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The Best Electric Pressure Cooker Under $110

New pressure cookers and Instapots to make your recipes explode with flavor

W e spent well over 45 hours of unwavering research and product testing to find you the best electric pressure cooker for under $110! When we say in unwavering research and testing, we actually mean cooking over 16 pounds of meat, 11 pounds of grain, and 14 pounds of beans. That’s a lot of food all combined! So, we feel we have it on excellent authority, to wholly recommend the Instant Pot Duo 6-Quart.
Out of all of the numerous pressure cookers we tested over the last month, it offers the desirable combination of performance, features and value for money. The Instant Pot Duo 6-Quart works fast, and will help you get your keto meals on the table, in half the time of a normal pot. Not only is it fast, it’s really easy to use, and totally safe in your kitchen. No need to worry that your pressure cooker is going to malfunction, whilst you are dealing with everything else in life and trying to succeed at keto.
Our Pick: Instant Pot Duo 6 Quart
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Instant Pot Duo 6-Quart
One of the best value for money and most affordable electric cookers we tried is a real versatile time saver in your kitchen.

The reason why the Instant Pot Duo 6-Quart is our favorite out of all we tested in our journey to find the best electric pressure cooker. Is because it’s super easy to use. There’s no need to stress over this simple to use pressure cooker. If you are looking to create delicious meals in less time than conventional cooking. It has more heat settings than the other models we tested.

It cooked black beans in 20 minutes, sauteed onions better, but didn’t brown meat that well. We found that none of the pressure cookers we tested brown meat all that well anyway, so don’t use that judgement against it. If we are looking at this as a multi-cooker, it works well as a slow cooker, as well as a rice cooker. However, if you are looking to use this to cook solely rice, there are better options out there, that will give you a nicer texture.

Upgrade Pick: Instant Pot Ultra 6 Quart
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Instant Pot Ultra 6-Quart
This upgraded Instant Pot model allows total control over temperature and time, including low-temperature cooking.

Want a fancier electric pressure cooker that offers more functionality? The Instant Pot Ultra 6-Quart is for you! The Instant Pot Duo 6-Quart has loads of clever buttons, but it’s fancier sister has a dial and large LCD screen instead. It’s much more streamlined too.

It has many more useful features, which includes a food warming function, to keep food at a set temperature, for up to 90+ hours. In case you are dining up a mountain there’s also an altitude adjust function, which allows you to adjust cooking time and temperature to your elevation. A neat and innovative feature to have if you happen to reside above 2,000 feet.

Our Research

Why Take Our Word For It?
Who Is It Perfect For?
Electric Pressure Cookers versus Stovetop Pressure Cookers
Why We Picked It?
How Did We Test It?
Our Favorite: Instant Pot Duo 6-Quart
Downsides
Upgrade: Instant Pot Ultra 6-Quart
How To Look After It
How To Choose The Right Size?
Look Forward To This
Check Out The Competition
References and Sources

Why Take Our Word For It?

We love testing products, to make life easier, to keep you to the Keto Lifestyle. We dedicate our time, testing out loads of cooking products, so you can guarantee we know our pots and pans! We’ve also spent time researching editorial sources such as Cook’s Illustrated and Hip Pressure Cooking. We read up on awesome literature such as ‘cooking under pressure‘ to name but a few.

Who Is It Perfect For?

You are following a keto lifestyle and you want to cook nutritious dinners. Yet have no patience for spending what seems like hours and hours cooking? Then this Instant Pot guide is for you. If you are keto follower or even a hands-off cook then an electric pressure cooker, is the perfect addition to your kitchen. Similar to a slow cooker, you can throw your recipe ingredients in, pop the lid on, turn the cooker and timer on, and walk away without a care in the world.

The real difference in an electric pressure cooker and a slow cooker is that you don’t need to simmer the food all day long. An electric pressure cooker can get all the hard cooking work done in as little as 35 minutes. These days most people call electric pressure cookers “multi-cookers”, as they do so much more, from slow cooking, steaming, cooking grains and you can even make yummy yogurt and creams in them.

If you need to braise, stew, boil or steam produce, then electric pressure cookers can do it for you. They complete their tasks a lot faster than traditional cooking methods for certain. How does it cook it quicker? Here’s where the pressure cooker science comes in and shines, let us explain further.

You see pressure cookers actually can trap steam, which then acts by turning up the pressure in the pot. Water’s boiling point is a lot higher at high pressures. So the liquid in the electric pressure cookers just get hotter and hotter. Much hotter in fact than it ever would in a stovetop pot or traditional cooker. As you might already know, food simply cooks much faster at higher temperatures. Which is why a pressure cooker cooks your dinner a lot faster in a fraction of the time of a conventional oven. Simple cooking logic that sums up the entire process!

Electric Pressure Cookers Vs. Stovetop Pressure Cookers

Right now, you might be thinking, what’s the big differences between Electric Pressure Cookers and Stovetop Pressure Cookers, apart from the massive jump in price. How can these cookers help my keto journey? Well, let’s discuss this. Electric Pressure Cookers cook at a lower pressure level at around 12 psi. Whereas, Stovetop Pressure Cookers have a pressure level of around 15psi. Which means electric models just don’t get as hot and in turn takes far longer to cook your food.

So, if you are using pressure cooker recipes and lots of keto recipes as you undoubtably will be. Then you’ll have to check which version it has been created for. As you’ll need to add some time to your cooking times. Some recipes won’t give you that helpful info so you will need to adapt and use common sense. There is help at hand however, so there’s no need to just cruise and hope for the best. As Hip Pressure Cooking is a great resource where you can find stovetop and electric cooking times for loads of really common keto cooking ingredients.

Another noticeable difference between electric pressure cookers and the stovetop counterparts are that the electric models are usually very large and bulky for their overall ingredient capacity. Our favorite model, the Instant Pot Duo 6-Quart, is a very similar size to the Fissler Vitaquick 8.5-Quart Pressure Cooker. So this puts it at around the size of a counter rack. If you are looking for a pressure cooker to cook in large batches. You’ll probably be better off with a stovetop version. Purely because they offer a higher capacity of servings and take up a lot less space around the kitchen worktop and food prep areas.

Why We Chose This Model?

The reason why most people decide to buy an electric pressure cooker, is because they are looking for useful kitchen appliances and equipment that will make everyday tasks, such as cooking, far easier. So, it’s absolutely essential that the appliance we chose, had to be versatile, easy to use, safe and really easy to clean. If it’s not, it will just gather dust on the utility room shelf, like loads of the other cooking equipment you thought you needed, but never ever used. To find the best pressure cooker, ie one, that you will love to use everyday. We had to prioritize some testing criteria to find our thumbs up best in class winner.

Versatility

We may be calling all our tested cookers “electric pressure cookers” our top choices in this roundup are actually multi purpose cookers that provides lots of valuable and desirable cooking functions. These appliances are all geared to solve a lot of common cooking problems.

They excel at functions such as pressure cooking, slow cooking, sautéing food, steaming and cooking fluffy rice and so on. During our extensive tests, we found that most of the electric pressure cooker’s slow cook functions are actually as good as a dedicated slow cooker.

There are somethings that these electric pressure cookers do much better than a slow cooker. One of which is is sautéing onions and other spicy aromatics. We found out an added benefit too that you would never normally guess… You can even make delicious yogurt in these electric pressure cookers, how about that for a real surprise!

User Friendly

Most electric pressure cookers on the market right now have a lots of pretty but hard to decipher buttons that can drive people bat crazy, we don’t want that hassle. So, we wanted to find feature rich models that had simple user interfaces that non technical keto cooks could follow with relative ease. Models that were intuitive and clear on how to use right from the start. In other words pressure cooker models that clearly displays what’s happening to the user.

So, you can keep on top of the cooking process and not get mad at your unit. Our favorite Instant Pot Duo 6-Quart clearly lets you know it’s heating up by displaying “ON”. When it’s up to the right pressure, the timer starts the countdown and you are ready to go and set the table.

The reason why people decide to buy an electric pressure cooker, is because they are looking for equipment that will make everyday tasks, such as cooking, easier.KetoFirst

Construction Materials

It’s little wonder that better manufacturing materials and product design have a massive impact on product usability. Most uncoated stainless steel inner pots last longer over time than pots with nonstick coating for instance. As we know, nonstick coating can easily get scratched and damaged by metal cooking utensils. Electric pressure cookers with a detachable lids are far more practical to use, and easier to clean up afterwards. This is all just a common sense approach to design that we applaud and would like to see much more of this.

Customer Warranty and Support

We always wish that warranties on kitchen appliances were a bit better when it comes to electrical items including electric pressure cookers. Most companies only have product warranties to cover the electronic housing and inner pot for a year, rarely for longer. Parts such as gaskets, valves, and seals are usually not included in warranties. Depending on the use, parts like these, only need replacing every one to three years. A customer should not have to extend a warranty to maintain their pressure cooker in our view.

How Did We Test These Pressure Cookers?

To really examine and test how well these electric pressure cookers worked under pressure ( no pun ) , we wanted to cook some really basic, straightforward and popular dishes. So, we decided to cook dried black beans, rice and brisket. We also wanted to test out how well these electric pressure cookers caramelized veggies and brown meat. So we sautéed onions, aromatics and seared beef to see how they would handle the challenge put to them.

When we tested out the Instant Pot Duo 6-Quart and Instant Pot Ultra 6-Quart, we tried a few different menu combinations, to really put them through their keto cooking paces. So, we decided to cook some tender pork stew, with chicken stock, chickpeas and some yummy egg rice.

At the end of testing all of the electric pressure cookers in turn, each of our dishes were pretty much the same, no matter the machine we used. So we concluded that in all honesty, any electric pressure cooker can cook basic dishes, such as rice and braised meat, without any real problems or concern.

The biggest difference between the machines were in how they operate and how to clean them out after cooking had finished. We tested some pretty poorly designed electric pressure cookers. You see we soon found that some had overly complicated control interfaces, hard to read instruction manuals that really didn’t make any sense, and a lastly models that were a big nightmare to clean. If something is too hard to clean it just puts you off using the appliance regularly in our opinion so this was a really big deal for us.

Our Favorite Model: Instant Pot Duo 6-Quart

Instant Pot Duo 6-Quart review
Our favorite pressure cooker model: The Instant Pot Duo 6-Quart is pure keto cooking pleasure.
Our Pick: Instant Pot Duo 6 Quart
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Instant Pot Duo 6-Quart
One of the best value for money and most affordable electric cookers we tried is a real versatile time saver in your kitchen.

After testing numerous electric pressure cookers, we think the Instant Pot Duo 6-Quart has the best combination of performance, functions and affordability. Out of all that were tested, this one was by far the easiest to use, and so much more affordable.

These factors were what made this unit so desirable. Unlike its counterparts in this roundup, the Instant Pot Duo 6-Quart has an uncoated inner pot, which is far more durable, than the nonstick models on offer. It’s ease to use detachable lid, made it one of the best ones we tested, when it came to cleaning up after. We also tested this one for sautéing and guess what… it had the best results in these tests also.

Now when you take this straight out of the box, the Instant Pot Duo 6-Quart looks rather complicated to setup and use. Really though, it’s a pretty simple device to work out. It only took us a few minutes of reading the enclosed instructions, and pressing a few buttons, before we got it to work and hum in our kitchen. Putting it side by side, with the other electric pressure cookers we tested, some of the competitor’s controls were overly muddled and complicated, and the others were really simple. There doesn’t seem to be a price relation to this factor, as most cost more money, or lack the handy features that the Instant Pot Duo 6-Quart so evidently has.

Out of all the electric pressure cookers tested, only two others had an uncoated stainless steel inner pot. The Instant Pot Duo 6-Quart and another which had Elite Platinum EPC-678SS. All of the others had nonstick-coated inner pots, which seems to be a theme, when it comes to electric pressure cookers. The main issue with nonstick-coating is that it scratches easily.

As part of our testing and research, we read a lot of other reviews, and it seems to be a common complaint that most people have. That their nonstick kitchen equipment scratches far too easily. Although nonstick coating won’t harm you if you eat it, it’s definitely not appealing or tasty, to find it in your food. Another bonus of the Instant Pot Duo 6-Quart, is that it has a balancing disk at the bottom, which helps food to cook evenly.

Instant Pot Duo 6-Quart Inner Stainless Steel Pot
The stainless steel inner pot within this units makes this Instant Pot seem a lot more durable and long lasting than all of the others in this roundup.

We were really impressed that the Instant Pot Duo 6-Quart has three distinctive temperature settings. Electric pressure cookers in the same price range, seem to only offer one or two temperature settings. As mentioned before, it’s a great pressure cooker for slow cooking, and the low heat temperature is perfecting for making a soup base. On a high heat it sautés onions and garlic to a satisfactory color. The benefit of it having an uncoated pot, also helped with the browning of onions and beef. However, it doesn’t beat stovetop pressure cookers, when it comes to searing meat such as steaks.

We like the fact that the lid on the Instant Pot Duo 6-Quart detaches, and easily slots into both of the handles. So, it’s easy to move and open when stirring. When comparing it to the T-fal we tested, the T-fal had a hinged lid which didn’t detach and made cleaning a real pain in the you know where.

Our Pick: Instant Pot Duo 6 Quart
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Instant Pot Duo 6-Quart
One of the best value for money and most affordable electric cookers we tried is a real versatile time saver in your kitchen.

All modern electric pressure cookers come with robust safety mechanisms. Which includes a three pressure safety system. The first being a sensor that makes sure the pressure is always between 10.12 and 11.6psi. If the pressure ever exceeds 15.23psi then the steam will escape through the pressure regulator. In the highly unlikely case of the pressure regulator malfunctioning the excess pressure regulator will quickly take over. This means the inner cooking pot, will lower the pressure, and the steam will release under the gasket in the lid. This makes the risk of any misadventure small.

Instant Pot Duo 6-Quart (on the right) and Duo 8-Quart (on the left)
A size comparison of the Instant Pot Duo 6-Quart (on the right) and Duo 8-Quart (on the left). You can see the size differential here.

One of the functions we really liked about the Instant Pot Duo 6-Quart, is that it has six pre-programmed functions. That allow for pressure cooking, slow cooking, rice cooking, sautéing/browning, steaming and a program to make yogurt. If you like more control over your cooking, there is a manual program, which gives you control over cooking time and pressure settings. However, you can still adjust the cooking time and pressure levels within the pre-programmed functions. The extra benefit for this, is that the machine will remember, these adjustments the next time you use it.

When you take this straight out of the box, the Instant Pot Duo 6-Quart looks complicated but really, it’s pretty easy to figure it out.KetoFirst

The Instant Pot Duo 6-Quart slow cooking functions has three temperatures, which are low, medium and high. During our testing we slow cooked cannellini beans on a medium setting. After a few hours they were ready and came out whole with only minor splitting. There is a detailed easy-to-follow instruction booklet, as well as a seperate recipe booklet, that comes with the Instant Pot Duo 6-Quart. The recipe booklet includes recipes in both Chinese and English. The English section provides a really handy table of cooking times for various types of food, including meats, fish, legumes, grains, veggies and even fruit.

There’s a another reason why we love the Instant Pot Duo 6-Quart. It’s has well over 25,000 positive reviews on Amazon which is one of the best places to buy an Instant Pot. With so many people offering similar reviews to us! It certainly seems that this electric pressure cooker has a passionate fan base. Not only are other users raving about it, pressure cooker bloggers (yes that’s a thing!) are too. In fact Pressure Cooker blogger Vrobel has this to say about it

Little features like the silicone gasket that makes cleaning the Instant Pot easy, the built in lid holder, and the stainless steel pot.Mike Vrobel

The Downsides

We know we’ve raved about how easy the Instant Pot Duo 6-Quart is to clean. There are a few parts that require a little bit more elbow grease. The rim of the outer pot traps small food stuffs, like salt and crumbs. Which requires more effort to clean. We tried many different ways to clean it, but in the end we just hosed it off, using canned air. Similar to most silicone kitchen products, the Instant Pot Duo 6-Quart’s silicone gasket, retains slight smells that soap and water just won’t budge. 

Cleaning Your Instant Pot
Some of the tiny nooks and crannies around the lid area of the Instant Pot were the hardest to properly clean after cooking.
Our Pick: Instant Pot Duo 6 Quart
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Instant Pot Duo 6-Quart
One of the best value for money and most affordable electric cookers we tried is a real versatile time saver in your kitchen.

If you cook a lot of brown rice, then the Instant Pot Duo 6-Quart won’t be for you, as it doesn’t cook it very well. However, none of the electric pressure cookers, actually performed that task brilliantly, except for the Cuckoo Rice Cooker. The Instant Pot Duo 6-Quart turns out brown rice that was pretty dense, but it’s probably not any worse than what you’d get from a really basic rice cooker. If you don’t cook a lot of brown rice and you may not on keto, then this shouldn’t be a deal breaker. As the instant Pot Duo 6-Quart cooks so many other keto dishes really well.

We’ve mentioned this before, but the Instant Pot Duo 6-Quart, wasn’t the best at searing meat like steaks, which is an issue with all electric pressure cookers. No heating element in electric pressure cookers can match a stove. If intense browning is essential to you, you’ll be best searing the meat on the stove, before adding the meat and delicious dripping into the Instant Pot Duo 6-Quart. Ok, so it won’t give you that one-pot lifestyle you absolutely crave, but you have to have some give and take in life. This is one such occasion.

There is an issue that could arise for newbie electric pressure cooker users. To release pressure quickly from the Instant Pot Duo 6-Quart, you need to switch the valve in the lid, that also lets out the steam. Now, it doesn’t seem sensible to touch a place that lets out boiling hot steam, especially if you are a newbie,  but we’ve never experienced any accidents with the Instant Pot Duo 6-Quart. Our best advice is to keep your face away from the lid, when you are releasing the pressure, and use a towel when you switch the valve.

Recommended Upgrade: Instant Pot Ultra 6-Quart

Instant Pot Ultra 6-Quart
The Instant Pot Ultra 6-Quart is the upgrade from the standard Duo.
Upgrade Pick: Instant Pot Ultra 6 Quart
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Instant Pot Ultra 6-Quart
This upgraded Instant Pot model allows total control over temperature and time, including low-temperature cooking.

If you are willing to splash a bit more cash, the Instant Pot Duo 6-Quart is like a much shinier and bigger sister, the Instant Pot Ultra 6-Quart is so much better. It has way more features than most electric multi-cookers on the market.

The fancier Instant Pot Ultra 6-Quart has an all digital interface, with a single-knob control. There’s a pressure indicator that’s much more visible when on. A steam-release button that is separate from the float valve. Which reduces the chances of mild steam burns, if you need to quickly release pressure. The Instant Pot Ultra 6-Quart cooks food just as quickly and well as the Duo, but has some awesome extra features. Such as a handy custom temperature control function. As well as an altitude-adjust function, which is great, if you live on a mountain.

It’s clear to see that the Instant Pot has been inspired by the Breville Fast Slow Pro, as the Ultra has a very similar interface and streamlined dial control. The easy to use single dial, lets you quickly navigate the cooking functions and settings, displayed on the sleek LCD screen. It’s easy to see where you are in the cooking process, as the LCD shows an informative bell-curve-shaped graph, and indicators showing if it’s “Pre-heating”, “Cooking”, or “Keep Warm”. The essentials are all clearly marked, and you can easily see the time, pressure, and keep-warm settings. Plus, the Ultra has a handy altitude-adjust function, that will automatically change the time on all pre programmed cooking settings, according to the elevation, that you can easily enter.

Upgrade Pick: Instant Pot Ultra 6 Quart
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Instant Pot Ultra 6-Quart
This upgraded Instant Pot model allows total control over temperature and time, including low-temperature cooking.

The biggest stand out difference between the Duo and the Instant Pot Ultra is that you can cook and keep foods at a precise temperatures. This useful setting allows you complete control over the cooking program. You can even keep a precise temperature under a low-temperature function that very nearly sous vide meats and fish. To test this, we cooked salmon fillets sous vide at 124 °F, and the results were satisfying.

However, if you are a die hard sous vide cooker, you won’t want to ditch your immersion circulator for this pot. With the Instant Pot Ultra 6-Quart you can keep food at any temperature between 104 °F and 194 °F for up to 100 hours. Which is extremely handy for keeping soups, stews and side sauces warm. Just like the Duo, the Ultra Instant Pot version has an inner cooking pot made of uncoated stainless steel.

The Ultra model has better safety features than the Duo in our opinion. Which includes a visible pressure indicator, and a separate steam-release button that’s not with the float valve. The great thing about the pressure indicator, is that it pops up high enough, to be seen across the room. The issue with the Duo, is that the steam-release button is built in the float valve, the Ultra fixes this issue, with having a separate steam-release button right next to valve. As mentioned before, we haven’t experienced any accidents with the Duo, but the improved feature in the Ultra, is perfect for Instant Pot newbies and experienced users alike.

The biggest stand out difference between the Duo and the Instant Pot Ultra is that you can cook and keep foods at a precise temperature.KetoFirst

We tested the Instant Pot Ultra the same way as the others. During the testing it cooked food just as well as the Duo. We cooked some pork stew which came out pretty flavorful. The chickpeas we cooked had some skin splitting but otherwise stayed intact. We even tried cooking chocolate cake. The cake came out a little denser than it would coming out of an oven. The reason for this, is because we had to cook it over a steam bath and had to cover it tightly with foil, so it wouldn’t get soggy. The chocolate cake come out delicious, tender and moist which is fine by us.

The biggest fail we had using the Instant Pot Ultra, was when we tried to cook sushi rice. It came out wet and dense, so a big fail here. Definitely not what you want for sushi rice! Don’t let this fail put you off, we’ve always struggled cooking fluffy rice, using any of the electric pressure cookers, we’ve tried in the past. It’s perfect to use cooking side dishes and anything other than sushi rice.

How To Look After and Maintain

Cleaning Your Instant Pot
If you look after your Instant Pot then it will serve you well for many years of keto cooking. You should aim to remove and properly clean the Instant Pot’s gasket, anti-block cage, and steam valve knob following each time you use it to prepare a meal.
Upgrade Pick Instant Pot Ultra 6 Quart
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Instant Pot Ultra 6-Quart
This upgraded Instant Pot model allows total control over temperature and time, including low-temperature cooking.

The most important part of the electric pressure cooker to keep clean is the lid. When cleaning the valves and gasket, use hot soapy water, ensuring that there isn’t any food residue left on them. It’s important to replace and clean them after every use. One annoying thing about the cleaning process, is that the silicone gasket tends to retain food smells, even when cleaned.

Our top tip for removing the smell, is to bake the gasket only (don’t bake the lid), in a 250-degree oven for around 20 minutes. It takes the smell out really well. Be sure to clean it before you bake it. Removing any gunk or grease, otherwise you’ll bake it on! There is also an option to buy extra gaskets. We highly recommend this, so you can keep some lying around for cooking more aromatic foods.

The most important part of the electric pressure cooker to keep clean is the lid.KetoFirst

As with all modern kitchen equipment, eventually some parts will wear out due to extended use. In electric pressure cookers, the parts that normally wear out are the gaskets. It’s easy to see when the gasket has worn out, as the electric pressure cooker, will take longer to build up pressure. As always, we suggest you buy spare parts including gaskets directly from the manufacturer’s website and avoid using Amazon for this. You are probably fully aware of this by now, but third-party sellers at times, pass off non genuine spare parts on Amazon just like on Ebay. It’s always better to be safe, when replacing spare parts, and buy directly from the model manufacturer.

How To Choose The Right Size?

There are a few size options for both the Instant Pot Duo and the Instant Pot Ultra. They both come in 3-, 6-, and 8-Quart sizes. Now, the size choice is purely down to preference, as all sizes have the same functions, as the model types. We’d say the 6-Quart would be perfect for most home cooks. So if you have limited space in your kitchen, then the 3-Quart would fit perfectly, and has the same functions as the bigger sizes.

On the other hand if you need to feed the five thousand and have a big family, you will need to get the 8-Quart, as the 6-Quart won’t fit enough food, to feed a very large family. If you are still stuck between getting the Ultra or the Duo, we stay firm in our thinking. If you can splash the cash get the Ultra. As the extra functions and safety improvements, are well worth the money. However, if the extra functions doesn’t bother you all that much, you’ll be happy with the Duo for sure.

Also Great: Instant Pot Duo/Ultra 8
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Instant Pot Duo 8-Quart
The gigantic capacity of the Duo 8-Quart model is best suited for big-batch cooking and making stock.
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Instant Pot Ultra 8-Quart
All the additional functions of the Ultra in a bigger size large enough to feed a huge group.

We think the 8-quart Instant Pot will be far too big for most people, as it’s a meaty machine, and takes up a lot of space. However, if you feel like you constantly cook for the five thousand, or like to cook big batch meals, the 8-quart is the best option.

We’ve read that Melissa Clark, who is the food columnist for The New York Times, uses the Instant Pot Duo 8-Quart, to make delicious bone broth and stew, because the smaller version (6-Quart) is just way too small to get a decent yield for larger groups of people.

Even though the 8-Quart is bulky, it can still handle small batches of food, just as well as the smaller sizes. During our tests, the 8-Quart cooked one cup of yummy rice just as well as the 6-Quart. It even cooked it in the same time. So, if you have a very large family, and have a big kitchen counter top or the spare space to store it, you should certainly get the 8-Quart Instant Pot model.

Also Great: Instant Pot Duo Mini Quart 3
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Instant Pot Duo 3-Quart
The smallest model in the Instant Pot family won’t work well for everyone, but it makes sense if your kitchen space is tight, for example a small apartment.

The 3-Quart sizes aren’t for families at all. They are quite tiny in comparison and there are obviously size limits as to what you can realistically cook at the same time. The pressure cooking capacity is really only 2-Quart as you can’t fill the inner pot to the brim. Which means that if you are cooking anything that expands, such as rice or beans, you’ll max out at 1½ quarts. The 3-Quart models such as the Duo Mini are totally ideal for couples though and people who live alone and/or have very small kitchens.

We did test out the 3-Quart Instant Pots for some sautèing, and also pressure cooked black beans, and we found that the performance adequately matched that of the bigger models in the Instant Pot range. But in reality you can only cook 1 cup of dried beans, using a one-to-four bean-to-water ratio. So, really the 3-Quart size is only good for when there are less people about. However, you can forget about about making stock or cooking whole meat joints or chicken, as it just won’t fit well enough.

Look Forward To This

Soon the Instant Pot is adding a new product sibling to it’s model family called the Instant Pot Max. The new model is going to come with some really awesome new features. It is going to be able to cook at 15psi, which is pretty standard for most stovetop pressure cookers, but is not common in most electric pressure cookers. The benefit for cooking at 15psi is that it can be used for canning.

The Max will also come with an automatic stirrer function, which is a perfect addition to help you make bone broth recipes and risotto dishes. Obviously, all these extra cooking functions comes at a price. We are expecting the Instant Pot Max to cost a lot more than the electric pressure cookers that we usually recommend. As we always want to bring you detailed reviews, on the best products out there. So we plan to test it the Instant Pot Max, as soon as we can get our hands on it.

Check Out The Competition

Instant Pot Duo Plus
The digital control panel on the premium Instant Pot Duo Plus model shows icons for quick easy glance across monitoring of your meal. This Duo Plus model offers much more control and fine tuning of the cooking process.
Power Pick: Ultra 6 Quart Duo Plus
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Instant Pot Ultra 6-Quart Duo Plus
This upgraded Instant Pot model allows total control over temperature and time, including low-temperature cooking.

The Instant Pot Duo 6-Quart does have an improved upgrade called the Duo Plus that was introduced in late 2017. For just $20 more, you can get the Duo Plus, which has a shiny new interface and more preset cooking settings, see the panel in the picture above. The benefit of this, is that the digital display uses easy to see icons, that keeps you up to date with the cooking process. In other words you gain maximum control and visibility into how your meal is shaping up.

The Duo Plus upgrade also allows you to change the pressure level and cooking time mid cook, which is an added benefit, as the standard Duo requires you to cancel the cook, to make any changes. If those benefits were not enough to make the leap to the higher priced model, the Duo Plus also allows you to adjust the volume, on those annoying beeping alarms.

The keep-warm function on the Duo Plus is far better also. It allows you to go up to 24 hours, instead of the standard Duo’s 10 hours. Personally, we didn’t think the features on the Duo Plus, were enough to bump the standard Duo off the top spot, given the price jump. However, we think it’s a great electric pressure cooker, if the additional features appeal to you a lot more, than the standard version which they might.

We have to admit we never tested the Instant Pot Lux. It’s the company’s oldest version of a multi-cooker. The reason why we didn’t consider it for testing, is because it only has one pressure setting, which was high. The Duo has two.

Previously, we have been really pleased with the Breville Fast Slow Pro. During testing it scored really high, due to it’s easy to use interface, nice design, and the handy altitude-adjust setting. We all agree that the Instant Pot Ultra is much better because it offers everything the Breville model does, with added functions, and the benefit of a stainless steel cooking pot. And all for $100 less than the Breville.

We did look into testing out the Fagor Lu Multi-Cookers after Good Housekeeping gave it a glowing review in 2017. However, during research, we found loads of reviews on Amazon, customers complaining about problems and faults with this model. Plus, the Fagor company is in some trouble, so their pressure cookers might not be available for sale in the future.

The Elite Platinum 6.Qt Digital Pressure Cooker is very similar to our top pick, the Instant Pot Duo 6-Quart. They both benefit from an uncoated stainless steel inner pot.

They also come with very similar cooking settings. Our main complaints and concerns with the Elite Platinum, is that as soon as we plugged it in, it started heating. We didn’t press any buttons. Which is not a good thing, if you tend to leave things plugged in by accident. Also it had really loud and annoying audible alerts. It’s so high-pitched that even the neighbourhood cats and dogs would be able to hear it down the street.

We love the Cuckoo 10-Cup Electric Pressure Rice Cooker as a rice cooker. It’s high pressure cooking function makes exceptional brown rice. All the other electric pressure cookers we tested, did not stand up to this rice cooker, and they couldn’t produce brown rice as fluffy as the Cuckoo could. However, the Cuckoo, has a much smaller inner cooking pot. Which would be far too limiting to be used solely as a electric pressure cooker. If you are looking for an excellent Rice Cooker get this one.

We thought the T-Fal Electric Pressure Cooker was rather difficult to use. We had to press the same buttons repeatedly, until the pressure cooker, decided to work for us. Huh?! Anyway, we weren’t so impressed that you can’t pressure cook for more than 40 minutes, which was another big Huh?! As if you are cooking something for longer than 40 minutes, you need to cancel the current cooking program, and start a brand new one.

We didn’t think that the Tramontina Electric Pressure Cooker was anything special either. It’s ok but there wasn’t anything about this model to make it stand out. Initially, it wasn’t easy to use at all, we had to read the instruction manual a fair few times, to properly figure it out. After that, it’s pretty straightforward, but you’d expect it to be easy from the start especially for non tech types.

No matter how easy to operate and simple the interface of the Cuisinart CPC-600 6-Quart Electric Pressure Cooker is. The value for money doesn’t stand up to the Instant Pot. Purely because, it doesn’t offer the amount of amazing and useful functions that the Instant Pot so clearly does.

Our Sources and References

Electric Pressure Cooker, Cook’s Illustrated (subscription required), November 1, 2017
Lorna Sass, author of Cooking Under Pressure, May 27, 2016

Pressure Cooker Reviews, Hip Pressure Cooking, December 18, 2015

Laura Pazzaglia, Pressure Cooker PSI FAQ, Hip Pressure Cooking, April 7, 2013

MaomaoMom Kitchen

Ariel Knutsen, Cuisinart, Fagor, and Breville: Which Electric Pressure Cooker Is Right For You?, The Kitchn, June 5, 2015

The Best Electric Pressure Cookers That Will Get Dinner on the Table Fast, Good Housekeeping, October 5, 2017

Best Stovetop and Electric Pressure Cookers, Good Housekeeping, September 8, 2010

Mike Vrobel, blogger at Dad Cooks Dinner, June 23, 2016

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Sara Louise

Sara works at MWFitness and is the editor of KetoFirst. She enjoys maintaining an active healthy lifestyle and sharing her recipes, blog posts and fitness successes with others around the world.

2 Comments

  1. I wanted to make a recipe I found on one of your FB feeds. The Creamy Garlic and Herb Chicken looked so good I wanted to make it tonight. Unfortunately you did not supply recipe’s for any of the 6 chicken dinners you advertised. I tried searching it and nothing. I really am disappointed with your website.

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