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Remembers previous settings
Three temperature levels
Precise temperature control
Comes with minimal accessories
The DUO line of Instant Pot pressure cookers includes one special button that many home users are enamored with—the yogurt button. While it’s fairly simple to make yogurt without a special appliance, the Instant Pot makes the process even easier, since it automatically keeps the yogurt culture at the proper temperature for incubation without any user intervention. After testing this feature on several occasions, our tester was convinced: "I never had to click on the sauté button to get it to reach the optimal temperature," she says.
This cooker has programs for soup and broth, meat and stew, beans and chili, poultry, sauté, steam, rice, porridge, multigrain, slow cook, keep warm, and yogurt. If you don’t want to use a program, you can choose two levels of pressure, three sauté temperatures, or three slow cook temperatures. Cooking can be delayed for up to 24 hours, while manual cooking can be set for up to 2 hours. This comes with a stainless steel steam rack, a rice paddle, and a soup spoon.
"The device has its temperature and pressure sensors dialed in, resulting in precise results when cooking." — Danielle Centoni, Product Tester
Pre-programmed settings cook food perfectly
Inner pot is dishwasher safe
Can prepare virtually any dish
The Instant Pot LUX models are the most affordable of the product families, yet they’re loaded with features. Overall, the 6-quart models are the most popular, since they’re the perfect size to cook dinner for an average family.
The LUX V3 includes a cake program and an egg program, which were not on earlier models, as well as programs for soup and broth, meat and stew, sautéing, cooking rice, multigrain cooking, making porridge, and steaming. You can pressure cook up to four hours and slow cook with your own settings, and you can keep food warm for up to 10 hours. Our tester, who is relative Instant Pot newbie, found the Keep Warm function particularly useful when she set a lentil curry to cook and then left for the day. "Lentils can either be notoriously mushy or completely undercooked when done on a stovetop, but mine were cooked slightly al dente, which is exactly what I was aiming for," she says. This pot also has a 24-hour delayed start for food that can be safely kept at room temperature for that time.
This comes with a stainless steel steaming rack, a rice paddle, a soup spoon, and a measuring cup.
"When in doubt, trust the Instant Pot’s pre-programmed settings to cook your meal correctly." — Caroline Goldstein, Product Tester
Has an adjustment setting for high-altitude cooking
Includes cooking progress indicator
Adjustable temperature for sous vide cooking
Quick-release button not intuitive
This Instant Pot works as a sous vide cooker by keeping the water at a specific temperature throughout the cooking time. The larger size gives more space for the food inside its sous vide bags, with enough water to keep the temperature steady.
Another unique feature on this model is the ability to set your altitude. Recipes are usually written for people who live near sea level, so altitude-dwellers need to do some math and adjust the cooking time every time they cook. This Instant Pot makes adjustments unnecessary, since you simply set the altitude, and the cooker makes adjustments automatically.
This cooker has a dial and a digital display, so you select the program and press to select pressure cooking, soups and broth, meat and stew, beans and chili, steam, slow cook, saute, warm, rice, porridge, multigrain, cake, egg, sterilize, and yogurt. The Ultra button lets you customize your cooking.
The pressure settings and temperature are easy to see at a glance, along with whether the cooking delay, keep warm, or sound alerts are on or off. A new quick-release button for venting lets you manually pulse or continuously release steam, and it resets to sealing if the lid is opened and closed. An added bonus for our tester was how the lid's handles are designed to fit in the pot's side handles: "I liked this design, as it meant that I didn’t need to find a place on the counter to set the lid while I was working," she raves.
The accessories included with this model are a steam rack, serving spoon, soup spoon, and measuring cup.
"I used this cooker for every meal, aside from the occasional lettuce leaf, and I didn’t have a single failure." — Donna Currie, Product Tester
Easy to use
Can be tricky to empty air basket
Electric pressure cookers already have plenty of programs and functions, but this one adds something completely different: an air fryer function. Thanks to a separate lid that houses the heater and fan, along with a special basket to hold the food and allow airflow all around, the pressure cooker pot turns into an air fryer for making perfect wings, French fries, and grilled cheese sandwiches.
The 8-quart size means it’s possible to fit a whole chicken into the pot so it can be pressure cooked quickly, then air fried for the crisp skin that everyone loves. Along with the usual pressure cooking, this can sauté, steam, slow cook, and even do sous vide cooking. With the air fryer lid attached, it can roast, bake, broil, and dehydrate. Those in households of two find it makes just the right amount of food for a meal and some leftovers. If the Instant Pot doesn’t give you enough space to dehydrate the bounty from your garden, perhaps you need a full-size dehydrator.
Includes cake, egg, and sterilize features
Some say instructions could be more detailed
A new version of the original DUO, this has an updated look with a blue LCD screen, a more intuitive interface, and four status icons that show when cooking is in progress when pressure is selected, and whether keep-warm and sounds are on or off.
This also has new programs: cake, egg, and sterilize, along with the original soup and broth, meat and stew, bean and chili, slow cook, sauté, rice, multigrain, porridge, steam, yogurt, and pressure cook. The sterilize feature will be boon for busy moms who want to easily sterilize baby bottles, or it can be used for preparing canning jars or pasteurizing milk before making yogurt. The new cake programs produce moist cakes, while the egg program will give you perfectly cooked eggs that are easy to peel. This includes a steam rack, a serving spoon, a soup spoon, and a measuring cup.
Many say it cooks meat well
Does not come with manual or cookbook
At a whopping 10 quarts, this is the Instant Pot that large families will turn to for their main dishes, soups, and stews. It’s also great for anyone who likes to cook meals ahead for freezing, and it’s perfect for holidays, dinner parties, and potlucks. This has the typical buttons for pressure cooking, slow cooking, sautéing, and steaming, along with presets for rice, yogurt, porridge, soup/broth, meat/stew, bean/chili, and poultry. Of course, it also can be set manually for high or low pressure for any pressure cooker recipes.
Has a high-altitude adjustment
Convenient pressure valve design
Manual could be more detailed
When cooking for just one person, a 6-quart cooker can be overkill. This 3-quart cooker is the perfect size for smaller portions and it takes less space to store, too. While this is small, it doesn’t skimp on features, so it can do everything the larger models can, including sautéing, steaming, and making yogurt. It also has altitude adjustment, so folks that live at high altitudes can adjust the machine rather than converting recipes.
Several customers think that this pot's new lid design gives it an edge over other models. It automatically sets the steam release valve to the sealed position, so there’s no need to double-check the valve to make sure it’s set before cooking. While this is great for singles, it’s also a great size for families who want a second Instant Pot for cooking side dishes while their larger Instant Pot is busy with the main dish.
Comes up to temperature and pressure quickly
Temp goes down quickly at the end of cooking
Does not include recipe book
The Evo Plus is an updated version of the much-loved and very popular Instant Pot Duo, and the new features are definitely worth a look. While pressure cookers are fast, this speeds up the cooking process even more—in two ways. First, the 1200-watt heating element can preheat the pot faster, getting food up to temperature quicker and getting the pot up to pressure faster. Second, the proprietary QuickCool technology gets the temperature down faster at the end of cooking so the lid can be released faster, whether you’re adding more food to the pot or whether cooking is done. In addition to how quickly it cooks, customers also gave the Evo Plus high marks for how easy it is to use and clean, its silicone handles, and its sturdy construction.
To make cooking easier there are 48 presets, so there is no need to look up cooking times for commonly cooked foods like ribs, potatoes, cheesecake, or eggs, and there are even settings for proofing, fermenting, pasteurizing, and sterilizing. Of course, it can also be set manually, and it has easy buttons for sautéing, slow cooking, sous vide, and more. While this might still be a Duo, it’s not the old Duo.
Compatible with Alexa
Linked app has more than 1,100 recipes
Lets you monitor cooking remotely
Some have had issues connecting to wifi
Of course, no one needs to control their pressure cooker over wifi, but that doesn’t mean we don’t want to. And let’s face it, it’s great to be able to glance at an app to see how much cooking time is left while we’re trying to decide if there’s time to mow the lawn before the food is ready. The app that controls this Instant Pot offers over 1,100 recipes, including vegan and vegetarian, and they're easy to follow. The pot is also compatible with Alexa devices, so you can simply ask Alexa how much cooking time is left.
This has 13 smart programs for soup/broth, meat/stew, bean/chili, cake, slow cook, sauté, rice, multigrain, porridge, steam, yogurt, pressure cook, and warm, along with manual controls for pressure cooking, so it can handle all of your favorite pressure cooker recipes. This is a 6-quart pressure cooker, so it’s a convenient size for most home cooks.
The Instant Pot DUO60 6 Quart is our top choice: it's affordable, easy to use, and features impressively precise temperature control. Plus, its yogurt function is a standout. If you're looking for a sous vide cooker, try the Instant Pot Ultra 10-In-1 Pressure Cooker. Though it's more pricey, it comes with a clearer user interface and adjustable temperature for cooking sous vide.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Donna Currie is a cookbook author and writer for The Spruce Eats. Having tested both the Instant Pot Ultra 10-in-1 Pressure Cooker (for this roundup) and the Instant Pot Lux Mini 6-in-1 Pressure Cooker, she knows what to look for in an Instant Pot model: versatility, an intuitive design, and consistent results.
Size: The size of your ideal Instant Pot will depend not just on how much counter and storage space you have, but also how much you want to cook at once. Some miniature versions will serve up to three quarts, while larger ones will hold up to eight.
Versatility: While some Instant Pots just offer basic functionality, others have modes for making specific foods (such as yogurt, cakes, or eggs) or various cooking options, such as steaming. Also, look for features like delayed cooking.
Cost: Instant Pots can come at a number of price points. How much you should spend will depend on how much you think you’ll use yours, how much you cook, and how fancy you want to get. If you’re just dipping your toes into the world of Instant Pots and only cook rarely, you may want to start with a basic, more affordable model. If you know you’ll use yours on a regular basis, you might want to invest more to get the features you want.