Instant Pot with Beans Rice and Fresh Vegetables

The Best Accessories, Tips, Secrets of Instant Pot Rockstars!

Everyone, it seems, is talking about Instant Pot—the revolutionary electric pressure cooker that for all the hype, promises to turn anyone from an occasional home cook into an overnight culinary rockstar.

Whether you’re on board with your own IP, still considering, or are just now learning about such a thing as an Instant Pot, discovering the world of Instant Pot is not only enlightening, it’s fun!

 

Instant Pot with Beans Rice and Fresh Vegetables

 

The latest model (10-in-1, which means it does just about everything short of vacuuming the living room) is an egg-cooker, sauté pan, slow cooker, rice cooker, cake maker, yogurt maker, sterilizer, pressure cooker, food warmer, and steamer. Whew! Overkill? Perhaps, and in the interest of full disclosure, I have not upgraded to the latest model, and see no reason to do that at this time.

So, you bought an Instant Pot! You’re no fool. You know a miracle when you see it. You could not wait another day to get on board the Instant Pot train.

Someone on Facebook may have even promised you the best Broccoli and Beef this side of Shanghai, from scratch, start-to-finish in just 15 minutes in your Instant Pot!

And the glowing reviews of IP Barbecue Short Ribs and Cheesecake (cheesecake?!) all from scratch in a matter of minutes at the hands of even a complete kitchen klutz seemed to be some kind of gift from the food universe.

You pulled your new IP from the box, managed to figure out the sealing vent, and stumbled through the very first step (boiling water). And wondered, now what? You weren’t exactly ready to dive into Broccoli and Beef quite yet, but you were hoping for something more than mastering the perfect boiled egg.

I hear you, oh boy, do I!

 

Getting Started

Those first few weeks I used my IP for nothing more than a fast slow cooker. I did venture into the miracle of perfect hard-cooked eggs Instant Pot Style.

But I didn’t make super progress until I armed myself with a few strategic accessories, took a class, joined a Facebook Instant Pot group, learned to make a foil sling and got hooked on watching Instant Pot videos.

 

Instant Pot6-quart instant pot 7-in-1 duo

You have a number of choices. Pictured above is my 6-Qt Instant Pot. As you decide the model best for you, my advice is to select the size first:

It’s crazy how IP prices vary almost day-by-day. Generally, if you can get an Instant Pot in the size and features you desire for under $100, you’ve found a great deal.

 

Removable Bottom Cake Pan

This is my favorite accessory because of one thing: Cheesecake! It’s not easy to find a 6-inch springform or removable bottom pan that will not leak cheesecake batter (a big problem when making cheesecake in an Instant Pot.)

This is the perfect pan to make cheesecake in either the 3-, 6- or 8-quart Instant Pot. It will not leak.

 

 

Stackable Steamer Insert Pans

Two-tier stackable stainless steel insert pans allow you to cook a variety of foods simultaneously in your Instant Pot. Excellent choice for steaming vegetables, rice, meat, and fish.

Also this set can double as dessert pan or lasagna pans. These are perfect for cooking Pot-in-Pot meals. Reheat your food without losing its original flavor. Also useful for storing food

 

 

Non-Stick Inner Pot

Every Instant Pot comes with one stainless steel inner pot. However, it’s often very handy to have an additional non-stick inner pot.

For example, you can use one for cooking and the other for storing leftovers with the glass or silicone lid in the fridge. I use my non-stick inner pot every morning for steel-cut oats and other things that tend to stick.

It’s just plain handy to have extra inner pots for my Instant Pots.

 

Sealing Rings

Your Instant Pot came with a silicone sealing ring. Here’s the deal with silicone. It absorbs odors that can remain even after washing well—even in the dishwasher. It’s not a health hazard or problem other than the odor of your last creation (onion, garlic, etc.) can affect the cheesecake or another dessert-type item.

Here’s the secret to clearing that odor. Bake ring silicone ring in a 250F degree oven for 1 hour. (A higher temp could damage the ring, so please no higher than 250F, which is a safe temp for this process. For up to an hour.) Once the ring cools, it will be odor-free!

Another idea is to have two distinctly different silicone rings—one for savory items, the other for desserts. Problem solved!

 

 

Glass Lid

An Instant Pot comes with a pressure cooking lid into which the silicone sealing ring is inserted. It’s a heavy, safe lid for the Instant Pot. However, the machine also works as a slow cooker, warmer and a variety of other features*.

This glass lid really makes slow cooking and other non-pressure cooking features so much easier and efficient. You can see what’s going on in there! And you can so easily lift the lid as needed. This is a game-changer. You need a glass lid

*Note: This works with the Slow Cook function on all Instant Pot models purchased after Jan. 2014.

 

 

Silicone Lid

This silicone lid fits your 6-quart Instant Pot’s Inner Pot. It’s a great way to store leftovers right in the inner pot without dirtying another container, especially if you don’t have a glass lid. Made of silicone, this lid will fit your inner pot tightly, perfect for storing in the refrigerator.

Steamer Basket

A great steamer basket I use frequently! Fits perfectly in the 6- and 8-quart Instant Pot.

 

 

 

12-Piece Accessory Bundle

Take a look at this bundled set of accessories, all of which fit the 6-quart and 8-quart Instant Pot.

 

Includes steamer basket, egg rack springform pan, egg bites mold, magnetic cheat sheets, oven mitts, food tong, and a recipe book. This is a nice accessory collection and would make a great gift for a new Instant Pot user.

 


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9 replies
  1. Bonnie says:

    Have you tried the air fryer attachment for the IP? I’m trying to decide if it’s worth it. All the rave about air fryers is intriguing but I really don’t want another appliance to find a storage spot for it unless it’s absolutely worth it. Any suggestions/ideas?

    Reply
  2. Candy Willis says:

    Miss Mary; I have one of the very first IP’s on the market, I don’t have all the fancy accessories that everyone is talking about. However, I really do love the IP I have. It is a life saver, though I’ve had it for several + years I still have some difficulties using it as the instructions aren’t very explicit. I’ve learned by trial and error. I like the stainless steel pot because I can wash it in my dishwasher. Thank you for showing all the different accessories I can purchase from Amazon.

    Reply
  3. Sherill Roberts says:

    I love my Instant Pot! I use the steamer basket for making bone broth. I put all the bones into the basket, fill the pot with water, salt and herbs, and cook it for 6 hours. When it’s done and cooled off a bit, I just lift the basket out and throw away the bones. No picking through the broth to fish them out. That’s especially nice when it’s chicken bones, with all their little pieces. After that, I freeze the broth in ice cube trays, pop them out and keep them in a bag in the freezer. Whenever I need a little broth, I just drop a cube in the pan.

    Reply
  4. Sharon says:

    I think it’s very sad that there aren’t additional accessories for the 3 quart IP. I’m a widow and cook only for myself and would love to try more IP recipes,but can’t due to lack of specific accessories. Mary, you have so many readers that I hope you and others push for these! I read your column daily and have found much useful information there.

    Reply
  5. Kim Rubin says:

    I have two of the 8 qt IPs. I debated between the smaller sizes since there are only the two of us now. But, in the end I decided to get the 8 qt size with my first one, and also when I purchased a new version. My reasoning was you can always cook smaller recipes in the larger pot, but you can’t cook larger recipes in the smaller pots. When I want to cook, say, a pot roast, I always want to cook a large enough one for leftovers. Adding the carrots and potatoes at the end of the cooking time takes more space, and you just can’t fit all that in a small pot. There have been zero times over the 5 years since I bought my first pot, that I would have wanted the smaller IP. I usually do my pork shoulders on my smoker, but in the winter time I really don’t want to be outside cooking in the cold and rain, so use my IP. I always make a large roast so I can shred and freeze the meat in small dinner-sized packets for later meals. Soups, stews, chili, spaghetti sauce, and similar are also great to freeze for later, so a small version would never work for me. Freezing leftovers in vacuum seal bags means I always have a nice meal ready to go from the freezer when I don’t feel like cooking. The IP is a great invention and I love mine!

    Reply
  6. Maria says:

    Hi Mary,
    I’m so glad you’re a pro when it comes to your Instant Pot! I loved the thing when I first got it a couple of years back but it’s now hit ‘n miss when it comes to the pressure cooker feature. When I use the pressure cooker feature, the little valve (next to the steamer button) doesn’t go up like it should in order to retain the pressure. I’ve replaced the little silicone cap that goes inside of the lid, next to the big plastic cap as someone online recommended. So now, sometimes it goes up on its on and works correctly and other times it doesn’t. I’m not sure whether I just need to replace my IP or try changing other parts. Any ideas, Mary?
    Thanks for all your clever ideas & help throughout the years!
    love,
    Maria

    Reply
    • Mary Hunt says:

      It can take 20 minutes or longer for the IP to come to full pressure, which is what pushes that valve completely closed. I have a feeling you’re not giving it enough time. Don’t hover. Set it and walk away. Also make sure the rubber seal is seated fully and correctly.

      Reply
    • Kim Rubin says:

      I agree with Mary about the time needed to allow your IP to come up to pressure. If that doesn’t work, have you replaced the sealing ring? Those need to be replaced from time to time as they do wear out, but make sure to get the IP one as the after-market ones aren’t made by the same company and may not work properly. If your seal is compromised, your IP won’t come to pressure. If that’s not the case, do you clean it as the instructions say after each use? If you don’t take the parts off and clean those, it also may not work properly. If that’s not the case, and replacing the valve didn’t work, it may be time for a new one. Luckily, they’re not very expensive on Amazon, and if you watch for them to go on sale, you can snag one even cheaper.

      Reply

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