Instant Pots can whip up some incredible meals that leave your friends and family asking for more. However, like with any kitchen appliance, they can be intimidating and confusing. I’m sure you’ve seen your Instant Pot come with a metal rack called a trivet, and you might be wondering if it’s even necessary to use.
You can use Instant Pot without a trivet. You may put all ingredients directly in the pot if you’re preparing meals that include liquids, such as soup or marinated meats. However, if you’re cooking foods that shouldn’t touch the water in the pot, such as bread, then a trivet is needed.
Let’s discuss when and why you should use a trivet with your Instant Pot. I’ll explain the benefits of using one, what you can use if you don’t have a trivet, and help you determine when you might not want to use the trivet. So, let’s get into it!
What Is a Trivet for an Instant Pot?
A trivet for an Instant pot is a stainless-steel rack that comes with the appliance. It’s a helpful tool for pressure cooking as it holds food above the liquid in the pot. This additional level allows you to cook certain meals like chicken, bread, and cheesecake without becoming soggy.
Pressure cooking always requires 1-2 cups of water. Therefore, it can be tricky to navigate certain meals. The trivet allows you to “escape” the liquid and raises your food above the water level in the pot, so you can steam your meals rather than boil or braise them.
The Benefits of Using a Trivet in an Instant Pot
Let’s explore some of the other benefits of a trivet:
It Is Convenient for a Variety of Meals
Whether you want to boil an egg, roast a chicken, or bake a potato, an Instant Pot trivet will come to the rescue. A trivet doesn’t discriminate and allows you to cook various meals. So, you aren’t restricted to only preparing boiled or braised meals, and you can experiment as much as you please.
It Protects Your Hands
Most trivets are made from heat-resistant materials and have long side handles so that you can remove them from the pot without burning your hands. However, when removing the trivet with cooked food, you should take caution and use silicone gloves to be safe.
I recommend this 2-pair set of Acronde Mini Oven Gloves (available on Amazon.com) because they have small pinch grips that easily lift a hot trivet.
You Can Easily Lift Food
Most trivets have a user-friendly design with long side handles, making it easier to lift your food. You no longer need to juggle two tools or awkwardly maneuver to get the cooked food out of the Instant Pot. You just have to grab the handles, lift the rack, and you’re ready to plate your food!
You Can Cook Healthier Meals
Using a trivet allows you to steam your veggies rather than boil them. And according to CNN Health, steaming your vegetables is a healthier alternative to boiling them.
That is because boiling vegetables causes the vitamins to leach into the water and disintegrate, cheating us of many healthy nutrients. On the other hand, steaming helps preserve the nutrients in the veggies because they don’t come into contact with the boiling water.
You Can Cook More Than One Item Simultaneously
Using a trivet allows you to cook two different foods in your Instant Pot simultaneously. This method is called Pot in Pot cooking. Using this method, you can cook your side dish on top of the trivet and the main dish on the pot’s bottom.
However, the trivet that comes with your Instant Pot might be too short for Pot in Pot cooking. Therefore, you should buy a taller one to suit your needs. I recommend this 2-piece HULISEN Tall Trivet Rack Stand (available on Amazon.com) because they’re tall enough to cook two things simultaneously, and they can double as a cooling rack or pot stand.
Do You Have To Use a Trivet in an Instant Pot?
You don’t have to use a trivet in an Instant Pot. Your Instant Pot will always require 1-2 cups of water to cook anything, but sometimes, you won’t want to separate your solids from your liquids when making soups and stews.
You will still want to use the trivet for some things. For example, if you’re roasting a chicken, you won’t want to immerse the meat in liquid. Likewise, if you’re steaming vegetables, there’s no need to soak them in water.
However, if you wish to make a stew, soup, rice, or lentils, you can put all your ingredients directly into the pot sans trivet.
Alternatives for an Instant Pot Trivet
Trivets are easy to lose and abuse, and your Instant Pot might not have come with a handy trivet. Still, there’s no need to stress if you need one in a hurry. There are many creative ways to supplement a trivet.
Let’s highlight these alternatives in detail:
Aluminum foil acts as a good substitute for a trivet. You can make balls out of aluminum foil and put them at the bottom of your pot. Then, place your food on the aluminum balls to create a cheap, handy impromptu trivet!
You can also attempt making shapes with the foil to conform to whatever you want to put in the pot. In addition, if you are cooking small things like broccoli florets, diced veggies, or cubed meats, you can place a sheet of foil on top of the balls to create a flat cooking surface.
A Metal Lid of a Large Jar
If you have any jars lying around, you can use an aluminum or steel lid to create a trivet in your Instant Pot. All you need to do is ensure the jar lid is heat-resistant and big enough to fit comfortably inside your Instant Pot. Then, pop it in the bottom and put your food on top of it.
A Stainless-Steel Bowl
Another great alternative to a trivet is a stainless-steel bowl that is small enough to fit inside your Instant Pot. You need to turn the bowl upside down and place it in the pot. It’ll serve as a barrier from the liquid, and it’s also a very sturdy alternative for a trivet.
Metal or silicone steamer baskets are ideal trivet replacements for your Instant Pot. You can use anything metal and heat-resistant as a substitute for a trivet, just as long as it fits in your Instant Pot and can support your food. However, an easier way would be to purchase one on Amazon.com. It’ll save you the hassle, treat your food the right way, and be safer to use.
If you are looking for a handy steamer basket, I recommend this Instant Pot Silicone Steamer Basket (available on Amazon.com) because it’s designed specifically for your Instant Pot. It also has short legs to raise your food, preventing sogginess. It’s also helpful in straining and steaming in other pots, so it’s good to have around!