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Instant Pot Accessories: What You Need and How To Use Them

You have an Instant Pot, but what about all those accessories? See our comprehensive list to find out what you really need (and how to use them).

It wasn’t long after purchasing my Instant Pot that I became interested in accessories. Yes, that’s right. Your Instant Pot can have accessories.

If you’re around the Instant Pot Facebook group much, you’ll see people raving about their accessories. There are certainly a lot of specialty items and doo-dads you can purchase to make cooking in your Instant Pot even more exciting.

People ask me all the time – which accessories should I get?? But here’s where I struggle. At heart, I’m a kitchen minimalist. I don’t want to just buy stuff to have stuff. So I’m going to present these accessories in order of ranking: Absolutely Necessary (because there are some that simply are!), Really Helpful To Have, and Fun If You Have The Extra Money.

The great news? You may already have some of these incredibly helpful accessories lurking in your kitchen drawers!

You definitely don’t need everything on this list, but you may find that some of these ideas may inspire your cooking.

Need just the quick list? Scroll down to the bottom.

By the way, the links on this site are Amazon affiliate links. Your price doesn’t change in any way, but by using these links you help keep the great free content coming — and you help support our farm! 

ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY ACCESSORIES

Extra Sealing Ring

61qqvvahukl-_sl1500_If you buy only one thing from my recommendation list, you must must MUST get this. Please. Go get an extra silicone sealing ring right now. This rubbery ring is required to help the Instant Pot function. However, it will retain the odor of the food that it cooks. Many people solve this problem by using a separate ring for savory dishes (chili, roasted chicken, soup, spaghetti, etc) and sweet dishes (such as my fabulous Apple Raisin Chutney).

Even if you’re okay using the same ring for savory and sweet dishes – chili-flavored cheesecake anyone? – please still get an extra sealing ring. Each time you cook, you should remove the ring to inspect for nicks and cracks. While your stainless steel Instant Pot is incredibly durable, these sealing rings are meant to have a shelf life. And you don’t want to be caught without a sealing ring when the dinner time rush hits!

BUYER BEWARE! There are several companies (Impressa, Instant Perrrrrt!, Noosa) trying to sell third-party versions of these sealing rings. While these are cheaper, they do indeed have slight design subtleties than the one made by Instant Pot. (Read more here.) Long story short, Instant Pot has fabulous customer service and assistance, but using a non-Instant Pot silicone sealing ring voids your warranty. Save yourself the headache and make sure the one you get is legit.

Instant Read Meat Thermometer

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Instant Read Meat Thermometers are, honestly, an absolute necessity in every kitchen – and especially so with the Instant Pot. The risk of food poisoning is just not worth it.

Although every recipe comes with recommended cook times, those cooking times can be vary in reliability based on your altitude and/or the size, shape, and weight of meat you’re cooking.

Example: I cook a whole chicken once a week. While I typically aim for a 3.5-4 pound bird, I had a 5.5 pounder in my fridge. It cooked perfectly fine and to temperature. The next week I did a 4 pounder – and it needed extra time because the breast meat didn’t come up to temp. Why the difference? No idea. But I’m sure glad I had an Instant Read Meat Thermometer to keep us safe!

I routinely take the temperature of ground beef (which I cook from frozen!), roasts, whole chicken, and chicken breasts.

Thermometers can run on a wide scale. Personally, we have this high-quality version that was top-rated by America’s Test Kitchen. It has been amazing. But there are also much more affordable meat thermometers like this one. And even reliable ones like this that only cost as much as a pizza.

Stainless Steel Mesh Basket

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This accessory has, hands down, been the most amazing one ever. You simply snap the handles off (they snap off with some wiggling) and it fits BEAUTIFULLY in your pot. I use my mesh basket to hold eggs when I hard boil, to contain chicken bones when I make broth (instant straining – just lift the basket out!!!), and to steam vegetables. It also fits nicely in the dishwasher. You can see mine below.

If you don’t want to have to mess with taking off the handles, you can also consider this model by HIC.  And best yet – you don’t have to worry about taking the handles off! The HIC colander gets great reviews. Just make sure you get the 8″ size!!

Tongs

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This is a no-brainer and hopefully you have a set of tongs in your kitchen. Great for removing meat. I like these Oxo ones because they are sturdy, dishwasher safe, store easily, and actually fit inside your Instant Pot when traveling (check out all my travel tips with the Instant Pot!).

Ladle

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Some Instant Pots come with a plastic ladle (though I always wonder if I will melt it?). I highly recommend this economical ladle. You will certainly need a ladle to scoop out soup, chili, desserts, oatmeal, porridge, and sauces from your pot. Due to the high sides of the Instant Pot, it can be tricky to use a serving spoon easily. If you don’t already have a small ladle, get one.

Plastic Round Containers To Freeze Food

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One of the beauties of the Instant Pot is the ability to assemble freezer meals and cook them directly from frozen (no thawing needed!). Use these half gallon round containers to freeze food so you’re not stuck forcing a rectangular frozen block into a circular Instant Pot. Simply dump out the frozen contents into the IP to cook. But please – don’t actually cook in these containers! If you need more Instant Pot freezer meal ideas, Once A Month Meals has some great resources! You can also check out my full tutorial on how to make Instant Pot Freezer Meals.

Foam Brush

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Pick up  foam brushes to help clean the rim of your Instant Pot housing. You can get these anywhere for cheap.

Meat Chopper

Instant Pot Accessories

Have you tried cooking ground meat in the Instant Pot yet? If not, you should. It’s easy and requires no effort to stand at the stove to brown it.  I use my meat chopper every time I make my meaty spaghetti sauce.

REALLY HELPFUL TO HAVE

Hot Plate Tongs

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These handy hot plate tongs are really great for helping remove hot bowls, steamers, ramekins, and other items that you cook with inside the Instant Pot. These come as a two pack.

Steamer

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Different from the mesh basket, it’s helpful to have a steamer on hand. You can steam veggies and cook fish. However, you can also use them to create a second layer of silicone poaching cups, silicone muffin cups, and ramekins – allowing you to double the amount you would cook otherwise. Oxo makes one or you can get this economical stainless steel version. Or consider this popular silicone one.

Cheesecake Pan / Springform Pan

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Many people love the Instant Pot for its cheesecake making ability. This Fat Daddio cheesecake pan is popular, along with this springform pan.

Tempered 9” Glass Lid

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Want to slow cook and be able to see your food? Like making popcorn? This lid is for you. I also find the lid handy when sautéing. But save yourself some money. You may already have a 9” lid in your kitchen that can work! 

Trivet

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Great for creating a second layer, for cooking meat or sweet potatoes, or for helping you do the Pot-In-Pot method where you stack pots on top of each other. You can go for an airy design or one that is durable but a little smaller. Make sure your trivet is not wider than 8.5 inches!

Silicone Poaching Cups

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Want to make effortless poached eggs? You’ll love these silicone poaching cups.

Ramekins and Canning Jars

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While you can’t pressure can in your Instant Pot, you can make fantastic custards, egg cups, and other delightful desserts and savory treats. You can use ramekins, 4oz jars, and these fun yet hard to find 8oz wide mouth jars. I use canning jars whenever I make my Instant Pot Mug Cakes.

Metal Bowls

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These metal bowls are great for heating up leftovers or any of the Pot-In-Pot cooking techniques.

Glass Bowls

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These glass bowls can also be used for heating up leftovers or any of the Pot-In-Pot cooking techniques. Or for making custards and quiches.

FUN IF YOU HAVE THE EXTRA MONEY

Extra Instant Pot Liner

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Consider grabbing an extra Instant Pot liner if you find yourself switching between dishes or need to store leftovers.

Silicone Mitts

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Silicone mitts are great for grabbing hot things.

Silicone Instant Pot Lid

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This silicone cover is fantastic for storing leftovers.

Mini Loaf Pans

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Want to make dessert breads in your Instant Pot? Curious to try frozen fish? If you really want to push the boundaries of your IP, you’ll want mini loaf pans. You can stack them, too.

Be sure to check out our popular post on Traveling With Your Instant Pot!

How to Travel with the Instant Pot

The Exhaustive List

The items on this page are recommended for use with the 6 qt model. According to Instant Pot’s website, the 5 qt and 6 qt are the same width (the 6 qt is just 2″ taller). The 8 qt is taller and wider.

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Check out all our Instant Pot Recipes!

Don’t miss our popular Instant Pot Tip posts:

How to Unbox the Instant Pot in 10 Easy Steps

How To Make Instant Pot Freezer Meals

How to Travel with the Instant Pot

You have an Instant Pot, but what about all those accessories? See our comprehensive list to find out what you really need (and how to use them).

25 Comments

  1. Thank you so much for all of the great information. I just got my Instant Pot and was totally overwhelmed with what accessories I actually needed.

  2. Do you know what size is best for the springform pans for 8 qt pots?

    • Bethany Wright

      January 11, 2017 at 8:03 am

      It really is your preference, Janette. I know some people like the smaller size ones. You just need to make sure it is less than 9″ wide. 🙂

  3. Bethany, I sent this article to my mom and she bought me some of the accessories for Christmas. Thank you! 🙂

    One of my gifts was the stainless steel mesh basket. I don’t know whether the manufacturer has changed the design slightly, but there is no way the handles are going to snap off. My husband worked on it for a while, trying to weaken the weld so as to take the handles off. I don’t think it will be easy to cut through the stainless steel, either. Am I missing something? The basket will still be handy in the kitchen, but would love to use it in the Instant Pot.

    • Bethany Wright

      January 1, 2017 at 8:29 pm

      Cindy – oh no! I’m so sorry the handles have been difficult for you. I just had a friend text me today that they were able to get the handles off.

      We put ours in a clamp and then wiggled it back and forth until they snapped off.

      Was your husband able to get them off? I still hear lots of reports online of people able to snap them off. Let me know!

  4. Thanks for all the great information.

  5. there are a lot of these suggestions around pinterest, the problem with going out and buying the stuff is will it fit the instant pot I have. I know there are several different quart sizes of instant pot, are they the same diameter adding the extra size to the height? so all these suggestions would work for the size pot I have?

    • Bethany Wright

      December 10, 2016 at 1:06 pm

      Hey, Debbie! That’s a GREAT question. 🙂 I don’t know what size Instant Pot you have, but the 5qt and the 6qt are the same width. The 5qt is just two inches smaller. So these accessories should work great for you! 🙂 You can see more on Instant Pot’s website.

  6. Bethany, did not mean to be ungrateful for your help! I apreciate your list of goodies for us to get! Getting me the quality instant read pen. Again, thanks for your help!

    • Bethany Wright

      December 10, 2016 at 1:09 pm

      It’s all good, Jutta! 🙂 I’m glad I was able to answer your questions on Facebook. 🙂 Glad you found a meat thermometer that you liked. They are such an important tool to have in ANY kitchen!

  7. Do you ever travel w/ stuff already cooked in the IP?

    • Bethany Wright

      December 10, 2016 at 8:33 am

      Thanks for asking, aaalllen! By “travel” do you mean to a friend’s house or somewhere locally? Yes, I have! Just be careful you don’t touch the top of the lid — it can get quite hot. But if you mean “travel” as in somewhere long distance, I prefer to start with my meals frozen or chilled in a cooler and then quickly cook them once I arrive at my destination. 🙂

  8. What are the prices???

    • Bethany Wright

      December 10, 2016 at 8:31 am

      Thanks for asking, Ellen! I didn’t list the prices because Amazon’s prices can fluctuate occasionally. If you click through the links you can see the prices on Amazon’s home page. Some of the items — such as the pyrex or glass canning jars — can even be found at your local grocery store (where prices can also vary). Hope that helps!

  9. Nice list, but you might want to note that some of the items are only for the 6qt pot. The sealing ring, glass lid & silcone cover listed won’t fit the 8qt pots; and the pot liner you listed won’t fit the 5qt or 8qt pots.

    • Bethany Wright

      December 10, 2016 at 8:36 am

      Excellent catch, Sue

    • Right, will that steamer and mesh basket fit in the 5 qt? How about the meat thermometer? 😉

      • Bethany Wright

        December 10, 2016 at 1:05 pm

        According to Instant Pot’s website, the 5qt and 6qt are the same width — the 6qt is just 2″ taller. And funny joke about the meat thermometer. 😉 Use that for AFTER.

        The only difference between these two models is the size. The IP-LUX50/IP-DUO50 has a 5Qt capacity and 900W heating element, and the IP-LUX60/IP-DUO60 has a 6 Qt capacity and 1000W heating element. The exterior size amounts to the IP-LUX60/IP-DUO60 being about 2cm (3/4 in) taller than the IP-LUX50/IP-DUO50. Otherwise, there are no differences in features.

  10. Thank you! I’m a newbie, so this list is great.

  11. Thank you !

  12. Thank you! So helpful, as I was trying to research all the add ons!

  13. Thanks. Great information.

  14. Thank you! This is such a huge help!

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