The Ultra Instant Pot
The Ultra Instant Pot is a jazzed up version of the Instant Pots finest features. The cook can adjust temperature setting in one degree increments and the display and controls are updated with such features as a larger display and a rotary dial control. The steam setting has a non-pressure option which will preserve the al dente character of steamed vegetable, making many home cooks even happier campers. Like many fancy camera, the Ultra Instant Pot also has a start button so users can use it without having to worry about the more involved tinkering. You can
How Do You Clean An Instant Pot
The good news is that most Instant Pots have dishwasher-safe components. At the least, the stainless steel cooking pot and the silicone ring are dishwasher safe. On many models, the entire lid is dishwasher safe. The lid has a few removable parts that should be removed and cleaned, but the process for that is different depending on the model, so its best to check the user manual to see what parts are removable and how to clean them.
Instant Pot Vs Rice Cooker
People that love to cook their own rice often swear by a quality rice cooker. And both an Instant Pot and rice cooker do a fantastic job of cooking rice. They have some similarities and differences though, and they include:
- Can be used to cook other foods
- Take up a small amount of counter space
- An Instant Pot uses pressurized steam that is sealed into the cooker while steam can escape a rice cooker
- The pressurized cooking in an Instant Pot can cook rice more quickly than a rice cooker
- Instant Pot can cook all types of foods, including larger quantities of vegetables and meats, while a rice cooker can only cook rice and a few other simple sides.
- Instant Pots are generally larger and heavier than rice cookers, and usually, require dedicated counter space even when not in use. A rice cooker can be more easily packed away.
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Instant Pot Pro Plus Smart
The defining feature of the new Instant Pot Pro Plus Smart is that you can pair it with your iPhone or Android to automatically engage the cooking functions from more than 800 smart recipes on the Instant Brands Connect app. This doesnt mean you can press Start while youre at the office and come home to your Instant Pot braising ribs , but you can control almost everything through the appincluding the steam release! The Pro Plus Smart also features a premium inner pot with easy-grab handles and comes with NutriBoost, a function that mimics the motion of boiling by moving food in the pot to enhance the flavor and texture.
Built-in smart programs: Access 800+ smart recipes via the appFunctions: Pressure-cooking, rice-cooking, slow-cooking, yogurt-making, steaming, sautéing, food-warming, sous videcooking, baking, sterilizing, NutriBoostSizes available: 6-quart Instant Pot
Which Instant Pot Should I Buy For Modern Features
The Instant Pot Pro is our top choice because it’s packed with smart features to make your life easier. This includes the ability to assign five favorites as presets so you can quickly start cooking your preferred meals, and a total of 28 cooking modes. While you will still get full use of all modes, these saved presets will allow you to shortcut to any modes you use on a regular basis such as as pasta, or even sterilize.
It calls itself a ten-in-one multi-cooker, and claims to take the place of a pressure cooker, slow cooker, sous vide, rice/ grain cooker, food warmer, cake baker, sauté pan, sterilizer, yogurt maker, and steamer.
While it’s not the cheapest Instant Pot available, it is immensely versatile. As well as all of the presets, you can adjust the temperature and cooking time for any recipe. We’re keen on the sleek black exterior and the updated lid, which will increase pre-heating by 20% when compared to other Instant Pots.
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Which Instant Pot Should I Buy
When you go to buy your Instant Pot, youll discover that there are quite a few different models available. They come in different sizes, with different functionality. Let me quickly run you through the most popular models and sizes so you can make an informed decision on what to get.
Lets start by talking about size. The size of meals you want to cook, or even the size of your family will determine what Instant Pot is the right size for you. Most come in the following sizes:
- 3-5 quart: works well if you are mainly cooking for 1-3 people. It works great for dorm rooms, and is a must have in a small apartment.
- 6 quart: the most versatile and also the most popular. Some of the models available will only come in this size. Its perfect for the average family and will fit all your pressure cooking needs. If in doubt, go with this size.
- 8 quart: a good fit for larger families, or if you know youll be cooking a lot of large meals for family gatherings, church dinners and such.
There are many versions of each of these sizes. However, they are all fairly close to the same footprint, so if you choose a 6-quart, theres no need to worry about the size of the model you choose. Theyre all very similar.
Instant Pot Comparisons & Reviews
This is the basic Instant Pot model and the one I recommend for most people new to pressure cooking. You may also hear as this one as the 6-in-1 model. Its a pressure cooker, slow cooker, steamer, rice cooker, with sauté and keep warm functions as well for a total of six different ways of cooking.
Note that the lux only has a high pressure mode, which is the what youll use most of the time anyway. The Lux also comes in different colors, including red, blue, stainless steel red, and stainless steel black, and floral patterns.
The Instant Pot Duo is the most popular of the versions. It functions as sort of an entry-level, basic model thats not too expensive and doesnt have an overwhelming amount of functions.
It can do everything the Lux can, plus a few more things. If making your own yogurt at home is on your list of things you want to do regularly, spring for the duo.
Also if you want to have a high and low pressure mode, the Duo has that, while the Lux doesnt. Another feature we like on the Duo that the Lux doesnt have is cut-out handles, so you can rest the lid in notched handle of the lid.
The major difference Ive found on the Nova is the digital display that gives more information on the screen than the Duo.
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Is An Instant Pot Really Worth It
Thereâs no denying an Instant Pot is a great kitchen appliance but you may be wondering if itâs really worth it? Or will it simply end up as another kitchen gadget that languishes on your countertop gathering dust?
Itâs important to remember that while Instant Pots offer a multitude of cooking methods, many of which means you no longer need to use an oven or a hob, they canât cook everything. For example, theyâre not an option if you regularly prepare pasta, noodles, or stir frys. And while some do come with lids that can air fry, we found making fries in an Instant Pot wasnât as good as using one of the best air fryers.
At the same time, you canât just pop the lid off and check the dish youâre cooking, as you would when using the hob, the oven, or a slow cooker. Youâll need to release the pressure, effectively stop cooking, and detach the lid. Then if the dish isnât ready, youâll need to start cooking again.
Similarly, an Instant Pot can certainly shave a few hours off cooking stews, ribs and other dishes that usually take the best part of a day to cook, however with dishes like rice or steaming vegetables the time saving is minimal, which may mean an Instant Pot isnât worth the investment.
Beyond The Convenience Of The Instant Pot
Early on, my fondness for my Instant Pot came from a place of convenience. I appreciated the quicker cooking time for large, tough cuts of meat, wild rice, steel-cut oats, lentils, soup, and burrito bowls. Plus its ability to cook meat from frozen , and the fact that it often left me with fewer dirty dishes. And while those qualities still win the appliance some big points, Ive come to learn that some recipes are simply better when theyre cooked in the Instant Pot.
The Instant Pot isnt always the faster cooking method, and Im okay with that, because sometimes the food that comes out of it is so much better and more satisfying than other methods. I first realized this with hard-cooked eggs. Its not necessarily faster than the stovetop method, but Instant Pot eggs are by far creamier and easier to peel its my go-to method for making a big batch during my weekend meal prep routine.
Then theres spaghetti and meat sauce, which is my absolute favorite thing to cook in the Instant Pot. It takes advantage of both the sauté and pressure cooker functions, and again, while not necessarily faster than the stovetop, there are fewer dishes to contend with, and the result is out of this world. Everything the ground meat, spaghetti, sauce, and water is all cooked together, so the pasta picks up extra flavor, and the sauce clings to each strand like a magnet.
My Favorite Instant Pot Recipes
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The Exterior Of The Instant Pot
- Brushed stainless steel, fingerprint-resistant, with lid holder for left and right-handed users.
- Pressure Regulator ensures the working pressure below the safety limit
- Anti-Blockage Vent prevents food debris from blocking the vent
- Safety Lid Lock prevents accidental opening of the cooker while it is pressurized
- Designed with a sensor for lid position detection, monitors whether the lid is in an unsafe position for pressure cooking
- Automatic temperature control regulates temperature based on the type of program being selected
- High-Temperature monitoring avoids burning food
- Automatic Pressure Controller keeps pressure always in the safe range
- The electrical current and temperature fuse cuts off power if the current or internal temperature exceeds safety limits
- Excess Pressure Protection releases excess pressure into the internal chamber in a dangerous situation
- Smart detection of a leaky lid
Smart: For The Techie
- The Smart WiFi multi-cooker has all the features that other models offer along with the addition of WiFi connectivity, which allows you to set, monitor, and control your cooking from your phone. So you need to have a smartphone or a tablet to be able to remotely connect, and be within 30 feet
- It also comes with more than 1000+ pre-programmed recipes that you can find on the Instant Pot app.
- When your dish is nearly done, youll receive an alert on your smart phone and can even send your recipes and cooking results to your family.
- The keep warm function has 3 different temperature levels normal, less and more.
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How To Chose An Instant Pot
Overall choosing between the models doesn’t have to be too overwhelming. When choosing to keep in mind the type of foods you want to cook in it, your lifestyle, household size, and budget.
There are distinct differences between the multi-function pressure cooker models and sizes when it comes to these questions. These are important questions to ask yourself even if you are looking to buy a different brand of an electric pressure cooker.
Use These Guidelines From Erin Chase To Choose Which Instant Pot Size Is Right For You
When choosing your Instant Pot size, its important to consider a few variables like family size, frequency of cooking, and what kind of bulk cooking strategies you utilize regularly.
The most common question that I get is which size and model should I buy for my kitchen and family?!?
I love my instant pot. Yes, enough to hug it.
I have 2 of them, with multiple inserts and all kinds of accessories.
So heres a quick breakdown and recommendations for you:
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Instant Pot Ultra Programmable Cooker
Uses: Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice/Porridge Cooker, Cake Maker, Yogurt Maker, SautÃ©/Searing, Steamer, Warmer, and Sterilizer | Built-in programs: 16
As you might guess by the name, this is Instant Pot’s current top-of-the-line model. The main advantage of the Instant Pot Ultra over the Duo and Lux models is the ability to customize all settings to your own liking, which it will automatically remember for the next time you use it. This feature will benefit experienced cookds. Otherwise, it has a bigger and brighter screen, a couple more cooking programs included, and altitude adjustment. It is available in 3-quart, 6-quart, and 8-quart models.
Which Instant Pot To Buy
Published Updated November 27, 2021 By Meeta Arora | This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
This is the question that I get asked most often – “I want to buy the instant pot, but there are so many choices and I am confused. Can you help me?“. So here I am sharing how you can best decide the right size and model for your instant pot. I will also be sharing my top picks in case you are short on time!
I know it is that time of the year when Instant Pot will once again be the Black Friday best seller on Amazon. It has been since the last 3 years.
First, I am going to share my short and sweet summary of my top picks. Then we will go through the details of why I make these choices.
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A Summary Of My Instant Pot Review
Clearly, I am still a fan. A huge fan. And a bigger one than when I reviewed it more than three years ago. I love that it really does save me time. It helps me with meal prep. And it makes a few dishes that just taste better than other methods. While I certainly dont use all the functions on this small appliance, the ones I do use make it worth the real estate it takes up in my small kitchen. If you told me three years ago that I was going to be such a huge fan, Im not sure I would have believed you. But now it makes me wonder: How much more will I love it in three more years when I have a toddler?
How long have you had your Instant Pot? Do you love it as much as I love mine?
Instant Pot Duo Vs Duo Plus Model
- DUO is a 7-in-1 electric pressure cooker and DUO Plus is a 9-in-1.
- DUO Plus has additional settings for making cakes, eggs, sterilize and sous vide.
- DUO Plus display is a bit model modern with the blue LED display.
- In DUO Plus, you can adjust the time, temperature and pressure level even after the Instant Pot has started cooking. This is not possible in the DUO model.
- DUO Plus is especially useful if you have babies or kids in the house, this model helps to silence the alarms.
- DUO is a nice upgrade from the base DUO model, and not much expensive.
I hope this post helps demystify some of the ins and outs of all the different Instant Pot models and sizes, and helps you figure out which Instant Pot to buy.
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Update: Amazon Price Specials On Instant Pots
- Three years ago during Amazon Prime Day, I purchased a 6 qt. Instant Pot that was on sale. And I quickly realized what a great addition it was to my kitchen. The first thing I made was a continuous beef bone broth. I cooked the bones and water under pressure and then switched to slow cooking and kept it going for several days. We were having cups of delicious and healthy bone broth every day and I simply added additional water each day to replace what we had taken from it.
The next year when Amazon Prime Day came I wanted to get my daughter her own Instant Pot as she was getting married that fall. The one that was on special was the 8 qt. size. When it arrived we realized how much bigger it really was than the one I already had.
Then just a few days later my sister told me about the newest Instant Pot that was a 3 qt. size. I immediately began thinking of ways that this size would be helpful. When it arrived we were instantly struck by how small and cute it was!
Now one thing about Instant Pots is that even though they are called Instant they really arent instant. They still need to come up to pressure to cook and that can take several minutes or more. But would the smaller Instant Pot come to pressure quicker and make my meals a little faster? Which one would work best for everyday use?
So I decided to test and compare them and see which one I liked best. I compared their sizes inside and out and how fast they came to pressure.