I love the versatility of a multifunction electric pressure cooker. One appliance to either slow cook or quick cook under pressure, gives you various meal choices while reducing appliance congestion. The Instant Pot reviewed is a 3rd generation model with these functions, as well as rice cooking, steaming and saute.
Instant Pot Lux60 Review: Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker
- Instant Pot® Multi-use 6-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker IP-LUX60 (3rd generation model)
- 6L (6.33Qt) capacity
- 1000 Watts; working pressure: 10.2 - 11.6 Psi
- Speeds up cooking; uses up to 70% less energy
- Programmable with 24-hour delay cooking timer
- Advanced microprocessor technology - monitors pressure and temperature; adjusts heating and duration
- Includes removable 3-ply bottom stainless steel cooking pot, steam rack, rice paddle, soup ladle, measuring cup recipes, cooking timetable, instructions
- Safe and dependable; 10 fool-proof safety protections; pressure regulator ensures pressure stays under 15.23psi; automatic pressure controller keeps pressure in safe range
- 10 Built-in smart programs: Meat/stew, poultry, saute, soup, bean/chili, congee, steam, multigrain, rice, slow cook
- 3 Adjustable modes - for preferred tenderness
- Saute and Slow Cook have 3 temperature choices
- No noise, no leaks, no steam
- Automatic keep-warm - 60-80degC (140-176degF)
- Manual setting: Up to 120 minute cook timer
- Sealing lid should be handwashed; stainless inner pot can go in the dishwasher
- UL Listed for U.S. and Canada
- Instructions, recipes, cooking timetable are in English, French, Spanish, Chinese
How the Instant Pot Performed
The Instant Pot® has six types of functions: Pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, saute and warmer, so it's very versatile. It seems very well made with some nice convenient features plus it seems well designed for ease of cleaning. It also looks very nice on the counter. As for capacity, this cooker can easily hold a family meal or roast, a large batch of pasta sauce or dinner for two - as I often made.
If you're new to pressure cooking or have only used manual (stovetop) models, you'll find the Instant Pot safer and much easier to use. The pressure cooking process worked very well as expected, with hardly any spitting/hissing during steam release - which was nice. This pressure cooker also eliminates the guesswork with several preset meal choices, which I found to be a time-saver. Though the convenience aspect of any electric pressure cooker is to remove the constant monitoring associated with stovetop models, I still like to occasionally check the float valve to ensure that pressure is maintained throughout cooking. No problems were detected.
Reading through the instructions seemed confusing initially when it came to possible adjustments from the default temperature and time for some functions. As with any pressure cooker the manual is an essential read. Also, expect to have to reread it as required. This is not the first multifunction cooker I've used and I did have to refer back to it. And keep the Quick Reference Guide handy - it's very useful.
Before cooking anything, you need to decide if you want to speed up or slow down cooking. And refer to the cooking flow description to better understand the proper order of doing things. For example, if you are slow cooking, you need to leave the pressure release valve in the vented (release) position, but if pressure cooking, it needs to be sealed (closed) in order to build up steam. And when sauteing, the lid should not be used.
The preset selections for Soup, Poultry, Meat/Stew, Rice, Multigrain, Congee, Steam and manual - are all pressure cooking settings. These deliver a meal or veggie in mere minutes compared to cooking in an oven or on the stovetop. I love the Saute option which I used to brown meat or saute vegetables before proceeding to either the pressure cooker or slow cooker function. This tends to speed things up too since foods have reached a simmering temperature, before selecting the cooking option and applying the lid.
Something I missed viewing the first time around is the lit display showing the changes when adjusting for Less, Normal and More on Slow Cook. This cooking preference digital indicator though handy, can be difficult to view depending on the light in the kitchen. You can also vary the preset slow cooking times and adjust the temperature - I did that with many meals. Note that adjustments to presets must be made right after choosing the Slow Cook option. And the lid should be vented as mentioned above (the manual page 8 stating a sealed position is incorrect). Here are the Slow Cook temperatures as provided by the manufacturer:
- Slow Cook in Normal mode: 90~96C (194~205F), corresponding to slow cooker medium
- Slow Cook in More mode: 93~99C (199~210F), slow cooker high
- Slow Cook in Less mode: 88-94°C (190~201F). slow cooker low mode
The timetable given for certain pressure cooked foods is more of a guide to give you an idea of how long it might take but expect some variations - this is typical. My roast of beef was not quite done at the preset time, which was fine because we were able to serve some well-done slices and return the rest to pressure cook another 10 minutes. If you wanted to add potatoes, you would cut down the time by around 10 minutes, release steam, add these veggies and return to pressure cook for about 10 minutes or less. Pressure cooking saves a lot of time and it's a good way to serve budget cuts of meat that come out tender, juicy and flavorful.
As for performance, pressure cooking was very good as expected. Slow cooked pasta sauces, casseroles and soups were completed much faster than I expected. Even with temperature and time adjustments, foods cooked well, but more quickly than expected. For those who loathe sluggish slow cookers, you'll love this one. The Rice Cooking option works fairly well but it's not a good idea to leave the rice on warm too long. It tends to dry out quickly. Plan on serving soon after it's ready or add more water.
Though I generally like nonstick for its ease of cleaning, this cooker's 3-ply stainless steel inner pot is absolutely wonderful to cook with and cleans up quickly. I expected my pork chop casserole to scorch or stick to the pot since I had chosen 'More' and cooked longer than needed, but it was super tasty and tender, with no sticking or burning. In fact, no 'hot spots' were detected after several days of testing various functions. The exterior of this cooker is easy to keep clean, resists fingerprints reasonably well and looks very nice.
Overall Impression and Related Resources
I loved cooking with the Instant Pot® and I can see it replacing a regular slow cooker for meals within this capacity, cutting cut down on appliances. And if you usually find the ceramic liners of standard slow cookers to be overly heavy to handle, you'll love the lightweight, but well-designed stainless steel pot in this cooker.
Once you've gotten familiar with the order of doing things and how each cooking option works, you'll find it easy to use. I really liked the preset food settings. Performance was excellent all around, but expect slow cooking to be quicker than average even with adjustments.
It has all the pressure cooker safeguards I find essential, plus some very nice convenience features. It's so versatile for a variety of foods that you'll want to assign it some counter space, because you'll be using it a lot. And being able to saute (or brown) in the same pot before slow or pressure cooking, does save on clean-up.
Instant Pot also makes an optional clear glass lid for this pot that would be very useful when slow cooking or just keeping a meal warm. Note that the pot's sealing lid included with the cooker, must be used when pressure cooking.