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 , things like rice, pasta, and delicate vegetables can overcook quickly at the end and do better with the quick pressure release.
Determine How Much Liquid To Use
To me, this is one of the most important things. Too much liquid you have runny food, or too little means, your Instant Pot didnt pressurize.
A good general rule of thumb when trying to convert recipes to Instant Pot cooking is to use at least 1 cup of water on recipes have very little liquid, and 1/2 cup if recipes that thicker liquid such as tomato sauce, or teriyaki sauce.;;There will be very little water lost when cooking with a pressure cooker so adjust this accordingly.
Here are some of my examples of recipes where I just added a little bit of water to make them into Instant Pot Recipes: Sticky Chicken, Sweet and Sour Meatballs.;
Dont Use Wine Or Liquor Under Pressure
If your recipe calls for the addition of wine, you will need to make some adjustments, as wine remains unchanged when cooked under pressure, resulting in a tart raw flavor.;
Most recommendations suggest you should decrease the amount of wine by about half, then use the saute function of your pressure cooker first to reduce the wine over heat.; After this step is complete, you can proceed with pressure cooking.
You should avoid using liquor under pressure.; Because it is high in alcohol and doesnt actually evaporate during cooking, the alcohol is dispersed in the steam, making it highly flammable.
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What Order Do You Put The Ingredients In
Most soups start with a mirepoix sauteed onions, carrots, and celery. This creates a delicious, flavorful base that you cant really recreate if you simply dump everything into the Instant Pot and press START.
However, some soup recipes are different. For example, if youre making chili, you brown the ground beef first, then add the rest of the ingredients.
Here are the basic guidelines:
- For meat-less or bean-based soups, saute the onions, carrots, and celery first.
- For chicken-based soups, either brown the chicken then remove it and make the mirepoix, or add it raw with the liquids, then shred it after the soup is cooked.
- For ground meat, brown the meat first, then add the onions and such.
NOTE: Some people prefer removing meat or chicken from the pot then making mirepoix separately. This doesnt make enough of a flavor difference to me, so I usually add the veggies right on top of the browning meat.
Generally speaking, this will be your go-to order of ingredients:
Using the Hamburger Soup example, I can look at the ingredients and decide to add them in this order:
Should You Use Npr Or Qr For Your Recipe
Once you have established a pressure setting and cook time for your recipe in the pressure cooker, now you must address if you need to use natural pressure release or quick release. To find out more about what NPR and QR are, refer to How to Use an Instant Pot.;
- Use NPR for soups, starchy dishes, tough cuts of meat.
- Use QR for delicate cuts of meat, pastas, and quick-cooking vegetables.
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Adjusting Recipes To The 3 Qt
OK, now that youve gotten more details about the differences and how much will actually fit in the cooker, heres how to shrink down a recipe or even evaluate if it is possible.
Add Time For Frozen Foods
When you start with frozen foods in your Instant Pot, especially meats, plan to cook for an additional 4-10 minutes. It may take a bit of trial and error for each recipe, so record what works on your meal planner and have it perfected for next time!
If you release pressure and find your meal still needs a bit longer, that’s totally okay! Pop that lid back on and bring it up to pressure for a few more minutes. Don’t worry, it won’t take nearly as long to reach pressure the second time.
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General Slow Cooker To Instant Pot Conversion Rules
Just about anything you make in the slow cooker can be made in the Instant Pot! Simply follow this simple quadratic equation Ha! Juuuust kidding. Actually, it does involve a little math, but we promise it’s easy!
However long your slow cooker recipe is supposed to cook on high, multiply that number by 6. That is how long you cook in the Instant Pot!
For example, if your recipe calls for 8 hours on LOW, that means 4 hours on HIGH. Do the simple equation and you’ll find that this recipe needs to cook for about 24 minutes in the Instant Pot! See, easy peasy. With this basic formula, you can cook almost anything in the Instant Pot!
Pro Tip: Remember to ALWAYS add liquid to the Instant Pot! Even if your slow cooker recipe doesn’t call for it, the Instant Pot requires a minimum of one cup to rise to pressure.
Convert Pressure Cooker Time To Stove Top
Weve put together a few simple guidelines. Follow them, and youll easily be able to convert your favorite recipes to the pressure cooker.
1. Add water
The overriding principle is that you must have at least one cup of liquid. One and a half cups are better.
You can look in your pressure cookers manual for the liquid requirement for your model.
Thats because the pressure cooker will not be able to work without this amount of liquid. The machine requires it to build up the pressure.
Of course, because the pressure cooker is a sealed unit, there is little evaporation. You may end up with more liquid in your finished dish than you would like.
This isnt a problem though, because you can always strain it off then reduce it over high heat until you are happy with the quantity of sauce or gravy in the end.
Convert water needed when cooking on Stove Top:;
Pressure Cooker to Stove Top Ratio: 1: 2 or more
If you are cooking on the stovetop, the water evaporates quickly and you need to add more water.
2. Alter the cooking time
The next step is to cook the dish for one-third of the time called for in the original recipe when you cook in a pressure cooker.
After cooking, use the correct pressure release method for whatever you are cooking.
For instance, bigger cuts of meat like pot roasts or whole poultry, dried beans, soups, or other dishes that require a large amount of liquid will be better if you use natural pressure release.
Convert Time needed when cooking on Stove Top:;
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How To Tackle Cooking Times
Probably the most difficult part of of converting any recipe is figuring out how long to cook and at what temperature. Instant Pot cooking times are much lower than Crock Pot cook times, so youll always want to extend the time it takes to cook a recipe in the crock pot.
For example, Crock Pot Carnitas take about 40 minutes in the Instant Pot. It would take about 15 minutes to build pressure and the natural pressure release would add 10-20 minutes, so a total of just over an hour for pressure cooking, but theyd take a few hours to slow cook.
There are some resources out there that will give you a general idea of how much you are cooking and what temperature/time it will require. There is a great guide on Crock-Pot.com but they keep moving it, so I cant link to it. Id google and search for it 🙂 The guide gives you cooking times, fill levels, and even some conversions between high and low temperature cooking time.
Remember that when you are cooking meat, its important to be sure that the internal temperature reaches a safe level. Use the recipes as a resource but always check your meat temperatures before eating.
Meat Poultry And Stews
Generally, if your slow cooker meat, soup, or stew recipe calls for 8 hours on the low setting or about 4 hours on the high setting, it should be fully cooked in about 25 to 30 minutes in the Instant Pot. For chicken or turkey, use the 15-minute poultry button.;
While volume doesn’t matter, density does. Roasts and large, thick pieces of meat will take longer, and a baking dish filled to a 3-inch depth will take longer to cook than a baking dish filled to a 2-inch depth. Cut large roasts into smaller pieces for faster cooking.
Frozen meat can be cooked in the pressure cooker as well, but you will need to add about 10 minutes to the total cooking time. If the meat doesn’t look done after the pressure is released, put the lid back on and cook it at high pressure for another 5 to 10 minutes.
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What Recipes Can Be Converted From Stove
Now that you know how your Instant Pot works, you realize that not every recipe that can be made on the stove-top can easily be converted to an Instant Pot recipe successfully. Because all electric pressure cooking is water-based , they arent a good way to get crunchy or crusted bits. However, soups and stews using vegetables, beans, and/or grains are perfectly suited to the high-pressure environment. I will now explain to you in detail how to convert a recipe from stove-top to Instant Pot. I also included a selection of inspiring recipes from all-vegan bloggers that include directions for the electric pressure cooker and for stove-top cooking so you can see some examples.
Portobello pot roast by A Virtual Vegan
How To Convert A Recipe From Stove
So you now own an Instant Pot and youd like to use it more, but your favorite recipes are written for the stove-top? Are you scared to wreck your dinner when using your new appliance? Worry not! In this post, I will explain in detail how to convert a recipe from stove-top to Instant Pot . This is an exhaustive guide, but dont let that intimidate you: once you have cooked a couple of your favorite stove-top soup or stew recipes in the Instant Pot, youll feel comfortable with any and all of them.
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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!
Choose The Pressure Release That Works For You
So what about natural versus manual pressure release? Natural pressure release is when you turn off the Instant Pot and let it slowly release pressure on its owna process that takes about 10 to 15 minutes. This is a gentler way to finish delicate foods and chicken.
The quick pressure release works great for soups and stewsor if youre in a rush and want your meal ASAP. Clark suggests putting a dish towel over the valve first before manually releasing, so you wont steam up your kitchen.
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Sear Meat Before You Begin:
A fantastic thing about an Instant Pot is that you can use it as a frying pan on the sauté function to sear meat before you begin the pressure cooking process. Searing the meat locks in the flavor and keeps it from getting too soggy. A great product to use when searing the meat so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the cooker is PAM® cooking spray. They even have non-GMO options like olive oil, avocado oil, and coconut oil.
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. Ive 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 wont need the full amount of water or liquid to cook properly in the Instant Pot.
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The Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Doesnt Have To Be Full
You can cook with your Instant Pot full or not full and the great thing is that the cooking time doesnt change.
The biggest change is how long it will take to come to pressure if you have added a lot of food. I have found that my 8qt full with beef stew will take some time to go to pressure compared to steaming some broccoli for a quick lunch.
Determine The Cook Time
This is where it can seem overwhelming and tricky to figure out how long to cook things in your instant pot. And it does make a huge difference in the cook time if you are converting a soup, a chili, a recipe with pasta, or a slow cooker recipe.;
These times are estimates and you may find that you need more or less cook time for certain recipes. It is also important to refer to Instant Pot Altitude Adjustments if you live at a higher elevation.;
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Be Aware Of The Water
Your Instant Pot relies;on water to;achieve the needed pressure to cook. This means you need;to add the right amount of of water, no matter what recipe you will be making. This requirement is usually somewhere along the lines of one cup.
When converting your crockpot recipe into a pressure cooker recipe, you may need to change the amount of water if your recipe doesnt use much. All Instant Pot recipes should have an absolute minimum of 1/2 cup of water, and some will need more.
Hold The Dairy During Pressure Cooking
If your recipe calls for dairy based ingredients like milk, sour cream or cheese, youll usually want to wait to add those ingredients until after the pressure cooking has completed. Dairy will often cause the Burn warning we talked about in our Instant Pot mistakes article.
Instead, add the other ingredients , pressure cook and release pressure. Open then lid, then add your dairy based ingredients.
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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!
How To Translate A Slow Cooker Recipe To The Instant Pot
To make it even easier to remember these tips, Ive created a FREE printable recipe conversion cheat sheet for you!; Its great for printing and adding to your recipe binder.;
Or, keep it handy in the kitchen for an at-a-glance reference for pressure cooker recipe conversion.;Its included as part of my free guide to getting started with your pressure cooker.
Get yours by signing up below, and make it even simpler to make your favorite slow cooker recipes in the Instant Pot pressure cooker!
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