Instant Pot Ultra Review: A Pressure Cooker to Save You Time and Energy

Instant Pot Ultra Review

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 ten 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.

Product Specs

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 ten 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.

Pricing

The Instant Pot Ultra can be purchased on Amazon for around USD100 for a three-quart model, USD130 for a six-quart model, or USD180 for a massive 8-quart model. This places it on the high end of the price range for electric pressure cookers, but the quality of the build and wealth of feature will make up for the expense for most users.

How It Compares

For our Instant Pot Ultra review, we picked a few similar products available on the market to see how they compare.

  • Farberware Digital Pressure Cooker
  • Farberware Digital Pressure Cooker
  • Aroma Housewares ARC-914SBD

Instant Pot Ultra

Sale
Instant Pot Ultra 10-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice...
  • 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,...
  • Ease of Use
  • Features
  • Design Quality
  • Warranty

****

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.

Pros

  • 10 cooking functions in one device
  • New pressure release valve will be a favorite among Instant Pot aficionados
  • 11 different safety features

Cons

  • On the expensive side
  • Warranty could be better

​Farberware Digital Pressure Cooker

Sale
farberware 7-1 programmable pressure cooker
  • Brand New in box. The product ships with all relevant accessories

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
  • Features
  • Design Quality
  • Warranty

*****

Farberware offers a lifetime limited warranty on all of its products; it doesn't get much better than that.

Pros

  • Great value for the price
  • Excellent warranty

Cons

  • Lacks the bells and whistles of its pricier competitors
  • Manual is not very helpful

​Fagor Lux Multi-Cooker

Fagor LUX Multi-Cooker, 6 quart, Electric Pressure Cooker, Slow...
  • 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
  • Features
  • Design Quality
  • Warranty

*****

Fagor provides a limited warranty of ten years for this product; far superior to Instant Pot's meager one-year warranty.

Pros

  • Easy to use with a clear, thorough manual
  • Excellent warranty

Cons

  • Less full-featured than the Instant Pot Ultra for a similar price

​Aroma Housewares ARC-914SBD

Aroma Housewares ARC-914SBD 2-8-Cups (Cooked) Digital Cool-Touch Rice...
  • Multi-functional use - cooks white and brown rice to perfection, but also jambalaya, steamed veggies, and even a fluffy...
  • Steaming capabilities - steam tray allows you to prepare your veggies above while rice, soup, or any other meal cooks...
  • Capacity and measurements - cooks 2 to 8 cups of cooked rice. Easy to store at home - measures 8.25 x 8.5 x 9 inches.

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
  • Features
  • Design Quality
  • Warranty

***

Aroma offers a one-year limited warranty on this appliance, which is quite good given the initial cost of it.

Pros

  • Great price
  • Can cook rice and steam other foods at the same time

Cons

  • Limited functionality
  • Small size

Instant Pot Ultra Review | Conclusion

stainless steel pot placed on electric cooker

Image via flickr

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.

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