I don’t always prep or cook in advance, but boy am I glad when I do. It’s so nice to open the fridge and find things that are easily assembled into a quick meal.
Like potatoes! A pressure cooker makes fast work of steaming a bunch of cubed potatoes, and I use them for all sorts of things all week long.
You might be thinking that it’s overkill to bring out the pressure cooker for a simple kitchen task like steaming vegetables, but it's the way that works for me.
I like being able to load up the cooker, press a button, and walk away, rather than waiting around tending a pot on the stove. My Instant Pot also beeps ten times in a row when it’s done, and I can hear it from just about anywhere in my little apartment. So, I know when my food is ready.
Using the pressure cooker doesn't always save you time with these types of kitchen prep tasks, but I think it does make them more convenient. I actually keep my Instant Pot on the counter at all times because I use it nearly every day!
Which Potatoes are Best in the Instant Pot?
For this recipe, you can use any kind of potato, like Yukon Gold, red, or russet potatoes. Cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks, and they're ready in under 15 minutes (about ten minutes for the pot to come up to pressure, then three minutes for the potatoes to steam.) Take ‘em out right when the timer goes off so they don’t overcook, then use them however you like!
As is, they can be folded into a potato salad (warm or cold, however you prefer). For breakfast, I toss them into a skillet to make a quick hash with onions and peppers, or I brown them in the pan alongside sunny side up eggs.
For dinner, I mash them right in the hot pot after they’re done steaming to make easy mashed potatoes, or toss them in the oven to roast until crispy, as pictured here.
Timing in an Instant Pot vs. Stovetop Pressure Cooker
When using an electric pressure cooker like an Instant Pot, some dishes take longer to cook than when using a stovetop pressure cooker. A traditional stovetop pressure cooker can reach a PSI level of up to 15, while the Instant Pot tops out at 12 PSI. However, when recipes call for such a short cook time like this one, there's usually no noticeable difference. If you're using a stovetop model, use the same cook time (3 minutes).
Instant Pot Models
This recipe will work as written with all six and eight-quart models. If you have a mini (which is three quarts), you may need to add a minute of cook time or use a natural release. This is because the three-quart cooker isn't as powerful as the bigger models and uses a lower PSI.
Some newer models use a computerized pressure release system and will not allow you to perform a quick release if it senses that the pot is too full. This safety mechanism is designed to help prevent dangerous splatters, but can sometimes be triggered erroneously. If your pot won't release the pressure, don't panic. Your potatoes will still be nicely cooked, just let the pressure naturally release.
The Best Kind of Potatoes for Pressure Cooking
- This method and cook time works with any kind of white or yellow potato, such as russet and Yukon gold. Don't swap for sweet potatoes.
- One big factor that can affect the cook time is the age of your potatoes. Older potatoes will take longer to cook, and especially old potatoes will never soften at all.
- Be sure to cut your potatoes into 1 1/2-inch pieces. Smaller pieces may overcook, and larger pieces won't cook through.
How to Choose a Steamer
While the Instant Pot doesn't require many accessories, a steamer basket is handy. Make sure the basket will completely fit inside the pot without obstructing the lid. Hatrigo makes a nifty basket, and there are a number of metal and silicone options available specifically for the Instant Pot. Many old-school folding metal baskets work wonderfully, too.
How to Use Steamed Potatoes
- Classic Potato Salad
- Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- Corned Beef Hash
- Homemade Potato Bread
- Mashed Potato Pancakes
How To Cook Potatoes in the Instant Pot
You can peel the potatoes or leave them unpeeled for this recipe.
For crispy roasted potatoes like those pictured, toss the steamed potatoes with olive oil, salt, and ground pepper, and spread onto a baking sheet. Roast at 425°F until browned and crispy on the outside.
1 cup water
2 pounds potatoes
Prepare the potatoes for cooking:
Chop the potatoes into 1 ½-inch pieces.
Pour the water into the inner pot of the pressure cooker. Put the potatoes in the steamer basket, then lower it into the pot.
Make sure your potatoes are the right size. Otherwise, they won’t cook properly. Don’t be afraid to grab a ruler to check your measurements.
Pressure cook the potatoes:
Secure the lid on the pressure cooker and make sure it’s set to its “sealing” position. Select the “Pressure Cook” or “Manual” setting, and set the cooking time to 3 minutes at high pressure. If your pot features an automated pressure release, set it for a quick release. (The pot will take about 10 minutes to come up to pressure.)
"Quick release" the pressure:
When the cooking program finishes, perform a quick pressure release by moving the pressure vent to its “venting” position or by pressing the pressure release button (depending on your Instant Pot model).
Remove the potatoes and check for doneness:
When the pressure has fully released, open the pot. Use a pair of heat-safe mitts to remove the steamer basket of potatoes. The potatoes are done when they are fork-tender.
If the potatoes aren’t quite done, lock the lid back on. Program to cook at high pressure 2 to 3 minutes longer, depending on how hard your potatoes are. Then, let the pressure release naturally if you want the potatoes to cook longer. Alternately, do a quick release after cooking, before opening the lid.
If not using the potatoes right away, let them cool completely and then, refrigerate in a covered container. Potatoes will keep for about 1 week.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 0g||0%|
|Saturated Fat 0g||0%|
|Total Carbohydrate 32g||12%|
|Dietary Fiber 3g||12%|
|Total Sugars 2g|
|Vitamin C 15mg||73%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|