The Smart Feature on Your Instant Pot You’re Probably Not Using

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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Every day the Instant Pot seems to get more and more magical. I mean, what can it not do? The Instant Pot replaced rice cookers, slow cookers, and pressure cookers all over the country, and made millions of Americans think about making their own yogurt. You can even use an Instant Pot to make your own wine. (Yes, really.)

But there’s one simple, obvious-once-you-think-about-it trick that makes Instant Pots even more convenient: You can use the handles to hold the lid.

(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

Dealing with pot lids while cooking can be infuriating, and that’s true of pretty much any kind of lidded kitchen appliance. Undersides of lids get messy, or hot and covered in condensation, and when you take off the lid you’re often stuck holding it and looking around for a place to put it down where it won’t get things wet or dirty, or get dirty itself.

It’s a problem common to rice cookers, slow cookers, Dutch ovens, saucepans, sauté pans, and basically everything in the kitchen that has a lid. But it’s not a problem with the Instant Pot, because Lifehacker’s A.A. Newton points out that the Instant Pot is designed to hold its own lid.

The Instant Pot lid has little fins on the sides, which I definitely always saw as handles even though the lid already has a big, obvious handle on top of it. And if you want to take the lid off while cooking, you can just stick that fin into the matching tab on the side of the Instant Pot. They’re the same size and fit right together. The Instant Pot even comes with a little plastic cup that clips to the back and catches any condensation that drips down.

The lid-holding-handle is a brilliantly simple and useful design. Why don’t other slow cookers have this feature? It looks so convenient. Once you see the lid-holding handle in action, it seems incredibly obvious, but this is clearly news to a lot of people. (Myself included.) So next time you use your Instant Pot in front of your friends, just casually prop the lid into the handle as Instant Pot intended. Everybody will think you are an absolute genius.

Did you know about this Instant Pot feature?