It’s easy to get a container into the pressure cooker for making desserts or steamed rice cooking, the trouble comes when it’s time to get the hot, steamy, slippery container out!
How to make a sling
Fold a long piece of foil in three. and center the container on the sling. Then, fold or roll the sides of foil to reach the top edge of the container. Hold the sling resting your thumbs on the top edge of the container to stabilize the container and get a solid grip.
How to use a sling
To lower the container, grab the sling near the top edge of the container resting your thumbs on the top of the container to stabilize. Then, lower into pressure cooker and fold handles further down, if needed (to not interfere with the workings of the lid). To raise the container, unfold the sides of the sling and, being careful not to touch the sides of the pressure cooker, pull the container out – silicone pinch mitts are perfect for keeping your fingers safe during this task.
Leave a comment, below!
You are so right! A sling of some sort is essential for removing steamers and containers from hot pressure cookers safer and easier.
Aluminum foil slings are great, as most people stock aluminum foil in their kitchen. But I’ve been using my new Instant Pot DUO pressure cooker almost daily since it arrived in early January, sometimes even 2-4 times a day – so I really needed a durable, reusable sling to cut down on the amount of foil I was using.
I’ve been very happy using a red silicone turkey lifter sling. The silicone is heat resistant and the flexible handles tuck down out of the way during cooking, yet they cool very quickly after removing the lid. I can lift cooking containers and large pieces of food (such as roasts, whole chickens) out of the pot right away without burning my fingers. I bought the silicone sling on Amazon.com after reading good reviews for this purpose from other electric pressure cooker users. It washes beautifully on the top rack of the dishwasher.
When I gave two Instant Pot Duos to my two college-age nieces for their birthdays this month, I included silicone slings, too.
I just recently saw your suggestion to use the silicone finger tip grips. I’m going to get a pair of those to try, too. I have an extra Instant Pot s/s liner pan to allow for stove-top starting and finishing and quick turnaround when using the IP to pressure cook recipes in rapid succession. The thick cloth mitts I use with my regular cookware just don’t always allow a good enough grip on the slim rim of the Instant Pot liner pot.
Post a link to the silicone sling you use! I’d love to see it!!
Interesting! It has mixed reviews but seems to get the job done – at least it is high-heat resistant silicone (to 600F – which is above and beyond safe for a 250F pressure cooker).
Thanks for sharing your gadget and technique. You will love the silicone pinch-mitts, no more worrying or fumbling with your electric pressure cooker liner!!
I have the red silicone Fox Run turkey sling as well, and find it very useful for getting my smaller pots in and out of the Instant Pot…..Really makes things much easier……My sister loves using it for getting her cheesecakes out of the IP…..
Only drawback I have found using the turkey lifter is when I’m using a wider pot within the liner…..
I have found in that case, the foil sling works better because the silicone seems to actually inhibit lifting as it rubs against the sides of the liner as you try to lift the pot out…..No such problem with the foil…..
Looks like I’ll be getting the silicone pinch mitts, but I wanted to check first though; Do the ones you are mentioning cover all the fingers or just the thumb, index and middle finger?
Right now I’m using an Ove glove……
The pinch-mitts I use cover the whole thumb and the whole fingers. They are “light weight” so I can’t use them for everything (hot pyrex casseroles or my large aluminum focaccia pan) but they are great for maneuvering electric pressure cooker liners and really hot foil slings.
The photo here is my husband’s hand – only his knuckles stick out:
I just use a tea towel. It works much the same as the foil one, but as it is floppy, I simply drape the ends over the top of the pot. It lasts for ever, and I just throw it into the washing machine if it gets soiled. No more wasted foil.
Initially I was worried that it would muck up my timing, but I haven’t noticed that it changes things dramatically. I use tongs to pick up the loose ends, then switch to fingers for the lift. It cools quickly enough not to scald me.
As for the silicon mitts, I find them too coarse and clumsy to be much use. in the oven I use the old style insulated cloth mitts. Or a teatowel again.
I also use teatowels whenever a paper towel is called for. Those ones go into the washing load straight away.
Using a tea towel for a sling is interesting, does it dribble on the food in the heat-proof container? Say you were making a cheesecake, where would you put the ends?
I have gotten rid of all my fabric oven gloves and grips. They never quite look the same once they come out of the wash – even after ironing they look shriveled and worn! Plus, I’m always scared they’ll catch fire. I had an “orka” silicone glove that I got as a gift and it was too bulky to use, so now I found some very flexible heavy-duty silicone gloves.
The best par is that when they start looking “iffy” I just pop them in the dishwasher – and they come out looking exactly the same!
I do use foil as a “lid” for something like a cheesecake, and that catches any drips. But the teatowel gets damp rather than dripping wet. You do need to wait for it to cool down for a few moments before lifting the tin.
I don’t worry about looks for my oven mitts. Just functionality. The get tossed when they wear through. Not before. And they rarely find their way into the wash. Only if they have been on the receiving end of a bad spill.
It sounds like there are silicon mitts and silicon mitts. I will have to revisit the idea when next in the market for mitts. Mine are “sharks” and have a blunt snout which makes them useless. A triumph of style over function. Worse than my Kevlar gloves. And that’s saying something. Though you can pick up a red hot poker with the Kevlar ones.
Greg, I’m going to give your tea towel method a try. I have loads of thin, well-worn travel souvenir tea towels that I keep on hand for straining purposes & storing veggies in the fridge crisper drawer, etc. I should have realized with the moisture content/steam inside the PC I won’t have to worry about the fabric catching fire. Glad to have another use for my old tea towels before they head to the rag-bag.
Why not buy an oven proof bowl or pan that is easily removed from the PC? We don’t need one that JUST FITS! Forget slings…my go-to bowl is stainless steel that I found at a thrift shop. Easy in and out…problem solved without aluminum foil!
With electric pressure cookers in particular, the diameter of the pot tends to be quite narrow compared to many stovetop models. So finding the largest quantity bowl or pan that will still fit can be quite a challenge. I did already have some heatproof vessels that would fit in my electric PC, but they were sometimes too small for what I wanted to make, so I’ve had to purchase some new ones, too.
For instance, I was eager to try a cheesecake in my new PC. None of the three round springform pans I already owned would fit inside my Instant Pot electric PC. I searched kitchenware departments and stores all over town for a 7″ springform pan; even Sur La Table didn’t have one. I could only find Wilton 6 inch pans or the usual 9+ inch pans.
I had to order a 7″ pan online. I took a chance and ordered an 8″ pan, too (the IP liner pan is 8.5″ diameter at the top edge), but the 8″ diameter springform pan did make an 8″ cake, but had a wide flange around the pan bottom so its actual diameter was almost 9″ in diameter – too big to fit.
Actually the inner pot most electric pressure cookers (except for specialty oval or extra-small ones) is 22cm (8.5 inches) that is the same size of the opening of most stove top pressure cookers. In fact, before Instant Pot sent me their glass lid, I used the glass lid from my stove top WMF pressure cooker – same size and perfect fit!
I agree, though, that it is a bit of a treasure hunt to find quality pieces that will fit in the pressure cooker!
I have a “baker’s hand”, an articulated pliers usually sold these days as a deep dish pizza pan holder. I first saw one in my grandparents home.
They use these a lot in India, as well. Can you post a photo of it so everyone can see?
From the Wikipedia of household products,
I discovered this handy tool when I lived in India: . $5.99. I bought one that had one straight side, but this model would be more useful if your inner pan has wide lips.
Oops. I didn’t see the option to upload a photo until I already uploaded my comment.
The newer silicon steamers are nice and have handles.
Nothing sticking up in middle, easy to clean and look lovely hanging from a pot rack.
Flexible sides so fit lots of pots.
Many uses besides steaming veg.
Helen, thanks for your contribution!
Just another note on the silicone steamer.
I cooked my 12 lb. Christmas turkey on the larger one and worked well as a turkey lifter and to keep the turkey off the bottom of the pan so no stuck on skin in the pan.
I mostly use it in my instant Pot, but nice it has yet another use.
Yet another comment. I have been using foil wraps as slings lately because they are more flexible, just the right size, you can fold the edges up to hold the juices, and can be used to wrap the leftover meatloaf etc. if you are planning to eat it shortly so one less container to wash.
I have a Corningware bowl that fits nicely in my Cuisinart electric PC and got the idea to cut a mat made for lining the bottom of your oven (to protect against drips) in half – made me 2 slings and works well. I bought this mat at Albertsons for less than $10 but they are widely available at kitchen stores. After washing and drying they roll up and store inside the pot.
Barbara, what a great idea! Thanks for sharing your “permanent” sling hack. : )
All digital rice cookers’ inner pots have very thin edge and could not be grabbed by any tongs I came across. I do use stainless steel wrench from India for stove top pressure cooker separator insert pans and they work well as long as there is enough room between the inner and outer pot. I am looking for tongs that are strong and can grab the hot inner pots of electric rice cookers and electric pressure cookers. I am not comfortable with the Aluminium foil wrap as they can cause slips and accidents.
I haven’t yet used the silicone sling I recently purchased. Do I use it on top of the trivet or in place of the trivet in the IP?