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Instant Pot vs Pressure Cooker: Which One Is The Winner?

By Luna Regina | Updated
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When it comes time to get a new cooking pot, the Instant Pot vs Pressure Cooker which-one-to-get question naturally pops up in our heads. If you are struggling to figure out the differences between the two, and can’t decide which one suits you better, let us help put your matter to rest.

Instant Pot vs Pressure Cooker

What is an Instant Pot?

People value convenience. And what's more convenient than a good pressure cooker that can help shorten your cooking time by up to 70% while still providing superior food taste and nutritional properties? We bet none.

When shopping for a pressure cooker, there is one popular brand name that has caught great attention from many customers. Yes, we’re talking about the Instant Pot. 

Instant Pots are head and shoulders above all other electric pressure cookers out there. They are tailored to replace most kitchen appliances including a steamer, rice cooker, food warmer, yogurt maker, sautéing vessel, and so much more. 

The Instant Pot family consists of 5 members. They are the LUX, the DUO, the DUO PLUS, the SMART, and the ULTRA. These models all have a manual program, a stainless steel cooking surface, and a wide range of capacity to meet the needs of different customers. 

While the Lux and the Duo seem to be widely used and most suited for those with tighter incomes, the Smart and the Ultra are high-end models that come with more special features. 

For instance, besides allowing  users to control the cooker from their cell phone or tablet via Bluetooth or WiFi, the Instant Pot Smart can also handle almost all kinds of cooking tasks. It enables you to make detailed, customised programs, as well. 

Plus, through the Smart Pot app, you can create your own recipes and customize results to your personal taste. 

Check our Instant Pot reviews for the full collection.

Are They Worth the Hype?

Both Instant Pots and Pressure Cookers are valuable appliances for many home cooks. So far, they have many things in common. They serve up quick, nutritious meals with the least amount of effort. They’re super easy to clean and compact enough to match with any kitchen decor. 

With abundant safety features, they’re extremely safe to use, giving you many years of reliable performance. There is no need to worry about explosions or fire disasters during operation. That is also the main reason why these products have grown in popularity over the years.

Parts of a Pressure Cooker

However, to optimize for the top position in this competitive industry through sharing the same business objectives does not really make sense. Instead, each of them needs to have innovative features that allows their product to differentiate itself and stand out from its counterparts. 

At this point, the Instant Pot is doing very well to convince that it is the best player around. Indeed, it’s never stopping to make great difference regarding the product’s performance, durability and cost efficiency. 

So, how is it different from the regular Pressure Cookers, exactly? 

Instant Pot vs Pressure Cooker: The Main Differences

At present there are 2 types of pressure cookers for you to choose from, namely the stovetop pressure cooker and electric pressure cooker. 

Although both of them are created to provide users with the best and most memorable cooking experience, each type does have their own characters to maximize their performance. 

To clear things out, we will take a look at two of the most popular models on the market right now. They include the Instant Pot DUO and the Presto 01781 stovetop pressure cooker. 

Well, without wasting any further time, let's hop on the adventure of learning some of the basic differences between these cookers. 

Instant Pot DUO60

Advantages

  • It's an intelligent electric cooker that has the functions of multiple cooking appliances
  • It speeds up the cooking time by 2 to 6 times, and consumes 70% less energy while still preserving nutrients in foods efficiently
  • It’s a breeze to clean up.
  • It performs all the functions of a stove-top pressure cooker well and comes with more possibilities. For example, an automatic shut-off function, variable cooking programs, delay timer, LED control panel
  • It has a stainless steel interior which offers easy clean-up, a gleaming modern appearance and long-lasting performance. 
  • It is UL and ULC certified with ten different safety elements, giving you complete peace of mind when cooking with it.

Disadvantages

  • Owing to the housing around the inner pot, it’s relatively bulky. Therefore, storage might be a challenge, especially for those with space constraints
  • A learning curve might be required to master the appliance. Because there are quite a lot of buttons for the wide range of functions it provides
  • It’s not good at canning food

Presto 01781 Stovetop Pressure Cooker

Advantages

  • It’s perfect for all canning needs
  • It gains pressure faster and takes a little less time to release pressure, thus reducing cooking time
  • It’s more affordable
  • It can last much longer than electric models
  • It’s simple, easy to use and store

Disadvantages

  • There is no automatic cooking program or scheduling feature. So you have to babysit it on the stove for proper results
  • It only has one pressure setting and can be used only for pressure cooking
  • It’s a little bit noisy

Related post: Instant Pot Natural Pressure Release vs. Quick Release

Instant Pot vs Pressure Cookers: Which One You Should Buy

There is no doubt that both the Instant Pot and traditional Stovetop Pressure Cookers are great products. They work well and do make great differences. However, every product has its pros and cons. So basically, just make sure your product of choice can meet your desired specifications. 

If you value durability more than convenience, then the conventional Stovetop Pressure Cooker is definitely a no brainer. Believe it or not, what you receive when cooking with this traditional cooker is lots of tasty foods that might remind you of the way your grandmother prepares dinners. 

On the other hand, if you’re looking for something safer and more accessible, and won’t mind paying a little more for better, convenient features, the Instant Pot series would be worth every penny. 

Luna Regina

A writer and entrepreneur, Luna’s day doesn’t start at the computer keyboard, but in the kitchen. Half of her working hours are spent on mixing ingredients for her recipes. The other half involve working with the tech team to research and test the tools and appliances that promise to make kitchen work effortless and mess-free. From a kitchen knife or water filter to the Instant Pot, if it can help save time and effort for the home cook, Luna and her team are on it. Luna’s extracurricular pastimes include camping, travel, and photography.