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Pot in Pot Instant Pot cooking is a convenient and reliable way to cook multiple dishes at once, or dishes with thick creamy sauces and more!
Once you’ve mastered all the great features an Instant Pot has to offer, you may want to start exploring some of the amazing things you can do with your Instant Pot that maybe you didn’t even know about – like pot in pot cooking.
What is Pot in Pot Instant Pot Cooking Method?
Pot-in-pot cooking, sometimes referred to as PIP cooking, is a technique that allows you to cook things using an oven-safe bowl placed on a steam rack inside the Instant Pot.
Benefits of PIP Method:
- Cook multiple dishes at once, such as a main course and a side dish. For example, my Instant Pot Pot Roast with barley.
- Cook foods with thick and/or creamy sauces that tend to scorch on the bottom. For example, this creamy Instant Pot Scalloped Potatoes.
- Bake desserts, such as this irresistible Instant Pot cheesecake.
- Cook dishes with very little or no liquid, such as casseroles. For example, this Instant Pot breakfast casserole, or this pineapple teriyaki Instant Pot salmon.
- Also reheat leftovers.
Accessories for PIP Cooking:
You’ll need 2 things to try this pressure cooker cooking method.
- Ideally, you want stainless steel, metal or silicon bowl for PIP cooking. For example, a cake pan that fits inside the insert of the Instant Pot would be perfect.
- I’ve used oven-safe glass bowls with no problem. But proceed with caution and read the manufacturers direction closely.
- I love this stackable steamer insert pans.
Rack or trivet
- The rack that came with your Instant Pot is great for most pot in pot cooking. NOTE: Never place a bowl directly on the bottom of Instant Pot inner pot. It always has to be placed on a rack!
- If you’d like to cook 2 dishes at once, like a main and a side dish without combining the two, I recommend purchasing this high trivet. You’ll need a trivet that is at least 2.5 – 3 inches tall, so that there’s room on the bottom for the main dish.
Additionally, you’ll need something to help you lift the hot food out of Instant Pot. I find these silicone mitts super convenient, as they’re so sleek.
How to Cook with PIP Method:
There’re two ways to use the PIP method.
1. Steaming and baking.
- Pour at least 1 cup of water into the bottom of the Instant Pot metal insert.
- Place a rack/trivet.
- Arrange the oven-safe bowl with your food on top of the trivet.
- Secure the lid and cook according to your recipe directions.
2. Cooking 2 separate dishes at the same time.
- Place the food with the longer cooking time in the bottom of the Instant Pot.
- Make sure to add some sort of thin liquid to the bottom so the Instant Pot can achieve pressure.
- Arrange a high trivet on top of the food. Make sure the trivet is level and stable.
- Place the oven-safe bowl with 2nd dish on top of the high trivet. Depending on what you’re cooking, the food in the bowl may or may not require any liquid.
- Secure the lid and cook according to recipe directions. Steam trapped within the Instant Pot during pressurization cooks both foods simultaneously.
How to cook two foods that have different cooking times?
You’ll want to choose two foods that have relatively similar cooking times.
Keep in mind, food cooked in an oven safe bowl on top will take a little longer to cook than if it was prepared directly in the metal insert.
- Rice, cooked in an oven-safe bowl, can withstand a few extra minutes of cooking time without negatively affecting the texture.
However, if you are concerned about the outcome of your meal, there’re a couple of solutions.
- Precook the food that requires the longest cooking time. Do a quick release of the pressure, then place your second item on top of the first, secure the lid and continue cooking.
- Wrap the second food item in a double layer of aluminum to insulate it against the heat and slow the cooking time.
Instant Pot PIP Recipes:
Ready to try Pot in Pot cooking? Try these recipes!
- Pineapple Teriyaki Instant Pot Salmon
- Instant Pot Breakfast Casserole
- Instant Pot Egg Salad
- Instant Pot Beer BBQ Meatballs and Rice
- Instant Pot Salsa Chicken and Brown Rice
- Instant Pot Pot Roast with Barley
If you’re new to Instant Pot cooking, be sure to check out my Instant Pot Beginner’s Guide here.