A few weekends ago I had the privilege of speaking at a conference, my topics being meal planning tips and Instant Pots along with some of the Instant Pot accessories that are available. That is what prompted me this Top 10 Instant Pot Accessories Picks + 3 extras post … but, I digress.
We kicked off this calendar year with Pressure Cooker School on Facebook Live and here on the blog with a free Instant Pot Meal Plan. And it was about a year ago that we did an entire series on cooking meats and proteins for the freezer using your electric pressure cooker.
Are you seeing a theme here? Electric Pressure Cookers, and specifically the Instant Pot, aka. Instapot, have become wildly popular in the past few years. As we’re learning how to use them, we’re realizing all the things they can do!
Top 10 Instant Pot Accessories Picks + 3 extras
Some of these magical functions require a few Instant Pot accessories. Let me just tell you, there are lots of accessories out there. Which begs the question … which ones do I really need? And why do I really need that accessory? And in what order should I make my wish list?
No need to fret over all the questions because today I want to share my top 10 Instant Pot accessories + 3 more, just because I figure a little free information is always a good thing.
My top 10 Instant Pot Accessories Picks + 3 extras
Back to the plethora of Instant Pot accessories, you can find with a quick internet search: there are so many it’ll make your head spin. You’ll find everything from extra rings (something I think is a must-have!) to the more unique and even odd. The most “personalized” thing I’ve seen is some 90-degree vent cover that looks like a dragon or wolf.
If you’re wanting a peek at my wishlist, lumped into tiers of priority purchases, then let’s chat!
So here’s the quick list – My top 10 Instant Pot accessories Picks + 3 extras
Just in case you’re like me and prefer an easy to read list, here’s my list …
- Sweet and Savory Rings
- Stackable Steamer Pans
- Tempered Glass Lid
- Extra Cooking Pot and the non-stick version
- Silicone Lids
- Double Egg Steamer Pack
- Silicone Cupcake Liners
- Mesh Strainer
- Gripper Clips
- 7″ Bundt / Cheesecake / Cake Pan
- Yogurt Maker
- Silicone Egg Bite Molds
- Quick & Carry Bag
But you’re probably wondering why these made the cut. Read on for the why behind each item, what they can do and even how to take care of some of them.
My Top Five Must-Haves
These are definitely a must-have as you begin to use your Instant Pot for more and more recipes. I love using mine for soups, hard-boiled eggs, rice and even oatmeal and desserts. But I do not love that some foods can leave a rather pungent odor on your ring. I’m looking at you stinky onions. Once that happens, oatmeal is never the same. These particular rings are the ones I would recommend for two specific reasons. One – using unofficial Instant Pot Sealing Rings can void your warranty, and that’s typically not a good idea. Two – the different colors make it easy to remember which one to use for which type of recipes, blue for sweet and red for savory.
Regardless of how many sealing rings you have, you’ll want to do some routine care and maintenance on them, but that’s way easier than it sounds. After each use, simply remove the ring and wash it in soapy water or run it through a dishwasher cycle with the rest of the dinner dishes. Then you just position it securely back in the lid and you’re good to go. It’s also a good idea to check the rings for cracks on a regular basis because a tight seal is what allows the pressure cooker to work in the first place. I would actually consider these rings to be more of a necessity than Instant Pot Accessories because at some point they will have to be replaced due to normal wear and tear.
The second item on my Instant Pot accessories wish list is a steamer pan or two. These are obviously the perfect pan for steaming veggies, but they do so much more than that. You can use them to reheat leftovers, bake a lasagna or even make a cheesecake. And since there are 2 pans you can actually make an entire meal with meat or fish in one and veggies or rice in another, or any other combination that you can think of. You know if it’s a way to make dinner quicker and easier and with less clean-up, then I’m all in!
A little side note here, about the whole PIP or Pot-in-Pot cooking thing. This is one of the more self-explanatory abbreviations in the Instant Pot world, meaning that your cooking in a pot, inside of the Instant Pot. Things like reheating a meal in a small round casserole dish, steaming veggies in a steamer pot, or baking a cheesecake in a springform pan – these all require a separate pan inside of the Instant Pot. These versatile stackable steamer pans are the first of the PIP options that I have on my list.
This is money well spent for several reasons. You can use it with the sautee feature so you don’t have to dirty another pan and you can keep splatters off your counter. Cue the angel chorus for easier dinner clean-up! The other time the glass lid is really handy is for the slow cooker setting. You can use the slow cooker function with the traditional lid, but if you’re like me, you want to see your food to know if any time or temperature adjustments need to be made. I’ve readily admitted to being a control freak when it comes to seeing my food in a slow cooker. Again, because many of us have a genuine need to see what’s going on with our dinner, this may be more of a necessity than just another item on the Instant Pot Accesories wish list.
Yet another handy accessory for more than one reason. An extra pot allows you to cook your meat, while you prep your side dish and then quickly switch pots when your meat is done. You can even store leftovers in one pot and still have the extra pot available for another meal. It also gives you an opportunity to have both a stainless steel pot and a non-stick pot, because choices are always a good thing!
I guess I should explain a bit here for those of you who are curious about the Instant Pot but don’t yet own one. The cooking pot is basically like the crock of a slow cooker. It’s the removable pot that your food (or PIP pan) goes in when using the Instant Pot. While you really never need an extra crock for a slow cooker, the Instant Pot is so quick that it could come in handy for 2 different dishes in one meal. And beyond being handy, it’s pretty affordable too!
Rounding out the top 5 must have Instant Pot accessories wish list are silicone lids. Yes, lids, not lid. We already talked about why an extra pot is on my top 5, so a lid quickly becomes lids. Why a lid? Because as handy as an extra pot is for storing leftovers, soup or sauce that spills if you only used foil or plastic wrap for that lid is messy. And life already has enough messes to clean up! Have I ever mentioned that I’m a “lazy” cook? In this case, it may be more brilliant than lazy because it alleviates another cleaning project. You’re welcome!
The Super Handy Fab Five
It’s kind of like the fab four, but different. These are the five Instant Pot accessories that will come in really handy to make your Instant Pot even more versatile and user-friendly.
I’ve mentioned several times on Facebook live how much I love using my Instant Pot for hard-boiled eggs. They come out perfect. Every. Single. Time. And, I don’t have to stand there and monitor them at all.
And the best part is that peeling them is a breeze. The shells come off without leaving craters and losing half the egg here and there. This double steamer pack is really nice because you can do a dozen eggs at a time! They’re a great protein for busy days – waking up late, after-school snacks, an evening at the ball field or the court or …
You may wonder why you even need some of these Instant Pot Accessories? I mean, why can’t just set them in the pot with water to hard-boil like you’ve done on the stovetop? Technically, you can, but wherever the egg touches the bottom or sides of the pot, you’ll have a brown spot. It won’t change the taste of the egg at all, but who wants a brown spot when you’ve finally found the method for a perfectly peeled egg?
Okay, these have to be the most fun and festive Instant Pot Accessories for my planner-sticker-loving heart! And they’re great for making cheery little cupcakes and saving on paper waste too. How can you use these colorful cupcake baking cups in your Instant Pot you ask?
Obviously, they work for cupcakes and muffins, but they’re also perfect for individual cheesecakes. I’m thinking one of the benefits is that it’s quicker than a traditional cheesecake. I think they’re a little healthier too since I won’t feel the need to finish off an entire cheesecake!
They also work great for poached eggs. I’m thinking about setting it in the morning, and they should be ready by the time I get back to the kitchen. A poached egg in one of these bright little liners just has to make Monday mornings a little easier to face!
A mesh strainer that fits in your Instant Pot is another versatile little accessory. One of the common uses is for hard boiling eggs if you don’t have a rack that you like to use. They’re also great for making a delicious and super-healthy bone broth.
And the thing I need to try this fall is loading one up with fresh apples, oranges, and a few other classic ingredients to create hot spiced cider. The cooking time should be somewhere around 15 minutes (plus heating & pressure release time) but that’s much faster than the slow cooker recipes I’ve used.
The beauty of the mesh strainer is that when your food or cider or broth or whatever is done, you can easily remove the floating ingredients that you really don’t want to serve. Some people even use these with a cheesecloth lining to strain yogurt.
And there’s no reason why you can’t use this and several of your Instant Pot accessories outside of your instant pot too! Anytime you can opt for one gadget that does double-duty, then I say go for it!
9. Gripper Clips (because I already have mini mitts)
When I first saw these gripper clips, I wasn’t quite convinced that they needed to be included in my Instant Pot accessories wish list. It’s probably because I already have some Mini Mitts that are perfect for the Instant Pot and for handling all sorts of other hot items in the kitchen.
As I read more about them, they do seem like a more secure and effective way to pull out a loaded and hot inner pot, especially if there is very much liquid in that inner pot. Many times we just serve directly from the inner pot, but not if I’m using my Instant Pot for more than one dish for dinner.
And again, because one product with several uses is always nice, they’re also great for removing hot pans and trays from the oven or microwave or grill.
10. 7” pan in a variety of options
Technically this is really a collection of 3 Instant Pot Accessories, but they’re kind of the same so I’m going to clump them together.
My third choice here is the 7” pan with a removable bottom. And the first recipe I would use it for? Well, some sort of cheesecake, of course!
My second choice would be the 7” springform pan. In some ways, I can also see that clip on the outside getting banged around and messed up in the cabinet. It’s just the way things are when everyone helps put dishes away, one of those family activities I like to encourage! But I can also see how this might be easier to remove a cheesecake from because you don’t have to push it up from the bottom.
Can you just imagine that going sideways and dumping a cheesecake on the countertop instead of gently pushing it up and out of the pan? Not that I wouldn’t strongly consider scooping it back into a pan and serving it with some sort of garnish!
And clinching the first choice title … Bundt Pan!
It’s the combination bundt/cheesecake/cake pan. I’m guessing there’s no need to explain this option because it can function as all three of the above with minimal storage. This particular model has some great reviews and ideas for recipes beyond cakes – like lasagna and meatloaf. And I just love the color of this one too!
Most of us may be able to survive just fine without a bundt pan, but when you can get all three Instant Pot accessories in one, then why not?! Or if you’re the type who would definitely opt for all 3 of these pans, then you can free up a little storage space in your cabinet for some other kitchen gadgets.
And a few extras just because a girl can dream right?!
11. Yogurt Maker
I have to admit that I had not really considered making yogurt in my Instant Pot until several of y’all mentioned how easy it is to make yogurt in yours. I definitely enjoy yogurt, especially on low-carb days, so why not give it a try?
Technically, this yogurt maker is a greek yogurt maker and it isn’t really considered among most Instant Pot accessories. Except that you use it to drain yogurt after you take it out of your Instant Pot, so I’m adding it to the official list!
Some people simply use cheesecloth to drain most of the liquid out of their yogurt. But, you’ll also find quite a few reviews that talk about how much smoother and creamier their Greek yogurt is using this little accessory. It seems like it could pay for itself pretty quick depending on how much yogurt you can go through in a week.
And there’s a stainless steel model too
There are two versions to choose between for my Instant Pot accessories wish list – the regular yogurt maker and the stainless version that costs a little more. I’ll probably shoot for the stainless one because I’m thinking it might last a little longer.
And then the real experimenting will begin, with the list of possible add-ins for yogurt. I may start with fresh fruit or all fruit preserves and granola. Or maybe a dollop of Greek yogurt mixed with some savory spices on top of Migas! If you have some favorite add-ins or toppings, I would love to hear those in the comments below.
These egg bite molds made the “a few extras” list because they could make fun treats for a party, or maybe even a Tuesday afternoon. A lot of people use them for egg bites, but they will also work for mini-muffins and even mini cheesecakes or chocolate lava cake. Now I’ve got your attention, right? Wouldn’t that be fun for some bite-sized fuss-free party food that looks extra special?
I’ve gone back and forth on this one, but it does seem like this tote bag could quickly become one of my favorite Instant Pot accessories. When we go to the beach with the family we love to do freezer cooking to dramatically reduce the eating out budget line. Honestly, this accessory would pay for itself with the first meal that we ate in instead of eating out too!
Some people use theirs for taking food to a potluck in the same way that many of us have toted slow cookers for years. And the extra storage compartment on top and pocket on the front help ensure that nothing will get left behind.
Now that I think about it, if the Instant Pot is used as a slow cooker, and then fitted with the pressure cooker lid just for transport, it’s probably just as easy as toting my slow cooker to the next potluck. For some of us, that could mean replacing the slow cooker with an Instant Pot that has a slow cooker function. That leaves more space both on the shelves and in the budget to use this appliance to its fullest capacity.
How about you?
Have you jumped on the Instant Pot bandwagon? If so, what’s your favorite feature or recipe to make in yours?
And if you have any of these accessories, I would love to know what your thoughts are on it. It’s always great to hear the pros and cons of others before making a purchase. Or maybe you’re in the process of compiling your own wish list. In that case, what are your top 5?