Gift Guide: Bells & Whistles for the Instant Pot Obsessed

I wouldn’t believe it myself if I didn’t have the traffic analytics to prove it, but there’s no denying it… pressure cooking is hot. And I’m not just talking about the elevated boiling point of water inside the powerful, pressurized contraption that you’ve been convinced to invite onto your kitchen counter! Trust me, you won’t regret it. Since I first got acquainted with Instant Pot a couple of years ago, it’s been a constant companion in my cooking adventures. My pressure cooking recipes weren’t always the biggest draws on this site, but these days things are different; I can tell I’m not the only one obsessed with this multi-talented cooker.

Since it looks like there are a lot of people enamored with their new toys this season, I’m taking a moment to help you spread some holiday cheer. If someone in your life is hooked on cooking under pressure, show them some love with these must-have tools and accessories.

(Please note: I’m just a fan, no sponsorship or other relationship with Instant Pot or any of the manufacturers of the products below. I am, however, using Amazon affiliate links. If you click through and purchase any of my picks, thanks for supporting flavorRD at no additional cost to you!)

            
First things first: the cooker! When I started shopping around for an electric pressure cooker, Instant Pot was the obvious choice for me – stainless steel liner, programmable cooking, even yogurt modehere’s my review if you want to read more about how great it is. I have Instant Pot DUO, and since my purchase they’ve also released Instant Pot SMART, which has the benefit of fully customized cooking programs controlled via Bluetooth from your smartphone. Fancy!

                           

If your cooker didn’t already come with one, definitely spring for the glass lid – it’s a nice alternative to the pressure lid for slow cooking and keep-warm mode. It’s also nice to have an extra gasket, as they wear out over time and can have a tendency to retain strong cooking odors. Another surprisingly handy tool is an extra inner pot; it makes it easier to use your IP for multiple courses (eg. after slow-cooking an entree, you can swap out the extra pot for a quick batch of rice to serve alongside).

You can really expand your pressure cooking options with a simple steamer basket. Practically anything you would steam on the stovetop (veggies, dumplings, artichokes) comes out faster and with more flavor locked in under pressure.

                         

If your gift-ee is a fermented foodie like me, they’ve got to be excited about Instant Pot’s yogurt maker mode! Enhance your yogurt endeavors with a set of glass jars; you can make yogurt in any sized container you like (including right in the pot itself) but my favorites are pint-sized jars with a wide mouth. You’ll need a thermometer for ensuring the milk has cooled enough to add the cultures after scalding, and canning tongs are also really useful for removing hot jars from the cooker. If your favorite Instant Pot Fan prefers their yogurt Greek style, this special strainer will help them concentrate their home-made yogurt into thick, creamy perfection.

Not into yogurt? How about expanding their healthy cooking repertoire with some fancy dried beans? Pressure cookers make short work of dry legumes, and Rancho Gordo offers the best heirloom varieties. This sampler pack has 5 exotic types of beautiful beans.

                

Finally, let’s not forget about books: my top two picks are Hip Pressure Cooking and The New Fast Food. The former, by our generation’s top pressure cooking guru Laura Pazzaglia, provides a wealth of information to help new users get their bearings, along with plenty of fresh recipes with a chic European aesthetic. The latter, by the Veggie Queen herself Jill Nussinow (a fellow registered dietitian!), focuses on healthy vegetarian recipes, so it’s a great resource for my favorite kind of everyday cooking. The only caveat is that Nussinow prefers traditional stovetop pressure cookers over electrics, so for use with Instant Pot, you’ll have to be mindful of the cooking instructions and make some adjustments. It’s not that difficult once you get the hang of it, but it may not be the easiest choice for beginners.

I hope these picks will help make some spirits bright among my fellow Instant Pot devotees. Readers, if you’ve come across any other tools or accessories that make pressure cooking more fun, please share! Anything else you would add to the list?

17 thoughts on “Gift Guide: Bells & Whistles for the Instant Pot Obsessed

  1. I would add to this list a small spring form pan for making cheesecake’s in the instant pot!

    1. EXCELLENT suggestion! I haven’t tried cheesecake under pressure yet, so I might have to talk to Santa about that one 😉

      1. 6″ springform pans are also pretty handy for your slow cooker! I’ve made a flourless chocolate cake doing it that way!

  2. My most used accessories are a 4 cup and 7 cup pyrex bowl. Use them on the trivet for rice, yogurt making, steaming and reheating food. They come with lids for easy refrigerator storage.

    1. What do you use to get the Pyrex bowls out of the Instant Pot? I’ve used a sling made of aluminum foil but I’m not sure what the best tool is for the job. Thanks, Julie

      1. When I use my mini-springform in the Instant Pot, I place it on the trivet and use the handles to lift it out.

          1. Ohh yes, they are hot! Don’t use bare hands unless you wait for it to cool down! I use thin potholders, or sometimes use the end of a fork to hook the handles. I’m sure you could rig up something more specialized, but I have an easy enough time with this that I haven’t felt compelled to try.

  3. Hello, I just found your blog…thank you for sharing the great recipes, going to try your Tamales. I’m definitely obsessed with my new Instant Pot! I have used it every day since I got it and have a new one waiting for my daughter’s birthday…. (or do I need a second one? LOL)

    I have a tip for anyone looking for a taller steamer insert that fits PERFECTLY in the DUO60…
    TALL 18/10 STAINLESS STEEL PASTA BASKET
    Item#: 998338900 available here: http://www.fagoramerica.com/shop2/accessories

  4. Thank you so much fo mentioning my book The New Fast Food.

    I wonder if you have seen my latest pressure cooking cookbook which has lots of information on electric pressure cookers, and 175 recipes, almost all of which are new. There is a very wide range of recipes.

    Let me know if you’ve seen it.

    I love my Instant Pot, too. I use it almost daily.

    1. Thanks for commenting, Jill! I did see the title on Amazon a couple of months ago before its release – glad to hear that it’s published, congrats!

      Considering how much I love your recipes in The New Fast Food, I’m sure Vegan Under Pressure will be right up my alley. I’ve been meaning to update this post with the reader suggestions I’ve received, so when I get around to it, I’ll add a link for the new book too!

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