Let’s be honest: Peeling beets is . . . annoying. No matter how great your technique, they make a mess of your cutting board, hands, and whatever you’re using to peel them.
Plus, they’re slippery when skinned, risking even more mess (and possibly danger).
What if you didn’t have to peel them at all?
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Skipping the annoying peeling step is just one of the reasons why we love cooking beets in an Instant Pot. When we were developing recipes for the Mediterranean Instant Pot cookbook, we made several surprising discoveries.
1. The Instant Pot Drastically Cuts Down on Cooking Time
Compared to traditionally roasted beets, which typically take about take an hour to cook, cooking beets in an Instant Pot is a major time-saver.
In our Pressure-Cooker Beet and Watercress Salad with Orange and Dill, test cook Joe Gitter found that two pounds of scrubbed beets cut into ¾-inch pieces fully cook in just 8 minutes. It makes a lovely lunch or can be turned into a filling meal with the addition of Easy-Peel Hard-Cooked Eggs and a few slices of hearty bread.
Sure, you could cook beets in the microwave, as we do in our Lemony Salmon and Roasted Beet Salad, which takes 4 minutes. But you still have to peel them first. In the Instant Pot, there's hardly any prep involved.
2. Under Pressure, the Beet Skin Practically Melts into the Beet
Test cook Nicole Konstantinakos already liked leaving the nutrient-rich skins on beets when she roasted them in the oven, but she knew that their tougher texture might be polarizing for some people.
So when she was developing the recipe for Instant Pot Cod with Warm Beet and Arugula Salad, she decided to leave the skins on at first, just to see what it might be like. "I was delighted to discover that not only did they become tender, they became so tender they were barely discernible after cooking," she says. "It's a win-win; less work, more nutrients.”