How To Convert A Slow Cooker Recipe To The Instant Pot

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Instant Pot | How To Convert A Slow Cooker Recipe To The Instant Pot

Welcome to how to convert a slow cooker recipe to the Instant Pot. Here at we have both a slow cooker and an Instant Pot and every now and again we want to swap the cooking around and cook our Slow Cooker recipes in the Instant Pot and we will be sharing with you the simple steps to do it.

Slow Cooker Vs Instant Pot

Instant Pot | Slow Cooker Vs Instant Pot

There is often this big debate over the Slow Cooker vs the Instant Pot. Should you have both? Should you sell your slow cooker for the Instant Pot or should you just carry on as you are?

For many the great thing about the Instant Pot (or any other electric pressure cooker for that matter) is that it is a replacement for so many kitchen gadgets. The rice cooker is a gone, so is the yoghurt maker and many consider doing the same with the slow cooker.

The only problem there, is that the worst function on the Instant Pot is the slow cook. It never seems to work right and the amount of times I have used it and it has not worked is unbelievable.

But at the same time it is great for everything else.

You also sometimes want to cook slow. You don’t want to be rushing getting dinner ready, but you want to put it on in the morning. Or for me at Christmas I will use the slow cooker to cook things early so that I can enjoy myself and know that nothing will ever go wrong.

That is why in the Milner household we have not one slow cooker but two. I have my super old one that probably was made in the early 80s (it was a second hand gift so I am guessing over the yeareless over the original date) and then my newer one that I got since getting my Instant Pot. I love my new one and it is from Amazon so very reasonably priced.

Then I have one Instant Pot.

Get yourself on the Instant Pot community and you will see a lot of posts telling you that you should get rid of all your old gadgets (including your slow cooker) but you still have Thanksgiving & Christmas when you could do with an extra cooking device. Plus there is nothing better than a slow cooker for slow cooker recipes.

On the other hand, another great thing about slow cooker recipes is that you can cook them in a lot less time in the Instant Pot. If you think about all those delicious meals that you slow cook, then imagine if you can cook them in under an hour instead. As that is what one of the miracle things that an electric pressure cooker can do, or a manual one can do it too.


Just think back to Victorian times. Back then they didn’t have slow cookers and used to always buy the really cheap cuts of meat. They made them tender by using a pressure cooker. They have been around all this time, but have not been very fashionable until now.

How To Convert A Slow Cooker Recipe To The Instant Pot

But if like me you have a huge amount of slow cooker recipes and want to pressure cook them instead then here is some things that you need to know first:

#1 Add Water

There are a lot of slow cooker recipes that require little or no water at all. For example when I cook pulled pork I just add a little olive oil and that will be the only liquid. But to pressure cook you need at least a cup of water for it to do its magic.

#2 Add More Flavour

Pressure cooking can really lose flavour to a dish. You are adding more liquid and then the pressure is taking away a lot of the flavour so expect to need to add more.

For example instead of just adding water to a dish make sure it is stock and not just water. This will help it to keep its flavour. This particularly applies to meat.

As well as this test it and add more flavour before and after cooking.

#3 Don’t Overfill The Instant Pot

With the Instant Pot never overfill it as it will struggle to make it to pressure and then you are more likely to have one of those ceiling explosions when you have finished cooking.

Never take ann Instant Pot past the 60% full mark and remember that a slow cooker often has more room in it so when you do your slow cooker recipe do so to 75% of the ingredients.

#4 Avoid Some Liquids

There are some liquids that don’t cook very well in the Instant Pot. These you need to add after cooking or cook only on the saute setting. Otherwise you will have an explosion when you remove the lid.

These include:

  • Beer
  • Wine
  • Brandy
  • Milk
  • Butter
  • Hard Cheese
  • Cream

I use milk a lot in my Instant Pot recipes so I will return it to saute, near the end of cooking and then add the milk then.

For example when we made our first Instant Pot Mash we had a milk explosion. Well until we learnt the correct time to add the dairy!

[clickToTweet tweet=”How To Convert A Slow Cooker Recipe To The #InstantPot via recipe_this” quote=”How To Convert A Slow Cooker Recipe To The #InstantPot via recipe_this”]

#5 Time To Get To Pressure

Something that is often overlooked is how long pressure cooking takes to actually get to pressure. You can wait up to 25 minutes for this to happen. So when you look at those recipes that cook whole chickens in less than 30 minutes, just think that it is 20 minutes to get to pressure and then 25 minutes to actually cook.

Plus sometimes it goes wrong and it doesn’t go to pressure and you end up having to worry it along in the oven.

Our son often has steamed vegetables for his lunch as we wean him off baby milk and sometimes it takes more than 10 minutes just to steam 2 carrots!

So make sure you have time planned for this.


#6 Meat = Natural Pressure Release

When it comes to meat it is always best to allow natural pressure release (NPR). This is because leaving it in while the pressure goes gives it the same thing as when you leave meat to rest before serving it.

#7 Keep Notes

I like to have notes of recipes that have worked in the Instant Pot. That way you can go back to the good ones whenever you like.

My favourite way to do this is to buy a cheap recipe book or create a board for it on Pinterest (you can see our Instant Pot pins here) and then whenever you want to go back over a recipe that worked then you can.

As well as this look at popular Instant Pot Recipes that are similar to slow cooker ones and use it as your go to recipe for adapting your own favourite slow cooker recipes.

#8 It Is Suitable?

Not every recipe is suitable on the universe for the Instant Pot. For example I would say that the majority of my Airfryer ones are not. When you bread your food or add a lot of flour then these are “no go” as they will stick to the bottom and sides.

But slow cooker recipes are great for converting. Or imagine anything that you would cook in the oven can be converted too. Lots of logical thinking and you shouldn’t go wrong.

#9 Add Thickeners Last

I also always recommend that you add a good thickener at the end of cooking. A stew for example cooks better with thin liquid. Then after it has finished cooking, change to saute and then thicken up your dish then.

The Instant Pot 7 in 1 Duo

Thanks for reading all about the big differences between the slow cooker and the Instant Pot. As you can see it is so easy to convert a recipe from the slow cooker to the Instant Pot pressure cooker.

I would also recommend that you click here and check out all the different Instant Pot Beginner recipes.

Instant Pot For Beginners PDF Cookbook

If you would like to get all the recipes mentioned above, along with all the extra tutorials, then click on the image above or click here.

If you don’t have an Instant Pot yet then the one below is the one we have:

Instant Pot | Discover why loves the Instant Pot

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