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.
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|
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- Close and lock the lid of the pressure cooker.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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).
- 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.
- Taste before adding additional salt as they might already be salty enough! Then, add any additional salt and pepper to taste.
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…
I was given as a gift a 6qt instant pot…so far i love it.
I have cooked salsa chicken, mushroom smothered chix legs and a batch of brown rice. my chicken came out a little overcooked but i know to use less time next time.
I would now like to make turkey sausages with brown rice and onions, peppers and tomato. any suggestions on the time i should use?
am very happy with your site and love the lessons. thank you for helping me along in my pressure cooking endeavors.. -des
ok i have a 5.28 qt instant pot (lux model) – do i have to reduce every recipe made for a 6 qt model or is this an approximate measure?
Nancy, this recipe will work in a 4L or larger – so you’re good! You can fill your pressure cooker up to 2/3 with potatoes – only half full for grains, legumes and rice.
Thanks for answering. Yes I saw for this one I was good but I was asking for your other recipes that recommend a 6 qt – could I get away with a 5.28 qt?
Yes, generally you can fudge it as I leave a wide margin of error- but just watch the fill levels especially for beans, rice and grains to make sure!
These were absolutely the BEST mashed potatoes I’ve ever made! I like them thick and creamy, and there wasn’t a lump to be found in the entire pot. Perfect!! Now moving on to the next lesson….
I made these last night and I added 1 cup of ricotta cheese. I had some left after making the Italian Mac and Cheese so I thought I would try it as an addition to the mashed potatoes. It gave them a little more body and a richer flavor. I think it was a good addition and will do it again the next time I need to use up the remainder of the container of ricotta. Win/Win!
Is there any reason why one shouldn’t use peeled potatoes in the cooker instead of peeling a nearly scalding hot potato after the fact (aside from perhaps reducing vitamin/nutrient content)?
Joni, you can absolutely peel your potatoes first, there is no reason not to. This example was given to show how easy it can be to peel potatoes fresh from the pressure cooker. BUT, if you’re not comfortable you don’t need to do it and it will not affect the recipe at all.
Thanks for asking!
Thank you for the reply! It’s no wonder a potato would be easy to peel after pressure cooking, considering how easy it is to peel an egg that’s been pressure cooked. I’m sure the science is a little different, but that’s good to know all the same!
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I never liked mashed potatoes that much until I tried these in my pressure cooker. DANG! So good, I have a new favorite comfort food! I did yukon gold potatoes for 20 min as my Instant Pot recipe suggested. It gave a link to this site. I never had fluffier potatoes. I think I will do 18 minutes next time to see how it works since most most of the water was absorbed. I’ve had a pressure cooker for almost 2 years, it’s too bad it took me so long to try mashed potatoes. I really appreciate the tips you give us. Whether it’s storing pre-soaked beans, measuring vegetables for risotto or taking care of your PC’s pot, you know your stuff!.
I’m new here and new to my instant pot. This turned out great even using a fork to mash lol (new to cooking too). However I’d love to hear any suggestions about ways to punch it up – I’d love to hear favorite add-ins – do some people prefer butter plus or instead of cream or skin-on mash, or cheese, garlic or onion family, and what other kind of things work well, and should any of them be prepped in the pressure cooker? I just read a recipe for Champ – Irish I think that seems to add a lot more cream and green onions. Thank you!
Now that you’ve got the technique down you can use this as a launching pad to any mash. The flavor combos are endless. There’s a recipe on this website that also includes some cauliflower with the potatoes (and keeps the skins on). Also, in my own mash-making I’ve added cottage cheese instead of milk and butter – wow – what a flavor upgrade (and they weren’t even lumpy)!!
I would like a printable version of this recipe. Is there one already out there somewhere?
If you click on the little picture of the printer (next to last icon on the right) under the heading “Sharing is Caring” you’ll be taken to a page where you can click-away any part of the page you don’t want (pictures, paragraphs, titles, etc.).
Great! I just started reading about cottage cheese and realized it could possibly (?) be made in a fancy pressure cooker. Oh the possibilities ahead! I love your site, thanks for all the beginners stuff. Going to try mashed potatoes with cottage cheese with chives next!
Hi! I’m new to the instant pot and plan to make mashed potatoes for thanksgiving..if I increase the amount of potatoes do I need to increase the water? Thank you…
Christine, you can use the same amount of water – then when you’re mashing them if you find them too dry just add bits of milk, butter, water or broth. Happy cooking!
I thank you so much for the information on resistant starch that the potatoes were cooked in the pressure cooker. I am diabetic, so this helps me so much. I love mashed potatoes, so when I boil them on the stove, I always scoop out the white starch, probably taking some of the flavor with it. I read somewhere that if you overwork the potatoes that they would become gummy. I like my potatoes whipped on my Kitchen Aid mixer. Will it still be OK to finish these up with the mixer, instead of using the fork or potato masher? Thanks for your website, I have learned a lot of information using my pressure cooker.