It is quick and easy to pressure cook pumpkin with an electric pressure cooker or a stovetop pressure cooker. Pumpkin that has been pressure cooked is soft and creamy and ready to be made into pumpkin puree for many pumpkin recipes.
If you want to make pumpkin puree, the first step is to learn how to pressure cook pumpkin. There are many reasons to cook your own pumpkin, rather than getting pumpkin puree from a can. Nothing tastes better than fresh pumpkin, you made yourself.
There are a variety of ways to cook pumpkin. Some people roast pumpkin or bake pumpkin, but I prefer the ease of using a pressure cooker. It takes less time and it results in smooth creamy pumpkin puree.
How to Pressure Cook Pumpkin in an Electric Pressure Cooker
If I am going to puree pumpkin, my preferred method to cooking a pumpkin is to use an electric pressure cooker. I use the Instant Pot to do the job. Its quick, easy and hands-free.
After your pumpkin is scrubbed, cut, and the seeds are removed, you are ready to pull out the pressure cooker. Save yourself a headache and use a steamer rack trivet, preferably one that has handles. Otherwise, the pumpkin will be a big hot mess to get out. And that is not just an expression. The pumpkin will be steamy (it can burn you) and will fall apart when you try to pull it out with a serving spoon or spatula.
- Add ½ to 1 cup of water to the bottom of the pan. Place the pumpkin on the trivet. Lower the trivet into the pan.
- Place the lid securely on the pressure cooker and select “High Pressure”. Turn the pressure cooker on and process for 10-15 minutes, depending on the size of your pumpkin.
- Press start and walk away. Your Instant Pot will do the rest of the work. It takes approximately 10 minutes for the pressure cooker to come to pressure. When it has reached full pressure the minutes will begin to count down.
- When it has finished cooking, let it the pressure come down naturally for very smooth flesh. However, if you are in a hurry, you can release the pressure manually.
How to Cook Pumpkin with a Stove Top Pressure Cooker
A stove top pressure cooker cooks the pumpkin a few minutes quicker than the electric pressure cooker. The downside is that you will have to stick around to wait for the pan to pressurize and then adjust the heat accordingly. Then you must remove the pan from the heat when it is finished. Not a big deal. But it does require your attention.
My favorite stove top pressure cooker is made by Kuhn Rikon. The pressure valve has two red rings to indicate the pressure level. The pan should pressurize so that the pressure gauge is on the second red ring. The second ring should show before counting down the cooking time.
- Use a trivet on the bottom of the pan.
- Place the pumpkin in the pan on the trivet, skin side down.
- Put the lid on the pressure cooker and begin cooking on stove top on medium high heat.
- When the pressure gauge hits the second red ring, reduce the heat to medium low and cook for 8 to 12 minutes. The exact time depends on the quantity and size of pumpkin in the pan.
- After the pumpkin has finished cooking, remove the pan from the heat and allow the pressure to release naturally. If you are pureeing the pumpkin, overcooking won’t be detrimental.
- If you are in a hurry, you can manually release the pressure.
- Open the lid away from you to protect yourself from the hot steam that will release when you open the lid.
Using the Pressure Cooked Pumpkin
After pressure cooking the pumpkin with either type of pressure cooker, you are ready to use the creamy pumpkin meat.
- Allow the pumpkin to cool for 10 to 15 minutes. The pumpkin should be cool enough to handle.
- Use a spoon and scrape the pumpkin flesh from the skin. When the pumpkin is still warm, the cooked flesh should come off the skin easily.
- Make pumpkin puree or use the cooked pumpkin in any pumpkin recipe. Try Pumpkin Soup with fresh puree.
There are many ways to cook pumpkin, but cooking it with a pressure cooker is the quickest and easiest way to get creamy pumpkin flesh. Try a pressure cooker today and see if it becomes your new favorite way to cook pumpkin.