Instant Pot Cooking Times – The Ultimate Guide

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No more guessing! Get these helpful Instant Pot printable cheat sheets for cooking times for vegetables, pulses, rice, and grains, along with poultry and seafood. 

An Instant Pot with text overlay Instant Pot Cooking Times Charts
Instant Pot Cooking Times Printables

Before you start using your Instant Pot, understanding the smart programs is essential. What is also important is to get a sense of how long it should take to cook a particular ingredient.

That’s because you cannot rely on the pre-programmed cooking times all the time! They are merely suggestions and by trial and error, we need to figure out the cooking times that work best for us based on the level of doneness we desire.

Instead of you trying to waste your time and food experimenting, I would suggest that you follow the Instant Pot cooking times guide below.

Before you begin, I wanted to share this

  1. 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. 
  2. Don’t forgetPressure 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.

Download Instant Pot Cooking Time Cheatsheets

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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. When placed over a trivet, the cooking time will increase by a minute or two since it is further away from heat.
A table of Instant Pot cooking times for vegetables
Instant Pot Cooking Times for Vegetables

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.
A table of Instant Pot Cooking Times for Rice, Poultry, and Seafood
A table of Instant Pot Cooking Times for Rice, Poultry, and Seafood

Pulses

  • 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.

Read this: To know more about pulses, beans, lentils, and their differences, read this article on Pulses 101.

A table of Instant Pot Cooking Times for Pulses
Instant Pot Cooking Times for Pulses

Found this post helpful? Please leave me a comment below to let me know. 

Here are some more articles related to Instant Pot that will help you master pressure cooking – 

  1. 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. 
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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. 
  5. Instant Pot Cookbooks – Here’s a collection of my most recommended cookbooks for all kinds of diet and cooks of all levels. 

This post was first published on Oct 30, 2019, and has been updated with new images, text, and cheatsheets on November 22nd, 2021.

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15 Comments

  1. Hi Anu, am a new subscriber and excited to cook up many of the wonderful recipes you share on your amazing site! Maybe I missed seeing the signup form in the post for the printable instant pot cooking times guide? Or the link to it is broken? Not sure, but I would greatly appreciate it if you would please reply and provide a link to the guide. Thank you in advance 🙂

    1. Swathy – It should be the same. Friends who have 8-quart have mentioned that though I don’t have a personal experience since I own only the 6-quart pressure cooker.

    1. Princy, there is a signup form in the post. Please fill in your info and you should get a downloadable printable sheet.

  2. I would like to print these charts but will end up using way too much toner than I’d like to. Do you have more white background charts instead of the black? Thanks!

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