This post contains affiliate links, which means I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
The best 6 quart Instant Pot accessories are the ones you will use most often. The ones that you will reach for time after time. I have narrowed it down to my top five items. These are the ones that enable me to cook almost anything in the pressure cooker.
In addition, they are all very affordable. Most are under $20.00!
Running a household, holding down a full time job, taking care of the family is hard. I know it is. I realize that every day. As a mom, deciding what to make for dinner each night can be a chore. What can be cooked on short notice? What can be cooked from frozen? This is where the Instant Pot steps in. I rely on this little dinner miracle worker nearly every evening.
I have written a post on meal planning but like most busy moms I don’t always follow through on making a plan. While I may not always have a meal plan, I do have a pretty well stocked freezer and pantry basics. Taking a few basics, the Instant Pot and an accessory I can put together a good hearty meal in an hour.
What is An Instant Pot?
An Instant Pot is a multi use pressure cooker.
If you are unfamiliar with the Instant Pot, let me explain it’s value. The Instant Pot can replace some of your existing small appliances because it has so many functions. But the main value to me is the time it saves with the pressure cooking.
This little worker has many cooking features.
- electronic pressure cooker
- slow cooker
- yogurt maker
- rice cooker
The Benefits of the Instant Pot
It can speed up cooking and saves energy. What I like most about it is: there is no boil over. No standing by the stove, stirring. If you want spaghetti, brown the ground beef on sauté then dump everything else in. Set the Instant Pot and be free to do other things in the house. Come back when it beeps. The spaghetti is finished and nothing boiled over or needed to be stirred. How awesome. Talk about multi tasking.
RIce and steel cuts oatmeal are one of my favorites to pressure cook. Again no worries about a pot boiling over. Rather than standing and stirring. Or simply watching for that pan on the stove to boil. Rice and oatmeal comes out the right consistency every time due to the Instant Pot.
The Instant Pot can make some seriously delicious cheesecake as well as cook tasty meals as well.
I have yet to try the slow cooker function because you do need to buy a glass lid just for that purpose. I already own a large slow cooker so that would be a waste of money for me to purchase a lid just to slow cook. Pressure cooking, rice cooking and steaming has been my go to functions.
What Instant Pot accessories do I need?
There are lots of items you could go buy for your instant pot but more than likely you already own a couple. These are the items I use on a regular basis to cook with in my 6 quart Duo Instant Pot.
- steamer basket
- springform pan
- push pan
- metal bowl
- OXO sling
By using a couple of the above accessories, I can cook two different foods in my pressure cooker at once. This is called pot in pot cooking.
Tip: In addition to saving time, the Instant Pot saves money. One appliance means less electricity. And it doesn’t heat up your kitchen.
Steamer Basket Sizes
I own two different steamer baskets. A short one and a tall one.
I started out with the short one which is useful for steaming small amounts of food such as broccoli. It is also good for layering foods. I can cook chicken breasts in the bottom of the pot and set the small steamer basket on top filled with chopped potatoes.
Look for a small steamer basket with a handle in the middle rather than one with no handle. The handle makes the basket easy to remove from the pot.
Last summer, I made a lot of potato salad. I layered peeled and chopped raw potatoes in this basket, set 4 eggs on top of the potatoes and cooked it all in the Instant Pot. This tall, stainless steel basket worked out perfectly. I am able to lift it in and out of the pot without spilling any food because of the large handle at the top.
The entire inner pot of my 6 quart pressure cooker is filled with this steamer basket. Due to the size of this steamer basket, I can’t layer different foods in the inner pot like I can with the shorter steamer. However, when you want to steam corn on the cob or just lots of vegetables, this tall steamer is invaluable.
Cooking meatloaf in the Instant Pot is easy and fast. A 7 inch springform pan can be used for meatloaf, lasagna and cheesecake. I mainly use this pan for meatloaf because it is so easy to remove the meatloaf from the pan while it is still hot. Just run a table knife around the outer edges of the pan and pop off the ring. No juggling to get the meatloaf out of the pan. Certainly helpful when you are trying to get dinner on the table.
The push pan has a removable bottom. Making it easy to remove a cheesecake. It is seamless unlike a springform pan. This makes for easy clean up in addition to no rusting. Made of anodized aluminum assures even baking.
Love pumpkin and cheesecake? You have got to try this pumpkin cheesecake recipe.
Can I use Pyrex in the Instant Pot?
The answer is NO.
It is not advisable to use any type of glass dish including Pyrex in your Instant Pot. Unfortunately, there is a chance of the glass shattering with the changes in temperature during cooking.
Instead, use a 1 ½ quart metal bowl with straight sides or a 7 inch cake pan without the removable bottom. This will work for pot in pot cooking.
A 1 ½ quart metal bowl is useful when cooking small portions of rice. I can layer frozen chicken breasts in the bottom of the Instant Pot and place a bowl of rice on top. This makes a delicious and quick dinner or lunch.
The OXO sling is used to lower and lift a pan from the inner pot. Using this sling ensures you don’t burn yourself trying to remove a hot pan out of the pressure cooker.
This is my most used accessory. It makes pot in pot cooking much easier by allowing a simple way to remove hot pans from inside the Instant Pot.
How To Use The OXO Sling
Place your pan in the middle of the sling. Button the two ends then lower into the pressure cooker. This is much simpler than using a foil sling.
You can see an example how this sling is used when making chocolate bundt cake in the Instant Pot.
Only Buy What You Need
Assess what meals or items you like to cook and buy accessories to match those needs. It’s probably best to only buy one item at a time to get a feel for your cooking style. You can always add to your collection.
These are the only Instant Pot accessories I use. More importantly, each one is quite affordable. Only spend on what’s valuable to you.
Your needs maybe different but I think these are a good starting point. You don’t need a lot of fancy tools to get the most out of your Instant Pot.