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Pressure Cooker Recipe Translator: Stovetop to Electric

It’s a myth that certain recipes can be made only on a stovetop or electric pressure cooker – they are all pressure cookers and they all pressure cook (although some more easily than others).

If you’re looking to “translate” a conventional or slow cooker recipe to the pressure cooker, please visit the pressure cooker recipe converter. If you’d like to know the difference between electric and stove top pressure cookers, please see our comparison between the two.

Most stovetop pressure cooker recipes can be easily converted, or translated, to electric pressure cookers, here’s how!

Stovetop recipe says… Do this in with your Electric Pressure cooker
  • add 1 cup of liquid
  • add your pressure cooker’s minimum liquid
Electric pressure cookers require more liquid to operate that most stovetop pressure cookers.  It is important to become familiar with the minimum amount of liquid your particular cooker will need to reach pressure. It’s usually 1 1/2 to 2 cups of liquid – but check your manual to make sure.

Recipes on this website and hip cookbook are written for both types of pressure cookers may call for less liquid, and that’s OK because we calculate the liquid given off by the vegetables (75-95% water) as part of the liquid in the recipe. 

  • in the pre-heated pressure cooker
  • saute’
  • reduce
  • bring to a boil
Most electric pressure cookers have a “saute” or “brown” button that can be pushed to pre-heat, saute or boil liquids in the cooker.

For electrics that don’t have a specific button, check the manual. You may be able to start any pressure cooking program without the lid – thereby heating the base (don’t worry, the cooker can’t reach pressure without the lid).

For electric pressure cookers with just a dial setting, just turn the dial to the maximum minutes when sauteing or reducing.
  • close and lock the lid
Most electric pressure cookers automatically lock their lid shut – unless your manual says otherwise, just twist the lid on. This is a good time to check that the valve on the lid of the electric pressure cooker is set to the position for pressure cooking.  Some of these lids have a setting called “seal” or “pressure.”
  • bring the cooker to pressure on high heat
  • when the cooker has reached pressure, turn down the heat
You can safely ignore these instructions – they are for bringing a stovetop pressure cooker to pressure by using different heat levels.Your electric pressure cooker already does this automatically after you punch-in the cooking time.
  • pressure cook for XYZ minutes
Most stovetop pressure cooker recipes are written for pressure cookers that reach 13-15psi, and most electric pressure cookers cook at 9-12psi.  This means that less heat is being applied to the food so it will take more time to get the same results – the recipes on this website already include the cooking time in a range (with the higher cooking time for electrics) but when translating a recipe from another website, or book, look-up the cooking time for the main ingredient in your cooker’s instruction manual or our  pressure cooking time chart. See Also: PSI FAQ: the questions you didn’t think to ask about pressure
  • pressure cook for X number of whistles
This is a special way most in the East Indies keep pressure cooking time with their venting pressure cookers.  Your electric pressure cooker will not whistle, read our article about converting whistles to pressure cooking time.
  • release pressure
 Turn the valve on the top of the lid to “release” or “open.” For specific guidance on all opening methods, read our article on pressure cooker opening methods.
  • pour water on the lid
  • immerse the base in water
 Don’t do this. : )

 

If you have any more questions, please post them in the comments section, below.  And, don’t worry, the recipes on this website, and in the hip pressure cooking cookbook are already written for both stove top and electric pressure cookers!

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23 Comments

  1. Hi Laura, I am new to pressure cooking and love your site. I picked up Lorna Sass’ Pressure Perfect and she says to reduce the cooking time in the electric cooker to account for a longer natural release period. I’m confused because most of what I’ve read online matches your instructions to increase the time. I’m cooking with an Instant Pot — any suggestions on the conflicting advice?

    1. Well, you have to take that advice in the context it was made. She wrote that book 12 years ago – before electrics became popular. She may not even had had direct experience with an electric pressure cooker at that time or even known that they operate at a lower pressure than stovetop pressure cookers.

      Until I compared the two myself I also though electric pressure cookers took much longer to reach pressure – but that is simply a rumor that was passed around by people who had not actually used one. Though, the Natural Pressure Release does take longer for the simple fact that you can’t remove the cooker base from the heating element this is usually not an issue (unless you’re really hungry ; ).

      I tested and posted the cooking times between electrics and stovetops and found that for generally less-dense foods (most veggies, refined grains) the cooking time between the two is the same. For denser foods (potatoes, whole grains and meat) you really do need add a little extra time so that the lower pressure can penetrate fully.

      Ciao,

      L

  2. I’m having the opposite problem. Instant Pot is so popular, that all the recipes I find are for it…but I have s Kuhn Rikon stovetop pressure cooker. I’m looking for a way to convert from electric to stovetop. Any hints?

    1. Kasuso, any recipes on this website can be used for either electric (Instant Pot) or stovetop pressure cookers. Just see the recommended stovetop cooking time in the recipe or look-up the main ingredient in the cooking time chart and follow the recommended cooking time for stovetop.

      Ciao,

      L

    2. kasuso,

      You might also look for pressure cooking cookbooks that are a couple of years old. Until the last couple of years when electric PCs have become very popular, most recipes were written with stovetop PCs in mind and often didn’t include any mention of electric PCs. The recipes in those books were written for stovetops.

  3. i have a power pressure cooker xl i want to learn how to transform any recipe into a pressure cooking recipe to save time in the kitchen like chicken or cheap cuts of red meat regular stove top to pressure cooker and time adjustment

    1. albert, the main differences are in the minimum liquid and -as you guessed- cooking time. Just be aware if stovetop pressure cooker recipe calls for 1/2 cup of liquid you’re going to need 1 1/2 cups in your power pressure cooker. The cooking times are easy, just look-up the cooking time of the main ingredient in our cooking time chart (link at the top of every page, or in the “main menu” for mobile phoones) and follow the recommended time for electric pressure cookers.

      Welcome, and come back to let us know how your pressure cooking is going!

      Ciao,

      L

  4. I just use the times published (wherever and for electric or manual) for both my Instant Pot Smart and Fagor and Tfal cookers. There may be subtleties I am missing but 95% they work fine.

    Except for very fast cooking foods like broccoli a minute here or there who cares. I always err on the side of less time and/or less pressure but any recipe from hippressurecooking.com seems good to go and most cooking times.

    Then you have to take into account altitude. I shouldn’t be easy but generally I find it is.

  5. I have been cooking in a stovetop pressure cooker since the mid 70s and have a beloved Mirro-Matic recipe/instruction manual. The Mirro-Matic I use is able to adjust the pressure to 5, 10 or 15 psi.
    How do the low, normal, and high settings on the instant pot relate? I have seen that the IP is 11-13 psi. Is that on high, or is that the range? I want to convert my old recipes for 10# and 15# pressure and don’t know what setting corresponds on the Instant Pot. Can you clue me in?

    1. Deborah, there is not a “straight” conversion – between your weights and electric pressure cooker settings. The easiest way to do it is to make your recipe, but check the pressure cooking time of the main ingredient in our cooking chart:
      https://www.hippressurecooking.com/pressure-cooking-times/

      Please stop by our Recipe Swap forum, too. I would love to hear what you’ve been pressure cooking in the last 40 years – I’ll bet you have lots of tips to share, too!

      Ciao,

      L

  6. Can most of these recipes be easily translated to use in the Fagor 8 in 1 Multicooker? If so, how?

    1. All the recipes written on this site have explicit instructions for both Electric and Stovetop PCs so there should be no problems using any recipe as written. Just follow the “Electric” directions where they differ.

      I tell a lie. A few of the older ones were written for stovetops only. If one of those takes your eye and it is not obvious to you what to do, just post a comment on the recipe and without fail Laura will come along and adjust the text within a few days.

      Because there are a LOT of electric pressure cookers out there, Laura cannot be expected to write explicit directions for every model. So she writes them as generically as possible. Because of this, she uses manual mode rather than using one of the preset buttons. You will need to figure out how to get your PC into manual mode, and how to adjust pressure and time to cook. Reading your manual will help here. Sometimes a PC has a button just for “Manual” Sometimes you will need to use the closest preset, then alter the time. Also, not every PC has a low pressure mode. If the recipe you want to try needs low pressure, you may be out of luck if your PC won’t do it. But ask first. Sometimes there is a work around. Also, a very few PCs have ONLY low pressure. You will need to cook for longer if yours is one of those.

      1. WOW – very thorough – Thanks Greg! BTW, Charles, watch the Pressure Cooking school video series as I also use the Fagor LUX during the explanations and demos. ; )

        Ciao,

        L

  7. Ok, my question is – I’ve cooked with a stove top pressure cooker for decades. As a Brazilian native, we are pretty much born to the music of those cooking black beans on a regular basis.. ;-)

    so yes, I do own one which I use often. I also own a slow-cooker.

    Is there ANY advantage in using the Instant Pot, some characteristic that make it more attractive than having two appliances for the jobs? I do not have a space problem, so getting rid of two to replace with one gadget is not an issue. But, if you tell me that the Instant Pot offers some advantage, I am all ears… (and I’ve searched this specific question in many sites, no luck)

    thank you in advance for your input!

    Sally, trying to resist a buying impulse… ;-)

    1. Hi Sally and welcome,
      On balance, I suspect the answer is no.

      You gain a certain amount of convenience. The machine looks after controlling pressure for you. And the timing. But as you have been using one for years, these will both be second nature for you anyway.

      On the downside, by combining two appliances into one, a failure means that you lose two cooking appliances at the same time when ( not if!) it fails. A modern electric is considerably more complicated than either an old school stovetop PC. or even an old fashioned slow cooker. Because of this it is more likely to fail.

      It also means that you will no longer be able to both pressure cook and slow cook at the same time. Depending on what and how you cook, this may or may not be an issue. But remember, you will no longer be able to put a slow cooker meal on the go in the morning for dinner, then whip up a quick meal in the pressure cooker for lunch. Or even do the sides in one for dinner.

      On the plus side, you may gain other appliances as well. Depending on the model, you may get a rice cooker, a yoghurt maker or a Sous Vide cooker as well. But my comment about cooking at the same time is even more important. Last night, I cooked a sous vide chicken roulade for dinner, and did the sides in the pressure cooker. I would NOT be able to do that if I had a single Instant Pot.

    2. Sally, Greg made many valuable points but he missed one. The fact that with an electric multi-cooker you don’t even need to be there for it to start.

      I happen to know that Greg has a Breville that does not have a DELAY feature – but all the Instant Pots do. This allows me to load-up the pressure cooker with a recipe like the fixin’s for a soup or my curry and rice recipe, and the leave the house and go about my day. I can set the pressure cooker to start cooking before I get home. So when I’m stumbling home with the kids from an evening of Karate class (yes, I do it too) and standing in the kitchen is out of the question, all I have to do is open the pressure cooker and scoop out dinner. Plus, if we’re late, the keep-warm feature kicks-in to keep the dinner hot and ready until we get here.

      The PSI difference between stove top and electrics has been exaggerated by many people who do not cook with both – it only adds up to extra minutes (as you can verify in cooking time chart). The way I see it is: if you’re not there supervising the cooker and waiting for it… do the extra minutes really count!?!? ; )

      And even when I am home, it’s quite liberating to just leave the kitchen and tackle laundry, or veg out on the couch, while the cooker’s making dinner!

      Ciao,

      L

  8. That was tremendously helpful – the other thing that made me lean against the IP, is that the pressure is a little lower than a stove top pressure cooker, which reaches 15 psi.

    I was a bit tempted because of so many cookbooks devoted to the IP, but truth is, they all work in the stove top with minor adjustments, and I never use the pressure cooker to brown meat because I prefer to use a skillet for that then transfer it all to the PC. I don’t have a problem washing the extra dish and find the surface of the skillet much better.

    I also have a sous-vide and love it – yeap, gadgets are fun, aren’t they? But I will pass on the instant pot

    thank you for your detailed answer!

  9. Actually, I do not consider my Sous Vide setup as a “gadget”. For me it is far more an essential appliance than Slow Cookers, Food processors, Blenders or Microwaves. I have moved most of my meat and fish cookery over to it.

    As for browning, I brown in the PC, but then I have one of the low sided frypan style PCs which makes it much easier.

  10. yes, the sous vide is in a class of its own, for sure….

    I’ve seen those pressure cookers that are more shallow – so far I resisted, but one never knows… ;-)

  11. While looking at an old pressure cooker manual, the recipe said to “allow steam to flow from vent pipe for xx minutes” and then pressure cook. Is this possible with the Instant Pot? Would the steam function followed by the manual pressure cook function work the same?

    Thanks!

    1. Kim, Instant Pot already does this automatically when reaching pressure. Did you notice it lets out steam before starting to pressure cook? Unless it’s for a specific time to vent, like for a Christmas Pudding, you can ignore that instruction.

      Ciao,

      L

  12. Hi there, how do you adjust a 6qt instant pot recipe to use in the mini pot?

    1. It depends on the recipe – but you would halve it but make sure that it contains at least one cup of liquid.

      Ciao,

      L

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