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Want to learn how to use the slow cooker mode on the Instant Pot? Need to convert slow cooker to Instant Pot recipes? You have arrived at the correct location.
Using the Instant Pot as a slow cooker presented a challenge for me. The pressure-cooking function was the first feature that made me fall in love with this appliance.
I was amazed by how fast it can make soups, beans, steak, poultry, and other meals to their ideal texture and flavor in half the typical time!
Consequently, using a pot designed for rapid cooking as a slow cooker felt mundane. Nevertheless, the feature is present, so I decided to give it a shot.
In summary, the Instant Pot may be used as a slow cooker!
However, there are a few modifications and adjustments you must make. These are essential if you want to achieve the same flavor and softness as a conventional stovetop slow cooker (like a Crock-Pot).
Instant Pot is an excellent slow cooker, but you must follow these Instant Pot slow cooker instructions to achieve the best results.
What Is An Instant Pot?
Instant Pot is a brand name for electric pressure cookers (like how Crock-Pot is a slow cooker explained below). A pressure cooker is kitchen equipment that utilizes a fundamental principle of physics to cook food at various temperatures. A pressure cooker prevents liquids from boiling from breaking them down to their most basic level.
This allows the Instant Pot to cook food at significantly higher temperatures, resulting in shorter cooking times for foods that normally require a lengthy cook time. There are two sorts of pressure cookers available on the market: those that need a stovetop and those that need an electrical outlet. The Instant Pot is an electric pressure cooker that operates independently. There is a slow cooker feature on the Instant Pot, but it is vital to follow a few guidelines to effectively use it.
What Exactly Is A Slow Cooker?
Let us begin by defining a slow cooker. A slow cooker is an appliance that cooks food at shallow temperatures for an extended period. Slow cookers are distinguished from all other food preparation methods by cooking food at a significantly lower temperature than other appliances. You may also recognize slow cookers by the brand name ‘Crock-Pot,’ owned by Sunbeam Products. The low heat at which slow cookers operate allows tough, chewy foods to become delicate and “melt in your mouth.”
Instant Pot vs. Slow Cooker?
Slow Cooker (Crockpot) warms food at a lower temperature than boiling, baking, and frying. Consequently, food takes longer to cook.
Instant Pot warms food at a greater temperature than a pressure cooker due to its sealed environment. Therefore, it cooks faster. However, as stated previously, Instant Pot also features a Slow Cook setting. Since we enjoy pressure cooking so much, we infrequently use our Instant Pots for slow cooking.
Why Use An Instant Pot?
Instant Pot is one of the most helpful kitchen tools on the market since it significantly reduces the cooking time required to develop flavors in soups and stews, tenderize tough cuts of meat, and even bake a cheesecake. Moreover, there are a variety of accessories that will enhance your Instant Pot’s capabilities.
Check out our buying guide if you do not have one already. See our guide on How to Use an Instant Pot for additional details.
Before Beginning to Cook
Before attempting to utilize an Instant Pot as a slow cooker, keep a few things in mind.
Obtain a glass lid
The Instant Pot’s cover is designed to produce a tight seal, perfect for pressure cooking. In contrast, traditional slow cookers have glass covers that allow steam and moisture to escape during cooking.
You can use the slow cooker option with the essential Instant Pot lid (set to vent), but you’ll get better results with a tempered glass cover with a stainless-steel rim, which you can purchase for less than $15 on Amazon.
Modify Your Recipe
If you have any experience with the Instant Pot, you know that liquid (water, broth, etc.) is essential for proper pressure cooking. Ensure at least one cup of liquid in the recipe when using the slow cooker. However, there is no need to add extra liquid because the pressure cooker function is not being used.
Adapting an Instant Pot recipe for the slow cooker (or vice versa) will require changing the cooking time. Scroll to the bottom of this post for additional information on this procedure and a simple conversion calculation.
How to Use Your Instant Pot As a Slow Cooker
Slow cooking with an Instant Pot is more complicated than you may expect. This guide teaches you how to use your pressure cooker as a slow cooker to enjoy Instant Pot success!
- Prepare the food. Depending on the recipe, cut, chop, or season the ingredients.
- Cover the saucepan with the lid. Again, a tempered glass cover is optimal, but a regular lid would suffice if none were available.
- Select the Slow Cooking button. If you have the 3-quart model, it is located below the Steam button on the bottom right side.
- Adjust the time. Set the cooking period between 30 minutes and 20 hours using the + and – buttons below the time display.
- To adjust, press the Adjust button. It is in the bottom-center area of the 3-quart model, next to the Timer and above the Manual button. You may choose between “Normal,” “More,” and “Less.” These equate to a conventional slow cooker’s medium, high, and low settings.
- Cook. The cooking process will begin 10 seconds after the last button is hit. The Instant Pot will beep when cooking is complete and automatically switch to “Keep Warm” for 10 hours.
How To Convert A Recipe From A Slow Cooker To One For An Instant Pot
Since the Instant Pot broke into the home cooking scene a few years ago, many individuals have abandoned their slow cookers in favor of multipurpose equipment. Regardless of the setting, you can prepare your favorite foods, but you will need to alter the cooking time.
Honestly, this is the setting on my Instant Pot that I do not like the most. Even though the crockpot is more challenging and requires more time to cook, I still have it as a backup for slow cooking.
But if you have just one appliance, I would still prefer the Instant Pot, and with this method, you can slow cook in it.
- To adapt a recipe for a slow cooker for the Instant Pot: Multiply the cooking time for the High setting by 60, then divide by 10.
- To adapt an Instant Pot recipe for a slow cooker, you must: Multiply the cooking time in the Instant Pot by 10, then divide by 60.
The Temperature Of An Instant-pot Slow Cooker
The heat settings for slow cooking in the Instant Pot include “Less,” “Normal,” and “More,” which correspond to low, medium, and high in conventional slow cookers. Although the “Less” setting may appear appropriate for slow cooking, it mostly serves as a keep-warm mode.
Therefore, you will utilize the usual or greater mode most of the time. “Normal” translates to low on most slow cookers, while “More” refers to medium-high. Here are the estimated slow cooker temperatures:
- Low – 170 to 190 degrees Fahrenheit
- Normal – 195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit
- More – 200 to 210 degrees Fahrenheit
Instant Pot Slow Cooker – Vent or Seal?
When using the standard lid, it is crucial to observe the venting and sealing positions of the Instant Pot slow cooker. Ensure that the steam release handle is in the venting position before closing the lid.
Cooking Times When Using an Instant Pot as Slow Cooker
With “Normal” mode, cooking times are the same when using an instant pot to slow cook. The “More” setting requires an additional 15 minutes for each hour. If you usually cook food in a slow cooker for four hours, it will take five hours in an Instant Pot.
Instant Pot Slow Cooking – Liquid Quantity
The Instant Pot must be powered and pressurized by a liquid to provide delectable results. However, you may notice that your meals are a bit watery on your initial attempts.
This may be because the water does not evaporate as quickly as in a conventional slow cooker. This is because the lid is tightly sealed, preventing steam from escaping in the same manner.
If you have attempted a recipe with the same amount of water or liquid as the original slow cooker recipes, the texture and flavor may be identical. However, if the finished dish is waterier, try using less liquid or a different, less-tight lid.
Here is the minimal amount of liquid necessary when using the slow cook mode on your Instant Pot:
- 1 cup of water in a 3-quart Instant Pot.
- 1 cup of water in a 6-quart Instant Pot
- Two cups of water for an 8-quart Instant Pot
Note: Food and liquids should not exceed the inner pot’s maximum fill line. Typically, the maximum capacity is approximately 66 percent full. The pot should not be filled more than halfway for healthy cooking with items that expand, such as dried vegetables and beans.
Tips For Using Your Instant Pot As A Slow Cooker
- When cooking slowly, 1 cup of water is still required; this ensures that the Instant Pot heats effectively.
- Use the Instant Pot’s Slow Cooker function and the adjust button to alter the setting to “normal” or “high.”
- If you wish to cook a recipe on low in a slow cooker, set the slow cooker’s mode to “normal” and cook for as long as the recipe specifies to cook on low.
- If you wish to cook a meal on high in a slow cooker, set your slow cooker to “high” on the slow cooker function and cook for the time specified in the recipe PLUS 15 minutes every hour.
- You can use either a glass lid or the Instant Pot lid for the slow cooker mode. As with a conventional slow cooker lid, a glass lid will evaporate part of the liquid.
- As there is no pressure, you do not need to bother about the position of the vent knob. Leave it on the venting setting if you want the liquid to evaporate.
- As no pressure is reached and the temperature inside the inner pot is significantly lower than while under pressure, the lid will not lock.
- You can open the Instant Pot to stir during the cooking process because no pressure is reached.
- Your Instant Pot will warm for 10 to 15 minutes before beginning slow cooking. If it takes longer, press the cancel button, and try again.
How To Use Instant Pot As Slow Cooker - FAQs
Another suggestion from a Facebook community for the Instant Pot is to fully open the valve on the Instant Pot cover when cooking slow. This allows some moisture and steam to escape and prevents your slow cooker dishes from overcooking in the Instant Pot.
In addition to warmth, the Instant Pot includes three slow-cooker heat settings: less (180 to 190 degrees Fahrenheit), average (190 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit), and more (200 to 210 degrees Fahrenheit).
No. There is no need to completely seal the Instant Pot while using the slow cooker feature. When cooking slowly in the Instant Cooker, you may use either the tempered glass lid or the standard Instant Pot lid to cover the pot.
Yes, the Instant Pot has a slow cooker mode, albeit it is most used as an electric pressure cooker.
According to the Instant Pot’s instruction booklet,
- Less = low
- Normal = medium
- More = High
I consistently use the low setting on my slow cooker, so I use the normal or less setting on my Instant Pot.
Good inquiry! I have seen that the slow cook setting takes longer than my actual Crockpot slow cooker. Therefore, add two hours to my cooking time. For instance, recipes that require six hours to cook in my slow cooker demand eight hours in the Instant Pot slow cooker.
Technically, yes, but I would not recommend doing so if you are preparing dinner with raw meat, as it is not safe to have it at room temperature. Instead, I would immediately begin cooking the food and then place it on the “warm cycle” until ready to eat. (It is okay to leave it on warm for hours!)
Yes! Using pressure cookers and the Instant Pot requires a learning curve, especially unfamiliar with pressure cooking.
But I have no fear! After getting the feel of it, it becomes simple. Moreover, you have us right here to assist you along the road!
It is preferable to excel in one thing than to be mediocre. The Instant Pot is a fantastic electric pressure cooker, but it was not designed to be a slow cooker and is not as effective as a Crock-Pot when cooking for an extended period.
An Instant Pot attempting to function as a slow cooker is like Michael Jordan playing baseball. No one wanted to see it, and it was occasionally depressing. Stick to quick and efficient Instant Pot recipes, and do not toss out your slow cooker.
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