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.
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ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY ACCESSORIES
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 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.
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!!
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!).
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.
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.
Pick up foam brushes to help clean the rim of your Instant Pot housing. You can get these anywhere for cheap.
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
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.
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!
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!
Want to make effortless poached eggs? You’ll love these silicone poaching cups.
Ramekins and Canning Jars
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.
These metal bowls are great for heating up leftovers or any of the Pot-In-Pot cooking techniques.
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
Consider grabbing an extra Instant Pot liner if you find yourself switching between dishes or need to store leftovers.
Silicone mitts are great for grabbing hot things.
This silicone cover is fantastic for storing leftovers.
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!
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.
- Silicone Sealing Ring
- Instant Read Meat Thermometer
- Stainless Steel Mesh Basket
- HIC (handle-less) Mesh Basket
- Round 64oz Freezer Containers
- Foam Brushes
- Meat Chopper
- Hot Plate Tongs
- Stainless Steel Steamer
- Silicone Steamer
- Cheesecake Pan
- Springform Pan
- Tempered 9″ Glass Lid
- Silicone Poaching Cups
- Canning Jars
- Metal Bowls
- Glass Bowls
- Instant Pot Liner
- Silicone Rubber Mitts
- Silicone Pot Lid
- Mini Loaf Pans
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