Wondering how to adjust your Instant Pot recipes for high altitude? This printable conversion chart will help you adjust your recipes so that all your Instant Pot Recipe turn out perfectly!
Use this conversion chart to make any of these Instant Pot Recipes and learn basics of Instant Pot Cooking at Instant Pot 101.
Cooking at High Altitude
If you live 3,000 feet above sea level, most recipes will need to be adjusted to account for the altitude change.
At higher elevation, the air pressure is lower than causes several things to occur.
Effects of High Altitude
- The boiling point of water is lowered, meaning foods will be cooking at a lower temperature, which increases the cook time. The higher the elevation the lower the boiling point becomes, increasing the cook time for every thousand feet rise above sea level.
- Liquids evaporate faster, so amounts of flour and liquids may need to be changed in recipes.
- Gases expand more rapidly, so rise time on baked goods may need to be decreased, as well as leavening agents.
Using the Instant Pot at High Altitude
When using the Instant Pot at higher altitudes, you do not need to worry about accounting for liquid evaporating as the pressure cooker seals in all the moisture. However, you do need to account for the lower boiling point.
The formula for success when using your electric pressure cooker is to increase pressurized cook time by 5% for every 1000 feet above 2000 feet elevation.
Print this chart to help you convert your favorite recipes.
Important Tips for using Instant Pot at Higher Altitudes
- If making Instant Pot Yogurt, you do not need to make adjustments to the recipe.
- If you are sauteing or thickening a recipe AFTER pressure cook time has elapsed, like in Instant Pot Beef Stew, be sure to watch liquid level carefully, you may need to add in ¼ to ½ cup more liquid, as it will take longer for your recipe to thicken at higher altitude.
- For more tips on cooking and baking at High Altitude, check out these great tips from Betty Crocker.
Kristen, do you know how to find the pressure in pounds for a 3 qt or 6 qt? I have both but use my 3 qt most. I'm at 5234'. When I cook with pressure, it never vents steam - it's always very quiet unless I touch the weight. I've read articles on pressure cooking, but none mention Instant Pots. I don't own a pressure cooker like my 91 yo mom had when I was growing up 🙂
Hi Nel! Instant Pot model's pounds per pressure range from 13-15psi. That said, when you account for being at your elevation it will be closer to 10-12psi. As for steam, your pressure cooker should be venting steam unless your vent knob is open--not sure if that is what you are asking! Let me know if you need further clarification.
Kristen, I’ll soon be trying your recipes—Corned Beef and desserts for starters.
I’ve been cooking with a 3 qt mini instant pot for about a month. For simple potatoes and or bean recipes at 9,200 ft I find a full doubling of the time does it best. In fact, for 2 minute suggested times I’ve even gone up to 5 to 6 minutes for potatoes cut in 3/4” - 1” pieces.
For pre soaked beans - I double the time,
For unsoaked beans, when it calls for 10 min, I do at least 30 min – otherwise they still crunch.
Perhaps it has something to do with the size of the pot. Anyway, those are my numbers. Cheers
Thanks Quel! I use a 3 qt pot as well, in a mile-high Arizona city.
Yes, high altitude cooking is quite a challenge. I’ve taught myself bread making, at high altitude, and for sure can’t ever leave cause I’m not sure it’ll be as good any lower. Learning the instant pot adjustment has been a work in progress, make the recipe once then adjust. Your chart might be the best thing I’ve stumbled across, purely by accident...while on your lava cake recipe. Thank you!
I need some help, I keep getting the food burn on my instant pot duo, I think I need to add more liquid to the recipe. I am in Denver Colorado but I keep scorching rice and scorched the liquid for my turkey today. Any advice?
Hi Amy. It actually sounds like your Instant Pot is not sealed correctly, as even at high altitude, you should not lose all the water. Be sure your vent knob is closed and your seal is tightly on your lid. And check out my Instant Pot Troubleshooting for more tips if that does not solve the issue. Hope that helps.
thanks so much! I am at 9320 at home, and ran a short order ski-in ski-out restaurant at 11885. it really is a challenge. I know this info isn't about instant pot but, for those struggling with high altitude baking, there is a cookbook called pie in the sky. It taught me all the chemistry in laymen terms to convert my recipes for high altitude.
So happy this guide helps Sarah!
All I have to say is... Yum... to have warm food at the top after a 30 minute freezing ride to the top of a mountain at negative temperatures and howling winds is one of the best things in life 🙂
We are only at 9400 feet...You are very brave!! But totally agree, "Pie in the Sky" cookbook has been my go-to source as well especially her trick for making a meringue that looks great.
Stumbled upon this at just the right time. Thanks for the chart!!! Worked perfectly for this sea-level cooker while at 7k feet!
YAY! So glad this helped Kathy!
Nancy T Law
This chart is super helpful. We are at about 6300 feet, just east of Parker, CO. I am about to try out the Instant Pot. Thanks so much for the tips. I have a pressure rice cooker that I love---the only way I have been able to get brown rice the way I want it since I moved here from Ohio 25 years ago--but it's a one trick pony. With this advice I look forward to the Instant Pot. My Colorado Springs daughter tells me it is the best way to get dried beans right, too.
Thanks! Nancy, Parker CO
I am so happy you found this Nancy and I am very optimistic that this will help you master your instant pot. And I agree with your daughter--dried beans in the instant pot are amazing. I make my recipe for Instant Pot Dried Beans weekly. Feel free to reach out with any questions.
Hey, I'm just outside of Parker, CO, at 6000+ too! I generally get great results with using the 20% additional time, but it can depend on how full I've filled the IP too.
Thank you so much for this invaluable chart. For those who have never cooked/baked "at" altitude, as we say here in Denver, it can be a very trying and difficult experience. Downright maddening. You'll have followed the ingredients to the letter and end up a far cry from what the recipe proffered. I have grown up here all my life but didn't really "get" the concept of altitude baking until I was about 12 (a bit self taught) and spent a lot of time trying to figure out why everything was just mush. This is a clear and concise chart. I spent over 40 minutes trying to find a basic chart on the "interwebs" but of all the articles I viewed, yours was the ONLY ONE that actually addressed Altitude cooking. There was another article/blogger - a man whose article I was trying to find. But his offered a single recipe adjustment. This is more comprehensive...still, out of the thousands of recipes and articles 2 out of hundreds...I'll stick to your articles any day!!! Thank you for blogging! Moms are busy!!
I am so glad you found this helpful! We have family in Denver and I understand the frustration for sure. I am so glad you you enjoy my tips and recipes--that means the world to me.
Nancy T Law
Dear Kristen, Your conversion worked great! I added 20% time for our 6300 foot altitude and the stew meat (part of our order of a 1/4 steer of Colorado raised, organic beef) was perfect. This was my first time to try the Instant Pot and I was a little nervous and didn't trust the recipe conversion, and added more liquid than was needed, but just cooked it down a bit on saute. I also wasn't sure if dried herbs added in the cooking cycle could clog up the valves so I waited and added those later, too. I won't worry the next time as it would have all been fine. Thanks again for your advice. Next up, dried beans for red beans to convert my family favorite red beans and rice. I will share when I get it right! Thanks, again!