Wondering how to boil potatoes in an instant pot? The pressure cooker makes it easy and is my preferred method for cooking fork-tender potatoes. It’s quick, easy, and most importantly, hands-free.
What’s the easiest way to boil potatoes? To NOT boil them! But rather, to steam them in an instant pot.
By steaming rather than boiling, you’ll end up with perfectly cooked potatoes that are not waterlogged or mushy.
VARIETY DOESN’T MATTER – IT’S ALL ABOUT THE SIZE
There’s one very important thing to know about “boiling” potatoes in an instant pot. It’s all about size.
Use gold or red or russet – whatever type of potato you want – just adjust the cook time based on its size. I’ve listed different cook times based on size in the recipe card below.
WHY BOIL POTATOES?
I’m a huge fan of meal prepping – I think it makes life so much easier and I know when I have food prepped, I’m less likely to order take out. I like to have onion masala, ginger paste and garlic paste in my freezer and hard-boiled eggs, rice, and boiled potatoes in my fridge. With these few things, I can whip up so many different meals.
WHAT CAN YOU DO WITH COOKED POTATOES?
You can use boiled potatoes to make mashed potatoes, potato salad, and baked potatoes.
- use them in this spicy cabbage salad which calls for potatoes
- add them to a bean salad or bean chaat or tawa chole
- chop them up and use when making bhel puri or pani puri
- mash them up to make aloo tikki
- add them to meat-based curry to stretch out a meal
- mix them into jeera rice or pea pulao or lemon rice
- add them to a veggie dish (like my zucchini curry)
- make aloo curry
WHY USE AN INSTANT POT TO BOIL POTATOES?
When you boil potatoes on the stove, you have to babysit the boiling pot and keep checking to see whether the potatoes are done. With an instant pot, you put the potatoes in, walk away, then come back to perfectly cooked potatoes.
HOW DO YOU BOIL POTATOES IN AN INSTANT POT?
The water at the bottom of the pot is necessary to get the pot up to pressure to steam the potatoes.
YUKON GOLD POTATOES, RUSSET POTATOES, AND RED POTATOES
There are thousands of varieties of potatoes and I’m sure this method will work with any type. I often cook with three varieties of potatoes: Yukon gold, red, and russet. I’ve tested this recipe with these three varieties. For Indian cooking, I typically use gold or red potatoes.
Yukon Gold Potatoes: Yukon gold potatoes are a good all-purpose potato. They are a bit waxy (like red potatoes) and also a bit starchy (like russets). They are thin-skinned, creamy, and have a slight sweetness to them.
- When to use: Great all-purpose potato that you can use in nearly any recipe. They are great for mashing, roasting, baking, frying.
Red Potatoes: these waxy potatoes are typically smaller than other varieties, though they can vary in size as well. Like gold potatoes, they are also thin-skinned.
- When to use: Great all-purpose potato. These potatoes hold their shape well which is good when you don’t want the flesh to fall apart in a recipe, for example when making potato salad, hash browns, scalloped potatoes, or when adding to a soup/stew.
- When not to use: don’t suggest using this variety when making mashed potatoes as they can be a bit gluey.
Russet Potatoes: Russets, also known as baking potatoes, are starchy and a bit drier than red or gold potatoes. They are thicker-skinned than red and gold potatoes and so if I’m using them in a recipe, I’ll usually peel the skin.
- When to use: Great for mashing, baking, and frying. Use this variety to make mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, french fries.
- When not to use: in any recipe where you need the potato to keep its shape. Do not suggest using this variety when making a potato salad, scalloped potatoes, casserole.
DO I NEED TO PIERCE/POKE THE POTATOES WITH A FORK?
I have two answers to this question – the right answer and the lazy answer.
Right answer: poking the potato in several places is helpful because it allows the steam from inside the potato to escape. If you don’t poke the potatoes, there’s a chance they may fall apart in the instant pot.
Lazy answer: I always forget to poke potatoes and sometimes the skin breaks apart a bit but I have yet to have a potato completely fall apart.
SHOULD I PEEL THE POTATOES?
I don’t bother peeling the potatoes beforehand. The peel comes off easily after you cook the potatoes. Often I end up eating potatoes with the peel on anyway.
HERE ARE SOME OTHER BASIC RECIPES:
Now that you know how to cook potatoes, here are some other basic recipes that you may want to check out.
- 4 to 10 potatoes scrubbed (see directions for cook times according to potato size)
- 1 cup water
- Pour water into the instant pot's steel insert, place the trivet inside and place the potatoes on top of the trivet.
- Secure the lid and close the pressure valve.
- The cook time will vary according to the size of the potatoes. For small potatoes (3 to 5 ounces), cook at high pressure for 8 minutes. For medium potatoes (6 to 8 ounces), cook at high pressure for 10 minutes. For large potatoes (9-12 ounces), cook at high pressure for 12 minutes.
- Naturally release pressure for 10 minutes, then open the valve to release any remaining pressure.
- I have used this recipe to cook as many as 10 potatoes at once. The number doesn't seem to matter, as long as they all fit.
- Cook time varies according to the size of the potato. For small potatoes (3 to 5 ounces), cook at high pressure for 8 minutes. For medium potatoes (6 to 8 ounces), cook at high pressure for 10 minutes. For large potatoes (9-12 ounces), cook at high pressure for 12 minutes.
- For a potato that weighs more than 12 ounces, try adding 1 minute per additional ounce.
- This recipe (like all of my recipes) is tested using a 6 qt instant pot - if you're using a larger pot, you may need to add more water.
Here’s my little potato (Tony) helping me organize potatoes 😉