How To Turn Your Instant Pot Into A Slow Cooker

We’re living in a golden age of small kitchen appliances (see: slow cookers, Instant Pots, and air fryers). We’re also in a not-so-golden age of abundant counter space. So what’s a home cook to do? Well, we’ve got a little magic trick: You can actually turn your Instant Pot into a slow cooker. The beloved Instant Pot has made yet another case for a lasting spot on your counter (don’t worry, Crock Pot, we still love you!).

What really differentiates the slow cooker and the Instant Potis how they conduct and spread heat as they cook. Instant Pots live up to their name, heating up quite quickly (even on a slow-cooker function) and mostly directly from the bottom. Slow cookers heat from below and along the sides of the cooker.

So how do you get your Instant Pot to play the role of a slow cooker?

You’ve probably noticed that the Instant Pot has a “Slow-Cook” button in plain sight. No big deal, right? Well, not so fast. There are a few things to keep in mind when you’re trying to make all your favorite slow-cooker recipes in the Instant Pot.

You might need to do a bit of temperature math.
Much like “medium” and “small” can mean something totally different in two different clothing stores, the same is true of the heat settings of Instant Pots and slow cookers. Simply put, “Low” on both devices are not equal in terms of temperature.

Thankfully, there are some handy conversions for how to take your favorite slow-cooker recipes and make sure it’s set correctly for the Instant Pot’s slow-cook function:

Slow Cooker HIGH = Instant Pot Slow Cook High+ (or Slow Cook More) = ~200 to 210 F
Slow Cooker LOW = Instant Pot Slow Cook Normal = ~195 to 205 F
Slow Cooker WARM = Instant Pot LOW = ~170 to 190 F

From there, you can simply cook that slow-cooker recipe for the same amount of time in your Instant Pot.

One important thing to note: We’ve found that, when it comes to slow-cooking recipes on HIGH, adding 15 more minutes per hour of cook time has yielded the best results in our Instant Pot. For instance, you’d cook our Brown Sugar BBQ chicken (which cooks for 4 hours on HIGH in the slow-cooker), would need 5 hours on HIGH in the Instant Pot.

Just keep in mind that most recent Instant Pot models will switch to their Keep Warm function after 10 hours, so be sure to keep an eye in the case that you’re slow-cooking something (like a pot roast, for one) for over ten hours and need to maintain the correct temperature setting.