Instant pots have revolutionized the way we cook in the kitchen. They take our cooking ideas and implement them to prepare the best dishes. So, if you do not own one, please do yourself a favor and let go of that archaic cookware and upgrade to an instant pot ASAP. As a newbie, you may be wondering which instant pot to buy from the various models offered in the market. Don’t worry; we will be debunking that mystery for you in a moment.
Generally, instant pots are divided into four main models: LUX, DUO, Ultra, and Smart. The Duo model is further divided into three: Duo, Duo Mini, and Duo Plus, which we will be looking at in a moment. There is also the GEM model, which has an unorthodox design that deviates from the instant pot architecture. Each model is an improvement of the previous model with added features.
Double Insight Inc.’s decision not to retire all the features of previous models makes it easy to upgrade to a better version without losing features that you like or are accustomed to. Aside from the added unique features, all instant pot models have the following functions: high-pressure cooking, slow cooking, sauté, steaming, rice cooking and warming function. Let us look at the differences between the LUX Mini, Duo Mini, Duo Plus and the Ultra.
The LUX Mini is the original instant pot model and the least expensive. It is a multi-cooker that can slow cook, steam, saute, cook rice and keep cooked food warm. One of its shortcomings is that it has only one high-pressure mode. Therefore, you will not be able to cook under low pressure with this one. However, the high pressure allows for faster preparation of food.
The LUX Mini also lacks a self-closing pressure valve and a lid rest on the handle, two shortcomings that were successfully rectified in the subsequent models. This 6-in-1 cooker comes in various sizes, 3 quart Mini, 5 quarts, 6, and the 8 quarts. It is also the only model that comes in different colors, such as the traditional black, red and blue. For such a low price, this cooker performs beyond expectations and is highly recommended for beginners.
The Duo Mini is generally regarded as a companion cooker, due to its mini 3-quart size. It is therefore not the best option when it comes to preparing large dishes. However, this cooker is still very powerful and can stand on its own. You can use it for side dishes while preparing the main meals in a larger pot. It is a 7-in-1 multi-cooker, which is an improvement from the LUX Mini. In addition to the cooking functions of the LUX Mini, it can also prepare yogurt. The Duo Mini also has a low-pressure setting, which is great for cooking vegetables.
As its name suggests, the Duo Plus is an upgrade of the popular Duo model. In addition to all the features of its predecessor, the duo Plus also includes a sterilizing function and has additional cooking settings for eggs and cake. It is therefore listed as a 9-in-1 multi-cooker and has a modernized display system that keeps you updated on the cooking process. Another unique feature of the Duo Plus is a memorized system that keeps a record of the last cooking session, such as time and pressure. Just like its predecessor, it also comes in 3-quart mini, 6 quart and 8-quart sizes.
This is the latest offering from Double Insight Inc. and has all the great features of all the models, including SMART which was not listed in this article. It is listed as 10-in-1 meaning that it has cooking settings for cake, egg, yogurt, multigrain, porridge, rice, soup/broth, meat/stew, bean/chilli, slow cook, saute, pressure cooking and warming. It is also customizable to your cooking specifications. For instance, you can set the duration and specific time that you want the food cooked and at what pressure.
Furthermore, it can be operated with an app on your phone just like the Smart model and has an upgraded control panel with a turn and press dial for various settings. It also has an inbuilt thermostat to keep the temperatures within +/- 5 range. It comes in three different sizes, 3, 6, and 8 quarts. This is their best creation to date and is worth every penny.
All these models fall within an affordable range with the most expensive models (Duo Plus and Ultra) costing around $100, while the cheaper LUX Mini costs around $60. So, if you can spare some extra dollars for the premium models, then do it, we guarantee you will not regret it. The Instant Pot Ultra model is the best choice, and we highly recommend it. However, you can never go wrong with any of the instant pots. Just stick to the required guidelines, and you will be fine.