Choosing the Ideal Mode: Manual vs. Pressure Cook on an Instant Pot

Instant Pot, a multi-cooker that has taken the culinary world by storm, offers a variety of cooking modes to make your kitchen experience easier and more efficient. Two of the most commonly used modes are ‘Manual’ and ‘Pressure Cook’. However, many users often find themselves confused about the difference between these two modes and which one to use for preparing their meals. This article aims to clear up this confusion and provide a comprehensive guide on choosing the ideal mode for your Instant Pot cooking.

Understanding the Modes: Manual vs. Pressure Cook

The ‘Manual’ and ‘Pressure Cook’ modes on an Instant Pot essentially perform the same function – they both cook food under high pressure. The main difference lies in the naming convention used by different models of the Instant Pot. In earlier models, the high-pressure cooking mode was labeled as ‘Manual’, while in newer models, it is labeled as ‘Pressure Cook’. So, if you’re using an older model, you’ll be using the ‘Manual’ mode for pressure cooking, and if you’re using a newer model, you’ll be using the ‘Pressure Cook’ mode.

Choosing the Ideal Mode

Since ‘Manual’ and ‘Pressure Cook’ are essentially the same, the choice between the two comes down to the model of your Instant Pot. If your model has a ‘Manual’ mode, use that for pressure cooking. If it has a ‘Pressure Cook’ mode, use that instead. Both modes will allow you to adjust the cooking time and pressure level according to your recipe’s requirements.

Benefits of Pressure Cooking

Whether you’re using the ‘Manual’ mode or the ‘Pressure Cook’ mode, pressure cooking offers several benefits. It significantly reduces cooking time, making it a great option for busy individuals. It also helps retain the nutrients in food, making your meals healthier. Furthermore, pressure cooking is versatile – you can use it to cook a wide variety of dishes, from soups and stews to meats and desserts.


In conclusion, the ‘Manual’ and ‘Pressure Cook’ modes on an Instant Pot are essentially the same, with the main difference being the naming convention used by different models. Regardless of the mode you use, pressure cooking with an Instant Pot offers a quick, healthy, and versatile cooking method. So, don’t let the confusion over modes deter you from making the most of your Instant Pot. Happy cooking!