No more guessing! Get these helpful Instant Pot cheat sheets for cooking times for vegetables, pulses, rice, and grains, along with poultry and seafood.
For those who you want to make your own recipes in the Instant Pot, understanding the smart programs and when to use them is very important. After using the Instant Pot for over two years, I have figured out the pre-programmed cooking times are suggestions and we need to figure out the cooking times that is best for our style of cooking. Instead of experimenting and ruining your food, it is a good idea to follow the Instant Pot cooking times guide below.
- Level of doneness may vary from person to person so when there is a cooking time range, always start at the lower end. Undercooked food can be cooked again but there is nothing you can do with overcooked mushy food.
- Don’t forget – Pressure cooking in the Instant Pot requires liquid (water/stock/milk etc) to be present. The minimum liquid for a 3 Quart Instant Pot is 1/2 cup, for a 6 Quart is 1 cup and for an 8 Quart is 2 cups.
Guidelines for cooking veggies
- The table below indicates cooking times for vegetables using Instant Pot Pressure cook function (or Manual in older models).
- The vegetables can be cooked directly in the inner pot with water or in a curry. The other option would be to place the veggies in a bowl over a trivet and adding water to the inner pot.
Rice and grains
Though there is a smart program for Rice, most people never use it and rely on the Manual/Pressure cook function. The reason being there are so many varieties of rice, that this function can’t accommodate it all. Follow the cooking times below and with rice almost always do a natural release or release pressure after 10 minutes.
Poultry and seafood
- Always do a quick release with Poultry and seafood with the exception of eggs. Read this: How to make eggs in Instant Pot.
- If you have the low-pressure function in your Instant Pot, use it for shrimp and fish.
- All pulses are cooked under high pressure.
- Old beans may take longer to cook.
- For best results, soak beans overnight or at least 4-6 hours.
- Lentils don’t need to be soaked.
- Let the pressure release naturally before opening the Instant Pot.
- You can either use the Bean/Chili button or Pressure cook button to cook pulses – the results are identical.
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Here are some more articles related to Instant Pot that will help you master pressure cooking –
- Instant Pot Quick Start Guide – This post will guide you through the Instant Pot setup and teach you how to make the most of your Instant Pot.
- Things you should know before using your Instant Pot – This post is filled with tips that’ll help you make the most of your Instant Pot.
- How to do a water test in the Instant Pot– A video tutorial that’ll guide you through the initial test run of your Instant Pot.
- Instant Pot Accessories – The 10 most recommended accessories for Instant Pot. A word of advice – don’t rush to get them all; buy as needed.
- Instant Pot Cookbooks – Here’s a collection of my most recommended cookbooks for all kinds of diet and cooks of all levels.