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Instant Pot Duo Plus 6 Quart Review

An easy-to-use, versatile model that won't break the bank and offers plenty of useful features
Instant Pot Duo Plus 6 Quart
Credit: Instant Pot
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:   $120 List | $105.21 at Amazon
Pros:  Versatile, intuitive, feature-rich, great value
Cons:  Rice is a bit sticky, lid and stainless steel pot can be difficult to clean
Manufacturer:   Instant Pot
By Hayley Thomas & Michelle Powell  ⋅  Aug 24, 2021
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86
OVERALL
SCORE


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

Our Verdict

The Instant Pot Duo Plus offers a number of features that all perform admirably, making this pressure cooker a valuable and versatile option. From baking cake to cooking soup, the Duo Plus does it all. With an intuitive interface and lid holder, this model is straightforward to use. The upgraded steam valve control swept us off our feet, and the buttery smooth ribs had us back in our seats for seconds. While it does not perform perfectly across all avenues, its performance will surely have you paring down on other large appliances, like slow cookers. If you are looking for a well-rounded pressure cooker at a reasonable price, look no further.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award  
Price $120 List
$105.21 at Amazon
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$65.29 at Amazon
$120 List
$119.95 at Amazon
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Pros Versatile, intuitive, feature-rich, great valueUser friendly, easy to clean, reasonably priced, pressure release buttonPerfect size for meals for one, easy to clean, good pressure cooking performance, doesn't need much counter spaceGood overall cooking performance, easy to cleanGood pressure cooking performance, relatively easy to clean
Cons Rice is a bit sticky, lid and stainless steel pot can be difficult to cleanMeat slightly less tender than some other modelsToo small for family meals, meat just shy of perfectly tenderNo lid storageInterface is a bit clunky, fewer cooking presets than average
Bottom Line An easy-to-use, versatile model that won't break the bank and offers plenty of useful featuresThe best option for most kitchens, this model is easy to use and a breeze to cleanA fantastic smaller appliance for singles or for couples that aren't fans of leftoversAn easy to clean, great performing product, especially for the price you payA capable cooker that lacks any differentiating features and doesn't feature the best price
Rating Categories Instant Pot Duo Plu... Instant Pot DUO Nova Instant Pot DUO Mini Presto 02141 Cuisinart CPC-600N1
User Friendliness (35%)
10.0
9.0
9.0
5.0
5.0
Cooking Performance (30%)
8.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
Ease Of Cleaning (25%)
7.0
7.0
7.0
7.0
7.0
Cooking Features (10%)
9.0
8.0
8.0
9.0
7.0
Specs Instant Pot Duo Plu... Instant Pot DUO Nova Instant Pot DUO Mini Presto 02141 Cuisinart CPC-600N1
Pot Material Stainless Steel Stainless Steel Stainless Steel Nonstick Nonstick
Saute Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Capacity 6 quart 6 quart 3 quart 6 quart 6 quart

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison


The Duo Plus is a user friendly and well rounded pressure cooker.
The Duo Plus is a user friendly and well rounded pressure cooker.
Credit: Laura Casner

User Friendliness


It can be difficult to motivate yourself to pull out a kitchen utensil that works wonders on the final product but is hard to work with. That is why we chose user-friendliness as our most important metric. During our testing, we mainly paid attention to how intuitive the interface is but we found that we were often met with the issue of where to place the sweaty lid when opening our pressure cookers. That is why we decided to give pressure cookers with a designated lid holder a few extra points in this metric.


It doesn't get much better than the Duo Plus' interface. It is straightforward to use, with dedicated buttons for each cooking preset — from soup to cake. The time, pressure, and temperature are easily managed with the plus and minus buttons on the face, and the adjustments are represented via the digital screen.

The interface is very intuitive.
The interface is very intuitive.
Credit: Laura Casner

A huge upgrade from its predecessor is a lever or slider-operated valve seal. This upgrade alone caused our opinion of the Duo to skyrocket. This simple feature not only keeps your fingers out of the line of fire, but it's also easier to tell whether or not the valve is open by looking at the lever.

The vent slide on the Duo Plus is a huge upgrade.
The vent slide on the Duo Plus is a huge upgrade.
Credit: Laura Casner

The Duo Plus' lid can be easily set in its holder with one hand, so you never have to deal with dirtying up your counters. Overall we have no complaints in the user-friendliness department. Instapot answered our prayers with the slider-operated valve, and we couldn't be happier.

Notice the lid storage; this ensures that you never have to set it...
Notice the lid storage; this ensures that you never have to set it down on your countertop.
Credit: Laura Casner

Cooking Performance


Cooking performance is next in line for the most important metric. We paid attention to pressure adjustability and the ability to cook meat, rice, and sauté vegetables. Most of the models in our test suite scored highly here, and the Duo Plus is right on par.


The DUO Plus excels in cooking, although there is little room for improvement. First and foremost is pressure adjustability. It offers a high and low but no medium. This is rather nit-picky, however, we wouldn't mind an in-between setting here.

We are far from disappointed with the Duo Plus's rice performance...
We are far from disappointed with the Duo Plus's rice performance but it comes out a little sticky.
Credit: Laura Casner

Our experience with cooking rice was great but left a little to be desired. Using the Duo Plus as a rice cooker results in a soft and tasty product, but it falls more on the sticky, wet side of the spectrum than light and fluffy. Our taste testers prefer fluffy light rice to the alternative, but if you like your rice sticky, then this is a non-issue.

Our experience with cooking meat was fantastic. After roughly 23 minutes, our ribs came out tender and moist. They slid off the bone with the touch of a fork. We had a similar experience with sautéing. The sauté setting offers low, medium, and high options, which we greatly appreciate.

Nothing like a juicy, tender rack of ribs.
Nothing like a juicy, tender rack of ribs.
Credit: Laura Casner

Ease of Cleaning


One of the biggest draws to kitchen appliances like the pressure cooker is how easy they make cooking. Simply set it and forget it while you clean your kitchen, watch your favorite show, or enjoy a glass of wine. So being left with a difficult mess to clean up after sort defeats the purpose. That is why we dubbed ease of cleaning our third most important metric. During our testing, we paid special attention to how easy the lid and pot are to clean and whether there are dishwasher-safe pieces.


We found that most pressure cookers take a little elbow grease to get clean, especially the lids. The means that none of them obtained a stellar score here, but as far as how the Duo Plus measures up to the competition, it is, yet again, right on par with the top performers. The attached lid is a true blessing while cooking, but it makes clean-up a little cumbersome. The gasket is removable, so it's not terribly difficult to get into all the nooks and crannies, but it would be easier if there was a way to remove the lid. The stainless steel pot is dishwasher safe and easy to clean, albeit not as easy as some of the nonstick pots in our test suit.

The stainless steel pot can be a little hard to clean, especially...
The stainless steel pot can be a little hard to clean, especially after sautéing.
Credit: Laura Casner

Cooking Features


While we love a specialty item, pressure cookers are rather large, so we appreciate it when they negate the need for other larger kitchen appliances, like rice cookers. In the cooking features section, we paid attention to whether or not it offers a sauté feature as well as the rest of the setting varieties. The Duo Plus is a great combination of a device that offers enough distinct features without being too overwhelming.


The sauté feature offers three different settings: high, medium, and low. The stainless steel works great but requires a little extra care because sautéing often leaves a good bit of food remnants in the pot. The setting variety that the Duo Plus offers is awesome. There are separate settings for the following: pressure cooking, soup and broth, cake, eggs, slow cooking, sautéing, rice, beans and grains, porridge and oatmeal, yogurt, and sous vide. There is even a sterilize setting.

Just look at all those settings!
Just look at all those settings!
Credit: Laura Casner

Value


The Duo Plus is, without a doubt, an amazing value. While it is still a bit of an investment, it is far less than the most expensive options in our test suite and outperforms a lot of them. It is a versatile kitchen tool that not only has the ability to get all the jobs done but it does each of them quite well.

Conclusion


This pressure cooker is not only intuitive, but its versatility is impressive. Each feature is easy to use and performs well. It will happily take the place of your rice cooker, as long as you don't might slightly sticky rice, and your slow cooker, clearing up space in your kitchen. The Duo Plus is truly a marvel and, with its upgraded valve control, leaves us with little to complain about.

Hayley Thomas & Michelle Powell