Review of the Instant Pot Max
The Instant Pot Max is scheduled to be released on the market by the end of January. You might recognize this brand for its astonishing multi-functional cookers. The pressure threshold of this newest model is much more than the threshold of other products made by the company. The Instant Pot Max also has an automatic steam release feature and better canning functions. Most notably, there is a new technology introduced into the unit called NutriBoost. This technology is designed to move around the food inside the cooking pot so that the motion matches the movement of the boiling water.
The only downside is that it costs more than most other Instant Pot products. To see the how the Instant Pot Max compares to other similar products on the market, continue reading below.
• Touchscreen Controls – The previous Instant Pot model had a huge digital screen that looked nice, but it was not a touch screen. The Instant Pot Max has both a nice big screen and a touchscreen ability. You’ll find the most important cooking options are available with the Max, such as Pressure Cook, Yogurt, Canning, Soup, Slow Cook, Rice, Sauté, and Sous Vide. Also, the display screen will provide you with up-to-date information about the unit, such as the pot’s internal temperature. Along the top of the screen, there is a progress bar which lets you know how close the food is to being done. When you need to vent the food, whether it’s a whole fast release or an intermittent release, you can initiate this function with the touch screen too.
• Programmable – The days of manual venting are over. The Instant Pot Max lets you program your venting and pressure cooking before activating the cooker. Once the cooking time has expired, the venting will automatically begin. This means you don’t need to wait around and watch it anymore.
• Detachable Cord – A convenient update which allows you to easily store the cooker because the cord is no longer permanently attached. Now you’ll have more room for storage.
• NutriBoost – This is a new feature which stirs your food for you in the pot. It tries to move the food around quickly to match the movements of the boiling water in the pot. This is supposed to help cook the food better, especially if you’re preparing broth, rice, or dried beans.
• Pressure Canning – If you want to do canning in small batches, then you’ll love this feature of the Instant Pot Max. Just be sure to use recipes which are meant for pressure canning. Don’t do more than four jars (16 oz. each) at one time.
• Sous Vide – The NutriBoost feature and the internal thermometer of the Instant Pot Max allows it to be sous vide machine. You will love the slow cooker feature of this pot because it seems better than it does in the other models that came before it.
• Mute Sound Alerts – The digital sound alerts used to make sounds in previous models. The Instant Pot Max lets you mute these sound alerts. That way, you can quietly cook your food without disturbing anyone around you.
When trying various recipes in the Instant Pot Max, they came out better than they did in the Instant Pot Duo. The pot heated quicker with the updated heating elements inside it, both for the pressure cooker and sauté modes. Plus, the Max is more attractive with lots of updated features, and it can be cleaned easily. With that being said, there are some issues with it that you might want to consider.
• New Things to Learn – The Instant Pot Duo let you begin cooking immediately since there was no LCD screen. You just had buttons on display that you pushed to make things happen. As for the Instant Pot Max, you need to learn how to control the venting properly or else the food will get overcooked. This requires you to read the instructions beforehand.
• More to Clean – There is a valve inside the lid which you can remove to clean. You might be annoyed with these kinds of small parts that you need to take off and clean.
• Bigger Pot Size – The outward slope on the front side allows you to see the LCD screen better and read everything. While this might sound good, it still creates a bigger footprint in comparison to the Instant Pot Duo.
• Bad Steamer Rack – The Instant Pot Max has an updated design for its steamer rack which is not that great. The Duo was able to easily hold jars and eggs. Unfortunately, it is more difficult for the Max to hold jars and eggs. If you care about this older feature, you can purchase this classic design over the internet.
Display Screen – The Instant Pot Max is certainly bigger and heavier than the Instant Pot Ultra and Instant Pot Max Duo. However, the Instant Pot Max has a superior control panel which is user-friendly and simple to operate. There aren’t as many presets available. You just have the yogurt, canning, rice, and soup presets. If you like to have more control over your cooking and venting, then you will like the Instant Pot Max. Also, the display screen provides information about the status of the pot and the cooking.
Speed – The Instant Pot Max contains 1100 watts. This allows it to create 15 psi of pressure. Previous Instant Pot units could only produce 12 psi with 1,000 watts. However, the Instant Pot Max didn’t pressurize any faster than the Ultra or Max models when tested and compared. The results showed that it takes 1.5 minutes more for the Max to achieve the desired pressure and four additional seconds to release quickly. This shows the Instant Pot Ultra is faster.
Sous Vid – A comparison was made between the sous vide function of the Instant Pot Max and the ChefSteps Joule immersion circulator. In this experiment, 4 quarts of water was used in each device. It took the Instant Pot Max approximately 47 minutes to get up to 140°F while the ChefSteps Joule only took 12 minutes. Both thermometers readings displayed 140°F too.
Canning – The Instant Pot Max uses 15 psi to increase its temperatures, which is great for canning foods with low acidity levels. However, you cannot check the temperature inside it while the pressurization is active. The only thing you can do is observe the temperature on the display screen, although it is not always accurate. Remember that you need 250°F to kill bacteria. If you don’t know the true temperature, then you shouldn’t take the risk of canning with the Max.
NutriBoost– This new function stirs food automatically. Steam is released at irregular intervals to move the food ingredients inside the pot. NutriBoost prevents rice and other ingredients from attaching to the bottom. Not only that, the texture stays creamy and smooth when you’re cooking risotto. If you want to soften meat or vegetables and mix them with soup, then you will appreciate this feature even more. Ultimately, the texture of your food will be better with the Instant Pot Max because of its NutriBoost feature.
Quick Release Automation – Quick release automation might seem convenient, but there are some functionality issues to consider. For instance, you need to open the lid after the quick release cycle finishes or else the pressure builds again inside. To get out of this situation, you need to reprogram the cooker to let the pressure be released. Therefore, remove the lid right away. But when you put the lid back on, it will reseal back onto the pot. So, make sure you have finished everything in the pot first before putting the lid back on.
Touchscreen – The Instant Pot Max has a great touchscreen feature which makes it easier to operate and control than other multi-functional pressure cookers on the market. There is also an automatic pressure release valve that enables you to manage how pressure is released, such as altogether, naturally, or in small spurts. Now you no longer need to manually twist the valve to release the pressure.
The Instant Pot Max will be sold for $200 in stores when it is released. Previous Instant Pot models are $50 less in price. But if you’re interested in the latest features, such as the sous vide and canning, then the extra cost will be worth it. On the other hand, if you only care about the classic pressure cooking and slow cooking features, you should just keep your current Instant Pot models and save money.
Things to Notice
The Instant Pot Max is supposedly capable of 15 PSI, but cooking times were not affected when tested. Compared to other models of Instant Pot, the performance of Max was the same. So, you shouldn’t spend more money on the latest model if you already own a previous model. The Max gives you all the necessities that you’ll need. The only minor issues it has are slightly inaccurate cooking times and an ordinary sauté function.
Instant Pot Max Review
The Instant Pot Max slow cooks and pressure cooks the same as other Instant Pots. The big difference with the Max is its two new functions; sous vide and canning. There are some other small conveniences added too. Remember this if sous vide and canning are things you don’t care about. Then you can just keep what you have until it stops working.
When the Instant Pot Max was first introduced, its internal pressure capabilities seemed quite impressive. It was believed that cooking times would be quicker because of it. However, tests showed that cooking times were still the same with it. White rice was tested under pressure cooking as well as the pre-heating and pressure releasing that surrounds it. The results showed that it took 29 minutes to prepare the rice. When pork spareribs were cooked, it took 1 hour and 15 minutes to prepare. As for beans, that took more than 1.5 hours. Manufacturers tend to put PSI level labels on their boxes based on preheat cycle tests only. That might explain why the Instant Pot Max is advertised as having a higher PSI than older Instant Pot models.
The Instant Pot Max functions the same as the previous models. It can do rice cooking, steaming, slow cooking, and sautéing all the same. The sous vide function is new and does a good job if you like to use it. Some people claim the sous vide function of the Max has inaccurate temperature readings, but my test didn’t show this. Just try out a recipe that interests you by putting the ingredients in the pot and pressing a few different buttons to begin the cooking process. You will likely be happy with the results.
The new automated pressure relief valve is a good new feature. It allows you to set various pressure relief functions. That way, you aren’t required to twist the relief valve to release the pressure manually. Instead, you can let it come out naturally, entirely, or in small bursts. The touchscreen helps make this happen faster.
The Instant Pot Max was advertised as having automated stirring capabilities in various publications, making risotto so much easier to prepare. Unfortunately, this didn’t turn out to be true because the Max doesn’t have this function available. The closest thing to this function is the NutriBoost feature, which recreates the motion of the boiling water as it moves around the food in the pot with pressurized steam.
The food prepared in the Instant Pot Max was delicious. The cooking time is reduced when cooking certain types of foods and ingredients. Most people will have their cooking needs met with this appliance. The only downside is when you try to create crusts with your foods, but most people don’t care about that.
You will need to pay more money for the Instant Pot Max if you want to take advantage of its latest features. If the sous vide something that interests you, then an investment in the upgrade will be worth it. Separate sous vide device would cost you about $200 anyway, so you might as well get a multicooker like the Max which does sous to vide and many other cooking functions too. But if you just want to stick with the basic functions, then keep your Instant Pot Ultra and save the extra money. The touchscreen of the Max is superior, though, but not enough to make it worth upgrading and spending the extra money. The choice depends on your specific needs.
- Sustained 15psi, not only cooks food faster, you can now do home pressure canning;
- Large touch screen makes programming seamless, you can set time, temperature, pressure level, delay start and warm;
- NutriBoost technology works by creating a boiling motion during pressure cook to break down food, adding nutrition, flavor, and taste to soups and bone broth;
- Altitude adjustment, eliminates the guesswork from your recipe conversion to provide a more precise cooking time;
- UL certified with 13 Safety features, new automated venting and lid-lock and more.Accurate temperature control within +/- 1°C or 1.8 °F allows for sous vide cooking