How to bake a potato

Making Instant Pot Baked Potatoes is significantly faster than baking them in the oven and yields great results! Once you try this method, it’s going to be your preferred method of making baked potatoes. Make them tonight and you’ll see! 

image of baked potato cut in half with sour cream and chives

Hi, my name is Rachel, and I confess that I continue to be addicted to my Instant Pot. I’ve been bringing you guys a mix of basic recipes like Instant Pot Boiled Eggs and Instant Pot Shredded Chicken, as well as complete meals like Instant Pot Chili, Healthy Chicken Piccata, and Instant Pot Pasta with Sausage. This one is on the basic side, but baked potatoes are such a versatile building block in the kitchen. The method of making Instant Pot baked potatoes is similar (very, very similar) to the method you use to make Instant Pot Sweet Potatoes, and you are going to love it!

They’re perfect for a busy night because they cook much more quickly than baked potatoes in the oven. They might just be a game changer for you!

Ready to get on the bandwagon? This is the Instant Pot I have, and I love it! No complaints. I wrote a complete pressure cooker guide that covers various models of pressure cookers, as well as accessories, cookbooks, and tons of pressure cooker recipes!

How to Make Instant Pot Baked Potatoes:

It couldn’t be easier, you guys. Here’s the rundown, but as always, keep scrolling to find a printable recipe.

  1. Pick out potatoes that are similar in size to each other to ensure equal cooking time.
  2. I won’t rant on you again about cleaning your potatoes, because we’ve been there before, but start off by giving them a good scrub to get them clean (I like this brush).
  3. Next, poke them all over with a fork. Four or five times per potato will be good. No need for foil!
  4. Place the steamer basket in the bottom of your pressure cooker, along with 1 cup of water.
  5. Secure the lid, turn the valve to seal. Use the manual mode and set your timer to 12 minutes on high.
  6. When time timer goes off, let the pressure release naturally (in other words, don’t turn the valve to vent).
  7. Test the potatoes with a fork to make sure they’re tender. If they’re not, you could reseal and cook again for 2-3 minutes with a natural release. As long as your potatoes aren’t huge, they should be done!

Cooking Guide:

If your potatoes are extraordinarily small or large, cooking time will vary.

  • If you have teeny tiny potatoes, they’ll cook faster. 10 minute will likely do the trick.
  • If you have giant, giant potatoes, you might need up to 18-20 minutes.

Making Instant Pot Baked Potatoes is significantly faster than baking them in the oven and yields great results! Once you try this method, it's going to be your preferred method of making baked potatoes. Make them tonight and you'll see! Get the easy recipe on RachelCooks!


What kind of potato makes a good baked potato?

Russet potatoes are the classic choice but any type will work! Yukon Gold are great, and of course, sweet potatoes are an option, too.

How to Use these Baked Potatoes:

There are so many different things you could do with these Instant Pot baked potatoes, but here are a few suggestions!

  • Make ahead if you’re a meal prepper! These will keep well in your fridge for 4-5 days.
  • Dress it up with all your favorite toppings! Here are some ideas of what you can pile on top of a baked potato:
    • Bacon. Obviously.
    • Chili, because we’re taking things seriously here.
    • Cheese or cheese sauce. Or both.
    • Sour cream or Greek yogurt – I used sour cream in my photos.
    • Green onions or chives, or caramelized onions, because caramelized onions make everything better.
    • Avocado, because like bacon and caramelized onions, it makes everything better.
    • Broccoli – the perfect match to creamy cheddar cheese sauce.
    • Salsa! I like to do a southwestern baked potato with taco meat, salsa, cheese, avocado, and heaps of cilantro.
    • These Shepherd’s Pie Stuffed Baked Potatoes from Cupcakes and Kale Chips look amazing!
    • BBQ Chicken Stuffed Baked Potatoes – Mary is on to something with these!
    • Anything you love! What’s your favorite way to top a baked potato?
  • Hollow them out and use them for twice baked potatoes.
  • If you want, you could grab the insides of them and make mashed potatoes, because why not?
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Making Instant Pot Baked Potatoes is significantly faster than baking them in the oven and yields great results! Once you try this method, it's going to be your preferred method of making baked potatoes. Make them tonight and you'll see! Get the easy recipe on RachelCooks!

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  • 4-5 medium Russet potatoes
  • 1 cup of water
  • Steamer basket

  1. Scrub skin of potatoes with a brush until clean. Stab with fork 5-8 times.
  2. Pour 1 cup of water into the insert of the Instant Pot. Place steamer basket (the one that comes with the Instant Pot works great) in the bottom of the Instant Pot. Place potatoes on top of/inside steamer basket.
  3. Secure the lid and turn valve to seal.
  4. Use the manual mode of Instant Pot and set to pressure cook on high for 12 minutes.
  5. Allow pressure to “release naturally” – takes 15-20 minutes.
  6. Once the pressure valve lowers, remove lid and serve immediately with desired toppings. You can also store in the fridge for 3-4 days in an airtight container.

  • If you have teeny tiny potatoes, they’ll cook faster. 10 minute will likely do the trick.
  • If you have giant, giant potatoes, you might need up to 18-20 minutes.

Yield: 4-5 large baked potatoes, Serving Size: 1 potato

  • Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories: 290 Calories
  • Sodium: 42mg
  • Carbohydrates: 84g
  • Fiber: 7g
  • Sugar: 3g
  • Protein: 8g

Actual nutrition may vary depending on how recipe is prepared.

All images and text ©Rachel Cooks.

Verdict: I love this method of making baked potatoes! My favorite way to top is with broccoli, ham, and cheese sauce.Husband’s take: Truthfully, baked potatoes aren’t really his thing.Changes I would make: None are necessary.Difficulty: So easy!

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What is the best way to bake a potato?

Answer: the pressure cooker.

Why? Well, you’re not actually baking the potato. You’re steaming it.

If you don’t have an electric pressure cooker, or an Instant Pot as your friends probably all have, then you need to get one. Every time I use mine I love it more and more. I have made tons of Instant Pot recipes. To name just a few: Pressure Cooker Potato Leek Soup, Pressure Cooker Whole Chicken, and Pressure Cooker Shoyu Chicken. This appliance quickly replaced my crockpot which I only now use to keep ciders and side dishes warm before serving.

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Not only will making baked potatoes in the pressure cooker save you time (compared to oven baked potatoes), but steaming them under pressure makes the inside of the potato completely moist, smooth, and creamy. In fact, this is how I make my mashed potatoes now. The only difference when making mashed potatoes is that I’ll cut them in half, or quarter them if they are large, before cooking. Then, once done, I just peel off the skin when they’re cool enough to handle and mash them up with all sorts of butter, buttermilk, roasted garlic, etc.

Easy Instant Pot Baked Potatoes. Better than the oven or microwave!

How to cook a baked potato?

  • Pressure Cooker (Instant Pot) – Cook up to 3 pounds at a time. Set potatoes on trivet, add one cup of cold water, and cook on high pressure for 12-20 minutes. The amount of time depends on the size of your potatoes. Allow potatoes to naturally release pressure for 10 minutes, then release remaining pressure. You can crisp up the skin in the oven with olive oil and salt if desired, but it is not necessary. Pros: fast, creamy and moist potatoes, easy, you can cook a lot at the same time. Cons: only works if you have a pressure cooker.
  • Oven – You can cook right on the rack or you can wrap in foil. Time and temperature can vary, depending on your preference. Oven temperature can be anywhere from 300 to 450 degrees F. Cooking time will range from 60 to 90+ minutes. Pros: They can cook while you prepare the rest of your dinner (and watch a show because they take so darn long). Cons: they take a very long time to cook, sometimes get dried out, different sizes will require different times.
  • Microwave – Heat on high 5 minutes, turn, then heat on high for another 5 minutes. More time needed if potatoes are large. Pros: this is the quickest method. Cons: you can’t cook that many at the same time. Microwave baked potatoes are often very dry in the middle.
  • Grill or BBQ – Follow the same process you would bake potatoes in the oven. You will get similar results as well. Pros: If its a nice day and you already have the grill going, why not? Plus, you won’t heat up your kitchen like the oven would. Cons: you need a lot of rack space and can’t really cook anything else at the same time. It’s not really an efficient way to cook baked potatoes.

The best baked potatoes are made in the pressure cooker or Instant Pot.

What is good on a baked potato?

Nothing quite beats a loaded baked potato. The topping selections could be endless. I could write a book on making the perfect loaded baked potato. I’ll try my best to condense my recommendations into a few bullets below.

  • The start to serving up any perfect baked potato is butter, salt, and pepper. I recommend cutting an oval in the top of your potato and mixing in a high quality pasture butter. Kerrygold is my absolute favorite. Then add the right amount of salt and pepper. You can enjoy your baked potato just like this, or add more.
  • Sour cream, crispy bacon pieces, sliced scallions and minced chives are my favorite toppings.
  • Steamed broccoli and melted sharp cheddar and excellent on their own or in addition to all the toppings already mentioned.
  • Pulled pork or thinly sliced grilled steak take your loaded baked potato from side dish to the main event.
  • Last, but not least, you’ll be in heaven if you smother that baked potato with some homemade queso. Mercy.
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Quick and easy baked potatoes made in the Instant Pot

More tips and tricks when making baked potatoes:

Not everyone has been captivated by the Instant Pot, so I figured I would give you options. Regardless of weather you choose to cook your potatoes in the instant pot, oven, microwave, or grill, I recommend using russet potatoes. The cooking methods I described in this post work for any kind of potatoes (with slight variations to time), however if you want a traditional baked potato, you will want to use a russet potato.

No mater how you choose to make your baked potatoes, you should wash them with a scrub brush and then pierce them with a fork prior to cooking to allow some steam to release. If you use a knife to pierce the potatoes like I did for the potatoes in these photos, your potatoes are likely to split during the cooking process. Do as I say, don’t do as I do (did)!

Pressure Cooker (Instant Pot) Baked Potatoes are far superior to any baked potato cooked in the oven or microwave. In just minutes, you'll have potatoes with a soft, moist creamy center and a dry, thin skin on the outside. You can even give them a rub in olive oil and salt and crisp them up in the oven if you want. natural pressure release 10 minutes

  • 3 pound bag russet potatoes scrubbed clean
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil optional
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt optional
  1. Pierce potatoes several times each with a fork. 
  2. Set trivet or rack into the pressure cooker. Add water. Place potatoes on top of rack. Seal lid.
  3. Set to high pressure and cook for 12-20 minutes depending on the size of your potato. I had small to medium sized organic russet potatoes from Trader Joe's and set my time to 12 minutes, but if they are medium to large size increase the time to 20 minutes.
  4. Once done cooking, allow to naturally release pressure for an additional 10 minutes. Then quick release the remaining pressure and carefully remove.
  5. They are ready to serve as is, however if you'd like you can rub the olive oil and salt on the skins and roast on the rack of a preheated 400 degree F oven to take the skin from thin and dry to crispy and delicious.
  6. To serve, cut an oval in the top. Scoop out the potato, mash up with some butter, and add it back in. Top with sour cream, crispy bacon, green onions, chives, steamed broccoli, cheese sauce – whatever you're craving!

Instant Pot Baked Potatoes Calories 149 Calories from Fat 9 Total Carbohydrates 30g 10% * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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