Crockpots, move aside...Instapots are all the rage! If you have a favorite crockpot recipe and think you can't convert it into an Instapot recipe, think again! Here are a few tips to convert a Crockpot recipe to an Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker Recipe!
Timing Conversions. If its a dish that can be cooked 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high in a slow cooker, it’s almost guaranteed that it will be done to perfection in 20-30 minutes. It may take some experimenting to know exactly how long each recipe needs, but the good news is that once you figure out the timing once, write it down and you will know exactly how long it needs the next time you make it.
Save Some Ingredients to Add at the End. If the recipe has dairy (ie: cheese, milk, yogurt) or thickeners (ie: cornstarch, arrowroot), wait until the end of cooking to add these. I typically always do this anyways in all of my recipes, so most of the time you won’t have to change anything here. Also, if some recipes have a variety of ingredients that require different cook times (ie: carrots and broccoli), you may want to consider adding the ingredients that require less cook time at the end of the cooking process or sautéing them at the end.
Sealing VS Vent Setting. Always always triple check that the vent is set to “sealing” and not “venting” before you start to cook. Also, I recommend using a natural release when cooking meats. This will help the meat be tender. Vegetables do best with quick release — otherwise they get mushy.
Check Liquid Levels. The pressure Cooker needs at least 1/2-1 cup of liquid to get up to pressure. Many meats and vegetables will create juices as they cook, but you still should start with some liquid in the bottom to be safe. That may be an adjustment from a slow cooker recipe that doesn't require liquid, so in this case, add 1/2 cup water or chicken broth to the pressure cooker.
In a Hurry? The pressure Cooker is great if you are short on time for many reasons. Besides the obvious, which is that it takes less time to cook a recipe, it also allows you to brown your meat right in the pot, rather than a separate skillet. So, in the case where a recipe calls for sautéing in a pan, go ahead and do so right in your pressure cooker!
Want to Slow Cook After All? Don’t forget that if you have an Instant Pot, it also has a slow cooker functionality, so if you need to “set it and forget it” earlier in the day, you may still do so! It will automatically switch to “keep warm” too so you can be an hour or two later than the timer and you will still have warm food ready when you are!