If you are wondering what are the differences between instant pot vs pressure cooker, you probably also want to know
Is not an Instant Pot the same as a Pressure Cooker?
Which model is best for you? (or best for your budget?)
Do you really need an Instant Pot?
Below you will find all the answers so you can understand the real differences between Instant Pot vs Pressure Cooker in 2019
Let’s begin by saying that Both the pressure cooker and the Instant Pot can be used to brown, saute, and cook under pressure. The controls for both are easy to use and understand. Both are easy to wash and care for.
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Difference Between Instant Pot and Pressure Cooker in 2019
The differences are even bigger than what you can imagine, since there’s not only one type of pressure cookers but 2, you will have the regular and old school Stovetop pressure cooker that is the one that you are probably more familiar with, and then you have the new electric pressure cookers, such as the Cuisinart or the Power XL cookers.
And then is when you have the Instant Pot models that are similar to an electric pressure cooker, but in reality, they are multifunctional cookers that can be used as several kitchen appliances in just one machine.
Below we are going to explain the basic difference between instant pot and pressure cookers in general and then we will continue with differences between:
*You can click on the links to jump to a specific section
Instant Pot vs Pressure Cookers (Main Differences)
Lets start with the most important Point the difference between all the Pressure Cookers when it comes to cooking under pressure.
Firstable we are going to demystify the biggest rumor on the internet that says that the difference between the Stovetop cooker and the Instant Pot is that the Stovetop can go up to 15 PSI and the Instant Pot can only go up to 12 PSI.
Let’s be clear this was real until Instant Pot got its newest model the MAX so now the Instant Pot models can reach up to 15 PSI as well, but only on the latest MAX model, on the other models is going to be 12 PSI.
So having in mind that we are not only talking about Instant Pot vs Stovetop but also about all the pressure cookers types, below we name each cooker and their Pressure cooker levels:
- Instant Pot models – High Pressure (10.2 – 11.6 psi) – Low Pressure (5.8 – 7.2 psi).
- Instant Pot MAX – High Pressure (12-15 psi) – Low Pressure (6.5 psi)
- Stovetop – High Pressure (13-15 psi) – Low Pressure (6-8 psi) .
- Power Pressure Cooker XL – Manual programming from 1.4 to 11.6 psi.
- Cuisinart – High Pressure (10 psi) – Low Pressure (6 psi).
The thing is how long it takes for them to achieve the high pressure and that’s when the Stovetop make the difference since they are the fastest to achieve high temperatures of pressure.
The regular electric cookers in the best case scenario reach the pressure time in about 18 min ( from 15 to 25 min) but the Stovetop can reach the desired pressure in 11 minutes.
Interior Cooking Pot
The Electric Pressure Cookers like the Cuisinart or the Power XL, for example, come with a non-stick cooking pot that makes them really easy to wash in just seconds.
The Instant Pot has a stainless steel cooking pot. It’s still easy to clean, and a lot of people prefer stainless steel since is better for maintaining the flavors of the ingredients.
And the regular Stovetop pressure cookers are all made of the stainless steel so are really easy to wash as well.
In this case, the Instant Pot has a slow cooker function. One thing to mention about the slow cooking in the Instant Pot is that you are not able to see through the lid. For some recipe or some cooks is really important being able to see the food that is being cooked through the glass lid. For this problem, the instant pot folks sell glass lids, so if saving space in your kitchen is important, you could easily ditch the slow cooker and only use the Instant Pot.
Regular Pressure Cookers like the Cuisinart does not have a slow cooker function.
Delay Timer Function
A delay timer comes in handy when you want to make sure that your food is hot and ready for you when you get home. It allows you to plan well in advance.
The delay timer on the Instant Pot is a function that most people fall in love with. It’s perfect for cooking quick foods like oatmeal. You can set it up at night and have it time it to be ready for breakfast. Oatmeal cooks better in the pressure cooker than it does in the slow cooker.
The majority of normal Pressure Cookers do not come with the delay timer on it.
Appearance and Size
This depends on the capacity that you need for your household, regular pressure cookers and the Instant Pot models, come in different sizes such as 3 quarts, 6 quarts, 8 quarts and more depending on brands.
The 8 quarts is the biggest from Instant Pot and is quite big with a capacity for up to 8 people.
There are other brands such as all American that came in bigger sizes such as 41 quarts
So depending on the size that you would need they are going to use different kitchen space
On the Instant pot side the biggest (8-quarts) is not going to take up a whole lot of space but in smaller kitchens (like ours) your countertop space might feel a bit cramped.
Regular pressure cookers don’t come with control panel but the modern electric pressure cookers all sport a straightforward and easy to understand panel that will help you to get the best from the cooker.
You can select what you are cooking using the appropriately labeled buttons, set the time, and voila! You might also turn the steam release knob in the right position and/or empty/attach the condensation collector.
The control panel may variate depending on the pressure cooker, in addition to the labels, the buttons are adorned with cute little icons that are in shape of the food or the cooking function that you wish to use.
When it comes to cooking function the modern electric pressure cookers win again. What makes these multi-cookers so amazing is the fact that they can do so much. It’s the reason why the instant pot has a permanent place on our countertop.
All the modern pressure cooker come with almost the same functions with the exception of the canning. Besides the Instant Pot models, the only one of these modern pressure cookers that are equipped with canning feature is the Power Pressure Cooker Xl. (Read Our Full Review)
Price and Warranty
In our opinion, neither of these pressure cookers is going to break the bank. We would consider them to be mid-priced small kitchen appliances.
But the definition of mid-price might vary depending on your budget. We think that they are priced competitively and worth the cost considering everything that they can do. the warranties may vary depending on the pressure cooker. Check here for the best pressure cooker in terms of price and warranty!
In the case of the Stovetop cookers, there are different models and brands so is difficult to just pick one in terms of warranty.
But for the Electric Pressure cookers such as the Cuisinart, you will get a 3-year limited warranty, while the Instant Pot is a 1-year limited warranty and the last on the list is the Power Pressure Cooker XL that has only a 60 days Warranty.
Instant Pot vs Regular Stovepot
The answer here will depend on the uses and the recipes that you are going to create.
At a glance, the Instant Pot models will be the best in terms of practicality and time management, and the Stovetop pressure cookers will be the best choice for certain types of foods and are the easiest when it comes to using it from the get-go.
There’s a lot of forums where you will read that the biggest differences are when it comes to pressure cooking since the Stovetop pressure cookers can go up to 15 psi and the Instant Pot models can go up to 12 PSI, but that’s no longer true since the newest INstan Pot model such as the MAX can go up to 15 psi as well.
Below we give you a list of Pros and Cons of both appliances so you can understand which one is the best for your needs.
The Instant Pot models are not only pressure cookers but they are multifunctional appliances that can be also used as a steamer for vegetable, like a rice cooker, and even come with functions for making yogurt sauteing and much more. And all come with a reasonable price that starts from $59.
- Safety Features – This is one huge advantage from the Instant Pot models, with UL & ULC certifications and depending on the model at least you will have 10 different safety features that will make you cooking under a pressure a breeze without the fear of having a pot that can explode under high pressure.
- Multiple Functions– Even the first Instant Pot models can Pressure Cook, Slow Cook, Cook Rice, Steam, Sauté, and keep your food Warm, and except the LUX model, all the other can also make Yogurt. You can also adjust to low or high pressure when needed.
- Multiple Models – You can choose from a wide variety of models with different functions, features, and sizes.
- No Babysitting– You can put your ingredients, program the cooker, and from there mostly set and forget until your meals are done.
- Natural Release– By just pressing a button you will release all the pressure quickly without having to wait
- Easier to clean and move around– When you want to wash the inside pot, you just grab the inner pot and wash it easily with the stainless steel interior, and is super lite weight having in mind that you can detach the inner pot from the cooker.
- A lot of Functionalities– You can get overwhelmed with all the functions, and features, more if is your first time using this type of multifunctional cooker.
- Takes more time to achieve High Pressure– In comparison with the regular Stovetop, the Instant Pot will take longer to get cooking on high pressure.
- No Gas – You can only use electricity to cook instead of the multiple ways that you can cook using the stovetop
- Not easy to store – You can store the stovetop with the regular pots, but the Instant pot will use space on your kitchen table.
Stovetop Pressure Cooker
A thing that both the Instant Pot and the stovetop share is that your meals are going to be ready fast, but the stovetop is even faster since they can quickly reach higher heat and pressure levels.
Most stovetop pressure cookers come in stainless steel but you can find some made of aluminum as well. With 2 types of pressure High that can normally go from 13-15 PSI and Low that goes between 6-8 PSI.
The Stainless steel models are extremely durable and very difficult to damage and can normally last 20 or more years.
- Cook your Meals Faster– Since the Stovetop cooker can reach higher heat and pressure than the Instant Pot models in a shorter time
- More Space and Better for Browning Meats– It has more space so, for example, you can brown more pieces of chicken in just one time, and you will achieve better results. As well in other meals such as stews or food that you want to get the juices of the meets to get a tastier meal, the stovetop will give you the best results. When it comes to beans its also the best of the pressure cookers.
- Durable – They can last much longer than the electric cookers and Instant Pots. So for those, that value durability over convenience the stovetop cookers are the winner in this matter.
- Better results for old school chefs– For cooks that like to use advanced pressure cooking techniques that require higher pressure and less evaporation, or for chefs that like to tinker and supervise the recipes they will feel more comfortable with the stovetop cookers.
- Not Multifunctional – You can only use them for pressure cooking
- Requires more attention – You can’t leave them and forget about it, you need to be constantly checking the recipes.
- Noise – The regular stovetop make more noise than the Instant Pot and electric pressure cookers.
When It comes to Instant Pot models we recommend the:
9 in 1 DUO Plus
Unlimited MAX 10 in 1
For the Stovetop We recommend:
All American 921
Presto 01370 8-Quart
Instant Pot vs Power Pressure Cooker XL
The comparison between these 2 is the closest that you will get on this full review.
For starter they are both multi cookers, so you will have different functions and features that will give you a wide array of choices when cooking.
They also offer a variety of sizes to adjust to different types of families, both cookers come with dual pressure settings so you can choose between high and low pressure. And you will get a reliable stainless steel exterior and dishwasher safe pot.
When it comes to the difference between the Instant Pot vs the Power XL the Instant Pot come with some extra functionalities such as the yogurt maker function, on the other hand, the Power XL comes in a 10 quarts version and the biggest model that you will find in the Instant Pot family is the 8 quarts.
Another difference is the updates that you will get, Instant Pot is all the time launching updates and new models while the Power Pressure Cooker XL looks stuck whit the models that are already in the market.
The Biggest advantage that you will get with an Instant Pot model vs the Power Pressure Xl models is the variety of models that will give you an array of sizes functions and most important prices, that will vary between $56 up to $200.
- Yogurt Function
- Stainless steel Inner Pot
- 1-year Warranty
- Slow Cooker Function
- You will need to learn how to use all the programs and functions
- No bigger sizes than 8 quarts
We recommend the DUO 7 in 1 from the Instant Pot Bunch, since is one of the most affordable models, and from the beginning is a Best Seller, as well is the perfect entry model to get familiarized with the Instant Pot models
DUO 7 in 1
Power Pressure Cooker XL
The Biggest advantage that you will find from the Power XL is that comes with a unique canning and preserving function that you will not find elsewhere.
- 10 Quarts Size
- The model XL 10 is the most powerful electric pressure cooker on the market with a wattage of 1600.
- Easier to understand from the get-go
- Takes more time to cook compared with the Instant Pot
- Lacks a steam rack
- Only 60 days of warranty.
We recommend the 8 quarts model since is the one that comes with a powerful motor, a big size and is the best one when it comes to price and quality from the 4 models that they offer
You can also check Our full review of all the Power Xl models
Instant Pot vs Cuisinart
When comparing the Instant Pot with an electrical Pressure cooker such as the Cuisinart models there are some clear differences
The first difference and probably the most important one is the range of models and functionalities that you will get.
The Cuisinart models at the moment are 3 and to be honest all of them are similar with some slight changes that don’t make a big difference. And you probably already know the wide array of models sizes and functions that you will get with the Instant Pot
So in terms of models, the Instant Pot is the clear winner, but that is just the first point to have in mind.
Besides having a wider array of choices for you, the Instant Pot models come with extra functionalities, and to be fair the most comparable model from the Instant Pot bunch are the first 2 series the LUX 6 in 1 and the DUO 7 in 1, that are the earliest models with simpler functionalities in comparison with the latest models such as the IP MAX
Check the Differences Between the LUX VS DUO
But at the same time this are the closest models to compare when it comes to Price, since the DUO 7 in 1 (6 Quarts) cost $99.95 and the Cuisinart CPC-600 (6 Quarts) is priced at $96.82.
Similarities Between The Instant Pot and the Cuisinart
Both models come with a Digital LED Display that will help you program your recipes in a cool and easy way.
Another similarity is that both appliances can cook at high and low pressure and they have a Stainless steel exterior.
When it comes to wattage price and size they are also similar but that’s mainly it.
Differences Between The Instant Pot and the Cuisinart
The Cuisinart comes with a cool thermostat that will help you cook in a better way and it’s also more intuitive and easier to understand since doesn’t come with so many functions and features.
Although at the same time you will get more functions and functionalities with the Instant Pot, you will also have to learn how to use it.
The inner pot is stainless steel on the Instant Pot models but on the Cuisinart is nonstick, that is good for cleaning the pot, but for cooking the best material is the stainless steel.
The DUO model will come with 14 preset smart programs that will help you cook with just a click meals such as Soup, Meat/Stew, Bean/Chili, Poultry, Sauté/Simmer, Rice, Multigrain, Porridge but the Cuisinart doesn’t have any preset programs.
Another major difference is the 10 built-in safety features that come along in the DUO 7 in1 that the CPC-600 doesn’t include.
When it comes to warranty the Instant Pot models come with a 1-year warranty, and the Cuisinart models come with a 3-year limited warranty.
So at the end of the day when it comes to price, they are similar, in terms of features and functionalities the Instant Pot is the winner but the Cuisinart is the best choice for those that easily get lost with so many features and functionalities.
Instant Pot DUO 7 in 1
- Multifunctional – 7 in 1 Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Sauté, Yogurt Maker and Warmer
- Stainless Steel Pot – That is easy to clean and is the best material for cooking
- 14 Presets Smart Features and 10 safety features -ensuring that your ingredients are treated properly and remain safe.
- Built-in microprocessor – That will help you to adjust the cooking and pressure level
- The Inner Pot can sometimes be more difficult to clean, especially when it comes to sticky ingredients such as rice.
- Too many features and functions can feel overwhelming
- Built-in thermostat so you can know the exact temperature that your food is cooking.
- Lightweight and easy to clean
- Simple to understand and to use from the get go
- 3 Year limited warranty
- No Multifunctional can only be used as a pressure cooker and nothing else
- No delay timer so you will not be able to set your ingredients to cook them later
So depending on your needs and family size you have to make your own choice.
In case that you feel comfortable cooking already under pressure with a Stovetop, that’s your best choice since they are bigger, they brown and cook faster and better and you are not going to have to learn anything new.
For those that prefer using an electric pressure cooker, we think that both the Cuisinart and Power Pressure XL can be a great addition, the Cuisinart when it comes to budget is the best of both and the Power Xl is the best in terms of features and functions.
And for those that want the best from the modern world we recommend the Instant Pot models since they are multifunctional, they cook fast, and they are affordable, and in some cases even the cheapest option in the market.