Instant Pot: Buy The Right One

We are all trying to find ways to make life easier and free up time. Whether it is so we can be more productive or have more fun, something that helps us do this is very welcome. One way to do this is with an Instant Pot. This thing has exploded in popularity all over the world. If you are unsure what one is, prepare to be enlightened.

What is an Instant Pot?

The Instant Pot is an electric pressure cooker. In this post we look at the different Instant Pot cookers and compare them. This will help you buy the perfect Instant Pot for you.

The instant pot is an electric pressure cooker with a range of functions. The instant pot can be programmed and can be used in different ways. For example:

  • Pressure cooker, Steamer, warmer
  • Rice cooker, Slow cooking, Egg cooker
  • Sauteeing, Browning
  • Yogurt, Cake maker and Steriliser

The Instant Pot Range

All Instant Pot models have a really good build quality, are sturdy and have stainless steel interiors. We have had an in-depth look at the different Instant Pot models and compared them.

Instant Pot IP-LUX60

Pros

  • Convenient and easy to use
  • Has two levels so you can cook different foods at the same time
  • Good capacity
  • Includes a water level window and exterior water fill
  • Timer helps keep track
  • Online user manual is available along with manufacturer support
  • Dishwasher safe and easy to clean and maintain

Cons

  • Doesn’t have a delayed start option
  • Cooks only on high pressure
  • Can’t make yogurt

Verdict

4/5

The Instant Pot IP-LUX 60 makes life very easy. Put in the ingredients and let it do its thing.

The Instant Pot IP-LUX 60 is an affordable way to prepare healthy food without having to stand and cook it yourself. It is very versatile, as this model of Instant Pot can do six different things.

Features

  • Includes a Cake and Egg program in addition to the Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Sauté, Steamer, and Warmer.
  • 12 Smart Built-In Programs – Soup/Broth, Meat/Stew, Cake, Egg, Sauté, Rice, Multigrain, Porridge, Keep Warm, Pressure Cook, Steam and Slow Cook
  • Up to 240 minutes pressure-cooking, up to 24 hours delay start, automatic Keep Warm up to 10 hours, 3 temperatures in Sauté & Slow Cook
  • Each program remembers your last customisation
  • Stainless steel
  • Exterior, large display panel, Brushed stainless steel, finger print resistant.
  • Comes with stainless steel steam rack, rice paddle, soup spoon, measuring cup, and recipe booklet 
  • Dimensions: 13.19 x 12.21 x 12.48 inches
  • Weight: 11.53 pounds
  • Power: 1000 watts
  • Power Supply Cord: 33 inches, non-detached

Overview

This model of Instant Pot does the jobs of six different appliances.

  • Pressure cooking,
  • Browning
  • Sautéing
  • Slow cooking
  • Warming
  • Rice cooking

These different options mean that you can cook pretty much anything you want. It also comes with a really nice recipe book for when you need some inspiration.

It has three temperature settings for browning, sautéing and slow cooking. This means you can time your meal to be ready when you want it. It also has a ‘keep warm’ function, so you can come back to your food whenever you’re ready. This is ideal for when you are slow cooking your food while you are out for the day.

The Instant Pot IP-LUX 60 has a large and easy to use control pad. It is also intuitive enough for you to immediately launch 1 of the 10 Smart Programs. It is straightforward to use and requires no guesswork.

The Instant Pot IP-LUX 60 is surprisingly compact for something so versatile. It also makes very little noise and generates little to no steam.

Instant Pot Duo 7 in 1

Pros

  • Great safety features
  • Lots of uses
  • Makes many dishes reliably

Cons

  • Not as intuitive as other models

Verdict

The Instant Pot 7-In-1 Multifunction Cooker is one of the best models from the Instant Pot range. This makes it one of the best Electric pressure cookers available. The price makes it very good value for money and worth having in your kitchen. This is especially the case if you don’t already have the individual appliances that perform the tasks that this one machine can. If your kitchen is small and short on space, the Instant pot is a huge advantage. This is because it replaces seven different appliances. On top of that, it’s pretty easy to use.

Features

  •  Combines 7 kitchen appliances in 1, Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Sauté, Yogurt Maker and Warmer, prepares dishes up to 70% faster to support your busy lifestyle
  • 14 Smart Programs – Soup/Broth, Meat/Stew, Bean/Chili, Poultry, Sauté/Simmer, Rice, Multigrain, Porridge, Steam, Slow Cook, Keep Warm, Yogurt, Pasterization, and Pressure Cook.
  • Stainless steel
  • Exterior, brushed stainless steel, finger print resistant, with lid holder for left and right handed users, removable cord.
  • Monitors pressure, temperature, keeps time, and adjusts heating intensity and duration to achieve your desired results every time
  • Remembers the way you cook, each program remembers your last customisation.
  • Dual Pressure Settings for fast and flexible cooking.
  • Comes with, stainless steel steam rack with handles, rice paddle, soup spoon, measuring cup, condensation collector and recipe booklet.
  • Dimensions: 13.39 x 12.21 x 12.48 inches
  • Weight: 11.80 pounds
  • Heating Element: 1000 watts
  • Power Supply Cord: 35 inches, detached

Overview

The Instant Pot 7-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker’s features allow it to be a multi-functional cooker, i.e.:

  • pressure cooker
  • slow cooker
  • rice cooker
  • sauté/browning
  • yogurt maker
  • steamer
  • warmer

This version of the Instant Pot has 14 built-in programs, including automatic keep warm. This amazingly works for up to 99 hours. It is one of the most affordable  kitchen companions.

In true Instant Pot style, it is very versatile. It has three temperature settings for sautéing alone and adjustable dual pressure settings. This version has the capability to delay cooking for up to 24 hours, which gives you added flexibility. As with all of the Instant Pots, it is safe to touch the outside, as it is insulated. Which is good if you have kids with inquisitive fingers. Additionally, it is fingerprint proof meaning it won’t get grubby,

The Instant Pot 7 in 1 model comes with a display that is easy to read and understand. It has 2 pressure cooker modes, hi and low. The high mode allows you to cook your meals quicker, and the low setting stops you overcooking delicate ingredients. On the slow cooker settings, you can modify the cook time from 30 minutes up to 20 hours.

Instant Pot Duo Plus 60

Pros

  • Upgraded from previous version making it very user-friendly.
  • Great build quality.
  • Good instructions 

Cons

  • Power cord could be a bit longer

Verdict

4.5/5

This Instant Pot is an upgraded version of its predecessor. The improvements make it easier to use and a much better product all round. The main improvements are with the control panel. There are new features and buttons that make it more user friendly. This makes it the choice if you are new to the Instant Pot world. It is a worthy upgrade from the Insta Pot Lux60 at the top of this page.

Features

  • Improved usability and a large, user-friendly LCD screen
  • Replaces 9 commonly used kitchen appliances – Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice/Porridge Cooker, Yogurt Maker, Cake/Egg Maker, Sauté/Searing, Steam, Warm and Sterilize
  • Up to 70% quicker
  • 15 smart programs – Soup/Broth, Meat/Stew, Bean/Chili, Cake, Egg, Slow Cook, Sauté/Searing, Rice, Multigrain, Porridge, Steam, Sterilize, Yogurt, Keep Warm, and Pressure Cook

  • Stainless steel  

  • Exterior, brushed stainless steel finger print resistant with lid holder for left and right handed users.
  • Comes with steam rack, recipe booklet, serving spoon, soup spoon, and measuring cup
  • Dimensions: 13.39 x 12.21 x 12.48 inches
  • Weight: 11.84 pounds
  • Power: 1000 watts
  • Power Supply Cord: 35 inches, detached

Overview

The new features on the Instant Pot Duo Plus 60 include three new cooking programs.

  • The egg program for perfect boiled eggs
  • The Cake program lets you cook your cakes to the exact density you require (i.e. light and fluffy or more denser moist cakes). It even  has a New York Cheesecake style setting.
  • The sterilise program lets you pasteurise dairy products and sterilise utensils.

The Instant Pot DUO Plus 60 comes with a Steamer Rack, Rice Paddle, Soup Scoop, Rice Measuring Cup, Condensation Collector, Quick Reference Guide, Recipe Book, and the manual.

One of the other great improvements, is the markings on the inside of the pot. They show the measurements and the safety limit.

Instant Pot Ultra

4.5/5

Pros

  • Large digital display is very user friendly
  • Progress indicator
  • Easy to clean
  • Versatile
  • Durable
  • Safe
  • Good value for money

Cons

  • The manual could be better
  • Lacks automatically programmable resets

Verdict

4.5/5

The Instant Pot Ultra is definitely getting a lot of love from its users. 

It is great is for  being able to carry out various kitchen tasks at once. This model delivers on all the 10 tasks it is supposed to. This is a great appliance that boasts the best features. It is good for new parents too, as you can easily sterilise bottles etc.

Features

  • New features: altitude adjustment, cooking indicator, and a steam release reset button. The Ultra button for custom programming. The new features include sterilize, cake and egg programs
  • Replaces 10 common kitchen Appliances – pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice/porridge cooker, yogurt maker, cake maker, egg cooker, sauté/searing, steamer, warmer, and steriliser
  • Keeps time, and adjusts heating intensity and duration
  • Comes with steam rack, recipe booklet, serving Spoon, Soup Spoon, measuring cup

Overview

The most noteworthy new feature that comes with this model, is the “Ultra” function. This gives you the ability to pre-program the cooker with different cooking times, and different temperatures. Also, you can choose between two levels of pressure.

The Instant Pot Ultra claims to be able to do 10 things including:

  • Pressure cooking
  • Sauteeing
  • Slow cooking
  • Rice cooking
  • Yogurt making
  • Steaming
  • Sterilising
  • Keeping warm
  •  Scald milk
  • Melt chocolate 

You need to be aware that the Instant Pot Ultra can’t cook at any pressure and any temperature. This is as it has  “high” or “low” pressure levels. The Ultra function will allow you to pressure cook up to 6 hours only using pressure; or, using a custom non-pressure temperature up to 99.5 hours.

If you want to pressure cook any food for more than 6 hours you can use the post-cook “Keep Warm” mode. This will continue to cook the food for up to 24 additional hours. It won’t pressure cook but it will extend the cooking time overall.

The design and look of the Instant Pot Ultra is clean and has a nice LCD display that is quite large. The controls are easy to use, but not quite as easy as some of the other Instant Pot models. For example, rather than pressing a Sauté button, you need to go in to the menu, using the dial. We really like the progress indicator, so you can keep an eye on when your food is ready.

slow cooker

Why buy an Instant Pot?

As much as we recommend these Instant Pot models, you really need to make sure it makes sense for you to buy one. Here are a few reasons how an Instant Pot can benefit certain people.

 

Busy People

An Instant Pot saves you time in the kitchen. This is because it cooks proper food with very little effort. You can put the ingredients together in the morning and come home to a proper healthy meal.

Large Families

The larger Instant pot models can cook enough food to feed a small army. This means that you can cook for the whole family less effort than using conventional cooking methods.

Healthy Living

Prepping your food is one of the hardest parts of fitness training. With an Instant Pot, you will be able to cook large amounts of healthy food ready to put in to your Tupperware boxes for the week ahead.

Small Kitchens

Instant Pots do the jobs of many different kitchen appliances. This means they can be replaced with just one, easy to store appliance. Instant Pots are perfect for those that have just moved in to their new place and haven’t yet bought loads of kitchen appliances. They are also ideal for students with limited worktop space in their kitchen.

For those with caravans and camper vans, Instant Pots are a great way to cook lots of food in small spaces.

Lazy or Tired People

If you really can’t be bothered to put much effort in to your cooking, an Instant pot is super easy way of cooking. They are also really easy to clean, as the parts are dishwasher safe.

Budget Conscious

Preparing your food from scratch can be a cheaper way of cooking. The low-cost items like cans or cartons of prepared meals can add up and buying rice, beans and veggies in bulk is a lot cheaper. Plus, you’ll save on the monthly electric bill.

slow cooker

Additional Information For Buying An Instant Pot

Size

Before you buy your Instant Pot, you need to consider the size. The 8 quart size is ideal for large families, and you can easily prepare meals for 4-6 people. It is possible to make occasional dinners for about 8 people. 

The 3 quart size is ideal for students or for those who have to cook food for only 1 or 2 people. This size Instant Pot is easier to handle. Although, to keep the size in mind consider 1 liter or 1 quart per person. So 6 quart is perfect for 6 people and 8 quart for 8 people.

Quick and Easy

Instant Pots are genuinely hands-off appliances. Just put your ingredients in to the Instant Pot inside and press a button and let it do its thing. Conventional (stove-top) pressure cookers require you to monitor them. This is the main advantage of the Instant Pot. The Instant Pot is also very quiet while it cooks, so you can let it cook your meal overnight without it waking you up.

The other fantastic bonus of using an Instant Pot, is that it creates very little cleaning up. You don’t have any pans etc to wash, just put the Instant Pot’s bits in the dishwasher.

Once you get to grips with the Instant Pot, it is very easy to use. The built-in timer allows you to set it up in the morning and come home to a proper hot meal. It will also keep it warm for you for 10 hours.

Stainless Steel

The Instant Pot’s interior is made entirely of stainless-steel. This means that only stainless steel comes touches your food. This means it is safe from toxins that you would find in plastics

Multi-Functional

Instant Pots can easily replace lots of different appliances in the kitchen. But, it is quite common for users to find that they are rarely using their oven and stove. This is because they end up using their Instant Pot so often.

Replaces your slow cooker

As we keep saying, the Instant Pot is very versatile. It can easily replace a slow cooker. It actually makes sense to do this, as you get lots more functionality from an Instant Pot. 

Time Saver

A huge benefit of buying an Instant Pot is time saving. It will allow you to cook a recipe that usually takes 6-8 hours in a slow cooker in just one hour. It is even possible to have a roast ready for dinner in as little as 40 minutes. 

Value For Money

The Instant Pot is more expensive than a generic single purpose appliance such as a rice cooker or a slow cooker. They are more cost-effective when you use it as a replacement for these gadgets.

Programmable

Another great advantage that separates the Instant Pots from a regular pressure cooker and slow cooker, is that you can program it.  Its features mean you can set it up 24-hours in advance to cook your  food at a set time. There are many options pre-programmed into the pressure cooker that make it easier to use as well.

Negatives of an Instant Pot

As we mentioned before, the price is pretty reasonable considering that it can replace other kitchen appliances. However, it is not particularly cheap.

The Instant Pot is easier to use than other pressure-cookers, you need to remember that this is a relatively and there is a learning curve. While the Instant Pot doesn’t feel as intuitive as other appliances, it’s still pretty easy to learn to use.

Instant Pot Trouble Shooting

Your Instant Pot is Losing Steam

The silicone rubber ring inside of the inner pot has to be washed and cleaned after each use, It is possible to forget to replace it or not put it on properly. This can cause you to lose steam, which can interfere with your cooking time as well as the end result of your meal.

The fix:  Press the ring in with your fingers so that it is sitting inside of the lid’s track properly. It doesn’t matter which way the side of the ring is facing, it’s just important that it is in there securely.

Your Instant Pot Over Flows

When filling your pot with ingredients, you need to remember that your ingredients will expand and can cause the venting knob to clog, causing it to overflow.

The fix: Notice the “max” line and make sure to keep your ingredients below it. If you notice that there is an issue, use the Natural Pressure release to remedy the situation.

Your Instant Pot Doesn't Start

This is quite common and happens when Instant Pot users mistake the Timer button as a way to select their cooking times. The Timer button should only be used for delayed cooking.

The fix:  Check to see if the green light for the Timer button is on. If so, just press the keep Warm/Cancel button. Then start all over again, this time choosing the Cooking Time feature.

Your Rice Isn't Properly Cooked

As with cooking on a hob, there are different cook times and water requirements for different for types of rice. For example, when you cook brown rice in a pan it takes about 30 minutes and white rice about 20 minutes. You can run into the same issue with your Instant Pot.

The fix: Instead of pressing the Rice button, use the manual setting for maximum control of your Instant Pot.

Rainbows

Colourful streaks can appear inside the inner pot, giving it a prism effect. This usually happens when you have just cooked starchy foods such as pasta, rice or potatoes.

The fix: The stainless steel inner pot and its sealing ring can be washed in your dishwasher. The exterior should never be submerged in water but can be cleaned with a damp cloth.

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