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If you own an Instant Pot or are thinking about investing in one, you’ll know that they are extremely useful kitchen appliances to add to your collection. Once you own one, you will find yourself using it all of the time, especially when the holidays roll around.
With that being said, however, the buttons on the Instant Pot can be quite confusing at first. There are so many settings, options, and buttons that you can easily become lost on what to do and how to do it.
How to Adjust and Set Cooking Time on an Instant Pot
This is especially true when you are trying to set or simply adjust the cooking time on your Instant Pot. In this article, we are going to outline just how you can easily adjust or set the time on your Instant Pot so that your food is prepared exactly how you want it.
While Instant Pots normally have set times for each type of food, the actual cooking time often varies. Below are some of the most commonly made foods and their usual cooking times (though it may not be true in every case).
- Soup: 30 mins on high pressure
- Meat or Stew: 20 mins on high pressure
- Beans or Chili: 30 mins on high pressure
- Chicken or Turkey: 12-25 mins on high pressure
Once you have found the correct time for the type of food you want to cook, there are various ways to set the time on your Instant Pot depending on how you want to cook and serve your food. Below are some of the settings that you can choose from:
- Slow Cook: This can be set from 30 minutes to 20 hours depending on when you want it to be done. Choose this for tough cuts of meat that require long, slow cooking in liquid to tenderize them.
- Sauté: This will depend upon what you are preparing but it is quicker and hotter than the slow cook setting.
How to Set the Time on Your Instant Pot
Now comes the fun part: setting the cooking time on your Instant Pot. Below are the steps you need to take in order to set and adjust the time according to your cooking:
- Press the “Manual” button to begin.
- The cooking time will appear on the screen. (This will either be automatic or carried over from the last time you set it.)
- Use both the + and – buttons to increase or decrease the time.
- If you hit the – button too many times, it will begin to count down from 24 hours.
*Keep in mind that the + and – buttons are for the time, not for the temperature or pressure in this case.
If you do not want to use the manual time but instead want to use a delayed cooking timer, below are the steps that you must follow:
- Choose either “Manual” or “Slow Cook” mode.
- Set the time you wish to cook for.
- Within 10 seconds of setting the time, you must click the “Timer” button.
- Using the + and – keys, you must set your delay time.
*If you would like to stop the delayed cooking or cancel the time, press either the “Keep Warm” or “Cancel” buttons.
Cook Time and Total Time – What’s the Difference?
Remember that before the cooking time begins, the Instant Pot will need some time to pressurize. It normally takes about ten minutes to get to cooking pressure but will be different for different sized pots, the amount of food inside, and the temperature of the food and liquid you have put inside.
Also, you need to bear in mind that you’ll need time for the pressure release at the end of the cook. If you’re doing a natural pressure release, you will be allowing the pot to cool down on its own and the pressure to come down. This can take up to twenty minutes.
This is recommended for tough cuts of meat or food that make a lot of foam. So, if a recipe tells you that the food must cook for twenty minutes, add another twenty minutes or so to your planning time for serving the meal.
If you’re going to do a quick release, it involves manually opening the steam release valve to “vent” so that the steam can come out at once under high pressure. As the name suggests, this method is quick so you will not have to allow for more than a couple of minutes.
This is recommended for tender cuts of meat or vegetables that you don’t want to overcook.
Frequently Asked Questions
- If I double the ingredients in the recipe, must I double the time?
It is perfectly acceptable to double a recipe for your Instant Pot as long as you don’t go over the “max fill” mark. The cooking time does not need to be doubled.
Rather, the time is adjusted depending on the size of the pieces of meat or vegetables inside. The smaller the pieces, the faster they’ll cook.
- If I halve the ingredients in the recipe, must I halve the time?
No, you do not need to halve the time. For fast-cooking things such as pasta, we recommend cutting the time down a little – a couple of minutes.
- Can I adjust the cooking time if the pot is already cooking?
You certainly can. Simply press the “Cancel” or “Keep Warm” button. Then, press “Manual” and raise or lower the number of minutes. Do not remove the lid. Continue cooking for the new time.
We hope you’re feeling more confident now about setting and adjusting the cooking time on your Instant Pot. Enjoy your new appliance!