If you have an electric pressure cooker (Instant Pot) you’ll come across recipes every now and then that say to cook for 0 minutes on high or low pressure. This direction will leave some scratching their heads wondering, “What is a zero minute pressure cooking time?”
Zero Minute Pressure Cooking Time
Many people don’t realize that when you set your Instant Pot to pressure cook you can actually use the – button and adjust the cooking time all the way down to zero minutes. But why would you want to do this and what does it mean?
When you set your pressure cooker for zero minutes the Instant Pot will get up to pressure, then immediately switch off (it will switch to the keep warm function and start counting up starting with L 0:00). Just because it says zero minutes on your display doesn’t mean the food is not going to get cooked. The food starts cooking while the pot is building pressure (and while it releases pressure). Certain types of foods will be fully cooked just as the pot reaches pressure.
Of course this only works for foods that don’t need a lot of time to cook in the first place. For example tender vegetables or thin noodles. Today I am going to share with you 7 ways to use a zero minute pressure cooking time with your Instant Pot.
Fresh Green Beans in the Instant Pot
One of my favorite vegetables lately is fresh green beans. I used them in my Instant Pot Homestyle Chicken and Veggies recipe. They are very tender though and can get overcooked quickly. Here’s how I cook them in the Instant Pot:
- 1/2 cup water in bottom of pot, steamer basket*, trimmed green beans in the basket.
- 0 Minute pressure cooking time, high pressure (or low pressure for crisper beans).
- Quick release
Fresh Broccoli in the Instant Pot
Broccoli can get mushy in a blink of an eye. In order for you to enjoy steamed broccoli that is not mushy here is what I do: (cauliflower works in pretty much the exact same way)
- 1/2 cup water in bottom of pot with steamer basket*.
- Cut the broccoli into large pieces or throw the entire head into the Instant Pot. If the pieces are too small they will get mushy.
- 0 Minute pressure cooking time, low pressure.
- Quick release
Peeling Peaches using your Instant Pot
Need to get the skin off peaches? How about using your Instant Pot? Here’s what one reader says, “Just put 3 peaches in the instant pot with a half cup of water and a steamer basket for 0 minutes and manual released steam. So it was super quick. Skins just slide off of them. I put them in a bowl and back in the fridge to chill before I cut them up! So much easier than trying to peel them myself!”
Some Boxed Foods in the Instant Pot
When I wrote about 6 boxed foods that you can make in the Instant Pot I learned that ramen noodles, boxed stuffing and hamburger helper all only need a zero minute pressure cooking time.
Instant Pot Tortellini Soup with Parmesan, Chicken Sausage and Mushrooms
This needs to make its place on your menu this week. My husband said “this is maybe the best soup I’ve ever had!” It’s slightly creamy (but doesn’t go overboard with dairy) and has amazing flavor thanks to the chicken sausage. Tortellini cooks super quick so that’s why you only need the 0 minute pressure cooking time.
Instant Pot Maple Dijon Chicken and Sweet Potatoes
Chicken, sweet potatoes and brussels sprouts drizzled with a sauce made with maple syrup, dijon mustard, rosemary and olive oil. A simple one pot recipe with a delicious flavor!
Instant Pot Italian Sausage Tortellini in Creamy Tomato Sauce
A super easy recipe that can be make with just 5-ingredients and a few minutes of hands-on time.
Balsamic Spiced Apple Pork Tenderloin in the Instant Pot
This pork tenderloin recipe from This Old Gal uses just a zero minute pressure cooking time. Because pork tenderloin is very lean and a smaller cut of meat it cooks very quickly. Do not confuse pork tenderloin with pork loin/sirloin.
Instant Pot Cashew Chicken and Noodles from Cooking with Karli
This recipe calls for only a zero minute pressure cooking time. The chicken is precooked in this instance but the ramen noodles don’t need much time at all to cook.
Instant Pot Potato Salad by Pressure Cook Recipes
This particular version of potato salad only calls for a zero minute pressure cooking time (although coming to pressure will take 20 plus minutes).
Instant Pot Whole Chicken by Pressure Cook Recipes
Wow! A whole chicken that calls for a 0 minute pressure cook time? Yes! It’s true and it works.
What Pressure Cooker Do You Use?
Most of the time I use my 6 quart Instant Pot Duo 60 7 in 1*. I love this Instant Pot because it has the yogurt making function which I use almost weekly. It has two pressure settings (high and low), and there are also little slots in the handles so that you can rest the lid there instead of putting it down on your counter-top.
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*Karen Petersen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
I love this tip. However, it won’t work in the Duo Evo Plus. It just goes to 1, then goes up to 10. Help!
You can just put it to 1 minute and as soon as it reaches pressure turn off the Instant Pot.
I kinda knew this… I was hoping not to be hovering around (at least it would only be for a minute, lol).
Also, could you do a video (or tip segment) on the difference between steaming and pressure cooking as to when to use one over the other? Is there a time when steaming is preferred?
steaming is used when there is a trivet in the pot and nothing directly on the bottom besides water. It goes to full blast quickly.
LIssa Shanahan says
I read somewhere that the best way to steam crab legs and shrimp in the instant pot is to set on 0 minutes. Have you tried this and how much water do you use?
Good idea! I haven’t tried it. I would use 1 cup water in bottom and then a steamer basket.
I have a GreenPan instant pot and the cook timer will not go down to zero it only goes to 15 minutes. If i let it pressure up until the timer starts then shut it off and natural release will that work to make hard boiled eggs.
Yes you can do that!
I am new to this instant pot world. I purchased an Insignia pressure cooker. It will not go down to zero 🙁
Will it go down to 1 minute? Try that. And once it reaches pressure then turn it off and release the pressure.
Yes, it will. Thank You for that advice!
Ann S.Transue says
Yes, please…emails that I could print would be wonderful!
So would a real cookbook!
Karen, the ‘This Old Gal’ pork tenderloin recipe looks great.
I have a LUX60 unit, though, and the recipe calls for pressure cooking on a low setting which my model can’t be switched down to. Do you have any thoughts on how LUX owners might compensate when a recipe calls for a low pressure cook?
I look forward to hearing any suggestions that you or other IP folks have in this ‘low pressure’ situation for us “retro model” users. 🙂
Usually I would just say cook for less time but this particular recipe is 0 minutes. I bet it will still be good though even if you do it high pressure for 0 minutes.
Thanks, Karen. Super fast response!
I’ll just do it at my Lux’s high pressure for the 0 min and hope for the best. Follow-up from tonight’s dinner forthcoming. 😉
Well…it worked, I suppose. Although, as it came out, I was more concerned about the pork being UNDER rather than over cooked. Bit too rosy inside. I like my beef twitching rare…but not so sure re pork.
Meat can be cooked more though (I did that), but the deal breaker was the uber vinegary sauce.
Wanted to like the Balsamic Spiced Apple Pork Tenderloin, but not a fan, sadly. 🙁
FWIW, Karen, any recipe that was YOUR baby has come out beautifully for me. 😉
Okay good to know! Too bad it didn’t come out great. Thanks for following up!
I do my eggs with 0 minutes, than do a natural release. I actually let them sit for about 30 – 45 minutes and they are perfectly hard boiled. No need to run to catch a timer for NR 5 minutes then dunk in ice water for 5 minutes.
Oooops, should read “then” not “than”
Good Linda! I will try this 🙂
I have a instant pot but it only has manual button do I use it the same way with 0 cooking time
Yes that’s right. Use the – button to adjust the manual down to zero.
Jeff Winett says
Gosh Karen, but this last posting of yours resonated hugely. Over time, I have used trial and error to some “Zero” minutes recipes. LOVED your post, listing various actual recipes like this. I never knew until just now that you could set the timer for zero minutes. Before I would just be near my pot to see when it had come to pressure….THANK YOU!
Hi Jeff, I’m so glad that this was helpful to you!!
Would love some recipes
Hi Monica, you can sign up for my daily emails here: https://www.365daysofcrockpot.com/join-the-365-days-email-list/
Hi Karen! I’ve seen instructions to reheat soups in the inner pot at 0 minutes. Pot-in-pot isn’t needed since it’s liquid. But what about creamed soups? When I make chowder, the cream (lactose free half & half in my case!) is added toward the end of the recipe with the IP turned off after pressure cooking other ingredients, but with good heat remaining. Otherwise the cream could curdle.
So to reheat a pot of chowder or other cream-based soup would it be better to put it on a low sauté? (The Duo Evo Plus has 6 sauté settings plus low and high.) It’s handier to plop the entire inner pot in the IP rather than individual servings in a microwave or using the stove (though the Duo Evo Plus can be put on the stove since it has a flat bottom.) I don’t want to ruin it. Thank you!
Hi Beth, you could either use the saute button or you could do the pot in pot method. I talk about here: https://youtu.be/J1nO15i43-E
Since the soup is in the inner pot (in the frig) it would be a lot easier to not have to pour it into something else. I wonder what sauté setting to use. I can’t seem to get an answer from IP as to what temperatures the 1-6 settings are or the low/high setting, and it’s not in the on-line manual. Thanks, Karen.
I would use the medium saute setting. Just stir often so it doesn’t burn on the bottom 🙂
Ingrid Filipiak says
PLEASE SEND ME YOUR STEEL CUT OATS INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE ZERO MINUTES. I LOVE MY INSTANT POT, USING IT MORE AND MORE AS I BECOME FAMILIAR IN HOW TO USE IT. LOVE YOUR RECIPES.
Sandy Bohlen says
Please put me on your list for recipes. Really enjoy your instapot videos
Okay I will add you to my email list!
I want to cook green beans, small red potatoes and yellow and green squash all together in my instant. Could you tell me the best way to do that. Thanks
I would put a cup of broth in the bottom. Add in sliced potatoes. Then layer on top the green beans and then the squash. Pressure cook for 0 minutes. The squash may be mushy and the potatoes might be undercooked. It’s hard to get those two to work together.
I would love more recipe…..Thank you
Carol Gerrard says
Love the instant pot so appreciate you recipes and hints. Surprised at 1/2 cup water for veges. Tried asparagus and came out too soft with 1 cup. Going to try 1/2 cup! Think green beans may be same. Thanks for all recipes as well as “hints”. Carol
You’re welcome Carol!
Lori Silva says
Watched a video from Six Sisters’ Stuff and Kristen had mentioned that your husband was diagnosed with cancer. We are so sorry to hear that and I bet you get alot of people offering their medical advice. But tell him to take Turmeric. (An excellent brand we use is Nutrigold, sold on Amazon.com). It is the best. Better than chemo!!!
All our best!! Our thoughts and prayers to you and your family in this difficult situation!!
The Silva Family!!!
P.S. Just subscribed to your YouTube channel!! Love your videos!!!
Thank you I will tell him!
There are many types of cancers that need many different types of treatment. Some respond to chemo, some surgery, some immunotherapy, etc. Turmeric is a good supplement and even suggested by one of our docs, but is not a cancer cure.
Frances Ipsen says
Hi again. Well Idid asparagus again using 1/2 cup of hot water. I took about 5 minutes to build up pressure and after I did the Quick Release they came out hot and crunchy. Just the way we like them…The only way to do them if you like them a bit crunchy…
Ok! good to know!
Frances Ipsen says
I cooked asparagus using zero minutes. They were over cooked but still tasty. Do you think if I were to use 1/2 cup of hot water would that lessen the time for pressure to build and thus prevent the asparagus from over cooking? Love your recipes..
yes I think that would work Frances. Try it and let me know!
Christina in SW FL says
Karen you are THE WOMAN!!! Oh my stars, I have learned so much from you! You have such a charming, friendly way of explaining things which, often, I didn’t even know to ask! Thank you!!
ahhh you are so nice!!
Janis McGovern says
Good info to know. Thanks so much for sharing with us!
I never knew about the “zero” function. Thanks for the heads up and recipes.
Glad I could help!
I just received an Instant Pot for Christmas. I love your blog. I’ve learned a lot reading your posts. I’m really enjoying using and your recipes are terrific. Thanks for this 0 minute post.
So glad you got an Instant Pot. I know you’ll enjoy it!
What can I do if I don’t have a zero cook time? Mine is a Cosori pressure cooker and it only goes down to 1.
Do 1 minute. Then when it flips to start counting down from one minute turn it off.
Will the 0 minute work in the Cuisinart pressure cooker? I have a 6 qt. or
will it work in the Power Cooker Plus? That one is 8 qt.
I also have a Ninja Cooking System with Auto-IQ. Is there a way I can use this with your recipes?
You could totally use your cuisinart pressure cooker and do the zero minute pressure cooker time! Good luck!
Love your Zero pressure cooking article…if only there was a way to print it without all the pictures (printing would cost $$$$!!!!)…great article…
Is there some way you could set up a separate category for Zero Pressure Cooking…that would be soooooo wonderful.
Thanks for all your good recipes and sharing…have a blessed and beautiful day!
I love that idea!
Copy article, paste to word program. Delete what you don’t want. Copy
Marge Teilhaber says
Highlight the whole page, CTRL-C to copy, open a Word document and do PASTE SPECIAL. That will keep out all the pictures although there’ll still be a lot to delete but it’s quick.
Karen, great article. Thanks!
Thanks for the instructions. I don’t have an instant pot, but I’m saving instructions and recipes in case I get one some day 🙂
Thanks — your posts are always interesting! Have already made a couple of your recipes twice ! Loved the Swedish meatballs! THX
Linda Rost says
Excellant article!! I use the 0mminute for my steel cut oats as well. Thank you. Love all your recipes
Oh interesting. Tell me how you make your steel cut oats!
J Jo says
Hi, Linda Rost, Would your share the instructions for making your steel cut oats, please. I bought a box and am scared to mess them up on the stove. The IP would be perfect if I knew what to do. THANK YOU SO MUCH! : )