How To Slow Cook In An Instant Pot

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Slow Cooker To Instant Pot Conversion

How to Use Instant Pot as SLOW COOKER

At its basic, the slow cooker is easier to guess because the answer is alwaysa really long time.; Instant Pot cooking times are super quickin many cases so quick that I wouldnt have guessed it correctly.

For instance, roast beef takes 15 minutes per pound in the Instant Pot and 8-10 hours on low in the slow cooker!

A Quick Recap Of Key Cooking Stages

As we discussed in this post, there are three key phases to cooking in the Instant Pot. Once you add all ingredients and liquids, secure and lock the lid and choose your setting and time, the following things happen:

  • Preheating & pressurizing stage the pot heats up creating steam and pressure inside. This takes 5-20 minutes depending on how much food and liquid you add. Note: food starts to cook during this stage, kind of like when you boil potatoes on the stove they start to cook even before the pot comes to a boil, although most of the cooking happens once the water is super hot.
  • Cooking stage the built-up pressure pushes all the heat and steam inside the pot into the food, cooking it rather quickly. This is when the time youve selected for cooking under pressure starts counting down.
  • Depressurizing stage once cooking under pressure is done , the pot stops heating allowing the steam and pressure inside to escape through the release pipe. If you leave the pot alone, the pressure will release naturally but this can take 10-20 minutes depending on the volume of food inside. During this time, the food continues to cook at a slower rate. If you want to stop the food from cooking right away or you want to eat asap, you can release the pressure manually, which is known as the quick release .
  • Slow Cooking In An Instant Pot

    The Instant Pot has a cult following for a reason one appliance can make perfect polenta , homemade yogurt and pork shoulder that falls apart the moment it meets your fork. It usually takes a fraction of the time of traditional cooking methods. Most electric pressure cookers include a slow-cook function, but werent they created to speed up cooking?

    There may be times when slowing down fits your schedule better, allowing you to prep a homemade meal that your future self will appreciate. Read on for a guide to your Instant Pots slow-cooker function and some crucial tips to get better results.

    Read Also: Instant Pot Frozen Hamburger

    Test : Vegan Mac And Cheese

    We made vegan mac and cheese. Prep was much easier as there was no initial sautéing, just putting vegetables, nuts and broth in a pot. While I will admit that I had already had two bowls worth of the Instant-Pot mac and then watched an entire movie before I could try the Crock-Pot mac, out of the slow cooker the mac and cheese was somehow saltier despite having the same amount of salt, and it had a better texture the “cheese” sauce seemed more like cheese sauce, rather than a wet soup. Crock-Pot wins this round, too.

    Tips On How To Make Slow Cooker Recipes In An Instant Pot


    Tip #1: Adjust the Liquid Level

    Every Instant Pot recipe must start with at least 1 cup of liquid. The liquid is required to prevent burn and to help the Instant Pot build pressure correctly.

    Because the heating is so gradual in a slow cooker, the odds of something burning are slim BECAUSE enough juices from the food has been released by the time the slow cooker has reached its highest heating temperature.

    Tip #2: The Instant Pot is designed to get really hot, really fast.

    This means you have to START with liquid, otherwise your food will burn before its had a chance to release any juices.

    • With that said, anytime you make a slow cooker recipe in an Instant Pot, you need to adjust the recipe so that youre starting with at least 1 cup of liquid. This might mean adding additional liquid in order to reach the minimum needed.
    • This additional liquid can be water, stock or the same liquid that the slow cooker recipe calls for its your call. But make sure theres 1 cup of liquid at the bottom of your Instant Pot before you start cooking.

    Tip #3: Natural Pressure Release vs. Quick Pressure Release

    Anytime you make a recipe, the Instant Pot must build pressure, then cook your food, and then release the pressure. The pressure is typically released one of three ways:

    The type of pressure release you choose for your slow cooker turned Instant Pot recipe matters, because anytime there is pressure inside the Instant Pot, your food is cooking.

    Other Ingredients to beware of:

    Read Also: How Long To Hard Boil Eggs In Instant Pot

    Manual Pressure Cook With Quick Release Or Npr

    Many Instant Pot users almost always use manual settings. While Smart Program buttons are handy, cooking instructions can vary for different types of rice, smaller or larger beans, and soup with or without meat. With manual settings, you have more control over the time and pressure level. Here is how to use the Instant Pot with manual pressure cooker settings.;

    Step 1. Star the Instant Pot as mentioned above.

    Step 2. Add food, seasoning and liquid to the pot. The liquid can be cold or hot; hotter liquids take less time to heat up so the Instant Pot comes to pressure quicker. Stir if needed.

    Note on stirring: If adding tomato sauce or paste, keep them on the top and dont stir too much as these foods can sometimes thicken and burn during cooking; again, this depends if water and stock are also added as when diluted, its less of a problem.

    Step 3. Get your lid and quickly check that the sealing ring on the inside is in place. If its loose or sticks out, the pot might not seal properly and it will not be able to come to pressure. Place it on top and twist it until it locks in place.

    Step 4. On older models like Duo Classic, check that the steam release handle on top of the lid is pointing to Sealing. On the more advanced models of the Instant Pot, the vent will automatically seal when the cooking process begins. On the Duo Nova the quick release button should be popped up and not pressed down.

    How To Use Instant Pot As Slow Cooker

    Here are the steps you need to follow when you want to use your Instant Pot as a slow cooker:

  • Prepare the food for slow cooking and place it in the inner pot.
  • Close the lid .
  • Press the Slow Cook button.
  • Hit the Adjust button and make the setting to Normal or High .
  • Set the time.
  • Enjoy the magic :]
  • As you can see, its not complicated. Still, it may take a few tries before you discover the perfect settings for your preferences. Also, I recommend trying various recipes, to understand the differences between types of foods and cooking times. To start with, you can try the Instant Pot venison roast or the Instant Pot ropa vieja. You can make the recipes both ways, using slow cooking or pressure cooking.

    Read Also: Must Have Instant Pot Accessories

    What Is A Slow Cooker

    Lets start with what is a slow cooker. A slow cooker is an appliance that simmers food at very low heats for a long period of time. The thing that makes a slow cooker distinct from all the other methods of preparing food is that slow cookers can cook food at a much lower temperature than other appliances. You may also know slow cookers by the name Crock-Pot, this is a trading name owned by Sunbeam Products. Slow cookers are typically used because the low heat that they operate at can allow typically tough, chewy foods to become tender, and melt-in-the-mouth.


    Consider Adding Ingredients In Stages

    Slow Cook in the Instant Pot

    Since meat and vegetables cook at drastically different timings, you may not want to add cook them at the same time like you do in your slow cooker. If your meat is cut into 1-inch or smaller pieces, it should be safe to toss them in together. But, if youre using a larger chunk of meat , make the recipe in stages. Start by cooking the meat first and releasing the pressure. Then, add the vegetables and either simmer using the Saute function or cook under pressure for an additional 1 to 5 minutes.

    Get ready to have some fun converting your slow cooker recipes!

    Also Check: How To Cook Frozen Tamales In Instant Pot

    Things To Keep In Mind

    I think food tastes better when its slow cooked in an actual slow cooker rather than an Instant Pot. There are a few other factors that play into why:

    • Slow cooker pots are usually made of ceramic or porcelain. Instant Pot pots are stainless steel.
    • Slow cookers cook from all sides and the bottom. Instant Pot heats from the bottom only.

    Instant Pot

    How Do You Thicken Beef Stew

    There are a few ways to thicken a stew. I chose to use a slurry made from some of the broth in the stew, and corn starch. You whisk it together, then add it back into the stew bowl, and let it cook for a few more minutes to cook down and thicken. You have to give it some time to thicken.

    Another option is to add additional potatoes, and then scoop some of them out, and blend them up into a paste, then add them back in and let them act as a natural thickener. This is a great option if you dont or cant use corn starch as a thickener.

    Recommended Reading: What To Do If Your Instant Pot Says Burn

    The Quick Way: Pro Tip For Converting From Instant Pot Recipes To Slow Cooker

    I try to keep in mind that not everything is meant to be cooked in the crockpot. The same goes for the Instant Pot. Make sure that the recipe you are trying to convert is suitable for the crockpot.

    Now for the good stuff: the cheaters path to quickly converting slow cooker recipes.

    Find a similar crockpot recipe and use that as a base for your temperature and cooking time base.

    A great example is cooking something like my Instant Pot Lasagna. Although my recipe is a healthier alternative you can use a regular crockpot lasagna recipe as a guide for how to layer the lasagna and how long to cook it for.;

    Amazing Cakes To Make In Your Instant Pot

    How to Use the Instant Pot Slow Cooker Setting

    Here are Amazing Cakes to Make in Your Instant Pot, and Instant Pot Cake is perfect when its too hot to use the oven! Remember these ideas when youre making a special dinner during the warm weather months.;

    Instant Pot fans love the idea of cooking everything in this handy cooking appliance, and did you know you can bake amazing cakes in the Instant Pot. This round-up has a delicious collection of Amazing Cakes to Make in Your Instant Pot! Talented food bloggers have done all the experimenting so you can make cakes for birthdays and holiday celebrations in the Instant Pot any time of year and even keep your kitchen cool when its hot weather. There are 14 delicious Instant Pot cakes featured in this post; be sure to check the links after the photos to see all your options!

    Read Also: How Long To Steam Broccoli In Instant Pot

    Other Recipes You Will Love:

    • Put flour, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper into a ziptop bag.
    • Add cubed stew meat, and shake to coat your beef with the flour mixture
    • In a cast iron skillet or dutch oven, add olive oil and heat over medium-high heat. Sear the exterior of the beef to lock in flavors. Note: You can skip this step, but searing the beef will help it stay tender and moist, and give it better flavor.
    • Use ½ cup of beef broth or red wine to deglaze the pot, and pour pan juices and meat into the crock pot.
    • Add the remaining ingredients except corn starch to the slow cooker.
    • Cook covered for 4-5 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low.
    • Dip a ladle into the crock pot, and remove ½ a cup of liquid, pour it into a small bowl, and make a slurry using the cornstarch and liquid. Add it back into the crock pot and cook an additional 20-30 minutes to let stew thicken.
    • Add fresh parsley on top for garnish.

    How To Cook A Roast In The Instant Pot Tips & Tricks

    • You really do need to cook a blade or chuck roast for 120 minutes. Blade and chuck roasts are very tough and have fibers that absolutely need to be broken down by cooking, and cooking for a long time. Theses roasts take 8-10 hours in the crockpot, so 2 hours in the Instant Pot is definitely the way to go!
    • You need liquid and not just liquid you need DELICIOUS liquid. Food can be a bit bland when pressure cooking so you need to spice up!
    • If you have a roast that is from a quality butcher, you can try cooking it at 90 minutes. Grocery store roasts are generally lower quality. Play it by ear based on the meat quality of the roast you are cooking.
    • Thick roasts may need to be cooked a little longer as its thickness that determines how those fibers are going to break down inside.

    Just writing this post up makes me want to make this roast again. Its similar to that Mississippi roast in the fact that I use a package of dry Ranch dressing in it, but theres no peppers. Trust me, the dry Ranch dressing makes this delicious!

    Happy cooking everyone!


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  • When Should I Use Keep Warm Function

    How to Use you Instant Pot as a Slow Cooker

    The Instant Pot can be kept on Keep Warm after cooking most foods. In fact, its very handy if you are finished cooking before youre ready to serve food. Some foods like rice, quinoa, or anything that has soaked up a lot of liquid should be monitored or warmed in a more moist environment to prevent dryness or burning. You can select Keep Warm cycle before you start cooking or after.;

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    How Long Do You Cook A Roast In The Pressure Cooker

    The big question!

    The short answer? About 1 hour.

    The long answer:

    How long a roast will need to be pressure cooked depends mostly on how large the roast or the pieces are that you cut it into.

    I prefer to cut my roasts into chunks that are approximately 1 lb in size . However, the cook time also depends on the thickness of the pieces, so there has to be some wiggle room.

    To be on the safe side, you can always allow for a little extra time pressure cooking the meat I opt for about 1 hour pressure cooking on high for smaller pieces. If your roast is frozen, or it is in one large piece, you will want to add a significant amount of time to ensure that your meat is fall apart tender.

    How To Adapt Recipes For Instant Pot In 5 Simple Steps

    You already know how to adapt recipes for a slow cooker. But how can you get more use out of the appliance of the moment: the instant pot?

    Whats an instant pot? Were glad you asked. Its an electric appliance that functions the same way as a stovetop pressure cooker, sans stovetop. Instant pots;cook food by using heat in an enclosed environment: the pressure builds up around the food and breaks it down as a high-heat oven might. Its particularly good for cooking starchy vegetables and proteins quickly. As a bonus, an instant pot can be used as a slow cooker, rice cooker and steamer.

    If youre looking to convert an old favorite and save yourself time creating a healthy meal plan, heres how to adapt recipes for instant pot:

    Recommended Reading: How To Cook Chicken Tenders In Instant Pot

    Do You Seal The Instant Pot When Slow Cooking

    No. There is no need to seal the Instant Pot completely when you use your Instant Pot slow cooker function.

    When slow cooking in the Instant Pot, you can cover the pot using;a tempered glass lid or the regular Instant Pot lid.

    If you are using the Instant Pot lid, you need to move the;steam release valve to the venting position.

    Should You Use Your Instant Pot As A Slow Cooker

    How to Use Your Instant Pot as a Slow Cooker
    I know I can use my Instant Pot as a slow cooker, but should I ? Were giving you the scoop about if its all its cracked up to be.

    I think before jumping into the question in the headline of this article, we have to answer a different one first. Can you use your Instant Pot as a slow cooker? Absolutely. In fact, its one of the appliances purposes. The Instant Pot is most often used as an electric pressure cooker but yes, it also has a slow cooker setting.

    Should you use it? Ah, thats another question altogether.

    An Instant Pot is great at cooking things fast. Thats because its intended to be used as an electric pressure cooker. It does amazingly well in this regard. You can drop all your ingredients inside and have a ready-to-eat meal in under an hour.

    A slow cooker takes a longer approach to cooking, often taking between 4 and 12 hours to complete a meal. The longer you cook in a slow cooker, the more tender and flavorful your food. So, in theory, the Instant Pots ability to serve as both a slow cooker and an electric pressure cooker should make it a one stop shop for all your cooking needs, right?

    Not so much

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