I know that I have seen so many different recipes for slow cooker play dough, but the reality is, I haven’t owned one in over 5 years and even though it’s a great idea, I regularly need it faster than the hour or so it takes to make… because I forget and my kids can sometimes be impatient. And Play-Doh can be expensive! Therefore, I played around with ingredients and times to make the perfect pressure cooker play dough recipe.
My kids love it so much, they ask for homemade instant pot play doh more than the store bought variety. Mainly because it’s so squishy and lovely that it doesn’t harden overnight if left out and stays squishy for days even out on the table.
FAST Homemade play dough ingredients and supplies
- 1 cup flour
- 3/4 cups water
- 3 tablespoons lemon or vinegar
- 1/2 cup salt
- 1 tablespoon oil
- If using vinegar, add a couple drops of essential oil to make it smell better.
You will also need a thick glass bowl to do the PIP method of cooking in your instant pot. This term means “Pot in pot”. For more abbreviations and jargon, here’s a handy instant pot guide.
If you wish to make colored play dough, there are four main options. These and other product links are affiliate links. We earn from qualifying purchases to bring you more activities & recipes and feed our growing family.
- Foods like instant coffee, turmeric, berries, etc. [The yellow and brown pictures you see are instant coffee and turmeric]. They make individual packets perfect for this.
- Natural food dye powder. India Tree has been my favorite since 2012.
- Add in kool aid or jello powder.
- Typical food dye, most specifically gel-based.
How to make Instant Pot Play Dough
First, mix all of the ingredients except coloring in an oven-safe glass bowl. I use these anchor hocking bowls because after we cook and play, the lid goes on top and it gets stored.
Place your bowl inside of the inner pot. There should already be approximately half a cup of water in the bottom of the inner pot. This water is above and beyond the recipe water but won’t ever touch the play doh.
Watch this video to see my whole instant pot play dough process in under 2 minutes:
Put your pressure cooker lid on, set to sealing, and cook on high pressure, or manual, for 5 minutes.
I have found it take approximately 3 minutes to get everything out and mix everything up, around 4-7 minutes to come to pressure, and 5 minutes to cook.
Do a quick release. It should only take a few seconds.
Taking it out, it’s very hot. Use some sort of oven mitts or hand protection. and the scoop it out with a spatula. I usually divide it into 3 sections because that’s approximately the same amount as a commercial play doh tub and then I make 3 different colors. Remember IT WILL BE HOT. Therefore, I mix colors into it myself and by the time it’s done, it’s cool enough for the kids to handle. If it’s too hot for my hands, I just use spatulas.
** If you use traditional food dye, wear gloves or use toothpaste to wash your hands free from the dye.
We have been able to use our pressure cooked play doh even with play doh brand toys and dough squeezers. It’s super soft, pliable, and fun!
Don’t forget to pin and save the image below.
Troubleshooting Pressure Cooker Play dough
- I have made this not using the PIP method and also using the PIP method but with a second metal bowl. Both times it caked up and kind of burnt on the bottom. If you don’t have an appropriate glass bowl or you burn this or any other food in your instant pot liner, the best way to clean it is to soak in water and scrape it out with a cookie scraper tool , then hit it with Bar Keepers friend. And it should be shiny and clean!
- You can mix in coloring to the dough if you want.
- If for any reason it’s too sticky, like the time we added some water after cooking, just roll it into some flour until it’s normal again.
- If it’s too crumbly, you can add a tiny dab of hair conditioner or mix in some coconut oil.
More learning and play resources
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Kara is an author and advocate for positive, grace-filled parenting. She is homeschooler to her 4 children living in Boston, MA and believes in creative educational approaches to help kids dive deeper into a rich learning experience. She has her degree in Secondary Education & Adolescent Childhood Development and is passionate about connecting with and helping other parents on their journey to raise awesome kids!