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Instant Pot Review 2017: Sizes, Models and Specs of Instapot

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Instant Pot Review

This is an unbiased instant pot review to help you pick the right instapot model for yourself.

To begin with, every cooking style involves some prep work.

For those styles, we require appliances such as pressure cooker, rice cooker, pans etc. Now we all know how our grandmothers have used all or most of these appliances, but thanks to advancement in technology, now the mess has been reduced. Now you don’t really require to bring out all these pots and pans, especially if you have a InstaPot. This Instant Pot review will help you pick the right one for yourself.

But what really is an instant pot? And how do you determine which one is the best for your style of cooking? Well, you don’t need to worry about it, we have got it all here.

Instant Pot Review

instant pot duo plus 60 reviewInstant pot, commonly known as InstaPot, is basically a multi-purpose pressure cooker, that does the job of a pressure cooker, rice cooker, yogurt maker and several other functions. The introduction of instant pot was based on introducing a much convenient, healthy and face paced cooking method and I must add in, it definitely yields these effects.

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I heard a lot about how quick and easy the Instant Pots are, and in my personal experience, I have done a whole lot of stuff with my Instant Pot. From dried chick peas, to slow cooking a whole raw chicken, to making yogurt, Instant Pot has helped me in cooking all such items and that too with the single push of a button. This is the best investment I have ever made.

Young Meagher 

I have really started to enjoy cooking food which is what forced me to write this Instant Pot review to help other people out.

Instant Pot Sizes and Models

Now the name of  most InstaPot looks like that of a chemical reaction, but let’s break it down for you. The Manufacturer Instant Pot, offers multi-purpose pots of different sizes and functions. The different models based on their different functions come in these ranges:

Model Size(s) Bluetooth Price
LUX 5, 6, 8 Qt. Check Price
DUO 3, 6, 8 Qt. Check Price
DUO Plus 2017
(Editor's Choice)
6 Qt. Check Price
SMART 6 Qt. Check Price
ULTRA (2017) 6 Qt. Check Price
2017 Release: Instant Pot Ultra and DUO Plus 60
instant pot duo plus 60 reviewSince IP DUO 60 is more popular among users, the company has introduced another variation for the DUO 60 i.e. the all new 2017 Instant Pot DUO Plus 60. The DUO Plus has some extra features like bigger control panel with easy to use controls, addition of cake, egg and sterilize cooking programs and improved user interface. Adjusting cooking modes and pressure levels is easier than before.

 

Instant Pot UltraThe company has recently introduced another model, Instant Pot Ultra. Here are the new features:

  • Altitude adjustment
  • Cooking process indicator
  • Steam release reset button

So, now that you know the basic framework, the name of this instant pot tells you its specification i.e its model (DUO, LUX, SMART), with its capacity (Quart/Litre). But before anything, let’s understand the different models and their functions, because that would help you choose the right kind of InstaPot for yourself.

All these different ranges were introduced one after the other, as a further upgrade. This means that all these pots have mutually exclusive features, while being advanced as well. First came the LUX, then the DUO and last but not the least SMART.

The LUX

Instant Pot LUX reviewThis was the one which was introduced for those who prefer economical cookers. Similarly, the range of features makes it a 6-in-1 pot, which can work as a pressure cooker, a slow cook, for steam, make rice, saute and keep stuff warm.

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The control panel allows you to access 9 different kind of functions which include:

  • Meat/Stew
  • Soup
  • Sauté Poultry
  • Bean/Chili
  • Congee
  • Steam
  • Multi-grain
  • Rice
  • Slow Cook

It also allows you to adjust setting manually. The interior of this pot is composed of stainless steel, which helps a lot when it comes to fast cooking and keeping the food warm generally. The best part about this range is the fact that it comes with adjustable modes, which means you can choose from three different saute temperature and three slow cooker temperature. It also comes with the delay timer, with which you can cook stern ingredients for up to 24 hours. However, it does not provide you with the option of yogurt making, which is now booming as the biggest consumer demand. plus, there is no option for low pressure, which means that its always going to be high. But overall, for someone who require simple usage, this InstaPot will serve them well.

The DUO Plus (Best Choice)

InstaPot Pressure Cooker IP DUO60 reviewThis one is the most talked about model, and is a top recommendation. With most sales, this model is a success. It is a 7-in-1 cooker, which makes yogurt and comes up with the high/low pressure adjustment option as well. In it’s functionalities, you will find the option to slow cook, use electric pressure cooker option , cook rice, steam, make yogurt maker, sauté and brown and act as a warming pot. It cooks meals faster, and offers the option for a delayed programmable start time.

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On it’s manual panel, you will find the following options:

  • Egg (New)
  • Sterilize (New)
  • Cake (New)
  • Soup
  • Rice
  • Meat/Stew
  • Bean/ Chili
  • Multi grain
  • Poultry
  • Porridge
  • Steam
  • Yogurt
  • Slow cook
  • Sauté

With this, the option to adjust the pressure and temperature, keep the warm are also present on the panel. The slow cooker option lets you do a few chores, without constantly looking out at the pot. In short you can ‘Set and forget’. Talking about its physical features, the pot is composed of stainless steel, with some extra space on the handles which looks and unlocks the lid sufficiently.

Other than this, the electric pressure cooker cooks food at the 15 psi rate, which is considered as really good, plus, allowing you to control the pressure, which is great because different ingredients require different pressures. With the yogurt making option, you can turn the tedious 24 hour task to a mere 9 hours job. This model is available in all three mentioned sizes. The best part about this multi-purpose pot is the fact that it is smaller than the LUX model, which makes it very convenient to store and move.

This InstaPot is considered as an all-rounder because keeping in mind the needs, it covers everything from cooking to yogurt making.

The SMART

instant pot smart reviewJust when you thought your mobiles were the only smart device, think again because InstaPot came up with their SMART pots. As the name suggests, this kind makes use of all the internet and Bluetooth technology. Being the latest model from the manufacturer’s side, you can expect writing, downloading and uploading recipes, whilst controlling your pressure cooker’s temperature all via your android/iOS smartphone. So this is a 7-in-1 cooker, just like the DUO model, but gives you some added features as well.

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Here is a list of options on control panel:

  • Soup
  • Meat/Stew
  • Bean/Chili
  • Poultry
  • Saute
  • Steam
  • Rice
  • Porridge
  • Multigrain
  • Slow Cook
  • Keep-Warm
  • Yogurt
  • Pasteurize and Fermented rice

Just like the DUO model, you are provided with 3 different Saute temperatures and 3 slow cooker temperatures, and a special 3 different keep warm temperatures as well. With 2 delay times, you can delay the time and rather control it through your smartphone. The best part about such technology is that you can literally program your pot to change temperatures after specific periods. With automatic status alerts and much more, this is the next generation pot. However, it must be kept in mind that this next generation is a bit towards the pricey side, which it rightly deserves in all honesty.

Which InstaPot is Best for You?

InstaPot Pressure Cooker IP DUO60 Size 6LNot exaggerating or anything, but in terms of use and cost-efficiency and the number of applications that come along, the IP-DUO Plus 60 is the best instant pot out there. If you have a family of 3-5, like mine, then 6 Quart shall cover just all bases. Here are some exceptional features of the the DUO Plus 60 i.e. the 2017 version of DUO 60:

  • Built-in cooking programs for eggs, cake and sterilize
  • Easily adjust cooking modes and pressure levels
  • Improved user interface with an addition of a knob for temperature and pressure control
  • Dual pressure option, featuring both high and low pressures
  • Highly safe to use appliance with proper UL and ULC Certification
  • 6 liter of capacity, which is sufficient for cooking for 3-5 members
  • Automatic steam pressure release option
  • User manual in various languages

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With the 6 Quart size, you can easily start off with stews, soups, chili’s etc. For a family of 4-6, this size is sufficient as it can cook 3 cups of dry rice (6 servings) or 16 cups of soup. Even for beginners, this model is highly recommended due to its size, shape, ease of use and the functions it offers.

This video gives you a better explanation of why you should buy an Instant Pot:

Is it worth it?

In all honesty: YES. A hundred times yes.

When it comes to cooking, the key is how the ingredients are being prepared and how the “base” is being made. That can make or break your dish. The common dilemma that surrounds InstaPot is that people confused it for something that will cook their stuff. However, instant pots usually make the base, break down ingredients and do 90% of the whole cooking task. The actual cooking, which involves use of spices, mixing and a whole lot of fixing, is done by the person itself. But that does not mean that it’s just a waste of money. With a InstaPot, you can expect:

  • Some Serious Convenience: Whether we talk about the automated features, or the fact that the pressure builds up and releases on its own, or the fact that it makes long items like yogurt in mere 9 hours, instant pots are all about convenience. for a family of 6, my meals have turned into a easy task.
  • Manageable and Easy to Clean: since it is a multi-purpose cooker, firstly, the excessive pots, pans and cookers can be placed back in the cupboards, since the instant pot can do all their tasks easily. Secondly, as compared to our traditional stove-top pressure cookers, instant pots are easy to clean, disassemble and re-assemble. Plus, they come in different sizes and specifications which will be discussed in detail further.
  • Safe, while Being Energy-Efficient: The biggest reason why i turned to using instant pot and electric cookers was the fact that they are safe. Cookers have a reputation for blowing up. In case of InstaPot, these accidents have been taken care off. With electrical technology, it might seem even more intimidating, but if in case of excess pressure or electrical default, the pots turn off by themselves. Although, they take more time to build pressure and release pressure, in comparison to the stove-top cookers, but hands down they are far much more safer as well. In fact, most pots have a mechanism installed to beep and inform the person about its status, so that they don’t mess with it. With all this, they save up to 80% of energy, making it Eco-friendly as well.

Now that we are clear on what an instant pot is, and how it will change your life, the next question is which model suits you the best. As per my experience, with all due respect to all other models and ranges, the InstaPot that has worked well and easily for me, especially the  Instant Pot IP-DUO60, is the best out there.

In my case, this size of Instant Pot DUO series has allowed me to experiment with many versatile and  advanced cooking techniques such as bain marie, triplex cooking and steaming.  Plus, most recipes that you will come across online and in cookbooks use this 6L instapot size. In fact most tutorials found on YouTube feature this exact same instapot in their videos.

But in case you feel that your needs are beyond the scope of this model, the best way to categorize and know which model will suit best for you, is to refer to the main models as discussed above and search for the best one in that category. I hope this review of Instant Pot helps you pick the best one for yourself.

Leave a Comment:

21 comments
Darlene says October 19, 2017

Trying to determine whether to get the 6 quart or 8 quart size. My dutch oven says it’s 8 quart size, but 8 quarts takes it to the very top of the pot – no room for boiling. Does 6 quart Instapot hold 6 quarts of liquid and have room for cooking?

Reply
    Young Meagher says October 19, 2017

    Same goes for Instant Pot, Darlene. It won’t have much room for cooking if you fill it to the top. The Max limit is not intended for pressure cooking. For pressure cooking, you should fill no more than 2/3rd of the pot. So better go for 8 Quart if you plan to cook large amounts. Hope this helps

    Reply
Judy says September 17, 2017

The best instant pot to get is the 8 quart size. I love my pot, the reason for 8 quart size is on the saute function you have a bigger area to saute. The 6 quart is to small, you can put any amount in the 8 quart, so if just cooking for 1 person, it still works, if making a potato salad you can put eggs and potatoes in at same time. Making rice you can still make just 1 cup of rice. I just find the 8 quart the perfect size for me and mainly that size for the saute function.

Reply
Toni Ann says September 5, 2017

I probably missed it, but why did you choose the Plus and not the Ultra?

Reply
    Young Meagher says September 6, 2017

    The key difference is the altitude adjustment in Ultra which is of no use to me. So DUO Plus perfectly fits the bill.

    Reply
Joyce says September 1, 2017

We like our meat (beef) well done or very well done. Does the IP cook meat well done?
Thanks.

Reply
    Young Meagher says September 1, 2017

    Yes it absolutely does. More water and more time. Much more tender than the stovetop.

    Reply
Barb D says August 27, 2017

It covers all bases, not basis. Not to be picky, just a dyed-in-the-wool proofreader, I guess.

Reply
    Young Meagher says August 28, 2017

    Appreciate your feedback Barb. Fixed it 🙂

    Reply
Brenda says May 31, 2017

I want to get into canning fruit and salsa can you use this for such things? I’d be canning in small quantities since there is only 2 of us. Thanks

Reply
    Young Meagher says May 31, 2017

    Hi Brenda,
    IP is good for salsa but talking about canning, there are basically two types of canning. Boiling-water canning and pressure canning. IP is good for the first one, but it has not been tested for safety in pressure canning. If water bath canning is what you’ve looking to do, Instant Pot is definitely a good choice for you.
    Hope it helps.

    Reply
B Hogan says May 31, 2017

The Duo Plus 60 9in1, does NOT have a poultry selection button. I can’t understand the need for a yogurt button and leave off the poultry. Really, how many people need to make yogurt??

Reply
    Young Meagher says May 31, 2017

    Good observation Brian. Looks like they’ve completely discarded the Poultry button as I don’t see it in the new IP Ultra as well. And the Yogurt button is still there in the latest model. Would’ve been good if they kept the Poultry setting.

    Reply
Jonathan says May 3, 2017

What is the low pressure setting used for? I am trying to figure out what I am giving up by going with the Lux instead of the Duo/Plus. What will I not be able to cook or do if I don’t have the variable high/low pressure?

Reply
    Young Meagher says May 3, 2017

    Hi Jonathan, pressure level determines the speed at which your food will cook. The DUO has a high setting and a low setting while the LUX has just a high setting. Also, some recipes, i.e. ones with fish or vegetables may call for a lower setting. This is a huge plus for DUO/PLUS.

    Reply
LG says April 22, 2017

How does it make yogurt?

Reply
Tom says April 16, 2017

I have never cooked one thing in my life. Can I put raw meat into this thing with frozen vegetables and cook them at the same time? Thanks.

Reply
    Young Meagher says April 16, 2017

    Yes you can. And don’t worry even if you haven’t cooked anything in your life. There are a ton of recipes on the internet to help you get started. My daughter started cooking on this and she is a PRO now.

    Reply
GiGi Eats says January 10, 2017

My husband and I got one of these for our wedding!!! He loves this bad boy!

Reply
    Young Meagher says January 10, 2017

    Yes. This has totally changed the way we cook. I would say, one of the best inventions of century.

    Reply
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