Instant Pot Halibut

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Looking for a simple way to cook up your favorite white fish? Instant Pot halibut is quick and easy and produces delicious, flaky fish every time. Here are basic instructions and cooking times with a few tips and tricks for you.

A piece of cooked halibut on a plate

Here in Alaska, halibut is a popular fish of choice. Whether you live here and catch your own or travel here and get it at a restaurant, it’s always on the menu. We are fortunate to have a supply of halibut in our freezer thanks to my husband’s yearly fishing trips to the coast.

Halibut is a versatile, healthy, and hearty fish and I love to serve it to our family for dinner. It’s delicious grilled, baked, broiled, fried, and even pressure canned. 

You can enjoy a cooked fillet as is with a side dish or two and have a quick meal on the table. Or flake it up and add it to another healthy dinner recipe like macaroni and cheese. The options are endless.

This cooking method will also work for other white fish varieties including yelloweye rockfish and lingcod. If you aren’t able to catch your own wild fish, be sure to purchase your seafood from a reputable, sustainably sourced company or your local organic market. Skip farm-raised fish and always go for wild-caught.

Grab your pressure cooker, pop some fish in, and while it’s cooking put together a salad or another easy side dish. This instant pot fish recipe will put a hearty supper on your table in no time!

Ingredients for Instant Pot Halibut

  • Halibut– One medium-sized fish fillet will fit nicely or two smaller, cut-up fillets. How much you can fit in your pot will depend on the size and thickness of your fillets. This method works for other whitefish as well including rockfish and ling cod, more Alaskan favorites. Opt for wild-caught fish from a sustainable source. Farm-raised fish tend to be thinner so will need a shorter cooking time of only 2-3 minutes. Whild-caught fish are thicker and healthier and take a few extra minutes to cook in my experience. You can use freshly thawed or frozen fish. Read this post for proper freezing and thawing of fish.
  • Butter– Olive oil or your favorite oil will work as well.
  • Salt and Black Pepper– To taste.
  • Optional– Lemon wedges, garlic cloves, Italian seasoning, or favorite herbs add additional flavor.

Tools You Will Need

  • Electric Pressure Cooker
  • Wire Trivet– I like to grease mine with a little butter. This makes it easier to remove the fish once it’s done cooking and place it on a serving platter.
Instant pot halibut

How to Make Instant Pot Halibut

  • Pour 1 cup water into the bottom of the cooking pot then add the trivet. Place halibut fillets onto the trivet.
  • Drizzle with your oil of choice or place a few pads of butter on top of the fish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Add a couple of lemon slices or some herbs if desired.
  • Lock the lid in place and set the valve to sealing. 
  • Set to high pressure and cook for 3-5 minutes if fresh, 8-12 if frozen, depending on the thickness of the fish. 
  • When cooking time is up, carefully quick release the pressure then remove the lid.
  • Check for doneness. The fish should flake easily with a fork at the thickest part or have an internal temperature of 145 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer.
A piece of halibut in an instant pot

Here is a guide to cooking times for fish:

  • Fresh fish or thawed fillets– Less than an inch thick: 3 minutes; more than an inch thick: 5 minutes
  • Frozen fillets– Less than an inch thick: 8 minutes; more than an inch thick: 12 minutes

Cooking times will vary based on the thickness of your fish. It’s easy to cook fish longer if it’s not quite done the first time! Simply reset your pressure cooker for an additional 2 minutes and cook again. It should get up to pressure quickly since you just used it.

If you’re using very thin and small fillets, reduce cooking time by one minute for best results.

​This is just about the easiest way to cook up a fish dinner! Serve your halibut with a bit of fresh lemon juice and try this recipe for homemade tartar sauce for extra flavor. 

Storage and Reheating

Store your leftover cooked white fish in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Or freeze for later, just follow these tips for proper freezing of fish.

Reheat leftovers in a 350-degree F oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until heated through. You can also microwave leftover fish for 30 seconds at a time until heated through.

A piece of cooked halibut

My favorite way to use leftover fish is to flake it up and add it to another easy recipe! Here are a few fish dishes that we love:

  • Halibut macaroni and cheese is our family’s favorite and having leftover cooked fish on hand makes it much faster to get it in the oven for supper.
  • Fish tacos ​are healthy and quick to whip up. Spritz a little lime juice on the flaked halibut and add some fresh toppings for a delicious meal your whole family will look forward to.
  • Chowder​ is another great way to use up leftover cooked fish. Just flake it up and toss it into this recipe for halibut chowder or your favorite potato chowder.

Using a pressure cooker is an easy way of cooking fish and making a healthy meal in little time. Here in Alaska, seafood is a staple in the kitchen and it’s always nice to have a quick way to prepare it any day of the week. 

Instant Pot Halibut Pinterest image

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