Halving or Doubling a Pressure Cooker Recipe
pressure cooking school  Welcome to Pressure Cooking School!
 This article is part of Lesson 2: The First Recipe

Pressure Cooking Times are determined by the size, and not the quantity of food!When you double or halve a recipe, such as the Garlic Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes, you don’t need to increase or decrease the cooking time – it remains the same!

One potato will take 10 minutes to pressure cook, and so will four potatoes, and so will 8 potatoes. That’s because the pressure cooking time is determined by the size and not the quantity of food.

In other words, the pressure cooking time is the amount of time the food requires to be cooked all the way to the center. So, a large potato will need 10 minutes of pressure cooking time, small potato 5 minutes, and a large potato sliced into small pieces also 5 minutes – no matter how many of them you pressure cook!

  • Cooking time doesn’t change.  That’s because the time is based on the size, and not the quantity of food.
  • Include minimum amount of liquid. Especially when cutting a recipe in half, don’t go below the minimum liquid (either state in your manual of 1 1/2 cups).
  • Don’t bring food over the Max.-full lines. Especially when doubling a recipe make sure not to fill the cooker more than..
    • 1/2 Full for rice, grains and beans
    • 2/3 Full for everything else

See Also: 3 No-fail steps to Doubling a Pressure Cooker Recipe

CONTINUE to next lesson.

pressure cooking schoolCONTINUE Lesson 2: The First Recipe:

Halving or Doubling a Pressure Cooker Recipe

Pressure Cooking Times are determined by the size, and not the quantity of food!

Halving or Doubling a Pressure Cooker Recipe

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  1. So if I made the Pasta with Broccoli & Sausage One Pot recipe but only want to make half of it, the cooking time is still 5 minutes? But the recipe would be halved, of everything? 1/2 lb sausage, 1/2 lb pasta, etc? Even the tomato paste, garlic, etc.? Sorry, I’m new to using the Instant Pot. Any guidance would be appreciated. Thank you for the informative video. :)

    1. Yes, the cooking time remains the same – no matter the quantity. For example, the video shows potatoes, but in this case, it applies to pasta pieces – so a pound or half a pound will still need the same cooking time because all of the pasta pieces are the same size. The same goes for rice, for example, because all of the grains are the same size too! : )

      However, you’ll need to measure the water you’re putting in there because your Instant Pot will not easily reach pressure with anything less than 1 1/2 cups.



  2. I’m confused. Based on size and not quantity did you meant that the pressure cook does not depend on the mass but only the volume?

    How do I triple/double a recipe for sauce, you have any tips for that?

    1. I said that the cooking time depends on how long it takes for the heat to reach the center of the food – no matter how many of those foods you pressure cook.

      For a sauce, the same rule applies but the “pieces” in the sauce are significantly smaller – the cooking time remains the same you’ll need to just make sure not to go over the “max” line.

      Specifically for sauces, tho, that is not the only thing you should watch out for. My Bolognese, for example, has a certain amount of water added to help the cooker reach pressure and when you double or triple that recipe the additional liquid should not be multiplied. When in doubt, ask the recipe author how to multiply specific recipes, as they are aware of how all the components interact – or, at least, they should be! That’s a bit of knowledge will distinguish the original recipe author from someone who copied it, changed one ingredient, added their photo and posted it online, or an e-book. ; )



  3. When doubling rice, I get that you don’t want to overfill. But the 1/2 full rule, I assume that applies to the raw rice and liquid? Because once cooked it will be much fuller…and you need to leave room for it to expand. Is that correct?

    1. The half-full rule for rice is BOTH because it will expand AND because it will generate foam (which can bring rice kernels to the lid).



  4. I want to double a cabbage, potato, leeks, carrots and celery soup. The recipe not doubled calls for 6 cups of broth, doubled of course would be 12. Does 12 cups (3 quarts) fit in the 8 quart IPot? Without it going over the maximum for the IPot? I couldn’t find anywhere, how much liquid the pot will hold, beside stating don’t fill over 2/3 mark. How much liquid is 2/3 of the instant pot? Thank you in advance.

    1. Marlene, the 2/3 mark for your 8 quart is 5.25 quarts or 21 cups! Your soup will be fine. Good for you for checking this before getting started.



  5. Hi Marlene
    Just purchased a Mini Duo Instant Pot but find most of the recipes are for the larger pots or to double. BeIing alone I would like to know if halting a recipe, do you simply half all the ingredients, except for the WATER?

  6. I want to cook 4 cups of basmati brown rice in my instant pot. I cooked 2 cups and it turned out perfect
    at 22 min natural release. Could you please tell me if it is ok to use 4 cups rice and 5 cups of water at 22 min or what do you suggest. There are so many opinions out there and I would like to increase the volume as we are cooking for 20+ folks tomorrow night and 4 cups would speed up the process.
    Thank you so much.

    1. You’ve got it Sharron. Double everything but keep the cooking time (and opening) the same. Have a great event, tomorrow!



  7. Hi Laura
    I would be grateful if you could tell me how long a 5 Lb 12 oz piece of beef bolar blade roast will take to cook in a 70kPa (10psi) multi cooker (pressure cooker)??? Note: I want it tender but not falling to stringy bits.

    Also does a joint of meat need to be roughly the same thickness to cook evenly??? ie sometimes joints of meat are misshapen and pointy thin one end and blunt and thick the other end as it were.

    Looking forward to your response

    Many Thanks Jo

    1. Jo, take a look at our cooking chart for cooking times. You can get to it from the menu by choosing “Pressure Cooking Times” – here’s a direct link:


  8. This may sound redundant, but I still don’t know the answer for my specific item with a certainly… what about doubling a cheesecake recipe? Going from a 6” to an 8” springform pan. Original recipe is 37 minutes high pressure then 18 minutes natural pressure release…

    1. Deb, I don’t recommend pressure cooking an 8″ form unless the cheesecake is particularly thin. Because of how the pressure cooker cooks from the outside-in a full-sized cheesecake will take FOREVER to pressure cook. I should know, I tried it. Ultimately I got a soggy center with perfectly cooked sides and then over-cooked sides with a perfectly cooked center. Pressure cooking a larger cheesecake will actually take longer and will give you worse results than actually just putting it in the oven and doing it the regular way.


      If you’d like to have more details on exactly how desserts cook under pressure, please take a look at my Pressure Cooking School Dessert lesson (it also explains why I don’t recommend using spring-form pans in the pressure cooker):




  9. when cooking two bone-in chicken breasts and want to double or even triple does the cooking time stay the same as if just cooking two?

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