After a long and busy day at work, there’s nothing more tempting than to order some pizza or burritos. It’s instant comfort food without you having to step a foot in the kitchen – what’s better than that?
But you don’t always have to resort to unhealthy fast food on weekdays. Nifty kitchen gadgets such as electric pressure cookers were invented for workaholics and busy parents who want healthy homemade food without the energy and time required by traditional cooking methods.
The Instant Pot Duo Plus (version two) is one such appliance that makes your kitchen life a ton easier. However, this post will review it critically, in detail, so you know exactly what you’re paying for.
We’ll discuss its features and performance, along with its pros and cons, and much more. So read on before you head to purchase this model.
The Instant Pot Duo Plus 9-in-1 is a step up from its simpleton ancestor, the Duo. Here’s our analysis of its features and our opinion on the upgrades:
The Duo Plus has an improved screen, lid, and inner pot design. For instance, the new display has a black background with icons in white. This makes it easier to read, although the font size is pretty small.
The screen displays status icons such as pressure level, heat level, and a cooking progress bar, which we love. Monitoring the progress feels assuring and keeps you informed about what’s happening inside.
But the best and the most notable improvements are in the lid. The upgraded version of the Duo Plus comes with a vent switch for easy steam release, so your fingers don’t have to manually twist the nozzle to quick release.
Plus, the switch automatically locks into the sealing position once you put on the lid, so you don’t have to remember to do that every time you start cooking. These additional features to the lid really make the Duo Plus worth the extra few bucks.
And of course, the Duo Plus has the same old trusty stainless steel exterior and inner pot. Also, the inner pot now locks in the base, so it doesn’t spin around while you stir. So overall, the design upgrades are pretty impressive on the Duo Plus.
9-in1 Cooking Modes
This is where the Duo Plus really shines through – it does the work of nine kitchen appliances in one.
Instant Pots feature a 1200W heating element, enabling them to heat up quickly and reducing the cook time by 70%. However, we always suggest preheating your Instant Pot to save even more time.
Either way, you will make the best chili and other time-taking recipes within a third of the time with the Duo Plus.
Even though the Instant Pot may not be as efficient as a standard slow cooker, it can still function as one and make equally divine and mouth-watering stews and ribs.
You’ll have to add about 15 minutes in the Instant Pot for each hour in a regular slow cooker, but that’s about it.
Save yourself from washing utensils and cook a one-pot dish by using the sauté function on the Instant Pot Duo Plus 9-in-1.
To adjust the heat, you can choose between Low, Normal, and High (named Less, Normal, and More on the previous version of the Duo Plus and the Duo).
Moreover, in the sauté pan mode, the Duo Plus reminds you to take off the lid to prevent accidentally burning the food. Pretty cool, right?
Craving some wontons? Or planning to prepare a fancy dinner of steamed snapper and veggies? Whip out your Duo Plus and get cooking, as it comes with a stainless-steel steam rack for steaming all sorts of stuff.
The new Duo Plus features a sous vide mode as well, allowing you to make the perfect steak with its precise temperature control.
The yogurt preset is one you’ll particularly find useful as making homemade yogurt is easier than ever with an Instant Pot. Its one-touch control makes the whole process super simple and removes any guesswork that comes with timing and controlling temperature.
If you want fluffy white rice every time, use the rice preset on the Duo Plus – it works wonders. However, you can’t make brown rice with this preset, so you’ll have to set the time for that manually.
Yep – you read that right. The Cake mode is now available on this budget-friendly model, allowing you to make brownies, sponge cake, and even cheesecake without an oven in sight.
You may end up with a denser cake than usual, though, as the environment inside is super moist.
If you have baby bottles, jars, and other equipment that need sterilization, you can utilize the handy sterilize program for this.
Presets and Controls
Apart from the nine cooking modes, the Duo Plus offers egg, soup/broth, bean/grain, and porridge/oatmeal presets too.
These smart programs are also customizable so that you can adjust the cooking time according to your preference. And the best part? The device will remember your settings for the next time, so it’ll literally take a second to start the cooking process. Nifty, huh?
As far as the controls are concerned, they’re reasonably easy to work with, especially in the upgraded version of the Duo Plus.
There’s no adjust button, which was extra and a bit annoying on the previous models. Instead, the time and pressure/temperature have their designated increase and decrease buttons, making customizing easier than ever.
Another useful control is the start button. It confirms that the cooking process has started, unlike previous models where it started automatically and left people guessing and wondering for a while.
Meanwhile, the keep warm button lets the Instant Pot Duo Plus act as a food warmer, and the delay start allows for the cooking to start at a set time (up to 24 hours).
We didn’t really find anything cumbersome with the controls, except that too many buttons made navigating through them slightly time-taking.
And even though they’re simple, you must have some basic know-how of electric pressure cooker controls before using them.
The Duo Plus is available in three sizes:
3-quart Instant Pot Mini Specifications
- Dimensions: 11.5”L x 10.2”W x 10.9”H
- Weight: 8.8lb
- Ideal for: meals for 2-3 members
6-quart Instant Pot Duo Plus 60 Specifications
- Dimensions: 12.2″L x 13.4”W x 12.9”H
- Weight: 11.46lb
- Ideal for: meals for 4-6 members
8-quart Instant Pot Duo Plus 80 Specifications
- Dimensions: 13.2”L x 14.9”W x 14.4”H
- Weight: 14.96lb
- Ideal for: Large meals for up to 8
Reasons to Buy
- 15 presets and 9-in-1 modes
- Progress bar
- Simple controls
- Easy and safe steam release
- Lid props up on the handles
- Dishwasher-safe inner pot
- Inner pot locks in with the base
- Ten safety features
- Extra sealing ring included in accessories
Reasons to Avoid
- Too many buttons
- No cake and sous vide mode in Mini size
- Cake mode makes overly moist cakes
- Food may stick to stainless steel inner pot
- 1-year warranty
What is the difference between Instant Pot Duo and Instant Pot Duo Plus?
The Duo Plus features three new modes and updates in controls and design, including an easy steam release switch.
How to sterilize Instant Pot Duo Plus?
Add one cup of water and place items on the steaming rack. Next, use the sterilization preset and let the pressure release naturally.
Can eggs touch in Instant Pot?
No. They shouldn’t touch the sides or the bottom – place them on a trivet/steaming rack.
The Duo Plus has many handy features, yet it’s still simple to use and remains budget-friendly. If you’re a kitchen gearhead, though, you may not be too impressed with its limited smart programs, lack of Wifi, etc.
But for the average home-cook who wants convenience on a budget, the Instant Pot Duo Plus is a pretty sweet deal. It won’t only prove time-saving but will also satisfy all your creative urges with its numerous cooking modes.
Check other best instant pot models
|Instant pot duo||Instant pot duo evo plus|
|Instant Pot Ultra||Instant pot smart wifi|