Which Instant Pot Buttons to Use?

A simple guide to learn which Instant Pot Buttons to use to start cooking with your Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker!

Have you been staring at your brand new Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker with bazillion Instant Pot Buttons staring back at you? Ok, maybe I exaggerated a little bit. 😛 But, if you’re unsure what to do with your Instant Pot after taking it out of the box, this guide is for you!

Where’s the Start Button? Where’s the Stop Button?

How do I make rice? Why is it not cooking?

ahhh…there are so many buttons on this thing!!

Keep Calm and Let Us Crack the IP Codes!

Don’t let it push your buttons. 😉


Which Instant Pot Buttons to Use Guide

*You can click on the links below to jump to a certain section.

6 Most Important Instant Pot Buttons


Not all buttons are created equal: 6 Buttons will take care of 90% of your cooking.

6 Most Important Instant Pot Buttons

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Know these 6 Buttons!

Yes, there are 16 – 18 buttons on the Control Panel depending on which Instant Pot you have.

But most Instant Pot Recipes online are developed using these 6 Buttons (highlighted in above picture), because they give us control to cook precisely and accurately.

We also use the “Manual” Button (“Pressure Cook” Button for newer models) to develop recipes, so readers with other pressure cooker brands can enjoy the Pressure Cooker Recipes too. 🙂

Let’s take a look at what these Instant Pot Buttons do


1. Manual Button (“Pressure Cook” Button for newer models)

  • Use this to set your desired Pressure Cooking Time (Max: 240 mins)

2. “+” & “-” Buttons

  • Increase or decrease the cooking time or timer with these 2 buttons

3. Adjust Button

  • Press this to change from Normal Setting (default) to More Setting to Less Setting

*Note: for newer Instant Pot models with no “Adjust” Button – directly press the program buttons to scroll through the three functions (i.e. Press “Saute” button twice to go from Saute Normal to Saute More)

4. Saute Button

  • Use this button to saute, brown, or simmer directly in the pot with the lid open.
  • Press “Adjust” Button to Change Temperature:
    • Saute (default): 160 ~ 176°C (320 ~ 349°F) – regular saute or browning
    • Saute More Setting (press once): 175 ~ 210°C (347 ~ 410°F) – stir-frying or browning
    • Saute Less Setting (press twice): 135 ~ 150°C (275 ~ 302°F) – simmering, thickening sauce
  • *Note: for newer Instant Pot models with no “Adjust” Button – directly press “Saute” button to change settings
Pressure Cooker Pot Roast Recipe - Browning the chuck roast will greatly enhance the flavor of the end product.
The result of browning using the Saute More Setting. Read more: Pressure Cooker Pot Roast Experiment.

5. Keep Warm/Cancel Button

  • Press this to cancel the operations or turn off the Instant Pot
  • Press this to start the Keep Warm Function (up to 10 hours)
  • For IP-Smart: Press “Adjust” Button to Change Temperature Settings
    • Default Setting: ~63°C/145°F
    • More Setting (press once): 75°C/167°F
    • Less Setting (press twice) ~56°C/133°F

Don’t worry if all this sounds like mumble jumbo to you right now, you’ll get it in a minute.

Read on 🙂

Programmed Instant Pot Buttons


I am wondering why you didn’t use the chili button? I also noticed everyone uses the Manual button for all recipes. What are these buttons actually for?

-Readers

Great question! We actually get asked this question all the time!!

These 6 highlighted buttons below have the exact same cooking function (Let me rephrase that! They may not be exactly the same, but the temperature charts we got from the Instant Pot Smart show very similar results) as the Manual Button/Pressure Cook Button (except Multigrain Button’s More Setting), but default at a cooking time pre-set by the manufacturer (see below).

All they do is suggest a cooking time for the selected type of food. You can use the “Adjust” Button, “+” or “-“ “Pressure” Button to make adjustments.

But we like to use the “Manual” Button (or “Pressure Cook” Button for newer models) for more precise control of the cooking method and cooking time, depending on factors such as the cut of meat, the size of the food, or the container it is being cooked in.

6 Special Programmed Instant Pot Buttons

  • Bean/Chili Button – Normal Setting: High Pressure 30 mins; More Setting: High Pressure 40 mins; Less Setting: High Pressure 25 mins
  • Meat/Stew Button – Normal Setting: High Pressure 35 mins; More Setting: High Pressure 45 mins; Less Setting: High Pressure 20 mins
  • Multigrain Button – Normal Setting: High Pressure 40 mins; More Setting: Warm water soaking for 45 mins, then High Pressure 60 mins; Less Setting: High Pressure 20 mins
  • Porridge/Congee Button – Normal Setting: High Pressure 20 mins; More Setting: High Pressure 30 mins; Less Setting: High Pressure 15 mins
  • Poultry Button – Normal Setting: High Pressure 15 mins; More Setting: High Pressure 30 mins; Less Setting: High Pressure 5 mins
  • Soup Button – Normal Setting: High Pressure 30 mins; More Setting: High Pressure 40 mins; Less Setting: High Pressure 20 mins

For Newer Models:

  • Egg Button – Normal Setting – High Pressure 4 mins; More Setting – High Pressure 5 mins; Less Setting – High Pressure 3 mins

*Note: we still think Low Pressure is still the best way to cook Pressure Cooker Eggs in the Instant Pot. 😉

  • Cake Button – Normal Setting – High Pressure 40 mins; More Setting – High Pressure 50 mins; Less Setting – High Pressure 25 mins

*Note: for cheesecake, try our beloved Instant Pot New York Cheesecake #17 Recipe

Other Programmed Buttons


  • Pressure/Pressure Level Button (For DUO, DUO Plus & Smart) – Switches between High Pressure & Low Pressure Cooking Methods
  • Timer Button/Delay Start Button – Sets timer to delay cooking (up to 24 hours)

Instant Pot Rice Button


Instant Pot Rice Button’s pre-set setting uses Low Pressure Cooking Method, and the Pressure Cooking Time will automatically adjust according to the amount of rice and water in the pot.

*Note: you cannot use the “Adjust”, “+” or “-” Buttons with this program.

For best results, we use the “Manual” Button (“Pressure Cook” Button for newer models) to control the cooking method and time according to the type of rice we cook.

Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Rice

Here Are Our Perfect Rice Recipes:

Slow Cook Button


The Preset Slow Cook Program defaults to 4-hour slow cook time.

Press “+” or “-“ Buttons to change the cooking time (Time Limit: 30 mins to 20 hours).

Press “Adjust” (“Slow Cook” for newer models) to change the Temperature Setting:

  • Normal Setting Temperature: 194-205°F
  • High Setting Temperature: 199-210°F
  • Low Setting Temperature: 190-201°F

Steam Button


The “Steam” function heats at full power continuously, so the Instant Pot Company recommends to use steamer rack to lift the food away from the bottom of the pot to prevent burning.

Press “Adjust” (“Steam” for newer models) to change the Settings: Normal Setting: High Pressure 10 mins; More Setting: High Pressure 15 mins; Less Setting: High Pressure 3 mins

Yogurt Button (For IP-DUO & IP-Smart)


Press “Adjust” (“Yogurt” for newer models) to change the Settings:

  • Normal Setting: Make yogurt
  • More Setting: Pasteurize milk
  • Less Setting: Make Jiu Niang (aka fermented glutinous rice)

Sterilize Button (For DUO Plus & Ultra)


*Note: This is straight from the Instant Pot Manual.

Less Mode – Pasteurization of dairy products (No pressure sterilization at ~83°C/181°F)

Normal Mode – Sterilization of utensils and canning of acidic fruits and vegetables. Not intended for meat canning. (Low Pressure at ~110°C/230°F)

More Mode – Sterilization of utensils and canning of acidic fruits and vegetables. Not intended for meat canning. (High Pressure at ~115°C/239°F)

*This program can open a can of worms if users try to use it to replace a pressure canner. We would recommend using this program to sterilize utensils only.


Whew! I know that was a lot to take in!!

So, we’ve created a list of step-by-step examples on the most commonly used functions below. This way, you’ll know exactly which button to press to do what! 😀

Examples: Which Instant Pot Button To Press


Example 1: When a recipe states “Cook at High Pressure for 10 minutes”

  1. Press the Manual Button (“Pressure Cook” Button for newer models)
  2. Press “-” button or “+” button to change the cooking time to 10 minutes

Example 2:

a) Sauteing

  1. Press “Saute” Button
  2. Wait until the indicator says HOT, then you can start sauteing

Instant Pot Saute

b) Saute More (Higher Temperature)

  1. Press “Saute” Button
  2. Press “Adjust” Button once to change to More Setting
  3. Wait until the indicator says HOT, then you can start sauteing

Example 3: Delay Cooking

  1. Press the Manual Button (“Pressure Cook” Button for newer models)
  2. Press “-” button or “+” button to change to your desired cooking time
  3. Press the “Timer” Button
  4. Press “+” or “-” buttons to set the delayed hours
  5. Press the “Timer” Button again to change the minutes

Example 4: Preset Program Cooking – Slow Cook

  1. Press “Slow Cook” Button
  2. Press “Adjust” Button to change the Temperature Setting (Normal, More, Less)
  3. Press “+” or “-” to change cooking time

That was easy, wasn’t it? 🙂

Be sure to Bookmark this page for future references.

Now that you’re an Instant Pot Buttons Expert, get cooking with these 33+ Easy & Yummy Instant Pot Recipes!33+ Easy Recipes for New Instant Pot Users

A simple guide to learn which Instant Pot Buttons to use to start cooking with your Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker!
Food Lovers in our 30s who worked directly with Instant Pot CEO, Manufacturers, and 35+ Restaurants. Culinary Families & Food Magazine Publishers.
  1. I have the IP duo and I bought it when Amazon had there Amazon Prime day . I just started making recipes that have rice in them and every one I try burns and of course the burn comes across the screen. I tried adding more water and it doesnt matter it still says burn . What am I to do ? I made the recipe in my old pressure cooker, which was electric , and it came out fine . I want to use my I P . The buttons on my old pressure cooker are going up .

    1. Hi Kathy,

      thank you for your question.

      I suggest trying the water test and see if the burn message comes up.

      If it does come up, you will want to contact the Instant Pot support.

      Please take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  2. Thank you for great explanation of the buttons. When do you use the vented glass lid? Can you use it with the steam button or do you have to seal it and use pressure?

    1. Hi Mo,

      Hope you had a wonderful New Year 🙂
      Thank you for your kind words & question.
      The steam button is for pressure cooking.

      The glass lid is for slow cooking, making yogurt, keeping warm …etc

      Happy New Year & please take care
      Jacky

  3. I bought for myself and both of my daughters Cooks Fast Pot Multicookers for Christmas. We are enjoying it so far after about 5 uses. Question: Most of the recipes on Pinterest use the buttons on the Instant Pot brand. Although 8 of the buttons are the same on ours, we do not have a “pressure” button or “manual” button. We have soup/broth, meat/stew, egg, saute’, poultry, steam, desserts, multigrain rice/risotto, slow cook, warm/cancel and delay start. It is frustrating when I don’t know which button to use for pressure or manual and I don’t want to have to buy an Instant Pot brand model, when this one seems to work fine with the settings I know. Can you help?

    1. Hi Kelli,

      Hope you had a wonderful New Year & Christmas 🙂
      Thank you for your question. For the Cooks Fast Pot, you can use the meat/stew button for all the high pressure recipes we have.

      Happy New Year & please take care
      Jacky

  4. I have the newer model of the instant pot lux 6 qt size. wondering how do I change the pressure from high to low like for the eggs I did mine for 5 minutes and immediate steam release and they were well done the yellows had green along the outside. what did I do wrong?

    1. Hi Cassandra,

      Hope you had a wonderful New Year & Christmas 🙂
      Thank you for your question. The LUX 6 quart only operates in High pressure mode so you will want to reduce the cooking time to avoid the eggs from overcooking.

      Happy New Year & please take care
      Jacky

  5. Hello, I have the bella brand 8qt. and it doesn’t have a manual button. Do you know which one I should use when the recipe calls for this button?

  6. My instantpot has three settings for time separated with colons. I assume the third set is for minutes, the second for a hours, but what is the first set of numbers for. I am confused about he time settings. Help

  7. Ive had my CrockPot brand for 3 days. Fixed 3 meals. Day 1 was awesome stew using stewing beef from butcher. That was so good, made it day 2 using forgotten frozen sirloin steak cut in cube.
    Not sure what happened but E6 cane ob. Unplugged and started again and after it came to pressure it happened again. When I opened it I found the steak had stuck to bottom and there was no liquid. Added water and finished but wasn’t the best flavor. Undaunted, tonight I made a two pound meetloaf and smashed potatoes! Absolutely delightful! I’m 78 and live trying new things. I feed my 6 men roommates what I make! They don’t normally expect me to cook but are quite happy about this new fun food prep. Onward through the recipes now. ThanQ for the recipes and answers to questions you provide.

  8. I am so glad I found your website. You explained everything so well and in perfect detail. It was much easier to follow than the manual! I subscribed to your email list and I am looking forward to receiving recipes and tips. Thank you for all your help.

    1. Hi Sarah,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      The normal, more, and less for the pressure cooking setting is only for the time duration.

      If you are using the Instant Pot DUO, there is a pressure adjust button (the default setting is on High).

      For the LUX, there is only a single High pressure setting.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  9. Hi i have a duo pot instant 6 i have probelm with time to get 5mins time ineed to go through all the seconds first god help if i need a long time .will just go back to my slow cooker thanks

    1. Hi Vivian,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      For pressure cooking, the display is in Minutes not seconds.

      So when you press + or -, it will change the cooking time by minute

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  10. hello! i have IP 6quart DUO version. So according to this article, Saute Less would be about 135F to 150F. That would be a pretty good temperature for beef (as in sous vide format??)? Do you think it would be ok to ‘boil’ water to get to the 135-150 deg range and then cook my steak in a ziploc bag while still using Saute Less?

    1. Hi Jamie,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      It will be too hot as the Saute Less’s temperature is 135C to 150F. That is 270F – 302F.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  11. Hi,
    I am makings your pot roast recipe. I am confused about the more setting with the meat button on the I Pot.Duo plus, Is is referring to time or heat ? I love your recipes. ?

    1. Hi Mary,

      thank you for your kind words and question 🙂

      The more setting for meat button is only for more time.

      I would recommend using the manual button/pressure cook button for our pot roast recipe.

      Take care & have fun cooking!
      Jacky

  12. I have a question about the Natural Release. I just fixed my first meal (pot roast) in my new Instant Pot DUO60. The recipe said to use the Natural Release method for 10 minutes and then change to the Quick Release. I am not sure how to use the Natural Release. When the Pressure Cooker time was finished, it automatically went to Keep Warm and I left it there for 10 minutes before changing to the venting setting (after putting a towel on the release). Was that correct? The meal was excellent!

    1. Hi Beverly,

      Congrats on your first meal and welcome to our site 🙂

      You did it right as Natural release means not to do anything.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  13. Hello, E6 came up on my instant pot and I can not find it in my book. Can you tell what that means please?

    1. Hi Brenda,

      Thank you for your question. Is it the C6 error? You probably want to contact the Instant Pot support for this one.

      E6 error on another brand of pressure cooker means overheated. Try unplugging the Instant Pot and plugging it back in and see if the error goes away.

      Take care
      Jacky

  14. So I have a smoker pressure cooker, not the same as others here :/ but I’m enjoying the interaction among all who share….. I am hoping to find an answer to my problem, It seems whenever I steam cook that after the machine is ready It beeps every 20 seconds through the whole process….. please tell me what I could be doing wrong .

    1. Hi Kathy,

      Thank you for your comment.
      Does it beep constantly every 20 seconds? Which brand/model is the smoker pressure cooker?

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  15. Hi! I just found your site and love it!
    One question I’ve got that I’m hoping you can help with is what temperature is the yogurt setting at? Im looking to ferment some batter and wondering if I can do it on that to ensure it stays more constant? It needs to be at 67-70 F for 24 hours. Living in Scotland I’m worried the temperature could drop too low. Thanks for your help!
    Chrissy

    1. Hi Chrissy,

      Thank you for your kind words and welcome to our site 🙂

      The yogurt setting will maintain the temperature in this range 106°F – 113°F.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

    2. I hope it is permitted for me to try to answer this question, since the IP seems not to fit Chrissy’s needs. I’m sorry if it isn’t.
      Hi Chrissy: It seems that the IP temperature is higher than you want for yogurt. Maybe my experience of making soybean tempeh without any help from an electric appliance would help.
      After processing and inoculating the beans I had to ferment them at around 80 degrees for 24 hours, just like for your yogurt. I found that the best way to to that was to get a deep styrofoam or other insulated container. In the bottom of it I place jars full of hot (not boiling) tap water, and over that a cake rake, on which I place the beans in plastic bags. I put a simple aquarium thermometer with the right range of temperatures on top of the beans.
      I don’t know whether in such close quarters it would matter whether or not the yogurt is up above the jars or not. If it does, you would have to adjust the arrangement.
      In cold surroundings, I start out with a quilt or two draped over the container and check the temperature every few hours to make sure it doesn’t get too high. Especially towards the end, as the beans ferment they cause a temperature rise. I don’t know if that occurs with yogurt, but after a few hours, you will get an idea of how things are going, sometimes adding hotter water or perhaps taking away one of the bottles of warm water. Extra coverings during the night, unless your house is centrally heated. I hope this helps.

  16. Hi!
    I am gifting to a friend the IP Duo Mini 3 Qt 7-in-1 (there is only 2 in the household). I noted that this particular pot does not have the Egg or Poultry button. If I wanted to use the programmed button instead of the “manual” (Pressure Cook), which one of these buttons could I use – Porridge or Meat – and then adjusting the time using the +/- based on the recipe? I sure wish that there was more info on the various buttons for the Minis’ (such as you have provided for the other IPs) and how to adjust the normal, less, more settings if there is not an “adjust” button or if some buttons are not available then what programmed button could be used. Of course the actual users manual that comes with the IPs does not go into any detail about this type of information just what I would consider “overviews”. Even the IP app does not have any of this type of info nor does it provide recipes for the minis. I know that Amazon has made available a new book specifically for the minis so hopefully this will have most of the info that I’ve just “complained” about above. 🙂

    Thank you for all the info you have provided on your website. It has helped me tremendously since I have an IP mini which I really like using.

    1. Hi Carlene,

      thank you for your question and kind words 🙂

      The pressure cook button is probably the best button to use.

      You can adjust the normal, less, and more setting by pressing the same program button repeatedly.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  17. Hi Amy and Jacky,
    I have an 8qt duo. I do not have an adjustment button, but if I need to toggle from more, normal, less I have to push whatever button I am using, (for example meat/stew) until it reaches the right adjustment. But what if my adjustments aren’t the same as what you describe here: “Meat/Stew Button – Normal Setting: High Pressure 35 mins; More Setting: High Pressure 45 mins; Less Setting: High Pressure 20 mins” mine seem to be 10 off of yours. why would that be?

    1. Hi Cheryl,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      Perhaps the Instant Pot company has changed the program timing on the newer batches.

      You can adjust the time manually by using the + and – button.

      Take care & have fun cooking!
      Jacky

    1. Hi Mia,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      The temperature for less, more, and normal are all the same for pressure cooking functions.
      The only difference is the cooking duration displayed on the screen.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  18. Hi,I am a new user to the instant pot. My problem is with timing the recipes. I have had some say 5 minutes and I see the time as 00:50 is that not 50 minutes ? I have ended up putting some time on the pot and then watching the clock in-house for 5 minutes.Then hitting cancel and letting it natural release. I do fine with times that are 10or more.I have the new 8 quart Duo and there is no manual button. Hope what I am asking makes sense was hard to explain Thanks in advance for your help.

    1. Hi Lori,

      Congrats on your new Instant Pot 🙂

      00:50 is 50 minutes, you will want to set the time to 00:05 for 5 minutes.

      The manual button has been renamed to Pressure Cook in the newer models.

      Have a great weekend!
      Jacky

  19. We received an IP for Christmas…first few times we used the IP we had no problems…we decided to step outside the box. We tried chili, tuna & noodles and pork chops with apples…all of these came up with the message :”burm”. How can we prevent this???? Thank you.
    Maria

  20. I tried to cook a pasta recipe that called for pressure cooking for 4 minutes. I set the pressure cook timer to 4 minutes, checked that the vent was in the sealing position,and walked away. When I came back in the room 10 minutes later, the timer was up to 17 minutes and continuing to count up. I waited another 15 minutes or so, and saw that the timer was still counting, but the pressure valve had dropped on its own so I opened the pot. My pasta was overdone. Is this supposed to happen?

    1. Hi Shelly,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      When it has an L in front of the number, it means it has been in keep warm mode for 17 minutes and then 15 minutes later, it means it has been in keep warm mode for 32 minutes.

      The pasta was overcooked as it should have been quick release.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  21. Regarding my question about the “L” not showing up on the ‘countdown’ – they said the little ‘temperature’ icon is the only thing that shows on my particular instant pot.

  22. I have the 6 qt. duo 60 – why do I not get the “L” before the lapsed time? It’s hard to tell it is lapsed time unless you watch to see if it is counting up or down??

  23. Hi! I tried to make Green Chili Stew tonight and used the “meat/stew” button ….twice. The potatoes still weren’t done. It was filled to the maximum line, could that have been the problem?

    1. Hi Kathy,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      You may want to cut the potatoes into smaller sizes so it will cook better.

      Happy New Year to you and your family
      Jacky

  24. Hi! I have used my instant pot a couple times, but I’m confused. When I hit the pressure cooker button, a time automatically displays. Do I add the cooking time to that time, or do I adjust that time to the cooking time? Thank you for your help.

  25. I’m struggling with my Manual button. If I set it for 10 minutes it immediately starts counting down the 10 minutes. My silver steam button isn’t up yet. Plus, there’s no way my IP has come up to steam yet. I now use the meat button, etc. and simply adjust the cooling time. I have an IP Duo 6 qt 9 button model.

    1. Hi StevieLynn,

      The manual button shouldn’t do that. Try contacting the Instant Pot support and see what they say.

      Happy New Year to you and your family
      Jacky

  26. Okay, I have the Instant Pot Gem 8-In-1 6 quart. I don’t have a manual button and I’m trying to cook baby back ribs. Please help me!!

    1. Hi Julie,

      Thank you for your question 🙂

      The Instant Pot Gem is not a pressure cooker. It is more of a slow cooker and baking oven so you will have to use one of those methods.

      Happy New Year to you and your family
      Jacky

  27. I might have missed it but is there a print version so I don’t have to scroll through so many pages?
    I love your information. I’m new to IP but your posts are very helpful.

    1. Hi Connie,

      Thank you for your kind words and question 🙂

      We don’t have a print version function for these kind of articles yet.

      Happy New Year to you and your family!
      Jacky

  28. I’m so confused
    Am I really saving time when I have to wait x amount of time before actual cooking starts
    Would really like to learn how to use my ip Christmas gift

    1. Hi JoAnn,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      Think of the get up to pressure time as the time it takes to boil water on stovetop or preheating in oven.

      Happy New Year to you and your family
      Jacky

  29. Ok I am not seeing a pressure cooker button. Just got it for Christmas and want to make baked potatoes. I have the Crock Pot. It has the meat, beans, etc buttons toward bottom it has slow cook, steam, brown/saute and keep warm. Help

  30. I have the new Instapot without the Manuel button. I’m trying to use the “Pressure Cook” button to cook a room temperature whole chicken for 20 minutes but the “Pressure Cook” button won’t go past 4 minutes. Please HELP!

    1. Hi Theresa,

      Thank you for your question 🙂

      You can use the + and – button to adjust the cooking time after you have pressed the Pressure Cook button.

      Happy New Year & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  31. I tried cooking a meatloaf but nothing happened. I pressed manual and adjusted time to 20 minutes as stated in the recipe. It was still raw. What did I miss?

    1. Hi Kate,

      you will need to wait for the Instant Pot to get up to pressure (Venting knob turned to sealing position) before the 20 minutes cooking timer will begin.

      Happy New Year & Have fun cooking!
      Jacky

  32. I have been cooking for 65 years and just received an Instant Pot from my sweet neighbors. I am enjoying learning a better and quicker way to cook and have been searching the internet for recipes. That is how I happened upon your site and am so inspired by your recipes presented in such a personal and positive way. I can feel warmth and love coming from your posts, as though you are personal friends, and your recipes are awesome. Thank you so much and blessings to you. Now, for a question. If a recipe says to simmer, which button do I use?

    1. Hi Sandra,

      Congrats on your new Instant Pot and thank you so much for your kind comment :)!

      You will want to use the Saute Less mode for simmering.

      For some models, press the saute button and click on the adjust button until it reaches Saute Less.

      For some models, press the saute button until it reaches the Saute Less mode.

      We wish you and your family a Happy New Year 🙂

      Jacky

  33. Hi! Great article! I’m looking to buy an IP and can’t decide which model. Do you have any recommendations? (like, how important are the handles?)

  34. If a recipe calls for 12 minutes on the cake setting on the newer models, what would I use on the older model that doesn’t have this setting?

  35. I have a Power Cooker, I cannot find a model number, that I have had for several years. I used it a few times right after I bought it. I have since moved and lost the booklets that came with it. I can’t remember how to use it and was wondering if you know if the instruction booklet is online anywhere. I hate to just let it sit idle if I could be using it. I have been looking at the Instant Pot recipes and my pot has different buttons, so I don’t know how to change the recipes to fit my pot. Help ……….

    1. Hi Debbie,

      thank you for your comment and question 🙂

      If you are using the Power Pressure Cooker XL, you can use the meat/chicken button for Instant Pot recipes.

      Take care & have fun cooking!
      Jacky

  36. I read your post about the Steam button but I don’t understand how that is different from using manual. What type of foods would you use this button for?

    1. Hi Adele,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      There is not enough differentiation for us to recommend the steam button over the manual button.

      You can treat the manual button as steam button.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  37. I asked a question about my Idea electric pressure cooker. The model number is MY SS 5062. I really want to know how to manually set it for less than 2 hours. Please help.

    1. Hi Roxie,

      thank you for your response 🙂

      I believe you can press the On-demand Pressure as manual button and use the + or – to adjust the time.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  38. Do you have a newsletter, article, or suggested website that I might access to learn how to use my Midea pressure cooker? I have the newest one and cannot figure out how to use it manually. I cannot set a time for less than 2 hours. Please help.

    1. Hi Roxie,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      Which model of Midea pressure cooker do you have? They should operate in similar manner as Instant Pot.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  39. I have tried 3 different times to use the Instant Pot as a slow cooker. It has not done very well; my food was either not well cooked or it was cooked too much. I suspect that maybe the IP is not the best device for slow cooking. What are your thoughts? Thanks.

    1. Hi Claire,

      thank you for your question 🙂
      I believe the older versions were not the best device for slow cooking. Instant Pot later revised the cooking temperature for the newer models (Duo60 V2 and LUXV3).

      Take care & Have fun cooking!
      Jacky

  40. I fixed a pot of gumbo. the pot was 3/4 full. Nothing in the recipe required more than 5 minutes cook time. I set manual for 8 minutes. came back a few minutes later and the timer had elapsed. My gumbo was still cold. I set it for 30 minutes with the same results. I decided to try saute to get it hot. Because of the warnings, I was afraid to keep it on saute too long. I switched back to manual. It wouldn’t hold the temperature. I finally got it pressurized, but on manual it would lose pressure. I finally got the gumbo but this is ridiculous. what did I do wrong? I thought the cook time was the time after the I Pot reached pressure. Apparently not!

    1. Hi Herb,

      thank you for your question.

      With a 3/4 full pot, the Instant pot will probably take 20 minutes to get up to pressure before the timer starts.
      Make sure the venting knob is in the sealing position to allow the Instant Pot to get up to pressure.

      Take care & Have fun cooking!
      Jacky

  41. Thanks for this very helpful post!

    Is there a way to reset all the buttons to the original settings, once I’ve adjusted them (and of course I have…)?

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Kay,

      Thank you for your question 🙂

      To reset to factory default settings, press and hold the “Adjust” button for 3 seconds,
      when the Instant Pot cooker is in the Off mode.

      Happy New Year & Have Fun Cooking!
      Jacky

  42. I would like to subscribe to your newsletter also. My pressure cooker doesn’t have an adjust button for the temperature what do I do. I see a lot of recipes that say cook on high for 10 min but idk how to know if it’s cooking on high or not

    1. Hi Cynthia,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      If your pressure cooker doesn’t have a temperature button, it will mostly operate in High Pressure.

      Do you happen to know the brand/model for the pressure cooker so I can double check for you?

      I have added you to our newsletter subscription :)!

      Thank you & Have Fun Cooking!
      Jacky

  43. I had once seen a chart that showed more info on these buttons … For example, I believe the stew/chili mode comes to full temperature slower to prevent burning. And the steam setting heats very quickly to prevent “cooking” the veggies as it comes to pressure. There were other differences as well besides the preset times.

    1. Hi Kim,

      thank you for your comment 🙂

      As mentioned, the temperature charts we got from Instant Pot Smart showed very similar results when comparing the manual button to the preset buttons.

      Happy New Year & Have Fun Cooking!
      Jacky

    1. Hi Lorraine,

      thank you for thinking of a solution to Bon’s question 🙂

      I have actually tried heating it twice or three times and the temperature was only ~184F – 188F.

      Happy New Year & Have Fun Cooking!
      Jacky

    1. Hi Jody,

      thank you for your question.

      These are the PSI 🙂

      High 10.2 ~ 11.6psi (70 ~ 80kPa); Low 5.8 ~7.2 psi (40 ~ 50kpa).

      Happy New Year & Have fun cooking!
      Jacky

  44. Which functions needs the vent to be in sealing and when to keep vent in venting position.

    For example – for rice function- does it need to be on venting or sealing?

    What about steam function?

    1. Hi Rekha,

      thank you for your question 🙂
      when you are pressure cooking, you will have to keep the venting knob in the sealing position.

      The rice function will need to be on sealing position.

      For steam function, if you are pressure steaming, you will have to turn it to the sealing position.

      Have fun cooking!
      Jacky

  45. Hello,

    I have bought an Instant Pot a few weeks ago, but have still not used it. It seems overwhelming. Is this guide on Instant Pot Buttons available in PDF format? I have already subscribed to your newsletter.

    Thank you!

  46. I have a recipe for Sicilian ricotta cheese to requires the milk to be heated to 190 degrees. Can the Yogurt setting be adjusted to heat milk to 190 degrees instead of the normal 180 degrees? If so, how?

    1. Hi Bob,

      thank you for your question. Perhaps you can try the slow cooking less function, but I don’t think it will hold a steady 190F.

      The only way to do it is if you have the Instant Pot Smart. You will be able to set the Instant Pot to hold a steady 190F using the android/iphone app.

      Happy New Year & Have Fun Cooking
      Jacky

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