Is there any kitchen appliance more beloved than the Instant Pot? Millions of Instant Pots have been sold since its 2012 debut and it’s regularly a top seller on Black Friday and Prime Day. Over 5.5 million people follow an Instant Pot-related account on Facebook, and nearly 2 million are in a cult-famous Facebook group where they share recipes, tips, tricks and hacks.
Instant Pot devotees are quick to dub it the holy grail of kitchen appliances thanks to its ease of use and overall versatility in the types of dishes it can create. And with a few accessories, the Instant Pot can be even more functional, eliminating the need for appliances like air fryers, egg poachers, and even, in some cases, a kitchen oven. There are also add-ons that can make your Instant Pot even more useful. But before we jump into the best Instant Pot accessories, let’s go over the basics.
What is an Instant Pot?
For those who have yet to invest in an Instant Pot, let us introduce you to this life-changing device. The most basic Instant Pot is the 6-in-1 Programmable Cooker (starting at $64.95; amazon.com), which, true to its name, combines the functionality of six different appliances (pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, saute pan, steamer and warmer) into one design.
More advanced iterations can replace upward of 10 different appliances. (Need help choosing? Find the Instant Pot that’s right for you.) With one of these in your kitchen arsenal, braised meats, hearty stews and even sweet treats like cheesecake are just a few of the foods you can create. It automates the cooking experience and in many cases, all you really have to do is throw your ingredients and spices into the pot, program your cooking method, and wait until your meal is hot and ready. Some versions even incorporate Bluetooth technology that allows you to control and monitor the cooker from your smartphone.
But IP enthusiasts will be quick to tell you that its main selling point isn’t necessarily how hands-off and multipurpose the appliance is. Rather, it’s the fact that Instant Pot cooks food fast. With the help of its pressure cooking technology (which rapidly cuts down on cooking times), the Instant Pot is designed to cook meals at least 70% faster than traditional methods, according to the brand.
Is an Instant Pot worth it?
Let’s do the price breakdown. The most basic version of the Instant Pot starts at around $65, and the price of a manual pressure cooker alone is roughly the same. So for the price of one appliance, you’re getting an overachiever that does the work of six.
Not only that, but the Instant Pot is regularly on sale, especially during big shopping days. Chances are at any given moment, you’ll get a further price reduction on the Instant Pot.
That, combined with the seemingly endless number of foods you can cook, makes the device well worth it in our book.
What are the best Instant Pot accessories?
The Instant Pot is incredibly functional as is, but with the addition of some other tools, it’s even better.
YXWIN’s 15-piece accessories kit ($28.99; amazon.com) is one of the most comprehensive (and best-rated) options on Amazon.
Some of the most useful accessories included in the kit are the stainless steamer basket, which allows you to quickly steam a variety of veggies, meats and seafood in larger quantities; a springform pan you can use to make desserts like cheesecake and bread pudding; and an egg bite mold that functions like a muffin tin, allowing you to make bite-sized treats like mini omelettes and muffins. The kit also comes with an egg rack, so you can hard-boil eggs by the dozen for dishes like deviled eggs or potato salad, as well as heat-resistant silicone mitts, a pair of tongs, a whisk, a heat-resistant mat and a set of cooking cheat sheets that will help you master a variety of dishes.
Another must-have add-on to the Instant Pot is the Mealthy CrispLid ($59.95; amazon.com).
This accessory adds a brand new function to the programmable cooker, turning it into an air fryer, which will let you make healthier versions of fried foods. The Mealthy CrispLid screws onto the top of your Instant Pot and allows you to air fry, broil and crisp foods with little to no oil needed. It fits both 6- and 8-quart electric pressure cookers. All of the Mealthy CrispLid accessories are dishwasher-safe for easy cleanup.
For a true one-pot cooking experience, the Sabree Silicone Snap Strainer ($9.90; amazon.com) can drain excess liquids in your Instant Pot, acting as a space-saving colander.
And if you’re worried about the steam from your Instant Pot damaging your kitchen cabinets, the SteamMates Steam Diverter ($14.99; amazon.com) is designed to protect your kitchen cabinetry by pushing steam sideways instead of upward.
These add-ons can make your Instant Pot cooking experience healthier, safer, more convenient or ultimately more diverse — and who wouldn’t want that?
Note: The prices above reflect the retailer’s listed prices at the time of publication.