How to Use the Instant Pot Sous Vide Function

Learn how to use the Instant Pot Sous Vide Smart program!

Find out which Instant Pot models have this function and how you can make easy recipes thanks to this cooking technique 🙂

Instant Pot control panel with sous vide function in green circle and green title

What is sous vide, really?

Sous vide is a cooking method that utilizes temperature control for perfect results.

How does sous vide work?

Simply start by placing your ingredients in a vacuum-sealed plastic pouch then cook it in a water bath.

This method calls for cooking food for longer periods of time at lower temperatures since the goal is to cook the food perfectly even.

The water bath is set at the desired final temperature you want your item cooked at, so there’s no way for it to be overcooked.

When it comes to sous vide cooking it all boils down to (see what I did there?) maintaining a precise temperature during the entire cooking process.

controlling water temperature for cooking with vacuum-sealed items

Can you sous vide with an Instant Pot?

Yes, but only on specific models.

Which Instant Pot Has Sous Vide?

1. Instant Pot Duo Plus

2. Instant Pot Max

3. Instant Pot Duo Crisp

4. Instant Pot Duo SV

5. Instant Pot Duo Gourmet

How to use the Instant Pot Sous vide function?

For Instant Pot Plus, Duo SV, or Duo Gourmet for Sous Vide:

  1. Press the Sous Vide button.
  2. Press + or buttons to adjust the temperature.
  3. Press the Sous Vide button again.
  4. Press + or Time buttons to adjust the time.
  5. After 10 seconds, the display will change to On.
  6. Once the temperature has been reached, the Instant Pot will beep and the display will change to the sous vide cook time and start counting down to 00:00.


For Instant Pot Duo Crisp:

air fryer lid instant

  1. Press the Sous Vide button.
  2. Press + or Temp buttons to adjust the temperature.
  3. Press + or Time buttons to adjust the time.
  4. Press Start.
  5. The display will change to On.
  6. Once the temperature has been reached, the Instant Pot will beep and the display will change to the sous vide cook time and start counting down to 00:00.


For Instant Pot Max:

  1. Select the Sous Vide smart program.
  2. Select Hour and turn the knob to set the desired sous vide cook time.
  3. Select Minute and repeat the process to adjust the minutes.
  4. Select Temperature and turn the knob to adjust the desired sous vide temperature.
  5. Select Start.
  6. Once the temperature has been reached, the Instant Pot display will change to the sous vide cook time and start counting down to 00:00.


How to use Instant Pot as a sous vide machine?

After you find that your Instant Pot model has the sous vide option, and after you learn which buttons to press in order to make it work, here’s your easy step-by-step guide on how to sous vide in an Instant Pot:

  1. Fill the inner pot with water up to the half full mark or until your food is completely submerged.
  2. Close the lid and move the venting knob to the venting position.
  3. Using the control panel, program the temperature and time for the sous vide function following the instructions above^^.
  4. Meanwhile, place your food in a resealable freezer bag.
  5. Squeeze out as much air from the bag as possible.
  6. Seal the bag, leaving a 1 inch opening.
  7. Once your Instant Pot reaches the right sous vide temperature, use a wooden spoon or tongs to gradually lower the bag into the water.
  8. Finally, seal the bag and then close the lid.
  9. Once the sous vide cooking time is up, the Instant Pot will beep. Press Cancel, open the lid, and use tongs to remove the bag of food.
  10. Open the bag and transfer the food to a plate or cutting board lined with paper towels.
  11. Allow the food to rest for 10 minutes before serving.


You may notice air jump out as you lower the bag (the displacement method) so keep the bag opening above water at all times.

vacuum-sealed meals prepared in a pressure cooker using heated water

Instant Pot Sous Vide Cooking Times

The sous vide temperature determines how well-done your meals will be; the higher the temperature, the more well-done your food will be.

Below are the estimated time and temperature guidelines for cooking times.

The actual cooking time will vary depending on how well done you want the food to be cooked and the size and cut of meat.

Food Temp Time
Chicken breast 145 to 150 °F 1.5 to 4 hours
Chicken thigh 148 to 165 °F 2 to 4 hours
Turkey breast 145 to 150 3.5 to 5 hours
Steak 130 to 140 1.5 to 3 hours
Pork tenderloin 140 to 150 1.5 to 3 hours
Pork chops 135 to 150 1 to 3 hours
Firm fish (Like salmon) 125 to 130 30 to 45 minutes
Delicate fish (Like trout) 120 to 130 20 to 30 minutes
Scallops 140 30 minutes
Shrimp 135 to 140 30 to 45 minutes

Tips for Cooking Sous Vide

Water Temperature

When filling the inner cooking container with water, use heated water (tap) to speed up the preheating process.

Make sure the water temperature isn’t higher than your desired sous vide cooking temperature.

The first time you use the Sous Vide program, measure your temperature once the Instant Pot beeps to say the desired temperature has been reached.

If the temperature is lower than the programmed temperature, increase the programmed temperature accordingly and let it heat up again.

Salmon fillet over brown rice with broccoli florets on side in white bowl

Bagging the Food

Only use a good-quality freezer bag, because thinner plastic bags made of lower quality plastic may leak.

When bagging several pieces of food in one bag, lay the pieces flat with no overlap. If your bag is floating to the top, use a metal trivet on the bag to weigh it down.

When cooking foods above 158 degrees Fahrenheit (70 degrees Celsius), I recommend you double-bag your food since higher temperatures can weaken the plastic.

Cooking Times

As a general rule, you can leave your cooked food in the water bath until you’re ready to serve it.

And while some foods can overcook if left for too long, this only happens after many hours in the water bath beyond the suggested cook time.

As shown in the table above, sous vide recipes usually have a range of cooking times.

  • The lower end of the range is the least amount of time to cook the food
  • The higher end is the most amount of time you can keep the food in the water bath without affecting the consistency of the food.

Delicate foods like eggs and fish can overcook if left in the water bath too long.

Instant Pot Teriyaki Salmon


Some foods can be served as is, but certain foods like steak benefit from a quick high-temperature sear after the sous vide stage.

Here’s how to go about it:

  1. Dry the food as much as possible before searing.
  2. Heat up a cast-iron skillet to high heat.
  3. Oil the skillet and sear the food (but you can also choose to grill the food on high heat).


If you’re not going to eat the food right away, put the sealed bag into an ice bath to quickly chill the food and then refrigerate (still in the bag).

Can I make restaurant-quality dishes?

Yes, because that’s exactly what you get from cooking sous vide recipes.

And now that you know exactly which instant pots to go for, the possibilities are endless.

Not only for your meaty recipes but also for your Instant Pot as a whole. For some great ideas, check out our delicious Instant Pot recipes.

16 thoughts on “How to Use the Instant Pot Sous Vide Function

  1. I have the IP Duo SV. However, the time only dropped by 1 minute and it was easily 5mins, maybe 8 or even 10. What's happening here??

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