I’m a big fan of the Instant Pot (IP) brand in particular. If you are thinking about buying some other brand, think about these factors in your decision-making:
- Take a look at the reviews on Amazon.com (even if you are not buying it there). IP has 4.5 stars in over 17 THOUSAND reviews.
- Does the pot you are considering have a stainless steel inner pot? Even if you don’t agree that non-stick liners are toxic, non-stick pots get scratched and lose their non-stick over time. Then you are looking at replacing that inner pot. The sturdy stainless steel pot on the IP looks like it will last forever!
- There are two primary versions of the IP–the LUX and the DUO. The Duo has options like a low pressure option, a yogurt making function (great for keto yogurt including dairy-free coconut milk yogurt!) that the Lux does not. Then there are size variations5,6, and 8 qt. You CANNOT use the IP for canning, but I think you can in the larger PowerPressure XL. There are two (one is brand new) IP’s with Bluetooth capabilities that have more mixed reviews and are very expensive.
- While the Lux has 6 “functions” and the Duo has 7, there’s really only a few that are truly needed on each–sauté function allows you to heat the pots to one of three temperatures without pressure, manual pressure, and yogurt function (on the Duo) which allows you to heat to three lower temperatures. There is a timer that allows you to fill the pot for it to turn on automatically later, but that’s not food safe for a lot of foods. There is a “keep warm” function which will keep cooked food warm up to 10 hours after cooking–that does come in handy. The slow cooker function on the IP’s is so so. There are three temperature settings and part of the confusion is that they don’t correlate to dedicated slow cookers. Also, since they only heat from the bottom and only have a metal pot, they work differently than slow cookers–but there is now an optional stoneware insert. I just find it easier to cook things that would otherwise go in a slow cooker much faster under pressure. You really don’t need the buttons like egg, cake, meat, etc. because you can set those manually. Make sure any EPC you buy allows you to set time at pressure manually, you shouldn’t have to be locked into the pre-sets.
Other brands may be just as good and often less expensive (I don’t have any experience with other brands). When you look at other brands, consider what options may be “deal breakers” for you and make sure that you will be satisfied with what you buy.
IPs go on sale on Prime Day on Amazon and on Black Friday for amazing prices, comparable to other brands. But I’ve seen other people very happy with other brands they got for less. So just some things to think about if choosing an electric pressure cooker.