How to Simmer in Instant Pot

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Though it is meant for rapid, hot cooking it is possible to simmer in your Instant Pot. In fact, it is commonly used to simmer meat cuts, vegetables, rice, stocks, and soups.

To simmer in instant pots first set the mode to “Medium-Low” or “Low” and use the Sauté mood in the pressure cooking pot to do a Simmer. The rule to get simmering is to keep the temperature below the boiling temp (212°F), with a range from around 180°F to 205°F.

If you are looking for step by step guide on simmering read on. Here, you’ll find how to simmer in an instant pot using its functionality. I’ll take a look at some of the default settings that you need for this purpose.

But before that, let’s know the difference between simmering and boiling as both look similar.

Simmering vs. Boiling: What’s the Difference?

Cooking is an art, and knowing the need for simmering and boiling for different recipes makes this art perfect. You may get confused about simmering and boiling. However, it is pretty easy to identify both of the states.

Some items are well off with simmering, while some are good with boiling. First, you need to know which ingredients need to simmer and which one needs a proper boil.


Simmering or “slowly boiling” is an earlier stage of boiling. In this stage, there will be the generation of a few bubbles from the bottom of the pot. The top surface of the water will be pretty much flat.

The ideal temperature for simmering is 180 degrees to 205-degree Fahrenheit. However, when you are cooking something aim to achieve a lower temperature than its boiling point.

Simmering is a popular method of slow cooking. It is suitable for making soup, poaching eggs, and softening tough items like beef.


Boiling is the cooking method at high temperatures. There is a rapid generation of water bubbles from the pot bottom in this stage. The top surface of the water keeps on a rapid movement, and water evaporates continuously. The disturbance on the top surface is very rapid due to the continuous generation of bubbles.

The boiling temperature is 212-degree Fahrenheit.

Boiling is usually used to soften the hard grains such as noodles and pasta.

How to Simmer in an Instant Pot?

Instant pots have a lot of different features that do different things. There are a lot of different foods that can be cooked with this kitchen tool.

You can simmer, boil or pressure cook with it. You already know simmering is a slower cooking technique. For this, you need to use a glass lid on the pot. Glass lid will ensure slowness in the process.

It would help if you used the sauté function in this case. Also, set the temperature to low. This will keep a suitable temperature for simmering.

The temperature will be 200–203-degree Fahrenheit at the low settings.

You should see small bubbles coming from the bottom and popping. There should not be more steam. More steam means the water is getting towards boiling.

When you achieve the ideal state for simmering, you need to submerge the food in the water. It will help to make tough food become tender.

Tips for Simmering Properly

  • Try to monitor the temperature on the indicator. It should be below 205 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • You can also evaluate the simmering state by watching the generation of bubbles.
  • If there is rapid bubble generation, the water gets to the boiling temperature. In this scenario, try lowering the water temperature.
  • Keeping the state constant is the key to getting a perfect simmering.

If you are looking for an alternative both instant pot and nuwave can be used as simmering.

What Happens If You Boil Instead of Simmer?

According to a specific recipe, you need to boil some food while others need simmering. As we mentioned earlier, the food preparation technique that requires slow cooking requires simmering.

Boiling, in this case, will damage the taste of the food item. Simmering is suitable for making tough food items softer in a slow process. If those are boiled, the final item will not be according to the desired taste.

For instance, meat contains collagen tissues, which makes it tough. When you simmer beef, the collagens will break down properly. You may not achieve the softness if you boil it, as the beef requires a slow cooking process to break down and soften the collagens.

Do You Need to Stir While Simmering?

So, about stirring, you need to follow the recipe. Some foods require you to stir while simmering at a certain temperature.

Stirring also depends on the type of food you are cooking. So, know well about the recipe and type of the food and whether it needs stirring. If it needs a stir, learn when you need to do the stirring during the process.

Final Words

Simmering and boiling are crucial aspects of mastering the art of cooking. An instant pot can get the job done for both cases. To get the perfect flavor of some foods, you need to simmer the ingredients instead of boiling them.

Knowing how to simmer in an instant pot requires knowing the ideal temperature for boiling and simmering. Luckily, the modern instant pot comes with a temperature indicator. So you can easily know when the water is in which state, simmering or boiling point.

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