Why you want this: At this point, there are enough distinct Instant Pot models, with slightly different features, that it can be difficult to know where to start. If you are contemplating your first purchase, critics seem to agree that the Instant Pot Duo is the “Goldilocks” model, possessing all the standard features at a reasonable price.
What the experts say: Good Housekeeping notes that the Duo only costs $20 more than the Lux, the most basic Instant Pot model (though the Duo is currently reduced to the same price). But for the small price bump, the Duo offers additional features, including a setting for making yogurt and pressure cooking on low. They also state that the 6-quart size is the best because it makes a solid batch of food, but doesn’t take up a massive amount of counter space.
Tom’s Guide says that while the Duo lacks some of the task-specific, pre-programmed options boasted by more expensive models, you can get great results cooking things like eggs using the manual pressure cooking settings.
What the people say: It makes cooking simpler. (“The rice it makes is fabulous. Potatoes are cooked in 15 minutes. We don’t need to soak beans overnight because this thing can cook them right out of the bag. Things that we wouldn’t typically cook because they are time- and effort-intensive are well within reach on a weeknight.”)
Allows you to cook pot-in-pot. (“In winter I put steel-cut oats with all my add-ins (raisins, vanilla, cinnamon, almond milk) into a small stainless-steel bowl, set that on the included trivet, throw a cup of water in the bottom of the IP, set it for 5 minutes manual pressure, and then go get ready for work. By the time I’m done, it’s cooked, depressurized, and so yummy. Way easier to clean a little bowl too.”)
The Instant Pot Duo 6-Quart is now $65, or 35 percent off the normal price.
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