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Which Instant Pot Should You Choose?

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Which Instant Pot Should You Choose?

Patricia Reitz

Which Instant Pot Should I Choose? - ButterYum —

I’m somewhat amazed at the popularity of Instant Pots lately, but they’re such a fast and easy way to cook so many wonderful things, it’s no wonder. If you’ve been wondering which instant pot should you should choose, here’s a anting give them try, but don’t know which model to choose, here’s a primer to get you started.

Instant Pot LUX:  this 2nd generation model is the most basic.  It will pressure cook (on high only), slow cook, steam, cook rice, saute, and keep warm.  It also has a manual button that you can set it for whatever time you like.  (the original model was the CGX and is no longer in production). Main Features: high pressure, saute, slow cook, steam, makes rice, keeps warm, stainless steel inner pot. Available in 3, 6, and 8-quart.


Instant Pot DUO:  this one has all the same features is the LUX above, plus an additional yogurt feature (and the pressure can be set on low or high). Main Features: makes yogurt, high pressure, low pressure, saute, slow cook, steams, make rice, keeps warm, makes yogurt, stainless steel inner pot, lid rests in handle, Available in 3, 6, and 8-quart.


Instant Pot DUO PLUS:  this one is the same as the DUO above, but it also has a sterilize function, and egg and cake programs.  This one also has a bigger, brighter LED display. Main Features: makes yogurt, low pressure, high pressure, saute, slow cooks, steams, makes rice, keeps warm, stainless steel inner pot, lid rest in handle, sterilizes. Available in 3, 6, and 8-quart.


Instant Pot NOVA PLUS:  this model is a DUO and DUO PLUS hybrid, including the bigger, brighter LED display, but without the sterilize, egg, and cake functions.  This model was originally designed to be sold at Costco. Main Features: makes yogurt, low pressure, high pressure, saute, slow cooks, steams, makes rice, keeps warm, stainless steel inner pot, lid rest in handle. Available only in 6-quart.


Instant Pot ULTRA:  this one is similar to the DUO PLUS above, but the functions are all customizable.  You can cook on high or low pressure; steam with or without pressure; set the temperature from 104-208F; set the time from 1 minute to 6 hours; set a delay timer; turn off the keep warm feature... it also has the ability to memorize custom settings.  Main Features: self-closing pressure valve, cooks at any temperature, makes yogurt, low pressure, high pressure, saute, slow cooks, steams, makes rice, keeps warm, stainless steel inner pot, lid rest in handle, sterilizes. Available in 3, 6, and 8-quart.


Instant Pot SMART WIFI:  this one is similar to the DUO above, but it has 3 keep warm temperatures.  The wifi feature enables you to keep track of the progress of your IP using your iPhone or android.  You can also program the app with custom cook times, but the wifi feature is limited to a range of 30-45 feet from the IP.  This model only comes in the 6-quart size. Main Features: cooks at any temperature, makes yogurt, low pressure, high pressure, saute, slow cooks, steams, makes rice, keeps warm, stainless steel inner pot, lid rest in handle, cooks at different temperatures sequentially via script, write, share, or download recipe scripts. Available only in 6-quart.


Instant Pot MAX:  this one is the newest model and the manufacturer claims it is faster and reaches a higher pressure than the other models (10-15% faster).  The higher pressure of this model simulates stovetop pressure cooking more accurately than the other IPs.  This model is the only one that reportedly reaches high enough pressure to pressure can. Main Features: reaches maximum pressure (15psi), automatically releases pressure, self-closing pressure valve, cooks at any temperature, makes yogurt, low pressure, high pressure, saute, slow cooks, steams, makes rice, keeps warm, stainless steel inner pot, lis rest in handle. Available only in 6-quart.


Instant Pot GEM:  although this is officially an "instant pot", it does NOT pressure cook. This is a slow cooker/multi cooker.   You can saute, slow cook (high or low), cook rice, bake, steam, roast, and stew in it.  It doesn't pressure cook or make yogurt, and the lining has a nonstick coating instead of being a stoneware crock like traditional slow cookers.  Main Features: saute, slow cooks, steams, makes rice, keeps warm. Available only in 6-quart.

To Recap - If you want just the basics, get the LUX.  If you want the basics with the additional yogurt function, I suggest the DUO.  If you want the basics with yogurt, egg, and cake functions, pick the DUO PLUS.  If you're a techie, chose the SMART WIFI.  If you want complete control over all the temps, times, sounds, etc - go for the ULTRA.  If you want the most time efficient, with the ability to pressure can, get the MAX.

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