How to Convert Recipes for an Instant Pot (2024)

Instant Pot Instant Pot Tutorials By Kristen Chidsey | 185 Comments | *This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

Are you trying to make your favorite recipes in the Instant Pot? This guide will walk you through how you can convert stovetop and slow cooker recipes to make them work using an electric pressure cooker.

How to Convert Recipes for an Instant Pot (1)

One of the most frequently asked questions I get isHow can I make (fill in the blank) in the Instant Pot?While I have a growing collection of Instant Pot Recipes, you may have a desire to try making your family favorites in the Instant Pot.

And I want to help do just that! My tips AND list of cautions will help you begin to feel confident converting your family recipes to Instant Pot success.

What Recipes Can Be Converted?

Before you try to convert a recipe to an Instant Pot recipe, ask yourself if your recipe can and/or should be made in the Instant Pot.

While many recipes can be adapted to be made in the Instant Pot, there are things you should NEVER cook in your Instant Pot. For example, dishes like fried chicken or a juicy ribeye steak should never be attempted in a pressure cooker, as the results will never be the same.

However, an Instant Pot excels at making inexpensive cuts of meats tender and making complex soups or chili that taste as though they have simmered all day, but are ready in less than an hour.

∗ important to remember when selecting a recipe to convert ∗

How do you know if a recipe will work in the Instant Pot? There are a few things that you want to keep in mind when choosing a recipe to adapt for the Instant Pot.

  • Choose recipes that already have thin liquid in them (like stock, water, juice, beer, etc); require a longer cooking time, such as dried beans or pot roast, and/or use moist heat to cook, such as cheesecake.
  • In general, avoid recipes that include something breaded, dairy-based, and/or quick-cooking cuts of meat or tender vegetables.

How to Convert Recipes into Instant Pot Recipes

Once you decide if your recipe is suitable for pressure cooking, it is time to convert your recipe.

Use my following tips as a starting point for converting your favorite stovetop or slow cooker recipes to Instant Pot recipes. Please keep in mind that not every recipe will work in an Instant Pot, and sometimes it takes trial and error to perfect the timing. Keep notes on results so you can keep track of what works and what doesn't.

  • Oven/Stovetop to Instant Pot Conversion: Divide the cooking time by 3. Cook on high pressure for that time and allow for natural pressure release when cooking soups, chili, or meat. Use a quick pressure release if cooking seafood or delicate vegetables.
  • For Recipes Made in Slow Cooker/Crock-Pot: Refer to the amount of time that a recipe needs to cook on high and multiply that by 6. Cook for that many minutes. 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.
  • Pasta Recipes: Use 2 cups of liquid per cup of dry pasta. Divide the longest cooking time listed on the box of pasta in half and cook for that time on high pressure. Allow for exactly 5 minutes of natural pressure release, then do a quick release of pressure.

Conversion Chart for Converting Recipes

Grab this chart and hang it in an area that will help you convert your favorite recipes into Instant Pot Success!

Click on the graphic or here to print this PDF for Instant Pot Conversions

Important Things to Remember

This conversion chart is a very basic starting point. It is important to keep in mind the following tips whenever you convert recipes for an Instant Pot.

  • If you live at a higher elevation refer to Instant Pot Altitude Adjustments and make the necessary additional adjustments.
  • Cook on HIGH pressure using the manual or pressure cook button, not by using the various settings on the instant pot. It is best to manually adjust the pressure and cooking time yourself.
  • Be sure to add enough liquid. All recipes need at least 1 cup of liquid in a 3 or 6-quart instant pot and 1.5 cups of liquid in an 8-quart instant pot for the right pressure to be achieved.
  • Don't use TOO MUCH liquid. If you are converting a stovetop soup, you may want to decrease the liquid by ½ cup, as the liquid will not evaporate from the Instant Pot as they do on the stove.
  • Do NOT add cornstarch, flour, or dairy products.These ingredients can cause burn warnings and will not allow your pressure cooker to reach pressure. The exception to this rule is heavy cream.
  • Do NOT overfill your pressure cooker.Never fill the inner pot over ⅔rd of the way full with liquid. Never fill the inner pot over ½ way full when cooking rice or beans.
  • Want to use your Instant Pot as a Slow Cooker? Refer to my guide on how to use your Instant Pot as a Slow Cooker.
  • What if your recipe is not cooked fully after the cooking time elapses? Don't panic! Place the lid back on your Instant Pot and add additional cook time. It will not take as long to come to pressure the second time.
  • Experiment! But at the right time! I would NOT experiment with recipes BEFORE you try out a few recipes that have been tested by others. Once you are familiar with pressure cooking, then you can start to experiment. Be sure to keep notes and document any changes that need to be made so that you have a point of reference for recipes in the Instant Pot.

Still nervous to experiment? Check out my Instant Pot Recipes. The timing has been tried, tested, and true!

« How to Use Your Instant Pot as a Slow Cooker

The Best Crockpot Minestrone Soup Recipe »

About Kristen Chidsey

Hi, I am Kristen, creator of A Mind "Full" Mom. I believe that making a wholesome family meal does not need to be hard or expensive! I love nothing more than to share with you delicious solutions for your hungry family.

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  1. Alan

    You state, "The exception to this rule is heavy cream." Is yogurt also an exception?


    • Kristen Chidsey

      The setting for yogurt is only 115 degrees F and does not reach pressure. I don't recommend using yogurt when cooking under pressure.


  2. Colbyt

    Thank you for an intelligently and well written article. You have given me a starting point for a recipe I wish to convert.


  3. Carolynne

    I have an old fashioned pressure cooker. My mom used to make Christmas Pudding and the instructions are 5 lbs for 3 hours. What would it be on my Instant pot?


    • Kristen Chidsey

      Hi Carolynne! I would need to see the recipe to see if this recipe is even doable. You would need to cook the pudding in a heat-safe vessel on a rack above water. As for timing, 3 hours seems extraordinarily long, but I am not familiar with this recipe. You may want to see if you can find a recipe for Instant Pot Christmas Pudding as a guide to timing. Sorry I can't be of more help with this particular recipe.


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How to Convert Recipes for an Instant Pot (2024)


What is the Instant Pot equivalent cooking times? ›

3. Try this Instant Pot cheat sheet.
StovetopPressure CookerSlow Cooker (on High Heat)
1 hour or more30 to 45 minutes4 to 6 hours
30 to 45 minutes10 to 15 minutes2 to 3 hours
20 to 30 minutes5 to 10 minutes2 hours
15 minutes or under0 minutesNA
Jun 16, 2023

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 know how long to cook something in an Instant Pot? ›

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 do you convert high pressure to low pressure Instant Pot? ›

As for the conversion between "high" and "low" pressure cooking times it's pretty easy. So, just multiply the given pressure cooking time x3 and then divide it in half.

Can I switch from slow cook to pressure cook? ›

As long as you keep a few basic rules in mind – like how much liquid to use and how to adjust the cooking time – turning your favorite all-day slow cooker recipe into a 30-minute pressure cooker special is straightforward and simple.

How much does a pressure cooker reduce cooking time by? ›

“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.”

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

Slow cookers utilize long cooking times to develop these richer flavors, while pressure cookers use high heat and pressure to impart as much flavor as possible in a shorter time.

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

Cooking time: When cooking a pot roast in an Instant Pot, allow 20 minutes for every pound of meat.

Why does Instapot say burn food? ›

The Instant Pot's burn message simply means that your Instant Pot has detected that its inner pot has gotten too hot. There may be a slight amount of burned food at the bottom of your pot, but not enough to ruin whatever you're cooking.

What is 15 pounds of pressure in a pressure cooker? ›

Pressure Inside The Pressure CookerCooking Temperature
0 pounds (psi)100ºC (212ºF)
5 pounds (psi)104ºC (220ºF)
10 pounds (psi)113ºC (235ºF)
15 pounds (psi)121ºC (250ºF)

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.

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

Download our Pressure Cooking timetable here.
MeatCooking Time (in Minutes)
Pork, ribs15 – 20
Turkey, breast, boneless7 – 9
Turkey, breast, whole, with bones20 – 25
Turkey, drumsticks (leg)15 – 20
26 more rows

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.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of using a pressure cooker for cooking? ›

Advantages of pressure cooking include reduced cooking times and retention of nutrients, plus it's a great way to make energy-efficient, one-pot meals. The downsides include problems with foods that have different cook times and not being able to check the progress of the food cooking.

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