The idea of buying accessories for your Instant Pot might seem a little silly at first, especially if you initially purchased this cult-y pressure cooker to cut down on the number of gadgets in your kitchen and finally upgrade on grandma’s slow cooker from the 1980s. But stocking up on Instant Pot accessories is necessary if you want to go beyond braising and reach the next level of Instant Pot cooking: the realm of steaming vegetables, making homemade Greek yogurt, and even baking cheesecake. To find the best Instant Pot accessories — and help you avoid the ones that’ll sit around taking up space in your drawers — I spoke with three Instant Pot obsessives about the gadgets they reach for the most while using this much-loved multifunctional pressure cooker.
“It’s true that you can use your regular oven mitts, and it might work,” says Daniel Shumski, author of How to Instant Pot: Mastering All the Functions of the One Pot That Will Change the Way You Cook. “But the Instant Pot people sell these mini silicone mitts that are super handy for getting the [inner] pot out of the Instant Pot, because there’s sort of a ridge there that you’re having to reach under. So if your gloves are too thick or too big, you’re not going to catch it quite right.” These smaller silicone ones are the perfect size to get in there without burning your fingers.
“I really like having different colored sealing rings for the Instant Pot lid,” explains Coco Morante, blogger at Lefty Spoon and author of The Essential Instant Pot Cookbook: Fresh and Foolproof Recipes for Your Electric Pressure Cooker. “Since odors can tend to cling to the sealing rings, I use different colors for sweet and savory recipes. That way, you don’t end up with, say, a ras el hanout-scented cheesecake.”
For those who like using the slow cooking function on their Instant Pot as much as the pressure cooking one, Shumski recommends getting a glass lid: “I think it’s natural to want to see what’s happening inside while it’s cooking.”
“In many Instant Pot recipes, flavor is built up by first using the sauté function to brown ingredients before pressure cooking,” explains Laurel Randolph, author of The Instant Pot® Electric Pressure Cooker Cookbook: Easy Recipes for Fast & Healthy Meals. “This often involves a bit of scraping to get the brown bits off the bottom of the pot, and it’s all made much easier with a flat-ended wooden spatula,” which you can use to scrape up some of the good, browned bits without scratching the inner pot.
For making the most of the Instant Pot’s steamer function, Shumski recommends this product from OXO. “It’s silicone, so it’s pliable, which means that it can fit inside the Instant Pot, no problem,” he says. “If it’s a little bit too big, it’ll just bend. It’s not rigid. I find that super handy for cooking and steaming vegetables.” The handles at the top also make it super easy to take the basket out of the Instant Pot once your veggies are steamed.
Instant Pot also offers its own three-piece silicone steamer set, which comes with a silicone steamer basket and a broiler pan, as well as a rack with attached handles, so you can pull the whole contraption out of the Instant Pot safely.
Or, if you’re trying to use less plastic in your kitchen, there’s also this all-metal steamer basket. Just be extra-careful when you are taking it out of the kitchen appliance, since the handle and the basket itself will be hot.
“One of my favorite Instant Pot accessories is kind of a random one: the metal steam racks that are designed specifically to hold eggs upright during cooking,” says Morante. “They ensure that you end up with perfectly centered yolks every time you cook hard-boiled (well, steamed) eggs in the Instant Pot.”
OXO makes a silicone egg rack, if you’re looking for something that will take up a little less storage space than the metal one.
“The Instant Pot can be used to create some surprising things, like cheesecake and bread pudding,” says Randolph — for things like that, you’ll need a springform pan to nestle inside the pot. She recommends getting a seven-inch pan, “to leave room for the exterior clasp.”
Instant Pot also makes a silicone springform cake pan, specifically designed to fit within their inner pots.
“Thanks to the yogurt function, you can easily turn ordinary milk into homemade yogurt,” notes Randolph. But “to turn that yogurt into thick and creamy Greek yogurt, you’ll need to strain off some of the whey. Cheesecloth will do, or if you’re really into yogurt, a straining bag is a good investment.”
You can also make single-servings of yogurt in these Instant Pot-approved yogurt cups.
“If you get really into the Instant Pot, you can buy a second inner pot,” suggests Shumski. That way, he explains, “You can store leftovers from one night’s meal in one inner pot, for example, and then cook the following night’s meal in the second pot that you bust out.”
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