The Meltingly Tender Method For Instant Pot Sweet Potatoes

The hands-off, versatile Instant Pot can make a plethora of goodies, including aromatic bone broth, chicken pot pie soup, and insanely tender sweet potatoes. If you've ever cooked these sweet spuds before, you know it can be a time consuming process that doesn't necessarily pay off. Baking them whole can take up to an hour, and you may need to preheat your oven for longer than normal to ensure it's warm enough to make moist potatoes. Microwaving them can lead to uneven cooking, so although some spots might be soft, others may be hard and dry.

Using the Instant Pot, however, is a clear path to melt-in-your-mouth sweet potatoes. Pressure cookers are essentially portable steaming devices (among their many other uses), as they can quickly heat water to above its boiling point and trap the resulting steam inside. In fact, your Instant Pot can take your sweet potatoes to higher temperatures and therefore, make more steam than a regular pot can. And because your food is cooking in a hotter environment, your spuds can go from dry to tender much quicker than with other methods.

Steps to keep in mind for succulent results

Instant Pot sweet potatoes are simple to make, but there are a few things to keep in mind to make yours as tender as possible. First, buy spuds that are similar in size and shape. If you throw a tiny one and a huge one in the same pot, it will be much more difficult to tell when they are done cooking. 

You'll also need to use the steamer rack for the potatoes and a cup of cold water. Make sure you don't use warm or hot water, or they may start cooking before you've sealed the Instant Pot. You also should avoid peeling them beforehand — they'll do perfectly fine if you throw them in after being washed and pierced with a fork or knife. And it's okay to cook multiple sweet potatoes at once, but make sure they stay in one even layer.

The step that may take practice to get right is how long you let your spuds cook for, which depends on their size. Smaller ones may take as little as 12 minutes to steam, while large ones (we're talking a circumference of 12 inches here) can take up to 50 minutes. Whichever size you have, use the high pressure setting for the full cooking time before letting it release naturally. Then, you can pop your tender potatoes out, crack them open, and let pats of butter melt on top.