When I first bought my Instant Pot, I mostly used it for meal prep staples, such as preparing quinoa, black beans, and perfect steel cut oats. However, as I’ve been testing more recipes with it (for my upcoming Instant Pot cookbook!) I’ve been having a lot of fun branching out to see what else is possible.
As it turns out, you can make a LOT of different things in the Instant Pot.
I’ve successfully made salmon and hard boiled eggs, but in order to make recipes like brownies, cakes, and muffins, you’ll need a few more accessories. You may already have a few of these items for your basic stove top and oven needs!
Today, I thought I’d share my favorite accessories in case you want to be well-equipped to make any Instant Pot recipe your heart desires.
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Instant Pot Accessories
One of my favorite perks of the Instant Pot is its ability to cook two things at once. For example, I now make my Kung Pao Chickpeas recipe with a bowl of rice at the same time(!), in the same pot, using the shorter one of these trivets to boost an oven-safe bowl of rice above the chickpea mixture at the bottom of the pot.
I definitely use the shorter 2.5-inch trivet most often, but I occasionally use the 3.8-inch tall trivet to lift things even higher. When I’m making a large quantity of something, like a sloppy joe filling, I can arrange two or three sweet potatoes on the taller trivet to keep them out of the liquid while cooking. (I’ll share plenty of one-pot recipes like this in my healthy Instant Pot cookbook— they are seriously going to be my easiest and most delicious recipes yet!)
If you want to make recipes like brownies, cakes, or cupcakes, you’ll need a round cake pan that fits inside your Instant Pot. (If you want to make a batch of 10-12 muffins at one time, you’ll actually need TWO of these pans to stack on top of each other.) I love this 7-inch cake pan because it fits directly on the trivet that comes with the Instant Pot, so you can use the handles of that trivet to easily lift out the pan. What I don’t love about the pan is that it’s made of aluminum, so I usually line it with parchment paper so that the aluminum doesn’t come into direct contact with my food. (See the stackable insert below for a stainless steel option!)
I’ve been using these silicone muffin liners for years, because they are my favorite for stick-prevention when making coconut flour muffins (which tend to be very sticky to muffin liners!). These sturdy muffin cups are perfect for making muffins or cupcakes in the Instant Pot, because they hold their shape without using an actual muffin pan. I just arrange them in my 7-inch cake pan as shown the photo above.
You can actually squeeze 6 of these liners into a 7-inch pan at one time, but the muffins will be slightly squished looking and they tend to hold their shape. So I only use 5 liners per pan if I want them to look pretty for presentation. If you use regular parchment paper baking cups, your muffin batter will spread as it cooks in the Instant Pot, and you’ll wind up with triangle scone shapes, rather than muffins. Still cute and edible, just not quite muffin shaped.
Instant Pot Stackable Insert. UPDATE: After using this stackable insert for several different recipes, I’m not a fan. It seems to displace water and allow the steam to go into the pans, so it’s not ideal for baking a cake or muffins, and it will create condensation in your recipes. I prefer using two 7-inch pans stacked on top of each other instead.
They make specialty steamer baskets for the Instant Pot (I first bought this one), but I love this Oxo Steamer with an extendable handle so that you can use it in your electric pressure cooker, or simply in a pot over the stove.
This is another accessory that you might already have in your kitchen. If you don’t, you’re missing out, because these are the BEST oven mitts ever! I love that they are made of silicone, which helps protect your hands from hot moisture while also giving you a secure grip on your pans.
Need some healthy Instant Pot recipes? Be sure to pre-order my new cookbook, The Fresh & Healthy Instant Pot Cookbook. You can see a sneak peek here!
Note: The only accessories needed for my cookbook are a 7-inch pan (which can double as a bowl for cooking rice) and the trivet set. I use the 2.4-inch trivet most often, but the 4-inch option is nice when you want to have more height. Other than that, the other tools I use are not exclusive to the Instant Pot, but an immersion blender, potato masher, and good oven mitts will come in handy.
That’s it! I probably use the trivet that comes with the Instant Pot most often when pressure cooking, but the above options are nice when I want to get the most out of my electric pressure cooker. (I use this 6-quart Instant Pot, in case you were wondering, and I’ve been super-happy with the model. It lets me make Coconut Milk Yogurt!)
If you plan on slow cooking with your Instant Pot, or need a lid to cover the pot for sautéing, they do offer a glass lid that could come in handy for those purposes, but I haven’t used it myself, because I haven’t actually used the slow cooker setting on the Instant Pot yet.
If I’ve missed any of your favorite accessories, or there’s something I should know about, please leave a comment below so we can all benefit from each other’s experience.
Reader Feedback: If you already own an Instant Pot, what has been your favorite recipe to make in it so far?