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Instant Pot vs. Pressure Cooker: What’s the Difference?

When it comes to pressure cooking, two small appliances have been battling for supremacy in the kitchen. These are the Instant Pot and the pressure cooker. While either of these can be an excellent option for someone who loves making meals, it’s important to take a closer look to see which one is worthy of a place in your kitchen. From roast beef surprise to hot soups, there are many things to look forward to with either of these options.

If you’re looking for a comparison of the Instant Pot versus a pressure cooker, here’s everything you need to know from the get-go.

What’s an Instant Pot?

The well-known
Instant Pot is a handy device with built-in heating parts and an internal
thermostat that are able to make cooking meals at a rapid rate much easier.
Also, an Instant Pot can be used with just an electrical outlet, so no stove is
needed. As this type of pressure cooker is available in different models and
sizes, you’ll have a lot of options to choose from.

If you’re considering an Instant Pot for your kitchen tasks, here are the main features you’ll be able to look forward to:

  • Has multiple functionalities such as a yogurt maker, a sauté pan, a slow cooker and a steamer
  • Flexible in terms of usage
  • Budget-friendly
  • Digitally compatible

What’s a Pressure Cooker?

A pressure cooker is a device that has the ability to cook food quickly. This is because of the steam pressure that builds up inside the cooker. Due to this steam that makes the food moist, a pressure cooker can be the perfect device to use to make cheesecakes, meat stews and many other food dishes.

If you think a pressure cooker might be your best bet in comparison to the Instant Pot, here are a few positives for you to consider:

  • Cooks fast
  • More powerful
  • Considered an inexpensive appliance,
    even if it performs the same task
  • Easy to store and less bulky
  • Durable and can last for many years

7 Differences Between the Two Appliances

Cooking pots in restaurant kitchen. Photo by Cater Yang on Unsplash


Now that you’re aware of the key features of both cooking devices, here’s a brief summary of how the Instant Pot differs from a pressure cooker in seven different ways.

Slow Cooking

Standard pressure cookers don’t have a slow-cooking function, but the Instant Pot has a slow cooker, which is one of its best capabilities.

Appearance and Size

A regular pressure cooker can hold up to 12 quarts of food, and perhaps even more, depending on your needs and the brand. In a slightly different way, the size of the Instant Pot you choose will also depend on your needs.  If you need a smaller one, you can choose the three-quart size, but if you need a bigger size, you can select the eight-quart Instant Pot instead.

Cooking Functions Available

When it comes to cooking functions, an Instant Pot can be the best way to go. It can do a lot of cooking, which makes it one of the most valued electric pressure cookers on the market today. All you’ll need to do is set up the functions and pre-program the meals you want to cook automatically.

Unfortunately, a regular pressure cooker may not have as many cooking functions available as the Instant Pot does.

Control Panels

A regular pressure cooker won’t have control panels that will allow you to set the timer, select the food to cook, control the temperature and adjust a variety of other settings. However, the Instant Pot does have these control panels, which will make it easier for you to set up multiple cooking functions.

Energy Use

Again, regular pressure cookers can cook meals in a lesser amount of time than it would take to cook them in an oven. With that being said, we can clearly state that it uses less energy than an oven does. For example, browning meat usually takes up to two or three hours in an oven, but in a pressure cooker, the same can be done in just one hour, which will save you time and energy in the long run.

An Instant Pot is also an energy-efficient kitchen appliance, because it has an insulated cooking chamber that doesn’t require much energy to heat up.

If you’re looking for tips to reduce your home’s power bills, a valuable one is to buy energy-efficient appliances like Instant Pots or pressure cookers instead of those that consume more energy.

The Interior

The majority of pressure cookers are known for their non-stick interior cooking pot, while the Instant Pot comes with a stainless steel cooking pot within its interior. Fortunately, both interior options are easy to use and clean.


Compared to conventional pressure cookers, which are less expensive, the price of an Instant Pot is much higher because of its multiple cooking functions. Nevertheless, a good thing about both of these options is that they can be bought at an average price, although the exact price will vary depending on each customer’s needs and specifications.

Concluding Thoughts

Indeed, there are many things to consider when choosing the best cooking appliance for your kitchen. Although neither of these appliances is perfect, it’s important to note that both Instant Pots and regular pressure cookers are fantastic if you’re looking to cook delicious meals in a short amount of time. If you don’t know which one to buy, you’ll need to consider the comparative information above more closely, along with your own needs, to help yourself pick the perfect kitchen appliance.

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