Instant Pot DUO60 Pressure Cooker Review
I first heard of the Instant Pot a few years back when I read a poll about people’s favorite slow cookers. Rather than seeing a traditional slow cooker take the lead, I was surprised to see all the praise heaped on the Instant Pot. I’d never even heard of an Instant Pot before. Of course, these days you can’t open up a cooking website or magazine without hearing about them.
A few months after that initial introduction, I bought and reviewed my first Instant Pot. I was excited and curious about it but went into it with a healthy amount of disbelief and skepticism. After all, is it possible for one appliance to do the job of seven? After using it for myself, I decided to write a quick follow-up report. Here are my thoughts on the Instant Pot after using it for eight months.
What Is the Instant Pot?
The Instant Pot is a multi-use cooker that can work as a slow cooker, rice cooker, electric pressure cooker, yogurt maker, steamer, sauté/browning pan, and even a warming pot. This single appliance can do the job of around seven different appliances and tools. That sounds impressive, no? I don’t know about you guys, but I can say I don’t have the storage space for seven different appliances.
To be frank, I initially thought there was no way the Instant Pot could deliver on those promises. I was preparing for the device to malfunction, if not stop working outright, pretty quickly. I felt it was just a matter of time before it happened.
Except that didn’t happen.
As I looked through the instruction manual and started setting the Instant Pot to task, something happened I would never have expected; the more that I used the Instant Pot, the more I enjoyed actively using it. I finally stopped expecting the worst to happen and started to rely on the device for cooking my weekly staples such as lentils, dried beans, brown rice, and hard-boiled eggs.
How I Use my Instant Pot
I primarily use my Instant Pot as a slow cooker and pressure cooker. I’ll sometimes use it the pot to warm or sauté food, depending on the recipe, and every so often I’ll use it as a rice cooker. Those are the functions that fit into my lifestyle best and are the foods I make on a regular basis. The Instant Pot can also be used for making yogurt, but I’ve not tried that function for myself yet.
This one handy appliance has made cooking much faster and more convenient. Even my husband has been using it lately! I love being able to cook steel-cut oats and have them for breakfast in a fraction of the time I’d need to cook them on a stove, make rice in minutes for a quick stir-fry, or slow-cook stews. It’s even replaced my slow cooker, which has now been taken out of the kitchen.
There came the point during the eight months where, without even realizing it was happening, I fell in love with the Instant Pot. I went from being skeptical about it to understand why and how it gets so much praise, and I’ve found myself feeling that way about it too.
Breakdown of the Instant Pot DUO60
The Instant Pot is a highly versatile and well-performing appliance. Just about everyone who purchases the Instant Pot DUO60 programmable pressure cooker is satisfied with their purchase. They find themselves wondering how they ever dealt without it, mentioning how it was able to perfectly cook meat, vegetables, risotto, and other foods quickly and efficiently. Many people say that the Instant Pot works as a great rice cooker and slow cooker, as well as a pressure cooker. Testing of the device would appear to back up those claims.
The editors at Good Housekeeping did their roundup of the device, saying that it was the only electric pressure cooker they had seen that prepared rice, as well as a dedicated rice cooker, did. They added it aced the usual slow cooker tests they have. It was able to perform just as well under testing from Wirecutter, offering great results for everything from sautéing to slow cooking. The testing at Reviews.com found similar results, saying the Instant Pot DUO60 offered perfectly cooked meals no matter the setting. Consumer Reports, testing the appliance to see if it could do the job of seven appliances, found that there was just one time a dedicated appliance was able to do a better job. That was steaming. Most owners are thrilled to bits with the yogurt making feature, which they say is worth the price of investment alone.
• Ease of Use
There is a small learning curve to the Instant Pot DUO60. During testing with Wirecutter, Lesley Stockholm found the Instant Pot looks complex, but it’s really easy to figure out. Many people agree, but they do make a note of a poor instruction book that doesn’t offer much helpful information. However, the Instant Pot has proven so popular that there’s an almost endless amount of online resources where users can download instructions and recipes, including instructional videos that provide a visual walkthrough of how to use your Instant Pot.
It’s said that the Instant Pot DUO60 is simple to wash and – as a stainless steel cooking pot is dishwasher protected. There is a lid peace on the pot, something that has been appreciated by several reviewers. One problem we found when it comes to ease of use came from J. Kenji López-Alt of Serious Eats. He said that the interface of the cooker wasn’t intuitive enough because of all the buttons and preset options. He also noted it’s hard to tell if the cooker is doing what it has been programmed to do because of the poor LCD feedback. He recommends being patient with the device and waiting for the small beep that lets you know cooking has begun.
There were very few complaints on this front. The 6-quart version of the Instant Pot DUO60 was released in 2014, and there have been very few complaints about durability or the appliance breaking since then, even when people use it several times a week. The inner pot is made from a 3-ply food-grade stainless steel interior; something that is unique to electronic pressure cookers as most of them is covered with non-stick materials, a deal-breaker for those looking to avoid chemical coatings. There is one problem that we did see; some reviewers, even people who gave the cooker a 5-star rating, noted that the gasket smells after making something with a strong flavor, and it can be difficult to get rid of the smell. Some said they had to buy another gasket, the Instant Pot Sealing Ring, to have one for regular meals and one for flavored items. The gasket isn’t covered under the 1-year warranty.
We found the Instant Pot to be an affordable and beloved device that allows for cooking all manner of things. Just don’t let yourself get carried away and assume it can replace everything in your kitchen, though maybe it could replace the oven if it’s too hot for cooking.
• Are there better alternatives?
If you’re after something that cooks more accurately, there’s also the Instant Pot Ultra. The Ultra model gives better temperature control. There are several other multi-cookers out there too, including the T-Fal 10-in-1, which we’ve found can cook a wide variety of dishes and goes for around $100.
• How long does it last?
Thanks to the stainless-steel exterior and bowl, the Instant Pot makes for a sturdy countertop appliance that is sure to last you for several years.
• Should I get it?
We think you should. We expect the Instant Pot will work great for people that don’t have an endless array of counter-top appliances as it replaces the need for several individual devices. However, if you have a cluttered counter-top packed with a slow cooker, rice cooker, and more, you might not be interested in adding some extra clutter. Just keep in mind that newcomers could see some failures before learning how to utilize the Instant Pot DUO60 properly.
- Duo, the number 1 selling multi-cooker, combines 7 kitchen appliances in 1, Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Sauté, Yogurt Marker and Warmer, prepares dishes up to 70% faster to support your busy lifestyle
- Features 14 Smart Programs - Soup, Meat/Stew, Bean/Chili, Poultry, Sauté/Simmer, Rice, Multigrain, Porridge, Steam, Slow Cook, Keep Warm, Yogurt, Manual, and Pressure Cook. Now, your favorite dishes are as easy as pressing a button
- Healthy, stainless steel (18/8) inner cooking pot made from food grade 304, no chemical coating, 3-ply bottom for even heat distribution, fully sealed environment traps the flavours, nutrients and aromas within the food
- Built with the latest 3rd generation technology, the microprocessor monitors pressure, temperature, keeps time, and adjusts heating intensity and duration to achieve your desired results every time.Product Dimensions: 14.17 x 14.84 x 13.31 inches
- UL and ULC certified with 10 safety mechanisms to provide you with added assurance, designed to eliminate many common errors.Accessories include, stainless steel steam rack with handles, rice paddle, soup spoon, measuring cup, condensation collector and recipe booklet