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If you recently found yourself with bright red beets at the farmers market or in your CSA farm share, one of the best and easiest ways to cook them up for yourself and the family is with a pressure cooker.
It won’t be long and the summer sun will be bringing some rather high temps – if not in your area of the country, it will happen here in Arizona. While beets can cook up quite easily on the stove or in the oven, it’s always nice to have an option that doesn’t necessarily heat up the house at the same time.
The Instant Pot is just one of many pressure cooker options that are available – while we have had ours since 2015, we also have a stovetop pressure cooker that has a permanent spot in our pantry too.
The Instant Pot has been a lifesaver in more ways than one this last few years – if anything, it has given me the opportunity to cook delicious food quickly without heating up the house. As a family of 7, it has saved us hundreds if not thousands of dollars when we hit a snag and feel like eating out is our only option – this pot swoops in to save the day.
Eating out with 5 kids is not a cheap venture ~ but thankfully there are so many incredible recipes out there that can be transformed to work well in the Instant Pot that going out for food is a thing of the past.
Beets are wonderful cooked up in the pressure cooker – the Instant Pot uses minimal energy and allows the food to retain the nutrients and flavor more than if you were to cook on the stove top or in the oven. However… beets can range greatly in size.
Some are small, and others can be quite large – so no “one” time works for every person.
We have cooked both small and large beets up in the Instant Pot – small beets have taken as little as six minutes, while the larger beets can take as much as 24 minutes. My best advice to you is to cook your beets based on their average size:
- Small beets (2″ in diameter): 6 – 8 minutes
- Medium beets (3″ in diameter): 8-10 minutes
- Large beets (4-5″ in diameter): 12-18 minutes
If your beets are absolutely ginormous (7 inches in circumference or larger), then I would aim for 20-24 minutes. Once cooked, the skins will peel off as you rinse them under cool water, allowing you to slice or quarter them for refrigeration.
These beets that we cooked above were medium size — and cooked up for us in just 7 minutes. They pierced easily with a fork but yet weren’t too soft.
Don’t forget that beets can definitely leave stains in all of the obvious places – though I have found that the stains only linger the longer they sit. So keep the cool water running, and make sure you rinse, rinse, rinse as you go. For stains that you simply cannot remove, lemon juice and baking soda work incredibly well.
What to do with the greens?
Keep the greens – don’t toss! They are wonderful when added to a stir fry! Beet greens taste a lot like swiss chard – simply saute them up with some garlic and olive oil for a fabulous side dish for any meal.