What is an Instant Pot? To put it simply, it’s a multi-purpose cooker that is capable of performing a number of functions such as steaming, sauteing, and pressure cooking. Incredibly popular in the recent years, most users rave about the same thing- its versatility. Whether you’re trying to prepare soup or cook rice, all you need is the one cooker. In fact, its numerous functions allow it to replace individual kitchen appliances (e.g. steamer, rice cooker, pressure cooker, etc.). Why have ten different cookers, when you can have an all-in-one?
Like most electronics, however, there are a variety of different models to choose from. If anything, the choices available have only grown greater over the past couple of years. While they all differ in miniscualities however, the underlying purpose is the same- to serve as a programmable, multi-purpose cooker. Below, we’ll be discussing the different Instant Pot models. Which ones are 6-in-1? 7-in-1? Which one should you buy? Hopefully, we’ll be able to answer these questions for you down below.
The Different Instant Pot Models
As of 2018, there are currently five main models of Instant Pots; these include:
The Lux: The second Instant Pot to be released, it currently serves as the “economy” option. Unlike some of the newer models (which we’ll be going over below), it does not have the “Yogurt” function*, nor is it capable of cooking on a “low pressure” setting. Because of this, the Lux is a 6-in-1.
* While it doesn’t have the “Yogurt” function, you can easily still make Yogurt with the Lux- you’ll just have to use a different method
The Duo: Perhaps the most popular model, the Duo boasts all seven functions (pressure cook, steam, saute, slow cook, keep warm, cook rice, make yogurt). Another big plus is the fact that it comes with two pressure settings- both high and low. As a minor addition, it also features a spot for you to rest the lid near the handles, so that you do not need to put it down on the countertop. The Duo is a 7-in-1.
Note: The 3 quart size is only available with the Duo model
The Smart: As its name implies, the Smart model boasts a number of additional functions compared to the ones mentioned previously. Not only is it capable of performing everything that the Duo and Lux can, but it also has a programmable app that can be used to connect to the Instant Pot via Bluetooth. On top of that, it also comes with a much, larger, more informative screen on the front.
With the Smart Instant Pot app, you can easily use recipe scripts which are incredibly handy when it comes to making quick, easy meals. The Smart can be considered a 7-in-1.
The Ultra: One of the newer models, the Ultra features a central dial which allows for added precision when it comes to adjustment or program selection. Not only that, but it also comes with a steam release reset button, a cooking indicator, an altitude adjustment- as well as an entirely new interface. Needless to say, it does everything that the previous models are capable of doing. The Ultra can be considered a 7-in-1 (though in reality, it’s more of a 10-in-1).
The Gem: The newest addition, the Gem can be regarded as being entirely different than its predecessors. Unlike the other models, it is not capable of doing any pressure cooking. With that said, it is still considered to be a multi-cooker (though referring to it as a “fancy slow cooker” may be more accurate). The Gem is able to stew, roast, steam, cook rice, slow cook, sauce, and bake. It does not make yogurt. If anything, the Gem is considered to be below a 6-in-1.
Should I get an Instant 6 in 1 or 7 in 1?
If you’re deciding between a 6-in-1 and a 7-in-1, ask yourself- what will you be using the Instant Pot for? Before deciding on a cooker, it’s recommended to read about the differences above; from there, you can determine which model better suits your need.
For instance, if you never plan on making yogurt in an Instant Pot, there really is no reason to shell out extra money for a 7-in-1. On the other hand, if you’re planning on making the decision by the size of the cooker, remember that the Duo (aka 7-in-1) is the only one that is available as a 3 quart.