The Instant Pot vs. The Power Pressure Cooker XL
Are you on the lookout for the ultimate pressure cooker?
Today will be comparing two of the most powerful options on the market, The Instant Pot, and The Power Pressure Cooker XL, so you can decide for yourself which one you’d like to have in your kitchen.
Full disclaimer: It’s virtually impossible to find the perfect pressure cooker that will satisfy all of your wants and needs. Every model has features you’ll dislike, or that could be better, but the good news is there are many wonderful choices out there that can be precisely what you need. Neither of them can do everything, but of course, they still offer a lot of value for your money!
What is an Instant Pot?
An Instant Pot is, to keep things simple, a programmable electronic pressure cooker packed full of functionality. It’s the next generation of pressure cookers unlike anything seen before.
While I’ve had my Instant Pot for a while, I’ve yet to try out of all these different functions. It’s mostly used as a pressure cooker here, and now I’m making most slow-cooker recipes in our Instant Pot.
It’s advertised as being a single kitchen appliance that can do the jobs of seven different gadgets. It’s a rice cooker, a steamer, a yogurt maker, and a pressure cooker all in one.
Basically; it’s a fancy pressure cooker that gets the job done well.
The Pros and Cons of the Instant Pot
The Instant Pot managed to meet the criteria of having several uses, so I decided it was time to put it through its paces. It’s quickly become a popular tool in my kitchen, and I get a lot of use out of it.
- Instant Pot Lux 6 qt multi-cooker, combines 6 kitchen appliances in 1, Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Sauté, Steamer, and Warmer, prepares dishes up to 70% faster to support your busy lifestyle
- Built with the latest 3rd generation microprocessor technology, up to 240 minutes pressure-cooking up to 24 hours delay start, automatic Keep Warm up to 10 hours, 3 temperatures in Saute & Slow Cook
- 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 flavors, nutrients and aromas within the food
- Power supply: 120V - 60Hz
- Power: 1000 watts
The Pros of the Instant Pot
• All Stainless Interior
Unlike other electronic pressure cookers, an Instant Pot is made with a stainless steel interior. The only part of the appliance that touches food is this steel. The exterior is made from other materials like plastic, but those parts never touch food, and it doesn’t contain Teflon or other non-stick surfaces.
• Multiple Uses
Given that this is a multi-use gadget, it could potentially replace your rice cooker, slow cooker, steamer, and sauté pan. I’ve had my friends tell me that they rarely use their oven and stove anymore because of how much use they get from their Instant Pots. I couldn’t see my Instant Pot replacing my cooker or stove, but I feel it could if I had to use it that way; such as if those appliances malfunctioned.
• Replaces a Slow Cooker
Our Instant Pot has practically replaced our slow cooker. I’m considering getting rid of the crockpot too as this appliance works much faster and generally gives better results. I could see those with small kitchens finding an Instant Pot useful as it can replace several kitchen appliances and save a lot of room.
The Instant Pot saves a lot of time, which could be one of the main benefits. It’s able to cook something that would take 6-8 hours in a slow cooker in just one hour. Thanks to this handy appliance, I can put together a roast dinner in only 40 minutes. That’s helpful on the days that no one is home during the day and we need to put together something fast in the evening (or I forget to defrost food or put it in the slow cooker.)
• Great Price Point
An Instant Pot is going to set you back more than the average single-use kitchen appliance like a rice cooker or a slow cooker, but it is very cost effective when used to replace those other gadgets. I was able to get mine at half price, and I can say that it has paid for itself with the time and space savings.
This advantage is something else that puts the Instant Pot ahead of most slow cookers. Given that it cooks so quickly, there are times I put food in the cooker before I need it, ready to go. The Instant Pot can be programmed for up to 24 hours and has several pre-programmed options built in for ease of use.
• Energy Efficient
Much like a typical pressure cooker, the heat source is a built-in electronic one. It doesn’t need a gas or electric stove, making it more energy efficient. I also feel that it is safer and easier to use because it is self-regulated.
• Easy to Clean
Given that the inside of the cooking bowl is made from stainless steel, the Instant Pot is pretty easy to clean by hand and is dishwasher friendly.
The Cons of the Instant Pot
• The Upfront Cost
As mentioned before, the price point for the Instant Pot seems reasonable considering that it replaces other appliances, but this doesn’t change the fact it costs around $200. I regretted not registering for this when I got married instead of other appliances, as that would have saved a lot of money. No doubt this cost will seem even higher if, like me, you’ve already got the appliances the Instant Pot can replace. It’s hard to justify buying something when you feel you already have one of them.
• The Learning Curve
I’ve been a little scared of using pressure cookers since one of my relatives got some severe burns on her face following an accident with one. The Instant Pot seems like it’s easier to use than a pressure cooker, but it is still a new way to cook and that comes with a learning curve. I was able to get comfortable with the appliance after a few uses, but I’d have to recommend looking through the instruction manual – which is pretty short – before trying the appliance. It doesn’t feel intuitive for the first few uses, but you shouldn’t have any problems learning how to use it effectively.
• Lower PSI
Your average stove-top pressure cooker has a PSI of around 15. Electric pressure cookers, such as the Instant Pot, run at between 10 and 12 PSI. This can be something of an advantage as well as a disadvantage, as electric cookers generally have built-in feedback to improve their efficiency. They can cook a little bit slower than a stovetop model, but they are easier to use, and they don’t need to be monitored. That said, if you consider speed to be a major factor, keep in mind the Instant Pot can take up to 10 minutes longer to cook a recipe.
The Instant Pot can be considered much safer than other kinds of pressure cookers, but that doesn’t change the fact it is a pressure cooker. It can release a lot of steam and can cause burns if not used properly. I’ve not had any trouble like this myself, and I haven’t found stories about people that got hurt when misusing the Instant Pot, but I’m careful about using it with the kids around. I keep mine to the back of the corner out of the reach of little ones so they can’t mess with it.
The Instant Pot Line
The Instant Pot is one of the giants on the pressure cooker market today, and they offer a wide variety of series and models that feature all kinds of different characteristics. Let’s take a look:
● The Instant Pot LUX series
This series features two models, The IP-LUX50 and the IP-LUX60. The IP-LUX50 has 12 built-in programs, 5.28-quart volume, and 900 wattages, while the IP-LUX60 has 14 integrated programs, 6.33-quart volume, and 1000 wattage.
● The Instant Pot DUO series
This series includes three main models, the IP-DUO50, DUO60, and DUO80. The DUO50 offers wattage of 900 and 5-quart volume, the DUO60 provides wattage of 1000 and 6-quart volume, and the DUO80 offers wattage of 1200 and 8-quart volume. What they all have in common is that they all have dual pressure settings and it’s possible to make yogurt with all of them.
● The Instant Pot Smart
This series only features one model, and it’s the latest Instant Pot product on the market. It’s one of the most advanced options on the market, and it can do everything the LUX and DUO models can, but they take it up a notch by including a programmable app that can be linked to the cooker via Bluetooth, which will allow you to control the temperature and duration of the cooking.
● The Instant Pot DUO PLUS
This series also features only one model, and it shares the Instant Pot DUO specifications that I mentioned above, but on top of that, we have a sterilize function and an “egg” and “cake” program.
All in all, the Instant Pot line offers quite a lot of variety and every model can satisfy the needs of the standard user without any trouble. What’s more, they’re always innovating, which means that the Instant Pot pressure cookers are only getting better.
The Power Pressure Cooker XL
The PPC XL is a series that features four pressure cookers that are all very popular on the market and users are pleased with them because they have quite a bit to offer.
The four pressure cookers are: The Power Pressure Cooker device XL 6 quart, which features a volume of 6 quarts and wattage of 1000, The Power Pressure Cooker device XL 8 quart, which features a volume of 8 quarts and wattage of 1300, The Power Pressure Cooker device XL 8 quart deluxe, with the same specs of the XL 8 quart but with the addition of flavor infusion technology, and finally The Power Pressure Cooker device XL 10 quart, which features a volume of 10 quarts and wattage of 1600.
While most reviews of the power pressure cooker were favorable, there are some red flags to be aware of.
The first of these are the longer cooking times, lack of a steam rack, and the short warranty. It makes for a less versatile device that offers fewer reassurances than some other products we tested.
The power pressure cooker is ideal for those who want a small and simple device able to feed a 4-6 people. It’s simple to use and doesn’t require constant checking the manual to know how to program and use it. It’s also available in larger sizes if you have more people you need to find.
- POWER COOKING: The Power Pressure Cooker XL locks in precious nutrients and vitamins in food, infuses meat and seafood with intense flavor without added fat, and makes vegetables tender crisp, keeping fibers intact.
- FLAVOR: Succulent, slow-cooked meals, 10 times faster. The Power Pressure Cooker XL saves time and energy. It's economical, since it cooks even cheaper cuts of meat to juicy perfection.
- AIR-TIGHT: The secret is the Power Pressure Cooker XLs air-tight lid. It locks into place, trapping super-heated steam inside. The hyper-pressurized environment forces liquid and moisture into your food, locking in loads of intense flavor and essential nutrients.
- ONE-TOUCH: Now you can cook all of your favorite homemade meals with just the push of a button. In a fraction of the time! With practically no clean-up afterward. The Power Pressure Cooker XL is the amazing, one-button kitchen miracle that lets you prepare perfectly cooked, mouthwatering meals for your entire family - 70% faster than conventional ovens!
- EASY: Removable inner pot is dishwasher safe for easy cleanup
When we tested it, we found it didn’t perform on the same level as other devices as far as rice and pot roasts are concerned. Some rice grains got stuck together or burned into the pot, and so it wasn’t very good. The pot roast was fine, but it wasn’t as good as the roasts we got from some other devices. It took the second-longest time to cook too, coming in at 32 minutes and 35 seconds.
While the power pressure cooker does have different cooking options, it is missing a few consistent browning and sautéing. It’s still versatile, but that doesn’t make it perfect. It has four preset buttons for cooking food, including the most popular options like chicken, meat, rice, and beans. This makes it easier for you to get started as you can press a button and let the machine set itself up.
One of the reasons that the device is so popular is that it offers a canning/preserving feature. The problem with this is that the feature has yet to be tested by the National Center for Home Food Preservation (NCHFP) and therefore the device isn’t approved. It might not be able to preserve safely and can foods. You should use discretion when choosing wither or not take advantage of this feature.
The device automatically enables the keep warm function when it is finished cooking. This stops food getting cold before you can eat it. The delay timer makes it easier to plan out meals in advance and have your food cooked ready for later on.
Every purchase of the device comes with a recipe book, access to an online library of more recipes, and a canning guide. As with other similar devices, it comes with a serving spoon, measuring cup, and steam rack. Some manufacturers warn against putting unapproved items into the pot, making the lack of an official steam rack more of an issue. The instruction book suggests that we should have received a bobber, but we were unable to find one in the box.
The non-stick surface cleaned up pretty well for us, but we have seen some customers report that the coating can begin to peel quickly. We haven’t noticed any deterioration with ours, but this could come after some time. The interior of the pot is textured, which can sometimes make it more difficult to clean depending on the food being cooked.
The device comes with just 60 days of coverage, meaning that it has the shortest guarantee we’ve seen on a pressure cooker. Warranties typically last an average of a year, with some warranties going up to two or even three years. As is the case with most other pressure cookers, this one comes with a lid-locking feature that prevents the device from working if the lid isn’t secured properly. It also doesn’t unlock unless it has released a safe amount of pressure, to prevent accidents.
What are the main differences between the Instant Pot and the Power Pressure Cooker XL?
Among the most notable differences, we like that the Instant Pot, as opposed to the PPC XL, has a yogurt function and new models are coming up all of the time. On the other hand, the PPC XL offers that extra large option that the Instant Pot lacks. Perhaps the most significant difference is noticeable when we look at prices, and we find that the PPC XL is a lot less expensive than any of the pressure cookers on the Instant Pot line.
Which would you recommend?
Based on what I know about these options, I would say that the Instant Pot line is the best option for the average user. For example, the DUO Instant Pot line are best-sellers, and they do everything the average family needs, including yogurt making.
There’s also the super fancy Bluetooth-enabled model, but I don’t recommend that one. We’re trying to limit our exposure to Bluetooth/Wi-Fi and don’t feel it adds much extra functionality – other than programming the device with a smartphone – for the price – which was about double.
- Duo Plus is the latest evolution in the #1 selling multi-cooker the Duo series with more custom features, improved usability and a large attractive blue LCD screen
- Duo Plus replaces 9 common kitchen appliances including Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Yogurt Maker, Egg Cooker, Sauté, Steamer, Warmer, Sterilizer and it makes cake too
- Up to 70% quicker. A great meal is a press of button away with 15 Microprocessor controlled programs taking the guess-work out of your cooking. You can achieve prefect results every time
- All components in contact with food are food grade 304 (18/8) Stainless steel including the lid, the inner pot with 3-ply bottom and steam rack with handles. They are easy to clean and dishwasher safe.Product Dimensions: 14.17 x 14.84 x 13.31 inches
- UL certified with 10 proven safety mechanisms gives you peace of mind. Highly energy efficient, this kitchen friendly cooker emits no steam when cooking, contains all smells and automates your cooking. Accessories include - steam rack with handles, recipe booklet, serving spoon, soup spoon, and measuring cup
For a full comparison of the Instant pot models visit our full review here.
At the end of the day, when it comes to pressure cookers, you have to make a note of all of your needs and then compare the models that are most attractive to you in order to see if they have what it takes. The best thing you can do is research and compare before you make a purchase you’ll regret!