About Your Instant Pot: How To Use All The Buttons

Flip it!

Many of the Instant Pot buttons may seem self-explanatory with just a few on the iffy side, but trust me, all is not what it seems. Most of them need to be combined with other buttons for a proper cook. Here’s what you need to know.

Plus and Minus

You’ll notice that your Instant Pot has a Plus and Minus button in the very center. These are probably the most used keys, as you’ll see below. You use the Minus button to lower cooking times and the Plus button to add time after you press a program key like Rice, Chili or Soup.

Above the Plus and Minus buttons is a display with three lights marked Less, Normal or More. Pushing the Minus button to get the Less mode to turn on and the Minus button to get to the More mode doesn’t work. Instead, press the program button repeatedly.

Soup/Broth, Meat Stew and Chili Buttons

The Soup/Broth, Meat Stew, and Chili buttons are pretty obvious, but you can combine them with the Plus and Minus buttons to get cooking greatness.

For example, if you’re cooking soup without meat, press the Soup/Broth button and the Minus button to start the Less mode. If you’re cooking rich bone broths, press the Soup/Broth button until the More mode lights up.

With the Meat Stew button, start up the Less mode to give the meat a soft texture with some chew to it or the More mode if you want fall-off-the-bone texture.

The same goes for the chili button. If you want your beans a little stiffer, reduce the cooking time. If you want your beans extra soft, ramp it up.


This button will get birds cooked to perfection, as long as you know how you want them cooked. Like with stews, you can add more cooking time to make the meat fall-off-the-bone tender, or choose less time for a chewier texture.

Porridge and Steam

With the Porridge and Steam buttons, you push the Plus or Minus button as well as the program button depending on what you’re cooking.

If you’re cooking white rice porridge, then you’re good to go with just pushing the Porridge button. On the other hand, if you’re cooking oatmeal, press the Porridge button to set the Less mode. If you’re cooking congee with rice and beans, you’ll need to press the Porridge button to set the More mode for a longer cooking time.

Similarly, if you’re steaming fish and seafood, just push the Steam button. If you’re cooking vegetables, use the Less mode, and if you’re steaming meat, use the More mode.

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