The New Instant Pot Smart Multi-Cooker Converted Me to a Pressure Cooker Fan — Here's Why

I was pleasantly surprised by everything this Instant Pot could do.

We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation. Learn more.

Instant Pot Pro Plus
Photo: Allrecipes

I had never used an Instant Pot — or any pressure cooker — before. I'm a tried-and-true slow cooker fan who thought everything good in life had to be cooked low and slow. So the idea of great meals being cooked in mere minutes felt too good to be true. But the Instant Pot Pro Plus changed my view on cooking forever.

The new multi-cooker from Instant Pot is a 10-in-1 appliance that acts as a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, sauté pan, yogurt maker, warmer, canning pot, sous vide, and NutriBoost. But what sets the new Instant Pot Pro Plus apart from other Instant Pots is its smart cooking functionality thanks to the new Instant Brands Connect app.

If you're thinking, "Who needs a smart multi-cooker?" you're not alone. I had the same thoughts. That was, until I used it.

What Is the Instant Pot Pro Plus?

Instant Pot Pro Plus

Instant Pot Pro Plus

First and foremost, the Instant Pot is known for its pressure cooking. Pressure cooking uses steam and high pressure to cook foods faster in a sealed pot.

Instant Pots have a pressure-cooking lid with a steam valve that releases pressure after the food is done cooking. Unlike older models, the Instant Pot Pro Plus automatically releases the steam in either a natural, pulse, or quick vent — depending on what you set it to. This was a big plus for me because it meant I wouldn't accidentally burn myself when I released the steam.

But don't count the Instant Pot as just a pressure cooker. It can do so much more than that. I found myself using the pressure cook, slow cook, sauté, and steam features a lot. Plus, the keep warm feature is great for when you aren't quite ready to eat yet, but the food is.

The Instant Pot Pro Plus has a digital touch screen control panel, which is simple to use. And the inner pot has rubber handles so the pot will stay in place and it's easy to grab.

What Is the Instant Brands Connect App?

Instant Pot Pro Plus mobile app

With the Instant Brands Connect app, you can connect your Instant Pot Pro Plus to the mobile application on your phone. Not only can you control your Instant Pot from the app, but also the app provides over 1,500 smart recipes — including for different dietary restrictions and preferences.

The smart recipes allow you to work step-by-step through a recipe. And with a click of a button on your phone, you can wirelessly cook the recipe on the right setting for the perfect amount of time — it's actually pretty cool.

In addition to the new app, the Instant Pot Pro Plus introduced a new delayed start feature, which lets you delay the start time by a set number of hours or minutes. You can also use the delay start feature in the app to set a cook time up to 24 hours in advance.

What Comes With the Instant Pot Pro Plus?

In addition to the six-quart Instant Pot appliance, you will also receive a stainless steel cooking rack and an extra sealing ring.

What I Like About the Instant Pot Pro Plus

At a Glance:

  • Sleek black design
  • Versatility
  • Ease of use
  • The smart cooking function

Unlike some Instant Pots, the Pro Plus has a completely black design. From the outer pot to the control panel, the Instant Pot Pro Plus looks sleek and can blend into my kitchen (if I could fit it on my counters permanently). But more importantly, how does it perform?

I was shocked at the number of delicious things I could make in the Instant Pot. I always heard it had multiple functions, but I wasn't sure they would all be useful since it was advertised as a pressure cooker. Every recipe I made blew my expectations out of the water, from mashed potatoes to soups to pork tacos to rice, and so much more.

And while the Allrecipes site has dozens of Instant Pot recipes, and I did use some, I loved the recipes included with the Instant Brands Connect app. I cooked most of my meals directly from the app, which made it so easy because I could just click "start" after each direction, and the Instant Pot would automatically do what the recipe said. This was also a great way for me to learn what the different functions could do because some recipes would use three different functions all for one meal.

As someone who had never used a pressure cooker before, I thought I would be overwhelmed by the experience of trying one. But actually, the Instant Pot is pretty user-friendly. Once you find out what each function does, it's a breeze to use — and the app makes it even easier because it picks a function for you based on the recipe.

I know "smart cooking" sounds so weird, but the app was a big winner for me. Not only were the recipes easy to follow and helpful, but being able to wirelessly control the Instant Pot was a game-changer.

I hosted a Friendsgiving at my apartment, and I was able to save oven space by using the Instant Pot. I also could run around and do other things while my mashed potatoes were cooking because I could just click the buttons on my phone. Unlike cooking on the stovetop — and even the oven — I didn't have to check on the food or sit around and babysit it, which was so nice so I could get other things ready.

What I Didn't Like About the Instant Pot Pro Plus

At a Glance:

  • Big and bulky
  • Takes a while to pre-heat

Let's be honest, the Instant Pot is large. And if you don't have a lot of kitchen counter space (like me) there's no way it can stay out on the counter. And finding a place to store it can be a hassle — so you have to be really determined to use it to be willing to find a space for it in your kitchen.

My only other complaint is that even though it boasts a quicker cooking time, the Instant Pot Pro Plus takes between 15 to 20 minutes to build pressure and pre-heat. It's certainly not a dealbreaker, but there were times when I thought it would take the same amount of time, or even be faster, to use the stove or oven.

In Summary

As someone who had never used an Instant Pot, I was very impressed by everything that I could do with the appliance. I was happy with all the recipes I made, and actually pleasantly surprised at how much I liked some of them.

While maybe not as "instant" as I was expecting, I liked that I didn't have to babysit everything in the kitchen, and I could complete other tasks while my food was cooking — and didn't have to run back to press more buttons thanks to the app.

While it is the most expensive Instant Pot multi-cooker, besides the one with air fryer capability, on the market at $170, it's worth the extra money for the smart features — especially if you're always busy (and who isn't?).

Was this page helpful?
You’ll Also Love