When I first got my Instant Pot, I wasn’t fully convinced it was going to be useful. But I gave it a shot and was blown away by all the different things I could cook and how easy it was. Just a little prep work and then all I have to do is wait less than an hour for my food to be done? Consider me converted.
Pressure cooking can absolutely transform how you prepare food at home, making it easier to eat healthy and skip the takeout. Even if you're no Rachel Ray or Gordon Ramsay in the kitchen, you'll feel like an all-star chef without any of the blood, sweat, or tears of slaving over a hot stove.
If you don’t already have a pressure cooker, I recommend checking out Instant Pot (The DUO60 7-in-1 is $99.95 on Amazon]. These electric models are accurate and easy to use, especially with all the various preset functions for things like yogurt, beans, slow cooking, and sauteing, and there are a number of different models with different features
Stock up on the right tools for any recipe
Once you start using your Instant Pot, you’ll quickly realize (or perhaps you already have) that you can cook virtually anything your heart desires. And with the right accessories on hand, your pressure cooking world will open up even more. There are a lot of different accessories and tools you can use with your pressure cooker, some of which will be in your regular rotation while others are really only good for a handful of things.
Most Instant Pots include a handful of accessories when you buy, so you likely already have a steamer rack, a rice paddle, a small ladle, and a measuring cup. While these are useful, they’re not all you’ll need to get the most out of your pressure cooker. We rounded up every last useful accessory you could ever want (all links provided will work with any 6-quart IP and some may work with multiple sizes).
1. MUST HAVE: A second inner pot
Having a second inner pot ready to go can be a huge help. If you’re cooking multiple dishes in the Instant Pot, you don’t have to relocate the first one to a second container and scrub the pot clean to start your next meal, which only adds extra steps between you and your feast.
2. MUST HAVE: Backup sealing rings
The silicone sealing ring on the lid of your Instant Pot is what allows it to come to pressure and speed-cook your food. But, this is a porous material that can and will absorb some of the smell and flavor of whatever you’re cooking. If you want to make a dessert after whipping up a batch of pulled pork, you might wind up with a meaty flavor in your cake. Not ideal.
This 2-pack is great to have on hand because the different colors make it easy to tell which one you need for any given recipe. For instance, you can use clear for savory, red for sweet, and blue for non-food items.
3. MUST HAVE: A tempered glass lid
Need to simmer your soup or sweat some veggies before pressure cooking them? This lid is a must. You can use the regular lid for this, but it’s heavy and cumbersome. The glass lid is much easier to use, especially after dinner is served and you want to keep things warm when you inevitably double back for a second helping.
4. A silicone lid for storing leftovers
If you tend to always have leftovers, you’ll be so glad to have this on hand. It fits snugly over the inner pot, so you can just toss the whole thing in the fridge. No need to get more containers dirty (this is another great reason to have a second inner pot on hand too). The tempered glass lid works great for this as well, but this will give you a flat surface that you can stack other items on.
5. A large steamer basket
The Instant Pot comes with a steamer rack, which is great for a lot of recipes. But if you want to steam anything small, like chopped veggies, you’ll want a basket. There are a number of options to choose from, but the mesh basket is probably the most versatile, with high walls that give you lots of flexibility.
6. Stackable steamer baskets
Want to steam or reheat multiple things at once? These stackable baskets are just the ticket. You can keep everything separate and get more done at once. You can stack two in your Instant Pot. Just place them on top of the steamer rack, add a little water, and get cooking!
7. A ceramic nonstick inner pot
If you enjoy preparing foods that tend to leave stubborn messes behind, this might be helpful to have on hand. Whether you're cooking rice or slow-cooking pulled pork in a sticky glaze or mixing up a cheesy casserole, you'll be extra grateful for a nonstick pot when it comes time to clean up.
8. A springform pan
Did you know you can make cheesecake in your Instant Pot? Yeah. Cheesecake. But you'll need a good pan to make it in, and this nonstick 6-inch springform pan is perfect for the job. It's small enough that you can easily remove it from the inner pot, and the spring release makes it easy to flawlessly remove whatever you're cooking. You can even use it to make fun dinners like Mexican lasagna (think layers of corn tortillas, spicy meat, refried beans, and cheese).
9. A bundt pan for desserts
In addition to cheesecake, your Instant Pot makes it easy to whip up all sorts of desserts. A bundt pan gives you even more fun options to create standout dishes that will be almost too pretty to eat.
10. A silicone loaf pan
One more way to bake in your pressure cooker, this loaf pan lets you make tasty treats like monkey bread or banana bread or even a small portion of lasagna. The silicone material is easy to work with and the springform design makes removing your food a breeze. Plus, it's dishwasher safe for easy cleanup.
11. Yogurt cups
One of the unusual, but awesome, things you can do with an Instant Pot is make your own yogurt from scratch. It's pretty easy to make it at home the traditional way, but Instant Pots make it a no-brainer. Not only do you get to hand-pick the ingredients to suit your tastes (and cut back on additives), but with these cups, everything is already portioned out so you can just grab one and enjoy.
12. Mason jars
If you’d rather invest in something more universal and arguably easier on the eyes, a set of small mason jars should do the trick. These are small enough to create single servings of whatever you’re making, and you can stack them to cook more at once.
13. A steamer rack made for eggs
Hard boiling eggs should be a simple thing to do, but getting it just right can feel near impossible. If you cook them in an Instant Pot, it's a lot harder to get it wrong. With one of these trays, which hold up to seven eggs at a time, you can enjoy perfectly cooked eggs in minutes.
14. Egg bite molds
If you’ve ever had sous vide egg bites, like those offered at Starbucks, you know how delightfully fluffy and decadent they are. But if you don't already own a sous vide immersion circulator, you can still enjoy these treats right from your Instant Pot thanks to this handy silicone accessory. It's also microwave, oven, freezer, and dishwasher safe so you can make all sorts of things!
15. A pair of extra grippy silicone pot holders
Sure, you could use any pot holders you already have, but these bad boys are designed especially to grab on to the inner pot. Plus, when you inevitably get them dirty, you can just toss them right into the dishwasher.
16. A beer can chicken holder
Want to cook a whole chicken in your Instant Pot? Use this guy so all the grease runs right off while your bird stays moist and succulent. There's room to pop a can of beer, root beer, Dr. Pepper, or whatever else you want in the middle, and four skewers around the edge let you pop a few veggies in there too! Plus, it works on the grill, so you can have even more fun with it in the summer.
Prices are accurate at the time of publication, but may change over time.