Immediate Pot Professional Plus within the take a look at: strain cooking is getting sensible
Instant Pot Pro Plus in the test: pressure cooking is getting smart
RRP $ 170.00
“Discovering new recipes and translating their instructions right from your phone into the Instant Pot is a fun gimmick, but not without compromise.”
Major usability improvements
Remote control functions are fun and useful
Community recipes can be hit and missed
Despite all of its multitude of functions – making yogurt, sous vide, canning – Instant Pot struggled to connect to phones. While Instant Pot has seen some impressive peaks in popularity, how did Instant Pot really reach this huge group of people who want Wi-Fi in every single thing in their home? A 2015 recall of the original Instant Pot Smart put a damper on a device we otherwise loved. Fortunately, the phone-friendly feature is back, and we dive in deep to see what else is new.
Simon Sage / Digital Trends
The first thing you need to do is create an Instant Pot account in order to pair the device with your mobile device. Originally, I wanted to create my account through my PC so I could get Chrome to generate a robust password, but this process didn’t carry over well to the mobile app. I ended up creating another account through the mobile app with a weaker password, which isn’t ideal. Some kind of Facebook connection would make creating an account a lot easier. The pairing process was a matter of course for most smart home devices: Connect via Bluetooth, share the WiFi password, then you start to connect. The requirement for a 2.4 GHz WiFi network is also common for smart home devices.
Once the Instant Pot is fully inserted, you can activate it for (deep inhalation) pressure cooking, slow cooking, rice cooking, steaming, roasting, making yogurt, hot meals, canned food, sous vide and NutriBoost which mimics the effects of cooking without really all burn these nutrients.
The biggest selling point of the new Instant Pot Pro Plus is its smartphone connectivity. This allows you to search an extensive database of recipes, check the status of your preparation and control the process remotely.
The recipes really dominate the conversation when it comes to the app. The greatest convenience is to wirelessly transfer the cooking settings from your phone to the Instant Pot and start cooking right away. Discovering recipes was a breeze. You can filter by vegetarian or vegan diet, time of day, difficulty and preparation times. The search for vegetarian dinners only brought about 40 results out of the original 1,500, many of which were a mix of tofu, quinoa, butternut squash, or lentils. It was clear that I wouldn’t have much mileage in the long run.
Simon Sage / Digital Trends
I chose an eggplant parmesan because my partner can tolerate the vegetarian diet if there is enough cheese involved. With a shopping list feature, you can export the ingredients to any app you normally use for things like that. I would also have loved to tick them off in the Instant Pot app itself. The recipe was pulled from the internet and had each step broken down correctly, along with shortcuts for starting the Instant Pot and setting timers. While the app is running, a notification will appear in the system tray so you can keep an eye on the cooking progress at a glance.
This was the first time I’ve cooked pasta in an instant pot, and I followed the author’s instructions in good faith. Unfortunately, I should have taken some time to read the community comments and reviews, which precisely reported that the recipe produced undercooked penne. There is also a five-star rating system in place, but at 3.6 stars no alarm bells went off initially. I was able to save the meal with a little extra water in the baking dish and a longer cooking time in the oven. The only collateral damage was a few burnt noodles on top and a scramble over the smoke alarm. The rest of the penne was tougher than I would have liked, but better than crispy.
There is a lot of trust in the community to provide high quality recipes.
As for the recipes, the community relies heavily on both providing high quality instructions and checking if they don’t work. Popular recipes will have enough community momentum for this to work, but niche recipes will get beginners like me rolling the dice pretty often. Regardless of where you look for recipes on the internet or how you end up sending those instructions to your devices, you are likely to encounter the same uncertainties. Even if the recipe search ultimately fails and the convenience of one-touch instructions is lost, you at least have remote monitoring of everything you manually enter. In the best case scenario, you will find a handful of recipes that you love in Instant Pot’s database and you will be able to use the one-touch function reliably.
What else is new?
My last Instant Pot was the Ultra 6 Quart, so the Pro Plus was a big step up in many ways. The inclusion of handles on the inner pot is a huge improvement in ease of use. Fins on the lid and some brackets along the base make a home for a large, chunky platter that would otherwise roll around on the kitchen counter while you try to add ingredients. The front has a touch screen, which can be much easier to navigate than just a clicky wheel. An extra cover on the pressure relief helps evacuate steam, not that I’ve ever had many issues with spill damage. There’s also a new pulse-release mode that’s designed to reduce splashes when releasing the pressure from super-savory dishes.
Being able to cook so many things without lighting the stove and ultimately saving energy is a huge draw. Discovering new recipes and transferring their instructions straight from your phone to the Instant Pot is a fun gimmick, but not without its compromises.
Is there a better alternative?
On paper, the Instant Pot Pro Plus is at the top of their product range. At just $ 170, your savings will be minimal even if you can find a cheaper model from competing brands. The Instant Pot Pro Plus is currently only available with a capacity of 6 liters. So if you cook for a large household, the other 8 liter models may be more suitable. The baking option is also not available on the Pro Plus, while it is available on the Pro. All of this means you’ll struggle to find a better alternative than the Instant Pot Pro Plus, aside from a few specific hangers.
How long it will take?
I used the Instant Pot Ultra for about three and a half years with no sign of slowing down or wear and tear. Ready-to-use, Instant Pots come with a one-year warranty to cover all mishaps at the beginning of their lifespan. The inside seal ring is probably the first thing you’ll need, but you can easily buy replacements for it. We suspect that with a little care, an Instant Pot could last five years or more.
Should you buy it?
The Instant Pot Pro Plus is easy to recommend. It continues to repeat what made the brand so successful. The benefits from the feature set are still impressive.