Add At Least 1 Cup Of Liquid:
In a slow cooker, the process takes long enough that in many cases, meat can release its natural juices, and thats enough to keep it from drying out. Not so with the Instant Pot! If your slow cooker recipe doesn’t have at least 1 cup of liquid, make sure to add some. Usually, broth is a good solution for that, but water can work, too. Or if your recipe already has liquid in it, like the can of chicken broth in our Slow Cooker Moroccan Chicken Stew recipe, then youre good to go.
Scale Back Your Recipes
If you wanted to, you could fill a slow cooker to the brim with ingredients. Not so much with the Instant Pot, which wont pressurize if its too full. If it doesnt pressurize, the food wont cook properly, so make sure youre scaling back your recipes. In general, youll need to keep the ingredients level below the 2/3 full MAX FILL line. If youre cooking ingredients that expand , only fill the Instant Pot to the halfway mark. The best instant pot recipes ensure that you follow this step.
What Happens When An Instant Pot Is Left Unattended
You should never leave an instant pot unattended, but if you are simply working around your house and are close to the kitchen at all times, then it is not the end of the world to leave it to its own devices. An instant pot will simply keep cooking if left unattended.
Instant pots also have settings to keep food warm for a period of time after it is done cooking, so you could leave it to cook while you went to bed since the seals of Instant Pots are highly effective.
However, you should not do that if possible, especially if you are making food that has potential to foam:
- Instant pots have mechanisms to seal the pot and maintain that seal
- Foods that can foam or otherwise expand during the cooking process can inhibit the valves from doing their job and allow the food to overflow because the pot is not sealed correctly
Clean your pot regularly, and avoid sleeping while it is operating. Instant pots have mechanisms that both vent pressure if it reaches an unsafe level, and will not build pressure if it detects a leaky seal, so it will address those problems by itself. This does not mean you can leave it unattended for hours while you go out for the day it just means it will not explode if you leave it unattended for ten minutes.
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Here Are Our Tips Conversions And Cautions For Making Any Crockpot Recipe Instant Pot Friendly
Basics for converting a crockpot recipe into instant pot
Here are some basic rules to help you know what should be changed for your recipe to work as a pressure cooker recipe. Plus some tips to help you make the most of your Instant Pot!
One-cup liquid rule
Take advantage of the saute function
Use the bowl-in-bowl method:
How long to pressure cook a slow cooker recipe
For many recipes, you actually do not need to change anything but figure out pressure cook time! This is the case for many soups, meat-only recipes such as roasts or chicken. In the beginning it takes some experimenting and practice because no two meals are exactly alike. Here are some basic guidelines that will get you going in the right direction!
If a Crockpot recipe calls for 8 hours on low , it will probably be done perfectly in about 25 minutes in the Instant Pot. If it isnt done, just cook it for another 5 minutes on manual . And dont worry, the Instant Pot will come up to pressure much faster the second time because everything inside is still so hot.
The thicker the piece of meat, the longer it will need. Volume does not matter, but density does. So if you have a large, thick piece of meat it will need more time than the same amount of meat cut into smaller portions.
If you throw your meat in frozen, just add 5-10 minutes to the total pressure cooker time. If its a really huge block of lots of ground meat or something, maybe 10.
Liquid conversions for cooking beans and grains
Should You 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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How To Use The Instant Pot For Beginners
Learn how to use the Instant Pot with step-by-step instructions and photos for manual or smart program pressure cooker settings, how to sauté foods, and how and when to select a natural release or quick release options. Plus, we cover some Instant Pot FAQs and general tips to make your learning curve as the Instant Pot beginner less steep. Lets get started!
Looking at your shiny new Instant Pot box and wondering where to start? Dont panic! This wonderful kitchen gadget might seem intimidating but its actually very friendly once you get to know it. Lets unpack the box, its time to learn how to use the Instant Pot.
As part of our Instant Pot For Beginner series, we have also covered what the Instant Pot is and how it works with its key features and cooking stages. Make sure to check them out!
The One Thing To Do Before Slow Cooking In An Instant Pot
Chances are high that you bought an Instant Pot because it did more than just pressure cook. You may have even told yourself that youd get rid of one of your slow cookers if you really loved the Instant Pot after trying it out for a bit but then basically forgot that this multi-cooker did anything other than pressure cooking.
Recently I used my Instant Pot as a slow cooker to see if I could indeed replace my smaller four-quart slow cooker with it. A couple of near-fails later, this is the most important thing I learned.
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Double Check The Doneness Of Your Favorite Recipes
Its always a good idea to check the inner temperature of a slow-cooked meal to ensure the ingredients are heated throughout, and this step is especially important when youre slow-cooking in an Instant Pot.
You see, there are a few key differences between an Instant Pot and a traditional slow cooker. For one, a traditional slow cooker pot is typically made of thick ceramic, so the sides of the bowl heat up, cooking your food from all sides. With an Instant Pot, the thin metal pot doesnt get nearly as warm, so your food is only being cooked from the bottom.
Additionally, the temperature settings on an Instant Pot arent exactly the same as on a slow cooker. The brand lists the following temperature ranges for each setting:
- Less: 180-190°F
- Normal: 190-200°F
- More: 200-210°F
On a standard slow cooker, the low setting is generally around 190°F and the high setting is around 300°F. As you can see, the settings between the two appliances dont match up precisely, so it may take some trial and error to recreate your favorite recipes.
For these reasons, slow cooker recipes often take a bit longer to make in an Instant Pot, and youll want to check the inner temperature of your meal to confirm its reached a safe temperature before you dig in.
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Instant Pot Vs Slow Cooker
The Instant Pot also has one heat source at the bottom. However, the inner pot is too thin to retain heat in its walls for long. Also, the heat is generated by the steam thats trapped in the pot, which is fantastic for quick cooking, but not so great for slow cooking.
The uneven heat distribution will have an effect on the final texture of the food and a slight impact on it’s taste. So professional chefs and foodies may know you cheated and used an Instant Pot instead of a traditional slow cooker.
But you and me, probably won’t be able to understand the difference. So for us, Instant Pot is a great option for slow cooker recipes :]
More Instant Pot Recipes
- Our Favorite Bone Broth is made in a pressure cooker. Think of bone broth as a more intense, velvety broth. It can be used in recipes calling for stock or broth, but also doubles as a delicious and comforting soup to enjoy by itself.
- Easy Instant Pot Salsa Verde Chicken is perfect for serving with rice, cooked grains or in tortillas.
- Our Ultimate Pulled Pork is amazing when made in a pressure cooker. See our tips as well as how to make it in a slow cooker.
- These Instant Pot Eggs could not be simpler! If you are looking for a 100% foolproof method for how to cook hard or soft boiled eggs, this is it.
- I love making Homemade Applesauce in my pressure cooker! So easy.
How To Crisp Up The Pork
To add a more authentic texture to the Instant Pot Carnitas, take a few minutes to crisp up the meat once it has been shredded.
- Turn your broiler on your oven to high.
- Spread the shredded pork loin on a large rimmed baking sheet, along with ½ cup of the cooking juices.
- Place the baking sheet under the broiler for 3-5 minutes or until the juice has begun to evaporate and the meat begins to brown.
- At this point, you can flip the meat, add an additional ½ cup cooking liquid, and repeat the process on the remaining side, or you can serve as is.
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Why Do Most Recipes Use Manual Settings Instead Of Smart Program Buttons
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.
Slow Cooker To Instant Pot Conversion
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!
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Why You Should Not Use Your Instant Pot As A Slow Cooker
Yes, there’s a setting, but your slow-cooker recipes aren’t going to work as well in it.
Editor’s Note: The Instant Pot is great for making a lot of amazing things, from perfect stuffed peppers, to delicious deviled eggs and more. But most of the time, we love it for its speedy pressure-cooking capabilities. So what about that other button, the one that says “slow cook” on it?
Use Rice Button For Cooking All Types Of Rice
Mistake: Weve heard some new Instant Pot users have less than satisfactory results with their rice cooked in the Instant Pot using the Rice Button.
Dont be discouraged!
Solution: Different types of rice require different water to rice ratios& cooking times. For best results, we like to use the Manual Button for most control on Cooking Method & Time.
Here are our Perfect Rice Recipes:
How Long Does It Take To Cook Slow Cooker Chili
You can be very flexible with the cooking time when you make slow cooker chili in the Instant Pot. This is a patient dish that waits until you’re ready for it. I have served mine after as little as three hours on the SLOW COOK setting, but you could leave it as long as eight. The longer you let it sit, the more the flavours will blend.
Slow Cooker Chili also reheats very well on the stovetop the next day.
How To Cook Beans In The Slow Cooker
Heres how to cook dried beans in a slow cooker:
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What Is Low Slow Cooker Setting On Instant Pot
Your Instant Pot is a multi-cooker device, meaning it can perform several functions instead of just one. An Instant Pot is mainly a pressure cooker that saves you a lot of time, but aside from that, you can use it to sauté or brown food, make yogurt, cook rice, steam cook, and slow cook.
Although Instant Pots have slow cooker functionality, shown by the button Slow Cook on the panel, they were not primarily created for slow cooking, but the opposite. They were made to speed up the cooking process, whereas a crockpot/slow cooker slows it down.
Because the Instant Pots Slow Cook function is not equal to slow cooker temperatures, it can make slow cooking in the Instant Pot a little tricky .
So, when using an Instant Pot as a slow cooker, you must keep a few things in mind:
- An Instant Pot only heats from the bottom, whereas a slow cooker heats from all sides.
- If you are transitioning from a crockpot, its worth noting that a crock pots internal temperature at a particular setting is always 20 to 30 percent higher than an Instant Pot.For example, the keep warm setting of a crockpot provides the heat equivalent of the low setting of an Instant Pot.
Conversions from Instant Pot to Slow Cooker
- Low on Instant Pot =Keep Warm on Slow Cooker
- Medium on Instant Pot = Low on Slow Cooker
- High on Instant Pot = Medium-High on Slow Cooker
What Is An Instant Pot
An Instant Pot is a brand of electric pressure cooker . A pressure cooker is an appliance that makes use of a fundamental piece of physics to cook food at different temperatures. To boil it down to its most basic level, a pressure cooker prevents boiling from occurring in liquids. This means that the Instant Pot can use much higher temperatures to cook food, leading to faster cooking times for food that would traditionally require a long cook time. There are two types of pressure cookers available on the market: stove-top ones, and standalone units that plug into an electrical socket. The Instant Pot is a type of standalone, electric pressure cooker. The Instant Pot does have a slow cooker function, but its important to know a few tips and tricks to make sure youre using that setting correctly.
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How To Start The Instant Pot
Step 1. Place the Instant Pot on a sturdy countertop or a table close to a power socket. Make sure there is plenty of open space above the pot as you will have steam eject from the lid up in the air if you quick release the pressure.
Step 2. Make sure the inner pot is inside the cooker base and is clean. Plug the power cord in. Instant Pot will switch on and the OFF status symbol will appear on the control panel. This is called a standby mode.
Step 3. Decide on which cooking method you want to use from the below scenarios. This will depend on what you want to cook. Usually, recipe instructions will guide you along here.
In general, your choices will come down to whether you want to Sauté food first and then whether you want to use a manual setting or one of the smart programs.