What containers should I use for Instant Pot “Pot in Pot” cooking?
January 15, 2019 4:33 PM   Subscribe

Instant Pot says any oven safe container. Some people use Pyrex 7 cup storage containers and even Pyrex mixing bowls. I have read somewhere that Pyrex refuses to ok it. Others are using stainless steel Tiffin type containers or mixing bowls or aluminum cake pans. What do you use? And do you use an aluminum foil band to remove the pot or a silicone lifter or a pot holder?

I have never used a pressure cooker. I have been reading blogs, books and AskMetafilter for the last three weeks. I am confused. Would ceramic/pottery pudding bowls or soufflé dishes work? Any other equipment that you have found useful? I have the 6 quart Lux, complete with a bright flowered exterior.
posted by Sunday Morning to Food & Drink (12 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
I would NOT put glass or ceramic in there or anything else that could shatter.

I've successfully used:

- a six inch diameter, 3 inch high metal cake pan (for pot in pot chicken)
- a 7 inch diameter, ~2.5 inch high, metal, enamel-lined round pan that I got at Goodwill because I didn't like cooking chicken in the cake pan
- a 7-inch springform (for cheesecakes)
- a 3-cup bundt (for steamed puddings/cakes)

I was never able to fashion an aluminum band long enough to use to get them out; it was far more trouble and waste than it was worth. My IP came with a sort of platform with handles. It elevates the pan about 3/4 of an inch above the floor of the main pot, which contains the water; the inner pot sits on that and comes out easily after cooking.

I also bought an elevated trivet thing which I have never used because it's much too high. I should have returned it.

edit: you can't rely on reaching in with pot holders to get stuff out, because you need to be able to lift things straight out without tilting, and you don't have room to grip the edges of pans once they're down in there. they need to either have handles or be on a tray that has handles.
posted by fingersandtoes at 4:45 PM on January 15, 2019

Welcome to IP and PiP cooking! You will love it. My favorite part about PiP is the easy clean-up - it's a smaller vessel to clean, and nothing is scorched or caked on.

Glass is happy as long as the temperature change is gradual. The shattering happens when there's a big sudden change. I have various stainless pots from defunct rice cookers that work great. I have also used glass mason jars and pyrex ramekins in my Instant Pot routinely. I would never take warm glassware out and plunge it into water.

As far as removing vessels - the mini "lobster" silicone mitts are fantastic.
posted by dum spiro spero at 5:11 PM on January 15, 2019 [2 favorites]

I have a Corningware French White round that I think is 6.5" or 7", I use that. I have the OXO silicone sling which is great for lifting pots out, and also great for boiling eggs.
posted by Lyn Never at 5:14 PM on January 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

I use a stainless steel mixing bowl, and haven't had any problems.
posted by spinifex23 at 5:20 PM on January 15, 2019

I use a steel mixing bowl on the wire trivet that came with the Instant Pot, and remove it by grasping a side of it with tongs.
posted by The Deej at 5:34 PM on January 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

I've used a Pyrex dish without any problems but I also don't go from IP immediately to fridge or anything crazy like that. I'm very used the foil sling before but found it cumbersome. My IP came with a racing to hold eggs, so I purchased an aftermarket trivey with handles.
posted by crunchy potato at 6:31 PM on January 15, 2019

I use glass Pyrex 4- and 7-cup containers, placed on the trivet that came with the Instant Pot, and with a cup of water in the bottom on the pot. I do this so often (like, 1-2 times/week) that I don't even stop to think whether it's okay. I strictly avoid sudden, drastic temperature changes.

I'm lazy and try to avoid waste, so I don't use a foil sling or anything. I just pinch the trivet handles together over the glass bowl, using a kitchen towel if the handles are too hot, and lift the entire trivet and bowl out of the pot.
posted by aquamvidam at 7:12 PM on January 15, 2019

Pliers are also a great way to grab metal bowls and pans to lift them out. I’d be less confident with Pyrex/glass unless there was a lip or something to get a good grip on.
posted by quince at 11:45 PM on January 15, 2019

I'm an old school pressure cooker cooker.
My advice may not apply because I'm not experience w/ the Instant Pot, but I use lipped [rolled-edge] stainless straight-sided bowls for pot in pot cooking in my pressure cooker. I use tongs to remove them if I need to do it right away, but the metal cools faster than the food in most cases and I also use my finger after a short rest.

These bowls frequently are available at thrift stores. The better quality versions are slightly heavier than cheaper ones. Vollrath is a good brand.
posted by Glomar response at 5:51 AM on January 16, 2019

I have used a ceramic ramekin with the knowledge that breakage is a possibility. I assume the breakage would damage the liner pot but not the base and I could just buy a new liner, so I am comfortable with the risk. YMMV
posted by soelo at 9:02 AM on January 16, 2019

I wouldn't think that breaking ceramic or even exploding pyrex could do any damage at all to the stainless steel liner pot, though in the latter case (which also seems super unlikely) I might want to remove the silicone gasket and check the little grill that protects the steam valves, to make sure no tiny bits of glass were hiding there.
posted by moonmilk at 9:29 AM on January 16, 2019

Response by poster: I think I was scared of the whole Instant Pot pot in pot method. Thanks to the above posts, I have now successfully used an 7 inch aluminium cake pan and a borosilicate glass bowl.
I also bought the lifter that was mentioned in an earlier post. Now that Pyrex has bought Instant Pot, there may be more options. Thanks to everyone.
posted by Sunday Morning at 2:16 PM on March 9, 2019

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