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Instant Pot accessories, including air fryer lid, a nonstick ceramic pot, mesh wire baskets, silicone steamer baskets and rack, springform pan, egg racks, and heat-resistant mitts.

One of the selling points of an Instant Pot multi-cooker is that it saves space by replacing a number of other countertop appliances—slow cooker, pressure cooker, rice cooker, steamer, yogurt maker. 

MORE ON MULTI-COOKERS

What no one tells you is that in order to make the most of your Instant Pot, you'll need a bunch of accessories that will clutter your cabinets. 

But which ones are actually worth the money and storage space? We bought 10 of these accessories so I could test them at home to see which ones boost my Instant Pot game—which I've been honing for eight years now—and which ones languish alongside my other kitchen outcasts.

Below are the details on the accessories that would make a great gift for yourself and your loved ones, plus two that you should skip. You can jump to each item using the links below.

Instant Pot Accessories That Are Worth It

The Instant Pot air fryer lid comes with an air frying basket and broiling/dehydrating tray.
The air-frying lid adds bake, roast, broil, reheat, dehydrate, and (of course) air-frying functions to many 6-quart Instant Pots.

Air-Fryer Lid
Price: $79

The air-fryer lid combines two of the most popular countertop appliances—multi-cookers and air fryers—into a cooker that can truly do it all. The lid fits on top of the Instant Pot, turning it into a mini convection oven that adds roasting, baking, broiling, reheating, and dehydrating functions to the multi-cooker’s already long list of programs. But while it saves you from buying yet another space-hogging appliance, it’s not exactly compact: It’s 11 inches wide and 7 inches tall. And it’s not compatible with all Instant Pot models, so be sure to check here before you buy

The lid comes with an air-fryer basket that you slip into the Instant Pot’s stainless steel inner pot. The downside is that the 3.5-quart basket is quite small. (The air fryers in our ratings range from 2 to 5.8 quarts.) It may not make sense for large families, but it’s just right for couples or people cooking for one, or if you’re willing to do multiple batches. 

While you need the basket to crisp up fries, you can use the air-fryer lid with just the Instant Pot’s stainless steel pot to brown and bake. I pressure-cooked a whole chicken in the stainless steel pot and swapped out the lid for the air-fryer lid to crisp up the skin. The result was a tender, juicy chicken with golden-brown skin.

The lid’s bake function didn't disappoint when I used it to make Parker House rolls. The tops were uniformly browned and the insides were moist and pillowy. The reheat function crisped up my dim sum takeout, and the roast function got my smashed potatoes nice and crackling. 

I found the lid’s dehydrate function disappointing, though. For one, I could barely fit enough fruit on the tray to justify the 4-hour cook time. The mango and apple slices came out rubbery and hard to chew, nothing like the dried mango and apple chips you find at the grocery store.

Buy at: Amazon, Best Buy, and Target


Instant Pot's metal egg racks.
This rack holds eggs for boiling and also lets you to cook, say, curry in the pot and rice on the rack—pot-in-pot cooking.

Metal Egg Racks
Price: $20

There are two types of egg racks available for the Instant Pot: silicone and metal. Both hold whole eggs, so they cook evenly and the yolks stay centered when you’re making soft-boiled or hard-boiled eggs in the Instant Pot. But the metal racks proved to be even more useful. 

In addition to being able to fit 14 eggs at a time (the silicone one fits nine), the multi-tiered racks are perfect for cooking two dishes at once, also known in the Instant Pot community as pot-in-pot cooking. I used the tall one to hold a bowl of rice and water, which steamed while curry cooked underneath. You can cook as little as a half-cup of rice this way, which is too small an amount to cook in the larger Instant Pot insert.

Buy at: Amazon, Best Buy, and Kohl's


Instant Pot's nonstick ceramic-coated inner pot.
A nonstick ceramic-coated pot makes cleanup easier when making sticky or starchy meals.

Ceramic Nonstick Inner Pot
Price: $20

The Instant Pot comes with a stainless steel inner pot that's durable and works great for most meals but can be a pain to clean if you make sticky or starchy foods. This ceramic pot was a breeze to clean after cooking rice and cheesy pasta, so it could be worth it if these types of dishes are on regular rotation in your household. The pot is oven-safe up to 680 degrees, so you can pop your mac and cheese under the broiler to get a crispy topping. (You may think you could achieve the same result without the broiler by using the air-fryer lid to crisp, but that lid isn't compatible with this ceramic pot.)

Buy at: Amazon, Target, and Walmart


Instant Pot's nonstick springform pan.
The nonstick springform pan is a must for any cheesecake fan. It fits perfectly in the Instant Pot.

Springform Cake Pan
Price: $13

The moist environment of a multi-cooker is ideal for making cheesecake and other custardy desserts. I will always choose this method over using an oven. And while you don’t need a special pan for it, this 7.5-inch pan (an uncommon size) fits perfectly in the pot, letting me squeeze in as much cheesecake as possible. It’s even more convenient if you have the silicone steam rack (below), because it locks into the rack for easy removal from the Instant Pot. If you’re a cheesecake lover like me, this pan would be nice to have.

Buy at: Amazon, Bed, Bath & Beyond, and Target


Instant Pot's silicone collection, including a long-handled steamer rack, a steamer basket, and cake pan.
The silicone collection is a set that includes a cake pan (left), steamer basket (center), and steamer rack (right). They're also sold individually.

Silicone Steam Rack
Price: $9

This silicone rack is great for recipes that require a dish, pan, or other item from the same Instant Pot silicone collection (like the steamer basket, below) to be placed inside the Instant Pot. It also works for other items that fit, like the springform pan, above. A locking-rim design secures accessories to the rack, and the legs stand higher out of the water than the metal rack that comes with the Instant Pot, which helps prevent food from getting wet. The long handles let you easily lower and lift the dish in and out of the pot without accidentally burning yourself. In the past, I crafted an aluminum foil sling to lower and lift my dishes, but it always felt unbalanced and precarious. The silicone steam rack truly is a game changer for me and worth every penny.

Buy at: Amazon and Walmart

Silicone Steamer Basket
Price: $10

The silicone basket looks like a traditional bamboo steamer, but the silicone prevents food from sticking. It locks onto the silicone steam rack accessory, and you can nest three of them on top of each other. It did a great job steaming dumplings, and I appreciated the flat surface for steaming fish. (Most other steamers I’ve tried for the Instant Pot are concave and don’t allow food to lie flat.) This steamer is also cheaper than bamboo steamers, easier to clean (just toss it in the dishwasher!), and fits snugly in the Instant Pot due to its custom size.

Buy at: Amazon and Walmart


Instant Pot's plastic yogurt maker rack fits five individual cups.
Yogurt cups are convenient when making yogurt, although some of it may thicken more than the rest.

Yogurt-Maker Cups
Price: $8

I’ve found that yogurt made directly in the Instant Pot’s stainless steel insert tastes a bit metallic, so I was looking forward to trying out these plastic yogurt cups. Each of the five cups fits a half-cup. Depending on how much yogurt you eat a week, this may or may not be enough.

If you’ve made Instant Pot yogurt the regular way, you know that sterilizing milk directly in the insert always leaves scalded milk stuck to the bottom of the pot. That means you have to transfer the milk into another bowl to clean out the pot, and then pour it back into the pot be cultured into yogurt. With these yogurt cups, milk goes straight into them and turns into yogurt—no messy cleaning required. Then you just put the cups in the refrigerator. The only downside is the Instant Pot tends to distribute heat unevenly, so some yogurt thickened more than the rest.

Buy at: AmazonKohl's, and Walmart


Instant Pot's red silicone mitts cover just the fingers and knuckles.
These mitts are thin and pliable—ideal when precision is required to grab small handles and pans out of the pot.

Mini Mitts
Price $7

I admit I rolled my eyes when we purchased these silicone mitts because I didn’t see how they would work any better than a regular oven mitt. I was proven wrong, especially in my attempts to remove the various racks, pots, and baskets I tried out for this article. The mitts are thin and much more pliable, allowing for precision gripping. But if you don’t plan on getting any of the other stuff on this list, you can probably pass on these mitts as well.

Buy at: Amazon and Walmart

Instant Pot Accessories That Are Not Worth It

Instant Pot's wire mesh basket set comes with a large basket and a shorter one that can nest inside the larger one.
Wire mesh baskets are handy for steaming big batches of veggies, but don't help the Instant Pot cook them any better.

Mesh Baskets
Price: $30

All the Instant Pot models in our ratings do relatively poorly in our lab tests for steaming vegetables. Do fine-mesh wire baskets help at all? They do not. Still, if you use your Instant Pot to steam veggies regularly, this basket allows you to make large batches without having to transfer the pieces one by one out of the pot when they’re done. The smaller basket also nests inside the larger basket, so you can steam two vegetables while keeping them separated.

Buy at: Amazon


Instant Pot's glass lid has a metal handle and vent hole.
The glass lid doesn't do much beyond letting you watch your food cook.

Tempered Glass Lid
Price: $15

The transparent glass lid lets you see what’s cooking, like with a slow cooker, and provides a looser seal than the pressure-cooker lid. If the lid allowed for more evaporation, I thought it might improve slow-cooked dishes—a task that Instant Pot models underperform in in our lab tests. But the beef stew I slow-cooked with the glass lid came out just as tough and watery as the beef stew I slow-cooked with the pressure-cooker lid. My recommendation would be to save your money.

Buy at: Amazon, Target, and Walmart