I’m sure you’ve heard of Instant Pot. It’s That Thing that has everyone talking. That wondrous, marvelous, amazing, extraordinary, almost transcendent piece of kitchen equipment that the whole world is raving about. Since you’re here, reading this review, I assume that you’re considering buying and you’re looking to see if this is the brand for you.
The fact is that Instant Pot is the best-selling and most popular pressure cooker out there. It’s user friendly and has many, many uses, from the obvious (pressure-cooking) to things you may not be aware of such as making yogurt, cooking eggs and even sterilization. The problem (at least for me) is that there are 10 different models available. T.E.N. Which one is the right one for you? I’m going to break it down for you here.
Basic Instant Pot Features
There are certain features that all Instant Pots have in common so I’m going to cover those first:
- High Pressure Cooking Function that cooks food up to 70% faster.
- Slow Cooker Function.
- Steamer Option for cooking vegetables, seafood and eggs. Steamer accessories are included with Instant Pot.
- Saute Function for sauteing, browning and reducing.
- Rice Cooker Option to cook rice in as little as 4 minutes.
- Warm Setting for keeping food at the proper temperature when it’s finished cooking.
- Stainless Steel Inner Port has a 3 ply bottom and is dishwasher safe.
- Accessories included: stainless steel steam rack with handles, rice paddle, soup spoon, measuring cup and condensation collector.
- Free Instant Pot App for iOS and Android devices that’s loaded with hundreds of recipes as well as an online community to provide support and guidance.
- More than 10 built-in safety features, including Overheat Protection, Safety Lock and more to ensure safe pressure-cooking
All Instant Pots except the Lux 6 in 1 have these additional features:
- Low Pressure Cooking Function for cooking items such as hard or soft cooked eggs as well as more delicate vegetables and fish.
- Yogurt Making Function. Get the accessories here.
Pot By Pot
Now that we know the basics, let’s get down to the brass tacks: the pot by pot comparison so you can choose the perfect Instant Pot for you! Ready? Let’s roll
This very basic and economical Instant Pot has 12 one-touch Smart Programs, fingerprint-resistant stainless steel lid and components and a 6-quart large capacity to cook for up to 6 people
Instant Pot Lux 6 in 1 also comes in an 8 quart size for larger households.
Instant Pot Lux Mini has all the features of the 6 quart but in a 3 quart size. It’s great for small households, making side dishes or for anywhere that space is limited.
This is the original model of Instant Pot. It’s basic, affordable and the best-selling model out there due to its ease of use.
It has 14 Smart Programs and 12 preset temperatures. The 6 quart size cooks for up to 6 people.
Instant Pot Duo 80 has all the features of the Duo 60 but in an 8 quart size.
Instant Pot Duo Mini has all the features of the Duo 60 but in a 3 quart size. It’s great for small households, making side dishes or for anywhere that space is limited.
Instant Pot Duo Nova is an updated Duo. It has 12 one-touch Smart Programs plus a new progress indicator to let you know when your Instant Pot is coming to pressure and when the cooking cycle begins.
The new easy seal lid automatically seals your Instant Pot to keep flavors, nutrients and aromas sealed inside.
Accessories included: an extra sealing ring, steam rack with handles, and a recipe booklet.
This 8 quart pot is the first we’ve looked at that has some seriously awesome upgrades.
Instant Pot Duo plus is an updated Duo. Duo Plus upgrades include the easy seal lid to automatically seal when pressure-cooking and a cooking progress indicator, so you know when cooking begins. It has 15 one touch Smart Programs and can prepare meals for up to 6 people.
A larger version of the Instant Pot Duo Plus 9 in 1 has all the features of the regular Duo Plus but in an 8 quart size.
Instant Pot Duo Plus Mini comes in a 3 quart size. It’s great for small households, making side dishes or for anywhere that space is limited. It has 13 one touch smart programs but does not have the cake or beans/grain option offered in the larger sizes.
Instant Pot Ultra is the next generation in kitchen appliances.
A central dial with a simple turn and press provides added precision in program selection and adjustment. 16 one touch Smart Programs include complete temperature customization and preset cooking times for up to 6 hours.
The automatic altitude adjustment takes the guesswork out of recipe conversion while the new self-closing pressure valve adds a higher safety rating.
Instant Pot Ultra 10 in 1 Mini has all the features of the larger Ultras but in a 3 quart size. It’s great for small households, making side dishes or for anywhere that space is limited.
This Instant Pot is a hybrid of the Duo Plus and the Ultra and has features you won’t find in other models. It has 10 one touch Smart Programs and 48 customizable preset options, making it a must have for cooking enthusiasts!
It has the biggest display of all the models we’ve looked at so far, big, bold and angled so it can be read from a distance while the new cooking progress indicator shows clearly where you are in the cooking cycle. The 1200W heating element reduces preheating time allowing you to make meals faster
The easy seal lid automatically seals the pressure cooker while the improved steam-diffusing cover takes the fear out of the pressure release process. Pressure release time is shortened with the new QuickCool technology.
The cookware-grade inner pot made from 304 (18/8) stainless steel features non-slip, cool to the touch silicone handles and flat bottom that can be used on gas, electric and induction stove top/cook top.
Accessories include stainless steel steam rack with long handles and an extra sealing ring
This WiFi enabled cooker lets you schedule, cook, adjust and monitor the progress of your meals on the go from your mobile device with the Instant Pot app. It’s also compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant. As if that’s not awesome enough, you’ll have access to thousands of pre-programmed recipes and 13 one touch Smart Programs!
The sustained 15psi pressure in this cooker not only cooks food faster while using less energy, it also enables you to do home pressure canning. It automatically releases pressure in the pot when the food is cooked. New Nutriboost technology creates a boiling motion during pressure-cooking to break down food, adding nutrition, flavor, and taste to soups and bone broth.
A new-brushed stainless steel exterior body, stainless steel interior cooker and inner pot are made from food grade 304 stainless steel and accessories include 2 heat-resistant silicone mitts.
This pot offers the best of all worlds with the simple flip of the lid!
The pressure cooker lid offers all the options of a regular Instant Pot while the air fryer lid offers 5 dry cooking functions: use it to quickly air fry, roast, bake, broil and dehydrate.
Accessories include a multi-level air fryer basket as well as a dehydrating and broiling tray designed to ensure optimal results time after time.
The Best Instant Pot Accessories
So…Is An Instant Pot Worth It?
A lot of people I know call their Instant Pot a game changer. They’re absolutely hooked.
Much of their fondness comes from a place of convenience. There is the shorter cooking time for large, tough cuts of meat, wild rice, steel-cut oats and lentils plus its ability to cook meat from frozen.
As a one pot meal creator it will leave you with fewer dirty dishes, leading to a quicker clean up time. You can’t hate that!
What about you? Which Instant Pot are you going to choose? If you already have one, tell me what you think about yours! I’d love to hear from you.
All my best,