How to DOUBLE a Pressure Cooker Recipe

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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  1. I am making corned beef the recipe that calls for 2 lbs of meat I need to cook 6 lbs. I believe it will fit . It calls for 3 cups of water and to cook for 1 1/2 hours. do I use 9 cups of water?? And how about the time?? Thank you in advance.

  2. When making macaroni in cheese in the instant pop and want to do a double batch would I double everything and lower cook time by a minute?

    1. Ginny,
      Did you try a double order, and if so, what time did you use?

  3. I am making instant pot lemon chicken thighs, and am going to double the amount of chicken (4 lbs instead of 2 lbs. From this awesome article, I am guessing that I keep both the cook time and the cooking liquid the same? Or should I do a natural release? The cooking portion of the recipe is below:

    Set 6-qt Instant Pot® to the high saute setting. Working in batches, add remaining 1 tablespoon canola oil and chicken, and cook until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes per side; set aside.
    Place metal trivet into the pot and add chicken stock and lemon juice. Gently place chicken on top of the trivet, slightly overlapping. Select manual setting; adjust pressure to high, and set time for 5 minutes. When finished cooking, quick-release pressure according to manufacturer’s directions.

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