When I first started cooking with my Instant Pot, there were no accessories; you just had to wing it! I raided thrift stores for old pans and rigged up all kinds of contraptions from wads of foil that worked okay if you didn’t breathe on them the wrong way.
That wasn’t even ten years ago, but since then a multitude of accessories designed just for Instant Pots have popped up. Which ones are worth bothering with? I tried out a dozen, and here’s what I liked best.
(And, before you go on an ordering spree, always check to see if the accessory is compatible with your model. There things are not always universal.)
Hadrigo Steamer Basket
Accommodating everything from broccoli to tamales to beets, here’s the One Steamer to Rule them All. For years, I’ve used a totally old-school collapsible metal steamer just like my mom had, only I got mine at the Goodwill. It’s worked fine but was hard to fish out of the pot.
But now I’m a convert to this Hadrigo steamer.
It’s huge, maximizing the area of the cooker so you can steam around ten eggs without having to pile them on top of each other. It’s got a handle for easy lifting and it’s way easier to store than some floppy silicone thing.
Instant Pot Mini Mitts
Reaching into the Instant Pot puts your hands right in the way of scalding-hot steam, putting potholders in danger of getting wet. And while a pair of tongs can get jars, pans, steamers, or even halved acorn squash out of the pot, it’s all too easy for them to lose their grip.
Enter these mini mitts!
They’re substantial enough to protect your hands from the ample steam a pressure cooker produces, but not so thick they’re ungainly (a complaint I’ve had with many other silicone mitts). I often lift hot inserts or steamer baskets out of my cooker, and these made it by far less nerve wracking.
7″ Springform Pan
For years, I steamed cakes and custards in an 8” aluminum cake pan that barely fit inside my Instant Pot. No longer!
I love the 7” springform pan because it’s much more user-friendly. It’s petite but not mini and gives you cute cakes a smaller household can polish off before they go all stale.
Desserts in the IP are a revelation! Try a recipe from our site, or, if you’re really bonkers over sweets, check out Laurel Randolph’s Instant Pot Desserts (the flourless chocolate cake is divine) for plenty of chances to get the most out of this pan.
Instant Pot Silicone Egg Bites Pan
This is a single-use item, true, but it does the best job of making egg bites.
This mold holds seven egg bites and comes with a lid so you don’t have to grapple with foil to keep condensation from dripping on the cooking bites.
But I’d say only get this is if you adore egg bites. If you really, really love them, get two so you can steam a double recipe. (Psst, we’ve got an egg bite recipe here!) I tried to brainstorm another use these—sweet little custards? tiny Boston brown bread?—but didn’t come up with anything. If you have one of these and use it for other recipes, we’d love to know.
Instant Pot Glass Lid
Oh man, of all the fun new toys, this one was my favorite. A lid?! What’s so great about a glass lid?
This lid will only be handy if you often use your Instant Pot without pressure cooking (you can’t pressure cook without the bulky lid the unit comes with).
The two main pressure-less instances are making yogurt and using the slow cooker function. The glass lid gives you much quicker access (no locking and unlocking), plus there’s way less condensation dripping down off the glass lid.
I was using the lid from one of my other pots as a faux glass lid, but it didn’t fit nearly as well, so this specialized one is worth it.
Sometimes I refrigerate food right in the Instant Pot insert. This happens most with yogurt (it’s best to chill it overnight before straining) and giant batches of soup or stew I don’t want to deal with.
Having a lid that’s just the right size to snap on sure does save a lot of plastic wrap.
And hey, if you’re refrigerating soup or stew, make sure to let it cool down all the way first so it does not go sour. You can set the hot insert in a large pot or sink full of ice water to speed up the process.
Sealing Rings, Red and Blue
Extra gaskets—or, as they call them here, sealing rigs—are a huge plus. I recommend them to anyone who uses an Instant Pot once a week or more. Have you ever made chili and then had that chili smell lurk in the gasket for ages? And you want to make cheesecake and not have it tinged with chili? There are hacks that supposedly get rid of the lingering odor, but I’ve tried them, and none of them work.
Having two gaskets on hand (one for chili/curry/etc., one for delicate foods like custards and cakes) is the best solution. They’re color-coded so you can remember: use red for chili/curry/etc., blue for delicates.
Plus, if you store your IP correctly (with the gasket removed to encourage airflow and discourage mildew) and use it a lot, the gaskets can stretch out and the pot won’t come to pressure. This way, you always have an extra on deck.
If, like me, you bang out yogurt and the aforementioned giant batches of soup or stew, you’re often ready to fire up your IP … only to find your insert is already occupied. Gah!
The solution? An extra insert. Be sure to order one that’s compatible with your model; the 6-quart insert I ordered for my older Duo did not fit in it, thought it did fit in my 6-quart Ultra.
Did we miss any of your favorite Instant Pot accessories? We’d love to hear. Please tell us all about it in the comments!