I love making meatballs in the slow cooker, because they’re the ultimate weeknight meal. But how long do you cook them for? Is it different if I’m using my Instant Pot instead of a regular crock pot? Don’t worry—we’ve got you covered. Here’s everything you need to know about cooking meatballs in both a regular slow cooker and an electric pressure cooker (also known as an “insta-pot”).
The Crock Pot Method
The crock pot method is the most popular and simplest way to make meatballs in the slow cooker. The cooking time depends on the size of your meatballs, but it’s generally between 2 and 4 hours for frozen ones. You can also use this method if you want to cook fresh or thawed out meatballs in an Instant Pot, but they will probably take longer than two hours since they’ll be smaller than frozen ones.
To use this method:
- Place your raw or pre-cooked (thawed) meatballs into your slow cooker; add marinara sauce on top if desired (this will add more flavor).
- Cover with lid, turn heat setting to high for about 20 minutes until hot throughout then reduce heat setting down to low for remaining time based on how many hours needed until cooked throughly
The Instant Pot Method
If you have an Instant Pot, it’s even easier to cook the meatballs.
The sauté function is great for browning the meatballs and adding sauce.
Turn on your Instant Pot and set it to sauté mode. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and allow it to heat up for about 30 seconds before adding all of your raw frozen meatballs (if using fresh ones, skip this step). Cook them for about 5 minutes until they are browned evenly on all sides; if necessary, use tongs or a wooden spoon to turn them over halfway through cooking time so that they cook evenly on both sides. Once browned, remove from pan with a slotted spoon and set aside in a bowl while preparing remaining ingredients as described above in step 3 above under “Crock Pot Method.”
Meatballs can be cooked in a crock pot or instant pot.
- Meatballs can be cooked in a crock pot or instant pot.
- You can cook meatballs in a crock pot or instant pot at different times.
- It’s best to cook meatballs at different temperatures in each appliance, but you can also use this method if you don’t have an instant pot and want to try out cooking them in one appliance for the first time.
We hope that you now have a better understanding of the process for cooking meatballs in a crock pot or instant pot. If you have any questions about our methods, we encourage you to leave them in the comments below!