This Weird Design Feature on Your Instant Pot Actually Serves an Important Purpose

updated Jun 18, 2019
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

Have you ever glanced at the back of your Instant Pot and noticed a small plastic loop right at the base? It might look like a superfluous piece that serves no real purpose (or maybe even a design flaw) but there’s a clever reason it’s there.

Facebook groups dedicated to trading tips and tricks for making the most out of the Instant Pot noticed the small plastic “tab” on the back of the device, and began speculating about its purpose. While some people weren’t quite sure what to make of it, others guessed that it’s probably meant to hold spoons or other utensils during the cooking process.

After doing a little digging, Kitchn can confirm that the loop on the back of the Instant Pot is indeed a spoon shelf, featured on older models of the Instant Pot only (so if you have a new Instant Pot and have no idea what we’re talking about, there’s a reason for that.)

“The spoon shelf was a feature on our older Instant Pot models as a handy spoon holder for busy cooks (especially those who don’t like messy countertops!),” a representative for Instant Pot tells Kitchn. “As time went on, and after consumer feedback, we decided to phase out the shelf. Our more recent Instant Pot models no longer have that (mysterious) spoon spot!”

If you’ve ever accidentally dropped a wooden spoon covered in red pasta sauce or melted cheese on the countertop, making a huge mess that’s a hassle to clean up later, you know how important it is to have a convenient spot to stow your cooking utensils. Some people might prefer a simple spoon rest, but if you’ve got an older model of the Instant Pot, the spoon shelf works just as well.

Another word to the wise: The handles of the Instant Pot double as holders for its lid. Turns out, the Instant Pot is has more tricks up its sleeve than you thought.