If you arent one of the many people who were gifted an Instant Pot over the holidays, you might be on the hunt for one, particularly if your new year's resolution involves eating better and cooking more regularly. But how can you know which version is right for you? This fall, the company has added even more multicookers to its dizzyingly large lineup, as well as new products like blenders, air fryers, and toaster ovens.
Thats a lot to take in. To help you make a smart buying decision, we looked at three of the latest multicooker models added to Instant Pots popular Duo line. We'll be testing them in-depth against our other favorite multicookers later this year, but for now, here are the features that set these models apartand which are worth your investment.
Duo Evo Plus
With dozens of smart cooking options and a sous vide function, the 9-in-1 Duo Evo Plus is the most sophisticated of the new Instant Pot multicookers, effectively replacing the Duo Plus in their lineup. With an MSRP of $120 for the 6-quart model, its competitive with the Instant Pot Ultra, our current favorite multicooker.
- When you click the lid into place, it automatically seals the pressure valve so youll never realize halfway through that youre not cooking your short ribs under pressure.
- It has a quick release switch thats as simple as turning a light off and doesnt put your hand in any contact with steam.
- Over the steam release, theres a cover that reduces spitting and dampens the sound of escaping steam.
- It has so-called QuickCool technology that works with a QuickCool Tray accessory to release pressure naturally up to 50% faster.
- The pot has a flat disc bottom, which means it can be used independently on a stovetop.
- The cooking pot has two side handles with rubberized grips.
- It has a sous vide function.
We love the way the new lid seals automatically and how easy it is to release the pressure. The steam release cover does minimize spitting and the sound of escaping steam, but it is another little part to keep track of.
Presently, the QuickCool Tray is not yet available. Were not quite sure why you need the QuickCool Technology when you could simply use the quick release switch. When you use it, you have to place ice on the tray, which seems like another chore.
The new flat thick disc bottom will conduct heat more evenly on top of the stove. Youll find that particularly handy if you have a small kitchen as it means you can also use the pot for boiling pasta, eliminating the need to own and store one more pot.
The new rubberized handles make it much easier to lift the pot after cooking, and they help keep it in place so it doesnt spin when youre sauting veggies or stirring something like risotto.
The sous vide function worked fine, and we see the appealit means one less piece of equipment to buy and store. We did, however, find that it took quite a long time to reach the desired temperature for sous vide: 45 minutes with the lid in place as opposed to under 8 minutes with the Joule immersion circulator.
Good to know
- It has a large 3 by 3 blue screen with a lighted bar that, in addition to the cooking time, shows you the cooking progress, so you have an idea where you are in the preheating, cooking, or warming cycle.
- There are 9 smart cooking programs including Bake, Sous Vide, and Yogurt plus Keep Warm. Within each program there are many options (including Sterilize in the Steam function) so that, in effect, you have many more automatic settings.
- Once you select your cooking program, you turn a dial to select the options within the program and to select your cooking time. Theres a start button which is an extra step but does let you know definitively that youve begun the cooking processwhich can be unclear on older models.
- It comes with an extra sealing ring and a steam rack with long handles.
- The Evo Duo Plus is currently available in 6- and 8-quart versions.
If you don't already have an Instant Pot, the Duo Evo Plus is a strong contender. We love the way the steam release valve seals automatically and is easy to release quickly. The handles on the pot are a handy upgrade. And if youre also interested in sous vide cooking, its one less additional appliance or gadget that you have to buy.
- The lid automatically seals the pressure valve when you lock it in place.
- You press a button to release pressure quickly, so your hand is never in contact with steam.
Thumbs up to the way the lid seals automatically and how easy it is to release the pressure. Theres not much else that differentiates this model from the Duo.
Good to know
- It has a blue screen that shows you the remaining cooking time.
- There are 14 one-touch programs including Yogurt and Keep Warm. You can adjust the cooking time of each and change the pressure level for pressure cooking.
- An extra sealing ring and a steam rack that can double as a trivet are included.
- The Duo Nova is currently available in 3-, 6-, and 8-quart versions.
If you have no interest in sous vide cooking and dont need a surfeit of cooking programs, the Duo Nova might be the model for you. Its abilities to seal the pressure valve automatically and release pressure quickly easily are big bonuses.
The Duo SV is an 8-in-1 secondary multicooker from Instant Pot that essentially slaps sous vide functionality on the standard Duo. It has an MSRP of $80 and, in the US, its only available for purchase at Costco.
The sous vide function. Yes, thats it.
If you like to instant cook and sous vide, its convenient to be able to do both with one appliance. We did, however, find that it took quite a long time to come up to temperature: close to a half hour as opposed to under 9 minutes with a Joule immersion circulator.
Good to know
- You have to activate the quick release vent quickly to avoid escaping steam.
- It has a small blue screen that shows you the remaining cooking time.
- You get 14 cooking programs including Yogurt and Sous Vide, plus Keep Warm. You can adjust the cooking times of each program and change the pressure level when youre pressure cooking.
- You get an extra sealing ring, steam rack, rice paddle, soup lade, and rice measuring cup with the SV.
- It only comes in a 6-quart version.
- Its only available at Costco.
Want to know how the classic Instant Pot models compare to other brands? Check out our roundup of the best multicookers on the market.