If you have recently received an InstantPot, or if you have had one of these pressure cookers for a while but are just looking for something new to make with it, you may want some help from a few accessories.
Accessories are made by a wide variety of manufacturers, and it can be difficult to tell which ones are high quality. While the ones made from the Instant Pot company are guaranteed to work, they are certainly not the cheapest options out there. Be sure to look for sales and specials, especially over the months leading up to Christmas.
There are several reports that stores such as Targer and Walmart have over-ordered these types of kitchen and home goods, and they’re looking to deeply discount their stock in order to move it out of their stores. In fact, it does seem as if this is a category where prices are actually falling. That means that if you look carefully, you might get a great deal on these accessories.
Of course, also be sure to carefully consider what you will actually use. Steam baskets are one of the most popular accessories, but if you know your family won’t eat steamed vegetables, there’s no point in investing in one. Similarly, some people absolutely love their cake pans, while other people see no reason why they would need to shave twenty minutes off the back time for a cheesecake.
These kitchen ware pieces are sometimes made by the InstantPot company, while others are sold by third parties. Some of them aren’t even designed for the InstantPot, but plenty of people have been using them for years and have discovered that they work great. Try out these options and see if any of them give you some new cooking ideas.
1. Silicone Lids
Use these lids to cover the inner liner of your Instant Pot. These are not meant to be used while cooking! Rather, use these lids to cover your liner and store the food without having to dirty another plastic bowl or storage dish. Make sure to get the lid that matches the size of your inner liner (different pots have different sizes).
This lid is meant to be used when the InstantPot is being used as a hot pot or a slow cooker. It cannot be used with the pressure cooking settings, but it is nice to have when using the pot to steam or on the slow cooker setting.
In a perfect world we would all wash out the inner pot as soon as we were done eating. We would never leave it sitting in the dishwasher for a day or two while we umm . . . waited to get a full load. If you don’t stay quite so on top of the dishes at your house, getting an extra inner pot or two might not be a bad idea.
4. Inner Pot With Handles
Only the bigger versions of the Instant Pot are able to accommodate this accessory, but it is nice to have if you use the machine a lot. The handles mean that you can set the pot directly on your table without having to worry about everyone burning themselves when they pass the dish.
You may also use it to try recipes that you start on the stove and then finish in the pot. Again, make sure that you order the right size pot for your machine.
5. Ceramic Coated Inner Pot
If you have meals that burn or stick to the bottom or sides of your regular metal pot, then it may be time to invest in a ceramic coated pot. They can be hard to find, however, so if you see one be sure to buy it.
6. Steamer Basket
This is a great accessory if you love to steam vegetables, or if you just love to make dumplings or other steamed foods. The steamer basket is designed to fit on top of your inner liner, so you’ll be able to cook your main course in the base of the pot and use the steam from the meal to cook your vegetables in the top.
Most models are made of plastic, so do not use them without the inner pot. If you just want to use the steamer basket on it’s own, you’ll need to fill the inner pot with water to create the steam anyway.
The steamer basket is probably the most popular Instant Pot accessory. There are tons of recipes that can make a whole meal by using both the base of the inner pot and the steamer basket. In fact, this method of making dinner is so convenient that it’s what put Instant Pot on the map as one of America’s favorite new cooking accessories.
Because cooking the main course and vegetable sides together is so convenient, you’ll also hear from a lot of people who use this method of cooking to help them eat healthier. For some people this meant losing weight, others use it to make sure that they’re getting the right amount of vegetables in their diet.
Again, make sure that you buy the right size for your machine.
7. Steam Rack with Handles
Your Instant Pot likely came with a steam rack (the round metal circle that fits into the bottom of your inner pot). When you cook food with it, however, you’ll likely have to use tongs to remove large pieces of chicken or pot roast. By buying a rack with handles, however, you’re able to lift everything out all at once. This also means that your food won’t sit in the grease and juices that were cooked out and accumulated at the bottom of the pot.
8. Silicone Steamer Set
This is essentially just a package of both the steamer rack with handles and the steamer basket. It’s a good way to save money if you want both items. Be sure to look for other package deals on accessories as you shop but be careful. It’s not uncommon for less popular or useful accessories to be packaged together and sold as a set. Often, this means that you’re buying stuff you don’t want or won’t really use.
9. Circular Bake Pan
This is the accessory most often shown at product demonstrations (after the steam basket, of course). With it, you’ll be able to make a cheesecake in a matter of minutes, instead of waiting the usual 45 minutes for it to bake. If that is something you want to try, then go ahead and invest in one of these pans.
There are a number of people who have claimed that they are able to use their already existing bakeware to make desserts in their InstantPot, so buying something new might not be totally necessary. You may also want to really think about how often you’ll use the Instant Pot to make a dessert. Unlike dinner, dessert isn’t usually quite as time-sensitive, and it just might not be worth the money to get this pan.
10. Rectangular Bake Pan
Just as with the Circular bake pan, this can be a neat accessory, but you really want to think about how often you’ll actually use it. You might find yourself rarely using it, or you might discover that you already have something that you can use instead.
The main issue with the rectangular bake pan is that is makes a very small version of whatever you place in it. Think a half a loaf of a quick bread, or a very small cake. This might work well if you live on your own, but it probably won’t work so well if you have a larger family.
11. Quick Cool Tray
If you just can’t wait the extra minute or two for your food to cool before you eat it, then this might be for you. Otherwise, go ahead and save some money by skipping this one.
12. Oven Mitts
These are tiny silicone mitts that are designed to just protect the tips of your fingers. They’re cute, but there’s really no reason to invest in these if you already own an oven mitt.
13. Yogurt Cups
As soon as you hear about making your own yogurt in the Instant Pot, you’ll probably want to try it. Keep in mind that there is nothing stopping you from making it in your regular inner pot, and in fact, you’ll probably want to use this method as you try out different recipes.
Once you find out if you really love making your own yogurt, however, then you can decide to invest in these cups. They’re essentially little more than smaller versions of the inner pot, but they are convenient if you eat yogurt frequently.
Homemade and Other Off-Brand Accessories
There are a number of different options available when it comes to Instant Pot accessories, and the vast majority of them don’t come from the Instant Pot Company. Try some of these ideas.
1. Silicone Molds and bakewear
Silicone has had mixed results for people, so use these items at your own risk. Because the contents cook under high pressure, these molds tend to deform unless they are being used in a way that allows them to fit snuggly together.
To be honest, these are rarely worth the trouble. You will get out of shape baked goods.
2. Off-brand racks and steamer baskets
These tend to be a great deal for anyone who wants to save some money. The vast majority work just as well as the ones made by the Instant Pot Company. Just make sure you pay attention to sizing; some of them will be too big or too small to fit snuggly in your inner pot.
3. Tin Foil
There are a number of different “hacks” online that use aluminum foil to keep layers of food separated while cooking.
4. Foil balls
This hack involves making balls of tinfoil instead of using a rack. It can work, but not nearly as well as the rack. The food tends to slip off the balls, and in a lot of cases you just have a mess.
The method does work better if you can use the balls to hold a plate or other rack level. In fact, a lot of people do this to give their rack extra height. This can be useful if you are cooking something with a lot of juices, or if you want to cook a meal with multiple layers.
By the way, there are a few suggestions online to use this method to elevate an inner pot that wasn’t designed for your Instant Pot, or to use this method to get a different type of inner pot to “fit”. Do not do this. This will actually mess with the pressurization process, and it can be very dangerous.
Be sure to keep all of your accessories on the inside of your Instant Pot.