Instant Pot steamed broccoli is convenient and fast! Learn how to make perfectly cooked broccoli (fresh or frozen) in your Instant Pot with these helpful tips.
Steaming broccoli in your Instant Pot is convenient and fast. You can make both fresh broccoli and frozen broccoli in your Instant Pot! However, you won’t be able to make perfectly cooked steamed broccoli without these helpful tips.
The tricky part is that you can’t see vegetables steaming in the Instant Pot. If you can't see the vegetables, then you can't immediately stop the cooking process when they're perfectly cooked.
As we all know, broccoli can go from tender and bright green to mushy and dull green very quickly!
To make sure that the broccoli steaming in your Instant Pot is perfectly cooked, it’s important to pay attention to the following 4 tips.
4 Important Tips for Cooking Broccoli in a Pressure Cooker
- Cooking time: "0" minutes
- Pressure: LOW Pressure for tender/crisp or HIGH pressure for tender/soft
- Amount of broccoli: 12 to 16 ounce bag of florets or 1 large head of broccoli cut into florets
- Amount of water: ½ cup
When steaming vegetables in the Instant Pot, it's helpful to think about the cooking time using the equation below:
Time to reach pressure + programed cooking time = total cooking time
While a pressure cooker is coming up to full pressure before the programed cooking time starts, the building pressure and heat start to steam the veggies. By the time your Instant Pot has reached full pressure and is about to officially start cooking, the broccoli has already been gently steaming for 7 to 10 minutes. It's ready!
That's why the perfect cooking time for tender (but not mushy) bright green broccoli is "0" minutes.
That's right, you program the Instant Pot to cook for 0 minutes by pressing Manual and then pressing the minus button " - " to move the cooking time down to zero.
Your Instant Pot will take 7 to 10 minutes to reach full pressure and then immediately "beep" that it is done, because you have set the cooking time for "0" minutes. You should immediately release the steam valve, unlock the lid, and bright green tender broccoli is ready to eat!
Instant Pot Pressure (low or high)
You can steam fresh broccoli on either high or low pressure.
High pressure will yield slightly softer broccoli that is easily pierced with a fork.
Low pressure will yield broccoli that is tender but still has little crispness to it.
Personally, I prefer cooking fresh broccoli on low pressure but if you like it softer then absolutely go ahead and use high pressure.
For frozen broccoli, only use high pressure.
Most Instant Pots default to high pressure. If you want to switch to low pressure, first program the cooking time then immediately press the “Pressure” button to change the red light under “high pressure” to “low pressure.”
Amount of Broccoli
When steaming broccoli, you want the Instant Pot to reach pressure fairly quickly so that it doesn’t overcook. The fuller the pot is, the longer it takes to reach pressure and start cooking.
This recipe cooks one 12 or 16-ounce bag of broccoli florets or one large head of broccoli (which usually weighs between 12 to 16 ounces).
If you add more broccoli than this to the Instant Pot, it might take longer to reach pressure and the veggie is more likely to come out on the softer side.
Cooking significantly less broccoli than this recipe calls for (half the amount or less) means that the Instant Pot will take slightly less time to reach pressure. With a cooking time of "0" minutes the broccoli might remain quite crunchy. If you prefer broccoli that is fork tender, you'll need to increase the cooking time to "1" minute if you're cooking a smaller amount than 12 ounces.
Remember, this is because less broccoli means the Instant Pot will take less time to reach pressure. This means the broccoli is steaming for a shorter amount of time while the IP reaches pressure, and so the programed cooking time needs to be longer.
Amount of Water
Adding more than ½ cup water means the Instant Pot will take longer to come up to pressure. This extends the cooking time, making it more likely that the broccoli will be overcooked.
Instant Pot Frozen Broccoli
Frozen broccoli cooks really well in a pressure cooker. Like fresh broccoli, you can steam a 12-16 ounce bag of frozen florets for "0" minutes on high pressure, with an instant release.
That's it! You are now an expert at steaming broccoli in your Instant Pot!
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