Everyone, it seems, is talking about Instant Pot—the revolutionary electric pressure cooker that for all the hype, promises to turn anyone into an overnight culinary rockstar. Well, bring it on!
That’s what you thought, right? And why not? Instant Pot cooks healthy food fast. And take a look at that instrument panel!
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!
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’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.
You pulled your new IP out of 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. Boy, do I!
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, joined a Facebook Instant Pot group, learned to make a foil sling and got hooked on watching Instant Pot videos.
You have a number of choices. My advice is to select the size first: 3-quart Instant Pot is perfect if you regularly cook for two; 6-quart is the most popular size because it is quite versatile if you have the right accessories, and 8-quart for a large family of say, six and larger.
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 around $100, you’ve found a great deal.
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.
New York Cheesecake Recipe. This is the best cheesecake recipe ever for Instant Pot. There is not a better cheesecake recipe in the world.
Pro Tip: This cake pan is anodized aluminum, the same material that Kitchenaid accessories are made of (the dough hook, balloon whisk, paddle, etc.)
Never put anodized aluminum pans and accessories—including this pan—in the dishwasher! They will turn black and that residue (it is harmless) will rub off on your hands, counter and kitchen linens in the kitchen. Wash anodized aluminum by hand, please. It’s small and so cute. You want it to stay that way.
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.
Every Instant Pot comes with one stainless steel inner pot. However, it’s often very handy to have an extra Instant Pot 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.
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.
Of course, you can clear that odor by baking that silicone ring at 250F for 20 minutes, but that is time-consuming and failure to keep the temp no higher than 250 F opens the door to accidentally damaging or even destroying that silicone ring!
Better idea: Have two distinctly different silicone rings—one for savory items, the other for desserts. Problem solved! Caution: Make sure you purchase Instant Pot sealing rings, not a third-party copycat. The silicone sealing ring is the secret to proper pressure cooking—a powerful seal—so you don’t want to take any shortcuts.
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.
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.
A great steamer basket I use frequently! Fits perfectly in the 6- and 8-quart Instant Pot. The feet keep the veggies and other food out of the liquid for optimal steaming results. Great value, too. For me, this basket doubles as a colander and a fruit bowl, too.
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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