We are reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more about our review process.

Nerdy Science in the Kitchen

How to Reheat Frozen Food in the Instant Pot {Instant Pot Freezer Meals}



Making your instant pot freezer meals at home is a whole new experience. While it takes more effort and time, when you finally get to dig into the food you have made, it is the best thing ever.

However, the issues arise when you are unable to reheat the instant pot freezer meals you made in the instant pot pressure cooker.

Since we know it can be a difficult task, we have a few steps that can help you reheat your delicious meal with ease.

Instant pot on table
See the very popular Instant Pot model at Amazon

There are many individuals that swear by freezer meals, especially the ones made in instant pots. They become a lifesaver for when you do not have anything to cook at home for dinner or when you are just too lazy to do anything. With meals at hand, all you have to do is reheat them and they are good to go.

Frozen meals are even better for homeowners that do not have any take-out restaurants nearby. Therefore, to do justice to all the hard work involved in making these meals, here is all you need to know about reheating the food.

Here Is What You Need To Consider

The Size of the Instant Pot Is Important

Keep in mind, reheating 1 portion of cold soup will not take as long as it will take to reheat a full turkey or chicken dinner. When you hear your friends and family talking about how they can reheat their food in an instant pot in 10 minutes or less, you should know that they are probably not having the same meal as yourself.

A few examples of heating foods in an instant pot:

  • A small portion of soup and sauce takes 1 minute
  • A dish of frozen pasta cooked in an instant pot will take 6 minutes
  • A dish of frozen pasta cooked in a pot inside the instant pot can take 26 minutes
  • A whole chicken frozen with veggies can take up to 30 minutes
  • A frozen vegetable curry dish cooked in the instant pot will take 2 minutes
  • A frozen vegetable curry dish cooked in a pot inside the instant pot can take 20 minutes

The size of the serving is what matters the most.

If you have food frozen in a silver foil container, simply placing it in the steamer shelf of the instant pot will allow the food to heat in no time despite the fact that you just took it out of the freezer. On the other hand, if you have a large dish of pasta frozen in a deep glass dish, it can take it at least 26 minutes to heat.

Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker, Sterilizer, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Saute, Yogurt Maker, and Warmer, 6 Quart, 14 One-Touch Programs

The 6-Quart 7-in-1 Instant Pot from Amazon is one of my favorite helpers in the kitchen.

View on Amazon

Is The Food Thawed or Frozen?

When it comes to instant pot freezer meals, it is important to determine whether you want to thaw it or cook it frozen. Many individuals prefer thawing it out first especially when it comes to reheating small portions of sauce. What you can do is, decide what food you want to consume the following day so you can pull the frozen meal out of the freezer the night before. Make sure you are placing the frozen food in the refrigerator so it does not go bad.

This way, your frozen food will have plenty of time to defrost so when you wake up, all you will have to do is heat it up which is far easier than defrosting.

Another thing to know is that when you are using an instant pot to heat thawed food, it will take less time compared to frozen food.

Why Can’t I Just Use An Oven To Reheat My Food?

When there is a lot of food that needs to be reheated, the best option for you is precooking it in a instant pot and then placing it in the oven. Other than that, if you have a frozen meal (like the main meal with 2 sides), you can cook the main meal in the instant pot while the sides get heated in the oven.

It takes longer for food to heat in an oven as compared to an instant pot. If you have a little more time on hand, thaw out your food and heat it in the oven.

Rule of thumb: If your meal takes 45 minutes to heat in an instant pot, it will take 1 hour to heat in the oven.

Steps on Reheating Frozen Foods in the Instant Pot

Here are the instructions you need to follow when you are reheating a freezer meal in a glass container in the instant pot.

  1. Take the frozen meal out of the freezer and take the lid off the food’s container.
  2. In your instant pot’s inner pot, add a cup of cold water.
  3. Put in the steamer shelf in the instant pot and place your food container on it (make sure it is a glass container).
  4. Put the instant pot’s lid on and begin cooking it on manual pressure for as long as it will take to defrost the meal.
  5. When the instant pot starts beeping, release the pressure and take the lid off.
  6. Take a long, sharp knife and put it through the middle of the dish so you can determine whether or not your food has successfully defrosted. When the knife has gone all the way through the food, take it out, feel the tip and see what it feels like. If it is hot, that means your food has heated, but if it is cold, let it go on for a little longer.
  7. When the food has heated, give the food a stir and serve.

Here are the instructions you need to follow when you are reheating food directly in the instant pot:

  1. Take the frozen meal out of the freezer and directly place it in the inner pot of the instant pot.
  2. Pour in a cup of cold water so the thawing process can begin.
  3. Put the lid on, set the valve, and cook the food on manual pressure.
  4. When the instant pot starts beeping, take the lid off, stir the food, and see if it has heated. If so, then serve.

Just by following these easy instructions, you will be able to reheat your frozen meals with ease.

Kitchen Professor author
About the Author: Rhonda Richardson, Editor

Rhonda grew up with parents who gardened, hunted, fished, canned, and preserved food. Her mother was a professional cook and Rhonda credits her teaching everything from how to make homemade biscuits and gravy to what kind of meals to serve for different occasions. In the kitchen, Rhonda uses a mix of old-fashioned country cooking and up-to-date fads in the kitchen, often experimenting with replacing higher-calorie or fat ingredients with healthier options that still retain the delicious flavors of the originals.

Leave a Comment