Multi-cookers, like top-selling brand Instant Pot, hit the small appliance market nearly a decade ago and have remained popular, especially as more and more cookbooks and online recipes are developed for the cookers. Combining the function of several appliances, including the pressure cooker, slow cooker, steamer and rice cooker, the Instant Pot is a convenient time- and space-saver that appeals to busy consumers in need of quick meals.
Similar to pressure cookers, all Instant Pots use pressure to increase the temperature of water from a maximum of 212 degrees to 250 degrees, cutting cooking time to less than an hour for foods like tough meats or dried beans and rice, which normally require long cooking periods. Like a slow cooker, Instant Pots are a set-it-and-forget-it device. Just add food, set the timer and walk away. Most Instant Pots are similar in size and wattage, but the heat, pressure levels and program settings vary, according to different models. Some even make yogurt or sterilize bottles.
To help retailers choose the best model for their inventories, the experts at Good Housekeeping Institute’s Kitchen Appliance and Technology Lab tested nearly every multi-cooker on the market. Their top Instant Pot recommendations for 2019 are:
- Top Pick: Instant Pot Duo
- Best for Beginners: Instant Pot Lux
- Best for New Parents: Instant Pot Duo Plus
- Best for Advanced Cooks: Instant Pot Ultra
- Best for the Tech-Savvy: Instant Pot Smart Wifi
For more details, view Good Housekeeping’s results here.