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 its 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 wont be able to understand the difference. So for us, Instant Pot is a great option for slow cooker recipes :]
Prepare The Dry Rub And Pot Roast
In a small bowl combine ½ teaspoon each of garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, white pepper, sweet Hungarian paprika , and ground thyme. Add a tablespoon of dried parsley and ¼ teaspoon of hot red pepper flakes.
Pat the meat dry with paper towels. This will result in a better sear for the roast. Coat the beef in the rub, and set aside.
This makes enough rub to cover a 2 1-2- to 4-pound pot roast. For each additional pound of meat increase each ingredient for the rub .
Slice one onion, two stalks of celery, and two carrots. Next, open a bottle of red wine, and set aside to breathe.
If you are not a wine drinker this step can be skipped, and it can be substituted with ¼ cup of additional beef broth to deglaze the bottom of the liner after the saute step.
Omit A Few Ingredients While Cooking Under Pressure
There are a few ingredients that dont work well under pressure. The Instant Pot gets too hot too quickly for dairy which means they can scorch. Modify your recipe so youre adding these ingredients after youve finished the pressure cooking setting.
Similarly, thickening ingredients also cause problems by preventing the Instant Pot from building pressure correctly. If your recipe calls for flour-coated chicken , saute the chicken without the flour to avoid any problems. You can add any thickening agents at the end and simmer them in using the Saute function.
Finally, since liquid doesnt evaporate under pressure, avoid adding wine or beer to Instant Pot recipes. The alcohol vapors wont burn off like they do in the slow cooker, so youll end up with an incredibly tart, acidic or malty flavor in your dish.
Don’t Miss: Instapot Tamales
Other Things To Consider
Macaroni and Cheese:It’s beautiful when made in an Instant Pot but will end up a broken, clumpy mess in a slow cooker. Its best not to convert from Instant Pot to slow cooker.
A Word on Alcohol: A slow cooker has the advantage of venting over a long period of time so alcohol will ultimately cook off. The same is not true for an Instant Pot and residual alcohol could leave food bitter. Try using lemon juice, vinegar or even broth in place of wine or booze.
Be sure to document all your changes all the way. Once you’ve mastered the new recipe, type it up and share with friends and family!
Carnitas The Easy Way
According to Wikipedia, Carnitas are made by braising or simmering pork in oil or preferably lard until tender.
You guys, I have been doing this carnitas thing all wrong! I do NOT simmer my pork roast in lard or oil!
But guess what? My recipe for Instant Pot Mexican Pork still tastes a LOT like traditional carnitas–tender, juicy, and full of flavor. Just minus the lard and the HOURS of work!
So while this recipe may not be traditional, it is easy and delicious–and everyone loves these Instant Pot Carnitas!
Also Check: How To Cook Frozen Tamales In Instant Pot
There Are 2 Things To Know About Using Your Instant Pot As A Slow Cooker
First, the Instant Pot only heats from the bottom surface, whereas typical slow cookers heat from the bottom and all of the sides.
Second, setting the Instant Pot slow cook function isn’t the most intuitive.
If you select slow cook function, set your time, and walk away, you may have accidentally set your Instant Pot to “keep warm”.
Unfortunately the terms used on the Instant Pot face plate for slow cooker temperature settings are not awesome.
With a regular slow cooker you are used to “Keep Warm”, “Low”, and “High”.
But, on your Instant Pot, those settings are called “Less”, “Normal”, and “More”
If you simply press slow cooker, set the time, and walk away, you may have your pot set to “Less” – which is essentially a keep warm function.
So, here is the run down of how to set your Instant Pot for slow cooking:
As for the lid. You can use the regular instant pot lid, and set it to vent. Or, you can get a clear instant pot lid, OR you can use a lid form your pots and pans set that fits!
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.
Read Also: Pressure Cooker Frozen Chicken Tenders
The Three Most Important Instant Pot Buttons
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.
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.
Recommended Reading: What To Do When Instant Pot Says Food 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.
Convert Slow Cooker To Instant Pot Cooking Times
The time difference between crock pots and instant pots is a ton! As you can see from the conversion chart, while fish cooking time in the slow cooker is pretty quick at 1-2 hours on low, that same fish fillet is only 5 minutes in an instant pot.
White rice is similar with 1 1/2- 2 hours in the slow cooker and only 5 minutes in the instant pot.
You May Like: Are Instant Pot Lids Dishwasher Safe
Best Roasts For Making Pot Roast
Tough cuts with lots of connective tissue that would be like chewing shoe leather if you cooked it quickly in a pan are the perfect cuts to use.
- Chuck Roast: tender, falls apart and easy to shred.
- Brisket: has a lot of connective tissue making it fattier cut that gets super tender while cooking slow, but can still be sliced for serving
- Round: a lean and easy to slice cut.
Slow cooking these cuts breaks the collagen down, tenderising the meat. The beef releases its juices into the broth, providing your roast with incredible flavour. Adding flour or cornstarch turns that liquid gold into a delicious, thick gravy.
Is An Instant Pot The Same As A Slow Cooker
What is the difference between a crockpot and Instant Pot? is the most popular question I get asked all the time. Mostly by people who already have a slow cooker and are wondering if they need to buy an Instant Pot. Dont worry, until late 2017 I was convinced I do not need an Instant Pot because I had 3 slow cookers. So, you are not alone.
Instant Pot and slow cooker are not the same appliances.
Also Check: Can You Make Hard Boiled Eggs 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.
Converting Cook Times For Pressure Cookers
Probably your biggest remaining question is how long to cook your slow cooker recipe in the Instant Pot. Below are some guidelines, but we recommend you take notes of what works for you and what doesnt. For many people, theres a learning curve to using a pressure cookertrial and error is part of the fun! Also, its important to read the manual that came with your electric pressure cooker for cooking specific meats thoroughly.
Also Check: What To Do If Your Instant Pot Says Burn
How To Make Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
- Place a diced onion into the bottom of a slow cooker.
- Combine spices together in a small bowl.
- Gently pat the pork roast dry with a paper towel, so that the rub adheres to the pork better.
- Rub the seasonings evenly over the pork roast. ingredients for the rub and generously rub pork roast evenly with the rub.
- Place pork roast on top of the onion in the slow cooker.
- Mix together the apple juice, vinegar, sauce, and honey together and pour over the pork.
- Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.
- After cook time, remove pork from slow cooker and place in large bowl or cutting board.
- Strain off cooking liquid and pour over pulled pork to coat. Note: If you want to strain off the fat that accumulated prior to pouring liquid over pork, simple place liquid in the freezer for 5-10 minutes, then scoop the solidified fat off the liquid,
- Return the sauce to the slow cooker. If you would like your sauce to thicken up, turn the slow cooker to high heat and cook the sauce uncovered for 20- 30 minutes
- Shred pork with 2 forks or a handheld kitchen mixer and return to the cooking liquid
Why Use The Slow Cook Function When Pressure Cooking Is Faster
Pressure cooking has its place when it comes to cooking beans. I personally havent been thrilled with the texture of pinto beans when I have pressure cooked them. They tend to be a bit toothy. Sort of tough, if you will. But only the skins. The inside is soft but the skin is tough.
Hope that makes sense.
That said, pressure cooked beans are great for putting in chili, soup, or stews. And also hold up amazingly well in the freezer!
I have always cooked my beans in a slow cooker and absolutely LOVE how they come out.
You May Like: Instant Pot Says C7
Can I Use Frozen Beef
You might be wondering if you can use frozen beef for pot roast. Technically, the answer is yes, the cook time will just be longer .
That said, for the best results, we highly recommend following our method which calls for thawed beef thats seasoned with salt and been left on the counter long enough to take the chill off. This extra time creates the most flavorful, melt-in-your-mouth pot roast. Using thawed beef also allows us to brown the outside of the meat before braising it, which adds a lot of extra flavor to dish.
Maillard Browning And Reduction
Maillard browning is not something you typically associate with moist cooking techniques, but it actually plays a vital role in flavor development in a good braise or stew, even beyond any initial browning steps you may take before you add your liquid.
Dutch ovens placed in the oven exhibit the most browning. That’s because they heat from all directions, including the top. As a stew cooks, bits of food sticking out above the surface, or, in some cases, areas of concentrated proteins directly on the surface of the liquid, can brown significantly, as can any bits of food that are deposited around the sides of the pot as liquid reduces. This effect is enhanced by cooking with the lid ever-so-slightly cracked to encourage evaporation,** though, even with the lid completely sealed, the heat coming from above will help add some browned flavors.
** This tactic also helps keep the contents of the pot at a sub-simmering 180 to 190°F or soa good temperature range for braising.
See, for example, the darkly browned bits of tomato that formed on the surface and edges of a batch of my Slow-Cooked Red Sauce:
This batch of tomato sauce tasted thin and watery even after eight hours of slow cooking:
The difference was even starker with beef stew. Take a look at the deep color developed in this batch of beef stew, cooked in a Dutch oven:
Then the slightly lighter color of one cooked in a pressure cooker:
And finally, this one, cooked in a slow cooker:
Recommended Reading: How Long To Cook Pre Cooked Ribs In Instant Pot
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.
Ways To Serve Carnita Meat
Instant Pot Carnita Meat can be served in endless ways.
- Serve the shredded pork on homemade tortillas topped with avocado, and cabbage for simple pork tacos.
- Use the pork in a Burrito Bowl, on served on top of Instant Pot Cilantro Lime Rice.
- Replace the chicken with the Instant Pot Carnitas in Mexican Cobb Salad, or in the filling of Chicken Enchiladas.
- Instead of taco meat, top a Mexican Pizza with the shredded Mexican pork and bake as directed.
- I love making a simple slaw by mixing together ¼ cup of sour cream and Greek yogurt together with the juice of 1 lime, a handful of chopped cilantro, 1 teaspoon cumin, and ½ teaspoon of salt. Stir 3 cups of cabbage into the mixture. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving with the shredded pork.
You May Like: How To Cook Frozen Meat In Instant Pot
How To Use Your Instant Pot As A Slow Cooker
It is not as straightforward as you would think to use your Instant Pot as a Slow Cooker. This guide walks you through the modifications you need to know when using your pressure cooker as a slow cooker so that you can have Instant Pot success!
It is not as easy as hitting the slow cooker function on your Instant Pot and expecting the Instant Pot to cook the recipe just as the slow cooker would. I briefly cover using the slow cooker function on Instant Pot Functions, but this delves into the topic a bit more deeply, giving you the recipe for success when using an Instant Pot as a Slow Cooker.
The Instant Pot Slow Cooker function is not equivalent to the temperatures on a slow cooker, which can make using your instant pot like a slow cooker tricky.