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Instant Pot DUO Plus 9-in-1 Review

A great machine, but most will probably be better off with the lower-priced version
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Price:   $130 List | $130 at Amazon
Pros:  User friendly, easy to clean, large LCD screen
Cons:  More expensive than its equally capable sibling
Manufacturer:   Instant Pot
By Max Mutter and Steven Tata  ⋅  Oct 17, 2018
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82
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 7
  • User Friendliness - 35% 9
  • Cooking Performance - 30% 8
  • Ease of Cleaning - 25% 7
  • Cooking Features - 10% 9

Our Verdict

The Instant Pot DUO Plus 9-in-1 is the big sibling of the Editors' Choice Award winning Instant Pot DUO60, which is the pressure cooker that we would recommend to most people. So what extras do you get with the Plus 9-in1? A few additional cooking presets (namely cake, egg, and sterilize) and a slightly nicer looking LCD screen. And that's pretty much it, otherwise these machines are basically identical. So is it worth the upgrade? Well, if those few extra presets and a slightly more streamlined screen are worth $30 to you, then go for it! Otherwise, we would generally suggest saving the $30 and going with the DUO60.


Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award   
Price $130 List
$129.95 at Amazon
$250 List
$244.00 at Amazon
$100 List
$89.95 at Amazon
$80 List$100 List
$74.00 at Amazon
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Pros User friendly, easy to clean, large LCD screenUser friendly, automatic steam release, great meatUser friendly, easy to clean, reasonably pricedRelatively inexpensive, good cooking performance, easyt o use and cleanGood cooking performance, easy to clean
Cons More expensive than its equally capable siblingVery expensiveMarginally less tender meat than the BrevilleMeat lacks a bit of tendernessMeat slightly less tender
Bottom Line A great machine, but most will probably be better off with the lower-priced versionThe best product around, but costs quite a bitA great balance of performance, functionality, convenience, and priceOne of the best models we tested, but can't keep meat quite as tender as other productsA good all-around device, but it is outperformed by other products that cost the same or less
Rating Categories DUO Plus 9-in-1 Fast Slow Pro Instant Pot DUO60 6 Qt 8-in-1 9-in-1 Programmable
User Friendliness (35%)
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
Cooking Performance (30%)
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
7
Ease Of Cleaning (25%)
10
0
7
10
0
6
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
7
Cooking Features (10%)
10
0
9
10
0
10
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
8
Specs DUO Plus 9-in-1 Fast Slow Pro Instant Pot DUO60 6 Qt 8-in-1 9-in-1 Programmable
Pot Material Stainless Steel Nonstick Stainless Steel Nonstick Nonstick
Saute Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Capacity 6 quart 6 quart 6 quart 6 quart 6 quart

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Instant Pot DUO Plus 9-in-1 is a slightly upgraded version of the DUO60. We think most people will be fine with the DUO60, but if you like the upgraded LCD screen and the addition of cake and egg presets, then the Plus 9-in-1 might be worth the relatively small bump up in price.


Performance Comparison


The Instant Pot DUO Plus 9-in-1 earned one of the highest overall scores in our testing, thanks to a thoughtful design and a large array of cooking features.

User Friendliness


Like its sibling, the DUO60, the Instant Pot DUO Plus 9-in-1 earned one of the highest scores in our user friendliness testing.


Using dedicated buttons for each of its cooking presets, you can easily dial in your preferred cooking mode on the Instant Pot DUO Plus 9-in-1. Plus/minus buttons are then used to adjust temperature and time, which we found to be quite intuitive. If we're splitting hairs we did like the dials on the Breville Fast Slow Pro better than these buttons, but overall we felt perfectly happy with the Instant Pot DUO Plus 9-in-1's interface. The large LCD in particular is quite nice, as it displays clear and easily readable indicators.

The Instant Pot has 2 different slots where you can store the lid.
The Instant Pot has 2 different slots where you can store the lid.

One thing we really loved about both the Instant Pot models we tested is the lid storage system. The lid has a small extension on each side that lets you rest it upright in either one of the pot's handles. This means you can get the lid out of the way without putting it on the counter, and that you can put on whichever side of the pot makes the most sense for your dominant hand. We liked this a lot better than lids that don't have any storage options (like on the Tayama TMC-60XL) and hinged lids that can get in your way if the hinge is on the wrong side (like on the Breville Fast Slow Pro).

Cooking Performance


The Instant Pot DUO Plus 9-in-1 was again a top performer in our cooking performance testing, losing out only to the much more expensive Breville Fast Slow Pro.


The Instant Pot DUO Plus 9-in-1 cooked pretty much everything well in our testing, with dishes ranging from rice and beans to corned beef coming out quite tasty. We also found its saute function to be very effective, resulting in some great chili. All-in-all, we think most people will be more than satisfied with the cooking performance of the Instant Pot DUO Plus 9-in-1.

The 9-in-1 Plus makes great food.
The 9-in-1 Plus makes great food.

That being said, there are a couple of areas where the Breville Fast Slow Pro slightly outperforms the Instant Pot DUO Plus 9-in-1. The first is meat. The Breville was able to make meat taste just a bit more tender. It also is more effective at searing meat, though we would still generally suggest searing on the stove top instead of in a pressure cooker pot, as an electric pot just can't get the same sear as a flame. The other area is brown rice, with the Breville's rice tasting just a bit more moist and fluffy. However, in the grand scheme of things these differences are quite minor, so unless you're particularly picky about your meat or rice it's probably not worth spending a lot extra on the $250 Breville.

Ease of Cleaning


The Instant Pot DUO Plus 9-in-1 offers pretty much everything you need for a streamlined cleaning experience.


The Instant Pot DUO Plus 9-in-1's lid has an easily removable gasket and no hard to reach nooks where grime can really collect. The stainless steel pot does tend to latch onto burnt onions a bit more than the nonstick pots we used, but we still prefer having the option to scrub with steel wool or to toss the pot in the dishwasher (both of these things are inadvisable for nonstick pots). We did have some issues with food bits getting into the gap between where the lid latches on, but this is a problem we've had with every cooker that we've tested. Overall this made the Instant Pot DUO Plus 9-in-1 one of the easiest to clean models we tested.

We like the 9-in-1 Plus' stainless steel pot.
We like the 9-in-1 Plus' stainless steel pot.

Cooking Features


The Instant Pot DUO Plus 9-in-1 has more cooking presets than almost all the cookers we tested, with the Breville Fast Slow Pro being the one exception.


A Full List of The Instant Pot DUO Plus 9-in-1's Cooking Functions


Soup/Broth, Meat/Stew, Bean/Chili, Cake, Egg, Slow Cook, Saute, Rice, Multigrain, Porridge, Steam, Sterilize, Yogurt, Pressure Cook

Value


At $130, the Instant Pot DUO Plus 9-in-1 feels like a reasonably priced, high-quality kitchen appliance. However, it represents only very small improvements over its $100 sibling, so unless you really want an egg cooking preset or really like the better screen, most people will get a better value from the Instant Pot DUO60.

Conclusion


Another great product from Instant Pot, but most people probably won't want nor need to spend the extra money to upgrade from the DUO60.


Max Mutter and Steven Tata