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    Many Feathers

    Hi, I just got an Instant Pot Smart yesterday. Did the water test and WOW! How fun to be able to see what’s going on INSIDE the pot! Bluetooth connected right away. Great!

    I just started watching your Cooking School videos. Thanks so much! I’ve only done 3 or 4 lessons and have learned a LOT!!!

    I’m confused about times for cooking. In the Cooking School, for the cauliflower and potatoes, with cubed potatoes, you show 5 minutes cooking. In the recipe book that comes with the IP, it shows 7-9 minutes for cubed potatoes.

    Whole large potatoes in the recipe book say cook for 12-15 minutes and yet the cooking time for mashed potatoes in the app show medium potatoes being cooked for 20 minutes.

    What to do? Help! :-)




    There are many things that make times different from different sources (and sometimes even the same source!)

    1. Size. Larger potatoes take longer to cook than small ones. Note that this is to do with the thickness rather than weight. A small globular potato may well take longer to cook than a larger flat one. This also holds true for cubes. Different people assume a different size is “right”. That is why I hate cookbooks that say “Cube the potatoes”. “Cut into 1 inch dice” is much clearer.

    2. Species. Different varieties take different times to cook. If the predominant variety in your locality is different to the one where the author lives the cooking time may well vary.

    3. Taste. different people think different levels of doneness is “correct”

    4. Purpose. A potato destined for mashing will want more cooking than one destined for a salad.

    5. Reliability. Different authors vary in their integrity. Some develop a recipe over time, testing it on friends and family over multiple iterations. Others just take a recipe from another source, vary it a little and call it their own without even testing it. Sometimes they don’t even vary it. Plagiarism is rife in the world of recipes. This is particularly fraught if the original was not a pressure cooker recipe. I have thrown out more than one recipe book because of this tendency. Sadly, cookbooks from PC manufacturers are particularly prone to the latter approach. They are appliance manufacturers after all. Not cooks. Though there are notable exceptions. I cannot comment on InstantPot in this regard. I don’t have one.

    6. Mistakes. Event the best recipe developers make goofs from time to time when typing up a recipe (Laura I am looking at you :P )

    My best advice is find a reliable source and stick to it. At least in the early days. You will still find variations. and you will still need to adjust to your own preferences, but you should start to see some consistency. Avoid Dr Google. Yes some recipes will be brilliant. But others will be disasters waiting to happen. Once you have some experience you will be able to sort those out. Then Google can be your friend.

    I like this website. I have found it to be consistent and accurate. Though I have had some notable disasters. And Laura has more than her fair share of typos. To her credit, she is more than willing to admit her errors and correct them when they are found. Several of her recipes have evolved considerably over the time I have been following her. Another I have found to be good is DadCooksDinner. Though he has moved more towards sous vide lately (as have I)

    One thing I will say is if you find a glaring discrepancy between this website and another source. Trust this website. It will almost always be the correct decision. Laura does test extensively.

    Laura Pazzaglia

    Thanks for the support, Greg!

    Many Feathers, you’ll see lots of conflicting information out there also about use and safety as well. Although I’m pretty confident that my cooking times will work out for your Instant Pot if there is ever a conflict about safety information and advice on this website and your cooker’s manual – the manual always wins.

    The manufacturers have the responsibility to provide you with a safe product – I’ll just inform you the best way I can and with the facts, research, and testing at my disposal. ; )



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