If you’ve purchased an Instant Pot and you have yet to get to grips with all the wonderful ways it can change your cooking (and your life!), this is the article for you.
It’s a fantastic appliance, but it can take a little getting used to when it comes to taking your traditional stove, ove, and steamer recipes and converting them for the Instant Pot.
That’s because the main way the Instant Pot cooks is as a pressure cooker, using pressurized steam to cook your food. It often vastly reduces cooking times, which is where converting your recipes can get tricky.
Some will take a little trial and error, but here are some starter tips for converting your favorite stove, oven, and steamer recipes in the Instant Pot:
The first thing you’ll need to do is get familiar with some of the cooking modes you’ll use the most on the Instant Pot:
Pressure (or Manual depending on your model), is how you’ll do the majority of your cooking.
Saute can be used to saute or shallow fry any ingredients needed before pressure cooking.
The Steam function is useful for cooking some quick veggie sides.
There’s a lot of conflicting advice out there in terms of how to convert your stove, oven, and steamer recipe cooking times for the Instant Pot.
Timing can be tricky with the Instant Pot, and some recipes may take a little trial and error for them to come out perfectly. But there are some good rules of thumb you can follow for different types of food and recipes so their texture isn’t ruined through overcooking or undercooking.
Stove Top Recipes:
For stove-top recipes such as meat, soups, and vegetables, you’ll first use the Saute function for any shallow frying or sauteing the recipe requires before turning the cooking mode to Pressure/Manual, and usually on High pressure.
Then, you take the cooking time of the recipe and divide it by three (in minutes) to get your new cooking time. For example, if your stove top recipe calls for an hour of simmering, you’ll cook on High pressure for 20 minutes in the Instant Pot.
For Oven Recipes:
The rules are much the same for oven recipes when converting them for the Instant Pot. You simply take your recipe’s cooking time (in minutes) and divide by three for your new cooking time. The Pressure setting (Low, Medium, or High) will depend on what you are cooking. Sometimes, for very delicate cuts of meat or fish, low pressure is best. For the vast majority of the time, the High setting is the one you should use.
For many steamed items, you can cook them almost instantly on High pressure in the Instant Pot. Because the pot uses pressurized steam to cook, things like vegetables can be cooked almost instantaneously. Many healthy Instant Pot recipes involve the steaming of food for quick and nutritious cooking.
Just make sure you use your trivet or steamer basket to keep the food elevated above the water that you add to the pot. While the Instant Pot may need 5-10 minutes to reach pressure, once it does, your veggies will be done in less than 1 minute.
For other items, such as steamed cakes or desserts, the Instant Pot can take up to an hour to cook them thoroughly. In this case, it’s best to find some online Instant Pot versions of your chosen recipe where the work has been done for you! Online Instant Pot recipe indexes such as this one by Corriecooks are a great place to start.
When converting your stove, oven, or steamer recipes for the Instant Pot, there are a couple of other things you need to remember:
- Always add water (at least half a cup)
- Don’t fill the pot past the fill line
- Use the right pressure release method (natural or quick pressure release)
If you follow these rules, you should be cooking delicious all your favorite treats and meals in the Instant Pot in no time! Which will be the first recipe you decide to try?