Instant Pot Max Review: Is it worth Buying?

The Instant Pot Max is deceptively small, and yet with the diverse array of features available, you can rest assured that not only will your food be cooked in the most delicious way possible, but it will also take significantly less amount of time to do so. Forget the days when you had to slow cook food for a long time or fiddle with an array of settings to figure out the best temperature and pressure with an Instant pot, you can get best results under an hour.

The best thing about using an Instant pot is, it does not just reduce the cooking time for a few recipes, but also makes it hassle-free way. The Instant Pot Max is the latest model and comes with a lot of features along with the old versatile functionality that initially made the brand famous. Some new features of this model include, Sous vide, Cooking at 15 PSI, 13 new safety measures and With sous vide, you can cook gourmet-style meals easily and the ability to do pressure canning.

With all the new features, there’s also a rise in the pricing. This leads to a few questions among a potential purchaser, that’s why this review at TeckFlock would help you figure out if it’s worth upgrading from a previous model or if it is worth the price and is this the best model for your needs. There are plenty of reviews, but a review from someone who has experience with all the models is what makes our review a perfect one.

The Instant Pot Max Review

Why does my opinion matter? You must not just believe a random piece of article you read on the internet, the reason why my opinion matters are because I’ve been using an Instant Pot from the very first model and have used all the other models except for the Instant Pot Duo Plus. I’ve cooked more than 400 recipes in all of these models combined and when I bought the first model, I didn’t know anything about it, just like a lot of people. There was no reliable source available and the official sources would always be positive about their product, so I tested all the models and after years of using them, I’m here and sharing my experience with a few models. Thanks to TeckFlock, it allows me to share my experience and yet not disclose details about me.

1. 15 PSI: Pressure Canning at Home with an Instant Pot

The Instant Pot Max offers 15 pounds per square inch pressure (the older instant pots feature 12 psi) to help cook your food faster and in a much more energy efficient manner. I recommend it to anyone who is a new acquaintance to home pressure canning. Indulge in your newest hobby with it without worrying about harming the food.

The cooker claims to achieve high enough temperatures at 15 psi that are enough to kill the bacteria, Clostridium botulinum, in the food. Although the canning procedure is not USDA approved.

Things I like about the 15 PSI feature: The Max can reach pressures that were previously only possible with traditional stovetop cookers, I also love using it to cook old-timey recipes from my grandmother precisely as per the instructions.

Things I don’t like: Pressure canning is not USDA approved. Although, this is the only instant pot which allows you to do pressure canning at home.

2.  Touch Screen: Large and Immaculate

The large, immaculate, LCD touch screen in the front of the cooker made me fall in love with the pudgy machine – not only because it provides a sleek and elegant look to the cooker, but also because it serves a platform for controlling the cooking process flawlessly.

It makes it extremely easy to use the Max as a result, even for new users who have not used any of the previous models. The user interface is intuitive and easy to get the hang of, and I found that the information provided was much more detailed about what is going on the inside as compared to the older models I have used previously.

I found it much easier to figure out the touch screen of the Max as compared to the capacitive screens of older Instant Pot models. New users will find it almost effortless – most of the extra cooking options of the Ultra have been taken off, and only the bare essentials are left. The internal temperature display is also extremely helpful for those dabbling in gourmet cooking.

Things I liked: The display is large and supports touch. It has more information about what’s going inside than the previous models.

Things I don’t like: There’s nothing I hate about the display because who doesn’t like a large display which is user-friendly?

3. NutriBoost Technology: My Favorite Feature

I found the NutriBoost technology feature of Max the most intriguing. The float valve on the lid is wirelessly controlled and it allowed the sporadic release of steam from the cooker while simulating a boiling motion within the pot. Meanwhile, the pressure applied continuously resulted in the breakdown of foods and prevented the rice from sticking to the pot. Soups and broths were tastier and richer in flavor and the risotto was creamy perfection.

There’s also science which says, it makes the food richer in nutrients by not overcooking. Besides, that the company also says that it would save 70% energy, but the energy saving was around 50% when I compared. But, it still is a good amount saved.

The reason why it’s my favorite feature is because, besides preserving nutrition and providing a wonderful texture, it also stops the food from sticking to the pot. Thereby, it also saves your time which you would have spent cleaning the appliance.

Things I liked: The Nutriboost technology stops overcooking of food, preserving nutrients and avoid food from sticking to the pot. The rice dishes turned out to be perfectly cooked because of the jostling feature and the bone broth was creamy and flavorful.

Things I don’t like: The company claims that the tech would save 70%, but while testing it multiple times, I was able to only get 50% savings in energy.

4. Sous Vide Program: 5/8 times accurate

The sous vide program is a new addition to the Instant Pot. The Instant Pox Max features temperature control to an accuracy of +/-1 degree centigrade. This feature is for the perfectionists, the ones who prefer a very accurate temperature for cooking a dish or a recipe. I didn’t use this feature when it came to cooking on daily basis. However, if you’re someone who wants more control at temperature control then this could be a great addition.

While the extra feature is helpful and claims to allow you to cook restaurant-style dishes gourmet meals at your convenience from your own kitchen, the results themselves are dicey at best. However, I tested the temperature for my perfect cooks and found that the temperature is not always precise, it was tested 8 times and was accurate 5 times.

I used the Instant Pot Max to boil water and check the temperature accuracy, the instant thermometer read was off by 3 degrees from the displayed temperature on the Max. Although, not a huge difference, but can make a difference for people who’re a fan of perfection.

Things I liked: If you want your recipe to be perfect, then this is going to be a perfect feature for you. As with it, you’ll be able to control the temperature.

Things I don’t like: The displayed temperature is not always precise and can jeopardize the recipe quickly.

5. Automatic Pressure Release: Good or Bad depends on you

The automatic, quick steam release program is one of my favorites as it allows you to choose your method of venting, whether is it is a steady release or a quick burst of steam. There are 3 different options which you can select based on the recipe or item you’re cooking, they are No venting or sealed, Slow release and Quick release.

I’m not an avid fan of canning at home but did it for you all. While performing it, you can set the pressure and it’ll automatically adjust and maintain the pressure. I didn’t expect the automatic release to be this accurate. It also saved me from steam burns which I used to get when using the Instant Pot Quart and Duo.

I love the Automatic Pressure Release feature of the Pot Max because of two reasons. I could release the steam without manual valve control, unlike my Pot Ultra. I could also choose the venting method – gradual release or quick release in a burst. Secondly, I can program the Max Pot to automatically release steam after cook time is finished. I don’t have to look over my shoulder anymore to check the cooker, I can simply set the pressure and venting style before cooking starts and voila, I’m done.

Things I liked: Pretty accurate release, 3 different modes – No Venting, Slow release and Quick Release for steam release.
Things I don’t like: Nothing bad, but a first timer might not get the modes correctly. One needs to know the mode which is most suitable for their recipe or food item.

6. Stainless Steel Exterior, Cooking pot and Steam rack

The exterior of the Instant Pot Max along with the cooking pot, lid, and steam rack are all made with 100% food grade, recyclable material with no chemical coatings. I checked if the whole apparatus was dishwasher friendly and everything checked out amazingly well, thus making the Max the easiest of all Instant Pots to clean. The brushed stainless-steel exteriors also seem attractive to me and lend a premium look to the Pot Max.

Things I liked: It looks really similar to the other instant pots in the market and looks premium.

Things I don’t like: I like everything about this feature and don’t have any downs in regards to it, but if at all find something after using it more, I’ll add it here.

7. Safety Mechanisms: 13 mechanisms, but only 3 new.

With over 13 safety mechanisms of the Instant Pot Max, I could rest in peace that my dishes will be prepared in a secure manner. The thermal and electrical fuse prevent overheating of the pot, and the automatic temperature and pressure control units serve to provide maximum safety while cooking with the Max.

But if you’re upgrading from a previous Instant Model such as DUO, Ultra, Lux then, it is just 3 extra safety mechanisms which are Self Diagnostic, Pressure Indicator, and Wireless Lid Detection. So if these feel important to you or something you need, then you should consider going for the Max. However, if you think you’ll not need those features, you might not need.

  1. Steam Release
  2. Safety Lid Lock
  3. Lid Position Detection
  4. Automatic Temperature Control
  5. Overheat (Burn) Protection
  6. Anti-Block Shield
  7. Automatic Pressure Control
  8. Leaky Lid Detection
  9. Thermal Fuse
  10. Electrical Fuse.
  11. Wireless Lid Detection
  12. Pressure Indicator
  13. Self-Diagnostic

Things I liked: 13 Safety mechanisms to make using the Instant Pot safe and easy to use.

Things I don’t like: If you’re upgrading from a previous model or are on a low budget then you shall consider going for the other models. Because even the basic model comes with 10 safety mechanisms.

8. Free Recipe app

The Instant Pot max came with a seamless app with over 600 recipes. I checked out a few and the instructions are easy to follow. The dishes themselves always turned out to be stellar and delicious. I found the personalized grocery list feature extremely helpful.

Instant Pot Max Pros and Cons

Pros
  1. The LCD touch screen adds a premium and finished look while also adding seamless functionality to the Max.
  2. The NutriBoost technology allows the intermittent release of pressure from the cooker.
  3. Automatic Pressure Release comes with 3 options, they are No venting or sealed Slow release and Quick release and one can program it based on the recipe too.
  4. 15 PSI pressure allows canning at home. The Instant Pot Max is able to can 4 jars at a time. All with safety in mind.
  5. The sound alerts can be turned off, so you can cook at night when everybody is sleeping without worrying about the annoying sounds.
  6. With Nutriboost tech, Food won’t stick to the pot. Besides, it’s dishwasher friendly. Thereby easy to clean.
  7. 13 Safety features which include patented technologies. I hate the word patent, but I’m a safety freak. So it’s an advantage.
Cons
  1. The 15 psi feature does not reduce the cooking time significantly and appears gimmicky.
  2. The Sous Vide feature is not entirely accurate. This could result in pretty far off results while cooking gourmet dishes.
  3. The cook times are not as precise, but this is more of an annoyance than anything troublesome.
  4. Sauteeing in the Pot Max does not appear to be any better than the Ultra or older models. The results are mediocre at best.
  5. The recipes mentioned in the recipe book are customized for older Instant Pot models and do not seem to be well synchronized with the new features of the Max.
  6. The hefty price tag seems unjustified because of discrepancies in the above-mentioned features.
  7. It can be tricky to learn how to use the Instant Pot Max. Customers who are used to earlier designs will have a slightly difficult time adjusting to the difference in settings. Read the manual first before getting started.

Alternatives to Instant Pot Max

The Instant Pot Max comes with a hefty price tag, but if it isn’t for some unique features of it such as 15 PSI suitable for pressure canning, Nutriboost, Automatic Pressure release etc. Then you can consider a few other Instant pots. I’ve listed 3 alternatives which have most of the features of the Max but cost less than it. You can consider going for the below model which has all the features you need. However, you can check our Instant pot review if you’re interested in finding out different models and more information about the below-listed models.

Instant Pot Ultra 8 quart

Significantly cheaper than the Max at $127.99, and providing unmatched functionality for years now, the Instant Pot Ultra is a cult favourite and for good reason. If you have an Ultra, you know that the seamless touch screen, the easy to use central dial and UL certified 11 safety features make it the most reasonably priced Instant Pot in market right now. With a wide array of custom enhancements available at your fingertips, the Ultra also adds new features like sterilizing and cake and egg cooking recipes. With only the sous vide additional feature of the Pot Max, I would not recommend splurging if you already own a functional Instant Pot Ultra.

Instant Pot Duo 6 quart

With a price tag that is a little over half of the Instant Pot Max, I recommend the Duo as a reasonable alternative to the Max, replacing 9 essential kitchen items.

There are 15 built-in programs to cook your food in a fast and healthy way. Although it features only 10 safety mechanisms as compared to the 13 of Pot Max, you can rest assured that they are enough to prevent any harm to your food. The Duo also features an LCD screen which makes using the pot effortless.

Instant Pot Smart

Get the smart Instant Pot that connects to Wi-Fi at a price of only $119 (At the time of posting this review.) I found the user interface of the touch screen intuitive and if you are looking for a Pot that you can monitor easily through your smart device, this is the one for you. The ten safety mechanisms are UL and ULC certified and prevent any harm to your food. The Pot Smart comes with additional accessories, like rice paddles, soup spoon, and a measuring cup.

Instant Pot Max Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to use the Instant Pot Max?

The Instant Pot Max is laced with 13 UL certified features including safety lid lock, wireless lid detection, overheat protection, automatic pressure, and temperature control and even thermal and electric fuses that prevent any mishappening during the usage..

Does the Instant Pot turn itself off?

Yes, after a certain cooking step is complete, the pot will turn itself off. For example, if you set the system to cook for 20 minutes at low pressure, the Pot Max will turn itself off after 20 minutes. However, it is not advisable to leave the house when the Instant pots are turned on.

Does the Pot Max have adjustable altitude feature?

Yes, you can change the altitude settings on the Pot Max. Enter your altitude and the cook time mentioned in the recipe, the microprocessors of the Pot max will automatically adjust the cooking time according to your elevation above sea level.

Is The Pot Max certified for canning by the USDA?

No, the Pot Max does not meet the canning requirements set up by the USDA. However, you can safely can 4 jars of 16 oz each in the pot.

How do I quickly release steam from my Instant Pot Max?

The Pot Max has three settings to choose from when it comes to pressure release – natural release, sporadic or all at once. To quickly release steam, press down on Steam release button until it gets locked into its place. The steam will be released from the scape valve.

Final Verdict

With the newly added features and sleek touchscreen, that new Instant Pot Max sure looks like an attractive machine that is hard to resist. However, if you already own an older model, spending the extra cash will not add any significant value to your Instant Pot.

The additional pressure feature does not reduce cooking time by much and the sous vide feature is not reliable. But if you are new to the world of Instant Pots, you will not regret spending the extra dollars on the Max. The ease of functionality and intuitive features are certainly a plus.

Instant Pot Max

8.2

15 PSI

9.1/10

Touch Screen

8.4/10

Nutriboost

8.6/10

Sous Vide

7.4/10

Automatic Pressure Release

7.7/10

Pros

  • 15 PSI (Home Canning)
  • Large Display with more information
  • 13 Security mechanisms
  • Stainless Steel Exterior
  • Nutriboost makes the food richer in texture and preserves nutrients

Cons

  • Sous Vide is not completely accurate
  • Automatic Pressure release can confuse the first timer, one might have to check the manual before using
  • Only 3 extra safety mechanisms than the previous Instant pot models
  • Recipes from the recipe app works best on the previous model
  • Someone upgrading from a previous model might have to check the manual to control it, as a few options have changed

6 thoughts on “Instant Pot Max Review: Is it worth Buying?”

  1. 15 PSI

    9.00

    Touch Screen

    9.30

    Nutriboost

    9.00

    Sous Vide

    6.40

    Automatic Pressure Release

    7.80

    The most detailed review ever.

    I’m new to Instant pots and came across this model. But it had too many features and none of the reviewers explained it in deep. I wasn’t able to make a buying decision. Later, I searched for some Instant Pot communities and came across your guide. Trust me, you guys should review more products because your reviews aren’t for the sake of posting, but are actually informative.

    Shane Barker

  2. 15 PSI

    9.00

    Touch Screen

    7.70

    Nutriboost

    7.50

    Sous Vide

    7.20

    Automatic Pressure Release

    6.90

    The Instant Pot Max is available only with a capacity of 6 Qt, on the other hand, there’s a brand called Mealthy Multipot which has similar models at a much cheaper price than the Max. I think the Max is great but would have loved a model which had more capacity. I have three options.

    #1 Ultra
    #2 Max
    #3 Mealthy Multipot

    I’d be glad if you help me choose one.

    • 15 PSI

      8.90

      Touch Screen

      8.90

      Nutriboost

      8.10

      Sous Vide

      7.90

      Automatic Pressure Release

      8.80

      I wish there a model which came with anything above 6 qt. I’d prefer 8 qt or 9 qt and when I have guests, something like 12 qt would be a wonderful option too. The Multipot and Crockpot aren’t close to the Instant Pot, that’s one reason why I’m not able to shift to them despite them having the size options. But I think, I should atleast get one electric pressure cooker with capacity more than 6 quarts soon. I’m bookmarking this page as I believe that you’ll keep updating this post whenever there’s a new product launch.

  3. 15 PSI

    8.80

    Touch Screen

    8.10

    Nutriboost

    7.40

    Sous Vide

    8.10

    Automatic Pressure Release

    7.10

    I’m a member of the TeckFlock community. It’s lovely to see how the things we discuss in our community comes here in a pure unbiased form. I’m a silent member there and I haven’t commented there for a long, but I’ve participated in the polls. I’ve read the detailed comments and I’ve also seen the the unbiased nature of the mods. I didn’t know about an Instant pot till date. But a lot of the group members were enthusiastic about this particular review, so I checked it and finally bought one. Finding this page took me more than 1 hr because I’m not very techsavvy and it wasn’t found on Google. But I kept looking and I finally found it, I’ve been using this product for a week after the poll happened on the group and this article was made live to members only and trust me your site is one of the most honest review website!

    However, one thing your article fails to focus about the size of the Instant Pot Max. Although, most of them who bought this model would’ve known that it’s only available in 6 quartz. Also you did mention in the article, but wouldn’t it be great if there was a dedicated section which talked about the size?

  4. 15 PSI

    7.80

    Touch Screen

    9.80

    Nutriboost

    8.90

    Sous Vide

    7.80

    Automatic Pressure Release

    8.40

    First of all, great review.

    A lot of people say that it’s not worth upgrading but many reviews published on websites didn’t even mention all the features in the article.

    This is the most detailed review I’ve read while looking for reviews. You’ve explained everything and after reading this, I upgraded to the Max and I’m really happy.

    Although, there’s not much difference between it and the previous models, but if one needs those features he/she can consider it. Besides, if someone is buying a new variant and has a budget, he surely should buy this model.

    The Sous Vide and Automatic Pressure release needs to improve, but they do work and for those who learns to use it perfectly, will be able to make any instant pot recipe in a perfect way.

  5. 15 PSI

    8.20

    Touch Screen

    8.60

    Nutriboost

    8.70

    Sous Vide

    9.00

    Automatic Pressure Release

    8.70

    The canning is awesome on this Instant POT, but why isn’t approved by the USDA? Everyone knows that it can do it, but no one knows why USDA hasn’t approved it. Besides, I thought of buying a crockpot, which model would be the best from that company?

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