Pressure cooker baked sweet potatoes sounded like a good idea. But so did regular baked potatoes in the pressure cooker. And we know how that turned out.
Some of you may remember the post about the Great Baked Potato Fiasco of ’17. Folks in the online groups were going on about how easy it is to bake potatoes in the pressure cooker. Who doesn’t love a baked potato? So of course, I had to try. Side bar: There are those who will argue that the potatoes aren’t ‘baked’ in a pressure cooker. They’re steamed. (Not the people. The potatoes. Although I suspect the people are steamed too or they wouldn’t bring it up in the first place.)
As I was saying, I tried. I failed. The potato wasn’t soft. My friends tried. They failed. Their potatoes weren’t soft either. We are all experienced cooks. We know our way around a potato. Nonetheless, we couldn’t get a potato to ‘bake’ properly in a pressure cooker. Accepting defeat, we dropped those hot potatoes and went on with our lives.
A while back, I saw a post by the pressure cooking team of Amy + Jacky for Instant Pot sweet potatoes. They promised that their method would yield a creamy, soft sweet potato. Their secret to success was to measure the circumference of the sweet potato and to base the cook time on that. The larger the sweet potato, the longer the cook time. Not all sweet potatoes are created equal.
It sounded reasonable. It made sense. I started wondering if the same method could be applied to regular baking potatoes. FYI: I’m still wondering because I never got around to applying the method to regular baking potatoes. But I did try it with a sweet potato. And it works! Perfectly! Pressure cooker baked sweet potatoes for the win!
My sweet potato measured 6 inches around. According to Amy + Jacky, in order to get a sweet potato of this circumference that’s “fully cooked with some chew—fully tender”, the correct cook time is 15 to 20 minutes under high pressure with a 10-minute natural pressure release.
I decided to err on the side of caution. I went with a 25-minute cook time. It’s not that I didn’t trust them. Lest you forget, I have an abysmal track record baking potatoes of any denomination. Let’s just say I was apprehensive. My natural pressure release ended up being 20 minutes. I got side-tracked. (Just like the other day when I accidentally left my pressure cooker hard boiled eggs sit for 54 minutes rather than the usual 11 minutes. Oops. Guess what? They were fine.)
I opened the lid. The sweet potato was soft to the touch. A promising sign. When I cut it open, it was so tender I could mash it with a fork. And I did. Some people may have pronounced it over-cooked. I pronounced it perfect. I put some butter on it and ate it.
You could eat it plain. Or with a little salt. A loaded baked sweet potato would be tasty. Scoop it out of its skin and mix it up with butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon and have it as dessert. Throw in some crushed graham crackers and you have a sweet potato pie taste going.
Sweet potatoes are both good and good for you. Take a peek at their nutritional value if you’re interested.
Who knew that geometry would play a role in baking a potato? Armed with my knowledge of the effect of the circumference of a sweet potato vs. cook time, I’m going to bake a regular potato and show it who’s boss. Next!
One final thought.
Here’s a refresher course on circumference. It has absolutely nothing to do with baking sweet potatoes. But I know some of you have started thinking about your old days in geometry class and are trying to remember this.