Instant Pot DUO Plus 9-in-1 Review
Pros: User friendly, easy to clean, large LCD screen
Cons: More expensive than its equally capable sibling
Manufacturer: Instant Pot
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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