Which Instant Pot steamer basket is best?
There’s a tremendous amount of recipes that you can try out in your Instant Pot, but some of them require extra pieces of equipment, like steaming with a steamer basket. Anything from fish to dumplings to vegetables can be perfectly steamed in almost no time. You can even steam different types of food simultaneously with certain stackable steamer basket configurations.
The best Instant Pot steamer basket is actually made by Instant Pot: the Instant Pot Official Large Mesh Steamer Basket. It fits 6 and 8-quart Instant Pots with no mess or fuss and can even act as a strainer for extra versatility.
What to know before you buy an Instant Pot steamer basket
Types of steamer baskets
Standard: Your everyday steamer basket. It has one chamber and fits comfortably in most pressure cookers.
Stacked: A set of steamer baskets designed to fit tightly together with one on top of the other, allowing you to cook two different foods at once.
Sectional: A single steamer basket with two, three or four individual walled-off chambers that allow you to cook small portions of multiple different foods at once.
Instant Pot steamer baskets are most commonly made of stainless steel, though silicone does get used often too. There are also other materials available, like wood and bamboo, but these other materials run the risk of damaging both the accessory and the Instant Pot. If you’re unsure if a steamer basket is compatible with your Instant Pot, check the owner’s manual of the accessory and your Instant Pot.
Parts of a steamer basket
The steamer basket is made of several pieces and parts that combine to provide you with the cooking power you desire.
What to look for in a quality Instant Pot steamer basket
Just as there are different sizes for Instant Pots, there are also different sizes of steamer baskets. Make sure you’re double-checking your prospective steamer basket’s intended Instant Pot size because if it’s too small of a basket, your food won’t cook properly. If the basket is too large, it either won’t fit or could greatly damage your Instant Pot.
Most mid- to high-quality steamer baskets are resistant to corrosion and can withstand the moisture saturated environments of an Instant Pot. Low-quality steamer baskets can also use corrosive screws and/or rivets to hold the basket together in addition to being corrosive. Double-check that you don’t have any of these items to ensure a long-lasting option.
Ease of cleaning
Certain steamer baskets can be much harder to clean than others, like mesh steamer baskets, which can quickly be jammed by gummier foods. Most are, at least, dishwasher-safe, but ensure that they are before tossing yours into your dishwasher.
How much you can expect to spend on an Instant Pot steamer basket
Instant Pot steamer baskets are very affordable no matter the brand or what materials are used. You can find a low-cost, but solid, option for $10 or less. Sturdier options, better materials or well-known brands could bump that cost to roughly $15. There are also top-tier options that can cost up to $25, but these aren’t necessary in your average kitchen.
Instant Pot steamer basket FAQ
Can I use a steamer basket as a rack for “pot-in-pot” cooking methods?
A. Pot-in-pot cooking, or PIP, is the technique of using a steamer rack or basket as a stand to hold a second pot above a layer of water in your pressure cooker. When in use, the pressure cooker uses that water to generate steam and pressure to cook your dish. So yes, you can absolutely use a basket as the stand to hold up your second pot.
How does a set of stackable steamer baskets work?
A. Stackable steamer baskets work by placing one basket on top of the other within your Instant Pot. It allows you to cook more than one food at a time, for example rice in one basket and vegetables in the other. Take note that the top basket will cook slower than the bottom basket and it will also drip some of its contents into the bottom basket, as well.
What’s the best Instant Pot steamer basket to buy?
Top Instant Pot steamer basket
What you need to know: No one understands the product better than Instant Pot themselves, making this steamer basket the top choice.
What you’ll love: This steamer basket is dishwasher-safe and can also serve as a strainer.
What you should consider: When used in an 8-quart Instant Pot, the cooking space isn’t utilized as well as it could be.
Top Instant Pot steamer basket for the money
What you need to know: A strong and stable steamer basket option that can save you a few dollars.
What you’ll love: The removable handle can withstand holding weights of 20 pounds or more and the materials are dishwasher-safe.
What you should consider: The removable handle can sometimes detach from the basket when you don’t intend for it to.
Where to buy: Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: A two-tiered steamer basket option for steaming more than one item at once.
What you’ll love: You can cook more than just rice or vegetables with these steamer baskets, for example, you can have lasagna or cheesecake.
What you should consider: The bottom pan, being closer to the source of steam, will cook slightly faster than the top.
Where to buy: Amazon
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Jordan C. Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.