Instant Pot Duo vs Instant Pot Ultra: Detailed Comparison

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You have decided to get in on the latest fad and get an Instant Pot after all, but you do not know which one you should get? It seems a new model is released every year. There are so many features and gimmicks, it can be difficult to make that choice.

The below table has a specs based comparison of both the models. It’ll help you figure out the things you can do with either of them, their features and compare them at the same time. After the table, I’ve written who should buy which model, so if you are not great with tech specs, you can shift over to that section.

FeatureInstant Pot DuoInstant Pot Ultra
ImageInstant Pot Duo
Built-in functionsPressure Cooker Slow Cooker Rice Cooker Steamer Sauté Yoghurt Maker WarmerPressure Cooker Slow Cooker Rice Cooker Yoghurt Maker Cake Maker Egg Cooker Sauté Steamer Warmer Sterilizer
Smart programsSoup Meat/Stew Bean/Chili Poultry Sauté/Simmer Rice Multigrain Porridge Steam Slow Cook Keep Warm Yoghurt Manual Pressure CookSoup/Broth Meat/Stew Bean/Chili Cake Egg Slow Cook Sauté/Searing Rice Multigrain Porridge Steam Sterilize Yogurt Warm Pressure Cook Ultra
Size3, 6 and 8-quart3, 6 and 8-quart
Price$79.99 for 3-quart model
$59.95 for 6-quart model
$121.98 for 8-quart model
$119.95 for 3-quart model
$149 for 6-quart model
$179.95 for 8-quart model
DisplayLED panel, smaller displayLarge, blue LCD display
Cooking Progress IndicatorNoYes
Central DialNoYes
Altitude AdjustmentNoYes
Customized Temperature SettingsNoYes
Ultra ProgramNoYes
Automatic Steam ReleaseNoYes
Dual Pressure SettingsYesYes
Keep WarmYesYes
Delay StartYesYes
Quick and Easy Program AdjustmentsNoYes
Smart features - remembers customizations from on all cooking programsNoYes
Sound ON/OFFNoYes
Slow Cooker TimeNot adjustableAdjustable from 30 minutes to 2 hours
Pressure Cook Time4 hours6 hours
Sautee TimeNot adjustableAdjustable up to 30 minutes
Keep Warm TemperatureNot adjustableAdjustable
ExteriorsStainless steelStainless Steel
Chemical CoatingsNoNo
Dishwasher FriendlyYesYes
Inner Pot Fill MarkingsNoYes, at ½ and ⅔ for pressure cook safety
Lid HolderNot adjustableAdjustable for left and right-handed users
Accessoriessteam rack with handles recipe booklet serving spoon soup spoon measuring cupStainless steel steam rack with handles condensation collector rice paddle soup spoon measuring cup
Safety Mechanisms1. Steam Release
2. Anti-Block Shield
3. Safety Lid Lock
4. Lid Position Detection
5. Automatic Temperature Control
6. Overheat Protection
7. Automatic Pressure Control
8. Electrical Fuse
9. Thermal Fuse
10. Leaky Lid Detection.
1. Steam Release,
2. Anti-Block Shield,
3. Safety Lid Lock,
4. Lid Position Detection,
5. Automatic Temperature Control,
6. Overheat (Burn) Protection,
7. Automatic Pressure Control,
8. Electrical Fuse,
9. Thermal Fuse,
10. Leaky Lid Detection,
11. Quick Release Button

In this series of Instant Pot reviews, we have endeavoured to help you pick the best model that suits your needs best. Continuing this trend, here is our comparison of the Ultra and Duo, with a detailed explanation of who should buy what. Check it out and make that decision in a snap.

Who Should Buy the Instant Pot Duo?

  • The Pot Duo is a tiny and inexpensive appliance that will eliminate a lot of your commonly used appliances. It will clean up your kitchen and make the whole space much more manageable. Equipped with all the basic features that Instant Pots are famous for, the Duo is a handy machine to have nearby.
  • Like mentioned in my Instant Pot Duo review, If you are low on budget, then this is the best electric pressure you can get at the price range.
  • If you are new to cooking and want an appliance just to handle the basics for you, Instant Pot Duo is perfect for you. It can do everything from cooking rice to making yoghurt. It allows users to do pressure cooking and slow cooking with the same machine. How perfect is that?
  • As compared to the newer models, Duo has a gentler learning curve. It is quite easy to get used to its display and figure out how to use smart programs. Cooking novices will fall instantly in love with the Duo.
  • If you have a large family and already own a Pot Ultra or Max but require a smaller Pot to handle side dishes, the Instant Pot Duo is your perfect companion. It can do handle most of the tasks of its elder siblings without any drawbacks.
  • Lastly, if you are a busy individual or a student living in a dorm, Duo is the one for you. It does not need much space, it is inexpensive and it can delay cooking up to 24 hours. Not to mention the Keep Warm feature that allows room for keeping food fresh for longer.

Who should buy Instant Pot Ultra?

  • The latest of the Instant Pots certainly lives up t its hype. When it was first launched, the Instant Pot Ultra took the market by storm. It is perhaps my favourite of all the Instant Pots and for good reason.
  • The Instant Pot Ultra offers the best of both worlds. It has smart programs for those of you who are too busy to plan a recipe. You can press a button and be done with it, no more fiddling around with the knobs.
  • For those of you who like to customize your cooking process according to the recipe, it has the Ultra feature. You can change the temperature and pressure settings for all the programs. Not to mention the ultimate Ultra feature where you can input your own settings.
  • Like I mentioned in my Instant Pot Ultra review, It is perfect for those of you who often travel to exotic places and like to cook your own food there. The Altitude feature takes the guesswork for cooking out. Just punch in the height at which you are cooking and the smart cooking will adjust settings accordingly to give you tasty and nutritious food every single time.
  • The Instant Pot Ultra is a favourite among busy individuals who have unpredictable schedules. You can delay cooking time for 24 hours with your Ultra, and keep your food fresh and warm with the Keep Warm feature.

Is there an Instant Pot better than Duo and Ultra?

So you have scoured the internet and you still cannot find an appliance that will let you cook the way you want to. Your search ends here.

The Instant Pot Max is an ideal companion for those cooking lovers who do not trust anyone but themselves. No more preset programs, no more pre-programmed smart settings. The Pot Max is free from all the constraints of the previous models. With unlimited temperature settings and 15 psi pressure capability, sky is the limit. Cook literally anything any way you want – there are no boundaries here.

You can read my review on the Instant Pot Max for more details.

But that is not all that the Pot Max has to offer. The Sous Vide feature is a boon and one-of-its-kind cooking program where you can cook gourmet food from the comfort of your own kitchen. With temperature control accurate up to 0.5 degrees Celsius, you can cook those delicate dishes quite easily.

The NutriBoost technology of the Pot Max is here to help those of you who love bone broths. The cooker jostles food every once in a while, so you get the most flavour in your puddings and soups without moving a muscle.

The comparison has finally come to an end. Did you make your mind?

If you have made up your mind, please comment down with the model you’ve chosen and also add a reason for choosing it over the other one. It won’t just bring up a point, but would also help other consumers who are planning to buy either of these models. In case you’ve not made up your mind, please share the reason in comments or by contacting us. We’ll be glad to help you out with the buying decision.

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