Instant Pot’s slow cook function works differently than a stand-alone slow cooker. Here I will explain how to use your Instant Pot as a slow cooker.
I’ll keep it real with you. I came to the conclusion that while the Instant Pot is great at cooking things fast, if I want to cook low & slow I’ll use an actual slow cooker. But I also happen to have 6 slow cookers so I don’t need to use my Instant Pot to slow cook. I understand that’s not the case for everyone . Have you ever tried to slow cook a beef roast in your Instant Pot only for the roast to be undercooked & the potatoes and vegetables hard? You’re not alone. It’s happened to me too. Trust me, when used properly, you can successfully use your Instant Pot to slow cook.
Things To Keep In Mind
I think food tastes better when it’s slow cooked in an actual slow cooker rather than an Instant Pot. There are a few other factors that play into why:
- Slow cooker pots are usually made of ceramic or porcelain. Instant Pot pots are stainless steel.
- Slow cookers cook from all sides and the bottom. Instant Pot heats from the bottom only.
What Is An Instant Pot?
An Instant Pot is a brand of electric pressure cooker (like how Crock-Pot is a brand of slow cooker explained below). A pressure cooker is an appliance that makes use of a fundamental piece of physics to cook food at different temperatures. To boil it down to its most basic level, a pressure cooker prevents boiling from occurring in liquids. This means that the Instant Pot can use much higher temperatures to cook food, leading to faster cooking times for food that would traditionally require a long cook time. There are two types of pressure cookers available on the market: stove-top ones, and standalone units that plug into an electrical socket. The Instant Pot is a type of standalone, electric pressure cooker. The Instant Pot does have a slow cooker function, but it’s important to know a few tips and tricks to make sure you’re using that setting correctly.
What Is A Slow Cooker?
Let’s start with what is a slow cooker. A slow cooker is an appliance that simmers food at very low heats for a long period of time. The thing that makes a slow cooker distinct from all the other methods of preparing food is that slow cookers can cook food at a much lower temperature than other appliances. You may also know slow cookers by the name ‘Crock-Pot’, this is a trading name owned by Sunbeam Products. Slow cookers are typically used because the low heat that they operate at can allow typically tough, chewy foods to become tender, and ‘melt-in-the-mouth’.
The Slow Cooker Setting On The IP
Most electric pressure cookers (regardless of the brand) have not only the slow cook function but and a whole suite of buttons on the interface. We’re only going to dig into the slow cook button in this blog post. While this function is great, there are a few differences that will trip you up if you’re not careful. With the Instant Pot, the slow cooker function has a set of temperatures ranging from low to high. These temperatures are NOT same as the ones which are on a typical slow cooker. Here are a couple of conversions to make a note of to ensure optimum cooking in an instant pot:
Slow Cooker WARM setting = Instant Pot Slow Cook LOW setting
Slow Cooker LOW setting = Instant Pot Slow Cook NORMAL setting
Slow Cooker HIGH setting = Instant Pot Slow Cook HIGH+
*The Instant Pot HIGH setting never gets as hot as the slow cooker HIGH heating setting. If you are using a slow cooker recipe which calls for HIGH heat in a slow cooker, put your Instant Pot slow cooker function onto ‘high’ and then add an extra 15 minutes of cooking time for every hour of that the recipe calls for. The longer cooking time is needed to compensate for the difference in temperature between the two appliances and make sure your food is fully cooked all the way through.
How To Change The Slow Cooker Setting
- Plug in the Instant Pot and press the SLOW COOK button.
- Press ADJUST to change the heat setting between the LESS, NORMAL, OR HIGH. If your Instant Pot model doesn’t have an ADJUST button, press the SLOW COOK button again to change the settings.
FAQ For Slow Cooking In The Instant Pot
Below are a few tips and tricks that will help you get the ideal result when using your Instant Pot as a slow cooker:
- Do you still need to add 1 cup of liquid? No. You’re not using the pressurizer function. If the recipe already has liquid in it, add it. Otherwise there is no need to add an extra cup of liquid to the recipe.
- Do you use the regular Instant Pot lid? Yes. You don’t have to use the heavy lid but you can. Again, the pot is not being pressurized so you can use any lid that fits. Personally I use my Instant Pot tempered glass lid when I slow cook in my Instant Pot.
- Can you use slow cooker liners? Yes. If you’re using the slow cook function in the Instant Pot you can use slow cooker liners. If you are using your Instant Pot for any other function you can not use slow cooker liners.
I don’t refer to myself as Fit Instant Pot Queen for a reason. I will admit I am still figuring out my Instant Pot in a lot of ways. Have you used the slow cook function with your Instant Pot? If so, how did it turn out?
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