pressure cooker mashed potatoes
Making mashed potatoes in the pressure cooker is incredibly easy, and fast! It was the first thing I learned to pressure cook and I still boil potatoes in it at least once a week – mashed potatoes for cold weather and potato salad for when it’s warm outside!

Boiling in the pressure cooker takes less time and less water than regular stovetop boiling.  The closed environment keeps the water, and seasonings from evaporating so you need to add less salt than usual, too. I use just enough water to cover the food I’m boiling halfway – it takes less time for less water to boil, and the pressure cooker will reach pressure faster than if it were “full” of water.

Maximum Capacity

Most pressure cookers have a “max” line, at approximately 2/3 of the way to the top edge of the pot to indicate the height limit of food an liquid. Following this guide will leave enough room for the pressure cooker to reach pressure and keep the food out of the pressure and safety valves. When boiling beans, grains, rice -or any other food that expands during cooking: never fill the pressure cooker more than half capacity (this limit is usually also indicated inside the pressure cooker). This is because these foods may either foam or expand while cooking – and you want the them to stay clear of the operational valves and safety mechanisms. Please note that some electric multi-cookers may have the max line marked on the inner bowl for non-pressure programs.

See Also: Consumer Alert: Max Fill Lines Too High for Pressure Programs on Multi-cookers

Although pressure cooker accidents are rare today, in the very rare instances when they do happen it’s usually because the cook has over-filled the pressure cooker.

It is important to note that if you purchased a 6 quart pressure cooker, that is not the maximum capacity, it’s the size of the cooker. To figure out the maximum amount of liquid you can put in your pressure cooker, just multiply the stated size by “.66”. So, a 6 quart pressure cooker will be able to cook 4 quarts of soup. Half capacity, is actually just half of the total capacity, 3 quarts in this case.

Don’t worry if 6 quarts are starting to sound really small, now. This is the pressure cooker size that is most recommended for beginner pressure cooks, the minimum size for which most pressure cooker recipes are written, and provides abundant food for a family of four. As you will see in the series, and on this website, most recipes will rarely reach maximum capacity and can often be doubled in the “average,” 6 quart, pressure cooker.

See Also: Pressure Cooker Capacity FAQ

Pressure Cooker Accessories Pr. Cook Time Pr. Level Open
4 L or larger none 15 min. High(2) Normal

4.4 from 5 reviews
Mashed Potatoes - pressure cooker recipe
Nutritional Information
(per serving)
  • Serves: 4-6
  • Serving size: ⅙th
  • Calories: 147.4
  • TOTAL Fat: 6.4g
  • TOTAL Carbs: 21.3g
  • Sugar Carbs: 1.0g
  • Sodium: 399.2mg
  • Fiber Carbs: 1.9g
  • Protein: 2.1g
  • Cholesterol: 23.1mg
Recipe type: pressure cooker
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Pressure Cooker Recipe: Mashed Potatoes
  • 2 cups water
  • 6-8 medium potatoes (any kind)
  • 1 teaspoon coarse rock salt
  • ⅓ cup (100 ml) full cream or milk
  • additional salt and pepper to taste
  1. Wash and scrub your potatoes well, even though you are taking the skin off, you don't want the stuff that is stuck on it to float around in your pressure cooker and cooking water - you will be using it later for the mash.
  2. Place the washed potatoes inside the pressure cooker, with the largest potatoes in the bottom and the smaller on top, and add the water. Then, put the salt on top (it will melt and combine with the water during cooking). Never put salt in direct contact with a cold stainless steel pressure cooker as it may discolor the metal.
  3. Close and lock the lid of the pressure cooker.
  4. For electric pressure cookers: Cook for 18 minutes at high pressure.
    For stove top pressure cookers: Turn the heat up to high (if you are using a gas cooktop ensure the flames are not licking the sides of the cooker - that is a little too high and could discolor the metal and damage the handles) and when the cooker indicates it has reached high pressure (with this model, the indicator comes up to the second white ring), lower to the heat to maintain it and begin counting 15 minutes pressure cooking time.
  5. When time is up, open the cooker by releasing the pressure through the valve- each pressure cooker does this differently so consult your manual for specific instructions!
  6. Transfer potatoes to mixing bowl, reserving the cooking water, and while they are as hot as you can handle, remove the skins (or leave them on if you prefer).
  7. Begin mashing with a potato masher and add two tablespoons of cooking water. Then two tablespoons of cream. Continue adding and mashing until you have reached the desired consistency - chunky is what my family likes so it only takes a couple of rounds of mashing and adding liquid for my potatoes to be finished.
  8. Taste before adding additional salt as they might already be salty enough! Then, add any additional salt and pepper to taste.

FLUFFY mashed potatoes from the pressure cooker!

Try the next Beginner Basics Lesson: Naked, Steamy Carrot Flowers Steaming, High and Low Pressure or view the entire Beginner Basics Course outline!

Now that you can boil in your pressure cooker, you can make…

Warm Green Bean Salad with Mushrooms and Potatoes - pressure cooker recipe Pressure Cooked Balsamic Vinegar Baby Onions Red Wine Stewed Pears


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  1. Great tips for potatoes!

  2. I love that you cooked the potatoes whole and w the peel on, even tho pressure cookers retain vitamins. I like to leave the peels on in mashed potatoes for added vitamins.
    You don’t use a trivet? I had a very bad Thanksgiving day, burned potatoes in the p.c. from not adding enough water and will always use a trivet w potatoes now.

  3. Hi JL and HM!

    Yes, it’s so easy to toss them in once washed. When I make potato salad, I leave the skins on. When I mash, I take them off.

    No, I don’t use a trivet with potatoes. Can’t believe you burned them – that is really hard to do!



  4. I have never even thought of doing potatoes in the pc so thanks for the inspiration!

    I really prefer my new 6 qt. pressure cooker over my old 8 qt. It is easier to move and it gets to pressure a lot faster.

  5. Nanette, at first I thought you were kidding, then I saw your blog and I realized… you’ve been doing alot more exciting things with your pressure cooker!


  6. Your website and beginner basics course has come at the perfect time for me. I was given a pressure cooker at Christmas time and I’m keen to figure out what to do with it. Only one comment about your website is that I don’t seem to be able to copy your recipes so that I can import them into my meal planning & shopping list sofware. Is there something I’m missing?

  7. Hi SME, welcome!

    A popular pressure cooking group on Yahoo was copying my recipes and saving them in their file repository without my permission or attribution.

    Unfortunately, because of that experience, I had to take more protective measures to ensure that the recipes here are not modified in some unsafe manner or distributed without the descriptions and explanations – that meant removing the ability to copy the text on the website.

    However, I am working on a way for the recipes to be printed out more easily.

    I hope that will be of some help!


  8. I got a 6qt Fagor this week. As a married, working father of a 16 month old, the PC is a godsend. This evening I PCed 3 yukon gold for mashing with .5 cups of water and the trivet. It took nearly 20 minutes to get the potatoes cooked. Does this seem right?

  9. Hi Ryan, you are right, 20 minutes is TOO LONG! But three potatoes for two adults and a toddler sounds like they might have been very large.

    When you placed the potatoes on the trivet, you steamed instead of boiling them – steaming takes longer due to the indirect contact with water.

    The cooking time under pressure also depends on the size of the potatoes. 10 minutes is for medium potatoes that are not longer than the width of the palm of your hand. For larger potatoes, instead of cooking them longer, I would slice them in half. Try to make sure that the potatoes and pieces, if sliced, are approximately the same size so you get even cooking.

    Here is your personal checklist for your next potato adventure:
    -Check the size of the potatoes and try to make them similar.
    -Boil, instead of steaming them, by putting them in the pressure cooker without the trivet and putting water bout half-way up the total height of the potatoes.
    -Put the bigger pieces, or potatoes, at the bottom in contact with the bottom of the pan, and the smaller ones on top.
    -Check that the pressure cooker is set to “High” pressure or Number “2”.
    -Check that the pressure cooker reaches pressure (did the indicator come up?)
    -Start counting 10 minutes from the time the cooker has reached pressure – this can take longer depending on how full the pressure cooker is and how much liquid is in it.

    Let me know how it worked!

  10. Well, I am very glad that I’ve taken the time to follow your beginner lessons so far. I just received my PC yesterday, started trying it out today, and I can see that there is a pretty good learning curve! I bought a Fagor Futuro set(4&6l), and started out lesson 1 with bringing it up to pressure with water – so far, so good. Then the potatoes – more of a challenge! The first time I brought it up to high pressure on the high burner setting(10 on my stove), then put it on a second burner heated to med-low (2-3) for 10 minutes. Not cooked!? OK, brought it back up to high pressure, but then kept it a little higher at 4. Much better – although overcooked this time as I went for 8 minutes! I can tell that it was under high pressure this time, because when I turned the dial on top from #2 – high, past #1 – low (on the way to the full pressure release) it shot out a good bit of steam at #1 (which it did not do the first time). So, just because I set the dial to #2-high, if I don’t keep it warm enough and listen for just the right soft sigh/puff sounds with the slight steam wisps, it isn’t actually up to high pressure. Now I know, and I know that I have to keep the stove set a little higher than I expected. It is probably due to the fact that it is a glass-top stove, and the heat sort of cycles on and off. I sure am glad that I discovered this before starting straight off into a beef stew, or I’d have been very disappointed. Off to try Lesson 3 – low pressure carrots. Thanks so much for the lessons!

    1. Hi Cynthia, I came across your comment here in which you mentioned you have the Fagor Futuro 6 Qt & 4 Qt set. I am thinking this is the set I should buy to begin pressure cooking. You posted your note here several years ago so I think you are likely quite experienced with the set now. Would you purchase this set again if you knew then what you know now? I would so appreciate a reply. I am looking for a set that will mostly cook beans and rice faster for us. I cook 1 LB of dry beans at once so I was thinking the 6 Qt would suffice for that. I cook 1 cup of long-cooking rice so I was thinking the 4 QT would suffice for that. Then reading of this foaming phenomenon that pushes both of these into the “only fill pressure cookers half full” rule, my decision-making becomes questionable.

      I cook from scratch, not eating processed junk. I’ve been cooking for decades but I’ve never tried pressure cooking. I’m happy I found this web site as it is more to my liking than Miss Vickie’s. I have Miss Vickie’s books checked out of my library and though volumes of info are contained there, they are not for me. Too many recipes have unhealthy ingredients and she never specifies what size pot is required. I know new methods do require a bit of trial & error to get to know equipment but I have my frustration limits. I feel if I can decide on a pot or set then I’ll get going with this terrific series of lessons on this web site. Then I can adapt my usual beans & rice recipes to PC cooking. Thank you for your time. I hope you respond. Jan

      1. I haven’t seen a post from Cynthia in a long time, so she has probably moved on.I have the Kuhn Rikons, so cannot comment directly. However, Laura has reviewed the Fagor Futuro, and rates it “very good” You can see the review here:

        As for cooking beans, Here is a recipe Laura has for FRESH beans. She cooks TWO pounds in a 6L PC, so you should be OK here. Dried beans should be soaked first, but I think you would still be fine. It will depend on the take up though.
        Here is another technique for dried beans without soaking that uses 7 cups water, 1 lb beans (I make that about 2 cups) and an onion. I make that about 2.5 quarts all up, so again you are under the half way mark. Personally I would always soak beans, but I have cooked a few recipes from “Dad” and they have all been excellent.

        Rice could be a little problematic. Here she steams one cup of rice, but specifies a minimum 4L PC. However, if you add up the volumes: 1 cup rice + 1.5 cups water, you are still under 1.5 quarts which is the halfway mark for the 3L PC, so you should be OK. Depends on the size of your cup though.

  11. My mom bought me a Fissler vitavit set during our recent vacation in Germany, and I was a bit saddened to find no recipe book inside the box as I am a complete newbie when it comes to cooking of any kind. But now that I’ve found your site I think I will be spending more time in the kitchen! Trying the above mashed potatoes recipe tomorrow. Thank you!


  12. Cynthia, did you get a chance to complete the series? So glad to hear that you were able to figure everything out!

    Mari, Fissler is working on a recipe book right now. You may be able to contact them at the end of the year to ask if they will send you one – though I don’t know if they will be making one in English!



  13. Laura, my husband and I have been cooking avidly for a number of years but just got our first pressure cooker. It’s and electric model. I can’t believe we waited so long! It arrived two days ago, and I decided to use your website to start on this new cooking adventure. The first thing I made was this potato recipe. They turned out perfect. I like to have garlic in my mashed potatoes, so next time I am going to cook a few cloves of garlic in with the potatoes and mash them all together. I’m certain they will cooking nicely in all that steam.

  14. CMY, welcome an congratulations on your new purchase! Garlic sounds like a great addition (I would leave the garlic in the skin during cooking so it doesn’t dissolve completely).

    I’m so glad your first recipe was such a succes and I look foward to hearing more about your new adventures in pressure cooking!



  15. Hello – just wanted to say thanks for the tip. I’ve been using my pressure cooker for about a year now and I absolutely love it. I had never considered just throwing the potatoes in – skin and all. And, leaving the skins on gave the final product a really yummy flavor of the skins. And, my potatoes came out super light and fluffy. I’m happy to find your website…going to look around now for more recipes = ]

  16. Hi!! I used this recipe today and it turned out wonderful!! Thank you :)

  17. Our Fissler PC has been in the family 20+ years, just received it from
    my grandmother as a wedding gift and recently had all the removable parts

    LOVE this recipe
    LOVE mashed potatoes
    easy, quick, and sooooo good!

    thanks for keeping this website up!

  18. Anonymoses & Laura, thanks for coming back to leave your feedback!



  19. I’ve been cooking my potatoes for mashing in a pressure cooker all my adult life. I cut potatoes into even sized pieces and I make sure none have their cut sides down on the base of the pan. I understood that the water never raises beyond 100 degrees C but the steam – under pressure – does, so the food does not need to be in the water. I use high pressure for 7 minutes and cold water to decrease the pressure. I mash with butter and then use a wooden spoon to beat in some milk if necessary. Maris Piper makes good mash.

    1. The liquid inside the pressure cooker reaches the temperature of 120C or more. It doesn’t “boil” in the traditional sense making bubbles of oxygen that break to the top because of the pressure.

      In tests I have done, food cooks slower in the steamer basket than it does boiling in water – but it’s still waaay faster than steaming without any pressure at all!!



  20. Hello, I too have been making mashed potatoes in my pressure cooker for years. I just cut them in about 1 inch little cubes, fill it with water to just cover them, cook for 5 min. after the pressure builds up. I use a low pressure cooker. I let the steam out, drain most of the water, whisk it good by hand or an electric mixer and add, butter, salt and milk to taste. Then put the lid on to keep them hot until ready to serve. I like your web site, you have so much information.

  21. i was just wondering how cooking a whole potato for half the time needed and then cutting it up for french fries would work out. I’m gonna have to give this a try!

    1. You could try that – but the potato may end-up being too soft to cut and have the slices hold their shape. You could cut them beforehand and steam them like I do for my pressure cooker Italian Potato Salad:



  22. Greg Thank you for your APRIL 30, 2014 AT 4:24 AM · reply to me. I was just notified (as I requested to receive notes here). The notification is quite delayed as it is June 1st.. I do appreciate your help across the board. Yes I always soak most beans, usually overnight. I also rinse them well before & after I soak them. The only beans I do not soak are lentils & mung beans (which botanically are really seeds). Thanks for all of your insights and links you provided for me. I sure appreciate it.

  23. Although I’m not new to cooking and canning, your PC course is a great walk-through of the features of a cooker and in cooking under pressure. Very organized. (As a fellow IT’er I’m not surprised)

    I made the smashed potatoes with Yukon Golds, but cut them in large pieces. Otherwise followed the instructions to cook. I drained them and left the skins on, adding a small amount of butter and hand smashing them.

    Great results, it sure seems like there is a whole lot more flavor left in PC foods! Thanks again.

    1. Yes, the flavors are more concentrated with pressure cooking – I call it tasting food in “HD”. It’s all of the extra vitamins and minerals that the pressure cooker is preserving that are contributing to that extra flavor.

      Thank you, and welcome!!!



  24. I made mashed potatoes for my first Instant Pot recipe. I peeled 6 potatoes, put them in the pot, added 2 cups of water and some sea salt on top. I cooked on high pressure for 18 minutes and quick released when done. The potatoes cooked fine but there was some brownish-black residue or slime on the potatoes. What might have caused the residue? Did I need to “clean” something before using?

    1. You should always clean the surfaces that touch the food of any new appliance. I’m not saying this was the case here but sometimes factories use lubricants to keep certain items shiny and rust-free until they can be sold. Any new dish, utensil, pan, etc. should be thoroughly washed with hot soapy water before you put food on/in it.


  25. I just sent photo? It wasn’t what I wanted to do…. Please excuse me???

    1. Don’t worry, we didn’t get it. It won’t be published.

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