INSTANT POT REVIEWS
HELPING YOU FIND THE BEST INSTANT POT!
Are you looking forward to buying an Instant Pot but are confused with the model you should consider? Don’t worry, I’ve tested all the Instant Pot models and I’m finally here with their reviews. You can read them to find the model which is perfect for you! So shall we finally start?
Instant Pot is an electric pressure cooker which is programmed to be able to perform tasks which might require you to have multiple cookers or appliances. It’s a multi-cooker which can perform tasks of a slow cooker, pressure cooker, rice cooker, yogurt maker, warmer, egg maker, steamer, sterilizer, etc. In a kitchen, we are seldom restricted to only one task.
Now, if there was one machine which could do the job of almost all your appliances, wouldn’t that save you a lot of expenditure? This particular appliance does the job of all the mentioned machines so instead of buying all of them, you can buy a single machine which would be able to most of the above-mentioned tasks. This way it saves you space and money too.
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The Best Instant Pots That You’ll Love
Instant Pot 60 Max
Instant Pot Lux Model
Instant Pot DUO
Instant Pot DUO Plus
Instant Pot Ultra
Instant Pot Smart WiFi
Smartest Electric Pressure Cooker
Instant Pot Max
The Best in Flexibility
The Instant Pot Review would be incomplete without including the Max!
The Instant Pot Max is the latest model from the company, it comes with a few features which aren’t there in the predecessors. It can cook at 15 PSI which can allow you to do home pressure canning and isn’t available in any of the other pots from the brand.
The Instant Pot Max Review
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.
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.
- Steam Release
- Safety Lid Lock
- Lid Position Detection
- Automatic Temperature Control
- Overheat (Burn) Protection
- Anti-Block Shield
- Automatic Pressure Control
- Leaky Lid Detection
- Thermal Fuse
- Electrical Fuse.
- Wireless Lid Detection
- Pressure Indicator
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
- The LCD touch screen adds a premium and finished look while also adding seamless functionality to the Max.
- The NutriBoost technology allows the intermittent release of pressure from the cooker.
- 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.
- 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.
- The sound alerts can be turned off, so you can cook at night when everybody is sleeping without worrying about the annoying sounds.
- With Nutriboost tech, Food won’t stick to the pot. Besides, it’s dishwasher friendly. Thereby easy to clean.
- 13 Safety features which include patented technologies. I hate the word patent, but I’m a safety freak. So it’s an advantage.
- The 15 psi feature does not reduce the cooking time significantly and appears gimmicky.
- The Sous Vide feature is not entirely accurate. This could result in pretty far off results while cooking gourmet dishes.
- The cook times are not as precise, but this is more of an annoyance than anything troublesome.
- Sauteeing in the Pot Max does not appear to be any better than the Ultra or older models. The results are mediocre at best.
- 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.
- The hefty price tag seems unjustified because of discrepancies in the above-mentioned features.
- 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.
Instant Pot Max Frequently Asked Questions
1. 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..
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
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.
Their latest product is a top of the line product for all of your needs, minus the WiFi connectivity. It has countless programmes which you can further customize to suit your own cooking needs. All in all, this is the best model which money can buy. So if you’re not low on budget and want the latest in the market then this should be the ultimate choice for all your needs combined.Check Price
Instant Pot Lux Model
Budget plays an important role in our lives, This Instant Pot review plays that rule in the Instant Pot Review!
While it’s good to have an instant pot which can run multiple programs, you don’t necessarily have to spend more on something that you’re not going to use just for the sake of it.
The Instant Pot Lux Review
If you find yourself looking for one while being short on the green, The Lux model is the most budget-friendly model. This should be your choice if you’re low on budget and can make do without so many features or programs.
This model is meant to be budget-friendly and isn’t anything exception by any means. However, it is available in three size variants, 3 Quarts, 6 Quarts, and 8 Quarts, all to suit your needs and budget better.
It can serve six needs by being a Pressure Cooker, a Rice Cooker, a Saute machine, a Steamer, a Warmer, and even a Cake Maker. It has twelve preset programmes which you can use to make your food.
However, the present controls are not customizable, so trying anything out of the box might be rather difficult. Apart from that, you can choose any of the seven given temperature settings where three of them are exclusive for Saute mode.
The pot comes with a Steamer, a Stainless Steel Cooking Pot, and Lid. It also comes with 10 safety features including Steam Release to let out excess steam and pressure, Anti-Block Shield to ensure that your lid isn’t stuck, Safety Lid Lock, Lid Position Detection, Automatic Temperature Control, Overheat (Burn) Protection, Automatic Pressure Control, Electrical Fuse and Thermal Fuse to avoid disasters, and Leaky Lid Detection to ensure a proper seal for all flavors in your dish.
While it’s very light on the pocket, it’s not the best. After all, there is a price to pay for everything, and if you want something to be cheaper you need to sacrifice something about it. In this case, it’s controls and features. However, it is more than sufficient for most quick cooking needs. In case you are ready to spend more on other models, feel free to spend on the other models below.Check Price
Instant Pot DUO
Best All-around model
The Duo is a 7-in-one model, It replaces seven machines in your kitchen by acting as a Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Saute, and a Yogurt Maker. It also comes in three size variants, 3 Quarts, 6 Quarts, and 8 Quarts.
The Instant Pot Duo Review
This Instant Pot Review wouldn’t be honest without including the Instant pot model – Duo. You know why? Read more to find the why! It’s one of the best instant pots that you can find!
Stovetop cookers are obsolete and no one uses a pressure cooker anymore. The reason? The advent of Instant Pots in the modern market. With an almost religion-like following, these multifunctional cookers have replaced a host of kitchen appliances over the last decade or so. I have used almost all Instant Pot models as they were released over the years, and I still cannot get enough of them.
The Instant Pot Duo came out a few years ago and it revolutionized the market after its launch. The Canadian brand added a host of new features to the model. With over 30 thousand ratings on Amazon and a score f 4.6 stars out of 5, Instant Pot Duo is a bestseller in the Home and Kitchen Appliances section.
Check out my in-depth review of the Duo, with its features, pros and cons, and alternatives to determine for yourself if this is the one for you. Like all the other reviews published on TeckFlock, we’ll first focus on the features. While mentioning the features, I’ll also mention about the likes and dislikes of that particular feature. So shall we begin?
1. 7-in-1 Multi Use Cooker
Instant Pots are famous for their multifunctionality. The Duo comes with 7 built-in features that eliminate the need for 7 common household appliances. You can eliminate a lot of the devices that occupy excessive space, like the stovetop cooker and yogurt maker. The Duo is therefore perfect for students and people who have a small kitchen.
You can use your Instant Pot Duo to make rice or slow cook a pot roast in less than an hour. Steam veggies for your kids and saute and simmer a sauce. The Duo can do it all.
What I like about this feature: Eliminates the need for a multitude of kitchen appliances.
What I do not like about this feature: Newer models can bake cooks and cook eggs. These features are missing in the Duo.
2. Smart Programs
The built-in, pre-programmed settings make the Instant Pots a delight to work with. For students, these features are a godsend. On the days that I am busy, the Instant Pot Duo is my best friend in the kitchen. With just the click of a few buttons, I can get the little appliance humming along, cooking my food faster than previously thought possible.
The 14 smart programs include cooking soup, porridge, multigrain, making yoghurt, saute-ing and simmering sauces, cooking rice, and keep food warm for up to 24 hours. The Duo eliminates the need for fiddling around with knobs to make these dishes. Just press a button and you are done.
What I like about this feature: Students and busy individuals can cook food faster.
What I do not like about this feature: Customization is not available for recipes that may have different cooking times.
3. Control Panel
The large, immaculate blue screen makes it a breeze to control the Duo. all the programs are available as separate buttons so all you have to do is press one to get started. The screen shows the temperature inside so you always know what stage of cooking the food is at.
Besides the preset programs, the Instant Pot Duo also has Delay Start and Keep Warm features. You can cook your food even after having left the house – just set the Delay Start option to your desired time. The Keep Warm feature helps keep your food fresh and warm at your desired temperature even long after it has finished cooking.
What I like about this feature: Delay Start is perfect for busy individuals. Keep Warm is ideal if you have unexpected guests.
What I do not like about this feature: The screen seems clunky and outdated. It can be quite hard to get used to pressing the buttons.
4. Stainless steel interiors and exteriors
Instant Pot Duo comes with stainless steel exteriors that are airbrushed and scratch free. It looks like a bit of futuristic technology because of its sophisticated design.
The interiors of the Duo are made of food-grade stainless steel that has no chemical coatings, so your food will be forever nutritious and contamination free.
All the freebies that come with the Duo, the inner pot, the lid are dishwasher friendly. The Duo is therefore even easier to use now because you do not have to worry about the cleaning later.
What I like about this feature: Sophisticated looks, no contamination of food, dishwasher safe.
What I do not like about this feature: There is nothing I do not like about this feature.
5. Adjustable temperature and pressure settings
There are two pressure and three temperature settings with the Duo. At high pressure, you can cook any kind of food in a small amount of time. So not only are you saving time, but also energy and money. With low-pressure cooking, the need for slow cookers is eliminated entirely. You can cook delicate dishes over a prolonged period of time without damaging the ingredients.
There are three temperature settings and I personally love every single one of them. They are less, normal and more. They provide a much more flexible way of making your favourite food. For example, in the saute program, different temperature settings can help you saute, simmer and blacken hard meats.
What I like about this feature: Greater flexibility in cooking foods of different consistency
What I do not like about this feature: Temperature and pressure settings are more versatile in newer models.
6. Safety mechanisms
The Duo has 10 different safety mechanisms that are UL and ULC certified, making it one of the safest machines in the market. All the mechanisms are patented and provide redundant pathways to avoid damage to food as well as Instant Pot users.
The mechanisms are listed below.
- Steam Release
- Anti-Block Shield
- Safety Lid Lock
- Lid Position Detection
- Automatic Temperature Control
- Overheat Protection
- Automatic Pressure Control
- Electrical Fuse
- Thermal Fuse
- Leaky Lid Detection.
What I like about this feature: UL and ULC certification make the cooker extremely safe.
What I do not like about this feature: Automatic Steam Release is missing.
The Instant Pot Duo Pros and Cons
- Multi-use gadget, so it will eliminate a lot of the appliances on your shelf, making your kitchen clutter-free and saving your time.
- Stainless steel interior makes it easy to clean. The instant pot is dishwasher friendly.
- The material on the inside of the instant pot is food grade quality, so you do not have to worry about contamination of your food.
- It will save a lot of time. A full-fledged dinner can be cooked in an hour. You will also save a lot of money on electricity bills.
- The Instant Pot Duo is cheaper than its newer siblings. It is affordable even for students.
- The 24-hour delay makes it easy to cook with people who have busy schedules.
- Pre-programmed recipes are ideal for novices and people who do not have much idea about cooking.
- The Instant Pot is self-regulated, that is it will stop cooking by itself. You do not have to babysit your Instant Pot.
- The 10 safety mechanisms make it one of the safest pressure cookers in the market.
- Adjustable temperature and pressure settings make it one of the most flexible pressure cookers in the market, so you can make adjustments according to your requirements.
- Less pre-programmed features than the newer models. Most of the new models are capable of cooking eggs, baking a cake and sterilizing baby bottles.
- For new users, it can be daunting to learn to use an Instant Pot. there is a bit of learning curve to getting used to these devices.
- The Instant Pot Duo features lower maximum pressure than the newer models, thus making the actual cooking process slower than, say, the Pot Ultra or Max.
- You cannot customize the programs according to your convenience. The Ultra feature where you can enter the desired temperature and pressure is missing.
- The screen is LCD, with a big blue background and buttons instead of touch functions. It can seem clunky and outdated.
- Safety mechanisms are not as advanced as the Ultra and Max.
- There are only three temperature and pressure control settings, thus providing less room for playing.
- Automatic pressure release is missing. Manual pressure release may cause burns.
- There is no option for customization of cooking settings according to the altitude.
It is a mid-range model which greatly suits most purposes and needs for the common man and can also save you a ton of expenditure and time. While this does have it’s own shortcomings and limitations, it is best suited for those who are looking for an easy and efficient way of cooking their own food without much hassle.
This comes with more pre-programmed settings than the Lux model while still remaining comparatively cheaper than other high-end models. At the same time, in case you want more features and settings, you might consider investing a little more on the model we’ll be covering next.
The multi-cooker also cooks under high pressure, thereby drastically reducing the time required to prepare any dish. It has 14 pre-programmed cooking modes built into it to handle most dishes. It also has 12 temperatures in addition to those fourteen cooking controls which enables greater control over the dishes which you can prepare in it. However, this still is not customizable. The unit has no display and is controlled by buttons.
Perhaps the best feature of the Duo series is the Dual Pressure setting, wherein you can switch between high pressure to cook foods quickly, and lower pressures to avoid overcooking delicate foods. However, the pressure settings are still not accurate enough for gourmet dishes primarily because of the lack of finer temperature controls.
Like other models, it also has 10 safety features for safety and comfort while cooking including Steam Release, Anti-Block Shield, Safety Lid Lock, Lid Position Detection, Automatic Temperature Control, Overheat (Burn) Protection, Automatic Pressure Control, Electrical Fuse and Thermal Fuse, and Leaky Lid Detection. Apart from that, it also comes with a stainless steel pot, a steam rack, and a lid.
While this device certainly meets most needs of the common man, it can certainly get much better. However, it is the best overall electric pressure from Instant Brands even though it cannot prepare the more delicate gourmet dishes.
However, the Dual Pressure feature is a guaranteed steal, making it suitable for most purposes spare a few. In the end, if you want more features, you can check out other models below. However, this is suitable for most of your needs.Check Price
Instant Pot DUO Plus
Best value for money
Want an electric pressure cooker that is value for money? Well, do not worry, this Instant Pot Review of ours actually has you covered! The Duo Plus is the model, that brings huge value for money!
The Duo Plus comes with a Large display which makes it much more accessible than other variants. This multi-cooker is a 9-in-one model and can replace 9 common kitchen appliances including Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Yogurt Maker, Egg Cooker, Sauté, Steamer, Warmer, Sterilizer, and a cake maker. As a result, this variant comes with 15 preset programmes which are controlled by the microchip present inside of the unit.
The Instant Pot Duo Plus Review
Instant Pots are a way of life. The electric pressure cookers have an almost cult-like following in the modern world. Check the best-rated smart pressure cooker models on Amazon and Instant Pots will occupy 7 of the top 10 spots. The Home and Kitchen category lists it as the top-rated appliance. And if you ask any cooking enthusiast about their Instant Pot, they will rave for hours about how it helps them get dinner on the table in a flash.
Even after being a popular cooking appliance, as reported by a Meat+Poultry, it hasn’t earned the market share closer to traditional stoves. But one good thing is, We conducted a survey in our group and 74% people who own the Instant pot at-least use it once in a week.
Whether you are a beginner just learning cooking, or an expert who wants to get in on the latest trend, there is an Instant Pot for everyone. The smart cookers come with a range of features. They tend to replace most of the kitchen appliances we use on a daily basis. So why not get one?
But with more than 7 models and a host of features, it can get difficult to figure which Instant Pot is the best for you. In this series of Instant Pot reviews, I have taken it upon myself to reveal the best and worst of the latest in these smart pressure cookers. Today, we will talk about the Instant Pot Duo, its features, its pros and cons, and its alternatives. Read on to find out the good, the bad, and the ugly about Instant Pot Duo Plus.
You can read my other reviews of Instant Pot Ultra and Instant Pot Max. I have used Instant Pots for several years now. Having cooked over 200 recipes in all the models, I feel like I am qualified enough to review it and lay it all out before you all.
Before you begin reading the review, I’ll warn you that its more than a 3000 words and has all the doubts about the DUO plus answered. So you might want to save the URL by bookmarking it. Simplicity makes it easy to understand, that’s why I’ve written in the easiest way I could.
1. Multi Cooker
Like all its siblings, The Duo Plus serves to function as multiple appliances. Once I got an Instant Pot, I was able to get rid of so many of my appliances that kitchen counter looked one hundred percent cleaner.
The Pot Duo Plus replaces not only a pressure cooker but also a slow cooker and a rice cooker. You can make perfectly fluffy eggs or get some instant yogurt. You can bake a moist and fluffy cake in your Duo Plus. You can also saute and steam vegetable in the duo plus. Additional functions include sterilization, and keeping food warm for hours after it has been cooked, and searing the meat to a crisp finish.
The 3 New features – Egg, Cake and Sterilize have been introduced for the first time in the Duo Plus. None of the predecessors features these programmes. Sterilize program is the most helpful. Make sure your baby’s bottles are clean and pasteurize the milk like never before with you Instant Pot Duo Plus. However, the successor to it, i.e. The Instant Pot Ultra has all these features, but let’s give credit to Duo plus for having the features first.
With such wide ranged versatility, my Duo Plus got rid of 9 appliances from my kitchen immediately. What more can you ask for from a device?
Things I like: The 9-in-1 multifunctional feature makes the kitchen a much safer place to be in. I do not have to run for a new device every single time I cook something new. The versatility of the Duo Plus makes it easy to cook.
Things I don’t like: The newer models like Instant Pot Ultra and Max features has all the features of this and so if I’m buying one now, wouldn’t I want a successor?
2. Size: 3-quart, 6-quart and 8-quart
Different people have different requirements. And to meet those requirements, the Duo Plus comes with 3 different sizes. The 3-quart model is perfect for students and people who travel a lot. The 6-quart model is meant for small families of 4 or 5 members. Families with more than 6 members should get the 8-quart model.
Things I like: One can consider buying the 3-quart model, as it can be carried easily and could buy an Ultra or Max for home use.
Things I don’t like: Sizing options has nothing bad to talk so, no thumbs down for this!
3. Smart Programmes
One of my favorite features of the Electric cookers is that they come with built-in, pre-programmed settings that completely take out the guesswork from cooking. No matter what dish you are preparing, you can be certain this it will most probably have a preset program in your Duo Plus.
The Instant Pot Duo Plus comes with 15 different preset programs that allow you to perform a wide range of cooking functions with the press of a button. They include – making soup or broth, meat, stew, baking cakes, making eggs, chilies, beans, making porridge or rice, multigrain cooking or making yogurt, keeping food warm, and pressure cooking.
All the above-mentioned recipes can be cooked with so much as the flick of a finger. There is no need to fiddle around with knobs anymore. Simply press a button and your food will be ready – delicious and nutritious.
Things I like: Makes it easy for amateurs and students to cook food without getting into the nitty-gritty of temperature settings, pressure settings etc.
Things I don’t like: There is no option to customize the preset conditions if you need to make alterations for ingredients or consistency.
4. The LCD Screen
Duo Plus is one of the most revolutionary products to come from the Canadian brand, because of its large and immaculate LCD screen. The blue screen is large enough so that all the functions are visible. It features four main settings. They are Heat, Pressure Cook, Keep Warm and Sound.
The Heat setting obviously depicts the temperature inside the cooker on which the food is being cooked. The Pressure Cook setting displays if the pressure cooker is on, and if it is, what is the pressure inside. The Keep warm feature can be used to keep food fresh long after it has finished cooking. The Sound feature is used to switch the beep sound the Pot makes when the cooking process is over.
Besides, the screens display time, for how long food is being cooked, what is the delay start period, and for how long Keep Warm has been on.
I found the screen intuitive and easy to operate. There were no complications in getting started. The functions are not overly convoluted and a new user will easily learn and get used to using the cooker with the help of this screen.
Things I like: The screen is large and easy to understand. It is easy to use all the features and understand what is going on in the cooker.
Things I don’t like: There is no cooking progress bar, the screen is not LED or touch enabled. It can feel clunky to a new user since most appliances these days come with a touch screen.
5. Caters to varying tastes
Each of the programs on the Instant Pot Duo Plus can be customized into 3 settings – Less, Normal and More. For example, If you are using the saute program, you can turn the setting to low for searing, normal for simmering the food, and more for thickening. Similarly, the 3 settings in slow cook can be used for cooking meats of different consistency or according to the recipe. In the Keep Warm program, the 3 settings will allow you to keep your food warm at different temperatures.
The Less option in egg program can be used for cooking soft boiled eggs and so on. Similarly, the 3 settings for cakes produce soft cakes, dense cakes, and cheesecakes.
In the sterilize settings, use the Less setting for pasteurizing dairy products and the other two for sterilizing baby bottles. Just choose how you prefer your food, press a button or two, and you are done.
There is another thing I love about this feature. You can change the settings anytime during the cook in case you make a mistake or simply want to experiment. In the previous models, you had to hit cancel before proceeding with the changes. I cannot describe how much relief it is to not have to do that anymore.
Things I like: The ability to use the various programs at desirable settings is another example of versatility and inclusivity. I can keep my food piping hot or at room temperature, or sear my vegetables just the way I like them.
Things I don’t like: There is nothing I do not like about this feature.
6. Cooking Times
Like all Instant Pots, the Duo Plus claims to cook food 70 percent faster than other pressure cookers. But what about
I tested the waters on this claim, and it worked every time. Every recipe I have cooked on a stovetop cooker or microwave has taken twice, sometimes three times as long as with my Instant Pot Duo Plus. This means that the Instant Pot Duo Plus saves not only time, but also energy, and consequently money. Who doesn’t love that?
But some recipes I cooked needed slow cooking, I found the Instant Pot Max to be a good choice for such dishes. So if you’re someone who cooks more of the slow cooking recipes then the Instant Pot Max is the best electric pressure cooker for your needs.
Things I like: Hassle-free cooking with less time wastage.
Things I don’t like: Nothing! Who doesn’t like saving money and time simultaneously? But Ultra and Max should be a choice for recipes that requires slow cooking.
7. 24-hour delay start ( Cooking Timer)
One of my favourite things about the Instant Pot Duo Plus is the 24-hour delay feature. What it basically means that if you have to go out of the house and want your food ready when you return, simply enter when you want the cook to start and leave.
The cooker will automatically begin cooking your food after the designated time so that you return to freshly cooked, hot food every single time. This feature is especially handy for busy individuals who do not have time or students with packed schedules.
Things I like: The feature is really handy for people who come from different backgrounds and schedules. Helped me eat hot food when I returned back home from work.
Things I don’t like: Using the feature would mean leaving the pot unattended while it is plugged in. That may not be safe for prolonged periods of time.
8. The newly designed Readers Manual
The people at Instant Pot have done something wonderful with this new model. The previously length manual has now been condensed to just a few pages. All the instructions have been rewritten and it is easier to cover the entire manual reading in one go now.
Things I like: Reading time is reduced. It does not feel like a chore to finish reading the manual now.
Things I don’t like: Some of the instructions are still unclear. New users may find I hard to understand how the water test should be carried out.
9. Exteriors and Interiors
All of the Instant Pot Duo Plus, its exteriors, interiors, accessories etc have been constructed with hundred food grade quality stainless steel with no chemical coatings. The safety of you and your children is completely uncompromised and your food will be completely uncontaminated.
All of the appliances, its lid, the accessories are also dishwasher safe. It is now easier than ever to keep your Instant Pot clean and sparkling.
The inner trivet has an additional curved feature that allows easier handling than the one that came with previous models. The Instant Pot has markings at the half and 2/3rd level so you can check the water level easily.
Additionally, the exteriors are covered with fingerprint resistant stainless steel that is also airbrushed. It gives the Duo Plus a sleek and sophisticated look.
Things I like: The stylish exterior, the food grade metal used for making, and the ability to be dishwasher safe make it an excellent appliance.
Things I don’t like: Who dislikes a stainless steel pressure cooker with easy handling and stunning looks?
10. Security features (10 Safety Mechanisms)
Like all its cousins, the DUO Plus is equipped with UL and ULC certification. The electric pressure cooker has been fitted with 10 safety mechanisms and patented technologies that make it super safe to cook with the Instant Pot Duo Plus. Below is a list of mechanisms:
- Steam Release
- Anti-Block Shield
- Safety Lid Lock
- Lid Position Detection
- Automatic Temperature Control
- Overheat (Burn) Protection
- Automatic Pressure Control
- Electrical Fuse
- Thermal Fuse
- Leaky Lid Detection.
11. Alexa connection
The Duo Plus comes with guided cooking classes associated with Alexa. The app also allows you to save your favorite recipes, make personalized grocery lists, and choose from close to 700 recipes from the menu. Cook delicious and nutritious food at the click of a button.
Things I like: The ability to save my favourite recipes and find new recipes that are compatible with my Instant Pot Duo Plus
Things I don’t like: It cannot be controlled from the app like the Instant Pot Smart. Addition of WiFi feature would make it more tech savvy. [/su_note]
Instant Pot Duo Plus Pros & Cons
- Easy to operate, convenient, and gentle learning graph because of its 15 preset cooking programs and multiple settings that provide hassle-free cooking.
- Cooking time is reduced significantly, saving both effort and money.
- The Duo Plus shuts off automatically after cooking time. That means that you do not have to babysit the Pot every time you cook.
- Delay Time of 24 hours is the perfect solution for individuals who have packed schedules.
- Large immaculate display with conveniently placed buttons and programs that is easy to operate.
- Availability in three sizes makes it easy to find the perfect fit of Duo Plus for you.
- All components are made food grade quality stainless steel and dishwasher friendly, so they are easy to clean and safe to use.
- 10 safety features prevent opening during pressurized, detect improper placement of lid, and prevent burning of food.
- Pressure controller setting prevents overpressurizing of the container, making sure the pressure is always in the safe range.
- Sterilize feature makes it easy for mothers of small children to clean baby bottles.
- Does not offer the ability to watch what stage of cooking the food is at, like the Instant Pot Ultra.
- The screen is LCD, not LED. it makes the device look clunky. There are no touch screen operations either. The fact that you have to press the buttons gives it an outdated feel.
- Does not allow customization of temperature and pressure settings like in the Instant Pot Ultra. It makes the appliance less versatile.
- The safety mechanisms are less advanced that Ultra and Max.
- Temperature and Pressure control are also limited. There is not much room to play with these settings.
- Altitude setting is missing. Cooking settings may be variable with changes in atmospheric pressure. There is no way to account for these changes without manual calculations that may be inaccurate.
- There is no provision for automatic pressure release. Manual pressure release may lead to burns,
INSTANT POT DUO PLUS FAQS
1. How do the smart programs work?
The Instant Pot Duo Plus is fitted with a microprocessor chip that runs lab-tested algorithms for cooking various food items. The microprocessor controls pressure, temperature, cooking time, and various other settings to ensure your food is cooked in the most efficient and delicious way possible.
2. What are the different sizes that the Instant Pot Duo Plus is available in and what are their prices?
The Instant Duo Plus comes in 3 sizes – 3-quart, 6-quart, and 8-quart. They are priced at $98.99. $99.95 and $139.95 respectively (at the time of writing this review).
3. What is the difference between the Duo and Duo Plus? What should I get?
The Duo is 7-in-1 multipurpose smart prssure cooker, whereas the Duo Plus replaces 9 kitchen appliances. In addition, the Duo features 14 smart programmes and the Duo Plus offers 15.
You cannot use the Duo as an egg maker or for baking a cake. There is no provision for sterilization either in the Duo.
4. How long should I wait before opening the cooker after my food is cooked?
Do not try to force or pry open the lid after completing the cook. Once the steam has been released, the cooker will open up easily on its own. This may take from 5-20 minutes depending upon the recipe.
5. Can I do pressure canning with the Instant Pot Duo Plus?
None of the electric pressure cookers in the market are approved for pressure canning by the USDA. You need high pressure to perform pressure canning. You can consider buying Instant Pot Max if you’re looking to performing canning.
6. What different settings can I use for the saute program?
The less setting on Saute can be used for simmering the sauce, the normal setting for regular searing and the mre setting for blackening meat.
7. How does the Instant Pot prevent blockage of steam release valve?
The Instant Pot Duo Plus has a special safety mechanism to prevent blockage of the steam release valve with food particles. The Anti Block Shield comprises of 6 holes under the lid that prevent the blockage of steam release valve.
8. What do I do if the sealing ring smells?
There are a lot of methods to get food odor out of the silicone sealing ring. You can use baking soda, lemon zest, detergent, steaming, bleach, and vinegar to get the smell out of your sealing ring. It is recommended to wash the sealing rings after every few rounds, to prevent the buildup of smells in the ring.
9. Why is pressure not building up in my Instant Pot Duo Plus?
The Instant Pot must be filled half to two cups of water for steam to build up. If the pressure is not building up, add water to the Pot. If it still doesn’t build, you shall consider contacting the support or get back to us here, we’ll help you with the troubleshooting.
10. What does Ov-Ht mean?
If your Instant Pot is excessively hot, the safety mechanisms will get activated and automatically turn off the heat. It helps in protecting the food at the bottom of the stove from getting burnt. This is indicated by Ov-Ht.
The Instant Pot Duo Plus is the perfect appliance for those of you just starting your cooking journey. It is not very expensive, the smart programmes are holistic, and it is multifunctional. The learning curve on the device is extremely gentle too. For students and office goers who are swamped with work, the Duo Plus is the perfect partner.
However, if you are an experienced cook and looking to expand your cooking horizons, it may not be the best choice. The functionality is a little limited, and preset programmes make it difficult to customize. There is no option for gourmet cooking. The programmes themselves are extremely simplistic and meant for basic cooking.
So, I would recommend the Duo Plus for amateur and novice cooks, mothers who just want to ease their workload, and students who cook in their dorm. Chefs and experienced cooks should upgrade to an Ultra or Max.
Given the multiple choices that you’ve been given here, my best bet on the “ONE” which gives you the best value for money has to be the DUO Plus. It takes care of most of your needs while specializing in a few things for those dishes which you might want to make every now and then.
The rest of them are worth the price to pay but only if you’re looking for that kind of specialty in your cuisine. Apart from that, this is more than enough to cover almost all of your needs without being a huge burned on your bank balance. In fact, it is priced just right and gives you most of the features which you can ask for.
Furthermore, the pressure and temperature in the unit can be set on the fly, making cooking even easier as this enables the cooker to cook even more delicate meals. In addition to these, it also has 12 preset temperatures. This machine is simply customizable to an extremely large extent. It is also available in three size variants, 3 Quarts, 6 Quarts, and 8 Quarts.
It has the same dual pressure feature which the DUO series is famous for. While the higher pressure setting helps cook meals faster, the low-pressure setting helps in avoiding overheating and spoiling more delicate dishes. Gourmet dishes, however, are best cooked by other means.
It is certainly an extra addition to the what’s precisely necessary to cook a proper meal, however, with all the extra features and added control which it gives you, it certainly is much more preferable than the other variants provided you’re willing to dish out the extra bucks for this model in addition to be willing to use the features which it offers. All these factors combined make this Instant Pots more or less, the best value for money which you can get.Check Price
Instant Pot Ultra
The King of old
If the Instant Pot Max hadn’t come out, this would certainly be the king. Even now, given the features and flexibility it offers, it might as well give close competition to the Instant Max, if it doesn’t win altogether. Another name for the it would probably be ‘features’ since it seems to have a never-ending list of them.
The Instant Pot Ultra Review
The new Pot Ultra is no exception to the endlessly multifunctional pressure cookers. Like its predecessors, the Ultra is safe, reliable and easy-to-use. The wide range of features offered by the Pot Ultra is a trademark for Instant Pots. But there is more to the new model. Slow cook salmon, caramelize onions, make creamy and spicy butter chicken instantly, or cook tender and juicy pork chops. You can do virtually anything with the Ultra.
Having cooked over 60 recipes in the Pot Ultra, I now feel confident enough to reveal the best, the worst and the ugly about this model. Read on to find out if the new model is as shiny as it claims to be, or if you are better off with your older model.
1. Multi-use versatile pressure cooker
It is a programmable cooker. The 10-in-one budget pressure cooker is a versatile appliance for sure. Besides slow cooking and pressure cooking, you can saute, steam, and sterilize. Yogurt making and cake making features are nice additions too. Lastly, the cooker features specialized options for rice cooking and sterilization.
Things I like: The Pot Ultra has replaced a lot of the devices in my kitchen.
Things I don’t like: The sterilization feature is not USDA approved.
2. Available in a variety of sizes
The Ultra comes in three sizes. The 3-quart model is perfect for small families and students who live alone. The 6-quart is meant for people who consist of 4 members, and the 8-quart model for larger families with more than 6 members.
Things I like: The versatility of size is an all-inclusive feature. From lonely bachelors to joint families – everyone can enjoy an Ultra Pot now
Things I don’t like: There is nothing to dislike about the thoughtful inclusiveness of the brand.
3. Ultimate Custom Programming
There is an additional Ultra feature added to this model over its predecessors. You can enter the desired temperature and pressure settings to achieve picture-perfect results with your food. Those old recipes from your grandma can now be cooked without adjusting anything. This customizable feature makes the Pot Ultra an upgrade over the previous models.
Things I like: It is easy to follow step by step recipes with this feature
Things I don’t like: It might be hard and confusing for a beginner to get the hang of this feature.
4. Altitude Settings
The Pot offers an additional new feature. The altitude setting allows you to enter the height at which you are cooking. The cooker then adjusts the rest of the settings accordingly. I love this feature. Now I do not have to make guesses about temperature and pressure changes while cooking with my Pot Ultra, no matter where I am cooking.
Things I like: Altitude setting makes it easier to use the ultra pot in all conditions, at all places. You can even carry it to a different country if you are traveling.
Things I don’t like: There is nothing to dislike about this handy feature. [/su_note]
5. Smart Programmes
The Pot Ultra features 16 smart programmes. I could make a variety of dishes without so much as a turn of a knob. The temperature, pressure and other settings for these dishes are pre-set into the cooker. Now you do not have to make imprecise assumptions about how to get that perfectly creamy broth or bake that fluffy cake.
This handy little feature helps in saving not only efforts but also making the actual cooking process about 70% shorter. Now get those perfect eggs with the click of a button, and make rice that will no longer stick to the bottom of the pot. Simply select the option and forget all about it.
Things I like: Smart programmes are great for novices. I could cook delicious food without having to fiddle with a hundred different settings.
Things I don’t like: The programmes are not customizable. The differences in ingredients, consistency, humidity cannot be accounted for.
6. LCD Display
One of the major enhancements in the Pot Ultra is the large, intuitive LCD display. It not only gives the cooker a sleek display, but it also makes it easy for users to operate the appliance. I found it extremely easy to learn how to use the Pot Ultra, thanks to the easy design of the display.
The cooking indicator on the display is a remarkable addition too. I could easily check the temperature and pressure inside the cooker. It made it easy to figure out if my food was being cooked properly and as per the recipe.
The cooking indicator also lets you know at what stage of cooking your food is. You can easily monitor the progress of the recipe with this feature, as it provides a clear visual of the whole process – from preheating, to actual cooking and keeping warm. There is also a time indicator to help determine how much time is left in the cooking process.
There is a dial in the center of the display. I could press and turn it to change the setting in the cooker. It makes the cooker easily customizable and eases the functionality of the appliance. The learning curve is gentle and it will only be a matter of a few days before you learn how to operate your Pot Ultra effortlessly.
Things I like: The large display, the cooking indicator and central knob make it easy to learn how to use the Pot. It also gives the user an idea of what is going on inside the Pot Ultra.
Things I don’t like: What is there to dislike about a tech advanced, gorgeous display?
7. Quick steam release
I have often burnt my fingers releasing the steam from my pressure cookers, and I am sure you have too. Well, no more. The Ultra with the automatic steam release. Just turn a knob and the cooker will release pressure on its own after cooking.
I love that the Pot Ultra allows you to not only release the steam automatically but also control how you release the pressure. The pulsed release steam feature was helpful when I wanted to release the pressure in quick bursts to prevent overcooking my food. But if I wanted the food to be cooked slowly under pressure, I could use the continuous release option too.
This also means that I no longer had to babysit my pressure cooker. I could just enter the steam release option before starting the cook and the Pot Ultra would do it automatically after finishing the cooking.
Things I like: Manual pressure release may cause burns. The automatic release makes the whole process easier and burn-free. The two types of pressure release can be handy with different recipes.
Things I don’t like: A first-time user may find it difficult to figure what setting is accurate for which recipe.
8. Smart Cooking Programmes
The Pot Ultra comes equipped with 3 new smart cooking programmes. With these additional programmes, there are cooking instructions preset into the cooker, so you do not have to fiddle with the knobs every single time.
The new cake feature allows you to bake cakes in your cooker without getting into the nitty-gritty of temperature, pressure and moisture settings. The egg features offer perfect eggs cooked with minimum hassle.
The sterilize feature is unique to the Pot Ultra too. Now you can sterilize your baby’s bottles at home. This feature also allows some home canning, although it is not USDA approved.
Things I like: Ability to make perfect eggs and bake tasty cakes without any hassle. A boon for first-time users. Kids’ bottles can be sterilized, so it is a huge help to mothers too.
Things I don’t like: Sterilizing is not USDA approved.
9. Program Adjustments
We have already discussed that the new Ultra feature allows you to completely program the cook according to my preferred settings. But there is more.
We have all had those moments where we accidentally entered the wrong setting before starting the cook and immediately realized our mistake as soon as we closed the pot. The Pot Ultra allowed me to fix those mistakes without starting the cooking process all over again.
The Ultra allows customization of setting even after the cooking process has started. So rest easy, there is plenty of room for mistakes without wasting food.
The Pot Ultra also remembers all your custom settings from your previous sessions. I was relieved to see that I did not have to start from scratch when I made my mom’s filet mignon the second time.
Things I like: The ability to customize settings even after cooking has started and the fact that my Pot Ultra remembers previous customizations.
Things I don’t like: Who does not like a machine that lets you correct your mistakes?
10. Stainless steel pot
The Pot Ultra has something of a futuristic look to it. The pot itself is made of brushed stainless steel body which is resistant to fingerprints, giving it a sleek and sophisticated style. The steel used in making the pot is food grade with no chemical coatings. So you can cook your food without worrying about contamination.
The lid of the pot has left and right lid holder, so you can use it as per your convenience. The lid is also dishwasher safe. The rest of the accessories that come with the pot – stainless steel inner pot and the steam rack are also dishwasher safe
The inside of the pot is marked clearly with half and 2/3rd lines, so you always know how much of the pot is filled. This makes the Pot Ultra even safer than the previous models.
The steam rack that comes with the pot helps in lowering the food inside the pot and lifting it out. Additional accessories include condensation collector, rice paddle, soup spoon, and a measuring cup. All accessories are made of food-grade stainless steel without any chemical coatings.
Things I like: A premium, sophisticated look that is 100 percent safe and free from chemical coatings.
Things I don’t like: I do not have anything negative to say about Ultra Pot’s looks.
11. Do not Disturb
The Pot Ultra allows you to turn off the ‘on’ and ‘off’ sounds for all those nights when you are cooking by yourself and do not want to disturb anyone. This feature is also extremely handy for those of you living in student housing or with roommates. Satisfy your late night cravings now without worrying about the incessant beeping noise.
Things I like: You can turn off the noise making features.
Things I don’t like: If accidentally turned off by kids while cooking, it could lead to potentially burning off the food. Happens a lot with me.
12. Safety features
It comes with a host of safety features to help you cook in a safe and secure manner. The appliance is UL and ULC certified. The 11 protective features are designed to make your cooking process free of all hazards that may cause harm to your food or you.
The features include thermal and electrical fuses that cut off energy supply in case of any danger. There is added protection from overheating to prevent burns and a provision for detecting leaky lids.
The lid detection feature does not allow cooking to start if the lid is not placed correctly. Safety lid lock prevents opening of the lid if there is pressure inside the cooker. Do not try to force open the lid after the cook, it may cause serious damage.
Things I like: 10 safety mechanisms that are UL and ULC approved make it one of the safest pressure cookers in the market.
Things I don’t like: There is no upgrade from previous models.
13. Miscellaneous features
The Pot Ultra comes with small additional features that may not be noticeable at first glance, but make this pot a breeze to cook with.
You can delay cook time by 24 hours with the Pot Ultra. This means that you can set the timer up to 24 hours ahead so that your food will be freshly cooked when you come back home from work or school. Simply adjust the settings before leaving, set the timer, and you are done. You can also use the Automatic Keep Warm option that keeps your food fresh and warm so that the food is ready to eat whenever you are.
The Instant Pot Ultra allows pressure cooking for up to 6 hours – a time margin much larger than previous models. For all those recipes that require pressure cooking for prolonged periods, the Pot Ultra is the perfect cooking device.
The Ulta comes with 3 temperature settings and you can adjust the cooking time for each of these settings between 0.5 to 20 hours. My pot roast needed to be cooked at low setting for 2 hours, followed by medium temperature setting for 20 minutes. I simply entered the settings in the cooker and forgot all about. There is no need to babysit your Pot Ultra anymore – even when you are slow cooking.
The Pot Ultra saves not just your time – but your money too. With 70 percent decreased cooking time, you can rest assured that you will save a lot of dollars on energy consumption.
Things I like: All these features make the Ultra Pot extremely versatile, handy, multifunctional and easy-to-use. They cater to different groups of people and are extremely helpful to busy and working individuals.
Things I don’t like: The Pot Ultra claims to take 70 percent less cooking time, but there is nothing to back up those claims. The previous models’ cook time is fairly comparable to Ultra Pot’s.
14. Alexa Connection
The Instant Pot Ultra comes with guided cook connected to Alexa. The package also features over 700 recipes to help you get started. I tried quite a few of them and the Ultra seems to work flawlessly every time, producing delicious and nutritious food.
Personalized grocery lists, getting started videos, and favorite recipe lists are other handy features that come with it.
Things I like: User-friendly and easy-to-follow recipes. The personalized grocery list and favorite recipes features are extremely helpful if you want to keep a list of all the recipes you love to cook in your Ultra.
Things I don’t like: I do not have anything bad to say about this.
Instant Pot Ultra Pros and Cons
- The LCD display is a boon for first-time users. It allows easy control of the pressure cooker. The learning curve is gentle and the user interface is intuitive.
- The cooking graph on the display allows you to monitor the progress while cooking.
- Quick release of pressure is improved. Not only is it safer than manual release, but it is also easy to control the rhythm of steam release with this feature.
- The automatic pressure release means you do not have to babysit your Pot Ultra. You can set the pressure release before starting cooking and the Pot Ultra will release it on its own.
- Altitude programme takes the guesswork out of cooking when cooking at high pressure.
- Ultra feature allows you to control the exact temperature and pressure of the cook. This feature makes it easier to follow recipes.
- Safety features allow worry-free cooking for prolonged periods.
- 24-hour delay feature and the fact that you can keep food warm and fresh for prolonged periods is ideal for working individuals.
- Sterilizing is not USDA approved.
- The display has room for improvements. Since the Pot Max came out, the LCD display of the Pot Ultra feels a little outdated.
- The silicone ring in the lid seems to pick up all the cooking smells. It is difficult to clean the ring after every cook.
- The instructions manual does not offer clear instructions for initial tests, pressure venting, or how to use the programmed settings.
- Pressure cooking leads to loss of crunchiness in almost all dishes. Chicken skins have to be cooked outside the pot, as well as lasagnas need to be finished off in the oven.
- The venting system may get blocked by food, so it needs to be checked for the same after every cook.
- Consistent pressure may not be achieved in a reliable manner. The sealing rings are loose in some of the units.
- Adequate temperature is not achieved when making yogurt.
Instant Pot Ultra FAQs
1. Is it safe to use the Instant Pot Ultra?
The Instant Pot Ultra comes with 11 UL and ULC certified safety features that are listed below. These features make it one of the safest pressure cookers in the market. The safety features are: Steam Release, Anti-Block Shield, Safety Lid Lock, Lid Position Detection, Automatic Temperature Control, Overheat (Burn) Protection, Automatic Pressure Control, Electrical Fuse, Thermal Fuse, Leaky Lid Detection, Quick Release Button
2. Do I need to test the Instant Pot Ultra before cooking?
Yes, it is recommended that you conduct a water test for checking all Instant Pots before starting cooking. The instructions for the water test are explained clearly on the user manual.
3. Can I use the Instant Pot Ultra if I am new to cooking?
Yes, the Instant Pot Ultra is the easiest of the models if you are a novice. With its 16 programmed cooking settings, you will be cooking delicious food in no time and with none of the hassle.
4. What do you mean by adjusting for altitude?
By adjusting for altitude, the Ultra changes the temperature and pressure inside the cooker relative to the pressure outside. Since outside atmospheric pressure affects the cooking process, the Pot Ultra make adjustments that allow efficient cooking.
5. Can I bake in this pressure cooker?
The Pot Ultra has a special feature that allows you to bake delicious cakes inside the cooker.
6. Can I use this appliance for delayed cooking?
The Pot Ultra allows you to delay cooking for up to 24 hours. That means that once you set the timer for delayed cooking, the cook will not start until that time period is over.
7. What are the pressure settings on the Instant Pot Ultra?
There are two pressure settings on the Instant Pot Ultra. The high-pressure setting ranges from 10.2 to 11.6 PSI and low-pressure setting ranges from 5.8 to 7.2 PSI.
8. What is the difference between natural pressure release and quick pressure release?
Natural pressure release allows the cooker to allow slow release of steam until the valve drops, this may take from 10 minutes to half an hour, or even more, depending on the amount of water used. Quick release allows immediate release of steam from the cooker as soon as the cooking time is over.
9. How long can I use the Instant Pot Ultra for slow cooking?
The Instant Pot Ultra allows slow cooking anywhere from half an hour to 20 hours.
10. What does the Keep Warm function do? How long can I use it for?
The Keep warm function allows you to keep food fresh and ready. It can be used for up to 24 hours, after which it shuts down automatically.
The Instant Pot Ultra is undoubtedly a magical appliance that lets you cook your food faster and without any hassles. With its 16 smartly programmed settings and the Ultra setting that allows customization, I would recommend this Instant Pot to both novices and experienced cooks. There are enough preset programmes for new users, and an additional setting that allows experienced cooks to experiment.
The Pot Ultra is the perfect appliance for all those looking to venture into the world of pressure cookers. It is easy to use and all the safety features are well designed. The machine is reliable for the most part. With a price tag $148 for its 6-quart variant, it is not that heavy on the pocket either, compared to its elder sibling Pot Max priced at $199.
The only difference between the Ultra and the Max is that the Ultra needs more refinement and Max simply has that. Furthermore, Max also has particularly finer temperature control.
It comes with a large display and central dial where navigation is usually done by twisting and pressing the said dial. The mere presence of a dial makes the programmes in this multi-cooker much more customizable. Furthermore, the model also offers 16 different built-in programmes with temperature presets which can also be customized using the dial provided should the 21 provided ever fall short of what you want to achieve.
The model also comes in three separate size variants, 3 Quarts, 6 Quarts, and 8 Quarts. Furthermore, the pressure settings can also be customized making this one the most customizable electric pressure cooker.
The two most impressive features of this model are the Altitude adjustment and the Cooking Progress Indicator. The Altitude Adjustment takes the current altitude into account and calculates more precise cooking time automatically without any outside intervention. This is especially useful for adjustment of pressure, temperature, and cooking time which is usually done by hit and trial or calculation.
The Cooking Progress Indicator displays the progress of the current food being cooked and the amount of time left, divided into each phase which makes it much easier to understand and cook the recipes which you want to. All these features make the Ultra one of the most utilitarian pots to be ever built.
Furthermore, the lid is also equipped with a quick release button which enables you to release steam from the device either continuously or in pulses in addition to the automated steam release which really helps in being more accurate with your dishes. This seal will lock itself again when the lid is opened or closed.
Apart from this, the model comes with the standard stainless steel boiling vessel, a steam rack, and a lid. It also has eleven safety features to ensure safety and comfort while cooking so that your dishes don’t get spoilt including automatic steam release, thermoelectric fuses, and overheat protection.
All in all, The Ultra is more or less the mechanical version of the Max. It is rather obvious to see how this qualifies to be the old king and gives Max a run for its money. This one is perfect for those looking for a variety of features and especially for those with more complex taste buds who would like to prepare delicate meals with greater ease in lesser time and effort.Check Price
Instant Pot Smart WiFi
The Smart Electric Pressure Cooker
While Instant pots themselves are already smart, The Smart WiFi model is what you get when you make them even smarter and equip it with all the latest technology which you can stuff into it. In short, the Smart WiFi is an Internet of Things enabled device which means that it is capable of being controlled and monitored by your smartphone or a Virtual Assistant, making things even more effortless. While it is not nearly as packed with features as the rest of them, this certainly has an edge which none of the other ones do.
This model also has a large display and relies on buttons for its functionality. However, it can also be controlled by a phone on the same WiFi network as the multi-cooker itself, making it much simpler to use it without even being around it.
It features thirteen pre-programmed cooking modes and twelve temperature settings in total. However, the advantage of the device lies in the fact that it can be controlled via your smartphone. In addition to this, you can also share access to the device with your family members using family sharing options.
Apart from this, the instapost comes with the standard lid, steam rack, and stainless steel cooking utensil. It also comes with eleven safety features including:
- Steam Release
- Anti-Block Shield
- Safety Lid Lock
- Lid Position Detection
- Automatic Temperature Control
- Overheat (Burn) Protection
- Automatic Pressure Control
- Electrical and Thermal Fuses
- Leaky Lid Detection
- Self-Diagnosis (To let you know where the problem is so that you can solve it yourself.)
While the Smart WiFi model is quite highly priced, it doesn’t really have many features to show for it. Furthermore, it is only available in the 6 Quarts size. The only advantage which it has over other multi-cookers is the fact that it can be controlled remotely and doesn’t need constant personal supervision. Whether the hefty price to pay is worth the remote control and WiFi connectivity features or not is a decision which I’ll let you make for yourself.Check Price
Things to consider when buying an Instant Pot
The Instant electric pressure cooker is designed to save you time, effort, and money. Hence, it is important that you go for an Instant pot that suits all your purposes, without being a burden on your expenses and serving all your needs.
Make a note to not go for the models which are more than required either as they will inevitably be wasted if you don’t intend to use half of the given features. You can instead use your money elsewhere. Now here are the things to keep in mind before you purchase one.
- Temperature control: Temperature and Pressure are the most basic things when it comes to cooking any meal. It would hence follow that a good one should have finer temperature controls which come closer to suit your needs for the things which you want to cook. The best model (Max, Ultra) can control the temperature right down to half a degree.
- Pressure Control: Pressure is also an equally important factor in cooking. If your pressure is high, your food will cook much quicker. However, a pressure which is too high will inevitably spoil a more delicate dish. Just like how Poultry leg and breasts require different pressures and cooking times, the model should have provisions for all sorts of dishes and the pressures which they require.
- Preset Food modes: One of the things which they are known for is their ease of use. You don’t need to put in much effort to get good results. Hence, before you buy, check if it has all the Instant food presets which you might need.
- Size: Make sure that the model you select can handle all your requirements when it comes to the quantity of food that it can prepare. Bigger might be better but leaving extra room to spare also has its own disadvantages.
- Build quality: Since you’ll be eating food in it, it’s best to go for the one which is not only sturdy but is also built using materials which are healthy for consumption. It should also be easy to clean since hygiene is a big factor in maintaining health.
- Energy Consumption: There’s nothing special here. The lower the better.
- Your local laws: Some technologies used in them may be banned in your local areas, so check up with them before proceeding to buy one. For example, many states in the US have banned Pressure Canning. Fact: Instant Pot’s Sterilizing can kill all bacteria
- Cost: Again, nothing special here. If it offers you the same features at a lower price, go for that, as would be obvious.
- Warranty: Finally, the most overlooked aspect of buying anything. Make sure that the one you’re buying has warranty and customer support available in your area. The following have got valid two-year warranties and customer service available all over the globe.
Instant Pot FAQsDoes it reduce cooking time?
Yes, it reduces cooking time by increasing the pressure at which the food is being cooked. Things get cooked faster at higher pressures than at lower pressures according to a law of matter known as Boyle’s ideal gas law. They simply exploit the same mechanism.Does cooking in Instant Pot have any disadvantages?
Cooking in an electric pressure cooker does have a few minor disadvantages. Once cooking has started, you can’t pause or switch it up. You cannot even observe what’s going on inside of it. You can’t add any other ingredients to it. Also, the flavor might end up a little lacking because of the faster cooking. Furthermore, it won’t exactly help you become adept at cooking yourself. It’ll just be a quick means to feed you.What is the minimum amount of liquid needed?
Conventionally, one needs a fifth of the volume of the food to be liquid, water or otherwise. However, you don’t really need to follow this rule and it’s more or less fine if there is enough liquid to cover the bottom and survive the entire cooking duration. Take a cup of water just for measure.How to avoid food getting burnt in an Electric Pressure cooker?
Food generally gets burnt when there is too less water in the instant pot. Make sure there is more water when you start cooking. Otherwise, perhaps you’re using the wrong, pressure, temperature, or cooking time for your food. Make sure to not overcook your food or under higher temperature or a pressure less than intended.Can frozen food be cooked without defrosting?
Yes, frozen foods simply have solid water around them. Defrosting is also merely applying heat to thaw or melt the ice around them. You can simply start cooking and it would probably take a little more time than usual to pressurize and heat the pot, but once it starts, the food will be cooked in the same amount of time as it would otherwise.Why does it take long for the pot to come to pressure?
Pressure is usually determined by the quantity of food present. If it has more food, it will take longer to pressurise. As it stands, liquids and gasses are harder to pressurise than solids, so make sure than you’re adding sufficient water, but not too much to avoid longer pressurising times.Is it safe to cook in it?
Yes, They are completely safe to use. The have tons of features to help protect the user against the extreme pressures and temperatures inside the pot. And in case anything was to fail too severely, the pots have both thermal and electrical fuses to make sure than it can be averted by rendering the device unusable until they are changed.What kind of accessories can I use?
In short, you can use any accessory as long as it can fit inside and lets the lid be closed. However, if you use them wrong, you might end up damaging the device. Therefore, it is always best if you use only accessories meant for it including cooking pots, steaming racks, roasting racks, frying pots and others which you can find recommended along with the pots themselves.