There’s a ton of gizmos out there that claim to be “must haves” for your Instant Pot, but most of them will end up in the back of your cupboard unused. After writing hundreds of Instant Pot recipes and teaching tons of classes on Instant Pot cook, these are the five accessories I actually use on the regular.
- Tall trivet. The coolest thing (IMHO) about the Instant Pot is you can cook more than one thing at the same time—think chili and cornbread, beef broccoli and rice, salsa chicken and quinoa. To do this, you need a stainless steel tall trivet (not the one that comes with the appliance) to set a pan full of one ingredient on top of the other ingredient below. I recommend a 3-piece set because you’ll need varying heights depending on the amount of food below.
- Cooking pan. To cook grains, pasta, cornbread, and other ingredients using the layering method (see above), you’ll need 6-inch stainless steel cooking pans. I like the stainless steel stacking insert pans, called tiffin in India. Find them online or at Indian markets.
- Gravy separator. The Instant Pot is great at cooking tough cuts of meat, but too often they leave an oil slick on top of the soup or sauce you’re making. Enter the gravy separator, an indispensable tool for your kitchen whether you have an Instant Pot or not. I recommend a large (4-cup) separator with a strainer insert. Just pour the sauce or broth into the cup and the oil/grease will settle on the top, tilt the cup and the spout at the bottom of the cup will let the fat-free liquid flow out. Just just stop when you get to the fat floating on the top and you’ve got fat-free gravy, stew, or broth.
- The Instant Pot glass lid. Lifting the lid while slow cooking can cause the food to drop 25 degrees every time you peek! That’s why I love the Instant Pot clear, domed glass lid made of tempered glass. It lets you simmer or slow cook while keep an eye on the contents without lifting the lid.
- Twelve-inch locking tongs. Choose a heavy grade set of tongs (the kind chefs use) at least 12 inches long to turn foods when searing and transfer cooking pans safely out of the Instant Pot. Tongs with a locking mechanism on the top mean they store neatly in your utensil crock. Avoid the kind with silicon coating on the ends—they’re too slippery to grip heavy items.
Make more use of your Instant Pot with these genius recipes and ideas: