How To Bring Instant Pot To Pressure

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Thicken & Season Spaghetti Sauce:

How long does it take Instant Pot to come to pressure? — Instant Pot Tips

Dont panic when you open the lid to a liquidy spaghetti sauce right after pressure cooking. Thats perfectly normal!

Thicken the spaghetti sauce by using the Saute More function, and bring the sauce back to a simmer. Use a few minutes to thicken, taste, and season the spaghetti and sauce to your preferences. These extra few minutes will make a big difference to the spaghettis flavor & texture!

My Instant Pot Isnt Searing Very Well

Sautéing with your Instant Pot is convenient, but it can be challenging to get a decent sear on specific cuts of meat. We recommend opting for a different appliance entirely to sear most larger-cut foods, like steak, because your Instant Pot wont get hot enough to execute a deep sear. Smaller cuts of meat may prove to be successful, but we cant promise that the meat wont become chewy or soggy. Searing is not the Instant Pots strong suit, so you should leave that job up to your trusted frying pan.

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Instant Pot Is Taking Too Long To Start The Timer

The instant pot will take at least 15 minutes to pressurize and start the timer. If the recipe says pressure cook in Instant Pot for 5 minutes, add 15 minutes to this time.

However, If It takes longer than 20 minutes to start the timer, check the settings and adjust the mode If needed. Plus the more food you stuff in your pot, the longer It will take to start the timer.

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How Long Does The Instant Pot Take To Preheat

The preheating time depends on the number of food items that you have placed inside the instant pot. Ideally, it should not take more than 15 minutes to preheat. It may take a few minutes more or less, but there is nothing to worry about it.

Wondering how you will get to know when the pot is preheated? The timer of the instant pot will start ticking right after the cooker preheats itself.

Why Do Most Recipes Use Manual Settings Instead Of Smart Program Buttons

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One size does not fit all in most scenarios. This is true of the smart one-touch buttons on the Instant Pot too. While some may come in handy down the line, you should learn more about specific recipes before you begin relying on them. Using Manual/Pressure Cook button and adjusting time and pressure level by yourself gives you more control. Having said that, you can also adjust time and pressure level once youve selected once of the Smart Program function.

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Pressure Isnt Building In My Pot

This usually happens when the pressure release valve has been turned to open when you sealed the lid, but you didnt notice at the time so steam is just slowly leaking out of the pot as it tries to heat up. This isnt good for the food inside, and it keeps the pot from actually reaching the correct pressure levels.

The best solution for this is to get in the habit of always checking the pressure valve when you seal the lid. Just look and make sure its in the locked position before you select your pressure cooking setting.

Extra Instant Pot Tips

  • No need to thaw meats: Since the Instant Pot cooks meat so quickly, the temperature of frozen meat is not in the “danger zone” of food safety long enough to be a concern. This means you can pressure cook meat from frozen. Just add five to 10 minutes to the cooking time.
  • Make slow cooker recipes faster: I’ve found that using an electric pressure cooker to make slow cooker meals is a lot faster and tastes about the same sometimes even better. If you have a meal that takes eight hours in the slow cooker, count on an hour in the pressure cooker.
  • Count on recipes taking 30 minutes longer: Most recipes don’t factor in the time it takes for the pressure to build up and release. This adds significantly to the total time needed to make a meal. Though times may vary, you can count on the pressure build-up and release adding about half an hour.
  • Use a cool towel: That said, a cool towel applied to the lid of an Instant Pot can help it cool down faster and thus decrease the pressure faster so you can get to enjoy your meal.

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How Long Does The Instant Pot Take To Come To Pressure

Coming to pressure in your Instant Pot all depends on the recipe.

Most of the time you will find your pot comes to pressure anywhere from 8 minutes up to 20 minutes.

You will find if you are cooking chicken or other meat from frozen, it takes around 20 minutes.

The reason being is it will begin to thaw the meat before it comes to pressure.

Other items like pasta takes a shorter come to pressure time.

It all depends on your recipe, but the 8-20 minutes is a great way to factor in when to start dinner.

What Kinds Of Cooking Works Fine But Not Great In An Instant Pot

Reasons your Instant Pot WON’T Come to Pressure–And how to fix it!

Slow cooking , any kind of delicate steaming, and simmering are three things that you technically can do, but often turn out just OK with the Instant Pot. The regular lid traps too much water for slow cooking. Delicate steaming is hard to achieve since the point of a pressure cooker is using high pressure steam to cook food its easy to get mushy, overcooked veggies. And while the Sauté setting is helpful, theres no way to decrease the temperature for simmering, so liquids tend to boil too quickly.

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All Right But Whats So Great About Pressure Cooking

It cooks food extra-fast and reliably. Pressure cooking can cook foods that normally take a long time very quickly. Heres the basic science: A pressure cooker like the Instant Pot creates a high-pressure steam chamber. Over about 10 minutes, the pressure inside the sealed pot is raised through heat. At high pressures, the boiling point of water shifts higher, which means that you can cook and boil food at higher temperatures and more quickly. The high pressure also forces water into food, helping it to cook faster but also creating more complex, deeper flavors. A pressure cooker does magical things like cook tough but flavorful cuts like pork shoulder into tender, melting carnitas in an hour flat instead of the usual four to five hours.

How To Wash Your Instant Pot

When you’re doing dishes after dinner, be sure to remove and thoroughly clean the sealing ring to ensure it doesn’t hold onto flavors. You can do this quickly by hand-washing using a mild detergent.

For a deeper clean, add a cup of water, a cup of white vinegar, and a few lemon peels to the clean inner pot and run the unit on Steam for two minutes. Release the pressure naturally and let the lid and ring air dry.

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Do You Need To Double The Cook Time For A Double Recipe

If you would like to double an Instant Pot recipe, you may double the ingredients . You do not need to double the cook time.

However, you may need to adjust the cook time based on the size/width of meat and vegetables. For example, a small 8 ounce chicken breast will cook faster than a large 12 ounce chicken breast and a small sweet potato will cook faster than a large sweet potato. Read all recipes and directions carefully to determine how long to cook your food.

How Easy Is It To Use An Instant Pot

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There is a lot of fear around the Instant Pot.

Most are scared that it will blow up.

Thoroughly read your manual and follow instructions you should be fine.

I recommend starting with easier recipes that have minimal steps.

This will help allow you to get your feet wet in a sense so you can feel more confident in your abilities to use it.

If youre really unsure about how to use your Instant Pot, you should sign up for the free Instant Pot School course.

Its a FREE class that will show you how to safely use your pressure cooker so you dont have to be afraid of it any more!

You get 4 video lessons with PDFs, 4 easy assignments to get you cooking, plus an Instant Pot meal plan you can start using right away.

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What Is The Instant Pot

Instant Pot is a pressure cooker — and then some. It also sautés, slow cooks, makes rice and steams veggies and poultry. It’s an all-in-one device, so you can, for instance, brown a chicken and cook it all in the same pot. In most cases, Instant Pot meals are ready to serve in less than an hour.

Its quick cook times are thanks to its pressure-cooking function, which locks steam created by liquid , building pressure and pushing steam back into the food.

But don’t confuse it with a stovetop pressure cooker. Unlike your grandparents’ pressure cooker, this Instant Pot eliminates safety concerns with a lid that locks, and stays locked, until the pressure is released.

Yes, you can cook a whole chicken in the Instant Pot.

Why Does My Instant Pot Say Burn

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. Instead of continuing on with this warning, your Instant Pot will actually stop the cooking process to prevent further burning.

There are a number of reasons your Instant Pot will display its burn message. Most of these involve mishaps that may occur during the cooking process, like not adding enough liquid or forgetting to adjust the steam valve to the sealing position. Once you figure out what you’ve done wrong, correcting the error is easy. Here’s what may be triggering the burn notice and the precautions you can take to prevent it.

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Tips For Using Instant Pot

We have a few expert tips that you can utilize to make the most of your instant pot.

  • Your instant pot comes with a wide array of functions. Make full use of these features to make scrumptious one-pot recipes. For example, instead of using a different utensil to sauté vegetables, you can use your instant pot for the same purpose.
  • You can adjust the temperature of the instant cooker according to your need. Different recipes demand different temperatures, and you can choose according to your recipe.
  • While boiling, steaming or pressure cooking, make sure that the food is submerged in the water. Use at least half or one cup of water, depending on the amount of food you are cooking. However, dont pour too much water inside the pot, it can result in soggy, overcooked food.
  • You may think that you can put only water in the instant pot to cook your food. But hey, you can also use liquids like broth and juice to cook your food. Instant pot perfectly cooks your food and infuses it with the aroma and goodness of the liquid that you are using. So if you are in the mood for some flavourful dish, try this out.

The Most Common Instant Pot Problems And How To Fix Them


The Instant Pot is a highly versatile appliance that can save time and energy in the kitchen. While the best Instant Pots are intuitive, these multifunctional pressure cookers can be confusing too. If youre running up against issues like a bad smell lingering in your Instant Pot or trouble with the timer, youre not alone. Most of the problems youre seeing are likely pretty easy to correct when you know what to look for.

We have the best tips, tricks, and hacks to solve some common Instant Pot problems.

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Oh Wait Now My Recipe Says To Release Pressure How Do I Do That Why How

Yes! All of that magical, quicker-cooking pressure has to be released before you can open the pot! When the machine beeps to indicate its done cooking, hit the Cancel button, to avoid overcooking your food. Then you have two options: The first, basically, is do nothing. If you do this, the pressure will gradually release through the steam valve on its own, and in about 15 to 20 minutes the metal float valve will drop down. This is natural pressure release.

Or, you can quick release, which means opening the valve by turning it from Sealing to the Venting or by pressing the steam release button . Be SURE to keep any exponsed skin away from the vent, or you will get a steam burn! I like to use a towel or a long wood spoon. Use quick release for foods like vegetables and seafood that you want to avoid overcooking. Use natural release for dense foods like pulled pork, or that have a chance of splattering or foaming out the release valve if quick release is used.

How Do I Check The Food Inside While Its Cooking

YOU CANT. If this makes you freak out, join the club. But youve gotta get used to it and stop worrying. You cannot check the food mid-cycle. Yes, it can be scary to not be able to see whats happening. It means relearning some of your instincts as a cook. Fortunately the precision and predictability of cooking in an electric pressure cooker means that you dont have to check and adjust the way you do when cooking on the stovetop.

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How Do I Make Pot Roast In The Instant Pot

Heres a basic Instant Pot pot roast recipe. Thinly slice 1 large red onion. If its too large to fit inside your Instant Pot, cut a 3-pound chuck roast in half against the grain . Season the chuck roast with 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil using the Sauté function. Brown the meat on all sides, 6 to 8 minutes, and remove to a plate. Add onion and cook for 5 minutes. Deglaze the pan with a 12-ounce stout beer, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Place the chuck roast back into the pot. Secure the lid and set on HIGH pressure for 40 minutes.

While the roast is cooking, mince 2 garlic cloves, halve 1/2 pound of baby Yukon Gold potatoes, peel and cut 4 carrots into 1-inch pieces, and quarter 8 ounces of cremini mushrooms. When the roast is done, allow to naturally release for 5 minutes, then quick release and remove the lid. Remove the chuck roast to a carving board to rest and cover with foil.

Then add the potatoes, carrots, and mushrooms secure the lid and cook on HIGH pressure for 5 minutes. Quick release, then remove the lid and transfer the vegetables to a platter. Select the Sauté function and bring the sauce to a simmer. Allow to reduce to 1 cup, for 6 to 7 minutes. Stir in the butter. Thinly slice or shred the pot roast. Serve with sauce and vegetables.

The Three Most Important Instant Pot Buttons

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There are really only three buttons you need to know when you are just starting out with pressure cooking:

Manual/Pressure Cook. This button is where the magic happensif a recipe says to cook at High Pressure, this is the button you need. Just press it, then use the and buttons to change the cook time. After a brief pause, the Instant Pot will beep to tell you its beginning the pressure cooking process. Some Instant Pots, such a the Duo Evo Plus have a start button that youll need to press to start the cooking process.

Sauté. Press the Sauté button to brown meats, sauté vegetables, and simmer ingredients in the pressure cooking pot. Adjust Sauté to less for simmer, normal to sauté and more for browning.

Keep Warm/Cancel. Use this button to cancel a function or to turn off your Instant Pot.

Honestly, thats it! I recommend beginning with some easy, tried-and-true recipes before branching out into converting your old favorites. Since I write my recipes so they can be made in any electric pressure cooker, I rarely use the preset Instant Pot buttons.

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Keep A Notebook Of Tips When You Convert A Recipe For The Instant Pot

Cooking in an Instant Pot or other electric pressure cooker is easy, but youll want to make notes when you convert recipes to make in one.

Write down notes so youll know what changes you made and can tweak the recipe the next time you make it. Or, if youre cooking from a cookbook, Ive started writing notes in the margins so I can duplicate what changes I made.

Once youve adapted a couple of recipes, it gets easier. You learn to trust your instincts and use your senses.

If youd like to print this post to keep in your notebook, I created a .

Now, its your turn. Id love to hear your tips and tricks. If you have a tip that helps you convert a recipe, please leave a comment. If I didnt answer your question about converting a recipe, leave me a comment too and Ill do my best to answer it.


If youre new to using the Instant Pot, be sure and check out my posts on Which Instant Pot Button to Use and Quick Pressure Release or Natural Pressure Cooker Release.

Im adding a great suggestion by one of my long-time Pressure Cooking Today readers. She suggested new users make several reliable recipes written for the pressure cooker before trying to adapt their favorites to the pressure cooker. Better to experience some sure success before riding the bike without training wheels, so to speak.

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