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The Instant Pot® Hack You Haven’t Heard of Yet

Created October 16, 2019
Butternut squash, beets, eggs, sweet potatoes on a cutting board
What do beets, sweet potatoes, eggs and butternut squash all have in common? We’ll tell you, but first—pull out your Instant Pot®!
Tough skin that’s a hassle to peel. That’s what beets, sweet potatoes, eggs and butternut squash all have in common. Luckily, the Betty Crocker Test Kitchens have uncovered a simple hack that takes the burden out of peeling and prepping. All you need is your Instant Pot®, 1 cup of water and a few pressure-filled minutes to turn these tough-skinned-but-delicious-foods so tender their skins slip right off! Say goodbye to the irritation of losing half your egg in the peeling process and skip the precut butternut squash. Whether you’re meal prepping, getting ready for the holidays or just preparing weeknight dinner, life’s about to get a whole lot easier with this Instant Pot® hack you might not have heard of but definitely need!

Don’t Forget the Water!

Pouring 1 Cup of Water into the Instant Pot®

Before following any of the steps below make sure you always add 1 cup of water to your Instant Pot® to ensure foolproof cooking every time. This pressure cooker needs moisture in order to build up pressure and create a steamy environment for whatever you’re cooking. If you don’t add enough water, the Instant Pot® won’t work and we don’t want that.

Sweet Potatoes

As soon as the air turns crisp, sweet potatoes are on the menu. These orange fleshy root vegetables grows in abundance during later October and early December, which makes them the perfect addition to any fall meal, and of course, a key component in many a holiday side dish. But who has time for fussy peeling at the holidays, we certainly don’t, so we turned to the Betty Crocker Test Kitchens for an easy solution.

How to Cook and Peel Sweet Potatoes with the Instant Pot®

  1. To 6-quart Instant Pot® insert, add 1 cup water. Place rack in insert.
  2. Poke potatoes all over with paring knife; place on rack.
  3. Secure lid; set pressure valve to SEALING. Select MANUAL; cook on high pressure 15 minutes.
  4. Select CANCEL. Set pressure valve to VENTING to quick-release pressure. Place potatoes on cutting board. Remove rack and drain off cooking liquid.
  5. When cool enough to handle, peel potatoes.

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That’s it! You’ll never want to peel sweet potatoes any other way, and with this hack you won’t have to. The best thing about this technique is that it really brings out the natural sweetness of the potato making these spuds taste great on their own, but if you want to see what else your pressure can do (which is a lot!) try out our new recipe for Instant Pot® Sweet Potato Casserole. It’s the classic dish you know and love—velvety potatoes infused with vanilla and cinnamon and topped with gooey marshmallows—just make a little bit easier!

Beets

This vibrant, earthy vegetable has met its match. Never again will it stain everything it touches—from countertops to your fingertips. Never again will those expensive pre-peeled, packaged beets tempt you. In the Instant Pot®, you’ve got a neat, money-saving solution for peeling these delicious-but-messy veggies.

How to Cook and Peel Beets with the Instant Pot®

  1. To 6-quart Instant Pot® insert, add 1 cup water. Place rack in insert.
  2. Cut stems off of beets; place stem side down on rack. You can leave the wispy ends on.
  3. Secure lid; set pressure valve to SEALING. Select MANUAL; cook on high pressure 20 minutes. If beets are very large cook on high pressure for 30 minutes.
  4. Select CANCEL. Set pressure valve to VENTING to quick-release pressure. Place beets on cutting board. Remove rack and drain off cooking liquid.
  5. When cool enough to handle, peel beets.

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To avoid any staining after you’ve removed the beets from the Instant Pot, peel them on a black or dark-colored cutting board wearing food-safe latex gloves. Or, just hold them over the Instant Pot® while you slip their skins off.

Free of their skins, your beets are ready to be tossed in a salad with arugula, goat cheese, walnuts and a tangy lemon vinaigrette—like this one. Turned into a hearty Borscht or made into a Spicy Beet Dip.

Butternut Squash

Thick skinned and tedious to cut, butternut squash gets a bad reputation when it comes to prep, but with the minimum of effort—just two cuts, plus a quick scrape to remove the seeds—you can have tender cooked squash in no time. Without the fear of losing a finger to a prep accident, we predict you’ll be enjoying this quintessential fall gourd more than ever before!

How to Peel and Cook Butternut Squash?

  1. To 6-quart Instant Pot® insert, add 1 cup water. Place rack in insert.
  2. Cut squash in quarters; remove seeds. Place squash on top of rack.
  3. Secure lid; set pressure valve to SEALING. Select MANUAL; cook on high pressure 16 minutes.
  4. Select CANCEL. Set pressure valve to VENTING to quick-release pressure. Place squash on cutting board. Remove rack and drain off cooking liquid.
  5. When cool enough to handle, using spoon or hand, scrape squash from peel.

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This autumn, bring a new dish to the table with our Instant Pot® Creamy Butternut Squash. Ultra-smooth and packed with tons of savory herby flavor, this dish is the perfect addition to weeknight dinners or even to your Thanksgiving menu.

Eggs

Never lose half your hard-boiled to the peeling process again. With this easy method, you can cook your eggs to perfection and get them out of their shells without any extra aggravation. Take your eyes off the eggs—because with this method you’ll never have to stare at them simmering on the stove top again. Just place 12 eggs in your pressure cooker with 1 cup of water. Set it for 5 minutes and voila!

How to Cook Hardboiled Eggs in the Instant Pot®

  1. In 6-quart Instant Pot® insert, place water. Place rack in insert.
  2. Carefully place 12 eggs on top of rack.
  3. Secure lid; set pressure valve to SEALING. Select MANUAL; cook on high pressure 5 minutes.
  4. Select CANCEL. Set pressure valve to VENTING to quick-release pressure.
  5. Once all the steam is released, remove the lid and transfer cooked eggs to an ice bath. This will help your eggs cool so they will peel easily.

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With a dozen eggs at the ready, you can add a protein punch to salads, sandwiches or just make one into a quick snack or breakfast. But our favorite thing to do with a big batch of hard-boiled eggs is to make a party-sized platter of deviled eggs. If you want to do the same, we’re bound to have a recipe that’s right for you—find it here, Deviled Eggs for Every Party.

So now that you know about this super slick hack, there’s no need to fear a knife slip while cutting your butternut squash or a tedious peeling session next time you make hard-boiled eggs. Let the Instant Pot® do the work and that’s just as true at the dinner hour—see for yourself with these Kitchen-Tested Recipes You Need for Your Instant Pot®!



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