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Instant Pot Aura vs Instant Pot Duo: Which should you buy?

Instant Pot Aura vs Instant Pot Duo
Instant Pot Aura vs Instant Pot Duo (Image credit: Instant Pot)

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.

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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

When it comes to the Instant Pot aura vs Instant Pot Duo, each has its 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 80Instant Pot Aura Pro
Capacity8 quart8 quart
Keep warmYesYes
Programs1511
FinishStainless steelAluminium
Dishwasher safe potYesYes
DisplayBlue LCDBlack LCD
Wattage12001500
Dimensions14.8 × 13.5 × 14.5 inches16.8 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.

Amy-Mae has been writing about consumer technology since before the iPhone was even a twinkle in Steve Jobs' eye. She started out in magazine publishing with the UK lads' mag 'Boy's Toys' then moved online with startup Pocket-lint.com as the first full-time member of staff, helping grow the site to one of the UK's largest gadget sites. Amy-Mae then moved to Mashable when it only had a staff of around 10 people. After working her way up to a senior role there, Amy-Mae left in 2014 to have her daughter. Since then Amy-Mae has continued to contribute to Mashable and The Daily Dot, keeping up-to-date with the latest consumer technology and social media trends. For iMore.com, Amy-Mae gets to her explore her love of home cooking, concentrating on all things kitchen tech.