9-in-1 wonder

Instant Pot Duo Plus 80

Sous vide superhero

Instant Pot Aura Pro

This recent model from Instant Pot will save you some serious cupboard and counter space. It replaces your pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, yogurt maker, egg cooker, saute, steamer, warmer, sterilizer and can be used to bake cakes. It boasts 15 microprocessor controlled programs, so you can literally just press a button and rest assured your food will be cooked to perfection. This updated model adds cake, egg, and sterilize programs. 10 safety mechanisms offer peace of mind for those nervous about pressure cooking.

$160 at Amazon

Pros

  • Microprocessor technology

  • 9-in-1 functionality

  • Large capacity

  • 15 useful programs

  • Nice LCD display

Cons

  • No sous vide functionality

  • Bulky in size

The high-end Aura Pro gives you 11 smart programs. So, you can use this slow cooker to sear/saute, bake, slow cook, steam, stew, sous vide, roast, make yogurt, cook rice and multigrains and keep food warm. The advanced microprocessor technology finely controls the time and temperature for consistent and correct cooking results. While it doesn't have the pressure cooking abilities of the Duo, it can sous vide. Plus, it has a glass lid so you can check your food as it cooks without removing the top.

$180 at Amazon

Pros

  • Microprocessor technology

  • Sous vide functionality

  • Large capacity

  • 11 useful programs

  • Glass lid

Cons

  • More expensive

  • Not a pressure cooker

  • Bulky in size

The creation of Chinese Canadian Robert Wang back in 2010, Instant Pot has become Amazon's number one selling brand. If you're interested in getting into the crockpot way of cooking or looking to upgrade your existing cooker, then Instant Pot's Duo and Aura models are well worth considering. We're taking a look at the larger "Plus" and "Pro" 8-quart models that offer some pretty nifty culinary tricks and the capacity to feed a family.

Button up

For ease of use and hopefully decent results, Instant Pot users swear by the pre-programmed settings that mean that you can press a button to either activate a cooking mode. So for the Aura that's sear/saute, bake, slow cook, steam, stew, sous vide, roast, make yogurt, cook rice and multigrains or for the Duo to pressure cook food types like rice, beans/chili, meat/stew, multigrains, porridge, soup, egg, steam, egg, sterilize or bake a cake. On the non-pressure cooking side of things, the Duo also gets saute, slow cooking and yogurt making.

Unique selling points

Each of these cookers has its own unique selling point that the other doesn't have. The Aura comes with a sous vide cooking setting which means once you pop in your vacuum-packed food items, it creates and maintains an even and accurately controlled cooking water-bath. This used to be something home cooks could only dream of doing in their own kitchen. The Duo's USP is its pressure cooking functionality. Busy cooks rave about how fast pressure cooking is, even with food that's frozen. So having a speedy way to rustle up dinner will really appeal to many.

Instant Pot Duo Plus 80 Instant Pot Aura Pro
Capacity 8 quart 8 quart
Keep warm Yes Yes
Programs 15 11
Finish Stainless steel Aluminium
Dishwasher safe pot Yes Yes
Display Blue LCD Black LCD
Wattage 1200 1500
Dimensions 14.8 × 13.5 × 14.5 inches 16.8 x 11.6 x 11.3 inches

Food moister cult

Neither of these cookers is small and will take up a bit of space on your counter. But if you consider how many other kitchen gadgets they replace, we believe they justify their footprint. Both have decent capacities, are simple to operate, and reasonably easy to clean. The fab thing about Instant Pots is that there are thousands of free recipes online to give you ideas and inspiration. The Instant Pot Community page on Facebook alone has nearly two million followers. You could do a lot worse than to join up to this cooking cult with a Duo or an Aura.

However, as sous vide cookery is a more niche way of getting food onto the table, the Duo would be the more logical choice of the two options. The Duo's pressure cooking capabilities and 15 custom programs will be a lot more useful daily then being able to vacuum cook salmon.

Get Plus

Instant Pot Duo Plus 80

You'll want to duet with the Duo

If you want the ability to pressure cook for fast, flavorful meals, opting for the Duo over the Aura is a no-brainer. It's a very capable multicooker that, thanks to its 15 microprocessor controlled programs, means near-guaranteed results for kitchen success stories.

Go Pro

Instant Pot Aura Pro

This cooker's aura is awesome

The Aura Pro is a great tool that you'll find yourself turning to again and again. If pressure cooking isn't essential to you, the useful abilities to monitor your food through the glass lid and take the cooking pot from kitchen to table (and then straight in the dishwasher) might sway you towards this option.

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