Many brands offer “multifunction” pressure cookers, which can handle a multitude of different tasks. There is no need for several appliances taking up space on your counter. With today’s multifunction electric pressure cookers, not only do you get a pressure cooker, but you also get a slow cooker, a rice cooker, a steamer, a warming pot, the ability to sauté and sear, and in some models you can even make your own yogurt. It’s an all-in-one package.
With so many different electric pressure cookers on the market today, how do you know which is best for you? The decision about which brand to choose should be based largely on what you like to cook and how you will be using it. Some things to consider are the number of people in your household. If you have a large family, an 8-quart (7.2 L) model (or larger) might be best. If there are just two of you and you don’t cook often, a 3- or 4-quart (2.7 or 3.6 L) version might be perfect.
Below we discuss Some basic & Special accessories for pressure cooker
A trivet or steam rack often comes standard with many electric pressure cookers. This rack keeps food, bowls, and pans elevated off the bottom of the inner cooking pot. This is an essential tool in your pressure-cooking arsenal. We also suggest purchasing a long-leg trivet that will fit in your pressure cooker. This is useful for several of our pot-in-pot recipes, as it allows more food to be underneath and still be able to keep another pot balanced safely above.
Generally speaking, when we say “steamer basket,” we are referring to a collapsible basket made of stainless steel with overlapping side leaves that can be expanded to fit inside most 6- or 8-quart (5.4 or 7.2 L) pressure cookers. It has a colander-type basket and has feet, so it can be used to hold vegetables or proteins over boiling water to steam them. The center post, which occasionally has a ring on the end of it, can be used to help lift the basket from the inner pot.
The center post is also removable, which makes it perfect for steaming larger vegetables like whole artichokes or spaghetti squash. You can find steamer baskets made of silicone or smaller baskets that double as strainers and come with lift handles that also fit easily inside most 6-quart (5.4 L) or larger pressure cookers.
An instant-read thermometer helps you check to ensure larger cuts of meats have been cooked to a safe internal temperature. It is also beneficial in ensuring your yogurt (if your pressure cooker has that function) has reached the proper temperature.
Another product is a portable timer called a TimeStick. It is very convenient to set the timer, hang it around your neck, and be able to do chores in other parts of the house knowing you won’t miss the alarm!
This is great to use for cheesecakes and lasagna. The sides of a springform pan expand and then buckle closed. It has a detachable bottom, which makes removing cheesecakes simple and easy. A push pan also has a removable bottom, but the sides of the pan are solid, so removing things like lasagna is nearly effortless.
If you can afford only one additional pan, make it this one. It’s useful for cakes, spinach dip, frittatas, meatloaf, and potin-pot rice. If necessary, this pan can also be used for lasagna, but you will have difficulty removing your food.
This half-size Bundt pan (we love Nordic Ware) fits perfectly inside most 6-quart (5.4 L) electric pressure cookers. Use it for cakes or bread pudding!
Small 4-Ounce (112 g) Mason Jars
These are sometimes called quilted jelly jars and are perfect for making individual-size cheesecakes or desserts.
Flat Wooden Spatula or Turner
This utensil helps release any browned bits off the bottom of the pot when you sauté your food and easily breaks up clumps of cooking ground meat.
Round Ceramic Casserole Dish without Handles
This is a great dish to have. It can double as a rice dish for pot-in-pot meals. It will fit a batch of Spinach Artichoke Dip perfectly and fits seamlessly inside a 6-quart (5.4 L) pressure cooker.
You will need to replace your sealing ring (sealing gasket) at least once a year. Thankfully they are not expensive. Some people have different colored gaskets that they switch out regularly for use when making sweet dishes versus savory dishes. The gaskets do tend to pick up odors, and who wants a cheesecake that smells like spaghetti and meatballs?
Aluminum Foil Sling
One of the best tools you will use with your pressure cooker is an aluminum sling. It will help you lift pans in and out of the pressure cooker with ease. The great thing about an aluminum sling? It is not expensive and you can use it over and over again. I keep mine in the same drawer as my plastic storage bags and parchment paper.
First, tear off a sheet of aluminum foil about 24 inches (61 cm) long and lay it out on the kitchen table. Fold it lengthwise evenly into thirds, much like you were folding a piece of paper to put in an envelope. Run your hands over the edges to flatten it. Center the pan you want to lift in the middle of your newly created sling.
Fold the edges up around the pan and bring the ends together. Twist the ends together to create a handle. Now you can safely place pans inside your pressure cooker without spilling the contents and, more importantly, you can lift hot pans out of the pressure cooker without burning your fingers. Some people like to create two slings for extra support on each side of the baking dish.
Small, heat-resistant oven mitts designed to protect your hands and fingers from the hot inner cooking pot, these mitts allow you to grip the edges of the pot without getting burned. Most come with a textured grip surface to reduce the risk of slipping.
These are different than traditional kitchen tongs. Retriever tongs are great for taking a very hot dish out of a container. They are designed to clip and lift the inner pot or steamer basket from your pressure cooker. They are also useful for taking hot plates from the oven or microwave without having to touch them.
Jar Lifter Tongs
This is a tool used often in canning. It is essential for lifting hot jars out of a water bath canner. It is also very useful for getting individual jars of cheesecake out of your pressure cooker.
Special Equipment and Accessories
This is a powerful stick blender. It is lightweight with sharp blades, and you can use it to blend foods right in your pressure cooker. You can mash potatoes, blend sauces, process hummus, and more. It usually comes with a whisk attachment and some kind of bowl or beaker, which also makes blending sauce or pesto easy and convenient.
Instant Pot has a springform silicone loaf pan that fits beautifully inside their 6-quart (5.4 L) electric pressure cookers. It’s handy to bake more traditional meatloaf or quick bread.