What is Instant Pot? What you need to know about the popular kitchen appliance
theis a mainstay of the holiday and birthday wishlist, but if you haven’t invested in one yet, you might still be wondering what it is. These multi-purpose pressure cookers promise to replace other kitchen gadgets, including (but not limited to) slow cookers, yogurt makers, rice cookers, steamers and air fryers, depending on the model.
Pressure cooking is a technique that prepares beans, meats, stews and more under high pressure conditions. This pressure cooks food much faster than a similarly shaped slow cooker. Instant pots come with safety features like overheat protection and a lockable lid, making it seem like pressure cooking is a low pressure business.
Chefs and home cooks have gotten creative with this popular kitchen appliance. Find countless recipes designed for the Instant Pot, available both in cookbooks and online.
Here’s a breakdown of the most popular Instant Pot models, so you can find your perfect match.
The original Instant Pot experience: Instant Pot Duo
If you’re looking for the classic Instant Pot experience, get the Instant Pot Duo. It offers seven devices in one: an electric pressure cooker, a rice cooker, a slow cooker, a yogurt maker, a steamer, a sauté pan and a plate warmer. The model also has 13 smart customizable programs for pressure cooking dishes on autopilot, from ribs to yogurt. The lid, inner pot and accessories are dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.
Choose from three sizes. The 3 quart size, for example, is ideal for small kitchens. The 6 quart is the most popular size. And the 8 quart size is ideal for families or meal preps; it can serve up to eight people.
Instant Pot for the beginner: Instant Pot Duo Nova
The Duo Nova, which is great for beginners, is similar to the Duo, but comes with a lid that automatically seals your Instant Pot and a quick-release button to let out steam. Its price is slightly higher than the Duo. Choose from four sizes.
Instant Pot for the intermediate user: Instant Pot Duo Plus
If you’re up for more features, go for the Instant Pot Duo Plus. This 9 in 1 model, like the 7 in 1, works as an electric pressure cooker, rice cooker, slow cooker, yogurt maker, steamer, sauté pan and warmer. But you also get a vacuum option and a sterilizer.
The Duo Plus is available in 3 quarts, 6 quarts and 8 quarts. All sizes are currently on sale on Amazon. The 6 pint drops to $ 80 from $ 120, for example.
Instant Pot for the seasoned cook: Instant Pot Pro
Like the Duo Plus, the Instant Pot Pro is a pressure cooker, slow cooker, sous vide, sauté pan, sterilizer, yogurt maker, warmer, rice / grain cooker, and steamer, but it’s also a pastry chef, offering 10 uses in 1.
There are also 28 program settings for essential meals and five programmable settings for your own favorite recipes. This model features an upgraded soft steam release switch with a diffusing cover, to reduce noise and prevent splashing on your countertop. It is available in 6 quart and 8 quart sizes.
Instant Pot with additional features: Instant Pot Ultra
The Instant Pot Ultra is also a 10 in 1 product. It has updates such as altitude adjustment and a steam reset button. It is available in 3 qt, 6 qt and 8 qt sizes.
“Even if you don’t cook a lot or have a wide range of cooking skills, the LCD screen really takes away the mystery of the pressure cook cycle that isn’t available on Duo or Lux models,” says reviewer. T. Mackel. “Maybe the extra settings will inspire novice cooks to try new things.”
Instant Pot that air fried: Instant Pot Duo Crisp
This is the Instant Pot Duo, but with additional air frying capacity. This is the fashionable cooking technique that uses, in this case, 95% less oil than frying. It comes with a tiered air fryer basket and a dehydrate and broil tray. It is available in 6 quart and 8 quart sizes.
“I didn’t know that freestanding air fryers are quite expensive, so this machine being able to do both pressure cooking and air frying for us for less than the cost of a large air fryer. has been amazing, ”reviewer Lisa M. said. “I cannot recommend this machine highly enough!”
Instant Pot that serves the whole family: Instant Pot Pro Crisp
This is the Instant Pot Pro with an air fryer attachment. It comes in the 8 quart size, which can accommodate a whole chicken. Its frying temperature rises to 400 degrees. You can use this instant pot to reheat French fries, experience a healthier version of fried chicken, and more.