This slow cooker to instant pot conversion will save your time, sanity, and your butt! Pork butt that is… Come on, what did you think we meant? 😉

Chicken inside instant pot for slow cooker to instant pot conversion from Shelf Cooking.

You know those times when you plan to cook your favorite meal in the slow cooker, but then totally forget to actually add it to the slow cooker? Yeah… we've all been there.

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Well, worry not. This slow cooker to Instant Pot conversion will save the day… and dinner! Whether you made a mealtime uh oh or you're simply itching to try out your new Instant Pot, this information is about to change. your. life. Too dramatic? We think not.


Instant Pot on a table with vegetables from Shelf Cooking.

Move over slow cooker… there's a new kid in town. His name? INSTANT POT!

Not only can the Instant Pot whip up your favorite meals in a fraction of the time, but they are multi-functional as well. This bad boy can steam, slow cook, sauté, cook rice, and of course, pressure cook. It's literally a jack of all trades!

While the slow cooker is great for those of us who plan ahead, what about those days when we just don't have our stuff together? Oh, is that just us? No matter—Instant Pot to the rescue! With an appliance that can cook up a gourmet meal in less than an hour, you'll never be unprepared for dinner time again.


Just about anything you make in the slow cooker can be made in the Instant Pot! Simply follow this simple quadratic equation… Ha! Juuuust kidding. 😉 Actually, it does involve a little math, but we promise it's easy!

However long your slow cooker recipe is supposed to cook on high, multiply that number by 6. That is how long you cook in the Instant Pot!

For example, if your recipe calls for 8 hours on LOW, that means 4 hours on HIGH. Do the simple equation (4 x 6 = 24) and you'll find that this recipe needs to cook for about 24 minutes in the Instant Pot! See, easy peasy. With this basic formula, you can cook almost anything in the Instant Pot!

Pro Tip: Remember to ALWAYS add liquid to the Instant Pot! Even if your slow cooker recipe doesn't call for it, the Instant Pot requires a minimum of one cup to rise to pressure.


When you start with frozen foods in your Instant Pot, especially meats, plan to cook for an additional 4-10 minutes. It may take a bit of trial and error for each recipe, so record what works on your meal planner and have it perfected for next time!

If you release pressure and find your meal still needs a bit longer, that's totally okay! Pop that lid back on and bring it up to pressure for a few more minutes. Don't worry, it won't take nearly as long to reach pressure the second time.


Three bowls of soup surrounded by veggies on counter from Shelf Cooking.

A good soup is one that's been simmering on the stove allllll day long, right? Well, by converting your favorite soup recipe to the Instant Pot, you'll get that all-day simmer flavor fest in less than an hour. Kablam!

Follow the conversion equation above and try one of these easy soups for an easy dinner any night of the week! These are a shelf cooking dream and a total win in the Instant Pot. Plus, the handles and the “keep warm” function make soup a great dish to take to a potluck or a game night with friends!


While we love our Instant Pot for so many things, there are a few things you should not cook in it! We've compiled a list to help you avoid any Instant Pot heartbreak.

  • Dairy – It's best to add dairy to the Instant Pot after your dish is finished cooking. Otherwise, it can curdle and, well, ain't nobody got time for that! Heavy cream is the exception and is less likely to curdle, but it can still signal the dreaded BURN notice if not used with another liquid.
  • Breaded Meats – Due to the steam within the Instant Pot, even if you use a rack, nothing will come out crispy. Keep that in mind when you need to cook those dino nuggets…
  • Quick Cooking Foods – The whole point of the pressure cooker is to reduce cooking time. If you have food that cooks quickly on the stove or the oven, go with that method! It may only need to cook for a few minutes in the Instant Pot, but you still have to account for the time it takes to get up to pressure.
  • Baked Goods – While there ARE recipes for breads and cookies out there in the internet realm… DON'T go there! The Instant Pot is unable to give that crispy, caramelized exterior we all love so much on the edge of a cookie. Trust us, stick to the oven for these things.

Now that you know exactly how to take your favorite slow cooker recipe and cook it to perfection in the Instant Pot, you will be an unstoppable dinner queen. Wahoooo! If you were unsure about the Instant Pot before, it's time to jump on that bandwagon, lady! This slow cooker to Instant Pot conversion is sure to change your life in a big way.

What is your favorite dish to cook in the Instant Pot? Share with us in the comments below!

Image with that text that reads "slow cooker to instant pot conversion", from Shelf Cooking

Want more GREAT kitchen hacks and recipes? Check out these posts, too!

Now, grab that Instant Pot and get to converting!