Bain-Marie is a type of cooking method that uses a heated water bath. This method lets you cook food more gently, slowly, with uniform heat, and more moisture. It’s usually used for cooking delicate dishes.
The PIP method can somewhat mimic the bain-marie method by using moist heat cooking. It cooks food in a more gentle way with uniform heat and more moisture.
Recipes that traditionally use the bain-marie method, but developed using the Instant Pot:
The PIP technique is also great for cooking more delicate or quicker-cooking food. It’ll reduce the amount of heat transfer by lifting the food away from the heat source (the bottom of the inner pot).
Example – Japanese Chicken Curry Recipe: We cooked half of the potatoes in a PIP stainless-steel bowl instead of in the Instant Pot with the chicken. This will preserve the potatoes’ texture & prevent them from going mushy.
5. Prevent Scorching (Burn Error)
Newer Instant Pots are more prone to trigger the “Burn Message”. This happens when it detects a high temperature (140°C or 284°F) at the bottom of the inner pot. Then, the “burn-protection” mechanism will suspend heating to prevent burning food.
So be careful when you use ingredients that are more prone to triggering the “Burn Error”. Such as milk, thick sauces, tomato-based ingredients, or other dairy products.
You can prevent burn errors by using the PIP technique to cook these ingredients. Just make sure you’re pressure cooking with enough liquid at the bottom of the inner pot and properly sealing the Venting Knob.
7. Reheat Food (especially dishes with thick liquid)
The pot in pot method is great for reheating food in the Instant Pot. This way, you don’t have to worry about burning, scorching, drying out the food. Plus, you can reheat the food in the container you stored the leftovers, you don’t have to dirty another pot or pan!
Accessories for Pot in Pot Cooking Method
You only need 2 simple accessories to use Pot in Pot in Instant Pot:
Container, Pot, or Steamer Basket: Generally, make sure your container fits inside your Instant Pot’s inner pot. This is where you’ll put your ingredients inside the Instant Pot.
Trivet, Steamer Rack, or Sling: Generally, you use this rack to lift your smaller container away from the bottom of the inner pot.
What can I use for pot in pot instant pot?
Many readers often ask us what bowls are safe to use in Instant Pot. And which containers are the best?
There are lots of options on what you can use for the pot in pot method. Including containers made of stainless steel, glass, ceramic, silicone, aluminum, bamboo, or copper.
All pots are not created equal. Different containers transfer heat differently depending on factors like material, size, and thickness. Thus, the specific container you use will affect the optimal cooking time.
That’s why it’s important to adjust the cooking time according to your container. Or else you may end up overcooking or undercooking food.
Can I Use Pyrex in the Instant Pot?
It’s generally safe to use Pyrex in the Instant Pot. But make sure it’s not broken, scratched, chipped, or cracked to avoid the rare case that they shatter.
You must follow all Pyrex’s safety precautions such as avoid sudden temperature changes. Some tips to prevent breaking Pyrex glass:
Don’t place the hot Pyrex on a wet or cool surface (i.e. countertop, metal surface, in the sink).
Don’t handle the hot Pyrex with a wet towel or potholder.
Before washing, refrigerating, or freezing the hot Pyrex, allow it to cool on a cooling rack, dry potholder, or dry cloth.
Pot in Pot Experiment
To find out which container is the best for the pot in pot method, it’s time for another Amy + Jacky Instant Pot Experiment!
We tested the following containers to find out which one is the best for the Instant Pot pot in pot cooking method.
Testing Method: We added 1 cup (250ml) of cold water in Instant Pot. Add in the container and pour 1 cup (250ml) of cold water into the container. We repeated the same steps as Experiment A, but we put the container directly in the water with no trivet.
Liquid: 1 cup (250ml) cold water in the inner pot and 1 cup (250ml) cold water in the container
PIP Container Location: directly in the water at the bottom of the inner pot (no trivet)
Pressure Cooking Method: High Pressure for 10 minutes, then Natural Release for 15 minutes
*Note: for consistency, we repeated the same procedure for every container.
Stainless Steel vs Anodized Aluminum:
Looking at the chart, Anodized Aluminum seems to have a faster heat transfer rate than the other containers. It does reach a higher temperature faster. But the stainless steel containers are able to retain the heat better than the anodized aluminum pan.
Max Temperature Reached by the Containers in Instant Pot:
3 QT Instant Pot Stainless Steel Inner Pot: The best container for Pot in Pot in the 6 Quart or 8 Quart Instant Pot.
Overall, it has one of the fastest heat transfer rates.
Due to its thickness, it has the best overall heat-retaining rate.
Because of its taller height, it’ll prevent foamy food from spilling out of the container.
2. Runner Up Containers
6-inch Fat Daddio’s Anodized Aluminum Cake Pan: This is the best alternative to the 3 qt stainless steel pot. Since this cake pan doesn’t retain heat as well as the best performer, this is the second-best choice.
1. You must follow all the safety precautions from Pyrex. Such as avoid sudden temperature changes.
2. Make sure there are no fine scratches, chips, cracks on the oven-safe glass bowl. Because there’s a rare chance that they may break or shatter.
3. Don’t place the hot glass bowl on a wet or cool surface, nor handle it with a wet towel or potholder. Before washing, refrigerating, or freezing the hot glass bowl, allow it to cool on a cooling rack or dry surface.
4. Depending on what you cook, you may need to increase the cooking time by a few minutes due to the glass bowl’s slower heat transfer rate.
Have fun cooking with this Pot in Pot Cooking Method!
*Disclosure: We are an Amazon Influencer/Amazon Associate. This means that if you decide to purchase items or services on Amazon through our links on Pressure Cook Recipes to Amazon, Amazon will send a small commission to us at no additional costs to you. Thank you!