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Standout Features Of The Pressure Cooker Instant Pot

10 of THE BEST MEALS To Make In An Instant Pot!

When it comes to cooking, there is nothing quite like the Pressure Cooker Instant Pot. This appliance is becoming increasingly popular due to its many benefits. Here are some of the standout features of the Pressure Cooker Instant Pot:

1. It is extremely versatile. The Pressure Cooker Instant Pot can be used for a variety of different tasks, including pressure cooking, slow cooking, sautéing, and steaming.

2. It is very easy to use. The Pressure Cooker Instant Pot has a simple control panel that makes it easy to select the desired function.

3. It is very safe to use. The Pressure Cooker Instant Pot comes with a number of safety features, including an automatic shut-off function.

4. It is very energy efficient. The Pressure Cooker Instant Pot uses less energy than traditional cooking methods.

5. It is very affordable. The Pressure Cooker Instant Pot is a very affordable option for those who want to enjoy the benefits of pressure cooking without spending a lot of money.

Other Electric Pressure Cookers We Tested

$199 at

If you love the Instant Pot Duo and also love using an air fryer, this may be just the electric pressure cooker option for you. We found it performed identically to the Duo when it came to pressure-cooking our three recipes, and the interface is also essentially the same as the Duo, though it has four more cooking functions than that model .

However, its about twice as heavy as the Duo, and with the air fryer lid , it requires a lot of vertical storage and counter space . Included are a broil/dehydrating tray, multi-level air fryer basket, air fryer basket base, protective pad, storage cover and rack. So, if you think an air fryer-pressure cooker combo would save room and youd use it frequently, this model is certainly worth considering. Otherwise, the Duo will work just fine and the Pro Plus will perform even better.

$149.95 at

$52 at Walmart

$179.95 at

The Zavor LUX is a high-quality pressure cooker: It is simple to set up, with an intuitive digital LED display, including a super-handy preheating indicator, a lock icon, and screen that changes colors so you know when cooking has started the LUX also has a custom setting that lets you program your favorite recipes. There are 10 cooking functions and it comes with a steamer basket and trivet. We liked that the pressure valve includes a clean option that pops the piece out for easy maintenance.

$329 at Ninja

$149.95 at

What To Consider Before Buying An Instant Pot


Do you have a large family or are you cooking solo? Size truly does matter when it comes to choosing the best Instant Pot. The most popular size is the 6-quart option, but some models offer 3-quart, 5-quart and even 8-quart options. Smaller sizes are more budget-friendly and take up less space on the counter, but larger sizes are great for cooking a family meal. We tested out all of our Instant Pot recipes using the 6-quart option and found it to be the perfect medium.

Editors Tip: Remember that the volume size is the absolute maximum capacity for your pot. When youre dealing with piping hot foods you should only fill your Instant Pot 3/4 full. For example, if youre looking to make a 3-quart recipe like our delish Pressure-Cooker Potato Soup, we recommend using a 6-quart Instant Pot. Though you can always learn how to cut down a recipe, here.


As previously stated, the Instant Pot offers much more than a traditional pressure cooker. However, some Instant Pots have more settings than others. Regardless of the model, youll be able to pressure cook, saute, slow cook, steam, make ricethe list goes on. Just think of how many gadgets you can replace in your kitchen with a single Instant Pot. Thats a score for all of us who are low on storage space!


Editors Tip: If youre buying an Instant Pot second-hand, make sure youre buying the latest version of that particular model.

Here are a few other smart money-saving ideas to consider.

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Whats Not Included In This Guide

Given Instant Pots popularity, Instant Brands expansion into other products was inevitable. Since its merger with Corelle in 2019, the brand has continued to improve upon its pressure cooker, but also added additional small appliances to its offerings, including air fryers, toaster ovens, air purifiers, and even a very not-instant precision slow cooker that works more like a Crock-Pot, but with added functionality.

For this in-depth Instant Pot buying guide, were covering the brands best-selling product: the pressure/multi-cooker. But as youll see, all of these Instant Pots have a slow-cooking function while a few can even be used as an air fryer or mini oven!

Q: Are Pressure Cookers Dangerous

Instant Pot Duo Mini Multi Use Pressure Cooker Review

A: “Pressure cookers can be dangerous,” says Rondeno, “As the pressure is released, it can result in steam burns and liquids releasing if not careful. Modern technology has made it safe for pressure cookers to be used by consumers.” Times have changed, but it’s still key to pay attention to the instructions and use proper care while cooking.

“Our family had one in the 1970s that blew its lid off,” Nguyen says, “By comparison, modern pressure cookers are easy to operate and very safe. You just need to read the instructions manual and follow them when operating the cooker, whether it’s a stovetop model or an electric one.” Powell has similar advice, “Expanding rubber gaskets, locking lids and timers help make this a safe product. Always follow the directions for each pressure cooker that you are using.”

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Best Air Fryer: Instant Pot Duo Crisp + Air Fryer 11

Capacity: 8 quarts | Dimensions : 15.3 x 14.8 x 13.6 inches | Weight: 22.7 pounds | Programs: 11

Air fryers are here to stay. If youre yearning for an air fryer, but hate the idea of packing yet another piece of kitchen equipment into your already overloaded cabinets, then a device that combines a multi-cooker and an air fryer will save valuable space. Luckily, Instant Pot designed a multi-cooker/air fryer hybrid, the Instant Pot Duo Crisp.

This model truly takes the Duo to the next level. The Duo Crisp performs 11 functions including sous vide, roasting, broiling, and dehydrating. It comes with two lids, the regular cooking lid with auto seal, and the air fryer lid. The 8-quart size provides enough space for air-fried foods to fully crisp up, and the included air-frying basket is specially designed to optimize airflow.

Faqs Frequently Asked Questions & Answers

Below are some of the most commonly asked queries regarding Instant pressure cookers:

1. Whats an Instant Pot?

An Instant Pot refers to pressure cookers offered by the brand named Instant Pot. This company produces more utensils as well, such as air fryers, ovens, rice cookers, multi-cookers, and more.

2. What does 7-in-1, 11-in-1, etc. actually mean?

Instant Pots are often under categories like 7-in-1, 11-in-1, and more. These categories let us know the number of appliances that a single Instant cooker can replace.

For example, lets take a look at the Duo Nova 7-in-1. This appliance replaces the following utensils: pressure cooker, slow cooker, sauté, steamer, rice cooker, yogurt maker, and warmer.

3. What makes the Instant Pot a smart cooker?

These pots are smart appliances because of the technology they feature. For instance, the appliances include pre-programmed instructions for cooking. No longer will you have to take a blind guess on what youre doing. Instead, the pot guides you through the whole process.

If you ever change the Smart Program, the pot will remember your preferred settings. It allows you to customize your cooking experience as much as needed to make the most out of it.

4. Can any Instant Pot appliance adjust for altitude?

Yes, but not all of the pots can do it. Look at the Ultra and Max models, as theyre among the few capable of adjusting for altitude.

5. Which Instant Pot is right for me?

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What’s The Difference Between Quick Release And Natural Release

With a quick release, you release the steam from the pot when cooking is done. With the natural release, you don’t release the steam immediately. Instead, you allow the pressure to decrease on its own.

Both have their pros and cons. For more details, check out our article: What do natural release and quick release mean on an Instant Pot?

How Is An Instant Pot Different From A Pressure Cooker

Instant Pot vs. Crock Pot: Which is the best multi-cooker?

A pressure cooker can either be an electric device you plug into the wall, or it can be a stovetop cooker that uses your cooktops heat. A pressure cooker builds up steam pressure inside of an airtight pot to quickly cook food. An Instant Pot is a multifunctional pressure cooker, meaning it has additional cooking functions outside of pressure cooking. Instant Pots also are slow cookers, sauté pots, warmers, steamers, and more.

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Course Instant Pot Barbecue

  • Use large, tough cuts of meat for your Instant Pot. Pork shoulder is a great pick for pulled pork sandwiches.

  • Add some nutrition to your barbecue with some tender, steamed artichokes.

  • Side dishes like corn on the cob can be made in the Instant Pot while you man the grill.

  • For mac and cheese or pasta salad, make the noodles in the Instant Cooker first, then add the cheese.

  • Whip up a dessert in your Instant Pot the night before, from cheesecake to cobbler.

  • The Best Electric Pressure Cooker Is An Instant Pot

    In 2021, Instant Pot streamlined its offerings. Weve tested the updated Duo, Duo Plus, and Pro models.

    The Instant Pot is probably the most well-known electric pressure cookermore accurately called a multi-cooker because it can also slow cook, sauté, and morebut many brands make this handy type of appliance. A good electric pressure cooker can help get dinner on the table quickly and easily even when youre swamped. Of the 18 models weve tested from a variety of brands since 2016, the Instant Pot Duo 6-Quart is still our favorite. It offers great performance at a reasonable price, and its tried-and-true design makes it easier to use than other multi-cookers or gimmicky smart cookers.

    Looking for things to make in your Instant Pot? Try these recipes for bone broth, corned beef and cabbage, salsa verde chicken, and classic beef chili from NYT Cooking.

    Our pick

    The Duo is a versatile time-saver in the kitchen. Its one of Instant Pots more basic and affordable models, and it does everything you need it to do with ease.

    Buying Options

    *At the time of publishing, the price was $90.

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    Confused By The Different Electric Pressure Cooker Models We Break It Down To Help You Find The Best Instant Pot For Your Kitchen

    I distinctly remember the rappity-pop-pop, rappity-pop of my grandmothers old pressure cooker rattling away on the stove in her kitchen. While I associated the sound with her soon-to-be delectable homemade rice pudding, I steered clear until that final hissing of steam trailed off. Shed be tickled to discover todays craze for pressure-cooking and the safety and convenience of electric pressure cookers.

    Although there are several different manufacturers of multi-functional electric pressure cookers, the Instant Pot brand has cornered the market on popularity so far. But the number of models, functions, bells and whistles can be overwhelming. How do you know which model is right for you? Take a look at some of the basic differences to determine which is the best Instant Pot for you.

    Test : Searing And Pressure Cooking

    Instant Pot Duo Plus 9

    The test: To test how well the Instant Pots could sear and pressure cook, we made five batches of this recipe for chunky beef chili. We documented the sear on the beef from each model and timed how long each machine took to pressurize. We tasted each sample to evaluate the tenderness of the meat and overall flavor of each chili. One Instant Pot model, the Duo Pro, has a special inner pot that can be used on the stovetop, so we used this pot directly on the burner over medium-high heat to sear the beef. With the other four models, we used their sauté modes.

    Heres what happened: The big reveal isno big reveal. Each chili tasted pretty much identical, which may be more of a testament to the quality of the testing of that recipe than the machines we used to make it. None of the five chili samples had bitter notes or off flavors. All of the meat was tender the meat cooked in the Ultra was almost too tender, losing its cube form and shredding a bit too much. There was, however, a clear winner for pressurizing timethe Duo Pro was remarkably fast, taking just over 5 minutes. The Duo Plus was the next quickest, taking about 6 minutes, and since it has a slightly larger inner pot, there was more surface area available for searing. The Duo 7-in-1, Ultra, and Max each took about 8 minutes.

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    How Do Instant Pots Work

    Cooking food in the Instant Pot is not instantaneous as the appliances name might suggest although it does speed up the process overall. Instant Pots need time to heat up so their temperature can rise above boiling point, which is 212 degrees Fahrenheit at sea level. As it heats up, food inside the Instant Pot releases steam, and the appliance traps the steam inside. The build-up of steam inside the Instant Pot creates a high-pressure environment when the appliance reaches an optimal pressure point, a pressure valve lifts into place and steam is released through a vent on the appliances lid. Thats when the foods cooking time begins.

    Barbone said the most anxiety-inducing part of using an Instant Pot, especially for first-time users, is the steam. The Instant Pot makes a lot of noise as the pressure rises and a lot of steam shoots out of a small vent on the lid at a rapid pace. But rest assured this is supposed to happen, and if anything goes wrong, the Instant Pot will shut down.

    What Should You Not Cook In An Instant Pot

    However, keep in mind that instant pots may not be ideal for every type of dish.

    For example, certain forms of meat, including burgers or steak, may not achieve the same caramelized texture or outside sear in an instant pot.

    Theyre also not ideal for baking pies, cookies, or bread, as the final texture will likely be altered.

    Additionally, its best to avoid cream-based sauces made with dairy, as the high temperatures can cause milk to curdle or separate. Therefore, if youre adding milk or cheese to a recipe, only add it after the pressure cooking cycle is complete.

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    Best For Singles: Instant Pot Duo Mini 3


    Capacity: 3 quarts | Dimensions : 11.8 x 10.5 x 11 inches | Weight: 8.6 pounds | Programs: 11

    With the larger sizes, buyers planning to cook primarily for themselves may wind up with more leftovers than theyd prefer. Thats why the Instant Pot 3-quart Duo Miniwhich packs all of the perks of the standard Duo into a compact packageis such a phenomenal choice for solo diners.

    Since it’s less than a foot tall and weighs about 8 pounds, the small size makes it simple to store no matter what size kitchen you have. But it doesnt hold back on functions. It has all but two of the same program features as the larger Duos, and its just as easy to clean.

    Capacity: 6 quarts | Dimensions : 13.2 x 12.2 x 12.5 inches | Weight: 11.5 pounds | Programs: 13

    The benefits of smart technology center around convenience. With the push of one app icon or a verbal command to Alexa or Siri, you can accomplish a wide swath of tasks. And, if you decide to purchase a smart multi-cooker like the Instant Pot Smart WiFi model, then you can add cooking a satisfying meal to the list of easy-to-complete necessities.

    Q: What Are Pressure Cookers Used For

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    A: Pressure cookers are used to speed up the time it takes to cook dishes like stews, beans, stocks, and braised meats. Large meats, from whole chickens to racks of ribs, are often cooked in these appliances, too.

    “Many things that can be made in a slow cooker can be made fast in a pressure cooker stews, beans, and bone broth, for example,” says Nguyen “I adore the cooker for noodle soup broth and vegetable stock. It’s fantastic for quickly cooking beets . I regularly use my Instant Pot multi-cooker for yogurt.”

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    What Does An Instant Pot Do

    Yeah, why can’t you just get a regular slow cooker? At their core, Instant Pots are electric pressure cookers. The proprietary locking lid creates a seal that heats any water inside far past its boiling point, turning it to steam. When that steam has nowhere else to go, it creates pressure thus cooking food 2-10 times faster than what an oven or slow cooker could do.

    The Instant Pot’s heart is a microprocessor aided by built-in temperature sensors that give Instant Pots the ability to 1. Mimic the cooking functions of multiple different appliances and 2. Switch between those functions at the press of a button. This collection of programs can be tweaked and tailored to perform super specific tasks that you may have struggled with pre-Instant Pot . They get down to the nitty-gritty of heat intensity, pressure, and cooking duration to achieve more precise results in the kitchen. Some of the more advanced models even offer personalized programming and will remember your settings for the next time.

    Each Instant Pot model gains a new cooking method or two, so you aren’t paying for functions you won’t use.

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