The Top 5 Instant Pot Accessories for Pot-in-Pot Cooking
Whether you’ve been using your Instant Pot for years now or you’re just unboxing the thing, it’s time we got you thinking about PIP (short for pot-in-pot cooking cooking). PIP is basically exactly what it sounds like: when you use a pot inside your Instant Pot. It’s a totally simple technique that allows you to create layers within your Instant Pot (taking full advantage of the machine’s height!) and cook more than one thing (a bunch of different leftovers or different components — rice and chicken, for example — of one dish).
You don’t need much, and your Instant Pot already came with a steamer rack that’s great to use, but from our recipe testing we’ve discovered a few tools that make PIP even better and easier. Here goes.
Some PIP Recipes to Try
1. OXO Good Grips Pressure Cooker Bakeware Sling
Your Instant Pot comes with a metal steam rack and that works perfectly well. We’ve just found that it’s not always easy to get the inner pot out when it’s time. (Although some models do come with a rack that has handles.) So you can either create a sling for your pot (we fold some aluminum foil and you can see an example of that in the photo above) or, instead of doing that every time, you can get this silicone bakeware sling, which you can reuse over and over again. It lifts your container up off the bottom of the liner and you can totally place it on top of any food that you’re cooking on the bottom layer (like potatoes or chicken pieces).
Note: It’s key that the container you use for PIP cooking sits on a rack or on top of other food — versus being placed directly in the insert.
Buy: OXO Good Grips Pressure Cooker Bakeware Sling, $15
The “pot” you use in your PIP cooking has to be small enough to make room for steam to easily move around and create pressure (that’s how the food gets cooked!). We’ve found that a six-inch cake pan is really ideal. (We’ve also seen lots of people use disposable aluminum pans and glass mixing bowls.) You probably only have eight- or nine-inch cake pans at home, so we’ve added a six-inch one to this list.
Buy: Chicago Metallic Bakeware 6-Inch Cake Pan, $15
3. Instant Pot Round Cook/Bake Pan with Lid & Removable Divider
If you’re heating up leftovers (say, some rice, chicken, and green beans), and you want to keep each component separated, you will appreciate this official Instant Pot pan. It has a removable divider, which you can pop in or out, depending on what you’re making. It also comes with a lid, featuring a pressure-release tab for releasing steam. Note: This guy is seven inches in diameter but still allows for steam to move around.
Buy: Instant Pot Round Cook/Bake Pan with Lid & Removable Divider, $16
4. Stackable Stainless Steel Insert Pans
To really take advantage of that vertical space in your Instant Pot, get these stackable insert pans. They’ll fit in a six- or eight-quart machine and allow you to stack two tiers of food (which can even go on top of an in-pot bottom layer!). You’ll love this if you’re heating up a few different plates’ worth of leftovers, steaming a bunch of different vegetables, or cooking more than one side dish.
Buy: Stackable Stainless Steel Insert Pans, $20
5. OXO Good Grips Silicone Oven Mitt
Even if you have that silicone sling (see #1!), you still may find that you’ll need an oven mitt. (Either to get that tiered basket out or to simple move the pan off the sling once it’s out of the IP.) This silicone oven mitt is a good bet, as it protects against heat and steam — and it can be rinsed off under the sink if it gets dirty.
Buy: OXO Good Grips Silicone Oven Mitt, $15
Have you done any PIP cooking? What are the tools that help you the most? Discuss in the comments below!