4 Stars By NICU Nurse on 2017-05-21
Great product, lousy documentation.
Great pot that is infinitely customizable. I've used mine daily since I bought it. I love the redesign of the pressure release valve so that it now resets it self automatically to "seal" when you replace the lid. The LCD face is bright and easy to read. The dial gives me the sense of more control over how I am adjusting the programs vs just pushing the button. That being said, the documentation that comes with the product is seriously lacking (hence 4 stars vs 5). Very little guidance is given on how to change the settings (such as in Saute, which comes with different heating options depending on whether you want to simmer, saute or brown). The yogurt program has also changed. There is now low/medium/high for incubation temps instead of the old Less/Normal. I had to take a guess to figure out which one to use. Same with the new Sterilize function. You can set it to no pressure, low pressure or high pressure without any understanding of why one should choose each option. Even the website is sorely lacking information. Thank goodness for more experienced users out there who have taken the time to blog about the different programs and settings. If this had been my first electric pressure cooker, it would have been returned immediately.
5 Stars By obsidian dusk on 2017-05-08
The pressure release button is everything!
Instant Pot really out did themselves this new upgrade.
The home dial is so easy to use, just rotate and push for the program you want and customize from there.
The pressure release button is the game changer that I hoped they incorporated into their previous models and they did with this one. No more ducking steam - just a push of a button at the end of your program or 15 min natural release and your golden.
I already own one instant pot and thought it would be wonderful to have one for veggies & desserts and one for meats.
I purchased this on Sur La Table with a coupon and free shipping so that helped .
I wish I could give this 6 stars!
I finally used the sous vide technique by setting the ultra button to custom and sous viding a couple of beautiful choice ny strips i bought from Costco. The best tasting homecooked steaks I have ever eaten-Restaurant quality! I read seriouseats.com guide on sous vide steaks and proceeded from there. Im never going back to panfried except for the 50 sec. sear. Love this pot!
5 Stars By Urvashi on 2017-07-22
My most favorite Make and Model of Electric Pressure Cookers
I am an avid Instant Pot user, and I’ve created over 100 recipes using an Instant Pot all of which I post on my blog, www.twosleevers.com. I’ve been cooking with pressure cookers since I was 14, and over the last 30+ years, I’ve had many different pressure cookers—stove top, electric including Fagor, Gowise, Cuisinart, Cook’s essentials etc. Yet I keep coming back to the Instant Pot. There are many reasons for this but primary amongst these are:
1. Higher temperatures achievable during Sauté allowing you to brown foods easily
2. Highly customizable with different settings for pressure, for yogurt making etc.
3. Each function works as it should, with several safety features to keep you and your family safe
4. Excellent customer service
5. A super-supportive and very active Facebook community that will answer any question you may ever have, while helping you expand your cooking horizons.
I have owned the Instant Pot Lux, the Duo, and now the Ultra and the Ultra is by far my favorite. Here is why I like this one better than the other models, all of whom I really like to start with.
1. Additional buttons. In addition to the usual Pressure Cook, Soup/Broth, Meat/Stew, Bean/Chili, Slow Cook, Saute’, Warm, Rice, Porridge, Multigrain, and Yogurt, it also has Cake, Eggs, Sterilize and Steam. Btw , it’s a common misunderstanding that these buttons change nothing but timing. In fact, many of them have entirely new functions. If you go to my blog twosleevers and look up Chicken curry with Yogurt and Spinach, you will see how the soup setting can be used to keep yogurt from separating during cooking.
2. Despite years of using a pressure cooker, I can be absent minded and forget to turn the knob to sealing. The Ultra self-seals. As soon as you close the lid, the knob turns to sealing and you don’t have to worry about it. In fact, this is so convenient that I find myself using my much-loved Duo less and less, as I often forget to seal that one.
3. A few additional buttons such as egg, cake etc. do make things slightly easier. I do use the cake button a lot, such as while making a keto-friendly almond cake like this: https://twosleevers.com/2017/06/instant-pot-keto-gluten-free-coconut-almond-cake/
4. Highly customizable. You can set any temperature, any hold times, any cook times, etc. making this ultra personalizable. But if you’re a newbie, don’t worry about it, because the basic settings work just fine without any customization. I think this offers great potential for those of us who like to tinker and experiment
5. Ability to use the pot for Sous-Vide. I haven’t yet experimented widely with this but I’ve seen lots of reports saying it works just fine. If you’re an absolute purist and a difference of 2-3 degrees matters in your final cooking (e.g., steak) then you may want to use an immersion circulator, but if you’re preparing a recipe that will tolerate a few degrees here and there, this machine is a mutlitasker that also allows sous-vide.
6. Progress indicator. The display has a little chart that tells you whether the pot is pre-heating, under pressure or keeping your food warm. This is surprisingly handy when you set your IP and go about your business, and forget how long ago you started cooking. I love this feature.
1. The dial settings are less convenient than the press-button format of the DUO, but with great flexibility comes some additional dialing and fidgetiness which is totally worth it.
2. It’s more expensive than the other pots but with sales, prime day, cash back etc. the difference is not always as big as it seems.
3. It has a narrower foot-print which is a good thing, but the inner pot is a different size than the duo (taller and slightly more narrow) which means all your little yogurt jars will fit differently in this than a duo. Not really a Con, just something to be aware of.
Net Net: If you’re about to buy your first IP, I’d strongly recommend starting with this one, as it will grow with you as your confidence in cooking with an IP grows. If you’re looking to add a second IP, do consider this one.
5 Stars By ASMJEM on 2017-08-19
I used a pressure cooker years and years ago, but this is my first Instant Pot. The Nom Nom Paleo blog sold me! Then, when it went on sale, I took the plunge and bought it, and I'm so glad I did! I unboxed today and made chicken soup, and it couldn't have been easier to use! It took about 20 minutes or so to preheat, but the guide said that's normal. Clean up was just as easy. I love all the setting options. And it makes a mean bone broth in no time flat! It would take days to make the broth and then the soup with my Ninja crockpot. This was so quick and easy compared to that! I can't wait to make all sorts of recipes, all year long but especially with fall coming!
5 Stars By Linda S Foster on 2017-08-21
4 Stars By M. Lyman on 2017-07-20
Maybe I don't get it yet
I'm a believer, mostly. I always have used a pressure cooker. I'm still on my learning curve for the other functions though. If everything reaches pressure when do you use the slow cooker function? And it seems most recipes use the pressure function rather than the function it was designed for. I have found the best ways to make rice recipes for instant pot don't even use the rice function. So, I'm still trying to get the hang of it. Making rice was definitely easier in my old rice cooker. I love how I can make steel cut oats quickly but there again, the recipes say to use the pressure cook function instead of porridge. It's a bit silly to think you can just press a button and voila, your food turns itself off and cooks just the perfect amount. You really do have to understand it's limitations and know how to use it. I do like that I can leave and it will turn itself to warm. It cooks fast and keeps warm. If it has 9 or 11 functions is meaningless. It really seems to do just those two things, but it does them well.
5 Stars By Angela M on 2017-06-20
Fantastic All-Around Appliance
I already had a Fagor Lux, which I love - I feel a bit like I am cheating on my Fagor by getting another brand. But I liked the idea of the additional settings and control offered by this model of Instant Pot, and needed a second one for the kitchen on our houseboat, so I gave this one a try. So far, I love it. It works great - the times seem to be spot on with the automatic settings I've tried, but you can also really dial in the temp, pressure and time minutely with the Ultra settings. The saute setting heats up enough to brown/sear nicely, which saves you from dirtying additional dishes for recipes that require browning or sauteing before they go into a slow cooker.
Compared to the Fagor, it heats up a bit more slowly initially, and perhaps takes a bit longer to get up to full pressure. Once it's up to full pressure, cooking times seem to be about the same, and they both do a very similar job. The stainless insert looks and feels a lot heavier duty than the Fagor insert, although the Fagor insert has held up perfectly well for the past year.
It has a steam-release valve that resets when you put the lid on. If you haven't used a pressure cooker before, you probably don't know why this matters. Normally, you have to put your steam-release valve into the correct (closed) position to pressure cook. It seems so basic that you would think you'd always remember to do this, but I've forgotten to set mine to the correct position more than a time or two and only noticed that things weren't cooking after a half hour or so - not ideal when you are trying to get dinner on the table on a weeknight.
Documentation isn't the best - it covers the basics but if this was the first pressure cooker I used I would have wanted considerably more detail.
1. Lot's of control and customization
2. Heavy duty
3. Tons of pre-programmed options that work as advertised
4. Steam-release valve automatically resets when you put on the lid\
5. Of course, cooks things quickly and well
1. Poor documentation
2. Perhaps a steeper learning curve - it isn't quite as intuitive as the Fagor Lux, which might be better for a first time pressure cooker user
3. Heats up/comes to full pressure a bit more slowly than the Fagor Lux
Overall, I love this and it's very easy to recommend. Helps get dinners on the table fast, doesn't heat up the house on hot summer days, and replaces a wide-variety of other kitchen appliances, like slow cookers, rice cookers, yogurt makers, etc. It's versatility makes it great for an all-around cooking appliance for a houseboat or anywhere else you are limited on space.
4 Stars By anonymous on 2017-07-02
One of the best kitchen gadgets ever made but it's got some problems
This is my first instant pot and I absolutely love it. So much so that it stays on the counter in my tiny kitchen. It makes preparing meals much faster. And fewer pots to clean. Items can be prepared in succession in a very short period of time. I've been cooking more now because it's so fast and easy, less waiting around.
The biggest problem with the instant pot ultra is the instructions. Essentially there are none, the user manual is worthless and all the online videos, resources won't provide anymore insight. So be prepared for trial and error. It's very frustrating. Beware the rice function does not allow for time adjustments. It cooks for 12 minutes and that's that. BIG MISTAKE Instant Pot! Anyone cooking jasmine or a short grain rice should just use the pressure function: pressure on high, for 4minutes +/-1minute, and allow to naturally depressurize. Also, I got a defective unit, so there are quality control issues. My first unit had a defective pressure release valve, just like another reviewer here and others online. When the pressure release valve is clicked into the open position, there is supposed to be a tremendous and consistent release of steam. The pressure release in the FULLY OPEN position isn't supposed to just stop when you stop hold down the button. It's not normal. Luckily sur la table allowed me to play with a new unit in the store and exchange my old one. Don't buy this unit and stick it in the closet for a few months, only to discover a defect later. Despite these problems, I love my instant pot ultra and will not return it unless some other defect occurs.
4 Stars By Motown Doc on 2017-07-10
Versatile Cooker; limited instruction
Purchased from local Sur La Table as amazon order was taking too long to process. It is versatile and can easily replace most kitchen appliances in the hands of an experienced cook. While it boasts 10 unique functions instruction manual is sorely lacking for an appliance designed and engineered by a Canadian company. Owners are expected to be creative and experiment.
I had to exchange the first unit because the supposedly new steam vent button would not function as advertised. It would simply not click in pace for continuous steam release. This seem to be a common problem with this new model judging from online posts. There is even a confusing redundant marker on the lid next to the vent button that says "turn to seal." Well, sealing is automatic in this model. Opening or closing the lid seals it. The only time "turn to seal" seem to work is when switching from continuous venting to non-venting. In other words if you suddenly change your mind after depressing the vent button you can cancel it by using the "turn to seal" marker.
Some of the menu items may be confusing to someone new to digital pressure cooking. The Ultra menu is simply custom or manual programme. In fact most of the preset menus can be adjusted using the dial knob. The Rice menu is for white rice only. While you can use the multigrain function to cook brown rice prepare for a long wait: it automatically soaks the rice for 50 minutes even if you use the dial to shorten the pressure cooking time. I prefer to use the pressure or ultra menu for brown rice or mixture thereof. Rice to water ratio 1:1; add 2 tsp of extra virgin olive oil; Pressure cooking time 20 minutes with full natural steam release. The porridge menu is for oats. For McCann's steel cut oats I use the porridge default setting; oats to water ratio: 1:3; 2 tsp of extra virgin olive oil; full natural steam release. For Bob's Red Mill Steel cut oats I use the Ultra or pressure menu: Oats to water ratio 1:3; 2 tsp olive oil; 10 mins pressure cooking time; full natural steam release. Bob's Red Mill steel cut oats is finer cuts and cooks in half the time required for McCann's Steel cut oats. When using the porridge menu for Bob's Red Mill steel cut oats adjust cooking time to 10 minutes and conclude with full natural steam release.
This is definitely a good buy despite skimpy instruction manual and finicky new steam vent button.
5 Stars By Tinkster on 2017-05-13
the new Instant Pot Ultra is PERFECT for me
I admit it. I'm a bit of a control freak. That said, the new Instant Pot Ultra is PERFECT for me! In "Ultra" mode, I can control everything about the cooking process. The new and improved display makes it easier for me to select what I want to do. Once it's doing its thing, the process graph shows me exactly where it is in the cooking cycle.
I also like the improved steam vent/release configuration. Today, I tried the sous vide process for the first time. Purists will rant about the +/-5 degree temperature range the Ultra promises to hold at, but no need to pick nits. My boneless, skinless chicken breast prepared sous vide in the Ultra was so moist, tender and flavorful that I was shocked.
And let's face it: This thing is darn purty! It's all shiny and bright and looks so full of promise when you gaze upon it that you'll be crazy inspired. The new "knob and button" controls make you feel like you're at the helm of some cool sciency machine in a lab somewhere, cooking up just what humanity needs to live another day.
5 Stars By Lora Z. on 2017-07-11
Perfect Tool to have in your kitchen
This thing is now my favorite kitchen tool. I often don't turn on the oven and use this instead. I was skeptical and a little afraid of it, I admit. But this iteration is SO easy to use, knows what the best cooking time is based on what you are making, and the steam release button is as simple as can be. I know it looks complicated, it is not.
The documentation does suck, so use the internet. Google instant pot recipes and you will be up and running in no time. Perfectly cooked veggies, eggs, chili, soup, etc. I have not tried cakes...
5 Stars By ajk388 on 2017-08-02
Nice 2-in-1 pressure cooker and sous vide slow cooker
This is a new item from Instant Pot, the Instant Pot - Ultra. This is different from the lower model because:
(1) It comes with the "ultra" button. This is what really sets this model apart from a traditional "pressure cooker." The Ultra button is the sous vide cooking feature. This allows you to set a specific low temperature from 104 to 208 and cook at that set temperature in a no pressure vacuum. So, this instant both is both a "pressure cooker" and a no pressure cooker (for sous vide mode). Basically, you get a pressure cooker and a slow sous vide cooker for the price and space of one cooker.
(2) the other features are a cake, egg, sterilize, and yogurt buttons on the screen. The sterilize feature is specific to the ultra version. Also, the screen is larger than in the older models. The other features are mostly to allow for more customization and convenience over the older models. For example, if you want to pressure cook eggs, you just push the egg button instead of manually setting the dials to get the settings to cook an egg.
The pressure release button works great. After you push it it'll shoot steam for several minutes before it's ready to open. You're supposed to open the lid sideways away from you so you don't get steam in your face, but if you open it even I've noticed the pot tending to catch on the rim of the lid,before dropping with a clang several inches.
Overall a great price for a 2-in-1 pressure cooker and sous vide machine.
5 Stars By RCarter on 2017-08-15
Great purchase! Love this cooker!
I have been waiting to splurge on one of these do-it-all Instant Pots and I finally did and so glad! I've never had a pressure cooker and everyone always raves about theirs so I finally decided to do it! I made a pot roast in it for the first time and it was so easy and fast! And it turned out great! I didn't put my potatoes or carrots in with it as I thought they might get mushy and I like a little crunch to my cooked carrots! But the meat was delicious and tender!
5 Stars By Joseph on 2017-08-18
So Nice We Bought it Twice
Our original Instant Pot replaced our Showtime Rotisserie as the most used kitchen appliance....just kidding. We've been vegetarians for a few years so we always have something to drop in the pot. On a daily basis the pot has been in use making yogurt (use filtered milk for best results), cooking rice, steel cut oats, or other things we never wanted to sit around and stir. My wife's the primary cook, I'm just the clean up crew, so she can enumerate all the things she makes in the pot. I just eat it, burp my approval, then clean up. The added functionality of the digital display is nice. But having another one means we don't have to prioritize what goes in the pot next. All the accessories for the original such as the bowls and lids fit the v2.0. Especially important is that the gaskets fit both. Over time, especially if you cook spicy, the gasket will take on the smell. Yes, we keep our gaskets in baggies withe baking soda....but it's kind of important when you do yogurt or oatmeal that it doesn't taste like curry when you serve it.
5 Stars By Mrsk9sp on 2017-06-19
Worth the wait if no other buying option
Wonderful product! Easy to use and I'm glad I purchased the Ultra. I recommend going online and tying 'compare instant pot models' to decide which instant pot to purchase. I wanted the Smart that is sold on BTA-MALL but could not be guaranteed that it was the newest generation and from pictures it's not. If you purchase Smart and want to be assured it's the latest generation look for "cake and egg" buttons. There are no physical differences from generation "1" to generation 2 so beware. The Ultra is 3rd generation however I had to purchase it elsewhere as BTA-MALL not selling them yet.
5 Stars By Noho Cycle Chic on 2017-08-03
Life changing! Whole foods cooked to perfection for high carb/low fat vegan (plant based) cooking.
Minutes after unboxing I made vegan (Gardein Meatballs) spaghetti and meatballs in four minutes (plus time to get to pressure)! The vegan meatballs, sauce and the spaghetti turned out better than stove top! (al dente) Recipe below. I did not have to use separate pots for pasta and sauce and I did not heat up my kitchen. The unit is highly insulated and did not emit ANY heat! I chose the Ultra over the previous models because the new quick release steam button is separated from the steam valve (Ultra only), the larger streamlined screen and fewer buttons.
The instructions are adequate, but the real advantage of the Instant Pot over other pots is the Youtube IP community with endless recipes and tips. Jill McKeever, Simple Daily Recipes, Ground Leaf (groundleaf.co/instantpot), High Carb Hanna, Hot For Food, The Butterfly Effect, Pressure Luck (not vegan but recipes are adaptable), Indian Vegan Recipes and much more.
I decided against the Wifi version for ten dollars more because I don't wish to put radiation (wifi) near my food, I plan on using this IP to reheat foods and get rid of my microwave, so having wifi in it seemed silly (gimmicky?) and counterproductive. I love it! I would even consider getting a second one to do weekly prep cooking of multiple recipes simultaneously. I purchased mine at Target using my Redcard for an additional 5% off and the July coupon code for an additional 10% off. Binge watch the Youtube channels I posted above, buy one and you won't regret it.
Vegan Spaghetti and Meatballs Instant Pot ULTRA recpie.
Pour one 24 oz. can of Del Monte Traditional Pasta Sauce into inner pot.
Stir in 2T dried Italian Seasoning.
Stir in 1tsp Madhava Golden Light Agave syrup.
Break 1 pound of Barilla Thick Spaghetti n7 into three equal sections (not in half) and scatter in a birds nest pattern over the sauce.
Add 4C filtered water over pasta. (note, you can add salt to the water, stir then pour over pasta, if you want salty tasting pasta.)
Place 8 frozen Gardein Classic Meatless Meatballs on top of spaghetti nest.
Gently press the nest/pile down a bit so most of the pasta is covered, or very close to the waterline.
Select Pressure Cook, High, 4 minutes, NO keep warm - It needs to shut down after the four minute cook time is achieved to avoid mushiness. (Use the quick manual steam release button as soon as the four minute cook time is over or you may get mush.) Note; Depending on your altitude you may need to add more time. Add a minute at a time until you get it perfect for you. You can always add more time, but if you start with too much time you can't undo it if it's overdone.
My machine at my altitude took about 18 minutes to 'get to pressure' before the four minute cooking time started to count down.
Sprinkle GoVeg Parm Cheese and ground pepper on top.
5 Stars By Dr. DJ on 2017-05-21
At least as likable as previous versions!
This is my second Instant Pot. The first one I gave to my parents when my mom had back surgery. I took it to them and gave my dad a crash course in pressure cooking so they wouldn't have to order take-out for months while my mom recovers. Then, when I came back home, I ordered the new Ultra version. The new steam release is kind of bothersome in that it seems wobbly and it is hard to tell if it is set correctly. But I have made several dishes and they have all been just like when I made them in my other Instant Pot. I can't really say that I like this one much better than my last one. I am just not that in to cooking anyway. But I can say that so far, I like this one at least as much as my last one. There is a learning curve with any of the Instant Pots, and the instruction book is definitely lacking! But so far, I have no regrets in buying this Instant Pot. And I also ordered mine from Sur Le Table only because they had a 20% off coupon which decreased the price by about $30, and the shipping was free. I love ordering from BTA-MALL, but $30 is a significant price difference in my opinion. And I got my order in 3 days from the other company. If BTA-MALL would offer the same 20% off, I am certain they would be seeing these fly out the door!
5 Stars By MEW on 2017-06-14
I cook 3-4 clumps of pork cushion for me and my dog and it takes less than 30 minutes to get pork that you can easily pull apart
I got this to cook large quantities of frozen food quickly and in 15 minutes, I can go from frozen solid chicken breasts to the tenderest chicken imaginable. Same with pork and beef. Absolutely amazing and really easy to clean. Very highly recommended. We also own the smaller one ut this one is my favorite for the sheer quantity of things you can cook at one time.
4 Stars By snowflakes on 2017-07-05
Owners manual pretty much useless
This is my first pressure cooker. The owner's manual is pretty useless. Luckily, it wasn't too hard to figure out on my own. I set it on my counter, pulled up a chair and fiddled around with the dial before actually cooking in it. Tonight I used the delay feature, which was great. I figured out myself how to use it. Facebook has an instant pot community that is very friendly, helpful and quick to respond, glad to help. The manufacturers really need to upgrade the manual.
4 Stars By ALittleLuxe on 2017-07-06
Has its uses
Though I have subscribed to many instant pot facebook pages for recipes, I would not consider myself among the legion known as IP fanatics. Not to say it isn't great, it just isn't anything to obsess over, in my opinion. I don't use it for every meal, but I do use it frequently. We only have one oven, even though or microwave is also a convection oven, I can never get it to bake very well. The IP comes greatly in handy ad an additional 'oven' or pot when I need to cook two things at different temps, one item goes in the oven and the other in the IP. Works well on pasta night to make the noodles, and gives me extras room to work with on the cooktop. I find it incredibly useful, not to mention very pretty to look at, I placed it on a 10" wooden lazy susan because of the rumors I had heard about IP's cracking countertops.