If you are like me (or the rest of the world, it seems!), you might struggle with instant pot cooking times. Grab this free Instant Pot Cooking Times Cheat Sheet Printable to keep handy and save time researching the appropriate time to cook different foods.
One to the biggest struggle for many is how to know how long to cook vegetables, a whole chicken, frozen meats, etc in the pressure cooker.
It is such a pain that I decided to make my own quick reference guide to keep in my kitchen. I wanted to offer it to you too!
Grab the free Instant Pot Cooking Times Printable and use it as a guide to help you overcome pressure cooker times confusion!
This printable is one I recommend for anyone who owns a pressure cooker and there is an Air Fryer Cheat Sheet that matches this set as well.
🧑🍳 Cheat Sheet Benefits
- A helpful guide to knowing how long to cook your favorite foods.
- Great for pressure cooking beginners and pros alike.
- Clean and simple design.
- Guide to quick release or natural release.
- Easy to print.
- Great for taping on the inside of cabinets for easy access. Or three-hole punch and put in your recipe binder.
🍳 How Long Does it Take to Bring Food to Pressure
Most recipes when stating the cook time DO NOT include bringing the food up to pressure. If they do include that time, it will be clearly noted.
It is important to account for that time when planning your meals.
Depending on how full the pot is, determines how fast it will take to come to pressure, which could be anywhere from 5-15 minutes.
Looking at the Cooking Times for Chicken below, it states that chicken breasts will take 12 minutes to cook, that DOES NOT include bringing it to pressure so add 5-7 minutes for that for your true cooking time.
The machine will start cooking and the timer starts when it is brought up to pressure.
🧅 Quick Release vs Natural Release Pressure
Each food is listed with a NATURAL or QUICK release next to it.
Quick Release (QR) means once the cook timer goes off with the beep, you can use a wooden spoon (or something like that) to turn the vent valve to the far right to release the pressure.
Use this method when you want to STOP the cooking process.
NEVER USE YOUR HANDS as hot steam is released and will burn you. Keep the vent gently pressed to the right until there is no more steam coming out. At that point, you will be able to unlock the Instant Pot lid.
Natural Release (NR) means when the cook timer goes off with the beep, you will allow the Instant Pot to release on its own without touching it. This will take 10 to 20 minutes.
Use this method when you want to use the pressure time to continue cooking or to tenderize meat.
During this time, the food continues to cook and the steam naturally releases from the machine. It is complete when you are able to turn the lid and release it without any hesitation. If the lid DOES NOT release easily, it is not ready.
🌾 Cooking Times Rice and Grains
All foods listed below should be cooked at high pressure with manual setting. For rice and grains use NATURAL RELEASE for 10 minutes, then QUICK RELEASE. A recipe like Cilantro Lime Rice fall into this category.
|Food||Liquid Ratio||Cooking Time|
|Oats (Steel Cut)||1:2||15|
|Oats (Old Fashioned)||1:2||10|
|Pasta, Penne or Regular||COVER||4|
|Rice (Basamati, Jasmine)||1:1||4-6|
|Steel Cut Oats||1:3||10-14|
🧆 Cooking Times Beans and Legumes
Take note of the cooking times are different whether the beans have been soaked prior to cooking or not.
|Food||Liquid Ratio||Cooking Time|
|Adzuki/Azuki/Aduki||1:3||16 or 4 Soaked|
|Anasazi||1:2||20 or 5 Soaked|
|Black Beans||1:3||25 or 8 Soaked|
|Black Eyed Peas||1:3||15 or 5 Soaked|
|White Kidney Beans||1:3||35 or 12 Soaked|
|Red Kidney Beans||1:3||25 or 8 Soaked|
|Chickpeas||1:3||40 or 15 Soaked|
|Great Northern Beans||1:3||25 or 8 Soaked|
|Lentils (Green or Brown)||1:3||10|
|Lentils (Red or Yellow)||1:3||6|
|Navy||1:3||25 or 8 Soaked|
|Pinto||1:3||25 or 8 Soaked|
|Soy||1:3||45 or 20 Soaked|
🥕 Cooking Times Vegetables
Most vegetables are QUICK RELEASE unless they are longer cook or some root vegetables. Pumpkin Puree is a NATURAL RELEASE as the sweet potato and baked potatoes are.
|Artichoke (Whole + Trimmed)||9-11||Quick|
|Asparagus (Whole or Cut)||1-2||Quick|
|Beans (Green, Yellow, Wax)||1-2||Quick|
|Beetroot (Small Whole)||11-13||Quick|
|Beetroot (Large Whole)||20-25||Quick|
|Brussel Sprouts (Whole)||3-4||Quick|
|Cabbage (Whole or Wedges)||3-4||Quick|
|Carrots (Sliced or Shredded)||2-3||Quick|
|Corn on the Cob||3-5||Quick|
🐔 Cooking Times Poultry
This is one area you need to pay attention as not all poultry is treated the same for NATURAL and QUICK RELEASE. Our Turkey Drumsticks are a NATURAL one as is the Honey Teriyaki Chicken.
|Chicken Breast (Bone In)||12||Quick|
|Chicken Breast (Boneless)||5-8||Quick|
|Chicken Thighs (Bone In)||12||Quick|
|Chicken Thighs (Boneless)||6-8||Quick|
|Chicken Legs (Drumsticks)||15-20||Quick|
|Cornish Game Hen||12-15||Natural|
|Duck (Bone In Portions)||12-15||Natural|
|Turkey Breast (Whole)||20-25||Natural|
|Turkey Breast (Boneless)||7-9||Natural|
|Turkey Leg (Drumstick)||15-20||Natural|
🐄 Cooking Times Beef
These Beef recipes for the most part NATURALLY RELEASE just as our Ribs, Beef Tongue and Brisket do.
|Corned Beef Brisket||90||Natural|
|Meatballs||5 / lb||5 min Quick + Natural|
|Stew Meat||20 / lb||Natural|
🐖 Cooking Times Pork
Most of these recipes will NATURALLY RELEASE like the Keto Pork Chops or Ribs.
|Baby Back Ribs||10 / lb||Natural|
|Butt Roast||15 / lb||Natural|
|Chops, Bone In (Inch Thick)||5||Natural|
|Chops, Boneless (Inch Thick)||4-5||Natural|
|Ham||8 / lb||Natural|
🐟 Cooking Times Fish and Seafood
All seafood and fish are QUICK RELEASE.
|Shrimp or Prawn||1-3||Quick|
🐑 Cooking Times Lamb
All lamb are NATURAL RELEASE with the exception of ground lamb.
|Leg of Lamb (Boneless 3.5-4 lbs)||35-45||Natural|
|Stew Meat (1 Inch Cubes)||15-20||Natural|
🖨️ Snag the 3 Page Cheat Sheet
- Grab the Free Instant Pot Cooking Times Cheat Sheet. Save it to your computer.
- Print it out and store in your Recipe Binder or laminate to put in your cupboard.
- Use as a reference anytime you cook in your Instant Pot!
Hang up inside cabinet doors above your Instant Pot, so you open quickly reference the sheet. I used a three-hole punch and put it in my recipe binder as well since it is always out and on the counter.
Go an extra step and laminate the papers so you can keep them out and use them. They will wipe clean, so no worries if splatters get on the pages.
The quick-release of pressure is when you turn the knob on top of the pressure cooker lid to release all the built-up steam inside. A strong jet of steam will quickly spray out of the knob, depressurizing the pot, so be careful not to burn yourself.
Coming to pressure all depends on what you are cooking. It will take anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes.
This is a common issue that happens from time to find. Sometimes if your rubber seal is not on tightly you will find it can’t come to pressure. Another common issue is you go over the max fill line on the side. Too much food can be a culprit as well. The last scenario is when your quick-release valve is turned to “venting.” I bet one of those things is the culprit.
The pressure cooker isn’t meant to cook extra thick foods. If you have a really thick chili of stew it can’t begin to cook. So, as it pressurizes it will burn the bottom. If you do not deglaze the bottom of your pot the stuck-on bits can cause the burn notice.
Thank you for the tips! So appreciated!