University of Idaho - I Banner
A student works at a computer


U of I's web-based retention and advising tool provides an efficient way to guide and support students on their road to graduation. Login to VandalStar.


Physical Address:
E. J. Iddings Agricultural Science Laboratory, Room 10
606 S Rayburn St

Mailing Address:
875 Perimeter Drive MS 2332 Moscow, ID 83844-2332

Phone: 208-885-7982

Fax: 208-885-9046



Guide to Using and Caring for Your Electric Programmable Pressure Cooker

PNW 747 publication header

Meals in Minutes

An electric programmable pressure cooker (EPPC) helps cooks serve meals in a matter of minutes. It is quite a versatile kitchen appliance, allowing you to sauté single meals or stack multiple ones using the same pot, which makes cleanup a snap. In this publication, we explore how to care for and operate these one-pot wonders.

How Does a Pressure Cooker Work?

A pressure cooker is a sealed pot with a valve that allows you to control the steam pressure inside. As the pot heats up, the liquid inside forms steam, which raises the pressure in the pot, creating two major effects:

  • The boiling point of the water in the pot rises. Cooking a wet dish (moisture-dependent), like steamed vegetables or stew, without the use of a cooker limits the cooking conditions to the boiling point of water (212°F). But the added steam pressure provided by a cooker raises the boiling point—as high as 250°F, depending on the dish.
  • Food cooks more quickly and certain ones, like tough meat, tenderize more rapidly. A pressure cooker's ability to force liquid and moisture into food speeds up the cooking and tenderizing processes.

The extra high heat that builds up in a pressure cooker also promotes caramelization and browning, subsidiary effects that are surprising, especially in food that is cooking in liquid. The flavors that develop in a pressure cooker are thus deep and complex, unlike those in steamed food.

Stove Top Versus Electric

There are two basic types of pressure cookers. Stove-top versions are made of either aluminum or stainless steel and look similar to a regular pan-and-lid model. They operate with a weight-modified or “jiggler” valve, which can be loud as it rattles and releases pressure (excess steam) during operation. Most of these types of pressure cookers do not have an integrated timer nor provide any cooking programs or scheduling features (although manufacturers are beginning to include these features in more of these model types—for instance, some offer their own cooking-program apps).

An electric pressure cooker, however, relies on its multipart construction: an exterior pot and appliance base, with a heating element located inside the pot and a control panel on its exterior. The inner pot, where the food cooks, sits snugly inside the appliance base. A steam release valve is located on the lid and handle. The valve releases the pressure that builds up during use and must be set in the Sealing position before pressure cooking can begin. Underneath the lid are a sealing ring, antiblock shield, float valve, and exhaust valve. These create a tight seal and regulate pressure within the electric pressure cooker.

Both stove-top and electric pressure cookers save energy and time and help preserve nutrients (like vitamins) in food, so the decision to purchase one depends on your preference for the other features they offer (Table 1).

Table 1. Stove-top versus an electric pressure cooker.
Stove-Top Pressure Cooker Electric Pressure Cooker
High pressure is 14–15 psi High pressure is 9–11 psi
Heat regulation via manual adjustment Heat regulation is automated
10 minutes to reach pressure 15 minutes to reach pressure
3 times faster than conventional cooking 2 times faster than conventional cooking
No integrated timer Integrated timer included
Multiuse Multiuse
Variety of heat sources Runs on electricity only

Using an Electric Pressure Cooker

Before you even begin using it, read through the appliance’s user manual; then continue to consult it as needed. Programmed functions vary from brand to brand as do any additional recommendations.

An electric pressure cooker has many programmable cooking functions. The majority of brands are adjustable. For example, you can modify the cook time or heat level using the Adjust, More (+), and Less (-) buttons. Most models, however, also have preprogrammed settings, particularly automatic preheat, which starts warming the inner pot 10 seconds after you finish setting a cooker’s functions.

Table 2. Electric programmable pressure-cooker control buttons and their functions.
Button/Dial General Function
Manual/Pressure Cook The most-used button; allows for manual-set cook times and pressure levels for most EPPC cookers.
Sauté Allows you to fry food in a small amount of fat as in a stove-stop skillet.
Slow Cook Enables use of EPPC as a slow cooker. The default time is 4 hours; more time can be added.
Steam Enables steam cooking of vegetables or other foods. Tip: Use a trivet so food does not stick or burn to the bottom of the inner pot.
Bean/Chili The default setting is high pressure and 30 minutes. Adjust the time per bean type.
Meat/Stew The default setting is high pressure and 35 minutes. Adjust the time to achieve the desired food texture.
Multigrain The default setting is high pressure and 40 minutes. Adjust the time as needed.
Porridge The default setting is high pressure and 30 minutes. Adjust the time as needed. Caution: if food content is high in starch, engaging the quick steam release vent will cause dangerously hot steam to spew out.
Poultry The default setting is high pressure and 15 minutes. Adjust time as needed.
Rice Automated on some pressure-cooker models. The machine adjusts depending on the amount of rice and water cooked (regular rice or parboiled rice only). The default setting is high pressure for 5–10 minutes. Adjust the time, depending on rice quantity and type.
Soup Adjust time as needed; most EPPCs automatically control the temperature to prevent a heavy boil when cooking.
Yogurt Offers three preset options: making yogurt, pasteurizing milk, and making Jiu Niang (sweet fermented rice).

Pressure Cooking Is . . .

  • Fast. It reduces cooking time by one-third (or more). A roast that would ordinarily take 2–3 hours can be ready in 20–40 minutes; soaked beans only need to cook about 13 minutes, etc.
  • Healthy. Pressure-cooked food retains 50% more nutrients. Higher cooking temperatures do not destroy any more nutrients than lower ones. Indeed, cooking temperature isn’t the issue—it’s the cooking time. By cooking foods for shorter lengths of time, pressure cookers preserve the nutrients better, though heat-sensitive ones will always struggle to survive regardless of the cooking equipment used.

    Also, the fact that pressure cooking uses very little water compared to other cooking methods prevents fewer vitamins and minerals from leaching out (except when the food is not submerged in water).

  • Green. Pressure cooking devices use 70% less gas and/or electricity. Their energy efficiency is comparable to the energy saved after switching to using energy-saving light bulbs.
  • Easy. Cooking with these devices is a snap—just add the ingredients, including any liquid, and monitor it when convenient.
  • Clean. Cooking in a sealed vessel reduces the likelihood of spills, unlike when cooking on a stove top or with an oven.

Pressure Cooking Is . . . Safe

Pressure cookers feature multiple safety mechanisms—if one fails, there’s likely another one that will kick in. Both electric and stove-top pressure cookers have at least these safety features:

  • Locking lid: keeps the pressure cooker closed if there is any pressure inside, even for electric pressure cookers during a power outage (or other situation when electricity is not available).
  • Primary and secondary pressure release: if the pressure is too high inside a cooker, the main pressure valve releases the extra pressure. Should the first valve become blocked, a second valve releases the pressure.
  • Lid lip vent: should the primary and secondary pressure release valves fail to release extra pressure, the steam will exit from a small cutout in the lid (or for electric pressure cookers, the steam will release into the pressure cooker body and turn itself off).
  • Auto shutoff: this is another advantage of using an electric pressure cooker. If the internal temperature readings inside the pot rise to dangerous temperatures, the cooker will automatically shut off. Most EPPCs have a warming feature that holds the food at a safe temperature (140°F) for a period of time. Some EPPC models have even more safety features. Read your EPPC manual to learn about all the ones yours offers.

Selecting an Electric Programmable Pressure Cooker

There are currently several brands of EPPCs available on the market. Each offers different models and sizes of electric multicookers.

What Exactly Is an Electric Multicooker?

An electric kitchen appliance for automated cooking that uses a timer. A typical multicooker boils, simmers, roasts, stews, steams, and browns food.

Operate the device by placing ingredients inside its pot, then select the corresponding program and let the multicooker work its magic according to the chosen program, typically without any further intervention. Some multicookers have an adjustable thermostat.

In addition to cooking programs, a multicooker may have functions that keep food warm, reheat it, or allow you to delay cooking by programming in a later time. Some multicookers also function as slow cookers.

Identifying which EPPC is the best match for you depends on a few key factors:

  1. Number of servings. If you typically cook meals for four people or less, a 6-quart-size cooker should suffice. If you have a larger family or you like to prepare large roasts or batch cook, consider purchasing an 8-quart size or larger.
  2. Frequency of use. If you plan to use it to make every meal your family will eat in a day, you may want to consider purchasing more than one inner cooking pot to avoid having to wash the same pot after every use each day.
  3. Desired features. Almost all brands of multicookers on the market offer automatic settings, like slow cooking, steaming, sautéing, and making rice. Some models include additional settings, such as yogurt making and air-frying technology.
  4. Your budget. Electric pressure cookers vary in cost, but on average, expect to pay $50–$300.

Common Terms and Acronyms

Condensation cup (Figure 1). A small, attachable reservoir placed near the lid or on the side of the cooker base that collects condensation or other liquid that may leak through the cooker’s lid seal.

Figure 1. Condensation cup. Photo courtesy of Lance Hansen, University of Idaho.

Floating valve or Pin (Figure 2). A small metallic mechanism in the lid that floats up and locks the lid into place after adequate pressure builds up inside the appliance. The device is a safety measure which prevents users from opening the lid from while the cooker is working.

Figure 2. Floating valve or pin. Photo courtesy of Lance Hansen, University of Idaho.

Guard or Antiblock shield (Figure 3). A metallic, usually cap-shaped device located on the underneath side of the lid that prevents the pressure release valve from getting clogged by food or other debris.

Figure 3. Guard or antiblock shield. Photo courtesy of Lance Hansen, University of Idaho.

High pressure or HP. A pressure-cooking setting that indicates higher-pressure cooking of approximately 9–10 pounds per square inch.

Silicone inner ring (Figure 4). A removable, flexible ring that lines the inside of the cooker lid. Its positioning creates a tight seal that allows pressure to build up inside the inner pot without escaping.

Figure 4. Silicone inner ring. Photo courtesy of Lance Hansen, University of Idaho.
Figure 5. A stainless-steel inner liner (pot) of an electric pressure cooker. The most common are made of stainless steel or ceramic with a Teflon coating. Photo courtesy of Lance Hansen, University of Idaho.

Liner or Inner pot (Figure 5). A large metallic container that sits inside the cooker base and on top of its heating element and that holds the food items as they cook. Do not cook anything without the liner or inner pot in place.

Low pressure or LP. A pressure-cooker setting indicating operation at a lower pressure of 5–7 pounds per square inch.

Natural release or NR. A slow or natural-release method for releasing pressure from an electric pressure cooker by letting the pressure dissipate on its own as the internal temperature of the cooker cools.

Pot-In-Pot or PIP. A pressure-cooking method that involves placing other pans and or pots inside the inner pot of an electric pressure cooker.

Quick release or QR. A method that vents the built-up pressure immediately after an electric pressure–cooking cycle finishes. Done by turning the steam release valve, which allows pressure to escape quickly.

Steam release valve (Figure 6). Located on the top of the lid, a knob that when turned releases pressure from the cooker’s interior, ensuring the safe removal of the cooker’s lid.

Figure 6. Steam release valve. Photo courtesy of Lance Hansen, University of Idaho.
Figure 7. A standard trivet with handles to help remove it (and any items placed on it) from an electric pressure cooker. Commonly made of silicon or stainless steel. Photo courtesy of Lance Hansen, University of Idaho.

Trivet or Steam basket (Figure 7). An accessory often used with the pot-in-pot cooking method. The trivet sits in the inner pot, creating space between the water in the bottom of an inner pot and any other pot(s) being used or food being steamed.

Water test. A procedure used to verify that an electric pressure cooker is functioning properly, often before using a cooker for the first time.

Figure 8. Read through a recipe before you start cooking. Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash.

Step-By-Step Electric Pressure Cooking

Pressure cooking is a wonderful way to prepare meals, but you might find the process intimidating. After you add the ingredients and turn it on, you have to let a cooker run on its own—no peeking allowed.

This takes a lot of trust, so to help put you more at ease, get in the habit of reading through a recipe before you start cooking (Figure 8). Pay particular attention to whether it requires browning or sautéing first, then note the required pressure level and cooking time length. Other typical EPPC-recipe instructions include the following:

  1. To enhance a dish’s flavor, use the Sauté or Brown function for vegetables or meat before pressure cooking. Leave the lid off while using this function, unless you are making popcorn—in that case set it loosely on top.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and secure the lid, with the steam release handle set to the Sealing position.
  3. Select the pressure level (High or Low), if available, and cook time according to the recipe or manual. Most cookers automatically start after a few seconds. Some brands and models require that you press the Start button.
  4. Once a pressure-cooking cycle is complete, turn off the cooker by selecting Cancel. This will disengage the Warming function.
  5. Use a Natural Release or Quick Release. Natural Release is performed by selecting Cancel, which allows the cooker to depressurize slowly on its own (usually within about 10 minutes or longer), a process that also helps when cooking stew or sauces or with tough meat. Quick Release occurs after you manually switch the sealing knob from Sealing to Venting. However, use extreme caution. Position yourself an arm’s length away from the cooker and use a cooking utensil to turn the knob: the steam’s sudden release is an explosive process, whose completion usually takes about two minutes. This method is useful for delicate items that require specific cooking times, like vegetables or seafood. Some recipes recommend using NR for a specific period of time before engaging QR to release the remaining steam.
  6. The Sauté function is helpful when continuing to use just one pot. It also benefits dishes that need to simmer to help thicken, reduce, or concentrate any remaining or retained liquid.
  7. Carefully remove the lid by orienting the inner side of it away from you.

Helpful Safety Tips When Using an Electric Pressure Cooker

  1. Read the manual and follow all precautions.
  2. Inspect the equipment. Note if all parts are present; that they are undamaged; that the silicone ring is installed correctly; and that the cooker does not have any cracks or other type of damage.
  3. Don’t overfill the cooker and stay below the MAX line located in the interior of the inner pot. The maximum fill for beans, rice, and grains is a half-full pot and two-thirds’ full for anything else.
  4. Add minimum of ½–1 cup of liquid so the pressure cooker can reach and maintain pressure. Please refer to your owner’s manual for the exact measurement for your individual cooker.
  5. Do a water test to determine the pressure cooker’s operational condition.
  6. DO NOT use the pressure cooker to sterilize medical equipment or to can, fry, or distill ingredients.
  7. Use the proper pressure release method to keep the valve clog-free.
  8. A proper NR for foamy foods requires at least 20–30 minutes.
  9. Utilize an NR for all foamy foods, such as potatoes, grains, rice, etc., otherwise the food will foam out of the steam release valve. By doing an NR, the pressure and temperature fall gradually, which reduces the mess.
  11. While operating and releasing pressure, do not cover or obstruct the venting valve.
  12. Keep the pressure cooker’s gasket and the safety and pressure valves clean of food debris.
  13. Keep EPPCs away from stove tops (they could accidently melt their surface).
  14. Keep EPPCs away from cupboards so the steam doesn’t damage or warp them and/or encourage mold growth.
  15. Always tilt the lid away from you when opening it to prevent a steam burn.
  16. Wear waterproof, heat-resistant silicone gloves when handling the inner pot or when removing the cooker lid.
  17. Do not leave your house when your electric pressure cooker is operating.
  18. Follow recipe directions very closely.
  19. Prevent the cooker’s power cord from accidentally unplugging.

Food Safety

When using an EPPC appliance, note the following basic food-handling principles:

  1. To can or not to can? No electric pressure cooker is suitable for home pressure canning at this time, according to the National Center for Home Food Preservation (2019) [NCHFP]. It is not clear whether or not a cooker can reach high enough temperatures for the recommended length of time to ensure development of a safe, shelf-stable canning product. For more information, visit the NCHFP website at Some electric pressure-cooking companies maintain otherwise about their appliance, but because there is yet no adequate research to verify this safety claim in general, University of Idaho Extension advises that you follow the NCHFP’s recommendations.
  2. From freezer to table. You can cook frozen foods in your electric pressure cooker. A pressure cooker reduces the cooking time of foods, including those that are frozen. Often, it’s just a matter of adding more liquid and increasing the cooking time to adequately cook frozen foods.
  3. Digital thermometers. When cooking meat and egg dishes, check the temperature with a thermometer to ensure that the cooker reaches the proper internal temperature. Although pressure cooking applies a higher heat, cooking time, type of meat (or egg dish), and the cut of meat all impact heat penetration and the ability of the appliance to cook food to its recommended temperature. For example, dishes like meat and eggs can be undercooked, so temperature checking them is necessary. By using a thermometer and following the safe internal temperature recommendations of the food items with which you are cooking, you guarantee the safety of your completed product (United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service 2020).
Table 3. Safe minimum internal temperature chart (USDA FSIS).
Product Minimum Internal Temperature & Rest Time
Beef, Pork, Veal and Lamb
Steaks, chops, roasts
145°F (62.8°C) and allow to rest for at least 3 minutes
Ground Meats 160°F (71.1°C)
Ground Poultry 165°F (73.9°C)
Ham, fresh or smoked (uncooked) 145°F (62.8°C) and allow to rest for at least 3 minutes
Fully Cooked Ham (to reheat) Reheat cooked hams packaged in USDA-inspected plants to 140°F (60°C) and all others to 165°F (73.9°C)
Product Minimum Internal Temperature
All Poultry (breasts, whole bird, legs, thighs, wings, ground poultry, giblets, and stuffing) 165°F (73.9°C)
Eggs 160°F (71.1°C)
Fish and Shellfish 145°F (62.8°C)
Leftovers 165°F (73.9°C)
Casseroles 165°F (73.9°C)
  1. Use the Delay Start setting. Some electric pressure-cooking appliances have a delayed time start function as a preprogrammed setting. Due to safety concerns, we do not recommend using it, unless you start the food to cook within one hour of programming the appliance. Some consumers have reported placing frozen or thawed food in the appliance and scheduling a delayed start to begin several hours after the appliance has been programmed (and the food has remained at room temperature). We recommend that foods should not be left at room temperature for two hours or longer because dangerous levels of harmful bacteria can grow. Again, while EPPCs can reach higher temperatures than many traditional cooking techniques, follow basic food-handling practices to maintain safe food-preparation practices.

Altitude Adjustment

Water boils at a lower temperature the higher you are above sea level; therefore, adjustments must be made for your food to cook properly in your pressure cooker. To make these adjustments, increase the cooking time for your recipes by 5% for every 1,000 ft of elevation gain above 2,000 ft (refer to chart below for specific altitudes).

Altitude Cooking Time
3,000 FT +5%
4,000 FT +10%
5,000 FT +15%
6,000 FT +20%
7,000 FT +25%
8,000 FT +30%

For example, if your recipe calls for a cooking time of 20 minutes and you are cooking at an altitude of 4,000 ft, add 2 minutes (10%) to the original 20 minutes to gauge the adjusted cooking time (22 minutes).

Figure 9. Pot-in-pot (PIP) cooking. Photo courtesy of Becky Hutchings.

Pot-In-Pot Cooking

Pot-in-Pot (PIP) is an EPPC cooking method (Figure 9) that involves placing another container on a trivet and inside the inner stainless-steel pot. Any container labeled “oven safe,” such as glass, pans, bowls, ceramic, silicon, or stainless steel, may work as the food-holding pot.

Because electric pressure cookers rely on moist cooking techniques, make sure to add a minimum of one cup of liquid inside the inner pot when using the PIP method. No need to worry about water mixing with your food item: the trivet isolates the food from the required water to avoid adding moisture to the food.

Safety Warning When Using Canning Jars

According to (2021), the Jarden Corporation (manufacturer of Ball and Kerr canning jars), advises against using their jars in an oven because of safety concerns. They are not designed to withstand the dry-heat conditions generated by an oven and may crack or break, thus possibly depositing glass shards into food placed into a jar or injuring the canner when filling up the containers. Because they have been developed for use in a pressure canner (i.e., moist-heat and high temperatures), however, these jars should be acceptable for pressure cooking, particularly the PIP method. However, remember to use a trivet when using the jars or any other type of glass container as the food-holding pot.

When Should PIP Be Used?

  1. Reheating food. It does not dry out the food.
  2. Cooking multiple food items at the same time. As long as the food items both require a similar cooking time it is appropriate.
  3. Reheating individual freezer meals, if using freezer-safe packaging.
  4. Hoping to avoid extra dish washing. Cooking pot-in-pot lets you make a dish in the pressure cooker without dirtying the inner cooking pot, which is useful if you plan to use the pressure cooker again.
  5. Maintaining portion size. Cake pans, half-size Bundt pans, mason jars, and ramekins work well as food-holding containers that keep serving sizes uniform.

Pressure-Cooker Accessories

Sometimes accessories or pots are required to complete a specific recipe. If you have questions about the use of a type of cookware, please refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations regarding the use of their accessories in your electric pressure cooker. There are many different accessory options on the market, but not all are intended for use in an EPPC. For example, Corelle Brands, maker of Pyrex, recommends customers not use their glassware in pressure-cooking appliances. The glass becomes unstable under pressure or when exposed to temperature fluctuation and could crack or explode (for more information, see Mason jars used for preserving foods through approved methods are suitable containers for PIP cooking in an EPPC; nevertheless, we do not recommend pressure canning using an EPPC.

Converting Your Favorite Recipes

Most stove-top pressure-cooker recipes require few adjustments when translating them for use with an EPPC. Here are a few common ones:

Add more liquid. Electric pressure cookers require more liquid to operate than most stove-top pressure cookers. As a result, become familiar with the minimum amount of liquid yours needs to reach adequate pressure, usually 1–2 cups, but check your user manual to make sure.

Use setting buttons as needed. Most EPPCs have a Sauté or Brown button that can be pushed to preheat, sauté, or boil liquids in the cooker. If your electric cooker does not have one of these buttons, refer to the manual to check for an equivalent option.

Convert the cooking time. Most stove-top pressure-cooker recipes are written for pressure cookers that reach 13–15 psi, though most EPPCs cook at a high pressure of 9–12 psi. Thus, when using stove-top recipes, it’s more likely that your cooker will be applying less heat to the food, so you’ll need to increase the cooking time. To figure out that conversion, consult your cooker’s instruction manual to locate the recommended cooking time for the recipe’s main ingredient.

Figure 10. Cleaning your electric pressure cooker. Photo courtesy of Becky Hutchings.

Cleaning Your Electric Pressure Cooker

It is important to properly clean your pressure cooker (Figure 10) and its various parts to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria that could cause foodborne illness. We recommend cleaning the following parts as a baseline, but make sure to add different ones and the procedures listed by the manufacturer in the manual for the specific model you are using:

Antiblock shield. Remove and clean after each use, especially following the preparation of foods that may have splattered. To remove, follow the manufacturer’s directions. Wash shield with warm, soapy water, then rinse and wipe dry with a soft cloth. Reinstall only when it is fully dry.

Condensation collector (not all models have this attachment). Remove from cooker and hand-wash regularly, especially in locations with high humidity. Dry thoroughly before replacing. Check for moisture after each use to prevent mold growth.

Cooker base and heating element. Clean the exterior of the cooker base with a damp cloth. Use a slightly damp cloth to clean the inside of the cooker. DO NOT clean the equipment in a dishwasher.

Inner pot and steam rack. These are food-grade and dishwasher safe. But if the inner pot is made of stainless steel, make sure to use a nonabrasive stainless-steel cleaner when removing discolorations. Use a damp sponge dipped in vinegar or lemon to remove blemishes.

Lid. Some lids are top-rack dishwasher safe. Make sure to remove the sealing ring and antiblock shield before washing the lid. Prevent odors by placing the lid upside down until completely dry and during storage.

Sealing ring. Hand-wash with soapy water or clean in a dishwasher. Allow the ring to dry completely before inserting it back into the lid.

Electric Pressure Cooker Cooking Tips

  • Meats use natural release
  • Seafoods use quick release
  • Most starches use natural release
  • Check all meats with a thermometer
*Add 1 cup water and use trivet or steam basket
Type Time
Beef roast 15 min/lb
Meatballs 7 min
Whole chicken 6 min/lb
Chicken breast (thawed) 8 min
Chicken breast (frozen) 12 min
Chicken thigh 9 min
Pork chop 5 min
Pork chop (bone-in) 8 min
Pork roast 15 min/lb
Baby back rib rack (1½–2 lb) 15–20 min
Fish fillet (fresh) 2–3 min
Fish fillet (frozen) 3–4 min
Shrimp (24 medium or 56–60/lb, peeled and deveined, with or without tail) 1–3 min
Large eggs (1–6; cook just 1 or as many as you can fit in pot) 5 min
*Place starch and water directly in pot without using trivet
Type Time
White Rice 1:1 (rice:water) 4 min
Wild Rice 1:2 (rice:water) 20 min
Brown Rice 1:1 (rice:water) 25 min
Quick oats 1:2 (oats:water) 1 min
Steel-cut oats 1:3 (oats:water) 10 min
Pasta (8 oz/2 cups water; see also pasta formula and water charts) 4 min
Dried beans (1 lb or equal to 2 cups—no need to presoak:8 cups water) 25–40 min (depending on bean)
Type Time
Corn on the cob (1–10; can cook just 1 or as many as you can fit in the pot; leave husk on) 4 min
Potato chunks (4 lbs) add 1 cup water and use metal rack or steamer basket 13 min
Note: Times are averaged across all electric pressure cookers. Adjustments may need to be made for different brands/models. Refer to your EPPC’s manual for more information.
The EPPC Perfect Pasta Formula
Lowest recommended cook time on pasta box/bag (minutes) Pressure Cook on High (minutes)
4 0*
5 0*
6 1
7 1
8 2
9 2
10 3
11 3
12 4
13 4
14 5
*0 is a real setting on most EPPCs. For small pasta shapers with a short recommended cook time, set the timer to zero minutes. The pressure cooker will fully pressurize but won’t maintain that pressure for any amount of time.
How Much Water to Use When Pressure Cooking Pasta
Use 2 cups water for every 8 ounces of pasta
8 oz pasta 2 cups water
16 oz pasta 4 cups water
24 oz pasta 6 cups water

Further Reading

National Center for Home Food Preservation. 2019. “Burning Issue: Canning in Electric Multi-Cookers.” 2021. Canning Homemade: Sustainable Living and Preserving the Future. “Is Oven Canning or Heating Jars in the Oven Safe?” 2021. Accesssed 8 February 2021.

United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service. 2020. “Safe Minimum Internal Temperature Chart.”

About the Authors

Becky Hutchings—University of Idaho (UI) Extension, Minidoka County

Julie Buck—UI Extension, Bingham County

Surine Greenway—UI Extension, Owyhee County

Lance Hansen—UI Extension, Madison County

Amy Robertson—UI Extension, Boundary County

Cover Photo

Photo courtesy of Becky Hutchings.

Pacific Northwest Extension Publications

Pacific Northwest Extension publications are produced cooperatively by the three Pacific Northwest land-grant universities: Washington State University, Oregon State University, and the University of Idaho. Similar crops, climate, and topography create a natural geographic unit that crosses state lines. Since 1949, the PNW program has published more than 700 titles, preventing duplication of effort, broadening the availability of faculty specialists, and substantially reducing costs for the participating states.

Pacific Northwest Extension publications contain material written and produced for public distribution. You may reprint written material, provided you do not use it to endorse a commercial product. Please reference by title and credit Pacific Northwest Extension publications.

Order Information

University of Idaho Extension
208-885-7982 | 208-885-9046 (fax) |

Washington State University Extension
800-723-1763 | 509-335-3006 (fax) |

Oregon State University Extension Service
800-561-6719 | 541-737-0817 (fax) |

PUB NAME | Published Month Year | © 2022 by the University of Idaho

Issued in furtherance of cooperative extension work in agriculture and home economics, Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Barbara Petty, Director of University of Idaho Extension, University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho 83844. The University of Idaho has a policy of nondiscrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, age, disability or status as a Vietnam-era veteran.
U of I Peer Reviewed Icon


Physical Address:
E. J. Iddings Agricultural Science Laboratory, Room 10
606 S Rayburn St

Mailing Address:
875 Perimeter Drive MS 2332 Moscow, ID 83844-2332

Phone: 208-885-7982

Fax: 208-885-9046