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Instant Pot Duo Plus V4 Review

Useful features, an intuitive control panel, and a friendly price make this model a standout option
instant pot duo plus v4 pressure cooker review
Credit: Abriah Wofford
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:  $130 List
Manufacturer:   Instant
By Jason Wanlass and Genaveve Bradshaw  ⋅  Oct 12, 2022
86
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#1 of 10
  • User Friendliness - 35% 10.0
  • Cooking Performance - 30% 8.0
  • Ease of Cleaning - 25% 7.0
  • Cooking Features - 10% 9.0

Our Verdict

The Instant Pot Duo Plus V4 is a sleek and top-notch pressure cooker. It has a polished new design, a lighter color scheme, and an easy-to-read, dark-mode screen. However, after a thorough examination, we were pleased to find that this latest version of the Duo Plus includes more than just cosmetic upgrades. Designers streamlined the control panel, making it easier to use. They also rethought the cooker's lid and steam valves, creating a safe cooking environment. These upgrades show a continual commitment to product improvement and are a key factor in our decision to name the Duo Plus one of our favorite pressure cookers for another year.
REASONS TO BUY
Friendly control panel
Versatile
Lots of new updates
Steam-release valve
REASONS TO AVOID
Pot can be hard to clean
Saute function can be finicky

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Editors' Choice Award   Top Pick Award Best Buy Award 
Price $130 List$120 List$150 List$80 List
$79.99 at Amazon
$87 List
$92.52 at Amazon
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Pros Friendly control panel, versatile, lots of new updates, steam-release valveVersatile, intuitive, feature-rich, great valueVersatile, useful accessories, self-sealing lid, smart appPerfect size for meals for one, easy to clean, good pressure cooking performance, doesn't need much counter spaceGood overall cooking performance, easy to clean
Cons Pot can be hard to clean, saute function can be finickyRice is a bit sticky, lid and stainless steel pot can be difficult to cleanMenu takes time to learn, struggles to cook meatsToo small for family meals, meat just shy of perfectly tenderNo lid storage
Bottom Line Useful features, an intuitive control panel, and a friendly price make this model a standout optionAn easy-to-use, versatile model that won't break the bank and offers plenty of useful featuresNot our favorite interface, but this model comes with a score of useful features at an accessible priceA 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 pay
Rating Categories Instant Pot Duo Plu... Instant Pot Duo Plu... Mealthy MultiPot 2.0 Instant Pot DUO Mini Presto 02141
User Friendliness (35%)
10.0
10.0
8.0
9.0
7.0
Cooking Performance (30%)
8.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
Ease of Cleaning (25%)
7.0
7.0
7.0
7.0
7.0
Cooking Features (10%)
9.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
9.0
Specs Instant Pot Duo Plu... Instant Pot Duo Plu... Mealthy MultiPot 2.0 Instant Pot DUO Mini Presto 02141
Pot Material Stainless Steel Stainless Steel Stainless Steel Stainless Steel Nonstick
Saute Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Capacity 6 quart 6 quart 6 quart 3 quart 6 quart

Our Analysis and Test Results

It seems like every time we blink; Instant Pot is pushing out a new version of the Duo Plus V4. It sometimes can be a challenge to keep up with all the latest nuances; however, we feel these small tweaks are exactly what sets the Duo Plus apart from many of the other products we've tested. In each version, we see consistent evolution that is more than just a cosmetic makeover. This latest version of the Duo Plus is no different. The new safety features and a streamlined, straightforward control panel helped it to maintain its perch at the top of our list.

Performance Comparison


instant pot duo plus v4 pressure cooker review - the 6-quart cook pot makes it easy to whip up a dish for four to six...
The 6-quart cook pot makes it easy to whip up a dish for four to six people.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

User Friendliness


An updated and more straightforward control panel, and some improved structural features, greatly improve this newest version of the Instant Pot Duo Plus. We love the changes enough that we gave the Duo Plus a perfect score for user-friendliness.


instant pot duo plus v4 pressure cooker review - the duo plus's dark mode screen is has lots of contrast and is easy...
The Duo Plus's dark mode screen is has lots of contrast and is easy to read. We also love that's its interactive and gives us important messages.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

At the top of our list is the Duo Plus's new LCD screen, which dons a more easy-to-read dark mode. We feel the screen has more crisp clarity and is straightforward. The information on the screen stands out against the black background, making smaller words even more decipherable. We also love the helpful status messages on the LCD screen to relay pertinent information about the cooker or the cooking process. Single-word messages help alert the user to key stages of the cycle, as well as possible complications.

instant pot duo plus v4 pressure cooker review - stirring and mixing is so much nicer with the anti-spin feature.
Stirring and mixing is so much nicer with the anti-spin feature.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

The anti-spin pot is another one of the Duo Plus's customer-centered features. Four pads on the cooker's interior wall prevent the liner pot from spinning while you blend ingredients or stir sauteing vegetables. New indicator graphics on the control panel show exactly what stage the cooker is in while it moves through the cooking process. These easy-to-read graphics advance from "preheat" to "cooking" to "keep warm". They help budding chefs make fewer mistakes by offering a much clearer picture of the overall meal status. Additionally, these offer an extra layer of safety by indicating when the cooker is under the greatest amount of heat and pressure.

instant pot duo plus v4 pressure cooker review - the duo plus's new whisperquiet valve and cover work together to...
The Duo Plus's new WhisperQuiet valve and cover work together to defuse steam and dampen the noise level.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

An entirely new steam-release valve makes depressurizing the Duo Plus much quieter and safer. We think the new design is simple but brilliant. The product's main handle now completely separates the steam valve from the release button. We feel this is an excellent design that naturally shields fingers and hands. Additionally, we feel the new WhisperQuiet valve system effectively defuses the stream for a much quieter depressurization.

instant pot duo plus v4 pressure cooker review - release the steam with the simple push of a conveniently located...
Release the steam with the simple push of a conveniently located lever. This new design places the lid handle directly between the lever and the steam valve. This is a clever design that helps block hands from hot steam.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Cooking Performance


We feel the Duo Plus excels at cooking meat. The cooker performed well in all of our cooking tests but particularly well at pressure cooking ribs.


The Duo Plus produced restaurant-quality meat that fell off the bone. The ribs were juicy and delicious! We use the same rib test on all of our products, and in comparison, the Duo Plus produced some of the best ribs we've tasted in recent years of testing.

instant pot duo plus v4 pressure cooker review - we love that there is a actual cooking mode completely dedicated to...
We love that there is a actual cooking mode completely dedicated to cooking rice. There's no guessing or wondering.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

We gave the Duo Plus a thumbs up on its ability to cook rice. Although not perfect, we were still very pleased with the product's capacity to whip up a good batch. If forced to be nitpicky, we'd probably say the rice was slightly too moist. Otherwise, it was delicious and very acceptable.

instant pot duo plus v4 pressure cooker review - after reducing the temperature, we were able to throw together a...
After reducing the temperature, we were able to throw together a decent pot of sauteed veggies.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

The Duo Plus received its lowest marks during our saute tests, but in the end, it garnered better results than we anticipated. Initially, we sauteed our vegetables at higher temperatures. This caused the oil to burn the garlic, as well as some of the carrots. In addition to being a little scorched, many of the vegetables were still a bit uncooked. Concerned with the results, we opted to saute a new batch on lower heat and experienced better results. Overall, we feel the Duo Plus sautees adequately with a little trial and error. On our own time, we also tried steam-cooking potatoes and sauteing some beef. We were very pleased with our results on both.

instant pot duo plus v4 pressure cooker review - the saute mode had a tendency to scorch the stainless steel pot...
The saute mode had a tendency to scorch the stainless steel pot. Even with lots of soaking and scrubbing, we weren't able to remove all of the stains.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Ease of Cleaning


All of the Duo Plus's key components are dishwasher safe and include a stainless steel cooking pot and an entire lid assembly. This alone makes cleanup a breeze. Although, we were a little unhappy with the stainless steel pot. Sauteing often creates stains or scorch marks on the bottom of the pot. Despite a valiant effort and a lot of suds, soaking, and scrubbing, the stains appear to be permanent.


instant pot duo plus v4 pressure cooker review - instapot really hit the nail on the head with the new duo plus...
Instapot really hit the nail on the head with the new Duo Plus control panel. It much more streamlined and incredibly simple.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Cooking Features


A combination of top-notch cooking functions and good to excellent results on cooking quality persuaded us to award the Duo Plus an excellent score in our cooking features metric. This cooker is chock full of cooking options, and it can load many personalized, preset cooking functions as well.


instant pot duo plus v4 pressure cooker review - we feet our 6-quart model is the perfect size, but if you need more...
We feet our 6-quart model is the perfect size, but if you need more cooking capacity, an 8-quart model is available as well.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

The Duo Plus is a 6-quart, 9-in-1 cooker. It cooks up to six servings and is a great choice for families. In addition to being an impeccable pressure cooker, this product also offers eight other cooking modes which include: slow cooker, rice, steam, sauté, yogurt, sous vide, cake and keep warm. This model ships with two lid gaskets which can be swapped out for different recipes to avoid cross-contaminating food with different flavors or smells. We also love the Instant Brands smartphone app. It allows users to search for recipes, save cooking ideas, find product information, and connect with other Instant Pot owners.

instant pot duo plus v4 pressure cooker review - the 6-quart model is a little more than 12-pounds, making it easier...
The 6-quart model is a little more than 12-pounds, making it easier to lift and move.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Should You Buy the Instant Pot Duo Plus V4?


The Instant Pot Duo Plus V4 is one of our favorite pressure cookers because it did well across each metric. It is a pure-blooded pressure cooker that offers terrific results. If you are consistently cooking for four to six people, the Duo Plus will allow you to prepare meals more easily. It will also allow you to consolidate many cooking appliances into one product. If you want superior quality and above-average cooking performance, this cooker is one of the best on the market. It also is available in an 8-quart model.

What Other Pressure Cooker Should You Consider?


If you like the idea of consolidating your cooking appliances but are looking for more features than the Duo Plus can offer, we think you should study up on the Ninja Foodi Smart XL. It's an 8-quart all-in-one unit that does everything the Duo Plus can do, but it's also an air-fryer and dehydrator. If you want a bare-bones model that's primarily just a pressure cooker, the Tayama TMC-60XL is as simple as they come and has a very affordable price tag. If you like the idea of a bargain but want a more trusted model, take a look at the Presto 02141.

instant pot duo plus v4 pressure cooker review - we've studied the duo plus product line as it has evolved and...
We've studied the Duo Plus product line as it has evolved and improved. We feel this latest model is the best of them all.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Jason Wanlass and Genaveve Bradshaw
 
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