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What Instant Pot button do I use is a question I get a lot! There are so many buttons on that thing and it can be super overwhelming for a beginner. Not only are there a ton of buttons, but each type of Instant Pot has buttons that are just a little bit different. Below, you will learn what buttons you should be using!

A great way to get used to all the buttons is to do the Instant Pot Water Test!

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What Instant Pot Buttons Do I Use?The Basic Buttons

There are four main buttons that I use most often. These buttons may be called something different on different Instant Pots, but they do the same thing. 

Manual/Pressure Cook Button

The “Manual” button is also the “Pressure Cook” button on other models. If a recipe tells you to use the manual/pressure cook button, this is the button you use. 

You press this button and use the (+) or (-) buttons to change the cook time. After a pause, the Instant Pot will beep to tell you it is beginning to pressurize. Once it comes to pressure, the time will show and begin to count down. 

Some models such as the Duo Evo Plus require you to push the start button to start the cooking process. 

Saute/Sear

Some models say saute where others say sear. It does the same thing. This button is used to brown your meats, saute vegetables, and to simmer ingredients in your Instant Pot. 

You can adjust the saute to less for simmer, normal to saute, and more for browning with certain models. Models that allow you to adjust the heat will have an “adjust” button. 

Slow Cooker/Crock pot

Some models will say slow cooker and others will say crock pot. This button allows you to use your Instant Pot just as you would a crockpot. Although you can set the time for 2 hours, you do not want to do that. Cook food on this setting for 5 or more hours just like you would a regular crock pot. 

To use this button, push it and set the time you want it to cook for. That’s it. 

Keep Warm/Cancel

Once your Instant Pot has begun to naturally release the pressure, the “Keep warm” function will usually automatically come on. You can push this button to cancel a function or to turn off your Instant Pot. 

These are the four buttons I use most of the time. These are the buttons most recipes will have you use as well. 

Other Buttons You Should Know

The following buttons are typically used in combination with the other buttons. 

Adjust 

Some models have an adjust button and others do not. The adjust button is used to change your Instant pot from its default normal setting to more or less. For example, if a recipe says low pressure, you will use the adjust button to change it from normal pressure to less. 

If you do not see an adjust button on your Instant Pot, you can adjust the temperature by pressing the program button (manual, pressure cook, saute) twice. For example, to change the saute to simmer, you would push saute twice. You can also use the pressure level button on some models to do this as well. 

Plus/Minus

The small (+) and (-) buttons literally increase or decrease your time. Keep in mind the time will not show on the screen until your Instant Pot has come to pressure. 

What Instant Pot Buttons Do I Use? Do I Use Preset Buttons

All the other buttons are preset buttons. In all honesty, most recipes do not use these buttons, and most Instant Pot users do not use these buttons. This is because these buttons are preset for a certain amount of food, a certain amount of time, and may not fit what you are trying to cook. Needless to say, here is what each of these buttons mean when you push them

  • Bean/Chili Button
    • Normal Setting: High Pressure 30 mins 
    • More Setting: High Pressure 40 mins
    • Less Setting: High Pressure 25 mins
  • Meat/Stew Button
    • Normal Setting: High Pressure 35 mins
    • More Setting: High Pressure 45 mins
    • Less Setting: High Pressure 20 mins
  • Multigrain Button
    • Normal Setting: High Pressure 40 mins
    • More Setting: Warm water soaking for 45 mins, then High Pressure 60 mins
    • Less Setting: High Pressure 20 mins
  • Porridge/Congee Button
    • Normal Setting: High Pressure 20 mins
    • More Setting: High Pressure 30 mins
    • Less Setting: High Pressure 15 mins
  • Poultry Button
    • Normal Setting: High Pressure 15 mins
    • More Setting: High Pressure 30 mins
    • Less Setting: High Pressure 5 mins
  • Soup Button
    • Normal Setting: High Pressure 30 mins
    • More Setting: High Pressure 40 mins
    • Less Setting: High Pressure 20 mins

Other Newer Models….

  • Egg Button
    • Normal Setting – High Pressure 4 mins
    • More Setting – High Pressure 5 mins
    • Less Setting – High Pressure 3 mins
  • Cake Button
    • Normal Setting – High Pressure 40 mins
    • More Setting – High Pressure 50 mins
    • Less Setting – High Pressure 25 mins

We have found that doing it manually is a lot easier, but if you want to try the preset buttons, be sure that you choose the setting that matches as close as possible to the recipe. If you don’t see a button on here, check the Instant Pot User Manual found online. 

Are you still wondering what Instant Pot buttons do I use? Share your questions in the comments below!

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