This post is sponsored by The Little Potato Company. All opinions and text are my own.
Learning the Instant Pot
I am continuing on my journey in learning how to navigate my Instant Pot electric pressure cooker. It has been a bit of a learning curve. I have avoided learning how to use it because it seemed like it would be another fad appliance. And I have so many dadgum small appliances. So. Many. And I have a small kitchen with not much storage space. I had thought this would be like a sous vide machine or a bread maker. It would be one of those things I pulled out once every 6 months. However, after lots of emails and messages on social media from you fine folks, I have been really trying to make friends with the electric pressure cooker. And so I made these delicious Instant Pot Garlic Mashed Potatoes!
What to do when you see ‘Burn’
So far I have learned the following: the Instant Pot brand electric pressure cooker has a “Burn” notice that pops up if you don’t have enough liquid in the pressure cooker and the pot is sensing that whatever is in it is burning and it cannot come up to pressure. This is a safety feature. When this happens, you have to switch the valve to “venting” and release any steam in the pot. You’ll hear a lot of folks refer to this as a “Quick Release”. Then, unlock and remove the lid. Using a wooden spatula, you’ll need to scrape the bottom of the pot. Then you have to add a bit more liquid and try it all over again until you have enough liquid to make the pot happy. I learned that lesson the hard way when making my Cubed Steak and Gravy recipe for the first time in an Instant Pot.
Not all pressure cookers are the same
Just to add to all the fun here – there are lots of other brands coming out with their own versions of the electric pressure cooker and they all seem to run a bit differently. It’s my understanding that the Crock Pot brand has come out with an electric pressure cooker and it has a nonstick insert which I think would be very helpful. The one frustration I have with my particular Instant Pot brand pressure cooker is that you often have to make sure you spray the insert with nonstick cooking spray or butter so that foods like Little Potatoes don’t stick and burn while cooking. A nonstick insert would solve that issue.
It takes time to come up to pressure
Also, I have learned that although you see “cook” times of 10, 20 or 30 minutes. That is just the cooking time itself. That time does not take into account the time it takes for the pot to come up to pressure. And sometimes, it can take the pot 10 minutes or more to come up to full pressure (depending on what you are cooking). So you really have to figure that into your overall cook time. So, overall, the best advice I can give regarding electric pressure cookers is to just start using it. Try cooking a few things so you can get more familiar and comfortable with using it. Especially if you have a different brand of pressure cooker. It is impossible for me to test every single recipe I have with every single brand of pressure cooker on the market.
Get to know your pressure cooker
Get to know YOUR brand of pressure cooker and learn if it requires more or less cooking time than an Instant Pot brand pressure cooker. A survey recently showed most consumers currently own the Instant Pot brand pressure cooker so that is the one I am using for testing. I’ve made a quite few mistakes but it wasn’t a total waste. I was always able to salvage the food in it even though I messed up the cooking times. It is definitely trial and error.
Instant Pot Garlic Mashed Potatoes
So for this recipe, I got familiar with the “steam” setting on the Instant Pot. What I really liked about cooking the Little Potatoes this way is they become infused with the flavor of whatever they are cooked in. So I used chicken broth instead of water. The Little Potatoes really soaked up that flavor because their skins are thin and it took these mashed potatoes to a whole other level! The bonus in using these Little Potatoes is they are already pre-washed. So I don’t have any peeling or dicing to deal with. Just pop them into the Instant Pot straight outta the bag!
1 (32 oz) carton chicken broth
3 lbs Boomer Gold Little Potatoes
1 stick (1/2 cup) salted butter
1/2 block (4 oz) cream cheese
1/2 cup milk
3 tsp minced garlic
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tbsp dried chives (optional)
Pour all of the chicken broth into the bottom of a 6-quart Instant Pot (electric pressure cooker).
Add in Little Potatoes. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
Cook on the steam setting for 12 minutes. Then carefully turn the valve to “Venting” for quick release of the steam. Using oven mitts, remove the insert and drain broth.
Place potatoes back into the pot. Add in the butter, cream cheese, milk and garlic. Season generously with salt and pepper. Using a potato masher, mash the potatoes and combine all the ingredients.
If you need to thin out the potatoes a bit more to your liking, just add in a little milk at a time and stir.
Then dig in!
Instant Pot Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- 1 (32 oz) carton chicken broth
- 3 lbs Boomer Gold Little Potatoes
- 1 stick salted butter
- 1/2 block (4 oz) cream cheese
- 1/2 cup milk
- 3 tsp minced garlic
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 tbsp dried chives, optional
- Pour all of the chicken broth into the bottom of a 6-quart Instant Pot (electric pressure cooker).
- Add in Little Potatoes. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Cook on the steam setting for 12 minutes. Carefully turn the valve to "Venting" and quickly release the steam. Using oven mitts, remove the insert and drain the broth.
- Place potatoes back into the pot. Add in the butter, cream cheese, milk and garlic. Season generously with salt and pepper. Using a potato masher, mash the potatoes and combine all the ingredients.
- If you need to thin out the potatoes a bit more to your liking, just add in a little milk at a time and stir.
- Then dig in!