How to Convert Recipes for an Instant Pot (2024)

Instant Pot Instant Pot Tutorials By Kristen Chidsey | 185 Comments | *This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

Are you trying to make your favorite recipes in the Instant Pot? This guide will walk you through how you can convert stovetop and slow cooker recipes to make them work using an electric pressure cooker.

How to Convert Recipes for an Instant Pot (1)

One of the most frequently asked questions I get isHow can I make (fill in the blank) in the Instant Pot?While I have a growing collection of Instant Pot Recipes, you may have a desire to try making your family favorites in the Instant Pot.

And I want to help do just that! My tips AND list of cautions will help you begin to feel confident converting your family recipes to Instant Pot success.

What Recipes Can Be Converted?

Before you try to convert a recipe to an Instant Pot recipe, ask yourself if your recipe can and/or should be made in the Instant Pot.

While many recipes can be adapted to be made in the Instant Pot, there are things you should NEVER cook in your Instant Pot. For example, dishes like fried chicken or a juicy ribeye steak should never be attempted in a pressure cooker, as the results will never be the same.

However, an Instant Pot excels at making inexpensive cuts of meats tender and making complex soups or chili that taste as though they have simmered all day, but are ready in less than an hour.

∗ important to remember when selecting a recipe to convert ∗

How do you know if a recipe will work in the Instant Pot? There are a few things that you want to keep in mind when choosing a recipe to adapt for the Instant Pot.

  • Choose recipes that already have thin liquid in them (like stock, water, juice, beer, etc); require a longer cooking time, such as dried beans or pot roast, and/or use moist heat to cook, such as cheesecake.
  • In general, avoid recipes that include something breaded, dairy-based, and/or quick-cooking cuts of meat or tender vegetables.

How to Convert Recipes into Instant Pot Recipes

Once you decide if your recipe is suitable for pressure cooking, it is time to convert your recipe.

Use my following tips as a starting point for converting your favorite stovetop or slow cooker recipes to Instant Pot recipes. Please keep in mind that not every recipe will work in an Instant Pot, and sometimes it takes trial and error to perfect the timing. Keep notes on results so you can keep track of what works and what doesn't.

  • Oven/Stovetop to Instant Pot Conversion: Divide the cooking time by 3. Cook on high pressure for that time and allow for natural pressure release when cooking soups, chili, or meat. Use a quick pressure release if cooking seafood or delicate vegetables.
  • For Recipes Made in Slow Cooker/Crock-Pot: Refer to the amount of time that a recipe needs to cook on high and multiply that by 6. Cook for that many minutes. For example, for a recipe that needs to cook for 4 hours on high, multiply 4 by 6 to get 24. You would cook your recipe for 24 minutes on high pressure.
  • Pasta Recipes: Use 2 cups of liquid per cup of dry pasta. Divide the longest cooking time listed on the box of pasta in half and cook for that time on high pressure. Allow for exactly 5 minutes of natural pressure release, then do a quick release of pressure.

Conversion Chart for Converting Recipes

Grab this chart and hang it in an area that will help you convert your favorite recipes into Instant Pot Success!

Click on the graphic or here to print this PDF for Instant Pot Conversions

Important Things to Remember

This conversion chart is a very basic starting point. It is important to keep in mind the following tips whenever you convert recipes for an Instant Pot.

  • If you live at a higher elevation refer to Instant Pot Altitude Adjustments and make the necessary additional adjustments.
  • Cook on HIGH pressure using the manual or pressure cook button, not by using the various settings on the instant pot. It is best to manually adjust the pressure and cooking time yourself.
  • Be sure to add enough liquid. All recipes need at least 1 cup of liquid in a 3 or 6-quart instant pot and 1.5 cups of liquid in an 8-quart instant pot for the right pressure to be achieved.
  • Don't use TOO MUCH liquid. If you are converting a stovetop soup, you may want to decrease the liquid by ½ cup, as the liquid will not evaporate from the Instant Pot as they do on the stove.
  • Do NOT add cornstarch, flour, or dairy products.These ingredients can cause burn warnings and will not allow your pressure cooker to reach pressure. The exception to this rule is heavy cream.
  • Do NOT overfill your pressure cooker.Never fill the inner pot over ⅔rd of the way full with liquid. Never fill the inner pot over ½ way full when cooking rice or beans.
  • Want to use your Instant Pot as a Slow Cooker? Refer to my guide on how to use your Instant Pot as a Slow Cooker.
  • What if your recipe is not cooked fully after the cooking time elapses? Don't panic! Place the lid back on your Instant Pot and add additional cook time. It will not take as long to come to pressure the second time.
  • Experiment! But at the right time! I would NOT experiment with recipes BEFORE you try out a few recipes that have been tested by others. Once you are familiar with pressure cooking, then you can start to experiment. Be sure to keep notes and document any changes that need to be made so that you have a point of reference for recipes in the Instant Pot.

Still nervous to experiment? Check out my Instant Pot Recipes. The timing has been tried, tested, and true!

« How to Use Your Instant Pot as a Slow Cooker

The Best Crockpot Minestrone Soup Recipe »

About Kristen Chidsey

Hi, I am Kristen, creator of A Mind "Full" Mom. I believe that making a wholesome family meal does not need to be hard or expensive! I love nothing more than to share with you delicious solutions for your hungry family.

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  1. Alan

    You state, "The exception to this rule is heavy cream." Is yogurt also an exception?

    Reply

    • Kristen Chidsey

      The setting for yogurt is only 115 degrees F and does not reach pressure. I don't recommend using yogurt when cooking under pressure.

      Reply

  2. Colbyt

    Thank you for an intelligently and well written article. You have given me a starting point for a recipe I wish to convert.

    Reply

  3. Carolynne

    I have an old fashioned pressure cooker. My mom used to make Christmas Pudding and the instructions are 5 lbs for 3 hours. What would it be on my Instant pot?

    Reply

    • Kristen Chidsey

      Hi Carolynne! I would need to see the recipe to see if this recipe is even doable. You would need to cook the pudding in a heat-safe vessel on a rack above water. As for timing, 3 hours seems extraordinarily long, but I am not familiar with this recipe. You may want to see if you can find a recipe for Instant Pot Christmas Pudding as a guide to timing. Sorry I can't be of more help with this particular recipe.

      Reply

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How to Convert Recipes for an Instant Pot (2024)

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