How to set time on instant pot?

In this article, we will answer the question “How to set time on instant pot?”, and what is a quick and natural pressure release?

How to set time on instant pot?

  1. Start by pressing the ‘Manual’ button. The screen will display cooking time which is either automatic or the one you used for your previous recipe.
  2. Adjust the temperature according to the recipe by pressing the + and – sign on the panel.
  3. Do not press the – button too many times, or else the countdown will start from 24 hours.

The plus and minus signs are used to increase or decrease the temperature, respectively, and not the pressure. To set a delayed cooking timer, follow the steps below:

  1. Select the cooking mode according to your preference i.e ‘Manual’ or ‘Slow Cook’ mode.
  2. Adjust the time as per the recipe.
  3. Press the ‘Timer’ button within 10 seconds of setting your desired cooking time. 
  4. Use the + and – buttons to set the delay time.

Settings on your instant pot

Your food might take longer than the cooking time proposed by the instant pot. The actual cooking time varies a lot. But the following table shows generic cooking time frames of common foods.

Soup 30 mins on high pressure
Meat or stew 20 mins on high pressure
Beans or chili 30 mins on high pressure
Chicken or turkey 12-25 mins on high pressure

There may be various ways to adjust the cooking time on the instant pot. The “Slow Cook” setting lies between 30 minutes to 20 hours. The “Saute” setting will vary with the type of food you are making.

What is quick pressure release?

A quick pressure release occurs when the pressure release switch is turned to the venting position allowing the steam to escape through the pressure release valve. 

If you notice any liquid or foam oozing out of the pressure release valve, switch the valve back to the Sealed position and use an Intermittent Pressure Release. Stay away from the escaping steam to avoid any damage.

When do I use a quick pressure release?

As the name suggests, quick pressure release happens in a short time and is best used when cooking foods like vegetables that must not be over-cooked. You can also use It to cook corn on the cob, potatoes, and dumplings, etc.

What is a natural pressure release?

Natural pressure release occurs when the pressure release switch is left in a sealed position after the cooking process. This process will take time. Once the steam is released, the float valve will drop unlocking the lid.

In the case of natural pressure release, you can neither see steam escaping the valves, nor hear a beep to signal the opening of the lid. 

The dropping of the float valve is the only indication and It might make a feeble sound that is audible If you are close by. A natural pressure release takes about 5-30 minutes depending upon the contents and the amount of water in the pot.

Other FAQs about Instant Pots which you may be interested in.

How to remove an Anti-block shield on the instant pot?

When do I use a natural pressure release?

Natural pressure release works best with large cuts of meat like pulled pork, ribs and turkey breast, etc. The meat, after being left in the residual heat during pressure release, becomes soft and tender. It also works great for making steel-cut oats, soup, and pasta.

What does it mean when the instant pot shows a “Burn” message?

This is a sign that the food might burn or the pot might suffer damage. It may be because the water is scarce in the pot and is not reached the bottom and sidewalls of the pot. Let the pot cool down If you have been sauteeing on high heat. 

Layer the starches and sauces for complex meals and elevate your meal with the help of a cooling rack. After sauteeing a vegetable or sauce, make sure the pot is clean of any bits and pieces before moving to the next cooking process.

How long does it take an instant pot to preheat?

An instant pot takes about 10-15 minutes to preheat depending on the number of contents present in the instant pot. The more the contents inside the instant pot, the longer It will take to come to pressure. The pressure is released from the instant pot in two ways. 

In a quick or natural release, the control knob above the pot from the seal is tuned resulting in quick depressurization of the pot. In case of a slow release, the pot is allowed to sit and release pressure slowly and naturally. This is particularly important when cooking delicate foods like beans.


In this article, we answered the question “How to set time on instant pot?”, and what is a quick and natural pressure release?


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