How to Use Your Instant Pot as a Slow Cooker

How to Use Your Instant Pot as a Slow Cooker

Are you using your Instant Pot just for pressure cooking? If so, you’re missing out on one of the best capabilities of the multi-functional appliance: slow cooking! Here’s everything you need to know about using your Instant Pot as a slow cooker:

Before You Start Cooking

There are a few things you should know before you try to use an Instant Pot as a slow cooker:

Get a glass lid

The Instant Pot comes with a lid that is designed to create a tight seal that’s ideal for pressure cooking. Traditional slow cookers, on the other hand, have glass lids that allow steam and moisture to escape while your food is cooking.

While you can use the slow cooker setting with the standard Instant Pot lid (set to vent), you’ll get better results when you use a tempered glass lid with a stainless steel rim—find it on Amazon for under $16.

Adjust your recipe

If you’re at all familiar with the Instant Pot, you know how important liquid (water, broth, etc.) is to proper pressure cooking. Make sure there’s at least a cup of liquid in the recipe when you’re using it as a slow cooker. There’s no need to add more liquid, though, as you’re not using the pressure cooker function.

Of course, if you’re adapting an Instant Pot recipe for the slow cooker (or vice versa), you’ll need to adjust your cooking time. Scroll to the end of this article to find more information about that process, plus an easy conversion equation.

How to Use Your Instant Pot as a Slow Cooker

  1. Prep your food. Cut, chop, or season the ingredients according to the recipe.
  2. Place the lid on the pot. Again, a tempered glass lid will work best for this purpose, but you can use the standard lid if that’s all you have available.
  3. Press the Slow Cook button. If you have the 3-quart version, it’s on the bottom right side, under the Steam button.
  4. Set the time. Set the cooking duration between 30 minutes and 20 hours with the + and – buttons under the time display.
  5. Press the Adjust button. It’s in the bottom center section on the 3-quart version, next to Timer and above Manual. You can choose “Normal,” “More,” and “Less.” These correspond to medium, high, and low on a traditional Crock-Pot.
  6. Cook. Cooking will start automatically 10 seconds after the last button is pressed. When your recipe is finished cooking, the Instant Pot will beep and transition automatically to “Keep Warm” for 10 hours.

How to Convert a Slow Cooker Recipe to an Instant Pot Recipe (And Vice Versa)

Since the Instant Pot exploded onto the home cooking scene a few years ago, many people have chosen to get rid of their slow cooker in favor of the multi-functional appliance. You can cook your favorite recipes no matter which setting you’re using, but you’ll need to adjust the cooking time.

  • To convert a slow cooker recipe for the Instant Pot: Multiply the High setting cook time by 60, then divide by 10.
  • To convert an Instant Pot recipe for the slow cooker: Multiply the Instant Pot cook time by 10, then divide by 60.


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