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How to cook almost anything in an Instant Pot

Deal Alert!

Several accessories that we listed below (among others) are discounted right now as part of Amazon's wide-ranging Instant Pot sale.

Instant Pot Duo Nova | $70 | Normally $100 | This is now the de-facto entry-level Instant Pot, and a great deal for anyone who's buying their first electric pressure cooker. If you're unfamiliar with the concept, it's basically good at the kinds of things slow cookers are good at, except it does them extremely fast. Like, frozen chicken breast to pull-apart chicken in 20 minutes-fast. You can also use it to cook rice easily, make pasta, turn old kitchen roughage into delicious stock, and a lot more.

Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus | $100 | Normally $120 | It won't do anything that the Duo Nova can't do, but the Evo Plus has a variety of quality-of-life improvements like an easy-seal lid and an easier pressure release mechanism, a larger display, and a new lid that helps release pressure more quickly.

Instant Pot Max | $120 | Normally $150 | The most advanced Instant Pot can reach higher pressures, making it safe to use for canning.

Instant Pot Air Fryer Lid | $65 | Normally $80 | Perhaps the most ambitious of all Instant Pot accessories, this lid has its own fans and heating elements, and essentially turns your existing 6 quart Instant Pot into a miniature convection oven.

Instant Pot Ceramic Pot | $18 | Normally $20 | In my opinion, this is the most important accessory any Instant Pot owner can buy. Not only is it incredibly useful to have a spare pot lying around, but this non-stick pot is particularly great for cooking rice.

Instant Pot Sealing Ring 2-Pack | $10 | Normally $12-$28 | Instant recommends replacing your sealing ring every 12-18 months, and I just realized I'm overdue.


Straight out of the box, the Instant Pot is terrific at making the sorts of things that you'd make in a slow cooker, except really fast. But with the right accessories, you can use the increasingly ubiquitous kitchen appliance for so much more.

For Better Rice: A Ceramic Inner Pot

Ceramic Instant Pot Inner Pot
Ceramic Instant Pot Inner Pot

The Instant Pot, as configured, is a perfectly good rice cooker, but you're almost always going to sacrifice a layer of grains that burn onto the bottom of the pot. But if you swap out the stainless steel inner pot with this non-stick ceramic alternative, you'll have a much easier time getting all of the rice out of the cooker and onto your plate.

The pot will also work well with just about any other Instant Pot recipe, so if your steel pot is ever dirty, you'll be able to swap in your spare without stopping to clean.

For Hard Boiled Eggs: Double Decker Egg Tray

Instant Pot Egg Tray
Instant Pot Egg Tray

Your Instant Pot came with a barebones steamer tray that can hold a few eggs for hard boiling, but this dedicated tray will hold them much more securely, and has room to cook 14 eggs at a time. Just add a cup of water and cook at high pressure for about five minutes (a little less if you want slightly runny yolks, a little more if you want them fully set).

For Starbucks-Style Egg Bites: An Egg Mold

Instant Pot Egg Bite Mold
Instant Pot Egg Bite Mold

Scrambled egg bites like the ones you might get from Starbucks are a convenient and protein-packed breakfast option, and this silicone tray lets you make them in your Instant Pot, with no splattering. All you have to do is mix up some eggs with whatever fillings you want, pour the mixture into the molds, pop on the lid, and cook them with a cup of water for 8 minutes at high pressure. I'd recommend making a whole batch on Sunday, and eating them throughout the week.

For Easier Slow Cooking: A Glass Lid

Instant Pot Glass Slow Cooker Lid
Instant Pot Glass Slow Cooker Lid

The Instant Pot has a slow cooker mode that works perfectly well, but you have to remember to open the pressure valve on your lid, and you won't be able to look inside the Instant Pot to see your food like you could with a normal slow cooker. This tempered glass lid is definitely an optional add-on, but it goes a long way towards replicating the classic slow cooker experience.

For Longer-Lasting Leftovers: A Silicone Lid

Instant Pot Silicone Lid
Instant Pot Silicone Lid

Rather than transfering your leftovers to another container to stick in the fridge, which always results in a modicum of food loss, just slap an official Instant Pot silicone lid over your inner pot, and slide the whole thing into the fridge after you've finished eating. It's air-tight, and will keep your food fresh for longer.

For Lots of Steamed Veggies: A Steamer Basket

Instant Pot Veggie Steamer Basket
Instant Pot Veggie Steamer Basket

The little wire tray that comes with the Instant Pot isn't really suited for steaming vegetables. But a metal basket like this one can hold a ton of veggies, with no danger of tipping over. Just load up the basket with roughly evenly sized vegetables, and cook it at high pressure for 0 minutes; they'll be fully cooked by the time the Instant Pot reaches full pressure.

For Cakes (Yes, Cakes): A Cake Pan

Instant Pot Cake Pan
Instant Pot Cake Pan

Yes, you can cook cakes in your Instant Pot, and while any small cake pan will do the job, Instant Pot's own silicone version includes a tempered glass base for easy serving, and is perfectly sized to sit atop the pot's included steamer rack.

For Crispier Foods: An Air Fryer Lid

Instant Pot Air Fryer Lid
Instant Pot Air Fryer Lid

The most ambitious Instant Pot add-on of all is the company's new air frying lid, which isn't so much an accessory for the Instant Pot as it is a full-fledged cooking appliance that turns the Instant Pot itself into an accessory.

Instead of plugging in your Instant Pot, you'll plug in the lid, which is designed to fit most 6 quart Instant Pot models. The lid's heating elements and convection fans cook the food in your Instant Pot from above, and will achieve crispier (albeit slower) results than regular Instant Pot cooking.


All featured products and deals are selected independently and objectively by the author. Trivia Genius may receive a share of sales via affiliate links in content.

Photo: Stephanie Frey/Shutterstock

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