One of the ways to significantly cut down the time used up in meal preparation is to use an instant pot. From meats to beans to vegetables, you can cook your favorite dishes in record time by just pushing a button.
But besides quick-cooking, another common application of a pressure-cooking device like the instant pot is in the area of steaming.
Apart from the relatively little time involved in preparing them, steamed food is usually healthier as they retain their nutrients and flavor. And there’s no better way to make such dishes than to use the best instant pot steamer basket for your insert.
Steamer baskets are a great addition for your instant pot as they enable you to steam food without dipping into the water. For starters, the basket is not usually provided with the pot (at least, in most cases), which means you have to purchase it separately.
For some time now, I’ve been receiving a lot of requests on which steamer baskets are the best to buy and where to get them. My aim is to provide answers to these questions and more in this article.
8 Best Instant Pot Steamer Basket
Here, I have reviewed the eight of the top contenders for the best instant pot steamer basket currently available in the market. These products are some of the bestsellers in the market right now.
1. Best Choice: Instant Pot 5252247 Official Mesh Steamer Baskets
To kick off this list is none other than Instant Pot’s own official mesh steamer baskets. These baskets are specifically recommended by the manufacturers for the instant pot pressure cooker, and they’re arguably the best combination you can get. So, it should come as no surprise that I choose them as my best overall pick.
When it comes to quality, I must confess I was really impressed with these baskets. Thanks to their stainless steel construction – they are very sturdy and are not affected by rust. So, you can expect to get a lot of use from them.
The baskets are actually bigger than they look, and I’m quite sure they will exceed your expectation in terms of how much you think they can hold.
Its larger basket can be used to steam long vegetables, fish, asparagus, and others, while the smaller basket can be used for smaller vegetables, wrapped fish, and other small food items.
Thus, it’s possible to cook an entire meal at a go with steam when both baskets are used.
Both baskets come with raised feet to keep them away from boiling water while cooking with your instant pot.
They are also outfitted with an easy-lift handle, which enables you to easily lift the food from the pot when you’re done cooking. Using the smart lift is definitely safer and more preferable to using your bare hands.
Interestingly, besides steaming, you can also use the baskets as strainers. They fit both 6-quart and 8-quart instant pots.
2. Budget Pick: House Again Original Sturdy Stainless Steel Steamer Basket
If you’re shopping on a tight budget but still want a steamer basket with decent quality, then you will not be disappointed with this product from House Again. In fact, you will not find a better option for quick and healthy steam cooking in the same price range.
Like the previous product, this one is made from high-quality stainless steel material, which makes it highly durable and much sturdier than the normal wire basket. It is dishwasher safe and easy to clean; just rinse and put away.
The basket handle and leg are both covered with silicone to give you a good grip to ensure safe and easy removal. Its high trivet ensures the steam doesn’t come in contact with the water.
Just so you know, the silicon used here is a special type that is food grade and completely free from BPA. So health-wise, you have nothing to worry about.
Like the previous baskets, this one is also designed for 6 or 8 Qt. instant pots. So, we can comfortably say it’s a large capacity. It also features a trivet to keep the basket above the hot water. Both ends of the handle are covered with a black silicone sleeve to ensure there’s no scratching when carrying the basket around.
The basket is dishwasher safe, so you don’t always have to wash with hands.
3. Premium Pick: Fox Run 48772 Collapsible Silicone Steamer Basket Insert
The Fox Run 48772 is another awesome steamer basket to consider if you’re looking for quality and value, and money is no object. This premium option is an excellent choice for preparing healthy meals with your instant pot, though it can also be used with other pressure cookers.
You will be glad to know the basket is made of high-quality silicone that is 100 percent BPA free. This makes it completely safe and ideal for pressure cooking.
It has a collapsible design, which helps to save space and allows for easy storage. This makes it a great choice for small apartments or homes with very limited space.
Interestingly, unlike most convectional steamer baskets, no high trivet is needed for this unit. And more so, it doesn’t leave any scratches or scuff on your kitchen table.
In terms of sizing, the Fox Run 48772 has a bottom diameter of 6.25-inches and 8.5-inches at the top. The total height is 5-inches, which includes the height of the feet.
With only one handle, you can easily lift the basket with one hand. This can be really useful when you need to hold or do something with the other hand.
Luckily the basket is dishwasher safe, which allows for easy and quick cleaning, especially when you’re in a hurry.
To obtain a snug fit, use it with a 6-quart LUX60V3 instant pot.
4. Best Collapsible Design: Kitchen Deluxe 2-Tier Vegetable Steamer Basket
The next product I will like to touch is the Kitchen Deluxe 2-Tier Vegetable Steamer Basket. Kitchen Deluxe happens to be one of my favorite brands when it comes to the working of cookware. Their steamer basket is one of the best I found with an extendable handle.
One of the things I like about this basket is that it’s very easy to use and clean. And much of this is tied to its compact design. You can wash with your hands, but it’s also dishwasher safe.
As expected, the basket is made of quality stainless steel, which is responsible for its cool shiny look and durability. These are the perfect duo gadgets you need to make healthy veggies for your family. You can use them with 6 and 8 Qt. instant pots.
The best highlight of this product would probably be its two-tier collapsible design, which consists of a removable handle that can be extended and foldable silicon feet.
Moreover, the use of silicon ensures that no scratching or damage happens to your pot or pan. You can expand to fit into different pot sizes and collapse it for compact storage. The impressive design is what sets the steamer apart from many similar options.
Also included with the baskets are a vegetable peeler (Julienne Veggie Peeler) and a recipe book.
5. Best for Multiple Sizes: Alpacasso Steamer Baskets with Other Instant Pot Other Accessories
Another fine steamer basket that will provide a good bang for your money is the one supplied together with other instant pot accessories by Alpacasso. So, in addition to the baskets (there are two of them), you also get baking papers, a non-stick pan, an egg rack, an egg bites mold, a kitchen tong, a steamer rack, and so on.
Whether you’re thinking about getting these for yourself, a friend, or a relative for a special occasion, I have no doubt it would be greatly appreciated. It provides so much value for less than 40 bucks.
Interestingly, the baskets are designed to fit not one, not two, but three different sizes of the instant pot. This includes 5, 6, and 8-quart pots. Besides instant pot, it is also compatible with other pressure cookers and stockpots like Cuisinart CPC-600, Fagor, and Power Pressure Cooker XL.
All the accessories are made of premium materials that are safe, sturdy, and durable. These are food-grade materials that have been approved by the FDA.
The baskets themselves are composed of stainless steel and silicon, which are of BPA free and of premium quality. They are completely free from harmful materials such as lead and phthalate and are resistant to corrosion. The rack design enables you to make different kinds of dishes at a go.
Even though the baskets are said to be rust-free, I still advise drying those properly after use to reduce the risk of rust since you’re dealing with stainless steel.
6. Best Versatile Pick: EasyShopForEveryone Stackable Steamer
EasyShopForEveryone might not be a well-known brand, but there’s no doubt that stackable insert pans are some of the best out there. If you would rather use an insert pan for steaming instead of a basket, then you will not go wrong with these ones.
I choose these pans mainly because of their versatility. The three-tier stackable insert allows you to do more than just steam vegetables and fish. Whether you need to steam meat, cook rice, or prepare lasagna for desserts, you will find these pans quite adequate.
Believe me, there’s no better way to save the precious vitamins and nutrients in your food than steaming with these pans. You will do well to consider them for your instant pot.
As expected, the pans are made of food-grade stainless steel, which makes them safe to use. Two lids are provided, which you can easily interchange depending on what you want to do. These include a sealing lid for cooking and reheating and a steamer lid for steaming.
The steamer set is designed for 6 and 8-quart cooker.
7. Best Stackable Design: Dunsten Stackable Steamer Insert Pans
Next up is a less popular option but definitely one of the best steamers available for instant pot – the DUNSTEN Stackable Insert Pans. If you prefer using steamer pans to baskets, then you should consider this product.
One of the things I like about this product is that it comes included with everything you need to get started. These include two stoneware pans, a stainless steel sling, a bamboo rack, and one plastic lid.
Of course, all these accessories, including the steamer pans, are made of high-quality food-grade materials that are safe to use. The bamboo rack helps to ensure proper steam ventilation while the plastic lid can be used for leftovers.
Cooking with these pans is so much easier, thanks to their design and build. The stackable design makes it very easy to cook two different things at the same time, thus saving you valuable time.
You can cook, store, and reheat your food as much as needed without destroying essential nutrients. Interestingly, the pans are dishwasher safe, which makes them very easy to clean. They are also safe to use with a microwave.
The pans are great for 6 and 8 Qt. electric pressure cooker. These include instant pot as well as other brands such as Faberware, Elite, Secura, Power XL, Kuhn Rikon, and so on.
Given the reputation DUNSTEN has garnered over the years, I have no doubt you will be satisfied with these pans, as well as the items it comes with. I highly recommend it as a great alternative to steamer baskets.
8. Best Cool Handle: OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Steamer Basket
If the idea of a classic design doesn’t go down well with you, then you might like something like this OXO steamer, which has more of a basic design. So why go back to the basics? One of the reasons for this might be the need to find a steamer that would work with your old instant pot or cooker.
This steamer is flexible and can be used with both old and new pressure cookers or multi-cookers and would fit pots with 8-inches diameter or more. It comes with 1-3/4” feet to keep it above the water, which can be folded when you want to store the steamer.
You would have also noticed that the body is made of stainless steel, which makes it sturdy and highly durable. So, you can rest assured you will get a lot of uses from the steamer.
One of the major highlights of this basket is its extendable stay-cool handle grip, which comes with a hole to allow you to insert a fork to lift it without exposing your hands to the steam. The steamer is also dishwasher safe; however, I still recommend washing with hand.
Overall, I think this is a decent steamer, and it definitely wins the spot for the best flexible design. I have no doubt you will come to appreciate it.
What to Look for Before Buying Instant Pot Steamer Basket
So, what are the things to consider before putting out your money for an instant pot steamer basket? Let’s quickly go through them.
Size of Basket
This is probably the most important consideration to make. You want to choose a basket with the right size that will fit into your instant pot. Anything less would be a waste of time.
So, make sure you read the description on the product to find out if it will be compatible with your pot. A larger sized basket will obviously not fit while a smaller one will likely float inside the pot.
The type of material used in making the steamer basket will largely determine how long it will last. Stainless steel and silicone are two common options that are very promising. While stainless steel offers more durability, silicone is lighter and thus more convenient to handle.
Ease of Cleaning
Next, you should consider how easy it is to clean the steamer. It is best to go for an option that is dishwasher safe since you might not always have the time to wash with your hands. That said, I still recommend hand washing when you have the time.
As you would have already discovered, steamer baskets come in different types. There are the stackable options that allow you to stack one basket on top of another so you can steam different foods at the same.
We also have those that use dividers to separate different foods into different sections in the same basket. These are called the sectional steams.
There are also single steamer baskets (which are the most common options), which are designed for steaming only one type of food at a time.
How to Use a Instant Pot Steamer Basket
Steaming is very simple, especially if you’re using the right steamer basket. I will walk you through the steps just in case you’re still a beginner.
Prepare the Food
The first thing is to gather the vegetables (or food) you want to steam. Rinse with clean water to get rid of pesticides and bacteria. Don’t soak the vegetables to avoid removing important nutrients.
Depending on what you’re cooking, I advise slicing the vegetables to ensure better heat distribution and reduced steaming time. Whole or large vegetables usually take more time to steam.
Boil the Water
After preparing your vegetables, the next thing is to boil water in your instant pot. The pot should fit with the steamer basket. You will need 1-2 inches of water or more depending on the firmness or quantity of veggies you want to steam.
Allow the water to boil – this might take up to ten minutes, depending on the heat setting. But I recommend a medium-high setting.
Set the Steamer Basket
As soon as the water boils, you can now set the steamer basket in the pot and then scatter your vegetables (or any other food) inside.
Make sure the basket stays above the water, or else you will end up boiling the food instead of steaming it. If you need to cook more than one food, then make sure you cook them separately since their cooking times are not the same.
Lower the Heat
Cover the pot and then reduce the heat on the burner to medium or just a little lower. Make sure you use the right lid to cover the pot. It should be something that fits snugly; otherwise, you will lose some of the steam (which will affect your cooking).
Allow the Food to Steam
Give the food some time to steam and then take it down when it’s properly cooked. The amount of time it takes largely depends on the type of food you’re cooking.
For instance, fish can take anywhere between 25-30 minutes (or more) while veggies take lesser time, usually 5-7 minutes. You can use a knife or fork to poke the food to see if they are done. Most foods become soft when steamed.
Remove the Steamer
Once the food is done, take out the basket from the pot and then pour the food into a dish or remove it with a tong. Another method is to remove the food while the steamer basket is still in the pot.
Some steamers have specific instructions on how to remove them from the pot or pan. This takes away any guesswork and makes things faster and more convenient.
After removing the food from the steamer, allow it to cool, then wash and store it away for the next time.
Using a steamer basket will really transform the way you cook. Besides being very simple and very easy, this method helps to preserve your food nutrients and flavor. In fact, I would argue there’s no better way to cook food.
In this article, I was able to introduce you to the best steamer basket for instant pot available right now. You also learned how to use a steamer basket as well as the most important things to consider to find a product that meets your specific needs.
Let me know if you have any more questions or contributions, and I will be glad to respond. Until then, happy shopping!