The Instant Pot pressure cooker is phenomenally versatile and has been a massive hit with home and commercial cooks alike. And of course, the aftermarket offering of accessories to make your Instant Pot (IP) even more versatile seems limitless. But what instant pot accessories do I need? This is a question I had when I purchased my IP and one which I get from many owners of this must-have kitchen addition.
In reality, the IP is ready to go, straight out of the box, you don’t ‘need’ any additional instant pot accessories to get started, pressure cooking, slow cooking, sauteing, making yogurt, etc. But, if you want the ‘world to be your oyster’, there are plenty of great additions to your instant pot that can be bought cheaply, and add great functionality.
So here is a list of the instant pot accessories I could no longer do without, ones I use every week at least. Of course, this is a personal opinion, your needs may differ.
But firstly, to avoid buying stuff you don’t need, let’s quickly refresh our memories (assuming we already have an instant pot, of what is included in the box.
Table Of Contents
What accessories does the Instant Pot come with?
To be frank, the IP comes with very few accessories, which is certainly not a deal-breaker when it comes to buying one, but if you expect the box to be overflowing with every add-on imaginable, you’re going to be disappointed. Included in the box above and beyond the cooker itself are:
- Trivet/steaming rack
- Measuring cup
- Condensation cup
- Paddle spoon
That’s your lot. You could cook wonderful meals forever and a day with nothing else, but if you’re like me, extra gadgets are always tempting. There are no instant pot accessories that are just impossible to do without, but there are a few that you realize would make your life easier. I discovered these at the moment I needed them, which wasn’t helpful. I hope that this article will give you some food for thought, and you may be able to get them BEFORE you actually need them. If I succeed, my life’s work will be done!
Anyway, these are my faves…
5 Instant Pot accessories you definitely need?
- Trivet Rack – Well, as mentioned, the instant pot comes with a trivet rack straight off the bat, so that is not essential. There are other racks that perform different tasks, such as a steamer rack for hard boiling eggs, trivets with better handles, some with insulation so you don’t burn your fingers, silicone trivets, etc. There are a ton of them on Amazon, ranging from $8 upwards.
- Stackable Steamer Insert Pans – These were a gamechanger for me. I love cooking vegetables in my instant pot (it took me a while to work out the optimum cook time so I didn’t end up eating mush), but strangely, my wife doesn’t like the veggies all thrown into the same pot and mixed up. Grounds for divorce? I get it, she likes a meal to be served up looking pretty. Before I got a steamer pan, I was throwing my veg into a bowl and setting it on the trivet. Not the best idea. But no more. My favorite steamer is this stackable one, easy to use, comes with 2 pans, an interlocking handle, and a silicon insulation mat. What is cool is that the bottom pan contents cook slightly faster than the top, so you can put your more robust vegetables in the bottom pan, with broccoli and other more delicate ones in the top.
- Silicone Egg Bites Mold – I love these. It’s like a silicone fairy cake mold (I guess you could use one of those if you have it), and it allows you to either cook eggs directly cracked into the mold, or you can make up some sort of omelet mix, with vegetables if you like, and pour them into the mold. Pressure cook as per instructions, or use the steam function, which also works well for me. You can also make muffins in it, or any other cake that takes your fancy. Here’s a link if you want to take a look.
- Instant Pot Cheat Sheet – You get a handful of fridge magnets with the instant pot, but these quick reference cheat sheets are epic, and also magnetic. I use them a lot, they typically cover cook times and liquid ratios, which I always struggle to remember.
- Plate and pan gripper – I found this a must-have item to use with my instant pot, but it also works well with anything else that is hot but does not have a handle. Essentially, it’s a clamp that will safely and securely grab the stainless steel edge of your instant pot bowl and save you burning yourself, or fumbling with a towel or oven gloves trying to get a grip on the edge. I like them. Sure, one could manage without, but I use mine a few times a week, so it’s money well spent in my view (and not a lot of money at that).
Related Instant Pot Accessory Questions
How about complete Instant Pot accessory kits?
If you don’t want to buy individual items, there is now a range of kits that will provide you with most of the items I have listed, and more besides. This is a 23 piece accessory kit that has steamers, pan dividers, egg trivet, silicon insulation mat, egg steamer, and a whole load more. Sometimes with these kits, everything is kind of average, but it’s horses for courses. All this stuff will likely work fine.
Do I need a rack for my Instant Pot?
This question gets asked a lot. I think I have covered it above. The IP does come with a trivet, although there are better replacement ones that can be bought on their own, or as part of a kit. For normal cooking of say, stews, and casseroles, no rack is required. But many of the recipes require the item (vegetables, a chicken, etc) to be held off the bottom of the pan and a cup or two of water to allow for the pressure to be built up. So, if you want to cook eggs or anything where the sauce isn’t acting as the liquid for pressure to be built, then yes, a trivet rack is essential. Worse case, a metal pan lid placed in the bottom of the IP may suffice in the short term.
Do you need a special springform pan for an Instant Pot?
Lots of people like to use the IP for cooking cakes and other tasty morsels, and although a springform pan is not essential, they certainly make like a LOT easier (speaking from experience). Most springform pans will be fine for use with a pressure cooker, but it’s worth checking that the one you have, or intend to purchase, is capable of withstanding temperatures up to 445 deg F. Some pans have tempered glass bottoms, but are usually fine. Make sure the pan will fit though. For a 6 quart IP, a 6-7 inch diameter springform pan will do just fine. Take a look at this one to get an idea.
To wrap things up. I love my instant pot, it is used most days for all sorts of foods. Accessories or lack of them can often be overcome with a little ingenious thinking and artistic license, but for the relatively low cost of the accessories, especially in kit form, it just always seems like a good plan to make your life easier. I certainly wouldn’t be without the accessories I listed above. Will I buy more? Probably, but I have a terrible habit of putting things somewhere safe and never seeing them again. So it is with kitchen gadgets. When you are limited for space, less is often more. But if you decide to become, or already are an Instant Pot aficionado, then I suspect you’ll be snapping up a few accessories. Good for you!