The Instant Pot line of electric pressure cookers has seen a huge surge in popularity in recent years, and it's no wonder. These miraculous devices can cook delicious, healthy meals in record time thanks to their simple set-it-and-forget-it operation. They also doubling as slow cookers, yogurt-makers, rice-cookers, and more. If you're in the market for an all-in-one kitchen device, an electric pressure cooker might just be your best bet.
In this Instant Pot Ultra review, we will take a look at the latest iteration of the Instant Pot, comparing and contrasting it with electric pressure cookers from other brands. Which one will come out on top? Find out in this Instant Pot Ultra review.
What Is Instant Pot Ultra?
The Instant Pot Ultra 10-in-1 is the newest electric pressure cooker from Instant Pot, one of the most popular electric pressure cooker brands on the market. The 10-in-1 in the name means just what you'd think: this device does the work of 10 difference kitchen appliances in one convenient package. In this Instant Pot Ultra review, we will compare its features, price, and ease-of-use with three other popular electric pressure cookers.
The Instant Pot Ultra features a six-quart pot, a larger digital display than previous models, and the ability to easily create near-unlimited programs with a few quick taps. The "Ultra" in Instant Pot Ultra refers to his function, which lets users preset specific temperatures and cooking times. The 10 functions include pressure cooking of course, but also sauteing, warming, sterilizing, rice-cooking, yogurt-making, slow-cooking, cake-making, egg-cooking, and steaming.
The Instant Pot Ultra has replaced the buttons of previous models with a larger display that requires users to cycle through options. This can make changing cooking functions and other tasks a little more time-consuming than on other electric pressure cookers. There are improvements elsewhere, though. The steam release valve has been significantly upgraded; it now automatically closes when the lid is locked into place. If you want to release it there's now a steam release button, which means no more manually flipping the release valve open and almost scalding your hand.
This new Instant Pot also has a host of great safety features for those who are still nervous about using pressure cookers. An anti-clog vent keeps food from blocking the release valve, a safety lock for the lid ensures it cannot be opened when pressurized, and a pressure sensor keeps the pressure in a safe range. In this Instant Pot Ultra review, we discovered that these and other safety features were enough to make this an easy, low-stress device to use.
For this Instant Pot Ultra review, we found the device to be a little bit bulky at 33 x 31.8 x 31.8 cm for the popular 6-quart model, which means it might not fit in all cabinets with ease. That's a small price to pay when replacing so many individual kitchen appliances with a single machine, though.
How It Compares
For our Instant Pot Ultra review, we picked a few similar products available on the market to see how they compare.
Instant Pot Ultra
- Instant Pot Ultra-electric pressure cooker is the next generation in kitchen appliances. A central dial with a simple...
- New features: Altitude adjustment, cooking indicator, and a steam release reset button. The ultra button for custom...
- Replaces 10 common kitchen appliances: Pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice/porridge cooker, yogurt maker, cake maker, egg...
- Ease of Use
- Design Quality
Changing cooking settings is a little more difficult and time-consuming on the Instant Pot Ultra than on previous models thanks to the large new display, but this issue is made up for by the ability to preset cooking programs. The new steam valve will be a favorite feature among Instant Pot users and makes the steam release process much easier and safer. While not all of the features will be intuitive from the get-go, users will be cooking like pros with just a little bit of practice.
The Instant Pot Ultra is far and away the most full-featured electric pressure cooker we looked at for the purposes of this Instant Pot Ultra review. Its ten different cooking functions will replace a lot of appliances in your kitchen and its safety features will give you peace of mind. If you're looking for the most versatile kitchen device on the market, the Instant Pot Ultra just might be it.
Aside from the aforementioned issue with the new, larger digital display, the Instant Pot Ultra is a sleek machine that's a pleasure to use. It's bulky, but that's unavoidable when it comes to electric pressure cookers. It's also sturdy and, while it has a learning curve, is easy to use once you get the hang of it.
The Instant Pot Ultra comes with a one-year limited warranty. While it's far from the worst warranty we'll see in this Instant Pot Ultra review, people who use it almost every day might wish for a slightly better offering.
Farberware Digital Pressure Cooker
The Faberware Digital Pressure Cooker is a 7-in-1 device that's among the more affordable electric pressure cookers on the market. In addition to pressure cooking, its functions include sauteing, cooking rice and risotto, steaming, slow-cooking, and cooking dry beans. It also builds up pressure faster than many competing devices, though it takes a long time to release pressure naturally. It's not as full-featured as the Instant Pot Ultra and only comes in a 6-quart model, but if you're looking for a good electric pressure cooker on a budget you've found it in Farberware's product.
- Ease of Use
- Design Quality
The buttons and displays on the Farberware Digital Pressure Cooker are more or less self-explanatory, and it's a good thing, too; the manual included with the device isn't much help. If you have experience with these appliances you won't have a problem, but if you're a newbie you may have to seek out some instructional videos online.
It seems silly giving a device with seven different cooking modes only three stars in the Features department, but it's up against some serious heavy hitters in this Instant Pot Ultra review. Beyond those seven modes, the Farberware Digital Pressure Cooker is barebones and lacks the bells and whistles of Instant Pot's latest. That's to be expected though, given that it's also half the price.
The Farberware Digital Pressure is a sturdy little device that offers timed settings for things like browning and steaming. The cooking insert is also dishwasher-safe; a minor but nonetheless welcome feature.
Farberware offers a lifetime limited warranty on all of its products; it doesn't get much better than that.
Fagor Lux Multi-Cooker
- Pressure cooking on both high and low options up to 99 minutes. Slow Cooking high or low options up to 10 hours
- Keep warm function up to 12 hours and Time Delay function up to 6 hours
- Cook a variety of meals in this all-in one machine from meats, grains, desserts and even yogurt
The Fagor Lux Multi-Cooker comes in at a similar price to the Instant Pot Ultra, so how does it stack up? It's a six-quart cooker with four main modes: pressure cooker, rice cooker, slow cooker, and yogurt maker. In addition to these four functions, it can also steam, saute, and keep food warm.
It lacks some of the higher-end functions of the Instant Pot Ultra like dedicated settings for beans and soup but is of similarly high build quality. The one thing it has an edge over the Instant Pot on is ease of use: its controls are simple to understand and even simpler to use.
- Ease of Use
- Design Quality
Unlike Farberware's cooker, the Fagor Lux Multi-Cooker comes with a thorough manual. Its controls are also simple to understand and use, making this a good option for electric pressure cooker newcomers.
For the price we'd have liked to see more than four central functions. If you plan to use your electric pressure cooker mainly for those four things, this is a great deal. If you like to experiment and want more bells and whistles like the redesigned pressure release valve, the Instant Pot Ultra is still a better bet.
The Fagor Lux Multi-Cooker comes with a ceramic insert, as opposed to stainless steel, that's dishwasher-safe. It also pressurizes more quickly than most other cookers of its kind, clocking in at 32 minutes. The controls are easy to read and understand, and the only complaint here is that natural pressure release is a time-consuming process.
Fagor provides a limited warranty of 10 years for this product; far superior to Instant Pot's meager one-year warranty.
Aroma Housewares ARC-914SBD
- Multi-Functional Use – Whether you're in the mood for a hearty jambalaya, steamed veggies and rice, or even a...
- User-Friendly Programming – Easy-to-use with 4 preset digital functions and automatic Keep Warm mode when the cooking...
- Nutritious & Delicious – The built-in Steam function allows for nutrient-rich meals to be prepared above while rice,...
The Aroma Housewares ARC-914SBD is a budget device designed mostly for cooking rice and steaming vegetables and seafood. It's smaller than the other cookers in this Instant Pot Ultra review, able to hold between two and eight cups of rice. There's also a steam tray included that can sit above the rice so users can cook rice and steam something else at the same time. While it's not full-featured by any means, it is a bargain and is especially good for individual users who like to plan their meals, cooking multiple things at once.
- Ease of Use
- Design Quality
With programmable and digital controls, the Aroma Housewares ARC-914SBD is simple enough for just about anyone to grasp. Part of the reason for that is its lack of bells and whistles, but the interface is also clean and well-designed.
Given the price, the Aroma Housewares ARC-914SBD can do quite a bit. It cannot, however, hold a candle to the other devices in this Instant Pot Ultra review. It cannot pressure-cook beans, stew, or other meals, nor can it make yogurt. If you're looking for a rice cooker with a little extra oomph, this is a great deal. If you want an appliance that can replace just about everything else in your kitchen cupboard, you'll have to spend a little more.
The Aroma Housewares ARC-914SBD makes great rice and does well when steaming veggies or fish at the same time. It has limited functionality though, and its size is too small for large households to use it for much more than cooking rice for the family.
Aroma offers a one-year limited warranty on this appliance, which is quite good given the initial cost of it.
Instant Pot Ultra Review | Conclusion
When we stack the Instant Pot Ultra up against a range of similar competitors, it becomes clear that Instant Pot's latest iteration is a cut above. It has several functions, including the ability to make yogurt, a dedicated setting for beans, and more than most other electric pressure cookers. It has the most safety features out of any of the products on this list, making it a good pick for those who are hesitant to dive into the electric pressure cooker fad given older pressure cookers' safety issues. It even has a brand new pressure release mechanism that sets it apart from previous iterations of the Instant Pot.
Its only downside is that it's a little more complicated to use than the other electric pressure cookers featured in this review. That's due to both its wealth of functions and the slightly convoluted nature of its new, larger digital display.
Still, when stacked up against other similar appliances, it clearly comes out on top. It might be a little on the pricey side, but if you've been eyeing an electric pressure cooker that can replace your slow cooker, rice cooker, and other devices, the Instant Pot Ultra is the one for you.
Last update on 2021-03-06 at 06:31 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API