Best Instant Pot in 2020
by David Wright | Last updated
Isn’t it great to have all your cooking done on a single appliance? Yes, of course it is! The Instant Pot has brought that seamless world to every kitchen owner. Now, you do not have to wait hours to get dinner ready and more importantly, you don’t need large counter space to get all your delicious delicacies prepared and cooked. The Instant Pot is insanely fast and can easily replace various kitchen appliances. No doubt, this is one of the best technological advancement in the history of kitchen appliances.
If you currently own an Instant Pot, you already know how well this singular multi-functional pressure cooker can do the job of several kitchen appliances. If you do not, then it is time to hit the market and get one for yourself. This piece of technology has the capacity to turn your dreaded kitchen time into a pleasurable experience.
In addition to aiding fast cooking, it also saves a ton on kitchen space. With the best Instant Pot, you do not have to worry about the space to store your numerous kitchen appliances. No doubt, Instant Pot is the rave of the moment for all food lovers who love to cook their own food.
Understandably, there is no shortage of this miracle device in the market. However, the issue is in knowing the right one to choose from the lot. You can rest easily because we have done the work for you. After thorough search and reviews, we have identified top five Instant Pot models and have highlighted their features, pros and cons.
Our best pickOur best pick of Instant Pot is the Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1, and for meaningful reasons. First, it is one of the best selling as well as the best-reviewed Instant Pot models. It is easy to use and perfect for both beginner and professional cooks. It also performs a wide array of cooking functions that make it stands out. Although it does not have an egg feature, it can still turn out excellent tasting eggs on its low pressure.
The Instant Pot 7-in-1 has great functions, which include pressure-cooking, rice cooking, slow cooking, yogurt making, steaming, sautéing, and warming. It comes in three different sizes ranging from 3 quart, 6 quart, to 8 quart. No doubt, it is the best selling series and it remains the favorite of many people.
The DUO features an amazing blend of simplicity, functionality, and great price, which makes it a great choice for people looking for a budget but high quality Instant Pot. The controls are intuitive and easy to clean and deglaze, even after a very high singe. Although this model has fewer program settings when compared to others, it still offers excellent cooking functions and outcomes with its manual pressure-cooking setting.
This model comes with a cookbook, and a time chart for cooking.
Pros and Cons
Durable body frame
UL and ULC safety certified
It comes with yogurt maker
Excellent performance on the functions
The best combination of price and features
Not suitable for canning
The Instant Pot LUX is the simplest and most affordable of the lot but it comes with great features. When you talk about popularity, the 6-quart models win hands-down. One major reason for this is that they are the ideal size for cooking your average family dinner.
The LUX comes with six different functions, namely pressure cooking, rice cooking, slow cooking, warming, steaming, and sautéing. It has three different sizes; 3-quart, 6-quart, and 8-quart.
Instant Pot LUX is one of the few models that do not make yogurt. The up side to this seemingly shortcoming is the significant cut in the price. If you are not a fan of yogurt making, you will not need to pay for the function you may never use.
By the way, you can get an amazing Instant Pot cookbook with your appliance to give you inspirations on different meals to prepare. The LUX is not big on appearance but, hey, functionality is what really matter when it comes to Instant Pot. It features a black and red screen with several buttons for control settings.
Pros and Cons
Amazing deal for such great features
No yogurt option
The Instant Pot DUO Plus is an upscale version of the classic model, offering the perfect blend of price and recipe versatility. If you are looking for the best Instant Pot that will offer great value for your money, this device is what you are looking for. Its ten different functions include pressure-cooking, rice cooking, slow cooking, yogurt making, cake making, egg cooking, warming, steaming, sautéing, and sterilizing.
It is one of the few Instant Pot brands with additional functions, which include egg cooking, cake making, and sterilizer. The Duo Plus features a stunning and larger blue LCD screen with buttons and icons for food status. This replicates the stylish look and feel of a touch screen.
The DUO Plus comes in three different sizes too: 3-quart, 6-quart, and 8-quart.
Pros and Cons
Stunning blue LCD screen
The Ultra is the best Instant Point option when it comes to high-end models. It comes with an LCD screen and an additional personalized programming. Its numerous functions include pressure-cooking, rice cooking, slow cooking, steaming, sautéing, yogurt making, egg cooking, warming, sterilizing, and personalized programming.
This is indeed one of the next-generation of kitchen appliances. The personalized programming allows you to choose what you do per time with your Instant Pot. Featuring a steam release reset button, you have an assurance of ultimate safety in your kitchen.
It also offers cooking indicator features and a more accurate cooking time with pressure adjustment. The Instant Pot Ultra comes in 3 quart, 6 quart, and 8 quart. When it comes to its aesthetics, the look is not bad at all.
Instant Pot Ultra features a bigger blue LCD compared to the DUO Plus with altitude adjustment features and more cooking indicators. It also features a stylish dial, which allows for smart program selection.
Pros and Cons
Efficient energy consumption
Flexible stainless steel cooking-pot
Larger blue LCD progress display indication
Lack of special features like Flavor Infusion technology
There are amazing possibilities that this piece of technology offers. With the Instant Pot Smart Wi-Fi, you have the ability to develop your personal code for recipes and have more manual options. It is a great improvement on the Instant Pot Duo Plus features and design. This model leaks no steam, produce the least noise, cooks without the attending heat, and shut in food aromas.
It features an Automatic Keep Warm program and three different temperature level settings – normal, less, and more. The temperature settings allow foods maintain the desired temperature until served. Its Wi-Fi function allows the user to self-control and program cooking progress through their Smartphone.
To enjoy this feature to the fullest, you will need to download the Smart Pot app, which is free by the way. With the app, you can store the details of your favorite recipes in a single place. This details will include the list of the settings, categories, ingredients, temperature, times, pressure, notes, and any other information you need to store.
Pros and Cons
Stylish and durable design
Instant Pot is one of the rave of the moment when it comes to kitchen appliance, and rightfully so. It takes the stress off cooking and makes the process a more pleasant experience. In case you do not know what this rave about Instant Pot is all about, we are here to shed more light on it.
Here, we look at everything you need to know about this ‘magic kitchen appliance’.
What is an Instant Pot?
Let us start from the basics. According to its definition, Instant Pot “is an insanely fast, intelligent electric cooker that functions as multiple cooking machines, such as rice cooker, pressure cooker, slow cooker, yogurt maker, steamer, warming pot, and sterilizer”. In addition to these fundamental functions, some brands of Instant Pot feature additional programs like cake maker and egg maker.
An important benefit of this unique piece of technology is its flexibility. It has the capacity to function as various things, which means you can get rid of some kitchen appliances to save space. In fact, Instant Pot is the perfect deal for people who do not have ample kitchen space for different kinds of appliances.
It is also the ideal choice for minimalists who prefer keeping their home lean and free. With Instant Pot therefore, you get to have a fast turn-around time for your cooking and save space while at it.
What Size of Instant Pot is the Best?
Instant Pot comes in four sizes – 3-quart, 5-quart, 6-quart, and 8-quart. Understand that not all the sizes are available for all the brands and models in the market. When choosing the best Instant Pot for your need, there are some factors you need to consider.
Top among these is the number of people you need to feed. With this understanding, you can easily decide on the specific model to purchase. Here are some great estimates to help you arrive at your decision.
If you are single and live alone, and you do not plan to cook for any other person, the 3-quart is a great choice. Even at that, you might not have any leftover from your cooking, depending on your eating habit. The 3-quart is also great for side dishes.
The Instant Pot 6-quart model is the ideal for most people. It is large enough to prepare a meal for two but it has the capacity to cook for up to four people. As earlier stated, it all depends on your eating habit as well as the hunger level of everyone involved.
For a family of four and more, the Instant Pot 8-quart is the best choice. This does not mean that a family with fewer members cannot use it. It is a great option if you often invite people over for dinner at your home.
What to cook in Instant Pot
There are so much more that your Instant Pot can prepare over and beyond the function of a pressure cooker. It might be a bit overwhelming when you start using it but with time, you will get use to the amazing functions of the model. To get you started on the various possibilities that can come out of your Instant Pot, let us look at a couple of meals you can cook right away.
Soup: Whether in the cold or hot weather, a bowl of warm soup is a welcoming dish anytime. You absolutely cannot go wrong with soup, irrespective of how you prepare it but with Instant Pot, the process is much easier. So, whatever soup recipe you want to try, now is the time to get the apron on and get right into it.
Roast Chicken: The Instant Pot is also great for preparing roast chicken. Just throw your chicken in and get ready for some mouth-watering meals with your family. You do not need to oven-roast it first. Your Instant Pot will do the job.
Rice Dishes: This is obvious, right. Well, there are many versatile possibilities that can come into play here. Instead of cooking just plain rice, why not check out some great Instant pot recipes and produce a sizzling delicious rice variety.
Oatmeal: Oatmeal is quite easy to prepare with some healthy extra flavors. Instant Pot makes the preparation easier. Simply toss everything into your ‘magic cooker’ and go ahead to do other things. You do not have to worry about your meal boiling over.
Desserts: Mention it, bread pudding, cheesecake, and cobbler – your Instant Pot can churn them all out without breaking a sweat. If you are planning to have some people over for dinner, your Instant Pot is your best bet for preparing your desert, especially if you need to prepare other delicacies in your oven.
How to clean an Instant Pot?
If you have an Instant Pot, there is a high chance that you use it regularly. With usage comes the need for thorough washing. So how do you go about the cleaning to maintain the sparkling clean of your device?
Before going into details of the cleaning process, it is essential to know that there are some best Instant Pot accessories that you need to watch out for when doing the cleaning to avoid damaging them.
The first thing is to clean out the base. This part houses the stainless steel tub of Instant Pot, and it is the heaviest part. First, unplug the Instant Pot and remove the inner cooking pot from its base.
Use a damp clean cloth to swab the inner base part, the heating element and the rim. If you notice food debris inside the rim, use a foam paintbrush or a pastry brush to clean the cleft.
The next step is to scrub the cooking pot. The inner pot is made of stainless steel, which comes with some drawbacks. Char and food remnant can cling to it, and getting rid of these can become a nightmare.
Here are some tips to help you with the cleaning:
If you notice blueish stains resulting from minerals in food and water, pour white vinegar in the pot, soak for five minutes, and rinse it. If there is still leftover, soak your sponge in vinegar and scrub. For stuck-in food, first soak the pot with warm water and dish soap to soften the junk. Scrub to get rid of the mess.
The next step is to clean the lid and its accessories. When cleaning, check the red float valve and steam release valve, remove any food debris and wipe dry. Remove the silicone nub covering the float valve, known as the anti-block shield. This will give you better access to the float valve.
You can check if there are any clogs or blocks in it and clean it off. Then remove the silicone-sealing ring and wash it separately. This part of the Instant Pot usually retain strong odor. Therefore, use high temperature cycle when washing it in the dishwasher to remove the unpleasant odor.
Do not forget about the body of the Instant Pot when doing the washing.
What does “burn” mean on Instant Pot?
“Burn” on Instant Pot means there is an Instant Overheat Error. The appliance comes with a built-in protection mechanism, which prevents food from burning in the Instant Pot. When the Pot perceives a very high temperature of about 140°C or 284°F below the bottom of the inner pot, the burn-protection mechanism automatically suspends heating.
At this point, you receive the “Burn” message on the screen display, which means the bottom layer is getting dry.
How to quickly and naturally release Instant Pot
When your Instant Pot is finished with the pressure or manual mode, it automatically beeps to let you know. Based on the recipe, you can do a quick release or natural pressure release.
For Quick Release, release the steam vent when the Instant Pot beeps. Let all the steam release and open the Instant Pot. Do not use the Quick Release if the meal has high starch content or large liquid volume.
For the natural pressure release, when it beeps, do not touch it. It will naturally release the pressure within ten to twenty minutes. Once this is done, you can go ahead to release the steam vent at the top of the unit and open the Instant Pot.
You can also do a combination of the two by allowing the Instant Pot to depressurize in the NR mode for about ten minutes. Press Cancel and switch the steam release valve to ‘Venting’.
What is the Difference between an Instant Pot and a Pressure Cooker?
Although both Instant Pot and pressure cooker are great for cooking under pressure, and sauté, both have distinctive features that differentiate them.
First, the interior cooking pots of the two are different. Pressure cooker comes with a non-stick cooking pot while Instant Pot comes with a stainless steel cooking pot.
Secondly, Instant Pot has a slow cooker function while the pressure cooker does not. Instant Pot also comes with delay timer function, which comes handy when you need to keep your food at certain temperature. The pressure cooker does not have this feature.
The standard pressure cooker does not come with control panel. However, the latest electric pressure cooker editions come with simple panel. All Instant Pot models on the other hand come with control panels.
Six Products to (easily) Cook in Instant Pot
Instant Pot is no doubt an essential appliance in any kitchen. We have enumerated the top five best Instant Pot models that you can consider when you are ready to make your purchase. It is crucial to have the size of your family in mind when choosing your preferred model.