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Instant Pot IP-DUO60 Programmable Pressure Cooker

The Instant Pot IP-DUO60 electric pressure cooker is a truly versatile appliance, replacing your pressure cooker, rice cooker and slow cooker. It also steams, sautés, browns and warms, and can even make yogurt. Experts and owners love it, saying the Instant Pot will significantly cut the time you have to spend cooking, and that foods cooked in it turn out perfectly. Its most popular feature is the stainless steel, rather than nonstick, cooking pot; something those who are wary of chemicals in cookware appreciate.

Pros

  • Safe
  • Versatile
  • Easy to clean
  • Stainless steel cook pot

Cons

  • Learning curve
  • Gasket retains odors

Breaking it down

Performance

Highly versatile and a top performer. Owners are nearly unanimous in their love for the Instant Pot IP-DUO60 programmable pressure cooker. Many wonder how they lived without it, saying it perfectly cooks meat, risotto, vegetables, and many more foods; and does so very quickly. Quite a few owners say that it works as well as a rice cooker and slow cooker as it does as a pressure cooker. Testing backs up their experiences, too, at both TheSweethome.com and Good Housekeeping, the Instant Pot performed well in all three of those areas. Many bought it just for its yogurt making feature and they are thrilled with the results.

Ease of use

A small learning curve. In testing at TheSweethome.com, Lesley Stockton notes that the Instant Pot, "looks complicated, but is actually very simple to figure out." Most owners agree, but they also pan the included instruction book, which they say isn't very helpful. However, the Instant Pot is so popular (we saw the words "Instant Pot cults" more times than we can count), that there are almost unlimited internet resources for downloading recipes and instructions, including videos that walk you through learning to use the Instant Pot. The IP-DUO60 is reported as easy to clean and the stainless steel cooking pot is dishwasher safe. It has a lid rest on the pot, something many reviewers appreciate. One quibble we saw about ease of use from J. Kenji López-Alt at SeriousEats.com -- he found the interface to be unintuitive due to the many buttons and presets. He also notes that it's tough to figure out if it's actually doing what you've set it to do because the LCD feedback is "old-school." He says you have to be sure to be patient and wait for the beep that tells you it's started cooking.

Durability/safety

Very few complaints. This 6-quart version of the Instant Pot was released in 2014, and we found very few complaints of breakage or other durability issues, even when it's used several times a week. The inner pot is a 3-ply, food-grade stainless steel; something that's unique in electric pressure cookers -- most are coated with nonstick material, which turns off those who are trying to avoid chemical coatings. One issue we did see: many reviewers, even those who give this a 5-star rating, say the gasket stinks to high heaven after making anything that's strongly-flavored and it's hard to get the smell out. Some say they buy a second gasket, the Instant Pot Sealing Ring (Est. $10), to keep one for things like meat-based meals and one for more mildly-flavored items like oatmeal. The gasket is not covered under the 1-year warranty. The Instant Pot also comes in a 5-quart version, the Instant Pot IP-DUO50 (Est. $90), an 8-quart version, the Instant Pot IP-DUO80 (Est. $130) and a Bluetooth-enabled version, the Instant Pot Smart (Est. $180), which lets you control and monitor the pressure cooker using a smartphone app.

Specs

  • Type: Electric pressure cooker
  • Capacity (quarts): 6 quarts
  • Settings: 12; soup, meat/stew, bean/chili, poultry, rice, multigrain, porridge, steam, slow cook, pressure, yogurt, sauté, keep warm
  • Steamer basket: Yes
  • Diameter (inches): 13
  • Height (inches): 12.6
  • Weight (pounds): 14.5
  • Warranty: 1 year

Sources

Lesley Stockton, Feb. 17, 2017

Lesley Stockton likes the Instant Pot IP-DUO60's versatility and ease of use, making it her top pick in this comparison of 12 pressure cookers (including both electric and stovetop models). She says the Instant Pot is, "One of the most affordable electric cookers we tried allows easier, more hands-off cooking than stovetop models, and its standout features include a slow-cooker mode."

Editors of Good Housekeeping, February 2017

The Instant Pot IP-DUO60 earns an overall score of 4 stars out of 5 in Good Housekeeping's testing, with top scores for cooking a variety of recipes. It also scores well for ease of use and versatility. The only "con" they notes it that it takes a long time to release pressure on the natural setting.

J. Kenji López-Alt, Not Dated

In this thorough roundup of four pressure cookers -- both electric and stovetop -- J. Kenji López-Alt names the Instant Pot IP-DUO60 the Best-Buy Countertop Multi-Cooker. He says it's very versatile and is also "a fantastic value." He notes that the stainless steel insert is harder to clean than ceramic-coated inserts.

Kelli Foster, April 17, 2015

Kelli Foster, assistant food editor and product reviewers for The Kitchn.com chose to try out the Instant Pot due to her space limitations and its claimed versatility. While she notes that it is not intuitive to use, in testing it excelled at all tasks she set for it. She concluded, "The more I cooked with Instant Pot, it felt easier and easier to use, and I discovered more ways it could save me time in the kitchen on a regular basis."

Kelli Foster, July 12, 2016

In this follow up to her original review (above), Kelli Foster gives an update six months into her purchase of the Instant Pot. After mastering the learning curve, not only does she love it, she notes that her husband has started to use this electric pressure cooker. In conclusion, she notes that her initial skepticism has given way to complete love.

Contributors to Amazon.com, As of April 2017

The Instant Pot IP-DUO60 Programmable Pressure Cooker earns an overall rating of 4.7 stars out of 5 in more than 18,000 reviews. Cooks adore it, saying it makes delicious food and does so quickly. The stainless steel pot gets raves from the health-conscious. There are a few complaints about the lack of clear instructions and some durability complaints. These reviews include all four models/sizes of the Instant Pot DUO.

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