Clean potatoes and remove any sprouts growing on their skin. Pierce each potato 5-6 times with a fork.
Place trivet in the inner pot of Instant Pot. Add 1 cup water in the Instant Pot (2 cups in 8 qt) and salt, if using. Place potatoes on top of the trivet. Close the lid, vent set to sealing position. Set pressure cook or manual for 6 minutes at HIGH pressure. (Check notes below for different time settings for different size potatoes).
Once cooking time is up, release pressure carefully by turning the knob to 'venting' position in Duo model, or pushing down on in Ultra model. If not in a rush, you can wait 5-10 minutes.
Open the lid when the pin drops. Remove potatoes to prevent overcooking, and set aside to cool.
Time Settings Based on Type and Size of Potato:
Baby Potatoes (Red/Gold/Purple): Baby potatoes that are around 1 inch long will take about 5 mins with Quick Release (QR) or Natural Pressure Release (NPR).
Yukon Gold or Red Potatoes (Medium Size): I consider medium potatoes to be about 2-2.5 inches long, which will take 6 minutes with QR or NPR. If your potatoes are really thick, then another 1 minute to the cooking time.
Russet (Large): For large potatoes, around 4-5.5 inches long, pressure cook for 10 mins with QR or NPR. If the potatoes are extra large and really thick, then cook them for 12 minutes.
Note: These times result in a cooked through potato that will hold shape if sauteing, etc. For mashed potato consistency, add 2 minutes.Recipe Tips for Instant Pot Boiled Potatoes:
Make sure to pierce each medium/large potato 5-6 times with a fork before cooking. This helps the potatoes release steam while cooking. Since baby potatoes cook in a shorter amount of time, this step is not necessary.
Because potatoes come in all different shapes and sizes, it is hard to test for doneness. For accuracy, you can use an instant-read thermometer. Simply insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the potato. The temperature should register around 208 degrees F.
If they are much over that temperature, the insides will still be fluffy, but you may see more cracks on the skin.
If they are under, simply place them back in the Instant Pot for another 1-2 minutes to finish cooking.
The Instant Pot cooks using steam, so the skin will be moist, not crisp. If you prefer a crisp skin, transfer the Instant Pot potatoes to a baking sheet and place under the broiler for 2-3 minutes.