How to DOUBLE a Pressure Cooker Recipe

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How to DOUBLE a Pressure Cooker Recipe

If you want to make more of a good thing in your pressure cooker, simply doubling the ingredients and cooking time is totally not going to work.  Here’s what you need to do!

1. Stay under the MAXes

Before you even get started cooking, you’ll want to make sure that the recipe you intend to double can fit in your pressure cooker.  Remember that for safety reasons all grain and legume recipes (including their cooking liquid) should not fill your pressure cooker more than half-way; all other recipes no more than 2/3 full. Compare the quantity of these ingredients with your pressure cooker’s size in this handy chart.

2. Keep the same cooking time (or less)

Pressure cooking cooks each piece of food equally.  That means that each piece of chicken (be they 4 pieces or 8) will require the same cooking time, and so will each grain of rice.  So the general rule of thumb is to not increase the pressure cooking time.

However, more items in a pressure cooker will make it fuller which means it will take longer for the cooker to reach pressure.  For time-sensitive recipes that are undesirable when over-cooked (like veggies, risotto or pasta) you’ll actually need to decrease pressure cooking time.  That’s because even while the cooker is reaching pressure the food is already cooking.  The recipes on this website (and my book) are written assuming your pressure cooker will take an average of 10 minutes to reach pressure. So, the rule of thumb I’ve figured out is: for every two additional minutes (after 10) the cooker needs to reach pressure, subtract one minute from the pressure cooking time.

3. Ask yourself: why is the cooking liquid there?

For soup and stew recipes, you can safely double the cooking liquid.  And, you already knew that for steaming recipes, the liquid that goes in the bottom of the steamer basket doesn’t need to be doubled, right?

But for other recipes, it could be tricky.  A reader tripled our pressure cooker bolognese sauce to lackluster results. That’s because that recipe only requires enough liquid for the pressure cooker to reach pressure – so doubling or tripling the recipe would mean tripling everything except for the cooking liquid in that case.  Braises also fall in this “tricky”  category because you don’t want to add so much liquid as to cover the meat or veg completely and boil it, instead.

 

When in doubt, post a comment under the recipe that interests you and just ask if there are any adjustments to be made  to double a pressure cooker recipe.  We’re here to help!

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3 Tips to DOUBLE a Pressure Cooker Recipe!

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81 Comments

  1. I doubled the recipe and the Alfredo sauce and noodles turned out great. I wasn’t sure on timing and so I bumped the time to 25 minutes. The chicken was not cooked. I should have put on for at least 40 but then noodles may have been mush. I ended up putting the whole thing in the oven to finish cooking. It turned out pretty good.

  2. HI and thanks for this article. But what about HALVING a recipe? I want to make black beans, but not a pound, only half a pound. What changes need to be made? My pressure cooker comes with a smart timer that starts counting down only when pressure is reached, which could complicate things. Or make them easier. And what about cooking liquid??
    Thanks,
    ani

    1. Most recipes you can just halve. Time will remain the same. I halve recipes all the time as I cook just for two.

      Two things to watch out for:
      1. You should not go under your PC’s minimum liquid requirement. SO if halving the liquid takes it under the minimum, you will heed to rethink. You could just goo down to the minimum and reduce afterwards if necessary. Or you could use the Pot in Pot technique.

      2. If your ingredients remain the same size (e.g. Rice, Two chicken wings instead of four etc), the time will remain the same. But if you reduce the size of the individual ingredients, then you will need to reduce the time (e.g. Quail drumsticks instead of chicken, a small pudding instead of a large one) A pudding, being a solid mass in a bowl, should be treated as a single ingredient.

  3. Thanks for your help Greg!

  4. Gah! So we borrowed my mother in laws electric pressure cooker.. (the thing is literally huge) But she swears it can hold around 8-10lbs of chicken breast.. But I cant figure out how long to cook it or how much liquid to add… (Note: we are making a huge amount of chicken taquitos for a birthday party, should we add our seasonings to the pressure cooker or wait until after it is done cooking??)

    1. Myla, I’m not familiar with the recipe you’re using but I would add only enough water to come half-way up the meat (the breasts themselves will release more and be completely covered when finished. Then, pressure cook for 1 minute and open with Natural Release. The cooker will take longer than usual to reach pressure because it will be so full (this will add to the cooking time and ensure fall-apart results). Then, open the cooker and tease with a fork to see if the breasts will tease apart for your taquitos.

      Ciao,

      L

  5. What about a pasta recipe if I’m doubling the recipe should I also double the pasta??

    1. I don’t understand the question.
      If it is a pasta recipe and you DON’T double the pasta , you haven’t doubled the recipe.

      Treat pasta as if it were a legume and don’t go over the half way mark. See Point 1
      Also take note of point two about timing pasta.

  6. I would like to make the pressure cooker pork chops w smashed potatoes and the recipe i see only has 6 inch cut chops, i need to double that but im not sure how. Im new to pressure cooking. My husband just bought me a 10 quart pressure cooker pro from tv. Any help would be appreciated. Thankyou.

    1. The timing would remain the same. That is, once the cooker reaches the required pressure, you would time it for the same length of time. Note, however, with the increased quantities, it might take longer to reach the required pressure. Check out the other tips in this thread … you could get away with not doubling the amount of liquid … perhaps only 1-½ times the liquid required. (And depending on the recipe, you might not need to add any additional liquid at all … it depends how “soupy” you want the mixture to be. Rule of thumb is no more than half-way up the meat. As for seasoning, my recommendation is to add additional seasoning proportional to the amount of liquid you add. So if you add 50% more liquid, add 50% more seasoning … except for salt and pepper. Go light on the extra salt … you can always add more at the end of cooking, but you can’t take salt out.

    2. Welcome Kristea,

      That recipe doesn’t seem to come from this site. The closest I can find is Pork Chops with Cabbage. And that just calls for 4 pork chops. Nor does it appear to be from Laura’s book. Perhaps you could post a link to your recipe.

      That all said, You should be able to double the recipe PROVIDED that you do not go over the 2/3 fill line for your PC I am guessing that the pork chops go at the base and the potatoes are steamed on a tray above them. That should work fine.

      So double your recipe except for the liquid. Avoid doubling liquid as it will make the whole dish too watery. Unless you have to jam the chops in, you will not have to increase the pressure cooking time as that will not change. If you jam them in you will have to increase time as you are effectively making the chops thicker and it will take longer for the heat to penetrate.

      Good luck.

      1. I agree that we need more information about the recipe you want to double, you may even need to reduce the liquid as the additional chops will release extra cooking liquid into this recipe.

        Ciao,

        L

        1. I made a chili recipe in my 6-quart Instant Pot. I would like to double it but it sounds like that would be more than I should put in my pot. It has 1 pound of ground beef and 32,ounces of canned kidney beans. It has 32 ounces of canned diced tomatoes with juice, 3/4 cups of tomato juice and 1/2 cup of onions. Oh, and 4 ounces of canned green chilis. Would doubling be a no no?

          1. Where did it come up to when you made it the first time?

            Since it has beans, you should stay under the halfway mark. I suspect you won’t achieve that if you double the recipe.

  7. I’m making a bolognese and want to double the recipe. If it fits in the pressure cooker, not exceeding the two-thirds mark, do I also double the amount of water?

    1. Keep to the minimum liquid requirement. That will stop it going “soupy”. See point 3 above.

  8. If I double risotto, should I double the liquid and lessen the time? Thanks!

    1. Risotto is a ratio meal. So yes, if you double the rice, double the liquid. Don’t forget to double check the fill lines though. (1/2 for rice)

      I would be inclined to leave the cooking time the same. The first time anyway. But reducing the time is the safe option. You can always cook it some more.

  9. Can I double the recipe for instant pot baked beans even if there is enough room in the pot? Do I need to adjust th cooking time?

    1. Can you please link to the recipe and share with us the size of your Instant Pot?

      Thanks,

      L

  10. Found the recipe at http://www.lemonlavenderlove.com/2016/04/baked-beans-in-the-instant-pot/
    I have a 6 quart instant pot.

    1. I think it may be touch and go. Remember with beans you should only half fill the pot. That’s three quarts. If you double the recipe you will have at least 1.75 quarts of liquid in there (5 cups stock, 1 cup molasses, 1 cup ketchup) Then you have your soaked beans – not sure of their volume but it won’t be minor. and the miscellaneous other stuff.

      Still if you try it and it is under the halfway mark (you could cut back on the stock a bit if it was close), use the SAME cooking time.

  11. Thank you, thank you so very much for your timely response. This is very helpful!

  12. Doubling a recipe with RICE? Do I double the liquid as well or no?

    1. https://wondermomwannabe.com/instant-pot-thai-chicken-rice-bowls/
      I doubled the sauce but not sure about the broth for the rice…without making mush

      1. Melanie, generally when you double a rice recipe you double the liquid, too. However, the recipe you linked to already looks like it ALREADY comes out as mush – the last step-by-step picture shows extra liquid in which the rice is floating in in the bottom-left corner. I’m not surprised because the recipe itself requires much more liquid than I would normally recommend for cooking rice.

        I suggest using that recipe for flavor and sauce ideas, but following the instructions in this one to ensure you don’t get mushy rice – since it has you measure the cooking liquid after cooking the chicken you CAN’T get soggy rice with this technique:
        https://www.hippressurecooking.com/pressure-cooker-chicken-and-rice-one-pot-meal/

        Ciao,

        L

  13. Hello, I want to attempt to double a steamed quartered chicken recipe. From your article I am assuming that I can keep the cooking time the same and the liquid content the same. Will there be any issue with pieces of chicken on top of each other versus each having their own spot on the rack?
    Thank you!

    1. Yes, where the chicken is crowded during steaming it will be under-cooked. However, depending on the size of your cooker and the quartered chicken it might make more sense to place the meat in the steamer basket vertically to avoid overcrowding and at that point – yes – you would use the same pressure cooking time.

      Ciao,

      L

  14. I’m planning to double my pressure cooker baked beans recipe. I usually use 2 cups of dry beans and 4 cups of water plus my molasses, maple syrup, brown sugar, and spices. With 4 cups of dry beans, should I use 8 cups of water? Also, I cook them for 40 minutes…should I try 30 minutes or 35 minutes?

  15. If I am doubling the chicken in the pot to do I double the amount of seasonings?

    1. In general, yes. But you may need to do a bit of experimenting to get it just right.

    1. I would double everything except the liquid and salt. The amount of liquid in the recall ipe is enough to cook a full (¾ full!) pressure cooker. And the meat itself will throw off liquid.

      Salt is something you can adjust after the cooking process … doubling it at the outset might be overdoing it.

      I might scale back the black pepper a tiny bit as well, unless your not concerned about it being a little too hot.

  16. So to double, triple rice, double and triple water as well?
    Same for steel oats?

    This is all new to me but so far the things I’ve made have worked. But like having leftovers.

    1. Yes, for rice and oats the important part is the ratio – so you would double and triple everything to keep the same ratio.

      Ciao,

      L

      1. Though with oats, especially, you want to be careful you don’t fill the cooker too full because of foaming …

  17. How should I double this recipe? Double everything but the chicken broth, water, soy sauce, vinegar and Worcestershire? I’m nervous the pasta won’t all cook without more liquid?!?

    http://lemon.press/recipe/pressure-cooker-pasta-bolognese/

    1. I’ve never tried this, but my guess would be that in this case, you probably do want to increase the liquid because the pasta absorbs so much of it. The author says to try to make sure each piece of pasta is submerged in liquid … maybe put in double quantities of all the ingredients, EXCEPT the liquid. Start with the single quantity of liquid, and then see how well the pasta is submerged. Then, mix together another batch of the water, broth, soy sauce, etc., and add it to the pot just until the pasta is submerged?

  18. Hi. I’m making Mississippi pot roast in my 8 Qt Instant pot. The single recipe says 90 mins cook time. But I have 2 x 3.5 lb chuck roasts. I’ve doubled the butter (1 cup) and the pepperoncinis. As well 2 each of the dry packets of Au Jus and Ranch. And added 1 cup of liquid. Set it to 90 mins. Do you think it be “fall apart” done or do I need to add time? Thank you!!!

  19. I will be cooking 2 frozen turkey roasts (Butterball, about 3 pounds each) that have both light and dark meat. I found what looks like a good recipe for a 3-lb Butterball turkey BREAST roast. Will the combo roasts (together in my 8-quart IP) require the same, less, or more time to cook as that recipe? How do I adjust for double the meat?

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