My latest book, The Instant Pot Kosher Cookbook, will be released early March 2021. In the meantime, people have asked me how they can take their favorite recipes made on the stovetop or in the oven and convert them into super quick instant pot recipes.
Below are some basic guidelines that you can use. In general, dishes will cook in 1/3 the time of traditional cooking, but that is not a hard and fast rule, so look at the list below.
Anything you want crispy should NOT be cooked in the instant pot.
You will need to use less liquid in instant pot cooking a dish, but please do not fill above the fill line inside the inner pot.
You can use the Sauté feature to brown anything the same way you would on the stovetop. Add liquid to deglaze the bottom before adding other ingredients. This is important.
Use the natural release for starchy items such as beans or pasta, or tough cuts of meat, which means let the device remain on Warm after the cooking time is complete to allow the pressure to gradually reduce until the pin drops.
The instant pot does not like tomato sauce because it burns. You should add the tomato sauce on TOP of other ingredients and do not mix it in. If you get the Burn notice, release the pressure and open the lid. Use a wooden spoon to scrape what is stuck on the bottom. Add some more water and try cooking a again, for less time.
The instant pot also does not like dairy so add it to pasta, rice or grits, for example, after the base ingredient is cooked. I add the dairy and cook it using the Sauté feature.
If you are making a cake or kugel and most desserts, it is best to use the pot-in-pot cooking method – place the trivet in the inner pot, add 1 cup water, and then place your pan of batter on top of the trivet.
Please note that if you release the pressure after the cooking time is complete, remove the lid and see that your dish is not yet fully cooked, secure the lid, turn the vent to the Sealing position and cook for another few minutes. It will return to pressure pretty quickly. Make sure to note the amount of total cooking time for the next time you make the same recipe.
The first recipe I ever made in the instant pot was split pea soup, because I wanted to see if the device really saved time. I was amazed how the peas melted into the soup after cooking for only 20 minutes. And then I discovered that vegetable soups could be cooked even faster. Here are some guidelines – and remember that it takes time for
the device to come to pressure, that is in addition to the cooking time.
Vegetable soup, any vegetablesb- 5 minutes
Vegetable soup with barley – 18 minutes
Vegetable soup with farro – 16 minutes
Vegetable stock – 35 minutes
Chicken soup – 45 minutes
Lentil soup – 10 minutes
Split pea soup- 20 minutes
Black bean soup – 1 hour
Chicken cooking times vary depending on whether it is whole, on or off the bone. What is truly amazing is that you can actually place frozen chicken into the instant pot– it will take longer to come to pressure, but will cook for the same amount of time as thawed chicken.
Whole chicken – 25 minutes plus 15 minutes natural release (when the cooking time is done, let the device sit on Warm for another 15 minutes)
Chicken pieces on the bone – 14 minutes
White boneless – 6 minutes
Dark boneless- 10 minutes
Chicken Wings – 5 minutes
The instant pot makes the moistest, melt-in-your-mouth meat, whether cooked in large or small pieces and truly is a time saver. Meat dishes that I used to cook in the oven for 2 ½ hours can be made delicious in half the time.
Brisket – 70 minutes – cut the brisket into large pieces that can fit inside the inner pot
Corned beef – 90 minutes
Beef or lamb stew – 35 minutes
Ribs – 40 minutes
Meatballs – 8 minutes
Cholent – 75 minutes
Whole roast, about 4 pounds, 60 minutes plus 10 minutes natural release
You can save money by cooking dried beans in your instant pot and then freezing them until you need them for recipes.
Chickpeas – 50 minutes
Black beans – 30 minutes
Chili or other stew with canned beans – 2 minutes
Vegetables and Sides
You have to be very careful when cooking vegetables in the instant pot that you will serve as a side or part of a salad. They can go from raw to mush in seconds, if you cook them for too long.
Whole carrots – 2 minutes
Asparagus – 0 minutes
Beets – 9 minutes
Potatoes, 1-inch cubes – 5 minutes
Whole potatoes for mashed potatoes – 10 minutes
Corn on the cob – 3 minutes
Spaghetti squash halves – 9 minutes
Quinoa – 0 minutes
Fish poached in the instant pot comes out very moist. In particular I love the texture of salmon cooked in it.
Salmon – 2-3 minutes
White Fish – 2 minutes
The reason to make pasta in the instant pot is that after you cook the pasta, you add your sauce and do not have to strain the pasta or use another saucepan for the sauce. Some recipes cook the pasta right in the sauce. The result – only one pot to clean up!
Rigatoni – 7 minutes
Macaroni – 6 minutes
Linguine – 6 minutes
Israeli couscous – 6 minutes
Hard-boiled eggs – 7 minutes