownie. ;)

How To Convert Recipes To Instant Pot (2024)


How do you calculate Instant Pot cooking time? ›

For example, for a recipe that needs to cook for 4 hours on high, multiply 4 by 6 to get 24. You would cook your recipe for 24 minutes on high pressure.

How do I change the cooking time on my Instant Pot? ›

How to set cooking times:
  1. Press manual or any cooking program button to begin.
  2. A cooking time will appear, either suggested or the same as you used in that mode last time.
  3. Use the + and – keys to adjust time values.
  4. If you hit the – key down past 0, the time will set to 24 hours and count down from there.

How does a pressure cooker compare to a normal cooking time? ›

The higher temperature causes food to cook faster; cooking times can typically be reduced to one-third of the time for conventional cooking methods.

How do you calculate the time for a pressure cooker? ›

Take the total cooking time of the recipe and divide it by 3. So, for a dish that has a total cook time of 30 minutes in the oven, you'll need to cook it for 10 minutes in the Instant Pot®. Similarly, a recipe that takes an hour to cook in the oven, would need 20 minutes in the Instant Pot®.

How much does pressure cooker reduce cooking time? ›

“I don't see them as a gadget, but just as a saucepan with a specially adapted lid,” says the author of Modern Pressure Cooking. “You can use them for everything you would a normal saucepan, and much more besides, plus you're also cutting down 70-75% of the cooking time.”

How long do you cook 2 lb of meat in a pressure cooker? ›

For a whole roast: Cook on high pressure for 20 minutes per pound of meat. For small chunks: Cook on high pressure for 15 minutes per pound of meat.

Does food taste better in a pressure cooker or slow cooker? ›

Pressure cooking wins by a landslide. It's not even close. First of all, all food contains water and water boils at a much higher temperature in a pressure cooker then at normal atmospheric pressure.

Can you pressure cook too long? ›

Unfortunately, once you overcook a piece of meat in the pressure cooker, there's no going back. You'll be left with a pile of dry, crunchy, tasteless fibers and no amount of additional pressure cooking is going to put that moisture back into the meat. Earlier, I explained how ingredient size affects the cooking time.

Why is cooking in pressure cooker is cheaper? ›

It is cheaper because I can buy inexpensive starting materials. and I don't have to heat the over to cook them. I can have an entire meal ready in about 30 minutes or so.

How long does it take for meat to cook in pressure cooker? ›

Download our Pressure Cooking timetable here.
MeatCooking Time (in Minutes)
Beef, oxtail40 – 50
Chicken, breasts bone in6 – 8
Chicken, whole 2-2.5Kg8 / 450g
Chicken, portions with bones10 – 15
26 more rows

What is the formula for a pressure cooker? ›

The pressure cooker works on the principle of Ideal Gas Law or combined gas law, PV = nRT. This basically states that Pressure times volume is equal to the number of moles of a gas times the gas constant times temperature.

Why does pressure cooker take so long to cook? ›

4. Food Takes Too Long to Cook. The Problem: Food takes way longer than it should to cook evenly. The Cause: There are a few reasons this may happen — filling the pressure cooker with too much food or water, putting frozen food in the appliance, liquid that is too thick, etc.

Does a pressure cooker cook food faster? ›

“And the pressure cooker traps that hot air and moisture with the food, which expedites the cooking process. “In other words, the moisture surrounding the food itself reaches higher temperatures than it would without the pressure, which speeds up the chemical processes involved in cooking.

Do pressure cookers cook faster than crock pots? ›

Like slow cookers, pressure cookers can also be used to make excellent meals. Unlike slow cookers, pressure cookers work quickly for short cooking times.

Is pressure cooking like slow cooking? ›

Slow cookers and pressure cookers are large countertop appliances that can be used in place of pots, pans, and even ovens. The distinction between them is in their names; slow cookers cook food slowly, while pressure cookers cook food fast using pressure.


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