What are Pressure Cooker Racks and Trivets Used For?

By | March 15, 2017
what are pressure cooker rack and trivet

So most pressure cookers come bundled with basic racks and trivets but what are they used for?

Also, why would you need different types of racks and trivets?

The answers to these questions (and related questions) are simple. The racks and trivets and the steamer baskets basically hold food up off the bottom of the pan. Each is used to cook different types of foods in different ways.

Let me explain a bit more below. Stick with me for a second.

What is a Trivet in a Pressure Cooker?

Pressure cooker racks and trivets are accessories that make using a pressure cooker easier. They also allow you to make the most out of a pressure cooker. Pressure cooker trivets are usually sold along with a pressure cooker unit, although many manufacturers and third party makers also sell racks and trivets to be used with any type or size of pressure cooker.

Here is a popular steamer basket with trivet by Presto that is typically used to steam foods in pressure cookers.

What is a Trivet Used For Most Often?

what is a trivet used for

This trivet is holding eggs off the bottom of a pressure cooker.

The most basic function of a trivet is to raise your food, racks, or baskets off the bottom of the inner cooking pot. Some trivets only raise food up a half inch or so while others can raise foods a few inches off the bottom. If you are using a steamer basket then you usually want your trivet high enough to raise the basket out of the water at the bottom of the pot. If the trivet is to low then you will be boiling or braising the contents of your basket rather than steaming.

Trivets are not always necessary though, some racks and baskets can pick your food up all by themselves. Some trivets however act as your food rack also. This is commonly found with egg accessories. The trivet slightly raises the eggs off the bottom and lets them steam or boil without creating a hot spot.

Here are a few of the Best Pressure Cooker Trivets Made by Third Parties

Although some of these units are not specifically made for pressure cookers they do work well in them nevertheless.

Household Stainless Steel Cooking Ware Steaming Rack Stand 7Household Stainless Steel Cooking Ware Steaming Rack Stand 7″ Diameter
This is a really low priced trivet and stand that will hold your foods a full two inches off the bottom of your pressure cookers. This makes it easy to add enough water to your pot to properly steam your foods.

K-Steel Electric Pressure Cooker Steam Rack Cooking Ware Steaming Rack Stand, 2Pcs/SetK-Steel Electric Pressure Cooker Steam Rack Cooking Ware Steaming Rack Stand, 2Pcs/Set
This is a set of two trivets for the pressure cooker. There are two different diameters in case you own different size pressure cookers like me. This product is a bit more sturdy and the rack has more feet making it easier to work with.

Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker Long Handled Silicone Trivet, fits 5, 6 or 8Qt modelsInstant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker Long Handled Silicone Trivet, fits 5, 6 or 8Qt models
This is a pretty cool new trivet made by Instant Pot. It’s designed to fit all of their models and it’s made of silicone meaning it won’t feel as hot as metal and it won’t scratch your stainless steel or non-stick inner pots. Again, this trivet is very inexpensive so it’s a good item to pick up for occasional use.

How do you Use Pressure Cooker Racks Properly

Pressure cooker racks or baskets are pressure cooking accessories designed to allow you to cook different types of food inside the pressure cooker. These tracks come in single and multi-level designs which allows for simultaneous cooking of different food items to save on cooking time. The general rule is that items that require the longest cooking time should be placed at the bottom and items that require the shortest cooking time should be at the top for easy removal.

Racks are also useful for pressure steaming food items using water infused with anything from vinegar, wine or herbs to add more flavor. You can place the flavored water on the cooker and the meat, vegetables and other items to be steamed on top of the rack. The steam liquid can also be stored and used as broth for other dishes.

Pressure cooker racks are also very useful when baking bread or any other dish that requires that the cooking container be kept off the base of the cooker. This way, you avoid burning the bread or any other dish by keeping it off the bottom.

Racks come with a typical pressure cooking unit but they can also be bought from most stores in the form of collapsible steel steamers that are designed to fit snugly in most pressure cookers. Most racks have legs so that they stay raised when placed inside the steamer. This way, food items that are being cooked are not in direct contact with the bottom which is nearest to the heat source.

What do Pressure Cooker Trivets Look Like

Trivets are the metal, prong-like contraptions that are used to keep your food and cooking containers from touching the base or bottom of the cooker. They are typically used to keep food items raised when cooking, such as roast meat or a whole chicken, so that they are not in direct contact with the bottom of the cooker.

Here are a few examples:

 Presto Cooking/Canning Rack for Pressure Canner WMF Perfect Plus 4-1/2-Quart, 6-1/2-Quart, 8-1/2-Quart Trivet for Pressure Cookers EggAssist Silicone Egg Trivet for Electric Pressure

Trivets are very useful when it comes to cooking more than one item inside the cooker. For example, the trivet can be used to create multiple levels inside the cooker so you can cook a sauce in the cooker while using the heat to roast a piece of meat that is on the trivet.

Trivets can also be used to remove cooked meats from the cooker. It is especially useful for removing a whole pressure-cooked chicken when, prior to cooking, the trivet is inserted from the bottom so that the pointed end goes inside and the two metal prongs stick out. When it is time to remove the cooked chicken, you can use any cooking handle with a hook to insert in the neck cavity to lift out the chicken from the cooker.

Because trivets are used for cooking and may be used directly, without any containers, they are often made of food-grade, heat-resistance materials. If your cooker does not have a trivet, suitable substitutes include heat-resistant stainless steel cookie cutters, metal jar lids or a steamer basket with short legs.

Pressure cookers racks and trivets are useful accessories that can help you cook multiple items at one time, prevent overcooking certain dishes and allow you to get creative with the dishes you can make with a pressure cooker. Learn to use your cooker with these accessories so you can get the most out of it as you enjoy the cooking process.


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