Everyone is talking about the new Instapot and I am sure you too came here looking for Instant Pot review. Right?
But you are unable to decide which model and/or size is best for you. Read on to discover and find out why InstaPot is my most favorite and frequently used kitchen gadget. It can do a lot of things with a single push of a button that other pressure cookers simply can’t.
What is Instant Pot (aka Instapot)
As the name suggests, it is a pot that is built for fast and flexible cooking. Not only this but it is a multi-functional pressure cooker that will replace 8-10 other kitchen appliances as well, saving you time and money. If you’ve been scared of pressure cooking until now, this revolutionary product will change your mind and you’ll start using it even more than your smartphone (Just kidding). But trust me, it’s extremely safe and you will be confident using it.
InstaPot works as a slow cooker, rice cooker, egg cooker, Saute/Browning, Yogurt Maker, Cake maker, Steamer, Warmer and Sterilizer. With all these features, it is one of the best pressure cookers available on Amazon.
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon
Instant Pot Review (2019 Updated)
Here are few things that I personally consider before buying any kitchen appliances:
- Ease of use
- Safety standards (Very Important)
Surprisingly, InstaPot has all this and now is the time to grab this beautiful kitchen gadget. I have been an anti-cooker chef throughout my life. I used to have other cookers but I didn’t use them quite often because of the potential threats all cookers pose. I had never heard of the InstaPot, but my sister raved about hers. We are competitive, so you know I had to have one. But which one right 🙂 I am glad I came across a useful review of Instant Pot, bought one and I use mine all the time. My 20 something son even used it! This has now become my most commonly used kitchen essential. I don’t only use it for cooking but I quite commonly use it for steaming, browning and making yogurt as well.
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon
Instant Pot pressure cooker comes in 3 sizes; 5 quart, 6 quart and 8 quart. I have the 6 quart one and it is perfect for my family of 3 people. If you have more than 4 people in your family or you like to cook in large quantity and then freeze, I would recommend you go for the 8 quart one.
Before moving on to the models and detailed instant pot review, let’s take a look at key features:
- 24 hrs Delay Start Timer
- 3 ply stainless steel pot that is guaranteed to run safely and for a longer period
- Multi-Functional Pressure Cooker
- Easy to Use Control Panel
- 3 Temperature settings for Saute and Slow Cooking
- 14 built-in programs make it easy for beginners to use InstaPot. These include soup, meat/stew, yogurt, porridge, rice and much more.
- Dual pressure and automatic keep-warm settings
- Energy efficient; saves you on electricity bills
- Extremely kitchen friendly with 10 built-in safety mechanisms; certified by UL and ULC
- Altitude adjustment for more precise cooking time. No guess work anymore.
- Cake, Egg and Sterilize Controls
- New Dial for Easier cooking program selection
- Cooking process indicator for monitoring cooking states: Preheat, cook and keep warm
- Steam release reset button to perform both continuous and pulse steam release manually
- Smart programs remember your last customization, so you don’t have to memorize your recipes
Instant Pot Models
|Pressure Cooking||Only High||High/Low||High/Low||High/Low||High/Low|
|Size||3,6,8 Qt.||3,6,8 Qt.||3,6,8 Qt.||3,6,8 Qt.||6 Qt.|
|Cooking Progress Indicator|
|Note: You will be redirected to respective product pages on Amazon if you click any of the buttons above.|
Which InstaPot Model is Best for Me
It totally depends on how much convenience you are looking for. You can keep your investment at minimum and go for the LUX or you can be extravagant and buy the Ultra or SMART.
But here is the real deal.
It all boils down to your needs. My personal favorite is DUO (Actually DUO Plus). DUO Plus is the newer release and has got some additional features like cake maker, sterilizer and built-in egg boil function. DUO Plus is the latest model of the #1 selling muli-cooker, Instant Pot DUO.
If you don’t want advanced features like Yogurt maker, Sterilizer, Cake Maker, etc., just stick to the LUX. You’ll save money and still get all the features you need.
If you are tech-savvy and want to have unlimited possibilities for cooking with InstaPot, go with the SMART.
If you are living in a high altitude, Instant Pot Ultra is best for you since it has a dedicated altitude adjustment control that eliminates guesswork and offers precise cooking time.
Which Size is Best for Me
It totally depends. But I would always advise to go for a bigger one, rather getting a small size and then regretting. Smaller needs would fix in the bigger size but bigger needs, unfortunately, won’t fix in the small size.
Just don’t think about the 5 Quart. size. Keep in mind the fill limit as well. If you go for 6 Quart, you can fill 3/4th of it. I personally like my 6 qt. size because we are a small family of 3 and I don’t like to batch cook. 6 Quart is also the most sold size on Amazon.
If you like to cook in large quantity, I would recommend you get the 8 Quart.
Why Should I Buy an Instant Pot
I don’t think if there is a reason not to buy this awesome pressure cooker after reading my Instant Pot review. Still, if you are confused, read below to find out what you get with this all-in-one multi-functional pressure cooker:
Ease of Use
Insta Pot is a life-saver. Everything is just one-push away. Want too cook rice? Push the button. Want to steam? Just one button.
Literally, any thing you want to do requires with single push of a button. The digital display makes it convenient to cook and tells you exactly how much time is left so you can roll your sleeves and get ready to eat. It also includes a detailed user manual which leaves no confusion in case you need help with a function.
High Safety Standards
InstaPot is carefully designed addressing all major potential threats. There is a safety lock that keeps lid from opening in case cooker gets pressurized, leaving no chance for cooker to burst and harm you. There is also a built-in pressure regulator that ensures that pressure stays within safety limit i.e. 15.23 psi. It has a leaky lid smart detection feature that checks for any steam leakage or tells if steam release is open. There is a magnetic sensor that ensures lid is positioned properly.
In any uncertain event, Excess Pressure Protection technology takes care of the excess pressure and sends it into internal chamber. In case electric current or pressure exceeds safety limits, the fuse cuts off power which eliminates the risk of a blast.
Healthy and Nutritious Food
The InstaPot is designed to make sure you consistently get delicious and nutritious food. Ordinary pressure cookers are unable to retain vitamins and minerals inside the food whereas Instant Pot retains the taste and nutrients due it’s micro processor controlled cooking cycles. Rest assured that InstaPot cooks food in a completely sealed environment keeping the original taste in the food.
The manufacturers have tried their best to keep the product as environment-friendly as possible. It consumes up-to 70% less energy as compared to other kitchen appliances e.g. oven, steamer, etc. InstaPot cooks food in less time as compared to other pressure cookers and this is why it consumes less energy.
The automatic temperature control makes it more energy efficient by heating inner pot to a specific temperature only. Also, the sealed cooking environment means very less water is being used in cooking as compared to the amount of water you use in traditional cookers for steaming. This feature also adds to making the greenest pressure cooker available.
Here is an interesting video from the manufacturer explaining all the features of the Instant Pot:
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon
Common InstaPot Mistakes
Here are some common mistakes you should avoid when using your instapot:
Forgetting the Inner Pot
Call it a simple human error or just absent mindedness, but people tend to fill the pot with all the ingredients and just completely forget about the inner pot. This results in one damaged instapot and no food. Such mistakes can be avoided by always keeping the inner pot in line with the pot itself. That is how I store mine, with the liner inside. Just watch the posts in many of the facebook groups and this is very common. Sad, sad day when this happens.
Undermining the Seal
Because instant pots use pressure and steam to cook food, its important to seal the air before beginning with anything. If the rubber ring on the inside of the lid is not secured properly, the whole steam will seep out and your dinner will be as raw as a rock. Be sure to secure the rubber ring in the lid, and then begin with the cooking.
Not Letting the Pressure Build up
The instapot works better than ovens, cookers and stoves only when you let the pressure build up on its inside, on its own pace. But since most of us are in a hurry and we like to consider the prep-time as the total time for preparing the dish, this is where we disturb the pressure build up. Always add in an extra 10-15 minutes in the stated prep time, for in this time the pressure will build up and then the cooking process will begin.
Filling it to the Max
During the cooking process, ingredients tend to expand, especially when it involves pressure cooking. Inside the pot, there will be a maximum line marked, to let you know about the pot’s limit. The line should never be crossed. In fact, always keep the ingredients lower than that line, even during slow cooking. Ideally, filling only half of the pot will give your ingredients and steam that much needed space.
Moving in SLOW
The key to great cooking is in being attentive. Even when you are using intelligent gadgets like the instant pot in the kitchen, you need to be alert and keep taking actions. One of the biggest mistake that everyone is guilty of making, especially the newbies is not opening the value quickly. While taking the “Quick Release” action, most of us don’t revolve the valve quick enough and tend to over-cook food. The difference between perfectly tender vegetables and soggy ones lies in how quick you were in venting the steam.
Confusing Yourself with the Timer
The most easy to confuse feature on the instapot is the Timer button. While most of us set the timer and expect the instant pot to start running and cooking, it is however meant for the complete opposite purpose. Timer usually causes a delay in the cooking process, depending on the time you set on it. It can be applied on any program and will start the program after the set time has passed.
Too much/ Too little Liquid
Only experience can crack this Da Vinci Code. If there is not enough liquid, the instant pot won’t be able to generate steam and thus your food will be under-cooked. If there is too much liquid, it will take more time for the instpot to cook and chances are that you will ruin your dish. To deal with this, always start with leaving in one cup of liquid and increasing the amount only if its needed. But this is something that one learns over time and use.
Stovetop vs Instant Pot
Call it a habit or lack of consciousness, but some people mistakenly put their instant pots directly on the stove tops. This is one of the most common yet dangerous mistake people make simply because they weren’t paying attention. Always keep the instapot in one place and if it has to be placed on the stove, a wooden board should be used in between them to avoid any mishaps.
If ..when …you decide to go ahead and buy, let me know in the comments which one did you get. I would love to hear your reviews about your Instant Pot.
This is a great review with a helpful break down of the different features! They seem similar when you shop on Amazon, so looking at a chart is really helpful. I’ll reference this when people ask me through my series of recipes and getting started guide on my website. Thanks so much!
I asked for an Instapot for my anniversary present. I really was unsure of which model to get and this article helped me decide! We are getting the duo plus!
Great choice Heather. You’re going to love it.
Why is It that the Duo Plus, Smart and Ultra do not come in 8 Qt? So even if I want the features those three offer, I can’t get one because it’s not big enough. It doesn’t make sense.
I’m in the same boat as you! We have 5 kids. 4 of which are boys from 6-10 yrs.! They eat a lot now and it is only going to increase lol! Guess I will be waiting for them to make the Ultra or Smart in a bigger size.
DUO Plus is available in 8 Qt. though. The manufacturer may come up with bigger sizes in Ultra and Smart as well if there is demand. Let’s see what they have planned for 2018 🙂
Just checked on Amazon but the DUO Plus does not come in 8 QT 🙁 However, i have bought the DUO Plus 6 FT using the link above .. I will keep you updated how it goes for me!
Thank you soo much for this review!
I got a mini pot for Christmas. Went to use it last night and with all the reading material and directions, ended up cooking conventionally in the oven. I didn’t have time to go through all the confusing instructions. I’ll watch a youtube or something on how to figure this thing out. I’m sure once I’ve done it a time or two, it’ll be okay.
I agree- I’m having the same problem 🙁
Thanks for the great review!
You stated, key features
-“24 hrs Delay Start Timer”
Is that on all the models?
Becki. I love your question, and I too would love an answer. Come on Instapot! Please! Why not an 8 quart?.
They do have an ultra 8 Qt. I just bought one on Friday
I just liked this point soo much “Call it a simple human error or just absent mindedness, but people tend to fill the pot with all the ingredients and just completely forget about the inner pot. This results in one damaged instapot and no food. Such mistakes can be avoided by always keeping the inner pot in line with the pot itself.”
This has also happened with me numerous times 🙂
Anyway, Thanks for this awesome review!
I live in high altitude – should i get the ultra
I hope y’all can help. I have a relatively new InstaPot and cooking brown rice is not a problem…..BUT…..when I try to use other InstaPot recipes, it becomes frustrating. I follow the directions – place ingredients in the pot, set it to the appropriate setting (usually it has told me to use Pressure High). It continues to show “Preheating” but I can see and hear steam being released (all buttons were initially set according to the recipe and instructions). When I tried cooking vegetable soup – the read out ultimately said “BURN”! I turning it off and finished the soup on the stove. I am trying to cook macaroni and cheese now. It continues to show “Preheating” and steam is again being release.
WHAT AM I DOING WRONG???
Inquiring minds want to know…..When will they make a 3 QUART InstaPot for those of us who are “single by choice”?!
these are the bost instant pots!
Best Instapot ever
Can you use aluminum foil in the instpot I seen a recipe that said to use it, but in the instructions it says not to use it confused
Ellene, I have used aluminum foil in my instant pot to keep the moisture off items such as a cheese cake. I have also made a make shift steam for potatoes. Best of luck with your cooking.
I dearly loved cooking with mine and used it 3 to 5 days a week, but it total stopped working after 9 months of use. : (
So sorry about your pot. Maybe you could call customer support and they can help.
This instance of the instapot has instantaneously inscribed a precious pressured gift of supper.
Suddenly – a stew!
All of a sudden – perfect rice!
Instapot instapod pot or pod
Peas in a pod
You and me in a pod
Let me be your pod
I love you instapot