OK, here’s my hyphenated list of what’s containers are suitable to use in the pressure cooker:

  1. Oven-safe – Any container that is suited for baking in the oven can resist the temperatures of the pressure cooker.
  2. Food-grade – A glass flower vase, for example, is not food-safe or food-grade as the glass might contain lead. The container needs to be made of food-grade materials.
  3. Non-hermetic– Any container that fully seals, like a flanera, tiffin box, camping container, or a pudding mold should not be used in the pressure cooker sealed. That’s because a hermetically-sealed container will build pressure inside as well but it lacks the valves and vents to safely release it.

Here’s a portion of the heat-proof containers that I re-purposed from my kitchen. Actually, one was specifically made for the pressure cooker – see if you can guess which one it is!

The stainless steel bowl was actually a storage container designed of the refrigerator.  It’s the kind that came with a plastic lid.  I got rid of the plastic lid, and I use the bowl in the pressure cooker.

Heat-safe containers to be used in the pressure cooker or Instant PotThe Indian tiffin box it seals hermetically, so I don’t use the lid in the pressure cooker. It’s actually quite handy because it already has a handle to easily pull it out of the pressure cooker.

The bundt pan solved my soggy-centered steamed cake problem. No more center, no more problem!  Actually, I’ll explain a little later why this works.

The mini cheese-cake spring-form pan is one of many I tried using in the pressure cooker in different ways.  Look, these spring-form pans and push pans… forget them! They’ll just give you a cheesecake with a soggy crust. You don’t need them.

I’m not a big fan of silicone.  It’s slow to cook and it retains flavors from previous recipes as well as the flavor of the dish-washing detergent. So, I don’t recommend them. BUT, they’re actually great for making cheesecake – and I’ll explain and show you why during the recipe.

This ceramic bowl is the perfect shape for making bread puddings.  Actually, speaking of ceramic, even a mug will do!

Did you notice how many materials can be used in the pressure cooker? Unfortunately, each one has its own quirks

More Info: Buy Hip Recommended Pressure Cooker Accessories

Container Material

Each material has its own “heat transfer rate.”  In our case it means how long it takes for the steam in the pressure cooker, to heat-up the container, to cook the food or dessert inside.  The higher the transfer rate, the faster the heat is delivered to the batter, and the faster the dessert is made!

The Three Ingredient Flan from my cookbook, actually takes twice as long to cook in a silicone ramekin than a ramekin made of any other material!

  • silicone actually insulates the contents from heat;
  • glass and ceramic are slow to heat-up but also slow to cool down so these containers continue cooking the contents even after they’ve been removed from the pressure cooker.
  • stainless steel heats faster, but also cools down quickly;
  • aluminum containers transfer the most heat to the food, but they’re delicate and can react with acidic foods.

Since they’re easy to find and perform the best, I mostly make my desserts with stainless steel and ceramic accessories.

But the material of the container is not the only thing that affects the pressure cooking time of the dessert – the shape of the container matters, too!

Heat-Safe Containers for the pressure cooker - heat transfer of various materials

Container Shape

Just like any other food under pressure, the food is cooked from the outside-in. So, the further the heat has to travel, the longer it will take for the dessert to cook! For desserts in particular, I consider them done under pressure once the raising agent is activated, and the eggs have set.

Pressure Cooker Dessert Cooking Time by Shape

And speaking of raising agents… let’s talk about baking powder, now!



Heat-Safe Containers for the pressure cooker - heat transfer of various materials Pressure Cooker Dessert Cooking Time by Shape


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  1. The lava cake in a mug recipe states “use a ‘slow normal release'”. Does that mean a slow quick-release or a natural release.? I’m not quite sure what “normal” refers to.

    1. Hi Linda, take a look at the segment from a previous lesson that discusses the opening methods:



  2. I found the article on pressure cooker containers to be quite timely as I am going to make chocolate pudding in my pot for dessert and want to use a ceramic soufflé dish. I will give it a try with confidence since it is oven safe. Thanks for your tips.

    1. Yaaay! Glad you found it useful, stop by the forums to share your pudding recipe with us, if you get a chance!



    2. Oven safe to what degree?

  3. Hi Laura. What is the make of the Silicone cake pan you use? Where can I buy it? I have the Instant Por 6 at Duo. Will that fit?

    1. Hi MJK, I should have mentioned it in the article – but it was more about learning than selling – the 8″ bowl and rack are from the Fagor “expansion kit” which can be purchased directly from them at this link (not an affiliate link):

      I also found similar 8″ silicone molds on amazon, which I link to from here (look at the “cake pans” category):

      Yes, it will fit in your 6qt since your inner pot 8.6″ wide.



      1. What silicone pan would you recommend for the 3qt mini? The ones on amazon are shipped from China :(.

        1. Miriam, I don’t know of any American silicone manufacturers – there could be, I just don’t know about them. Your mini is 18cm wide (7″) so I recommend using a 6-6.5″ silicone pan. This one looks good, and it already has a review of someone using it in their mini!




  4. I always learn something from your lessons. Never thought of using the Silicone. I will order from Amazon. Thanks again.

  5. Thanks for the education – I really do appreciate it. I have a couple of the silicone pans used to make egg bites. I really hate something being used for only one purpose. Do you have any suggestions for other recipes or purposes? I was thinking of mini cheese stuffed meat loaves or mini lava cakes but not sure of the cooking time. I teach 5th grade and I have a pot in my classroom- the silicone containers help with perfect portioning! Any thoughts?

    1. Hi Karen, first of all – most of these “silicone egg bite” molds were originally designed for freezing baby foods. I have not seen in the description of any of the ones for sale on Amazon that they are made of high-temperature resistant silicone. There are actually several grades of silicone, and the temperature range will be stamped on the mold in very small writing. Check that before using it, again in the pressure cooker.

      I would not do mini lava cakes unless everyone plans to stand around the pan to eat them – unmoulding them would be quite an adventure.

      For the mini-meat loves, a meatball usually only needs 5 minutes of pressure cooking time. If you put it in a silicone container – which slows down the cooking time – I would say 10 minutes at high pressure. But you should always take the internal temp to make sure they are cooked all the way through.



  6. I don’t agree with not using a spring form or push up pan for cheesecakes. I have made dozens using my push-up pan, covered with a paper towel and not once have I had an issue with a soggy crust or condensation on top of the cake.

    1. How do you cover the base with a paper towel? I’ve tried that too, and it gets quite soggy.

      If there is a better way, please share!



  7. Can you “invent” a tube pan with, for example, a cake pan and a small ramekin in the middle and get the advantage more even and faster cooking time of the tube configuration? I don’t know why it wouldn’t work, but just wondering.

    1. Denise, a reader already has! She used a glass jar and filled it with beans. Take a look at the comments and photo at the bottom of this page:

      I’m really surprised with how well it worked out!



      1. Thanks for the head’s up. The beans idea to keep it in place is great.

        Great site, Laura. Full of fabulous information.

  8. I learned so much from this video! Many thanks for sharing and I have bookmarked it to see more later.

  9. Hi what do you think of all the different popular stackable steamer pan such as tidilys aozitia etc?Some have slightly perforated lid option or full and look like in Tiffin.no silicone But will be fully seal be dangerous as you mentioned above with pressure? Do you recommend not stacking them as the bottom of top pan will become a lid for it?Also if you leave the lead perforated or open is it bad to have certain ingredients that can’t go in the inner part directly because they can still spew out when Uncovered ex too much oil,daiya vegan cheese which has gum etc

    1. Can you link to one of these stackable sets? Generally, if they are designed to go in the pressure cooker they should be OK.



  10. Although these pans are intended for the instant pot they don’t seem to meet the requirement of being an inch under inner pot when the two of them are stacked together, plus when one is on top of the other it serves as a lid (although there is no silicone)so is it safe or will it pressurize inside?Would you recommend just one pan that’s taller and if so what kind I saw stack n cook with a bottom that looks tall but that’s in America. Also I’m assuming steel cut oats would cook faster in a mesh steamer basket. Is that safe I often don’t use the pressure setting as i use ultra setting on no pressure with glass lid (hopefully this is safe I assume there is no pressure building up so treat it as regular pot just with a timed off) but sometimes I do pressure cook.

    These are the pans,both about 7.6” wide and very tall when two are stacked. Too tall for trivet but have their own sling(metal sheet goes on inner pot and theres some space above the metal sheet for the water between the pans and the metal sheet/inner pot. Is this ok? I don’t know if you can put another piece of metal directly in the inner pot



    1. Ola, I would not put a container that reaches so close to the lid of the Instant Pot. The food in the container could bubble, come out and clog the valves. According to the diagram, one of the containers would be partially submerged… I’m pretty sure that unless the container is filled solid with food it would float and push-up the whole set-up to touch the lid and interfere with the safety mechanisms.

      The containers you linked to are not designed for Instant Pot, they are marketed for Instant Pot.

      These containers have been made for probably over 50+ years to be used with Indian stovetop pressure cookers…

      Don’t believe everything you read. Everyone is trying to piggy-back on Instant Pot’s success. Don’t purchase anything “designed” for Instant Pot from anyone other than Instant Pot.



  11. Thank you! I i will just use one pan unstacked.heard something from Ip whne i called i think about having to cover things in tinfoil because if it’s uncovered the steam and pressure will build..Should I use the perforated or is it fine to do uncovered?Also will certain ingredients such as daiya(dairy free) cheese(contains gum) not be Safe even with the pot in pot method because its uncovered?Also one of the authorized cookbooks Called for more than a quarter cup of oil and I believe directly in the inner pot,But I think you said on your site not to do more than that?I’m a bit lost with all the safety stuff and different opinions.I always prefer to take the safer route as im new to pressure cooking.I know you also said split peas shouldn’t be done by beginners how about lentils as they may froth too?
    I just bought your book, but I appreciate you answering safety questions too :)

    1. Ola, You can cook food in the container covered or uncovered with foil. Foil cannot make a hermetic seal so there is no need to perforate it.

      You can put any ingredients you like when you’re cooking in a separate container because the contents of that container are not being used by the cooker to build pressure.

      I don’t’ know enough about the recipe you saw to judge if the oil is too much. But generally, no, you don’t want to much and you DEFINITELY don’t want to bring a ton of oil to boil and dump in a bunch of liquid (steam explosion).

      Lentils are OK for beginners. Split peas are notoriously foamy and sticky and pulpy so if you don’t know what you’re doing, or how your pressure cooker operates, you can make a significant mess! You don’t want to take- apart the lid of your new pressure cooker with a screwdriver to reach all the nooks and crannies that a split pea will have wedged itself into!



  12. Ps on your site theres Some Amazon links including Stack n cook.Are those your recommendations or just random site advertisements?

  13. Hi Laura, Can Corning wares be used in the instant pot pressure cooker?

    1. Corning officially says “no” but I honestly don’t understand why. Anything that is oven-safe can be used in the pressure cooker.



      P.S. Apologies for the late response I was in the hospital during the holidays. Everything’s OK, now. : )

  14. Hi thanks for the info. I was hoping to find the answer to see if I can use Round 8 Inch 37 oz, 2.3 lb, 1.1 Quart Disposable Aluminum Foil Pan Take Out Food Containers in the instant pot. I do a lot of make ahead and freeze meals and figured it would be awesome to be able to pop them into the instant pot. I see the heat transfer is high with aluminum does that mean it will burn or should I just lessen the time on recipes?

    1. This is what I was wondering too. I worry about the thin aluminum disposable pans being warped by the pressure and also being difficult to remove from the pot once cooking is completed. I agree it would be great to prep and freeze meals in the foil pans.

      1. Disposable pans won’t be warped under pressure because they receive pressure all around the pan. Personally, since they are so thin, I warp them more just moving them around!!!



  15. Last month, I emailed Pyrex, Corelle, and Anchor Hocking; they all said they don’t recommend their containers be used in the pressure cooker. I was disappointed as I have all three of them.

    I understand Corelle Brands, which owns Pyrex and other brands, said on Monday, March 4, 2019
    that it planned to merge with Instant Pot brands.

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