You can pressure cook puddings, flans, cakes, rice and fish by putting them in heat-proof containers. Recipes may vary, though almost all suggest filling the pressure cooker with at least 1 cup of water (or the minimum required by your cooker)  and – for the most delicate ingredients- covering tightly with foil to keep the super-heated steam at bay and then placing the container on a steamer basket or trivet.

Above, pressure cooker Crema Catalana and Chocoflan recipes in action.

When using small containers or ramekins place them in a steamer basket.  If the containers are low, or the cooker is very tall, small containers can be stacked pyramid-style in multiple levels. Remove small containers from the cooker with tongs or a glove-covered hand.

Larger containers should be lowered onto a trivet or steamer basket.  If the container does not already have handles, then construct a foil sling (bottom-right photo) to easily lower and remove the container from the pressure cooker.

The height of the container and steamer basket cannot exceed the maximum fill line of the pressure cooker – this is to ensure the foil cover does not dislodge or the food therein does not interfere with the pressure cooker’s safety systems.

See Also: How Container Materials & Shapes Affect Cooking – Pressure Cooking School

Suitable heat-proof containers
As the name suggests, heat-proof containers should be heat or ovenproof- this includes high-temperature silicone, heat-proof glass (like pyrex), ceramic, stainless steel, aluminum and even copper!  The forms should not be plastic or any glass that is not tempered. There are also disposable aluminum forms specifically for Creme Caramel – they’re very handy for un-molding creme caramel (just stretch out the edges to release the dessert!)  If using large square or rectangular containers, be measure the diagonal of the shape to ensure a good fit.

Pictured above are all of the heat-proof containers used in the hip kitchen.  The containers can be anything from teacups to breakfast bowls and even small stainless steel mixing bowls!

Each material has its own heating properties: An aluminum container will heat up faster than a ceramic one, for example, so cooking times will need to be adjusted accordingly.

Top it off
Some recipes will require for this heat-proof container to be covered. Be wary of anything that is heatproof but seals hermetically, like stainless steel lunch (Tiffin) boxes, or glass jars with an attached top (as used in this recipe) – do not clamp on the lid during pressure cooking. These containers are not designed to equalize the pressure internally or let you know if the contents are under pressure, it is dangerous to open a hermetically sealed container that has been pressure cooked.

Instead, use tin foil as a top.

Measure twice, buy once
Measure your pressure cooker carefully, taking measurements of both the interior width and height with you to the store – subtracting the height of the trivet or steamer basket.

Shop for heat-proof containers






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  1. great idea to blog about accessories for the p.cooker! looking forward the rest!

  2. I found your blog via you recipezaar/ About Me page, nice to see another blogger!
    I have a question please: wouldn’t the temps in the pressure cooker be hight enough to melt or warp the plastic containers like the orange ones in the photo? And they would have to be suspended above the bottom of the pressure cooker because otherwise the heat from the gas ring underneath would melt the bottom of the container???
    (asking before I accidentally commit plastic container murder LOL)regards.. Kiwidutch.

  3. Hi Kiwidutch,

    You are absolutely correct that the temperatures would be too high inside the pressure cooker for plastic, in fact, in my article I warn against it. However silicone, is just fine! My silicone molds (pictured, above, in bright orange yellow) say on the bottom that they are safe to use up to a maximum of 450°F/230°C while the temperature inside the pressure cooker can be a maximum of 250°F/121°C so silicone is safe to use!

    I did a little wiki search and some kinds of plastic can withstand the little extra heat from the pressure cooker before melting (though they do not say when it begins getting soft and possibly start leeching into your food). Why chance senseless plastic abuse when I just gave you an excuse to run out and buy new silicone molds! ; )



  4. Very useful, thanks!

  5. I have oven proof plastic? containers from commercial frozen food that you can cook in the oven up to 400 degrees. Also muffin pans of the same material which I could cut to size.

    Any reason not to use these?


    1. Pressure cooking reaches up to 250°F (or 120°C) so it it’s safe to 400°F – then it should be OK. I would do a test with water before pressure cooking anything expensive in it (in case the plastic becomes inexplicably soft), since I have not had a chance to try this myself.

      Great question!



  6. Hello

    Thanks a lot for this informative page. I really need to get hold of the container used in a Kuhn Rikon video to make a pudding. I wish you had included amazon links of some sorts to enable us to buy some of those containers as I am still a little bit lost.

    HEre is the video

    Thanks a lot in advance for your help



    1. Umm, Which video are you referring to? There are links to size-appropriate containers on this page that will work for most 6L, 8 1/2″ wide pressure cookers. Unfortunately, amazon does not always state the size of the container – what is important is the diameter and the height – and they just give a size like “1 quart capacity” which is not guaranteed to fit in most cookers your cooker.



  7. Thank you so much for this quick reply.

    I have found the link sorry it is supposed to come up when you click on the image but in some browsers it does not come up.

    The video is here

    You can see it being used from about 00.35 and then later on she takes out some sort of pudding out of it too. Sounds great for what I need but I am unable to locate something similar on the internet.

    Thanks again


    1. It doesn’t look like a container from their accessories. I’m sorry, I haven’t seen it before nor can I recommend where to find it.



      1. That’s absolutely fine. That’s what I thought too. But I then I thought let me try here :). And greg below could be right : some sort of prototype that never got produced for the public. Shame.
        But yeah I will look into the alternatives. Thanks again everyone.

  8. (just wanted to add I own a 22cm Kuhn Rikon 6L with handles, which I bought after having read your review of their brand, 2 years ago)

  9. The video on that page is a Kuhn rikon marketing video. So the insert is almost certainly a Kuhn rikon product. I must admit I have never seen one. It looks useful though.

    You might consider contacting KR and asking them what it is (model number) and where to buy it.

    You can however use any heatproof dish that will fit inside the PC to achieve the end result.

    Laura, the link takes you to a product page. The product photo is actually a video. If you click on it, it will play.

    (Aside) it is interesting that it appears to say to bring to pressure on full power on an induction stove. Interesting in light of the discussion we are having on the forum. It also seems to be ignoring the 2/3 full rule. Maybe it was a prototype product that never saw full production.

  10. Greg: thank you for your comment. I had forgotten about the 2/3 full rule. I did wonder if this was genuine live cooking for the video though, as she also seems to just throw the meat inside with nothing else, before adding the insert….

    About the photo that links to a video I realised it does not work from all browsers. I am guessing that’s the issue that Laura had.

    And as for Kuhn Rikon I did contact them but they have not replied back yet and this product does not seem to be in their website. I shall wait a little longer and maybe ring them as there’s anumber.

    Thanks again for your insight.

  11. You state: stainless steel “lunch box” (pictured top-left)

    Can you please tell me WHERE to get these?


    1. That will depend on where you live.
      They are very common items in India and Thailand and are available in pretty much every market. . Here in Australia, they are readily available in camping stores. They come with a lid, and often in a stack of three or four. I prefer the single ones as the clamp for the lid becomes a handle.

    2. I’m stupid. I just did a search on Amazon for “tiffin box” and was inundated by choices.
      Follow Laura’s link to Amazon above so she will get a kickback.

      1. If you use these, don’t lock the lid in place. See Laura’s warning above.

  12. I have a ton of heat-proof containers, but am wondering where to find the bail-handled metal pots shown in the picture. The seem so much more convenient than doing the foil “handle”.

    1. I am uncertain which photo you are referring to.
      In the top photo there are some solid pots with wire handles. These are the “stainless steel lunch boxes” discussed in the thread above. In another of the photose there is a steamer insert with a wire handle. This is an accessory that comes with one of the pressure cookers. I forget which brand. Many brands have something similar. My Breville came with a slightly different one. They are available as spare parts from the PC manufacturer.

  13. I’m talking about the two stainless, straight-sided bowls at the upper left hand corner of the picture above. I am looking for a straight-sided stainless container with a wire (bail) handle that is slightly smaller than the inner container for my Instantpot. I did some googling for lunch boxes and tiffins, but what I’m seeing is containers where the lid has a handle but the container doesn’t. Further suggestions?

  14. I have a number of the tiffin boxes. All of them have a clamping system to keep them together while traveling. These were (and I believe still are in India) used to transfer hot meals from home to work. The clamp keeps spills to a minimum if the bicycle cart goes over.

    Many are a stack of three four or five tins with a single lid. I do have one (Zebra brand made in Thailand) that is a single box. The clamp is welded to the tin and doubles as a saucepan style handle. While I would never clamp it shut in the PC, I have loosely fastened it and used it to add and remove. Though I much prefer to use a smaller pot and simply lift it out while wearing oven mitts. But then I have a 28cm Kuhn Rikon and there is quite a lot of room at the sides with most inserts.
    Have you considered simply lining your steamer insert with foil to make an impromptu pot?

    Another option if your insert is small enough is to use canning tongs to lift it out.

  15. Ah, yes, the foil sling does work — I’m just lazy. And I’ve ordered the mini-mitts. But I’m thinking that a straight-sided, flat-bottomed container is more important than the handle, so will look at the tiffins again. (I do fondly remember them from India — had I only known, could have brought some home!)

    1. I found the pictured tiffin in a small corner store in Southern Italy – I have not been able to find such large ones online, unfortunately.

      I’ve tried to partner with some manufacturers to make my own line of universal inserts (that would fit in all pressure cookers), but there appears to be no interest. One who was vaguely interested apparently decided to come out with their own high temperature plastic and silicone inserts – these are not materials I cook in myself so I cannot recommend them.

      The best “off the shelf” flat-bottomed bowls are found in those ubiquitous storage stainless steel sets that have like 5 sizes inside a bigger bowl with a plastic lid. The larger one is my favorite and is the one I use in the recent Chicken, Black Bean & Rice Burrito Bowl Video. Yea, you have to use a sling but it’s roomy.



  16. I have an instant pot and was wondering if I could use another stainless steel pot in place of the one provided? Want to cook a second dish without having to clean the first. Will any stainless steel pot work or will I have to do pot in pot?

    1. The size and shape are critical, so the dimensions would have to be the same. As would the curvature on the bottom.

      It is quite easy to get another pot from Instant Pot though. Many others have done so.

  17. Could you use the Le Creuset mini cocottes in the IP? It seems like topless they’d be fine, but I’m curious if I could use the lid they come with to cover them rather than foil.

    1. All the La Crueset I a familiar with would be fine. But I don’t know the mini cocottes.

      If they are the usual loose cast iron or earthenware lids they will be fine, though cast iron will slow the cooking considerably as it will take quite a while to heat up.

      Do they have a tight (airtight) seal? If yes, then the lids will NOT be suitable.
      Also if the lids are plastic or silicone you would need to check with the manufacturer to confirm they will take the heat.

  18. The lids are the same ceramic as the mini cocotte, not cast iron, and they just sit on top of the pots so I don’t think they are airtight. Maybe I’ll do a test with one and see what happens…thanks!

    1. Yes, you can use those for recipes that require the item to be covered. Some do, and some don’t because covering will slow down the cooking time of the item inside.



  19. if using a container inside to say make porridge how full can the container be as porridge expands

  20. In the photo at the top of this page, you show two silver pots with handles, but I don’t see links for them. Maybe I’m overlooking them? They seem perfect for pot-in-pot recipes for the IP Duo60. If that’s the case, could anyone share a link (or just general info) about where I could find them? On the other hand, if they’re not great for PIP, or if they are no longer available, is there something similar you would recommend?

    I found these on Amazon. Would either/both work as alternatives? Thank you!

    1. Just found similar questions/answers above about the pictured pots in the cover photo…. so nevermind about that part. Sorry! I would still appreciate any feedback about whether the pans in the photo I attached would work. TY!

  21. Hi Laura, you have linked to an Anker Hocking glass 1 at storage container on your yogurt page for use with 1 quart of milk. I would like to make yogurt that way, versus in the smaller jars, and that container looks perfect. But because it’s a “storage” container, will the glass be strong enough? Also, do I need to include the lid in the pot when sterilizing? I’m concerned about the material used for its seal. Thanks, I’m brand new to making yogurt.

  22. Any reason you couldn’t use a silicone steamer basket with handles for a sling?

  23. Would stoneware work?

    1. It should be something completely sealed – like glass or ceramic. I don’t think stoneware will work.



  24. Can I use Pyrex glass storage containers, that say they are pre-heated oven safe, like this one?–red-lid/1075429.html

    1. Yes, if it is oven-safe you can use it in the pressure cooker! However don’t use the plastic/rubber lid. ; )



  25. I assume that most people know that Corelle is high-temp safe – at least the original stuff, the new stoneware patterns I am not sure about. What people may not know is that the Corning-Revere outlet stores – usually part of the big outlet malls in the US – sell open stock Corelle (usually only in white but sometimes in other patterns). I found this a great place to pick up a couple of bowls in different sizes to use in the microwave. They work just fine in the PC too.

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