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How to Steam Whole Potatoes in 13 Minutes!

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Pressure Cooking: Steamed Potatoes | Feed Your Skull

Magic trick Monday? It sure seems like magic when you can steam whole potatoes (9+) in only 13 minutes!

I’ve been using this trick for so many months now that I just have to share it. This trick for steaming MANY whole potatoes comes in handy if you are:

  • Meal planning
  • Making a big batch of potato salad
  • Trying to save time
  • A fan of steamed over baked
  • Trying to avoid hover time in the kitchen

Pressure Cooking: Steamed Potatoes | Feed Your SkullI most often use this method for meal planning purposes. I can steam a week’s worth of potatoes in just a little bit of time and I don’t need to hang around in the kitchen while it’s happening.

Set it and forget it. I’m starting to sound like an infomercial.

How to Steam Whole Potatoes in 13 Minutes! | Feed Your SkullI can even steam HUGE sweet potatoes! No cuts or forking required.

How to Steam Whole Potatoes in 13 Minutes! | Feed Your Skull

Please allow me to introduce my Instant Pot. I’ve had this bad boy since November 12, 2013. It’s a 6 quart programmable electric pressure cooker. I’ve used it on everything! Soups, cooking my freezer beans, steaming tender greens, making seitan breakfast sausages, big batches of rice and quinoa, oatmeal, and many more.

Pressure Cooking: Steamed Potatoes | Feed Your Skull

Want to make 13 minute potatoes too?

Place a metal steamer basket in the pot and fill the pot with enough water that the level is just below the holes of the basket. Arrange your scrubbed clean potatoes. I like to set larger potatoes at the bottom, but I honestly don’t think it matters all that much. Put the lid on according to the instructions. Select the STEAM function and use the minus button to adjust the time down to 13 minutes. No need to press start, it will automatically turn on within 10 seconds.

Now just sit back and relax as all of those potatoes steam to perfection! Instant Pot will beep when it’s done and automatically switch to a keep warm setting. Which is great if you are in the middle of something else when they are ready. Hit the cancel button and release the pressure valve. Once all of the steam releases you can open your ‘magic’ hat. 🙂

Inside will reveal perfectly cooked potatoes. Yes, I had to state that yet again.

Do you have an Instant Pot? What’s your favorite thing to make in it? Meal plan? How do you like to save time for the week? I love the time saved. Let me tell you, I’ve cooked a bunch of potatoes in the slow cooker—which takes all day—and like most vegetables in the slow cooker, they all adopt that slow cooker vegetable taste. These are just like steamed potatoes, because well they are. I store them in the fridge and they last the week. They’re perfect for lunches, dinners, or even a desperate whole food snack option.


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  1. Joe Chacko says:

    I have an InstantPot Duo 7-in-1 and when I steam peeled, cubed potatoes (½” cubes), for 20 minutes, they are still not cooked! I have no idea how you manage to steam whole potatoes in just 13 minutes, even if your IP runs at a full 15psi (mine does ~12psi, I’m told). Nevertheless, I am still absolutely in awe of the IP and I use it daily.

    • Brigitta says:

      Did it come up to pressure? Sometimes mine doesn’t. If I hear steam escaping, and it never stops escaping then it didn’t come up to pressure. And then the food doesn’t get cooked. On my IP I have to rock the knob at the top (the one you turn one way to get pressure and the other way to release pressure) forwards a little bit. Then I immediately hear it seal up. Other people report that sometimes they need to push down a little bit on the lid. (I assume you knew to check that the silicone gasket was properly placed!)
      Otherwise, what kind of potatoes did you use?

      • Angel says:

        i was positioning mine slightly to far on the seal position which then release to much steam which my son mention that it can’t be pressuring so bump the numb back a little and it stopped mostly. after that everyone was more aware and haven’t had a problem since. My food always cook even unpressured but I can see this being a problem with firm potatoes or when canning.

    • Kate says:

      I have the same problem! I tried steaming some relatively small yukon golds for 20 minutes and the centers were still not fully cooked, while the outsides were overcooked and sloughing off in the pot when I removed them. I sliced them up and microwaved them to get them fully cooked through (I was hungry!) but then of course then they had that gummy microwaved texture. I have the 6-in-1 for reference.

      I thought maybe my problem was that I peeled them? Maybe not peeling/forking in any way increases the pressure inside the potato to help it cook? Or I thought maybe yukon golds are just a firmer variety and I should try some different ones? Were yours peeled? I might try it again with unpeeled or maybe some other varieties. It would be so nice to be able to cook them this way.

    • Hi RaShell! I didn’t for the smaller creamy yellow potatoes, but did poke a few holes using a knife/fork in those large baking potatoes or sweet potatoes, just to be safe 🙂 Enjoy!

    • Hi Julie, I haven’t used one myself, but I know of two vegan ones that I would trust the authors 🙂 One is Epic Vegan Instant Pot Cooking by High Carb Hannah and Derek Howlett (they also have awesome YouTube channels) and O M Gee Good by Jill McKeever (also a YouTuber). I usually follow the manual for cooking vegetables etc and you can cook most stovetop soup recipes in there using the soup button and adjusting the time down – I think I’ve used 12-15 minutes so far. Cheers!

  2. Roxy says:

    I just made a baked potato, or should I say, attempted at baking it in my Instant Pot. I followed a different “Recipe” that said cook on manual for 12 minutes. It was a large baking potato, true, but after 12 minutes, it was done about 25-30%. I had to finish it in the microwave. Do you think it’s because I haven’t used the steam setting?

    And to answer your question, I love using it to make bone broth and soups. I love that you can get fragrant broth in less than an hour using chicken carcass or beef bones and veggie scraps.

    • I’m so glad you have been enjoying broths in your IP, there is just so much it can do!! For the potato, I would try the steam setting and poke a few holes in the truly large potatoes.

  3. Terry Wilkens says:

    I used 10 minutes for small red potatoes to make potato salad. I figured less time for smaller potatoes and they turned out perfect.

  4. Barbara says:

    First let me tell you how utterly impressed I was! Thank you, it worked exactly as stated. Second, I did it going down the road at 65 mph..lol. We are in an 18 wheeler and THIS is just a miracle. Made potato salad with them. Thanks again!

  5. Bett says:

    Just a suggestion – for people new to Instant Pots, it might be helpful to let people know that depending on what’s in the pot, it takes time for it to come up to temp and pressure. So 13 minutes means after the pot is ready.

  6. Karen says:

    Just made 6lb of yukon gold potatoes in my 6qt instapot – Manual high pressure for 13 minutes, and think I could have gone for about 10 – they were all so soft my potato salad was more mash than I hoped for. I think the manual high pressure would be the way to go, not a steam setting.

    Thank you for the post!

  7. Crystal says:

    Just made 3lbs of Yukon Gold potatoes, I had to increase my time to 13 minutes for steam. But other than that, they came out perfect!!

  8. Bob Miller says:

    I’m guessing that the above directions will or would work with other brands as well? I ask because I just purchased a Faberware 7-in-1 programmable pressure cooker 6 qt capacity and want to do potatoes with the peelings on.

  9. Judy says:

    I just bought an instant pot and I’m still getting used to the settings… my steamer setting doesn’t let me use the presureized lid. So my question is will it still work if using the glass lid, maybe take longer?