Review of the Instant Pot 7-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker

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Although a pressure cooker is by no means a kitchen necessity, it is the dream tool of every kitchen nerd. I’ve been considering buying one for years and finally decided it was time for one to join my growing small appliance collection, so I included it on my wedding registry.

The 6 Quart Instant Pot IP-DUO60 7-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker with Stainless Steel Cooking Pot via Amazon

In case you’re unfamiliar with this gadget, a pressure cooker does similar work to a slow cooker, but in a fraction of the time. It uses steam and pressure to tenderize meat or break down greens the way a slow cooker uses time.

If you get the right pressure cooker, it can be a powerhouse in your kitchen. I wanted something with several different functions, a timer setting, and sturdy construction to assure me that this investment piece will last.

After reading several reviews, I ultimately went with the Instant Pot 7-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker.

Construction

This pressure cooker is constructed from stainless steel, so I know that it won’t be wearing down on me any time soon.

In fact, the interior cooking bowl is made from 3-ply food grade 18/8 stainless steel, so I know it can hold up to even the most damaging foods, like tomatoes and citruses. The low profile steam rack is also constructed of 18/8 stainless steel.

The outside is made with fingerprint-resistant brushed stainless steel. For these types of small appliances that get heavily used, the fingerprint-resistant quality can save you a lot of time!

Considering all that this small appliance does, it’s relatively small: 13 x 12.6 x 12.2 inches. This was especially important to me as I have limited storage space and can only find so many nooks and crannies for my new kitchen toys.

When you are choosing a place to store the pressure cooker, keep in mind that it does weight twelve pounds, so don’t make it too difficult to get to.

Functions

The Instant Pot 7-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker well surpassed its peers when it came to functionality and this ultimately played a major role in my decision.

This one small appliance acts as a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice/porridge cooker, steamer, sauté/browning tool, yogurt maker, and food warmer.

I hadn’t even considered that a rice cooker or yogurt maker could be options when making this purchase. I love the idea of a curry simmering away and rice cooking while I’m at work so my fiancé and I can come home to a truly complete meal.

Even if I don’t have time to get a meal setup before heading out to work in the morning, the pressure cooker makes long cooking jobs happen seemingly instantly: veggies can be steamed in just a few minutes, baked potatoes on the table in fifteen minutes, or chili con carne done in an hour.

Instant Pot IP-DUO 7-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker Control Panel

It also has 14 built-in smart programs: soup, meat/stew, bean/chili, poultry, sauté, steam, rice, porridge, multigrain, slow cook, keep warm, yogurt, pasteurize, and fermented rice. This takes out a lot of the guesswork for you or just saves you time searching for recipes.

There are even different modes within these smart programs. When using the sauté mode, you can choose browning, simmering, or thickening. When using the slow cook mode, you can choose between three different temperatures, just like on your stand-alone slow cooker: high, low, and warm.

Although it’s not advertised as having this function, you can even use your it for quick canning! It’ll make storing big batches of tomato sauce much easier.

Accessories

In addition, Instant Pot includes a few accessories to give you even more options and make pressure-cooking as simple as possible. You’ll find a steam rack, condensation collector, rice paddle, soupspoon, and a measuring cup.

The stainless steel cooking pot, steam rack, soupspoon, measuring cup and condensation collector

The steam rack is likely the accessory you’ll be reaching for the most. It’s perfect for quickly getting any steamed dish onto the table. You could do cheese and broccoli stuffed baked potatoes in just a few minutes to get a quick and complete meal.

Timer Setting

All of the built-in smart programs mentioned earlier in this review come with a suggested cooking time, meaning that yes, this Instant Pot requires no babysitting! This is a huge step up from traditional stovetop pressure cookers.

For the most part, you can set it and forget it, just like your slow cooker. However, like your slow cooker, leaving food in it for too long on the warm setting can overcook the food. If you don’t want to use the suggested time, you can manually adjust the time to suit your needs.

Unlike most slow cookers, this pressure cooker features a delay timer that’ll work up to 24 hours in advance. This is an incredible function for your non-perishable food items.

You could set potatoes in it and delay the cooking until just before you plan to eat or get a porridge ready to go before going to bed so you can wake up to a hot and ready breakfast.

Efficient

A pressure cooker can cook food that you’d usually prepare in a slow cooker, oven, or on the stove anywhere from two to seven times faster. The first benefit that comes to mind for me when considering that is how much more quickly I can feed my irrationally hungry self when I get home from work each day, but there are some serious additional benefits.

One, the oven and stove can be huge energy users, so thanks to this tool, I can chip away at my electricity bill. Every bit counts! In Portland, where I live, it’s pretty common for apartments to not have air-conditioning.

Although this is fine for most of the year, come August, we’re spending a lot of time at the movie theater to avoid our sweltering apartment.

With this pressure cooker, I can get food on the table quickly without having to heat up my entire kitchen by turning on the oven. I can only eat so many salads before I want a little variation on the dinner table.

Instant Pot IP-DUO 7-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker side view

 

Safety

Many people have reservations when buying pressure cookers because of safety concerns. This tool uses pressure to cook food quickly, and that kind of pressure can be dangerous when not used properly.

The Instant Pot Pressure Cooker is UL & ULC certified, meaning it had to pass rigorous safety tests. It features pressure regulator protection, excess pressure protection, a safety lid lock, an anti-blockage vent, high temperature warning, and several other features designed to keep this cooking method as safe as possible.

Several users commented that although the older stovetop pressure cookers and accidents associated with them had made them wary about this type of tool, they found the electronic Instant Pot to be totally safe. Since it is electronic, it can do a lot of the pressure monitoring for you and takes human error almost entirely out of the equation.

Cleanup

On top of everything else, this pressure cooker is easy to clean. The cooking bowl is dishwasher safe and it’s easy to clean by hand if you prefer. All of the accessories are also dishwasher safe.

The exterior is fingerprint and smudge-proof so it’s easy to keep it looking nice. When you do need to wipe it down, just use a cloth and warm, soapy water. Make sure to never submerge the pressure cooker in water and to keep the power cord dry.

The outer lip and the lid require a little more careful cleaning, again using a warm, soapy dishcloth. Make sure to these parts are completely free from food residue and soap you used to clean before your next use.

Other Considerations

The manual included with the Instant Pot is very comprehensive, so if you’re new to pressure-cooking, rest assured that they’ve answered many of your questions already. Included in the manual is also a cooking time chart and recipe ideas.

Summary

When reading user reviews, I was hard-pressed to find any that described the pressure cooker itself as a subpar small appliance. Nearly all were related to the packaging or it arriving with a dent.

Others clearly hadn’t read the description carefully and thought they were getting a traditional rice-cooker, when this can do so much more. This kind of universal approval really solidified my decision.

Paired with the fact that I can use it for anything from making a pot roast in just an hour to homemade yogurt to a hot breakfast waiting for me when I wake up, this pressure cooker will be a powerhouse appliance in my kitchen.

Check prices and read more customer reviews on Amazon now.

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About Chelsea Miller

Chelsea Miller, born and raised in Portland, Oregon, graduated from the University of Oregon where she discovered both her love of football and cooking great food. She's the founder of the food blog "A Duck's Oven" and began writing for Foodal in 2014.

Looking for a very versatile electric pressure cooker? Want something that works as a rice cooker, yogurt maker & more? The Instant Pot may be best for you.

10 thoughts on “Review of the Instant Pot 7-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker”

  1. Thanks for this insightful article!

    I find pressure cookers especially useful when making soup, it shortens the cooking time by a factor of 4! High pressure means that the soup becomes infused with flavor faster, and the ingredient soften more quickly.

    However as noted safety is definitely an important issue to consider. It is much better to splurge more on a branded, certified model than an off-the-shelf unbranded variant, even though they might be much cheaper.

    • That’s a good tip to splurge more on a branded, certified model than another cheaper version. I’ll be keeping that in mine on my search for a pressure cooker. I’ve been looking at some different models but I am afraid of buying the wrong one.

  2. This articles comes at the perfect time for me. I was just talking to my mother about whether a pressure cooker would be something I needed or not. She used to have one and loved it, but she never replaced it after it broke years ago. I might have to take a look at this one. It looks like a great deal.

    This article is really helpful. Thank you!

  3. Pressure cookers bring so much convenience to me when I am running out of time and need to have a meal prepared in an efficient, timely manner. All that needs to be done is the cleaning and seasoning of the meat, then I just toss it all in the pressure cooker, set it and I don’t even have to worry much about it because it’s got everything else taken care of. I love this kitchen appliance. And I also love this one shown here because of its smart options as opposed to the one I have.

  4. I have to have found this! After seeing the damage caused when my Ex’s mother had the top blow off of her stove top pressure cooker I have been leery of pressure cookers. I like that this is a whole lot safer and the pressure monitoring is done for you! Adding this to my wishlist for now because it will be a few weeks before i am able to buy it, hopefully it will still be at a 42% discount at that time.

  5. I’ve never used a pressure cooker, but have always coveted them from a distance. I like that you’ve done the reading and research for me, and I don’t need to compare the many options out there. I particularly like the idea of the steam rack, fingerprint resistant exterior, and delayed timer. I often plan meals well in advance, then get busy with other things, and this way, I can set it up and go, then when it’s time to eat, the food will be cooked, and ready to serve.

  6. You have made me want one of these now! I do a big batch of dry black beans once a week, and my step dad is always telling me to use a pressure cooker. He uses one of the old-school ones that go on the stove, so it’s always scared me. I may need to add this to my Christmas list! I frequently use my slow cooker, so maybe I could get rid of that for this!

  7. I just remember pressure cooking was done mostly when canning. I grew up in the country, and this was just part of life. All the women I knew canned the harvest of summer. From tomatoes to butter beans. Things sure have changed since I was a kid. I saw a video on Kentucky Fried Chicken, and how it got it’s start as a pressure cooker was finally used to speed up cooking time of chicken. I was dumbfounded I knew thought of a pressure cooker being used for anything other then canning.

  8. My mum had a pressure cooker – it was an ancient thing that I think she might have inherited from her mother. It was noisy and had a huge, heavy lid that clamped on to the body of the cooker. I was always a little scared of it. But my mum loved it and used it right up until she died. Neither my brother or I wanted it – but having seen this modern version, and knowing how convenient my mum found hers, maybe I should reconsider.

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