The Best Instant Pots in Canada
The Instant Pot is a brand of multicookers which first entered the market in 2010. This Canadian invention combine multiple cooking appliances into one pot. With the Instant Pot, you can make dishes like mac and cheese, chili, ribs, chicken and various soups in a matter of minutes. With some models, you can even make cakes or your own yogurt. The versatility of the Instant Pot is a reason why it has become so popular.
Knowing which Instant Pot is the best can be tricky since most come with similar features. That’s why we’ve created this buying guide to list the best Instant Pots in Canada.
Our Top Picks
What to look for in an Instant Pot
Note: For those new to Instant Pots, there are some important things to know. First, using an Instant Pot for the first time can be tricky. There can be a learning curve to using an Instant Pot since the cooking methods differ from other kitchen appliances. Overtime, you will get used to cooking with the Instant Pot. The next thing to remember is that it takes time for it to build up pressure, which factors into the overall cooking time. This can throw some people off since the Instant Pot is advertised as quickly cooking food, much faster than traditional cooking appliances.
Size: Instant Pots come in three sizes: three quarts, six quarts, and eight quarts. The size of Instant Pot you buy is influenced by several factors. First is the number of people in your household. If you live on your own or with two other people, then three-quart Instant Pots are the right size for you; these generally serve up to three people. Larger households should stick with the six quart or eight quart sizes. The second factor is the space available in your kitchen. If you don’t have a lot of space in your kitchen, then the eight quart or six quart sizes may be too big. In that case, the three quart Instant Pot would be the perfect size for you. And lastly, if you want to travel with your Instant pot, the smaller version is the recommended size.
Functions: Instant Pots come with many features, which differ between models. However, all Instant Pots have the pressure cooker, slow cooker, and rice cooker features. We recommend you check the various Instant Pot models to see what features they have.
Integrated Programs: Instant Pots come with integrated programs, which vary from model to model. Here are some notable examples:
- Bluetooth/Wi-Fi connectivity: enables you to control your instant pot via your phone or tablet.
- Recipes: Several Instant Pots come with built-in recipes which you can program to cook through the Instant Pot app.
- Safety: Instant Pots come with several safety mechanisms like temperature control, lid locks, and release valves. These mechanisms make Instant Pots much more safer than regular pressure cookers.
Best Instant Pot Overall
Instant Pot Duo
The Instant Pot Duo is the brand’s top selling version model, and for good reason too. The model combines seven appliances into one pot. Some notable cooking features of the Duo are the steamer and yogurt maker programs. This model also features 14 smart programs, including soup, meat/stew, sauté/simmer and slow cook. The Instant Pot Duo has a fully sealed environment that captures flavours, nutrients, and aromas and instills them into the food. Additionally, the pot has a three-ply bottom for even heat distribution. In terms of technology, the Duo has the latest third generation system. The microprocessor carries out multiple functions: it monitors pressure, temperature, time, and adjusts the heating intensity and duration.
Customers found that the Instant Pot Duo was an improvement over their old cooking appliances. One person stated that the Duo “does rice better than the rice maker we used to own did”. People were also impressed with the variety of functions and the speed at which the Instant Pot Duo cooked food. A common phrase found in several customer reviews was “It has completely changed the way I cook”.
One issue people had with the Duo was the lack of variety with the temperature levels. This model has 3 set temperature levels, Less, Normal, and More. Some customers wished that they could set their own temperature level, rather than using one of the pre-set levels.
- Cooks food quickly.
- An improvement over conventional cooking appliances.
- You are unable to set your own temperature level.
Best Instant Pot for Small Families
Instant Pot Duo Mini
This model of the Instant Pot duo comes in the three quart size. The Duo Mini has practically the same features as the regular sized Duo with the only difference being size. This model has a compact design, which makes it perfect for small or cramped kitchens. The Duo Mini can cook for up to three people, which makes it ideal for single people, couples, or small families.
The consensus among customers was that the Duo Mini was easy to use, had an affordable price, and was convenient. Many people stated that the three quart size was perfect for them; it made the right amount of food for their household.
One minor complaint reported by customers was that the pot’s quick release valve was too quick. This resulted in steam and liquid spurting out, which often caused as mess. However, this issue was not a deal breaker.
- Ideal for small households.
- Steam release valve can create a mess (steam/liquid shoots out too quickly).
Best Instant Pot for Large Families
Instant Pot Pro Crisp
The Instant Pot Pro Crisp combines a pressure cooker and air fryer into one appliance. In addition, this model functions as a roaster, sous-vide, mini-oven, broiler, and dehydrator. The Pro Crisp has several customizable features. There are five programmable settings for you to set your own recipes. The air fryer program has a customizable temperature range of 70˚F-450˚F (21˚C-232˚C). The air fryer feature of the Pro Crisp has a technology called EvenCrisp™. This technology recreates all the qualities of deep frying with 95% less oil, resulting in much healthier food.
Overall, the Instant Pot Pro Crisp is perfect for large families. The eight quart size means you can cook for up to eight people. The air fryer feature was popular with people. They found that it heated up fast, was easy to use, and it created great tasting food. One person noted that the steam release valve on this model was an improvement over the duo version. They said that it was quieter and steam/liquid didn’t shoot out of the valve. Several people said that the sheer amount of food you can make with the Pro Crisp was great for their large household. However, one drawback noted was that the Pro Crisp is big and bulky, which can take up a lot of space. People with small or cramped kitchens should take note of this. Still, the majority of people found the Pro Crisp to be a well rounded appliance that can seemingly cook anything.
- Perfect for large households.
- Air fryer feature creates crispy, tasty food.
- The large size of this model takes up a lot of space.
Best High-End Instant Pot
Instant Pot Pro Plus
The Instant Pot Pro Plus lets you wirelessly operate it through the Instant Brand Connect app. From the app, you can select from over 800 recipes. Once you select a recipe, the app will program the Pro Plus to cook your selected dish. The Instant Pot Pro Plus makes steam releasing easy and safe. You can wirelessly release steam, or you can hit the one-touch steam release button on the control panel. The control panel is easy to use. It displays a status message to guide you through the various cooking programs.
Being able to wirelessly control the Instant Pot Pro Plus was appealing to many people. According to customer reviews, the wireless control made the Pro Plus easy to use. Some people found the model’s design too bulky, which took up space on their countertop. Also, the model is not available in three quart or eight quart sizes.
- You can wirelessly operate and program the Pro Plus.
- Easy to use and helpful control panel.
- Can take up space.
- Not available in three quart or eight quart sizes.
Best of the Rest
Livingbasics Electric Pressure Cooker
The Livingbasics is an alternative to the Instant Pot models. This electric pressure cooker has 18 automatic cooking programs, many of which can be found on Instant Pot models. There are also customizable settings for each cooking program. You can adjust the temperature, pressure, and cooking time. In addition, this model comes with a 24 hour timer for delayed cooking and an automatic keep warm feature that keeps your food hot until it is served.
People liked all of the cooking programs offered by the Livingbasics Electric Pressure Cooker, with the Hotpot program being the most mentioned in reviews. Most people felt that this model did everything the Instant Pot does, but at a lower price. A frequent complaint in customer reviews was that the user manual was worded poorly. This made it difficult to figure out how to use the pressure cooker.
- Affordable price.
- 18 cooking programs.
- The user manual is worded poorly.
During our research, we spent over eight hours looking at various Instant Pot models. We only considered products rated four or more stars by customers. Our team consulted articles and videos when we needed information about the Instant Pot. In the end, we selected Instant Pots that provided consumers with the best cooking experience.
Frequent Instant Pot Questions
How does an Instant Pot work?
For most of its programs, the Instant Pot cooks food by building up a pressurized environment inside the pot. It will then cook the food at the required temperature for a set amount of time. There are three main cooking stages:
- Pre-heating and pressuring stage: First, the Instant Pot will begin to heat up and build up pressure.
- Cooking Stage: Once the desired temperature and pressure have been reached, the Instant Pot will cook the food for the set time limit or by the selected program’s setting.
- Depressurizing Stage: Once the cooking has finished, the temperature will lower, and the pot will depressurize. The Instant Pot will release the pressure itself through the steam release valve. You can also lower the pressure yourself using the quick release feature. If you use this feature, make sure to keep your hands and face away from the steam.
Some of the cooking programs operate differently. The Slow Cook program does not use pressure to cook food. Instead, it operates like a traditional slow cooker/crockpot. The pot is sealed and then heated to the desired temperature. The cook time is set to Less, Normal, or More (you may have to adjust the time). The Sauté setting is another non-pressure cooking program. With this program, you’ll cook food just like you would with a frying pan or grill.
Is an Instant Pot worth it?
Buying an Instant Pot can seem like an expensive investment, but it is well worth the money. Instant Pots are valued for their efficiency and convenience. They can also save you money; for example, you don’t have to buy extra cooking appliances. For these reasons, we feel that it is definitely worth it to buy an Instant Pot.
What Instant Pot size should I get?
The answer to this question depends on the size of your household. As mentioned earlier, single people or smaller families should stick with three quart Instant Pots. The six quart and eight quart Instant Pots are suited for larger households. Another factor is the space you have in your kitchen. You can buy the larger sized models if you have the room. If not, then you should buy the smaller sized Instant Pot.
What’s the average Instant Pot Price?
The average price for an Instant Pot is between $100-$300.
Are Instant Pots safe?
Instant Pots are safer compared to traditional pressure cookers. Explosions are a common accident with pressure cookers. This occurs when the high-temperature steam that has been built up within the cooker is suddenly released. To combat explosion, Instant Pots come with several safety mechanisms. All Instant Pot models have a valve that releases the steam from inside the pot. The pressure will decrease and eventually it will be safe to open the lid. Instant Pots also come with lid locks, which prevent the lid from shooting off.
Still, there are some safety steps to follow when using the instant pot. First, do not overfill your Instant Pot. Too much food or liquid inside the pot can create dangerous pressure levels. Make sure you fill up the pot to the recommend measurement levels. Second, make sure the steam release valve is clean. Some foods like noodles, rhubarb, or cranberries can sputter or foam inside your Instant Pot. This can clog the steam release valve, which results in the steam not being properly released. Third, double check that the pot’s lid is fully sealed. You can do this by checking if the sealing ring is properly placed under the lid and is clean of any food debris. An off-kilter lid can explode off the pot, potentially causing burns. The Instant Pot will display “Lid” if it isn’t sealed correctly.
What are the easiest Instant Pot recipes?
You can find hundreds of Instant Pot recipes online. The easiest ones tend to use minimal ingredients, and the cook times are fairly short. Here are some links to easy Instant Pot recipes:
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