Instant Pot Cooking Time Chart for Meat, Veggies, Beans, & Grains!

Wouldn’t you love to start cooking faster? Now you can in a moment’s notice when you use our handy, downloadable Instant Pot cooking times list!

  • By Brittany Yamamoto-Taylor
  • April 7, 2020

Gone are the days of spending hours hovering over a hot stove. Now you’ll have all you need to know about instantaneously preparing your favorite veggies, grains, and proteins with our handy IP cheat sheet. When you get our Instant Pot Cheat Sheet Bundle, you’ll get:

  • The cooking time chart for meats, legumes, grains, and veggies (shown below)
  • Our Instant Pot Converter, which teaches you how to convert slow cooker, pasta, stovetop, and oven recipes
  • Bonus recipe ebook that includes the basics of using an Instant Pot and 10 easy, delicious recipes

All of this for only $9.99!


Instant Pot Cooking Times Cheat Sheet

From beans to grains to meat, you’ll find all the proper cooking times in this Instant Pot Cheat Sheet!

Meat, Poultry, and Seafood

On this infographic, you’ll see many different kinds and cuts of meats, so you’ll know the best cook time range for each one. But before you start pressure-cooking certain meats, it’s a good idea to brown / sear them on the Instant Pot’s ‘Sauté’ setting for 2 – 3 minutes on each side to seal in juices. The meats below turn out the best when you sear them first:

  • Chicken thighs
  • Leg of lamb
  • Pork chops
  • Pork tenderloin
  • Sausage links
  • Steak

When it comes to seafood, it is unsurprising that they only need a couple minutes in your IP, but if you are cooking them from frozen, just remember to add 1 – 2 minutes to our cheat sheet cook times.

Release Setting

For smaller, single cuts of meat, we recommend a 10-minute NPR (natural pressure release). This will let the juices settle while still preventing these small cuts of meat from getting overcooked. This is great for chicken breasts / tenders / thighs / wings, lamb cubes, pork chops / tenderloin, and steak. For larger cuts of meat, the full natural release (which could take around 20 minutes) is usually a fine choice. However, when you are cooking ground meats and seafood, you should always use QPR (quick pressure release) to prevent overcooking.


This cheat sheet covers a wide range of veggies – from beets, to carrots, to bok choy – so you’ll be able to steam a variety of vegetables, which the Instant Pot is great at doing! All you need is to add 1 cup (250 mL) of water to your pot and place your veggies in an ovenproof bowl or steamer basket on the steam rack. If you haven’t tried a basket yet, we love this versatile 2-tiered, stackable steamer basket that fits both a 6 and 8 quart Instant Pot.

If you are cooking your vegetables from frozen, that’s a perfectly good option, but just make sure to add 1 – 2 minutes of cooking time to our chart numbers for most veggies.

Release Setting

When dealing with vegetables, you should almost always use QPR to avoid ending up with mushy, overcooked greens. However, a 5-minute NPR is appropriate for toughies like potatoes and sweet potatoes.

Dried Beans, Legumes, and Lentils

Cooking dried beans, legumes, and lentils is honestly the best way to go when it comes to the Instant Pot. Not only are these dried ingredients usually at least half the price of their canned or precooked counterparts, they also allow you to control how much salt you add. But cooking dried beans takes more time than most of us have . . . until the Instant Pot entered the stage! Now you can save tons of time while simultaneously enjoying healthier meals and saving money.

Since cooking times for dry ingredients vary depending on desired firmness, we have a range of times for 11 different beans, legumes, and lentils on our cheat sheet. When you try them out, just remember not to fill the inner pot over the ½ mark to avoid overflow as your ingredients soak up water and expand.

Release Setting

We recommend using a 5-minute NPR. But feel free to experiment a bit to find the perfect texture for whatever you are using your beans, legumes, or lentils in.


Whether you want steel cut oatmeal ready for you in just 5 minutes or white rice ready to join a delicious curry dinner in only 4 minutes, cooking your grains in an Instant Pot is a wonderful, time-saving dinner hack. Our cheat sheet has the IP time ranges for a variety of grains and also includes the grain to water ratio so you know exactly how much liquid you should be adding.

Although your Instant Pot probably has a ‘Rice’ function, you should only use this for white rice. Both brown rice and wild rice should be cooked on ‘High’ and – spoiler alert – can be ready in under 25 minutes every time!

Release Setting

We recommend using a 5-minute NPR, but since people often have different preferences in how they like their grains cooked, play around with it a bit to figure out exactly how long to let the release go to give you that optimum texture.

Now that you are set with all of the basics of how to cook your staples, we have handy next steps for you! Get our Instant Pot Cheat Sheet Bundle to help with all your IP conversion and cooking times needs. And, while our weekly meal plans indicate when recipes are Instant-Pot-friendly, one of our beloved members took it a step further by starting a Cook Smarts Instant Pot Facebook Group where you can get recipe advice and connect with other homecooks who love their Instant Pots, too.

If you have any friends and family who enjoy pressure cooking or are thinking about trying their hand at it, send this along to them and let the instant cooking begin!

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