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Instant Pot Pro review

The best Instant Pot without an air fryer

The Instant Pot Pro on a kitchen countertop
(Image: © TechRadar)

Our Verdict

The Instant Pot Pro is a 10-in-1 multi-cooker that offers virtually every possible cooking function that you can get on a standard multi-cooker. The only way to get more functions is to opt for a model with an air fry lid. This easy-to-use model has a fuss-free steam release switch and allows you to save your favorite settings. The controls are intuitive to use but creating the perfect dish will at times require a bit of trial and error.

For

  • Five one touch favorite settings
  • Stovetop friendly, oven and dishwasher safe inner pot
  • Safe and user-friendly steam release switch

Against

  • No recipe book or cooking charts included
  • Steam rack unsuitable for vegetables
  • More expensive than other Instant Pots

One-minute review

Instant Pot is one of the leading manufacturers of multi-cookers, which isn’t surprising given it was the first brand to launch one of these versatile kitchen appliances more than a decade ago.  The brand’s popularity has soared over the past ten years, and in return Instant Pot has launched an array of models to suit a range of budgets. The popular

The Instant Pot Pro is one of its top-of-the-range models, and a contender for the title of best Instant Pot. This 10-in-1 multi-cooker serves as a replacement for several other appliances, saving you space and money. Aside from multi-cookers that come with air fry lids for additional functionality, such as the Instant Pot Duo Crisp and Air Fryer this is the most premium single lid model available from Instant Pot and as such it’s more expensive than other models in the range which include the more affordable Instant Pot Duo or Instant Pot Duo Nova.

It has ten cooking methods including pressure cooking, slow cooking,  sauté and sous vide, and 28 presets as well as the ability to manually adjust settings and save five favorite recipe settings.  Instant Pot also claims it's 20% faster when it comes to pre-heating. Although fans of preset cooking programs may prefer the Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus which is very similar but has 48 presets to choose from.

There are two sizes available: 6-quart/ 6-liter or 8-quart/ 8-liter. The Instant Pot Pro can be used to make lots of family favorites and is perfect for easy batch cooking without having to stand over a hot stove, making it ideal for busy families as well as experienced cooks who want to experiment with different functions like sous vide and yogurt.

Instant Pot Pro price and availability

  •  List price: $129.99/ £149.99

The Instant Pot Pro will set you back  $129.99/ £149.99 for the 6-quart/ 5.7 liter model and is available through Instant’s website or Amazon in both the US and the UK. 

The Instant Pot Pro, which is also available in a larger 8-quart/ 8-liter size, which is priced at $149.95 /£199.99. The Instant Pot Pro is the most premium multi-cooker offered by Instant Pot, the next step up is multi-cookers that have an extra lid to provide the additional function of air frying and broiling.

The Instant Pot Pro with the lid removed and a bowl of rice, which has been cooked in the Instant Pot

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Design

  • Easy-grip silicone pot handles
  • 28 preset cooking programs
  • Simple steam release switch

The Instant Pot Pro has a sleek black finish that definitely gives it more of a premium appearance than the standard stainless-steel Instant Pots.  Measuring 12.8 x 12.7 x 13 inches/ 32.5 x 32.3 x 33cm (h x w x d), it’s a similar size to other 6-quart/ 6-liter multi-cookers, but it appears more compact and subtle due to the black finish.

The steam release switch on this model is one of the easiest and safest steam release methods we’ve seen on a multi-cooker and the steam valve has a cover to reduce splashes and noise. When the lid is closed, the steam valve is automatically sealed, perfect for pressure cooking, but you’ll have to remember to open it for some of the other functions.

The Instant Pot Pro offers ten different functions: pressure cooker, slow cooker, sous vide, sauté pan, sterilizer, yogurt maker, rice/ grain cooker, food warmer, cake baker, and steamer. Within most of these functions, there are additional preset programs for various foods, with a total of 28 presets.

Unlike other Instant Pots, the Instant Pot Pro has five favorite buttons that allow you to store your favorite settings for recipes you make regularly, giving you the convenience of the one-touch programs but for your own custom recipes.

There’s a keep warm function which is perfect if you’re not home when it finishes cooking and a delay start timer, so you can ensure your meal is ready when you get home from work. Although it’s worth noting you should avoid using the delay start if your recipe includes perishables like raw meat or fish. The countdown timer and cooking progress bar help you to keep track of your creation.

It comes with a steam rack and an extra sealing ring for the lid. There are no recipes or charts detailing cooking times, you have to find these online or on the app. The top of the lid has a QuickCool area, but to use this you’ll have to buy an additional accessory which you then fill with water and freeze. Instant Pot says it cools the pot quickly and makes natural steam release much faster.

Instant Pot Pro surrounded by ingredients to make a slow cooked chilli

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Performance

  • Sides and handles stay cool
  • An alert reminds you when to vent the steam after cooking rice
  • Simple to use and set

The Instant Pot Pro is a really versatile appliance but it’s unlikely you’ll use every function, so we tried out the most commonly used cooking functions. Our first task was to cook some brown basmati rice using the Brown Rice preset within the Rice/ Grain function. After a lot of searching on the Instant Pot website, we discovered a table detailing rice to water ratios that advised a 1:1 ratio. Once cooked though, the rice was a little too al dente so next time we’d add more water. The default cook time was 30 minutes and the preheat stage took five minutes, 20 seconds, then ten minutes after cooking has finished the Instant Pot Pro alerts you to vent the steam. This gives a total cook time of just over 45 minutes, which is lengthy, but it’s completely hands-off during that time so you’re free to put your feet up. 

To accompany our rice, we opted for a Thai Red Curry made in the pressure cooker. The saute function meant we could brown chicken legs in the pot which is great and means you don’t have to dirty any additional pans. We used the high pressure setting for 20 minutes, the lid automatically seals so it’s as easy as pressure cooking gets. The preheat took 10 minutes and at the end of cooking we simply had to flick the switch for quick pressure release which took just one and half minutes. This registered 72dB on our decibel meter, which is the equivalent of normal conversation in an office, and an acceptable level. The curry was nicely cooked with chicken falling off the bone and at 198 F/92 C it was thoroughly cooked through. At the end of cooking the only hot area on the exterior of the pot was the lid at 140 F/ 60 C.

The Instant Pot Pro open with a slow-cooked chilli inside

(Image credit: TechRadar)

A slow-cooked beef chili was our next meal, again we used the saute function to brown the beef and soften onions, the pot doesn’t have a non-stick coating but the meat didn’t stick to it. After adding the rest of the ingredients, we set the slow cooker on high for six hours. There’s no noise during cooking and the handles and exterior all stay cool. It beeps to alert you when cooking has finished, but you can switch the sound off if you prefer. Our chili was 176 F / 80 C when cooked, with a delicious soft meaty texture. And if you decide you want it thickened more, just switch on saute and let it reduce to your desired consistency. All the parts can go in the dishwasher so it’s really easy to clean.

Finally, we steamed broccoli using the steam function. The rack that comes with the Instant Pot Pro isn’t ideal for vegetables though and some of our broccoli fell through into the water below – we’d advise buying the steam accessory if you intend on doing lots of steaming. We added a cup of water into the pot and set it to two minutes, but there was an additional preheat time of four and a half minutes. The broccoli was still too hard at the end of cooking, so we’d try four minutes next time. The main difficulty is finding good information on cook times and how much water to add and we weren’t sure if the steam vent should be open or closed.

The Instant Pot Pro having just been used to steam broccoli

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Should I buy the Instant Pot Pro?

Buy it if...

You want handles on the cooking pot
Not all Instant Pots come with handles on the cooking pot, this one has two easy grip silicone handles, making it much easier to move the pot around especially when it’s full of food.

You want a simple and safe steam venting method
With a really simple switch, it’s easy to change the pot from sealed to venting and the steam release cover minimizes spluttering, perfect if you’re nervous or hesitant about releasing steam from a pressure cooker.

You want to store your favorite settings
Experienced cooks often prefer their own settings to preset programs, this Instant Pot allows you to store your five most-used settings for speed and convenience.

Don't buy it if...

You’re on a budget
There are plenty of Instant Pots that are more affordable than the Instant Pot Pro, check out our reviews of the Instant Pot Duo and Instant Pot Duo Nova.

You want a vegetable steaming rack included
The steam rack that comes in the box is only suitable for larger foods, not vegetables. For vegetables, you’ll need to purchase a steamer basket separately.

You want lots of cooking times and tables
The manual is brief, there are explanations of the settings, but as for timings, water to rice/ grain ratios, and other volumes, you’ll have to rely on a combination of trial and error combined with searching the website and recipe app.


First reviewed: September 2021

Helen McCue

Helen is a freelance writer who specializes in kitchen appliances and has written for some of the biggest home-related titles around. She has been reviewing small appliances, including blenders, juicers, and multi-cookers, for more than 8 years,  and also upholsters furniture when she's not testing the latest food tech gadgets.