The Instant Pot, a multi-cooker that has become a staple in kitchens around the world, is a game changer for those who love to cook. It’s versatile, efficient and can make meal preparation faster and easier. However, to truly maximize its capabilities, it’s important to equip yourself with the right accessories. This comprehensive guide will take you through the essential Instant Pot accessories, their uses, and how they can enhance your pressure cooking experience.
1. Steamer Basket
A steamer basket is one of the most essential accessories for any Instant Pot owner. It’s an incredibly versatile tool that allows you to steam a variety of foods from vegetables and fish to chicken and eggs. The design of the basket keeps your food elevated, ensuring it steams evenly instead of boiling in the cooking liquid.
When choosing a steamer basket, look for one that fits snugly in your Instant Pot and is made from food-grade stainless steel. This ensures not only durability but also safety for your food. Additionally, consider a model with a handle or silicone-covered feet to prevent scratching the inner pot of your Instant Pot.
2. Springform Pan
For those who love to bake, a springform pan is a must-have accessory for your Instant Pot. This pan is typically used for cheesecakes but is also great for other dishes like lasagna, meatloaf, and deep-dish pizza. The sides of the pan are removable, making it easy to release your food without damaging it.
Ensure the springform pan you choose is the right size for your Instant Pot model. Also, consider a non-stick version for easier removal and cleaning.
3. Silicone Egg Bites Mold
Silicone egg bites molds are a fantastic accessory for creating bite-sized treats in your Instant Pot. Inspired by the popular Starbucks Sous Vide Egg Bites, these molds are perfect for making everything from egg bites and mini muffins to baby food and even ice cubes.
Look for a mold made of food-grade silicone that’s flexible, non-stick, and dishwasher safe. Most importantly, ensure it’s heat-resistant and safe to use in your Instant Pot.
4. Glass Lid
While your Instant Pot comes with a pressure-sealed lid, having a glass lid is beneficial for when you’re using non-pressure functions like slow cooking or sautéing. The transparent lid allows you to monitor your food without lifting the lid, keeping the heat and moisture locked in. Some versions even come with vent holes to release excess steam.
5. Silicone Mitts
Safety should always be a priority in the kitchen, especially when handling hot items like an Instant Pot. Standard oven mitts can be bulky and may not provide the grip you need when handling the inner pot. Silicone mitts, on the other hand, are heat-resistant, flexible, and offer a secure grip, making them ideal for safely handling your Instant Pot and its accessories.
6. Extra Sealing Rings
The sealing ring is a critical component of the Instant Pot as it ensures a tight seal necessary for pressure cooking. Over time, these rings can wear out or absorb odors from the foods you cook. Having a few extra sealing rings on hand allows you to replace them as needed, ensuring your Instant Pot always functions optimally. Consider getting color-coded rings to prevent cross-contamination between sweet and savory dishes.
7. Trivet with Handles
Although your Instant Pot likely came with a basic trivet, upgrading to one with handles can significantly enhance your cooking experience. A trivet with handles allows you to easily lower and lift food in and out of the pot, reducing the risk of burns. This feature is especially useful when cooking larger dishes like whole chicken or roasts.
8. Stackable Insert Pans
Stackable insert pans are a great accessory if you want to cook multiple dishes simultaneously in your Instant Pot. These pans allow for easy separation of different types of food while cooking, saving you time. For example, you could cook rice in one pan and chicken in another, all within the same pot. Look for insert pans that are made of stainless steel for durability and easy cleaning.
9. Yogurt Cups
If you plan on utilizing the yogurt function on your Instant Pot, investing in some yogurt cups can be quite handy. These cups are perfect for individual servings and can be sealed and stored directly in the refrigerator. They’re reusable and dishwasher safe, making them an eco-friendly choice.
10. Silicone Lid Cover
Leftovers are a common part of cooking, and a silicone lid cover can make storage much easier. This accessory provides an airtight seal for the Instant Pot‘s inner pot, keeping your food fresh and preventing spills in the refrigerator. It’s an eco-friendly alternative to plastic wrap and is dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.
These Instant Pot accessories can greatly enhance your pressure cooking experience. Each accessory offers unique advantages that can help you get the most out of your Instant Pot, enabling you to create a wider range of dishes with less effort. Remember, the key is to choose high-quality accessories that are designed to work with your specific Instant Pot model. With the right tools, the culinary possibilities are endless. Happy pressure cooking!