The Great Baked Potato Fiasco of ’17

2 baked potatoes in an Instant PotSo many success stories in the groups about making baked potatoes in the pressure cooker. Who doesn’t love a baked potato? It’s the perfect base for all sorts of delicious toppings. A quick and easy meal. Anyone can bake a potato. Except me. My first Instant Pot failure. Here’s the whole sordid story.

Pot Posse member, Coco LePot was the first to attempt baked potatoes in the Instant Pot. Sadly, defeat was snatched from the jaws of victory. So, yeah. Coco’s baked potatoes didn’t turn out as the recipe promised.

First of all, I salute her for trying. You don’t know if anything works until you try for yourself. After I saw her post, I did a quick look at recipes for baked potatoes in the pressure cooker. Most of them said to do exactly what Coco did (based on their guidance); 10 minutes under pressure with a 20 minute NPR. Coco, however, can attest that this is not a recipe for success.

Potatoes are problematic for one reason: size. Density is going to affect the amount of time needed under pressure. A recipe might say use a ‘medium’ potato but what is considered medium? It would be better if recipe writers would take an extra minute and weigh the potato for accuracy. But most of the recipes don’t mention size at all. The person who created the recipe knows it worked with the potatoes they used. They have no way of knowing what you’ll use. Hence, the problem.

The recipe I found promised easy pressure cooker baked potatoes. The author wrapped the potatoes in foil and did 22 minutes under pressure followed by an immediate quick release. All the comments that followed the recipe were success stories. I bought some baking potatoes to try it myself. FAIL.

Undaunted, I put the potato under pressure for an additional 22 minutes. Another FAIL. What the heck? I cut into the potato with no problem but the inside was still firm. When I do a potato in the microwave, after 10 minutes I can squeeze the potato and it will yield to the touch. This didn’t happen after 44 minutes under pressure! I couldn’t have been more perplexed. According to the posted recipe, several methods were tried and this one worked perfectly. Hmmm.

The saga of the baked potato continues. Knowing that Gangsta Pot is always up for a challenge, I asked her to take a stab at baking a potato. She used two sizable baking potatoes on the steamer rack in the IP with just over a cup of water. She used the manual setting on high, and set it for 18 minutes with 7 minutes natural pressure release and then a quick release of the remaining steam. The skin was about to fall off the potatoes when she took them out but the center still wasn’t quite done.

I couldn’t believe that three of us were coming up with such dismal results when the rest of the pressure cooking baked potato world was turning out success after success. I had to get to the bottom of this insanity. I finally found this video. Bottom line, the potatoes in the video can easily be pierced with a fork after 15 minutes under pressure and 4 minutes NPR! Given the ‘issues’ the three of us had, I wouldn’t believe it if I hadn’t seen it.

All three of us are still potato shy. We haven’t attempted any baked potatoes in the pressure cooker since those three fateful days in March. Hopefully one of you will accept the potato challenge and prove that it can be done. Let me know how it worked out for you. Game on!

Pressure cooking is fast, easy, and fun! Please share!

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