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  • Writer's pictureTracey Sinibaldi

Instant Pot vs Slow Cooker

Fall is one of my favorite seasons for many reasons. The crisp air, foliage colors, cozy sweaters, fall activities, and warm comfort foods. Keeping up with cooking healthy but not spending the day in the kitchen is simple when using either an instant pot or a slow cooker.

What is an Instant Pot?

A multifunctional pressure cooker. It can be used as a pressure cooker, slow cooker, yogurt maker, rice cooker, steamer, saute pan, and warmer.

Why would you use one?

Instant pots are beneficial for their quick cooking times, versatility, and easy clean-up. You can cook a variety of foods including soups, ribs, pasta, yogurt, and beans.

Quick Instant Pot Tips:

  • Read through recipes to understand when to add ingredients, what pressure to use, cooking time, and release method.

  • Cut large pieces of meat into small/even pieces.

  • Cold or frozen food will increase the amount of time it takes the cooker to pressurize.

  • Do not overfill

  • Natural pressure release is used with large cuts of meat that take longer to cook or items with a lot of liquid- this will gradually release the pressure. Quick pressure release is used to quickly release the pressure to stop the cooking process.

Cooking Times



Beef Stew: 20 minutes per pound

Chickpeas: 35-40 minutes; soaked 10-15 minutes *

Beef meatballs: 5 minutes per pound

Cannellini beans: 30-35 minutes; soaked, 6-9 minutes *

Pot Roast/Steak: 15-20 minutes per pound

Great northern beans: 25-30 minutes; soaked 7-8 minutes *

Ribs: 20-25 minutes per pound

Kidney beans: 15-20 minutes; soaked 7-8 minutes *

Boneless chicken breast: 6-8 minutes per pound

Red lentil: 1-2 minutes

Whole chicken: 8 minutes per pound

Navy beans; 20-25 minutes; soaked 7-8 minutes *

Slices of ham: 9-12 minutes

Pinto beans: 25-30 minutes; soaked 6-9 minutes *

Whole duck: 10-15 minutes per pound

Peas: 16-20 minutes; soaked 10-12 minutes

Lamb cubes: 10-15 minutes per pound

Soybeans: 35-45 minutes; soaked 18-20 minutes

Lamb stew meat: 12-15 minutes per pound

Pork loin: 20 minutes per pound

Boneless turkey breast: 7-9 minutes per pound

Turkey breast whole: 20-25 minutes per pound

Veal chops: 12 minutes per pound

Eggs hard-boiled: 5 minutes

* Soaked: covering dried beans with water and soaking overnight

What is a slow cooker?

A large electric pot that is used for cooking foods very slowly.

Why would you use one?

Slow cookers are a good way to do hands-off cooking; prep the food before work and the meal is ready when you get home. They are great for tenderizing meat and good for preparing stews, soups, rice, and casseroles. It is easy to use and easy to clean, as well.

Quick Slow Cooker Tips:

  • Order of ingredients matters; harder root vegetables and meat should go on the bottom, grains on top of this, more delicate veggies such as broccoli on top, and liquid or sauces poured on top and around the ingredients.

  • Some ingredients should be added at the end of the cooking process such as hot sauce, cheese, parsley, basil, olive oil, and lemon juice.

  • Slow cookers can be set on high heat or low heat. High heat will speed up the cooking process while low heat will take longer. The low heat option is good for keeping food warm until mealtime.

Cooking Times

Beef Roast - Whole chuck, Brisket, Round (3-4 pounds)

Chicken: 6 pounds

  • Low Heat: 8 hours

  • Low Heat: 7.5 hours

  • High Heat: 6 hours

  • High Heat: 6.5 hours

Beef Stew Meat: 3 pounds

Fish: 3 pounds

  • Low Heat: 6 hours

  • Low Heat: 3.5 hours

  • High Heat: 5 hours

  • High Heat: 1.5 hours

Large Pork Roast: 6-7 hours


  • ​Low Heat: 9.5 hours

Low Heat: 6-8 hours / soaking beans overnight will decrease cooking time

  • High Heat: 7.5 hours

Pork Loin: 3-4 pounds

  • Low Heat: 6 hours

  • High Heat: 5 hours

Check out these simple and flavorful ideas:

Crock Pot Turkey Lentil Stuffed Peppers
Download PDF • 440KB

Crock Pot Turkey Lentil Stuffed Peppers
Download PDF • 440KB

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