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18 (Seriously Useful) Instant Pot Tips, Tricks, And Hacks

Whether you're a proud new owner or you've been using an IP for years.

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The Instant Pot is a super useful kitchen tool — but it can sometimes be tricky to use.

So whether you're already an Instant Pot pro or a new owner after the holiday season, we wanted to share some helpful tips and tricks for how to actually get the most out of it. Find them below! 🥘

1. Reminder that the *entire lid* is dishwasher safe — not just the sealing ring.

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As the manual says: "The lid is top-rack dishwasher safe. It is best to remove the sealing ring and the anti-block shield so that the lid may be thoroughly cleaned."

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(And BTW, you already know what the sealing ring is, but here's the anti-block shield:)

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Just remove this part before you toss the lid into the washer.

2. Use a clear glass lid when you're slow cooking or simmering for long periods of time.

It's the easiest way to see how things are going over time — without having to actually lift the top. A transparent cover is also great if you're sautéing or browning.

Get it from Amazon for $12.59.

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3. PSA: The handle doubles as a built-in lid holder.

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LOL, this took me way too long to realize.

4. If the silicone ring gets gross, do a (super quick!) steam clean with water + lemon, or vinegar.

Joe Lingeman / Via thekitchn.com

If you find that the ring is holding onto food odors — even after you've washed it — fill the IP with two cups of vinegar *or* water + lemon rind. Then run it on the "steam" setting for two minutes. Good as new!

Read more: The Best Way To Get Smells Out Of An Instant Pot Sealing Ring

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5. Or, ya know, just buy extra rings.

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We won't judge. 😊

Get a pack of two on Amazon for $11.95.

6. Cook hard-boiled eggs as part of your first water test.

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The first thing you'll do with a new IP is run a water test, or boil water to make sure it works properly. But to get more bang for your buck, pop some eggs in that water. When the test finishes, you'll have fresh hard-boiled eggs — perfect for meal prep or snacking later.

Read more: How to Make Instant Pot Hardboiled Eggs

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7. Bookmark this list of all-purpose dinner ideas — for when you're not sure what to cook.

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8. Or, if you're searching for IP options tailored to a specific diet, pick up a specialty cookbook.

There are so many out there now — whether you're looking for simple Keto-friendly recipes, delicious vegan dinners, or something else entirely.

Get The Easy 5-Ingredient Ketogenic Cookbook for $6.99, or The Vegan Instant Pot Cookbook for $14.99, both on Amazon.

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9. Prevent steam from damaging kitchen cabinets by being strategic about IP placement.

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Since an Instant Pot shoots steam straight up, it's always best to use it in a unobstructed or well-circulated place, like under a hood vent. Avoid releasing steam right under cabinets — because repeated exposure to heat and steam can mess with wood and paint.

Read more: Dos & Don'ts For Using An Instant Pot

10. Or, attach a small steam diverter to re-direct air flow.

If you (like me!) don't have a ton of cabinet-less kitchen counterspace to begin with, use a handy silicone diverter to steer steam away from cabinets.

Get it from Amazon for $13.95.

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11. For complete 2-in-1 (or 3-in-1) meals, try the pot-in-pot method.

Joe Lingeman / thekitchn.com

Pot-in-pot just means that you're putting another bowl and/or rack inside the Instant Pot — above the water at the bottom. Whatever you put in the top half is cooked by the steam generated underneath it.

Recipe: Instant Pot Meatloaf & Mashed Potatoes

12. The PIP method also works with desserts.

crunchycreamysweet.com

The towering slices on this cheesecake are thanks to a 7" springform pan, placed directly in a 6-quart Instant Pot. (Though if you have an 8-quart IP, you'll want to use a slightly larger 8" springform pan.)

Recipe: Instant Pot Cherry Cheesecake

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13. To make lifting food out much easier, use a silicone sling.

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Your Instant Pot comes with a small metal rack — aka a trivet — but a common user complaint is the short handles make removing things a bit fumbly. This extended silicone sling solves for that — and is great for lifting and lowering stuff like cheesecake, lasagna, and hardboiled eggs. It's also dishwasher-safe.

Get it from Amazon for $10.96.

14. Or, for a DIY alternative, hook two foil strips onto the sides of the trivet that came with your Instant Pot.

If you're already got foil in your kitchen, this gives you an instant (and free!) handle extender.

Watch: How to Make Foil Extenders For Your Instant Pot Trivet

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15. Always have at least 1/2 cup of liquid in the pot.

Anything less and you'll likely run into the 'burn' error.

Recipe: Instant Pot Carnitas Tacos

16. Want to solve for storage? This tiered utility cart from Target fits an Instant Pot perfectly.

That's according to devotees of the Instant Pot Community Facebook group — who swear by it.

Get it from Target for $35.

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17. To release steam without burning your hands or having to fiddle with gloves, wedge the back of a wooden spoon underneath the valve.

Slide a spoon through the Instant Pot handle and underneath the release valve. This will push it into a slow-quick release while keeping your hands far enough from the spout.

Watch more: 5 Instant Pot Tips & Hacks You Should Know

18. Lastly: Keep this cheat sheet handy!

Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed

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