You can take your favorite recipes and convert them into Instant Pot-friendly recipes. Now that the Instant Pot has completely taken the world by storm, we all have that burning question. How do you convert recipes to Instant Pot? Well, I am here to make your world a little brighter, and share how you can do so, very easily!
Grab your grandma’s favorite recipe and convert it, and enjoy each and every bite of her famous dish.
I will go over recipes that may not be a good fit, how to find the conversions for cook times, what to do when you have ingredients with different cook times and more. Some recipes you might have a little trial and error and other times you might find success with the first try. Once you find what works I recommend writing it out on a recipe card and saving it for future use.
If you are new to pressure cooking, I recommend reading our Pressure cooking guide. This handy guide gives you some great insight on how to use your Instant Pot and some easy tricks and tips.
Learning to Convert Recipes to Instant Pot
Is It A Good Recipe to Convert
Some recipes won’t be the best fit for converting. You have to ask yourself is it a good fit for your pressure cooker. You have to have liquid to allow your IP to reach the pressure it needs to cook the meal. Recipes that have a fried coating can be tough, they might now brown and have that crisp texture like you are wanting. If you use a recipe that has milk, cream, etc, those have to be put in at the end, or they can curdle or separate when being cooked. Meats, soups, pasta, rooty vegetables, and more are all great options.
Foods That Aren’t Good for Your Instant Pot
Thickeners| Cornstarch, flour, etc to help thicken your food is not good. Add the slurry after you are done cooking your food. It will not thicken your food properly otherwise.
Dairy| Rule of thumb is to add your dairy after pressure cooking. This includes milk, cheese, etc. Check out our most popular Crack Chicken recipe for an example of how to do this.
Flouring Meats| Say you want to bread something with flour, it will create a layer on the bottom of pressure cooker and it won’t allow the cooker to reach the correct pressure it needs.
Cook Time Conversion
Hip Pressure Cooking has a tremendous article of in-depth food items and the cook time on pressure cooker compared to other forms of cooking. One Good Thing By Jillie has a really nice printable you can print off and hang in your kitchen for easy reference. Here is a high altitude adjustment chart. I have found this to be the easiest way to really convert my recipes. Meat and poultry, vegetables, random side dishes, and more. It is a wonderful list. I printed these off and put in a little three-ring binder to have on hand to look at. You could also print and tape inside one of your kitchen cupboards.
What If Ingredients Have Different Cook Times
My rule of thumb for this is if you are cooking meat that takes 30 minutes and vegetables that take 5 minutes, cook the meat until almost done, toss in veggies and add 5 more minutes to cook time. That way your lesser cook item doesn’t over-cook. Just release and toss in the other ingredients when the other item has about that amount of cook time left.
Liquid Needed For Recipes
Here is the thing, the Instant Pot has to have liquid to work properly. Liquid allows it to pressure up and cooks your food properly. You need at least 1 cup of liquid when you cook. Some foods like fruits, vegetables, that have a higher water value, you can use a bit less. You can use a trivet to put your food on if you don’t want it submerged in the liquid.
Now when you cook soup that uses a lot of liquid, you sometimes have to reduce the liquid so you don’t get a water downed flavor. Since really no liquid is lost when cooking you have to reduce if it requires a lot.
When converting recipes I find this How many Cups in a Quart printable to be a useful reference. I have it hanging on the back of one of my kitchen cabinets.
Be aware of the max line in your IP. When you are making a new recipe, look to ensure the liquid or ingredients don’t go over the max mark line on the Instant Pot. Make sure the lid fits on properly and seals so it can come to pressure. Generally, you shouldn’t have any issues without going over the line.
For me if I am cooking meat I do a natural release, that added release time really allows your meat to tenderize and lock in moisture. For foods like pasta, rice, vegetables, quick release works best so it doesn’t overcook.
The key to converting recipes to the Instant Pot is to keep trying and learn from mistakes.