How To Convert Slow Cooker Recipes To Instant Pot
If youre on social media, you know that the Instant Potor any variation of electric pressure cookeris super hot right now. You may have even gotten yourself a shiny new Instant Pot for Christmas. But you might also be a bit intimidated to dive in. And, if you’ve been a long-time fan of slow cooking, youre probably wondering if you can use your favorite slow cooker recipes in your Instant Pot.
What do you know? We have tips on how to convert your slow cooker recipes to Instant Pot recipes! By converting your recipes, you can keep making your familys faves even when you dont have time for the slow cooker.
Can You Use Your Instant Pot As A Slow Cooker
Can Instant Pot be used as a slow cooker? Yes but it is not as simple because Instant Pot slow cooker setting temperatures are running about about 30-50 degrees F lower than on actual CrockPot. Therefore, food takes longer to cook and times have to be adjusted. But you can still use your electric pressure cooker as a slow cooker, if you wish. Here is how.
Cleaning In The Dishwasher
While the sealing ring is dishwasher-safe, your best bet is to use the steaming method outlined above regularly to keep the ring clean and odor-free. If its been a while since you last cleaned the sealing ring , the dishwasher will certainly give it a good cleaning, but it might not completely get the odor out.
More About the Instant Pot
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What Is An Instant Pot
The Instant Pot is an electric pressure cooker. A pressure cooker is an appliance that uses physics to cook food at different temperatures. A pressure cooker boils the food down to its simplest level.
The Instant Pot can cook food at higher temperatures, which allows for faster cooking. There are two types available: those that can be used on a stovetop and those that can plug into an electric socket. An electric pressure cooker that can be used as a standalone unit is the Instant Pot. Although the Instant Pot has a slow cooker function you should know some tricks and tips to ensure that you are using it correctly.
A New Lid Is The Secret To Slow Cooking In The Instant Pot
Unless youve read the Instant Pot manual cover to cover, you might not know that one of the most important considerations when using the Instant Pot as a slow cooker is the Instant Pots lid. In fact, Instant Pot sells an additional glass lid to aid with slow cooking. The Instant Pots standard lid is designed to tightly seal and keep moisture in, which is great if youre pressure cooking pork shoulder but less so if youre trying to slow cook fruit butter.
Before you use your Instant Pot as a slow cooker, find a replacement lid. You might be able to use the lid of another pot that you have at home or you may need to order one of Instant Pots glass lids, depending on your Instant Pot model. Another tip, taken from an Instant Pot Facebook group, is to open the valve all the way on your Instant Pot lid when slow cooking. This allows some moisture and steam to release and keeps the Instant Pot from overcooking your slow cooker recipes.
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Slow Cooker Pot Roast
A pot roast is such a wonderful dinner to make. You get delicious tender veggies along with some juicy chunks of shredded beef. This is fantastic for a Sunday dinner with the family. Many sides can go with this, because you are pairing this up with a delicious gravy. Doing this in the slow cooker or instant pot, really makes this recipe easy with little clean up.
2 – 3lb chuck roast or chuck tender roast
1lb Red potatoes whole
3 large carrots chopped in big portions
3 Celery stalks chopped in big portions
½ onion chopped
¼ cup of all-purpose flour
½ stick of unsalted butter
Take the beef roast and season with salt and pepper, and let sit in room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour.
Set the instant pot on sear, sear both sides of the roast for 4 minutes each. Once you have a nice sear on both sides remove the roast.
Add in the chopped onions, and allow the onions to deglaze the bottom of the instant pot. Stir scraping the bottom occasionally.
Once the bottom is deglazed, turn off the instant pot.
Add in the beef broth, vegetables, garlic, thyme, and a couple of pinches of salt and pepper.
Add in the roast, place the lid on the instant pot with the vent open.
Select slow cook, and set to high heat for 4 5 hours. Depending how thick your roast is, you may need an additional time. Chuck roasts should be ok for 4 hours.
In the instant pot on sauté with less heat or pan over medium low heat, add in your butter to start melting it.
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.
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How To Make Pot Roast In A Pressure Cooker
In our photos, we are using a 6-quart Instant Pot, which is an electric pressure cooker. Other brands make electric pressure cookers, too. If you own one of them, you should be able to use this recipe without any problems .
Step 1, Season the beef and bring to room temperature. Ive already touched on this above, but Ill quickly do it again, here. After testing, we found that when we left the beef out on the counter to come closer to room temperature before cooking it, the pot roast was much more tender at the end of the cook time. I also love that the beef gets a chance to sit with the salt for about an hour before cooking. In this time, the salt seeps into the meat and helps to season and tenderize it.
Step 2, Brown the beef on all sides. By browning the beef on all sides before cooking at high pressure, we add color to the meat and add lots of flavor to the pot. For a one pot meal, brown the beef right in the pressure cooker using the Saute function. If your pressure cooker does not have this function, simply brown the beef in a heavy pan on the stove. After browning, I remove the beef so I can move onto the veggies.
Step 5, Pressure cook until the beef is tender. As I mentioned above, the time you need to cook will vary depending on how large the piece of beef is that you are cooking. We have found that a 3-pound roast takes 60 minutes at high pressure before it is tender.
Will I Need To Adjust Traditional Slow Coker Recipes To Cook In An Electric Pressure Cooker
You may need to adjust your favorite recipes when you start cooking them in your Instant Pot. The electric pressure cooker slow cooker function tends to cook a little hotter, and you will get less evaporation when you use the pressure cooking lid, even with the valve open.
You may want to use a little less liquid in soups and stews once you get used to making a few recipes. However, Id start with the same amounts. Before serving switch to the saute setting and cook off any extra liquid that might remain.
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Genuine Instant Pot Tempered Glass Lid
This glass lid is great for containing splatters and keeping an eye on your meal when youre using non-pressurized settings like Sauté and Slow Cook. Just set the glass lid right on top of the inner pot to keep your kitchen counters clean and prevent your food from drying out while it cooks. This could be my #1 favorite Instant Pot accessory of all!
Best Air Fryer Lid: Instant Pot 6
While this air fryer lid is one of the most expensive Instant Pot accessories you can buy, it saves you from having to purchase a completely different device for air frying your food. Plus, youll save space in your kitchen by having an Instant Pot that also doubles as an air fryer. The detachable lid features user-friendly controls and comes with a multi-level air fryer basket, a broiling/dehydrating rack, and a protective pad.
Our tester found that it performed well when she wanted to pressure steam potato wedges and then use the air fryer function to brown and crisp them. However, the fryer basket is small so this works best for smaller portions. The fryer lid is compatible with the 6-quart Lux, Duo, Duo Plus, Viva, Nova Plus, Ultra, and Duo Nova models.
If youre going to cook whole eggs in your Instant Pot, you want to keep them from rolling around or bumping into each other, which can result in breakage. This ingenious egg rack holds nine eggs and keeps them neatly apart during cooking. You can also use it as a steaming rack in the Instant Pot when youre not cooking eggs. Outside the Instant Pot, you can use this as a trivet for any of your cookware, since its made from heat-safe silicone, or in a pot on the stove or even in your slow cooker when your food needs a lift.
How To Make Crockpot Carnitas
- Cut the pork roast into 3 to 4-inch chunks and season all sides with salt and pepper.
- In a large crockpot, mix together the beer, orange juice, and seasonings.
- Place the seasoned pork into the mixture inside the crockpot.
- Set the crockpot to low for 10-12 hours or on high 5-7 hours.
- Once the meat has cooked, shred the pork with two forks and mix into the juices that were rendered while cooking.
How Long Does It Take To Cook Pot Roast In A Pressure Cooker
The time it takes to cook pot roast in an Instant Pot will vary depending on how large your piece of meat is. For a 3-pound piece of beef, the total time required will be about 2 hours and 30 minutes. This includes the time to bring the beef to room temperature , searing time, and the cook time required inside the pressure cooker.
I know 2 hours and 30 minutes might seem like a long time, but for ultra-tender and juicy beef, we need all of it. The great news is that a pressure cooker makes much quicker work of pot roast compared to a slow cooker, oven, or when it is cooked on the stove-top.
Now, I mentioned there was extra time for bringing the beef to room temperature. After testing this pot roast recipe in our own kitchen, we found that if you start with beef straight out of the refrigerator, the roast doesnt become as tender as when you give the beef some time out of the fridge so that it comes up to room temperature before cooking it.
For a three pound roast, we found that leaving it on the counter for 1 hour was perfect. This extra time has another benefit, it gives us a chance to season the meat. Right after taking the beef out of the fridge, we season it liberally with salt, which means that as the beef sits, the salt has a chance to seep into the meat, making it extra tasty when cooked.
As a general rule, when cooking roasts in a pressure cooker, assume 20 minutes of cook time for every pound of meat.
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Instant Pots Vs Traditional Slow Cookers
Both Instant Pots and slow cookers excel at comforting, succulent braised dishes . This is the sweet spot for slow cooking.
While the two appliances both have the ability to slow cook, slow cooker devotees are likely to want to keep their Crock-Pot around, as the Instant Pot doesnt perform in quite the same way as a slow cooker.
Compare Slow Cooker To Instant Pot Time
The instant pot works well for me because I have a hard time planning ahead! It enables me to start dinner at 4 pm and still be fine. The slow cooker can be a problem when you dont even think about starting it until noon!
I do think the slow cooker does make meat more tender. So, while I generally will choose speed, when it comes to a roast, I prefer the slow cooker.
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Smart Program Pressure Cooking
If you choose to use one of the pre-set smart program options, the steps are even simpler. Please refer to our post on Smart Program Instant Pot Buttons Explained for how to adjust each setting.
Step 1. Start the Instant Pot. Insert the inner pot into the cooker base.
Step 2. Add ingredients and liquids to the inner pot. Stir if needed or leave layered.
Step 3. Secure and lock the lid. Make sure everything feels well sealed.
Step 4. Select one of the Smart Program buttons. Pre-set cooking time and pressure level will display. You can leave it as is or adjust things like the pressure level from HIGH to LOW. You can press the Smart Program button again to cycle through the Less, Normal and More time options or use the and + buttons to adjust the cooking time further. If you make any adjustments to the selected Smart Program, they will be remembered next time you use it.
Step 5. Preheating & pressurizing stage begins followed by cooking under pressure as per program settings. Once the Instant Pot beeps again and the timer has reached zero, the cooking process is done.
Step 6. You can do a quick release or allow the built-up pressure to release naturally , or do both depending on the food/recipe.
Step 10. Once pressure is released, open the lid and stir or remove the contents.
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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:
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.
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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 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 :]