Converting slow cooker recipes for the Instant Pot or other electric pressure cooker is usually very simple, but there are a few important things you need to know to get it right. Use our slow cooker to Instant Pot conversion calculator to help you figure out the cooking times for your recipe.
While your trusty crock pot is a great appliance for cooking up large batches of food, it can be a bit limiting when it comes to weeknight meals.
If you’re short on time, a pressure cooker is a great way to get a delicious, home-cooked meal on the table in a fraction of the time. Here’s a quick guide on how to convert your favorite slow cooker recipes for the pressure cooker.
How to convert a slow cooker recipe for the Instant Pot
Many slow cooker recipes can be converted directly for cooking in the Instant Pot, but there is more to converting a crock pot recipe for a pressure cooker than just adjusting the time.
There are a few quirks of pressure cooking that need to be considered when converting a slow cooker recipe for the pressure cooker.
- A minimum amount of liquid is required for pressure cooking
- Certain ingredients don’t work when cooked under pressure so should only be added once the pressure cooking time has finished
- The cook time needs to be adjusted because pressure cooking times are much much quicker
Check liquid amount
Pressure cooker recipes need liquid so that the pressure cooker can get up to pressure.
Slow cooker recipes often include liquid, but not always, since slow cooking does not have this same requirement.
The first step in converting a slow cooker recipe for the Instant Pot is to ensure that it contains enough liquid for your pressure cooker.
Usually, this will be at least one cup, but some large pressure cookers have a higher minimum liquid requirement, so check your manual to be sure.
Exclude some ingredients
Some ingredients that you get in a slow cooker recipe will not cook well in a pressure cooker. Often these ingredients can be added at the end of the cooking time, but sometimes this will not work and you will need to exclude them from your recipe.
The two key types of food to exclude are:
Pressure cooking can dairy to curdle or seperate, and it may foam during cooking which can cause your pressure valve to get clogged. Add any dairy product to the recipe at the end of the pressure cooking time, and if necessary use the saute function to melt it or cook it.
If your recipe requires cornstarch, arrowroot, flour, or other thickeners to be added, do this at the end of the pressure cooking time. Mix a slurry of the cornstarch/flour and an equal amount of water, then whisk it into the sauce in the Instant Pot using the Saute function until the sauce thickens.
Adding thickeners at the start can prevent your Instant Pot from reaching pressure, and may cause a burn error as they usually sink to the bottom of the pot during cooking.
Convert cook times
To convert the cooking times for a slow cooker recipe you will need to take the cooking time for the recipe on HIGH in hours and multiple it by six. This will give you the number of minutes that the recipe should be cooked in the Instant Pot.
You can use the calculator below to easily convert the cook times from slow cooker to pressure cooking.
Slow cooker to Instant Pot conversion chart
Use this slow cooker to pressure cooker conversion chart to estimate the pressure cooking time required for a slow cooker recipe.
|Slow Cooker Time on HIGH||Instant Pot Cook Time|
|2 hours||12 minutes|
|3 hours||18 minutes|
|4 hours||24 minutes|
|5 hours||30 minutes|
|6 hours||36 minutes|
|7 hours||42 minutes|
|8 hours||48 minutes|