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The Ultimate Guide To The Instant Pot Pot In Pot Cooking Method, otherwise known as PIP Instant Pot Cooking.

The Instant Pot Pot In Pot Cooking Method (PIP)
The Instant Pot Pot In Pot Cooking Method (PIP)
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Instant Pot Pot In Pot Cooking Method

When you hear the term Instant Pot Pot In Pot Cooking Method for the first time, you’re probably wondering what on earth I am talking about!

That’s because I was clueless when I first heard of the Instant Pot Pot in Pot Cooking Method too.

I was already doing Instant Pot Pot In Pot Cooking, but I didn’t know it had a fancy name to it, it was just a way that I cooked in my Instant Pot Pressure Cooker.

But every day I get asked by my readers what Pot In Pot Instant Pot Cooking Is, so I am here to day to explain Instant Pot Pot In Pot Cooking, so that you’re no longer confused.

What Is The Instant Pot Pot In Pot Cooking Method?

Instant Pot Pot In Pot Cooking means cooking food in the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker inside of a container.

The Instant Pot is called a pot and then you’re adding another pot, hence the name “Pot In Pot Cooking”. It is also known for short as PIP.

Even though you would think it just refers to a POT it can be any type of container that fits inside of the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker.

You might cook with:

And the Instant Pot PIP list goes on and on.

Quite often I don’t even think of it as pot in pot cooking and more as, lets get dinner cooked in the Instant Pot. It is simply put, a fancy name for simple Instant Pot recipes that use accessories.

How To Cook With The Instant Pot Pot In Pot Cooking Method

The logistics behind Instant Pot Pot In Pot Cooking Is Simple. So simple that you will remember this info in your head for next time you decide to try pot in pot cooking yourself.

  • Pour 250ml/1 cup of water into the bottom of the Instant Pot Inner Pot
  • Place your steamer shelf/trivet over the water section
  • Add your PIP container on top
  • Pressure cook

As long as you remember that you need a cup of water at the bottom to bring it to pressure, that the food container needs to be above the water and that it takes longer to cook, then those are the basics covered.

Why Cook PIP In The Instant Pot?

I love Pot In Pot Cooking in the Instant Pot. There are so many times when I do pot in pot cooking and I probably cook more with pot in pot, than I do directly in the inner pot.

Here are some examples of doing pot in pot cooking:

Freezer Meals – It is perfect for portioned freezer meals. You can add water to the bottom and place your favourite freezer meal on top of the trivet. I often reheat pasta dishes this way and love it for an alternative to the microwave.

Here you can see it reheating a frozen pasta casserole:

Pressure Cooker Chicken Parmesan Pasta - family instant pot freezer meal

2 Become 1 – You can also add one meal to the bottom of your Instant Pot and then another up top. Perfect for if you want to cook meat and potatoes at the same time in the Instant Pot.

Or my favourite 2 in 1 meal is Instant Pot shepherd’s pie. The way the shepherd’s pie works is that you have your ground minced lamb in the bottom with the carrots and other ingredients and then your potatoes are steaming on top.

You use a tall trivet and place it into the mince lamb like this:

Instant Pot Recipe For Shepherd’s Pie

Then add your steamer basket on top with your potatoes like this:

How To Cook Cottage Pie In Instant Pot

Then when you have finished cooking your potatoes are removed, you mash them, and you have yummy shepherd’s pie.

Under Pressure – The Instant Pot is a heavy bit of kit when it works under pressure. But some meals don’t want a lot of pressure and by protecting them from the inner pot, you can cook delicate meals in the Instant Pot.

Just You – If there is just you to feed, using the PIP method is perfect for meals for one or just a small portion of rice to go with your chicken dinner. Or when you have meal prepped and you need to reheat your meals.

Quick Defrost – When I am cooking a dish with a sauce, the sauce will often be from the freezer.

I will place the container over the trivet and cook for zero minutes. This will be long enough for the food to defrost enough to be able to use and I can stir the sauce into my meal.

Unique – There are a lot of recipes that we would say didn’t apply to the Instant Pot. Recipes that need moulds or specific accessories to make. Crème Brulee, poached eggs, egg bites and sponge pudding. These all suit pot in pot cooking.

Why NOT Cook With The Instant Pot Pot In Pot Cooking Method?

There are of course lots of positives to cooking with the Instant Pot pot in pot method, but what about the negatives?

Longer to cook – This must be the worst thing about pot in pot cooking. A frozen pasta dish in the bottom of the Instant Pot will take less than 10 minutes, yet pot in pot you will be lucky if you get it done in less than 40 minutes.

Less food – in a small pot in pot, you will be lucky if there is enough food in it to feed 2 people, so if you are a family like us, it is often not ideal.

Instant Pot Pot In Pot Cooking Method Recipes

There are so many recipes that you can cook, using the Instant Pot Pot In Pot method that it’s hard to know where to start.

I have outlined a selection of Pot In Pot Instant Pot Recipes to get you started:

Instant Pot Egg Bites – Using the pot in pot method the egg bite moulds are rested on the trivet as you can see below:

What is wonderful about this is that they can also cool down on the trivet after cooking too. You can also mix and match favourite flavours and add in extra cheese.

You can also use the egg bites method for instant pot chocolate cake bites. Or any favourite batter that you would like to cook in the instant pot.

Instant Pot Meatloaf & Mashed Potatoes – My all time favourite way of doing pot in pot cooking is to use the egg bite moulds for mini meatloaves and then loading potatoes below. You then have meatloaf and mash.

Or if you prefer you can use the same method for mini burgers, mini meatballs or even veggie balls.

Instant Pot Haggis Neeps & Tatties – This uses the famous stackable inserts that you can use in the instant pot. You fill different inserts with your food and then it cooks together separately like you see below:

swede and neeps pot in pot cooking

Then when it is cooked transfer it to one insert and serve.

Instant Pot Shepherd’s Pie – I use this method a lot when I am making meat and potato dishes. The meat is cooked below and then the potatoes are cooked above in the steamer basket. Then when everything is cooked you remove the potatoes and mash them and then serve it with your meat. This also works well with instant pot cottage pie, instant pot bangers and mash and instant pot lamb shank.

It fits in the instant pot 8 quart Verdict

Pot In Pot Cooking in the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker is truly AMAZING. It opens up the possibilities of more and more things that you can cook in your Instant Pot. As they say the possibilities are endless. But in order to do quality pot in pot cooking you need the accessories to go with it!

Pot In Pot Instant Pot Accessories

The Instant Pot Pot In Pot Cooking Method (PIP)

Here are the main accessories that I use in my Instant Pot when I do pot in pot Instant Pot cooking:

Instant Pot Steamer Basket – Perfect for steaming fish, meat, fruit and vegetables in the Instant Pot. It expands depending on how much food you need to steam.

Instant Pot Spring Form Pan – Famous for making cheesecakes in the Instant Pot and so easy to use. I also use them for lasagne and moussaka. Or use a bundt pan if you love bundt cakes.

Silicone Egg Bite Moulds – If you want to make egg bites in your Instant Pot then this is the product you need.

Silicone Egg Poachers – These are perfect if you want to cook poached eggs in the Instant Pot.

Steamed Pudding Bowl – I use these cute pudding bowls whenever I want to make a steamed pudding for dessert.

Ramekins Set – If you want to make small desserts, crème brulee or just little frittatas then a set of ramekin dishes are essential.

Instant Pot Stackables – You can get this amazing pack of 2 stackable inserts for the Instant Pot, then cook a different thing in each of them. Imagine doing meat in one and potatoes in the second one. Or you could meal prep 2 different Instant Pot Freezer Meals at once.

Instant Pot Stackable Bowls – Cover a layer with silver foil and an extra steamer shelf and load them on top of each other. Or if just cooking one item, then just put one bowl in. Also, a good option for delicate desserts.

Extra Steaming Shelf – Perfect for slotting in between two bowls so that you can cook multiple items at once.

Glass Bottom Containers – I recommend this bundle for getting you started with cooking meals in the Instant Pot. It is also perfect for cooking our Instant Pot Freezer Meals.

Ceramic Soup Mugs – Perfect for quick soups in the Instant Pot for lunch or for making a cute little frittata in a mug.

Silver Foil Containers – If you want a cheap as chips way to use the pot in pot method of cooking in the Instant Pot, then nothing is cheaper than silver foil containers. We use these cute round ones the most for leftover sauces and soups.  

All In One Instant Pot Accessories – In this super pack you can have an amazing bundle of different things for your Instant Pot, including a lot of the different items that have outlined above.

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The Instant Pot Pot In Pot Cooking Method (PIP)
The Instant Pot Pot In Pot Cooking Method (PIP)

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About Sam & Dom

Hi! I am Sam and along with my chef hubby Dom we love sharing with you easy everyday recipes using kitchen gadgets. We are also the authors of The Complete Air Fryer Cookbook, an amazing air fryer cookbook filled with 140+ everyday air fryer recipes.

Beyond the air fryer we also love the instant pot, slow cooker, soup maker, ninja foodi, pie marker and several other kitchen gadgets.

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  1. I’m cooking this right now. As I wait, I looked at your link to the PIP method and I have a super silly question. Do you know if it’s ok for me to trim my silicone muffin pan to fit the instant pot? Would it harm the food by creating freshly cut edges? Thank you. I absolutely LOVE your site!

    1. Hi Patricia,

      Thank you for the kind words 🙂

      Yes this should not be a problem but i would, after trimming it put it through a test cook in the instant pot for about 2 minutes and then anything that may come off will come of when there is no food in it, just to be sure as you do not want a dish to spoil 🙂