Instant Pot is the ultimate kitchen appliance that’s become a must-have even for the world's top chefs. The Instant Pot is versatile, a multi-cooker that takes your cooking to a whole new level and it takes over the job of seven different kitchen appliances, saving you an immense amount of space. Sounds interesting right? You’ll simply fall in love with this intelligent electric cooker for its convenience, energy-saving efficiency and easy maintenance. So, if you’ve been planning on buying one, here's a detailed review of the best Instant Pot models to help you choose one that suits your family and cooking needs.
Best Overall: Instant Pot Duo 6-Quart
This is the most popular Instant Pot model on the market. It’s the number one seller on Amazon with over 30,000 reviews. Looking at what it offers, you can understand why. The Duo performs seven different tasks – pressure cooker, slow cooker, steamer, yogurt maker, rice cooker, warmer, and sauté pan. It's delivered in three different sizes – 3-quart, 6-quart, and 8-quart. The 6-quart model is definitely the best option for most families. If you want a smaller size to do your side dishes, get the 3-quart model. The Duo uses 70% less energy than other models and cooks two to six times faster than on the stovetop. With 14 different adjustable presets, you can prepare anything you want from beans to rice to soups to poultry.
Best Budget Pick: Instant Pot Lux
If you're looking for a model that performs most of the basic functions, the Lux is the one to go for. It is also the most affordable model of Instant Pots. This model is great for beginners and allows you to adjust temperate, time, pressure and heating intensity with ease. It does most of the functions of a Duo except making yogurt. This model also comes in three different sizes, 3-quart, 6-quart, and 8-quart. With the Lux, you still get 12 smart presets to help you prepare most dishes. What’s more, food can stay warm for up to 10 hours so you don’t have to worry about overcooking problems. If you don’t plan on slow cooking or yogurt making, then this model is all you need.
Best Advanced: Instant Pot Ultra
This is a 10-in-1 model that has all the bells and whistles every chef is looking for. Unlike other models, the Ultra is equipped with 16 pre-programmed settings and still cooks 70% faster than on the stovetop. This is the perfect model for large families or if you like having guests over. You’ll also notice that the Ultra comes with a knob instead of button controls. This makes programming more smooth and simple. The Ultra allows you to fine-tune settings like temperature and pressure to give you perfect results every time. You can even adjust it for cooking at altitudes above 2,000 feet. The customizable features, affordable pricing, up to 11 safety features and the ability to slow cook for up to six hours (two hours more than other models) puts this Instant Pot model on top of the others.
Best Tech: Instant Pot Smart WI-Fi
This is a replacement for the Instant Pot Smart that was powered by Bluetooth. It comes with cool extras like Wi-Fi connectivity that allows you to control your cooking via the phone. Among other things, you can monitor your cooking remotely, get alerts when the food is almost done, get access to countless recipes through the app, and even share recipes with friends and family. Plus, you can use voice commands with Alexa. It's an 8-in-1 model and only comes in one size, 6-quart. However, you get 14 smart programs that make cooking even the most complex recipes a breeze.
Best Multi-Use: Instant Pot Duo Plus
An upgrade of Instant Pot Duo, the Duo Plus has Egg, Cake and Sterilize settings. This makes it the most ideal model for baking those delicious cakes that you’ve been trying to perfect. It's also great for new parents or anyone else who wants to pasteurize milk, and sterilize utensils, toys, and baby bottles. It replaces nine kitchen appliances and comes with 15 programmable settings. It also sports a larger display with LED backlight so you don’t have to strain your eyes trying to use the settings.
To Consider Before Your Purchase
The most important thing to consider is what you intend to use the Instant Pot for. As you may have noticed, each model has different functions. For instance, if you make yogurt often, you may consider getting the Duo instead of the much cheaper Lux. You also want to consider the sizes. The 3-quart is the smallest and ideal for side dishes. On the other hand, if you like having guests, the 8-quart is more practical. The 6-quart is more popular because it fits perfectly an average family. Lastly, if you're tech-savvy and have a smart home, the Instant Pot Smart Wi-Fi is your perfect companion.
- Instant Pot Duo 6-Quart – enjoy every day cooking with this 7-in-1 model. It’s the best option for preparing most family dishes.
- Instant Pot Lux – if you don’t need the yogurt function but still want to make great dishes, the Lux is the way to go. Plus, it's cheaper.
- Instant Pot Ultra – for advanced chefs, this 10-in-1 model can cook high- or low-pressure meals for up to six hours, a 2-hour improvement on the other models.
- Instant Pot Smart Wi-Fi – for those who fancy technology, this model allows you to monitor and control your cooking on your smartphone or using voice commands with Alexa.
- Instant Pot Duo Plus – an upgrade to the Duo, this model has additional Egg, Cake, and Sterilize settings for that perfect cake. You can also use it to sterilize utensils or baby bottles.
What Do They Say on Other Sites
“Who needs a kitchen anymore? To say that I love my instapot is an understatement. I've had it for only two weeks and I swear I haven't touched my stove or pans. So easy to use and so many functions. You can sauté meat, make hardboiled eggs, perfect rice and beans, steam vegetables in a matter of minutes. The instapot community is large and there are always recipes to be shared. So simple to use and clean. I've made anything from perfectly hard boiled eggs whose shells just fall off on their own, to soups, mongolian beef and spaghetti! I am so glad I jumped in the instant pot bandwagon and cannot wait to purchase accessories in the future to make cheesecake and other things.” (Yestfl on Amazon)
“Great IP but please read my comments Caution--if you purchase the Ultra Instant Pot, please be aware that you must learn how to use the buttons because all the recipes for Instant Pots are geared toward the standard-not the Ultra-and the buttons on the Ultra are all different from the standard. It took me awhile to figure this out and I am still learning. I love my Ultra IP but the company did not do a good job of explaining the differences in the buttons--I had to search by googling and reading lots of blogs.” (Jean Turicik on Amazon)
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