How To Make Potatoes in the Instant Pot

How To Make Potatoes in the Instant Pot

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Kelli Foster
Sep 4, 2018
(Image credit: Joe Lingeman | Kitchn)

It's time to add humble russet potatoes to the list of staples you should be making in your Instant Pot. They cook up tender and ultra-creamy just the way you love, but in a fraction of the time required with the oven. It's a meal prep miracle, and the best solution to making baked potatoes on a weeknight. Top them with a pat of butter or dollop of sour cream for a quick side, or whip up your favorite filling to turn them into a quick dinner.

Ready for the simple potato-cooking method you'll use over and over again?

What Are Instant Pot Potatoes?

This method transforms starchy Russet potatoes into classic, creamy baked potatoes, begging to be split open and served with your favorite toppings.

With their tender, fluffy centers, Instant Pot potatoes are very similar to baked potatoes, but there are two key differences that set them apart: cook time and the outer skin. Since the Instant Pot cooks the potatoes in a closed vessel with steam pressure, cooking happens in a fraction of the time you'd need in the oven. This also means, however, that the skin is soft rather than crisp. Trust me — the trade-off is well worth it.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman | Kitchn)

4 Steps for the Best Instant Pot Potatoes

1. Start with similarly sized potatoes. Cooking up tender, creamy potatoes requires choosing russets that are all about the same size. This ensures that the potatoes cook evenly.

2. Pierce the potatoes. While I've never experienced this firsthand, I've heard plenty of stories about un-pierced potatoes exploding during cooking. Using a fork to poke holes in the potatoes prevents too much pressure from building up and allows steam to escape.

3. Add a trivet and water to the Instant Pot. As with all Instant Pot recipes, it's essential to start with liquid in the bottom of the pot. Here, a cup of water helps create the pressure that allows the potatoes to cook. Just as important is a trivet or steamer basket, which keeps the potatoes elevated from sitting in the water.

4. Use potato size to determine the cook time. You can cook any and all sizes of russet potatoes in your Instant Pot. To get the tender, creamy potatoes you crave, plan on a slightly shorter cook time for small spuds and a little longer for the larger ones (more on this below!).

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman | Kitchn)

Potato Size Determines Cook Time

Cooking potatoes in your Instant Pot is not a one-size-fits-all method. Size matters, big time. For starters, you'll want to use potatoes that are all roughly the same size. There's no need to be exact (you can eyeball it if you don't have a kitchen scale), but cooking potatoes that all look to be the same size means you can be sure that they will cook evenly.

The size of the potatoes will also help determine the best cook time. Similar to other cooking methods, small potatoes require less time (about 12 minutes at high pressure), while large potatoes benefit from a longer cook (about 18 minutes).

Your Instant Pot Potato Cheat Sheet

  • Small russet potatoes (6 to 8 ounces): 12 minutes at high pressure
  • Medium russet potatoes (8 to 10 ounces): 15 minutes at high pressure
  • Large russet potatoes (10 to 12 ounces): 18 minutes at high pressure

How To Make Potatoes in the Instant Pot

Makes 4 potatoes

Prep time: 7 minutes to 10 minutes ; cooking time: 10 minutes to 20 minutes

What You Need

Ingredients

  • 4

    medium russet potatoes (8 to 10 ounces each), scrubbed

  • 1 cup

    water

  • Equipment
  • 6-quart or larger electric pressure cooker

  • Steamer basket or trivet

  • Measuring cup

Instructions

  1. Pierce the potatoes with a fork. Pierce the potatoes all over with a fork.

  2. Add the water and insert the steamer basket. Add the water to 6-quart or larger electric pressure cooker. Set its steamer basket or a metal trivet inside.

  3. Cook on high pressure for 12 to 18 minutes. Place the potatoes in the basket or on the trivet. Seal the pressure cooker. Set for MANUAL, HIGH pressure for 12 minutes for small (6 to 8 ounces) potatoes, 15 minutes for medium (8 to 10 ounces) potatoes, or 18 minutes for large (10 to 12 ounces) potatoes. It will take the pressure cooker 7 to 10 minutes to come to pressure.

  4. Naturally release the pressure. When the pressure cook time is up, let the pressure cooker naturally release, about 10 minutes for small potatoes and 15 minutes for larger potatoes, before opening the pressure cooker and serving.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Refrigerate potatoes in a covered container for up to 5 days.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)
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