Instant Pot baked potatoes can be cooked in half the time compared to using the oven. The pressure cooker effortlessly creates fork-tender pieces, just brush with olive oil and sprinkle with seasonings.
Easily make baked potatoes with just two ingredients and an Instant Pot. The cooking process is relatively simple, just use the high-pressure setting and then gradually release the steam. The only key factors for success are selecting similar-sized potatoes and using the proper cook time.
Extensive recipe development was involved in testing Russet potatoes of various weights and time intervals. I’ll show you my preferred pressure cooker times based on commonly available potato sizes. The hardest part will be deciding which toppings you’ll want to add!
Does the potato type and size matter?
Yes! Russets or Idaho work best because they’re a starchy type of potato which cooks up light and fluffy. The weight is the biggest factor with cook time, I suggest looking for similarly-sized spuds. Use the scale at the store to individually weigh them. You want them to be within an ounce of each other otherwise they won’t cook through consistently.
Standard potato sizes
- Small: 1 ¾ to 2 ½ inches in length, 6 ounces max in weight
- Medium: 2 ¼ to 3 ¼ inches in length, 5 to 10 ounces in weight
- Large: 3 to 4 ½ inches in length, 10 to 28 ounces in weight
The sizes above come from the U.S Standards for Grades of Potatoes. Most classic recipes for baked potatoes call for medium-to-large size (between 8 to 12 ounces). Those are ideal to have a generous portion as a side dish. The smaller varieties are better for appetizers like twice-baked potatoes, while the very large ones are better for mashed potatoes because of the high ratio of flesh.
Target cook temperature
To ensure that the starch in the potatoes hydrate and cook, it’s important to hit between 197 to 210ºF (92 to 99ºC) measured from the center of the spud. This temperature range is wider than what you normally shoot for when cooking baked potatoes in the oven.
That’s because the moisture from the steam inside the Instant Pot tenderizes the potato more, even though the flesh temperature might be slightly lower.
- Sour cream or plain greek yogurt
- Butter, salt, and pepper
- Green onions or chives
- Chopped herbs (dill, thyme, rosemary, parsley, cilantro)
- Cheddar, mozzarella, smoked gouda, or pepper jack
- Chopped bacon
What if I still want crispy skins?
The Instant Pot cuts down on overall cook time, but it steams the potato rather than bakes it. For crispy skin, you’ll need to add another step and broil or roast them for 10 to 15 minutes at 450ºF (232ºC). I recommend using a wire rack to allow better air circulation and crisp texture all around. A foil-lined baking sheet also works, but mostly crisps just the top.
I’d serve this with
Make sure to prick the potatoes
Evenly prick the surface of the potato about 8 times with a fork to prevent it from exploding. This technique allows the steam that’s built up inside the flesh to escape. The little holes also prevent cracking of the skin as the high-pressure environment is much more intense compared to baking in the oven.
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Instant Pot Baked Potatoes
- 4 russet potatoes
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, optional
- kosher salt, as needed for seasoning, optional
- black pepper, as needed for seasoning, optional
- Scrub and rinse the outside of the potatoes with cool water.
- Pierce each potato with a fork 8 times, about ⅛-inch deep pricks all around.
- Place potatoes on top of the Instant Pot wire rack so that they fit in one layer.
- Pour 1 cup of water into the Instant Pot.
- Make sure that the release valve is in the "Sealing" position.
- Place the lid on the Instant Pot, turn and lock the lid.
- Press "Manual" button on the Instant Pot on high pressure, and then set the minute timer according to potato weight (see notes section) using the "+" or "-" buttons.
- It will take about 10 to 15 minutes for the pot to heat up and build up the pressure. You will see some steam release from the lid, and then the time will start on the display.
- Once the display indicates "On" and begins the countdown, the Instant Pot will beep when the cycle is complete.
- Allow the pressure cooker to naturally release for 15 minutes. Cover the steam release handle with a towel to avoid splattering. Carefully quick release the rest of the pressure from the pot by sliding the steam release handle to the "Venting" position, releasing all of the steam until the float valve drops down.
- Carefully open the lid and use tongs to remove the potatoes.
- The potatoes are ready when they easily pierce with a fork and reach between 197 to 210ºF (92 to 99ºC)
- OPTIONAL STEP (For crispy skinned potatoes): Set oven rack to the center position and preheat to 450ºF (232ºF). Place potatoes on a wire rack set on a rimmed baking sheet or a foil-lined pan. Brush the surface with olive oil then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake until the skin is lightly crispy on the outside, 10 to 15 minutes. Alternatively, potatoes can be broiled until lightly crisp on top, about 5 minutes.
- Immediately cut a slit down the center of each potato. Use paper towels or a dish towel to push and squeeze the ends and sides together to push some of the flesh out of the skin. Use a fork to fluff.
- Top with butter, salt, pepper, and other desired toppings.
- Cook times based on potato size:
- 5 to 7 ounces: 13 mins at high pressure, 15 mins natural release.
- 7 to 9 ounces: 15 mins at high pressure, 15 mins natural release.
- 9 to 11 ounces: 16 mins at high pressure, 15 mins natural release.
- 11 to 13 ounces: 19 mins at high pressure, 15 mins natural release.
- 13 to 15 ounces: 20 mins at high pressure, 15 mins natural release.
- 15 to 16 ounces: 20 mins at high pressure, 15 mins natural release.
- The potatoes are the fluffiest eaten immediately after it’s done cooking, or within about 30 minutes.
- Topping Suggestions: Sour cream, butter, salt, pepper, green onions, cheese, chives, bacon, chopped herbs.
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