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How to Cook Beets in a Pressure Cooker

Did you find bright magenta-red beets at the Farmer’s Market or in your CSA farm share box this week? Are summertime temperatures climbing in your corner of Earth? You are thinking beets would be perfect on your menu but you don’t want to dial up the oven or watch a pot on the stove for an hour? The solution? Bring out the pressure cooker. This post explains how to cook beets in a pressure cooker–in 20 minutes!

Red beets and greens for how to cook beets in a pressure cooker

Pressure cookers are the pots that spare the cook. Not only do they conserve time and energy by requiring minimal liquid, pressure-cooked ingredients retain more nutrients and the flavor is more concentrated.

Click here to PIN How to Cook Beets in a Pressure Cooker.

OK. I own 3 pressure cookers–my newest is an Instant Pot. I can’t find a reason to part with my treasured stovetop pressure cookers though. My Kuhn-Rikon 7 quart pressure cooker is still a serious kitchen workhorse. And what if I want to pressure cook a 2nd something while the Instant Pot is in action? Like artichokes for appetizers and kale risotto for the main course? While pressure cooking cooking garbanzo beans, beets could be in another pressure cooker speed-cooking for a salad.

My friend Barbara at Pressure Cooking Today convinced me that I needed the Instant Pot electric pressure cooker. Good advice. Still, I’m not giving up the other two though, because they’re both high quality Italian- and Swiss-made stainless steel pressure cookers. One I’ve owned since I was about 10 years old so it’s a sentimental thing.

Beets in Instant Pot for How to Cook Beets in a Pressure cooker

How to cook beets in a pressure cooker–straightforward directions :

  • Choose 3 or 4 medium to large beets. (5 to 8 ounces each)
  • Scrub the beets well but do not peel. Trim off any root “hair”. Place a steamer basket in the pressure cooker and add water, a little more than a cup. Arrange the beets on the rack.
  • Lock the lid in place. In the Instant Pot, press Manual and adjust the timer for 15 minutes. With a stovetop cooker, bring to pressure over high heat, lower the heat just enough to maintain high pressure. Cook the beets 12 to 15 minutes. **The larger the beets, the more cooking time.
  • If you have a few extra minutes, allow the pressure to come down naturally. The Instant Pot will shut off at the designated time and the pressure will come down naturally if you don’t do anything.
  • To quick release the Instant Pot, turn the tab to Vent. To quick release stovetop pressure cookers, remove from the heat and place the pressure cooker in the sink, letting cold water run over the edge. (Check your owner’s manual for more precise directions—various models operate differently.)
  • Beets should be tender all the way through when pierced with a metal carving fork. When they are cool enough to handle, slip off the skins and slice as you wish.

Golden Beets for how to cook beets in a pressure cooker


Stovetop Pressure cookers for How to Cook Beets in a Pressure CookerMy second favorite thing to cook in a pressure cooker is beans, though risotto runs a close third. Spicy Chard and Pinto Bean Risotto in the Instant Pot? Yeeessss!

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4 from 1 vote
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How to cook beets in a pressure cooker (Instant Pot)
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
25 mins
 

The fastest way ever to cook beets--pressure cook them!

Course: Component
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Servings: 3 beets
Author: Letty | Letty's Kitchen
Ingredients
  • 3 beets
Instructions
  1. Scrub the beets well but do not peel. Trim off any large root “hairs”. Place a steamer basket in the pressure cooker and add a little more than a cup of water. Arrange the beets on the rack.

  2. Lock the lid in place and bring to pressure over high heat. In the Instant Pot, press Manual and adjust the timer for 15 minutes. With a stovetop cooker, once the pot comes to pressure, lower the heat just enough to maintain high pressure for 15 minutes.

  3. If you have a few extra minutes, allow the pressure to come down naturally. The Instant Pot will do that all on its own because you set the time. With stovetop pressure cookers, remove from the heat to let the pressure come down naturally.   

  4. To quick-release the Instant Pot, turn the top tab to Vent. To quick-release stovetop pressure cookers, place the pressure cooker in the sink and let cold water run over the edge. (Check your owner’s manual for more precise directions—various models operate differently.)

  5. Beets should be tender all the way through when pierced with a metal carving fork. When they are cool enough to handle, slip off the skins and slice as you wish.
Recipe Notes

The larger the beets, the more cooking time. Once I had 10 ounce beets and they needed 20 minutes!

17 comments

  • I’ve just got a pressure cooker so am finding my way. This post was very useful. Reply · 30 September, 2014

    • Letty

      Thanks Sue. I love my pressure cooker. For more pressure cooker recipes, search my recipe pulldown. Click on the “other” category for another drop down with pressure cooker recipes. Have fun! Reply · 30 September, 2014

  • Abi

    I live at altitude in Northern Peru so this was great advice as everything takes so long to cook here! Reply · 14 October, 2014

    • Letty

      Thanks Abi.
      I bet I use my pressure 3 times a week. Always for soups. I am at 7,000 feet above sea level. I don’t know what that is in meters. Reply · 14 October, 2014

  • Letty,
    Thanks for this recipe! I’ve added it to the Farm Fresh Feasts Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient, a resource for folks who love to eat from the farm share.
    I appreciate it! Reply · 18 June, 2015

    • Letty

      Appreciate you back Kirsten! Reply · 18 June, 2015

  • ….just an additional tip when using the steamer basket and/or round metal trivet–a little bit of vinegar added to the water will save the pressure cooker from discoloration. Maybe not all models do, but mine does discolour when I have metal inside it. Reply · 16 August, 2015

    • Letty

      Thanks Lance. Is your pressure cooker made of stainless steel? I haven’t had that problem, and mine is stainless steel–Mom’s was aluminum. Reply · 16 August, 2015

  • Mary

    Love beets cooked in the pressure cooker! Do you have any recipes on how to cook the greens too? Reply · 8 November, 2015

    • Beet greens cook so quickly that we need to be cautious not to over-cook. Don’t even bring to pressure–just lock the lid in place and cook about 3 minutes. Reduce any pressure that built by running under cold water.
      For Collards and Kale, the sturdier greens, bring to pressure and cook 1-2 minutes, depending on the green’s relative tenderness. Reduce pressure immediately. Reply · 9 November, 2015

  • marnie

    Can I cook 8 beets instead of 4?
    AND….
    Do I need twice the amount of:
    Water and
    twice the amount of time? Reply · 4 August, 2017

    • Hi Marnie,
      Yes, you can cook 8 beets. You can use the same amount of water and the same cooking time–no need to double those.
      Letty Reply · 4 August, 2017

  • Pegg

    Only over a cup of water, instead of a whole pot full, and 20 minutes instead of bringing all that water to a boil love my insta- pot Reply · 22 September, 2017

  • Me too! Just got mine and I did 65 lbs of beets on my mothers stove top for 5-6 hrs!!! Now just bought another 20 lb bag of beets and I’m gonna try it in my instant pot Thai weekend! Tonight oatmeal for the morning! Haha Reply · 22 September, 2017

    • Can’t wait to hear your success story–20# beets. Did you cook them in several batches–say 10 beets each round? Reply · 23 September, 2017

  • My P.C. is the type with a gauge.
    How many lb. pressure should I use?
    Should I use only 1/2 C. water?
    After the air has escaped, I will attach the gauge when I know how much pressure to use. Thank You. Reply · 18 October, 2017

    • Hi Mary Anne,
      You want about 11 pounds pressure. I would use closer to 1 cup of water–the water level should almost to the level of the steamer basket or trivet that holds the beets.
      A note about your pressure gauge–make sure it is correctly calibrated. Especially if you use pressure cooker for canning. Call your county or state agricultural extension agency for help checking pressure gauges. Reply · 19 October, 2017

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