Instant Pot Cheesecake 101

I have been making Instant Pot Cheesecakes for about 5yrs now. My first IP cheesecake was a major fail. It had lumps & cracks and did not look appetizing at all. I didn’t realize it at the time, but there are many tips and tricks to making a perfect IP cheesecake. (And none of them are hard, I promise!) After several attempts, YouTube videos, and trying several different recipes, I finally have it down to a science. I want to save you the time and expense so that you can immediately create a cheesecake masterpiece to impress your friends and loved ones.

First of all, you need the correct tools. I am affiliated with Amazon and have provided you links to purchase the suggested tools if you are interested. (I will make a small profit if you shop through my link and that will help keep these posts coming!)

  1. A pressure cooker is essential for making this type of cheesecake. I am partial to the Instant Pot because most recipes are designed with this brand in mind. I have only ever used the Instant Pot so I can’t do a comparison for you. If you don’t have an Instant Pot and are thinking of getting one, I suggest getting the 8qt. It will fit a whole chicken, 2 racks of ribs, and makes a bigger cheesecake! I own the 8qt Duo Evo Plus and I love it.
  2. A springform pan will get the job done, but they aren’t super efficient in the Instant Pot. The buckle that closes the pan will prevent you from maximizing the size of your cheesecake. A Fat Daddio Pan is my favorite because it has no buckle. It is a push pan. It comes in several sizes and I have 6×3″ and a 7×3″ pans. You need to make sure that your pan is the right size for your IP. There needs to be space around the pan for it to cook properly. For a 6qt IP, you will want the 6×3″ pan and for an 8qt IP, you will want a 7×3″ pan. Fat Daddio pans are also deeper and lend themselves to making a thicker cheesecake.
  3. Silicon Slings are perfect for cooking cheesecakes. It helps you lower and raise the cheesecake from the IP without burning yourself or potentially dropping it. You can make a sling out of foil, but it’s a process and isn’t very stable. I tried the frugal route and resisted getting a silicone sling for a few years. Now that I have one, I can’t recommend them enough!
Fat Daddio Push Pan

8qt Duo Plus

Silicone Sling

Next, you will want all of your cold ingredients to be room temp before attempting to make a cheesecake. If you add cold ingredients to room temperature ingredients, you end up with lumps. Lumps aren’t cute and affect the velvety texture of your cheesecake. I usually set my ingredients out on the counter for a minimum of 2 hours. These ingredients include: cream cheese, cream, sour cream, eggs, and if called for in the recipe, fruit. Leave the eggs uncracked until ready. Measure out your cream or sour cream and place in a covered container while it comes up to temp.

Third, DO NOT OVERMIX. Most recipes will have your cream together the sugar, cream cheese, and flour until light and fluffy. This is the only part of the recipe that you can use medium-high speed for. Once you add the vanilla, cream or sour cream, slow the mixer down to lowest speed and mix just until incorporated and stop. When it comes to adding the eggs, you are done with the mixer. Eggs have the potential to make or break your cheesecake. Overmixing the eggs with introduce air to your mixture and you will end up with a souffle and then it will sink and crack. Add eggs one at a time and stir them in (gently) by hand. Any other batter add-ins like chocolate chips, fruit, or nuts also need to be stirred in by hand at the very end. Keep in mind that most add-ins will sink so save some back to sprinkle on top before cooking.

Fourth, prep your pan well. My first cheesecake stuck to the bottom of my pan even though I greased it generously with butter. Parchment paper is your BEST friend!! If you are using a Fat Daddio pan, adding parchment paper is a breeze. Remove the bottom circle of the pan and lay it on top of your parchment paper and trace around it. Next, cut the circle out and set it aside. Now you are ready to butter your pan. I usually wrap my fingers in cling wrap to rub butter all over the sides of the pan. I add just enough butter to the bottom of the pan to help the parchment paper stick. Now place your parchment paper in the bottom of your pan. Your pan is prepped and ready to add the crust.

Fifth, don’t overcook your cheesecake. If you make a cheesecake and it has a big crack down the middle, you overcooked it. (Luckily, it doesn’t really affect the flavor, just the appearance.) Most recipes have a one size fits all cooking time. A 6″ cheesecake typically cooks for 32min. A 7″ cheesecake typically cooks for 40-42min. Both sizes usually require a “Natural Pressure Release” (NPR) of 15-18min. Sounds pretty straightforward, right? Well, unfortunately it’s not. I have a 6qt and an 8qt and they don’t cook the same. My 6qt typically needs more time than my 8qt to make the same size cheesecake. Here are some tips to help:

  1. Follow the suggested cook/NPR times. When the time is done, carefully remove cheesecake and take off foil/paper towel. If your cheesecake is cracked, edit your recipe to reduce cooking time for the next one. You can fix the cracks with whipped cream, ganache, sour cream topping, or pie filling. Unless it’s burnt, you can still eat this cake!
  2. A perfectly cooked cheesecake will have a little bit of wiggle when you shake the pan. Your cheesecake will continue to cook as it cools for 1 hour on the counter.
  3. If the cheesecake is real wiggly, it isn’t done. Re-wrap the paper towel and foil over the pan, place it back onto the silicone sling, and lower back into the pot. Pressure cook for 3-5 minutes and then release pressure immediately. Remove from pan and check it again. Repeat until done. Make sure to edit your recipe for these changes.

Finally, most IP cheesecake recipes are designed for a 6″ cheesecake. I did several test recipes to determine how to increase the recipe from a 6″ to a 7″ cheesecake. (These experiments were quite comical and I wish I would have taken pictures of the cheesecakes that grew out of the pan.) This secret formula is the original recipe measurements, plus a half. For example, if the recipe calls for 2 eggs, I use 3. 1/2 cup of sugar turns into 3/4 cup. Lucky for my readers, I write my cheesecake recipes for a 7″ cake. You’re welcome!

Now that you know all of the tips and tricks, you need to put them to practice. Here is my recipe for Turtle Cheesecake. Enjoy!

Turtle Cheesecake

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