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Tasty, healthy, and somewhat exotic, sweet potatoes are the new cool, especially if you have an instant pot to prepare them in. 

Some people love them baked, and some prefer crock. However, if you’re in a rush, the best way to make perfectly cooked sweet potatoes with creamy insides is in an instant pot.

But, how long to cook them? There are many recipes applying the cookie-cutter principles when it comes to preparing sweet potatoes, but that simply doesn’t fit the basic logic. As you’ve probably noticed, every sweet potato is different, so it makes no sense to cook them all the same. Due to their different sizes, we need to treat each sweet potato differently and cook them at an appropriate length. 

Small Potatoes (width less than 2”): 15 minutes + 10 minutes pressure release

Mid-sized Potatoes (width 2-3 inches): 30 minutes + 10 minutes pressure release

Large Potatoes (width greater than 3”): 1 hour + 10 minutes pressure release

If you are continuously disappointed with the sweet potato recipes you’ve run into, and if they’re often undercooked or overcooked, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll share our secrets for preparing the best possible sweet potato for each potato’s uniqueness.

How to Prepare the Perfect Sweet Potato for Cooking

Since the cooking time for the sweet potato depends on its size and shape, you need to apply some measurements before you initiate the cooking process.

For this, you’ll need a measuring tape (like the one the sewists use) because you want to know the size of the width of your sweet potato.

Cooking Time Depends on Spud Size

So far, we’ve tested many different ways of preparing sweet potatoes in an instant pot, and the formula we’re about to share has shown the best results.

First, you need to measure the width of your potato(es). If the potato is small, and by that, we mean has two inches in width or less, it will take at least 15 minutes to cook, followed by another 10 minutes of pressure release in an instant pot. 

In the case of a medium-sized sweet potato, whose width equals 2 to 3 inches, you should coke for half an hour, and once again, additional 10 minutes for the natural release of pressure. This means that mid-size sweet potato preparation will last around 40 minutes. 

Finally, for the large sweet potato, whose width is 3 inches or more, the minimum cooking time is one full hour, followed by 10 minutes of pressure release, amounting to 1 hour and 10 minutes of cooking time.

This makes the preparation of sweet potatoes of different sizes a bit complicated to cook at the same time, as each requires a different cooking time. To overcome this problem, you can put the biggest one to cook first, and then add the middle-sized one after 30 minutes, followed by the smallest one after another 15 minutes. After the full hour is over, you can release pressure with all three of them for 10 minutes, and you’re done.

How to Cook Sweet Potatoes in an Instant Pot Step-by-Step Guide

Now that we’ve discussed the necessary time for cooking sweet potatoes, here is a step-by-step process that will make the journey to preparing the perfect sweet potatoes more understandable and straightforward.

  1. Measure the width of your sweet potatoes. If you have a sharp eye, you may also be able to approximate. 
  2. Group them in size: large, mid-size, and small ones. This is necessary as you don’t want to put mixed sizes together at the same time in the same pot.
  3. Wash them, scrub them, and prick each potato with a fork to make tiny holes visible on the surface.
  4. Depending on the size of your instant pot, place 1 – 1.5 cups of water in the insert of your instant pot.
  5. Put the trivet on top of the pot.
  6. Place the potatoes on the trivet. In the case of potatoes of different sizes, place the larger ones first.
  7. Set up a timer to 60, 30, and 15 minutes respectively (in case you have all three size groups).
  8. Put the lid on and set up the valve to the ‘sealing’ setting. 
  9. Pressure cook the potatoes as long as necessary and according to the instructions given above.
  10. Let the pressure out for 10 minutes and slowly release any remaining pressure. 
  11. That’s it. Your dream sweet potatoes with soft inner parts are done!

How to Scale and Adjust this Recipe According to Your Needs

How many potatoes can fit in your instant pot usually depends on the size of the potatoes you’re dealing with. In the case of a 3-quart instant pot, you can put approximately 3 sweet potatoes (the exact number may vary depending on the size), while in the 8-quart one you can fit around 8 pieces. The 6-quart potatoes usually fit between 4 and 6 sweet potatoes for cooking at the same time.

If you want to cook potatoes in multiple layers in your instant pot, we recommend you use no more than 2 layers to ensure that all your potatoes cook evenly.

No matter how many potatoes are being cooked at once, the post-cooking pressure time will always remain the same.

Even if you want to cook just a single potato, you can still apply the same procedure.

After cooking sweet potatoes in an instant pot, if you don’t eat them all immediately (which we doubt will happen), you can store them in a container in the fridge for up to 4 days. During those 4 days, you can reheat them in a microwave or in the regular oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Finally, you can also freeze them by packing each potato individually in a wrap and leaving them in the refrigerator for one day or night before moving them to the freeze. They can keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Final Thoughts

Over the past several years, sweet potatoes have seriously grown in popularity, but so have instant pots. When you are in a rush and don’t want to waste your time on long, slow-cooking recipes (that certainly taste great otherwise), preparing sweet potatoes in an instant pot is a great idea. Not only will you get a fabulous and tasty result, but you will also save up an immense amount of time.

To achieve the best possible instant pot sweet potatoes, simply follow the instructions we provided above, measure the width size of each potato that you want to cook, and organize the potatoes according to the size of your instant pot. In case of leftovers, you can keep them in the fridge for a couple of days, heat them up in both microwave and oven, and keep them in the fridge.

Bon appetite, the potatoes are ready to serve!


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