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The Instant Pot is a pretty awesome little appliance (my husband calls it the Magic Gadget for a reason!), but it can take some getting used to if you’re more familiar with traditional oven/stove cooking. If you’re brand new to the Instant Pot, I covered all the buttons in my Instant Pot beginner’s guide and I shared my 5 top tips in my Instant Pot Hacks post. But something that I know a lot of Instant Pot users (new and old) find themselves constantly looking up is cooking times. So today, I wanted to share my handy Instant Pot Cooking Times Cheat Sheet with a matching printable!

Instant Pot Cooking Times Cheat Sheet

If you want your food to be cooked properly, you need to be familiar with the Instant Pot cooking times of your favorite foods! Not just because over/under-cooked food may have bad flavor or texture, but also for food safety reasons. You don’t want anyone biting into what appears to be a well-cooked chicken leg, only to find it pink and raw in the center! Poorly cooked food ruins a meal and wastes money. So if you can avoid all that by a minute or two of looking at my Instant Pot cooking times cheat sheet, I think that’s time well spent!

Remember, while the Instant Pot is a magical little device, it can’t go from zero to finished in just 5 minutes. It has to heat up in the beginning and release steam at the end. And if you’re using frozen food, while you don’t have to defrost it ahead of time, it can make your Instant Pot take longer to pre-heat to the optimal temperature. So the cooking times you see here refer to the active cooking times of the food. Make sure to plan extra time for your Instant Pot to heat up and release its steam. 

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For everything on the cheat sheet below, use the manual setting on high pressure. For the foods where I’ve given a cooking range, choose the smaller range for smaller amounts of the food and the end of the range for larger amounts. I suggest using the quick release for everything except for red meats, in which case I recommend the natural release.

Food Instant Pot Cooking Times Tips
Beans- dry black, cannellini, great northern, pinto, or navy 26 minutes Completely cover the beans with water.
Beans- dry red kidney 18 minutes Completely cover the beans with water.
Beef Roast 35-40 minutes
Boneless Ribs 25 minutes
Butternut squash- fresh, cut into slices 2-3 minutes Use your metal steam basket and add 1 cup of water.
Chicken- breasts (boneless) 8 minutes
Chicken- thighs 9 minutes
Chicken- drumsticks 15-20 minutes
Chicken- whole 6 minutes per pound Put a little oil in the pot and use the sauté function to brown it first.
Corn on the cob 3-4 minutes
Couscous 2-3 minutes For every 1 cup of couscous, add 2 cups of water.
Eggs- hard-boiled 4 minutes Use your metal steam rack and add 1 cup of water.
Eggplant (fresh- cut into slices or chunks) 2-3 minutes Use your metal steam basket and add 1 cup of water.
Fish fillet- fresh/thawed 2-3 minutes
Fish fillet- frozen 3-4 minutes
Green beans- fresh, whole 2-3 minutes Use your metal steam basket and add 1 cup of water.
Ham- picnic shoulder 8 minutes per pound Put a little oil in the pot and use the sauté function to brown it first.
Lobster- fresh/thawed 2-3 minutes Use your metal steam basket and add 1 cup of water.
Lobster- frozen 3-4 minutes Use your metal steam basket and add 1 cup of water.
Mixed vegetables- fresh, cut into chunks 3-4 minutes Use your metal steam basket and add 1 cup of water.
Oats- quick 5 minutes For every 1 cup of quick oats, add 1.6 cups of water.
Oats- steel-cut 10 minutes For every 1 cup of steel-cut oats, add 1.6 cups of water.
Parsnips- cut into chunks 3-4 minutes Use your metal steam basket and add 1 cup of water.
Pasta 4 minutes Completely cover the noodles with water.
Pork chops 5 minutes Put a little oil in the pot and use the sauté function to brown it first.
Pork roast 45-55 minutes Put a little oil in the pot and use the sauté function to brown it first.
Potatoes- whole 12-15 minutes Use your metal steam rack and add 1 cup of water.
Potatoes- fresh, cubed 2-3 minutes Use your metal steam basket and add 1 cup of water.
Rice- basmati 2-3 minutes For every 1 cup of basmati rice, add 1 cup of water.
Rice- brown 25 minutes For every 1 cup of brown rice, add 1.25 cups of water.
Rice- jasmine 4 minutes For every 1 cup of jasmine rice, add 1 cup of water.
Rice- white 12 minutes For every 1 cup of white rice, add 1 cup of water.
Rice- wild 27 minutes For every 1 cup of wild rice, add 1.3 cups of water.
Turkey- drumsticks 15-20 minutes
Shrimp- fresh/thawed 1-3 minutes Use your metal steam basket and add 1 cup of water.
Shrimp- frozen 2-4 minutes Use your metal steam basket and add 1 cup of water.

With all the info above, you’ll be able to get a well-cooked (and delicious!) meal on the table at the right time.

For more instant pot recipes, visit my Instant Pot Page! 

To reference this easily when you’re in the kitchen, get my Instant Pot cooking times cheat sheet printable!

What’s your favorite food to cook in the Instant Pot? Share below! 

In Awe,

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