REVIEW: Instant Pot SMART 7-1 Electric Pressure Cooker with App.

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REVIEW: Instant Pot SMART 7-1 Electric Pressure Cooker with App.

It took me quite a while to do this review- mainly I was torn between reviewing the Instant Pot DUO first or delving right into the SMART. In the end, I decided that I should just jump to Instant Pot’s latest cooker – which without the app. and extra display icons is actually a DUO.

The app makes this pressure cooker programmable with unlimited possibilities. Not “programmable with manual mode” as other electric pressure cooker claim but “fully programmable” giving the cook the ability to control temperature, pressure, time and flow of your recipe. If the idea of full control is overwhelming, the app comes pre-loaded with existing recipe scripts, and you can install recipes sent to you by friends or download them from hip pressure cooking.

NOTE: Since the Instant Pot SMART App is the first of its kind, and there are no other apps to compare it to,  we included it in the review but not the score.  At a later time, when other pressure cookers are produced and sold with Apps, we will create a separate score for Apps and come back to grade this one.

Pressure Cooker Review: Instant Pot® 7-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker (IP-SMART) with Bluetooth®

Features: (5 out of 5 stars)

Instant Pot SMART’s control panel offers many more options than its rivals –  not only more cooking features but additional flexibility with adjustable cooking helper and programs:

  • 7 in 1 Multi-cooker – Pressure cooker, Slow cooker, Rice cooker,  Yogurt Maker, Steamer, Sauté and Warmer.
  • 2 pressure settings – For full-power or delicate pressure cooking:  High Pressure 10.2- 11.6psi (239-244°F or 115-118°C); Low Pressure 5.8 -7.2 psi (229-233°F or 110-112°C)
  • Stainless Steel Inner Pot – unlike most electric pressure cookers, the inner pot – where the food cooks- is stainless steel with a 3-ply base with aluminum sandwich
  • Lid-Holding Handles  – no need to figure out where to put a hot steamy lid.  Just stick it in the handle, lefty-compatible.
  • 14 Cooking Programs –  Soup, Meat/Stew, Bean/Chili, Poultry, Saute’, Steam, Rice, Porridge, Multigrain, Slow Cook, Keep-Warm, Yogurt, Pasteurize and Fermented rice- plus manual settings.
  • Adjustable Modes – Each pre-programmed button on the front of the cooker includes three adjustments. For each program you can choose “less”, default pre-set time/temp, or “more”. The adjustable programs are includes: Three Sauté temperatures 275-302°F (135-150°C), 320-349°F (160-176°C),  and 347-410°F (175-210°C);  three Slow Cooker temperatures 190-201°F (88-94°C),  194-205°F (90-96°C), and 199-210°F  (93-99°C) and three Keep-Warm Temperatures  approx. 133°F (56°C), 146°F (63.5°C) and 165°F (74°C)
  • 2 Delay Timers – Timer can delay the start of any cooking program up to 24 hours.
  • IndiGlo light LCD screen – With clock set automatically via the app with and status alerts.
  • Bluetooth® 4.0SMART  compliant – connects to the app on smartphones, tablets, iphones and ipads  (Android and iOS) which  provides easy to use interfaces to control and monitor cooking progress in graphics.
  • Companion App-  Offers an easy-to-use interface to control, monitor cooking.  The free app lets you create, save, share and download recipe scripts.
    • create recipe scripts by choosing the temperature, time and pressure in multiple steps
    • share recipes with friends via e-mail or download them from websites that host smart recipes (like hippressurecooking.com)
    • save recipe scripts or use the ones pre-loaded in the app to make the recipe exactly as intended every time!
    • monitor the temperature in 32 second increments during the entire cooking process
    • detects the altitude based on the GPS location on the smartphone or tablet and adjusts the cooking time of recipe scripts (but not buttons on the cooker)

The cooker’s functionalities can be upgraded and expanded after purchase, via the app.

Safety: (4.75 out of 5 stars)

Electric pressure cookers as a class, are extremely safe.  Unlike stove top pressure cookers that may need intervention when something goes wrong – like forgetting to turn down the heat – electric pressure cookers are able to monitor cooking and act accordingly to remedy potentially hazardous situations by themselves.

Here are the safety features of the Instant Pot SMART:

  1. Primary Safety Release Valve – The valve in the lid will release pressure if the internal pressure exceeds 15.23psi or 105kpa
  2. Encapsulated last-resort pressure release – Should the primary pressure regulating valve fail, the excess pressure is released into the body of the unit (between the outer lining and the inner pot).
  3. Double Anti-blockage Vent – Special vent shield that prevents food from blocking it, with additional small basket-like cover for additional protection from clogging.
  4. Locking Lid – Mechanical lock that prevents the lid from being opened when the contents are under pressure – even without electricity.
  5. Lid Position Detection– monitors whether the lid in an unsafe zone for pressure cooking.
  6. Pressure Sensor & Controller– Monitors the cooking temperature and ensures that it remains in a safe range.
  7. Extreme Temperature and Power protection – A special fuse disconnects power should the temperature raise at a level that could damage the electronics and the cooker try to draw an unusually high level of electricity

Instant Pot SMART safety features

Early Recall

The first production of Instant Pot SMART was re-called voluntarily due to a manufacturing defect within 48 hours of its discovery. People who had purchased this pressure cooker were contacted directly by the manufacturer to receive a full replacement at no cost. All of the Instant Pot SMARTs for sale now have had the issue corrected- however the initial re-call gave this cooker a 1/4 point ding in the safety department.

If you’re purchasing a used  or refurbished Instant Pot SMART from anyone other than Amazon or Instant Pot -write down the date code (circled in red, below)  and contact Instant Pot to ensure the cooker was manufactured after the re-call.

IP Smart Production Date
Instant Pot SMART Production Date

Performance: (4.5 of 5 stars)

The Instant Pot SMART gets lots of use in my kitchen – in fact, I don’t know how people make do with just one.  When it’s not busy making yogurt or fermenting kefir Instant Pot is steaming veggies for lunch, or getting prepped to make dinner by itself. I often use it for recipe testing, I can just program the pot and leave it to do its thing. It’s really is like having a little sous-chef on the side working by himself.  Or, more..

My son and daughter both have after-school activities which leave us coming home after 8pm tired and famished three days a week.  Even though I prepped dinner before leaving – it still gives me a warm feeling to come home and find it hot, ready and waiting for us.  It’s the same feeling of having “mom” home, before I became one, whipping up a nutritious meal to welcome me back from an exhausting day.

I’m not the only one to feel the warm-and-fuzzies for my Instant Pot.  This pressure cooker has garnered a bit of a cult following online through their very friendly Facebook group where it’s easy to “catch” cooks in the acts of naming and raving about how special their Instant Pot is.

Here’s a run-down of all the programs..

Saute’
p_sauteInstant Pot lets the cook choose one of  three saute temperatures using the “Adjust” button to brown the food directly in the cooker.  When you first push the button the display says “On” and you’ll know it has reached its temperature when the screen says “Hot”.  This works quite well, if you just want to sear and go.  But longer saute’ recipes can be complicated because if you want to turn down the temperature  (say to keep onions from burning) you need to hit [Cancel], [Saute] and [Adjust] until you get the option “less”.  To save myself all the button-pushing (I’m often prepping other ingredients while the onions are going) I’ve adapted to just turning the Saute’ mode on and off with [Cancel] and [Saute’] again.

Soup, Meat/Stew, Bean/Chili, Poultry, Rice, Multi-grain and Porridge Programs

Most of the buttons, except for maybe Multi-grain and Rice programs, are basically  a suggested  high pressure  cooking time with two additional options “more” or “less” which can be accessed via the [Adjust] button.  Multi-grain adds a “soaking” step which is supposed to cook the grains faster – but if you add the soaking time then you’re just better off cooking the grains from dry using [Manual] mode (see, below).  The [Rice] mode sets the time and “low pressure” for cooking rice.  I’ve personally had terrible results with Instant Pot’s previous default rice programs and instructions using the little plastic “rice cooker” cup so I came-up with my own way to pressure cook rice that works in every pressure cooker type using [Manual] mode. So, I have to be honest, in that I have not tried the SMART’s new & improved rice mode – if you do, proceed with caution.

If a SMART owner is reading this and you’ve tried this program along with the Instant Pot instructions, please leave a comment below this review to let us know how it worked for you.

Manual & Steam Programs
Manual ProgramThe [Manual] button gets the most action on my Instant Pot SMART.  Often I already know how long I’m going to pressure cook something so I prefer punch it and then hit  “+” or “-” to get to the time. It starts at 30 minutes (and none of my every-day recipes ever cook that long) so I’m always adjusting the cooking time down. To save some standing-there-pushing-a-button-time I hit [Steam] which starts off at 10 minutes . I also use [Steam] for my “hot cereal” breakfast which takes exactly 10 minutes (recipe coming soon).

When making thick and tomato puree-based dishes, some readers have experienced burning and scorching- that’s because the heating element is unfortunately programmed to blast at full-power until the cooker reaches pressure.  To avoid this, make sure to bring the contents of the pressure cooker to a boil first and then close lid and program the Manual cooking time.

Releasing Pressure & Keep-Warm
To release pressure Normally, simply move the valve from “sealing” to “venting”.

To release pressure Naturally you don’t have to do anything.  The “Keep-Warm” program that kicks-in automatically will not interfere with this release.  That’s because, even though the cooker  starts “keeping warm” as soon as the  cooking program is finished, the heating element does not actually start heating until the temperature in the cooker goes below 145°F (62°C)- and that’s below the boiling point without pressure.

The timer helpfully starts counting up during Keep Warm but it’s not really easy to tell from the display if the cooker is cooking or keeping warm.  Previous models had a large L  on the display next to the timer. Compare the photos below, without reading the caption, can you when the cooker is indicating “cooking time”  vs. “keep warm”? Exactly.

This timer is handy for the 10-minute Natural Release, where you’re supposed to count-up 10 minutes after cooking is finished before releasing pressure. Just keep an eye on that timer until it reaches 10.

The Keep-warm switches on automatically for all programs except for [Saute] and [Yogurt]. When writing recipes scripts using the free app, the cook has the option to stop “Keep warm” from engaging.

Yogurt

Laura Pazzaglia, of hip pressure cooking, making yogurt in the Instant Pot IP-DUO.

I’ve been using the yogurt program weekly ever since Instant Pot introduced it (with the DUO).  I use the same procedure from the how-to video I made for Instant Pot – except I’ve gotten it down to one large liter-sized  glass jar that is perfect to use with 1 liter of milk (similar 1-quart glass storage jars can be found in the US for 1 quart of milk).  The only tricky thing about making yogurt with Instant Pot SMART is waiting for the milk temperature to come down enough to add the starter while monitoring it with separate thermometer. Thankfully, the SMART will let you write a script for that using its built-in thermometer – and I did (click on the link using a device with the app installed to save it to the app).

Slow Cook

Instant Pot SMART let’s you [Slow Cook] at low, medium and high heat (they call it “less”, “normal” and “more”).   I personally do not have the patience to slow-cook so I never used it.  I asked my mother’s cousin,  Debbie in Oregon, who loves to slow cook and has an Instant Pot about her experience. She told me “I use the machine most often in slow cooking mode. I love the features of browning in the same pot and keeping warm after cooking is complete.” In fact, she pointed out the two features you won’t find in most slow cookers.

Timer 

Instant Pot delay cooking Timer[Timer]  is the a delay mode and it gets used quite a bit at my  house. You get to set the actual time at which cooking should begin. Now this can be a little tricky for those new to pressure cooking – especially since the program times do not include how long the pressure cooker will take to reach or loose pressure (if using Natural Release) – which can be anywhere between  20 to 40 minutes in addition to the program or “manual”  cooking time.  There’s nothing like setting the timer to start cooking a 30 minute program half an hour before you get home and  finding out that your hangry children have to wait another 20 minutes for dinner (personal experience).  So when calculating back from your planned dinner time over-shoot it and add about 30 minutes to the expected pressure cooking time.  For example, for a recipe that requires 30 minutes of pressure cooking time, set the timer to begin cooking an hour (60 minutes) before you get home.  It’s OK if the program finishes sooner, Keep-warm’s got you covered.

Overall, I’m extremely satisfied with the features and functions on the Instant Pot smart but some of the programs are a bit awkward and cumbersome:  Saute’ requires an undue amount of fiddling to turn down the heat; Manual starts at 30 minutes and it’s not pleasant to constantly adjust the cooking time from there; Manual mode is prone to scorching without extra attention from the cook;  The usually-informative screen is not that helpful when the cooker switches to “Keep Warm” ; and, the default Yogurt program could make use of the built-in thermometer.

So we delicately dinged Instant Pot’s score .1 points for each of these issues.  But the beauty of having an app means that you can work-around most of these problems by creating your own cooking programs.

Clean-up: (4.75 out of 5 stars)

  • Dishwasher SMART
    Dishwasher top rack: lid and gasket; bottom rack: inner pot, valve and cover (in utensil basket)

    Inner pot is dishwasher safe

    Outer body wipes clean

  • Lid hand-wash only
  • Outer pot has trough near where lid goes that is tricky to clean
  • Pressure release valve can be yanked off the lid and internal valve screen can pulled off without any

Now this is neither officially condoned nor completely ruled-out by the manufacturer but after almost three years of Instant Pot ownership I discovered that the lid can be safely dish-washed.   Some of the “shine” will be dulled-down on the black parts of the lid but I have personally not seen any other ill effects.

I pressed my  Instant Pot contact about this and the factory confirmed that putting the lid in the dishwasher will not damage it.

This is how I wash the Instant Pot lid in the dishwasher: I remove the valve (on top of the lid) and the little basket that protects it (underneath the lid) and put those in the utensil basket. Then I pull off the silicone gasket and put it along with the lid, stainless-steel-side-down, on the top rack of the dishwasher.  When it’s finished, put it all back together right away (so you don’t loose any pieces) and you’ve got a perfectly clean lid.

The App:

Companion App
Companion App

This is the first review where I’m actually going to detail an App – this section does not contribute to the score. Also,  all of the programs on the front of the cooker (detailed above in the Performance section) work perfectly without App.

So, what is the big deal about being able to write your own recipe scripts?  Well, you could write a recipe script that tells that Instant Pot to slow cook at high heat for an hour and then slow cook at low heat for 6 and when the cooking is finished tell it to keep-warm for you.  I wrote a script to bring the cooker up-and-down from pressure to purposely make a cloudy bone broth.  I’ve also written scripts to keep my kefir warm and fermenting in my cold kitchen in the winter (that’s 6 hours at  71° F/22°C) and raise bread dough ( 2-4 hours at 98°F/37°C).

You can also monitor the temperature inside the pressure cooker during the entire cooking cycle. It is updated every 32 seconds.

Even if you don’t have an Instant Pot you can download the app to check it out by following this link.

It’s worth noting that the first version of the App only allowed the cook to name and write recipe scripts, without including cooking instructions, ingredients or photos – Instant Pot got a lot of flack and negative reviews for that.  They recently released an updated version of the App which addresses all of these complaints. The App (that you can preview in the slideshow below) will let you input the script, the text of a recipe, ingredients and photos, too!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Getting More Recipe Scripts

Instant Pot and I collaborated in converting many hip recipes to the Instant Pot SMART – you can find a list of the recipes with a SMART Recipe script in the Smartcooker Scripts & Info area of this website.

Instant Pot SMART Temperatures for Non-pressure Programs Cheat Sheet

The tricky thing about writing a recipe scripts for the SMART is that if you want the script to “slow cook” or “keep warm” there are no equivalent options (like the buttons on the front of the cooker) for those cooking methods. Instead, you have to punch-in the equivalent temperature for each cooking method. I made-up my own reference guide, which I hope you find helpful, too!

If you want to...use this temperaturefor..lidvalve position
Boil/Steam212°F (100°C)30-60 min.yes or noopen
Bread Dough Rise79°F (26°C)1-4 hoursyesclosed
Bread Starter Ferment95°F (35°C)4-24 hoursyesclosed
Ferment Kefir or Kombucha71°F (22°C)6-12 hoursyesclosed
Keep Warm133-165°F (56-74°C)0-24 hoursyes or noopen or closed
Natural Release Ends 209°F (99°C)-yesopen or closed
Slow Cook (low)190-201°F (°88-94C)6-10 hoursyesopen
Slow Cook (med)194-205°F (90-96°C)4-6 hoursyesopen
Slow cook (high)199-210°F (93-99°C)2-4 hoursyesopen
Pasteurize Milk165°F (74°C)15-60 sec.no-
Sous Vide Beef Steak136°F (58°C)1.5 hoursyes or noopen
Sous Vide Pork Chop144°F (62°C)1- 1.75 hoursyes or noopen
Sous Vide Chicken Breast149°F (65°C)1-2 hoursyes or noopen
Sous Vide Fish Filet122°F (50°C)40 min.- 1 houryes or noopen
Sous Vide Poached Egg149°F (65°C)1-2 hoursyes or noopen
Sous Vide Vegetable185°F (85°C)5-20 min.yes or noopen
Yogurt Inoculation (adding starter)115°F (46°C) or less


-no-
Yogurt Incubation110-115°F (43.5-46°C) 6-8 hoursyesopen or closed
See our Pressure Cooking Time table for pressure level and cooking times suggestions. See ChefSteps for a comprehensive Sous Vide Time and Temperature Guide

Unfortunately, the maximum programmable temperature on the app is 284°F (140°C) which is too low for deep frying (without pressure) which needs 300-325°F.  Having a base that can heat and maintain its own temperature would be an excellent way to do non-pressure deep-frying without having to constantly regulate the heat and monitor the temperature of the oil yourself.

Accessories:

Instant Pot SMART Accessories
In addition to the stainless steel insert, the instant pot comes with a rice paddle, soup ladle, 6 oz (180 ml)measuring cup and trivet with handles and red silicone grippy gloves. It’s a little disappointing that they still don’t provide a steamer basket – this is a basic accessory that many other pressure cooker manufacturers provide.  But this can be easily solved by buying one separately.

Other Details:

  • 3-ply Stainless Steel cooking insert
  • Available Sizes:6L (6.34qt),
  • Floating valve with (70-80kpa) 10.1-11.6 PSI working pressure
  • Maximum Cooking Temperature measured at high pressure: 114°C (237.2°F)
  • 1000 watt Heating Element
  • Cord Length: 47″ or 120 cm
  • Width: (opening of liner) 8.6″ or 22cm, (internal base of liner ) 7.5″ or 19 cm, cylindrical; Height (of liner) 6.1″ or 15.5 cm; Dimensions: 13.4″ (34cm) wide and 13″ (33cm) tall; Weight: 13 pounds or 6 kilos
  • 1 Year Limited Warranty
  • Designed in Canada. Manufactured in China.
  • Instant Pot IP-SMART60 Instruction Manual
  • Manufacturer Website: Instant Pot
  • Recipes on this website using Instant Pot pressure cooker

Conclusion and Score:

HIP SCORE: Instant Pot SMART 4.75It’s no secret that I have been featured in Instant Pot marketing videos – and this is something I will gladly do for a product I personally use and trust.  When the first version of this cooker was voluntarily re-called I got a behind-the-scenes peek at a company that wanted to ensure that every single customer got a replacement.

Even though the SMART had a bumpy start, at the writing of this review, it’s the most technologically advanced pressure cooker we’ve seen. This cooker is a little awkward at some things but it does others exceptionally well. While the number of button-pushes can be excessive – one of those buttons houses my favorite feature (the delay cooking function).   The app gives me continuous information on the cooking process,  but I wish that I could follow the cooking from more than 10 feet away from the pot – isn’t that the real reason for making something wireless, anyway?  Together, the pressure cooker and App, give the cook extensive control over cooking time and temperature epitomizing the definition of true hands-off cooking, set-it and forget-it with pressure.

Most importantly,  if you’re not techie and don’t want to fiddle with the app, you’ve still got a fully functional pressure cooker which is equivalent to their previously best-selling model DUO (but with a more informative display).

NOTE: This review was fact-checked by Instant Pot’s Canadian design team prior to publication.

REVIEW: Instant Pot SMART 7-1 Electric Pressure Cooker with App.

To Purchase:

U.S.A. and Canada only:

Instant Pot SMART + Glass Lid bundle. Use coupon code: hipipot

Instant Pot SMART . Use coupon code: hipipot

Europe:
Currently un-available

Have you used this pressure cooker?

Add to this review by leaving your comments, below!
In the interest of full disclosure, we would like to note that: the pressure cooker used in this review was sent to Hip Pressure Cooking by the manufacturer at no cost.  Our relationship with the manufacturer, or lack thereof, does not affect the outcome of the review.

 

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57 Comments

  1. Your review is what I would write word for word! I’ve discovered that I love the saute feature, after pressure cooking food fast, I feel like I’d never slow cook something again haha. It must be your bone broth script that I use from the app and it’s AMAZING. I’ve never gotten deep rich chicken broth on the stove top or crock pot, not even with days of simmering. I pulled some frozen crock pot chicken broth out to compare and my Instant Pot broth using your script looks like beef broth, it’s so rich. I’ve always struggled to get a gel in my broth too but it’s effortless in the IP. I’d never, ever, ever make broth any other way now. The only thing I’ve used my stove or oven for in the almost month that I’ve had the IP was full slices of bacon once and dinner rolls in the oven once. Every single meal has been cooked in the IP. I could for reals get rid of my range at this point haha. I’m attaching a pic, the crock pot broth pic actually shows up darker than it is, the reality was very light, almost clear broth.

    1. Becca, thanks for sharing a photo comparison of your slow cooker and Instant Pot stocks!

      Ciao,

      L

    2. I love my instant pot smart. Works great however the app I am having trouble knowing how to program. I cooked the rice and it came out perfect with the rice button. The app maintains connection even when i am 25 feet away, It must be how strong your wifi signal is.

  2. Very nice review.
    You really put a lot of thought and effort into it.
    The chart looks pretty nice.

    One thing I would mention is that not all or perhaps even most IOS or android devices have smart Blue Tooth so if wanting to use the app make sure that yours does.

    I have used mine in slow cooker mode and found it to be better than my crock pot or Ninja. Not really worth the extra time though for most.

    I have also been experimenting with low pressure. I find it a significant improvement for beef or pork or carrots and does not take longer.

    I also use my Instant Pot Smart for regular steaming without the app. I use the glass lid which Instant Pot kindly sent me as part of the recall and a separate timer. For small to medium quantity steaming it is far easier than a steamer on the stove.

    Steaming Dim sum or vegetables for one I spray my gorgeous ceramic quiche pan with cooking spray put in the dumplings, put it on the trivet and steam for 8 minutes. Perfect every time and they are already in the serving dish:). I will upload a picture next time.

    1. Helen, what a great way to use the Steam function, thanks for sharing it with us. And thank you for pointing me in the right direction for the Sous Vide temperatures in the chart – don’t have much patience for that cooking method, either! ; ) But I’m enjoying the discussions and recipes you and Greg post in the forums. One day I’ll be tempted enough to try them!!!

      Ciao,

      L

  3. A lot of sous vide cooking is not worth the extra time IMO. But for beef and fish it is the ultimate:)
    Beef, lamb and fish are even a time saver in a way. Takes about 1 hour for 1/2 inch thick steak and maybe 30 minutes for 1/2 inch thick fish. But they can be left in longer. Then they can be finished in minutes and you know they will be perfectly cooked.

    Plus my Sous vide cooker will pay for itself in making deli roast beef. Takes 12-24 hours but is about $6.00 a lb. including shrinkage compared to $24+ a pound for even the prepackaged deli beef on sale. And it is better than the ones I have tried.

    Veg I would just as soon pressure cook or steam or stir fry etc. Seeing people rave about sous vide carrots (which I have tried) I wonder what they have been doing with carrots previously.

    Greg is the man for sous vide. And like yourself so very helpful. As you know I admire Kenji but I admire you two more.

    1. I would love to know your what cut of beef you use and the process for making deli roast beef, sounds amazing!!

  4. I use my Duo extensively and the biggest issue I have with it is that it’s marketed as a rice cooker but is not. I find this deceptive since I had a simple rice cooker and all I had to worry about was getting the water:rice ratio correct and each batch came out perfectly. With the Duo (and your helpful graph), it’s a trial and error process.
    The best thing about this is the pot which is very high quality. I dropped it on ceramic and it got slightly bent so it’s no longer perfectly round rather than getting trashed.
    I also make a lot of yogurt and find that sometimes the “boil” or scald function shuts off before it reaches 180 degrees. I haven’t figured out why so I’m checking it with a thermometer now.
    Recently I experimented with sous vide on the keep warm function, but it’s a pretty wide open range given in the manual, so I imagine this new model would be better suited.

    1. Anders, I noticed that when you “boil” milk in the Instant Pot it will form a layer on the base of the insert. This layer is likely insulating the rest of the milk from the heat and keeping the top of the milk from reaching 180 degrees. The only solution for this is to stir the milk constantly while on “boil” or bring it up to pressure for 1 minute (in a jar).

      Personally, I have not gotten consistent results making the yogurt directly in the Instant Pot bowl. Making it in the jar it comes out perfect every time, there is less clean-up, and it’s already in the storage container!

      Ciao,

      L

  5. This sounds wonderful. Are there any plans to have a European release, too? I would not want to keep my power converter in the kitchen all the time. Hmm, if they added the deep fryer process at the same time, it would be fantastic, too.

    1. Hi Murphy, The Smart series Instant Pot will be released in UK and EU. However we don’t have a release date yet.

  6. I have had my Instant Pot for little over a month and love it.
    One thing I have discovered is the steam function is great for heating up leftovers.
    I set a bowl on the trivet with my leftovers in the bowl hit steam and I don’t have to think about it anymore. The food comes out hot and moist. No more microwave heating up leftovers for me.

    1. Thanks for sharing how you use Instant Pot to heat leftovers Cindy!

      Ciao,

      L

  7. With all its fancy features, this unit does not control pressure release, making it semi-automatic at best. For example, delay starting is of limited value if it must be babysat to manually release pressure to avoid overcooking.

    The author was wise to leave out an assessment of the ap which is a great idea but a disaster in its present iteration.

    It is well known that the Android operating system is undergoing intense redesign because of security issues. The ap worked with Android version -4.00 but stop working with version +5. According to Instant Pot Support, there are compatibility conflicts. And several new operating system versions are in the works that Instant Pot seems way behind the eightball in supporting.

    Previous comments correctly point out the limited usefulness of an ap with limited range. But, beyond that, I predict a thorough ap review by the author will generate a long list of poor design choices from a purely cooking standpoint.

    Taken together, there is little or no reason to purchase the Smart Pot over a conventional one at this time.

    1. I agree about the overcooking part which is intrinsic in most electric pressure cookers AFAIK. I am thinking to get the new Breville just for that reason alone.
      I don’t want to delay start anything but the keep warm function is my nemesis.

      When I bought my IP Smart it was not much more expensive than the Duo although now it is. More than double in Canada these days. And I stupidly thought I could use the app without spending a lot of money on a new phone/tablet which I really don’t want/need for any other purpose. The big advantage of the app for me would be to precisely control the temperature and time. Mostly I just sauté on the stove because I can easily adjust the temperature or turn it off if the phone rings or something and who wants to actually sauté for 30 minutes?

      I doubt the Instant Pot development team has a professional programmer or a person who actually pressure cooks regularly. The have staff that do but not influential staff in this area.

      The author has actually spent more time using the app than the Instant Pot people. A short time after it went out she published several scripts on this website and is aware of the problems I believe. Her enthusiasm is based on the fact that it is the first of its kind in the pressure cooking world and she is optimistic about it’s future. I am not but time will tell.

      Overall I am happy with my IP Smart as it was my introduction to pressure cooking and generally performs well. But I advise people who ask to get the Duo 7 in One as it is often less than half the price through local retailers these days. No restocking fee if you don’t like it either.

  8. Just got my Instant Pot Pressure Cooker. I have never used a pressure cooker for anything but canning using a behemoth not suited for 2 person meals. My first use was for kalua pulled pork. I followed the recipe that came in the book and it couldn’t have been simpler. Truly the best pulled pork ever as far as texture, appearance, tenderness and juiceiness. I will use more salt and liquid smoke next time. Tasted fine just a little on the subtle side for me. 5 out of 5.

  9. The electronic wiring in the bottom of the Instant Pot is amazingly well done.
    After I cut the cord on my IP Smart I thought I might as well look. Takes only a minute to remove the bottom cover.
    I have wired a lot of Industrial control panels and have worked inside 100’s more. Standards are high.
    But the wiring of the underside of the IP is a joy to behold. Manufactured in China but to very high standards.

    1. So glad to hear of your approval Helen! ;)

  10. Would this be the same review for the 7 in 1 Instant Pot that I believe is the same but doesn’t have the Smart feature. Is this correct?

  11. Hi, Laura,

    Your review made me add this to my wish list! Sounds wonderful! I was a little confused about one point though. Does this pressure cooker release pressure by itself like the Breville? It sounds like you are able to “set it and forget it” with the Instant Pot Smart from your review but Stephen’s comment threw me off.

    Thank you!

    Susan

    1. Susan, the Instant Pot SMART pressure cooker DOES NOT release pressure by itself (like the Breville). However, for recipes that call for natural release (all beans and most grains) the pressure cooker will release pressure naturally before going into keep-warm (as other electrics do, too). For someone who is new to pressure cooking, it can be confusing to know which pressure release to use with which ingredient. If you use the SMART recipe scripts that I’ve posted here and all you just have to show up to the cooker when it beeps and says “done” and either remove the lid or release pressure through the valve and remove the lid.

      The automatic release in the Breville is really neat, but you still need to show up to serve dinner. ; )

      Ciao,

      L

  12. how about Aicok, i know Aicok pressure cooker is made from the same factory with Instant Pot

    1. The same factory makes lots of brands, the difference is in the materials used and programming of the control panel all of which are chosen by the design team in Canada for Instant Pot. I looked at the Aicok listing on amazon and I cannot understand what “on demand pressure ” or “chipset direct account” mean. Plus, apparently the cook can choose to make any program “faint scent”, “standard” or “strong fragrance” yet there is no explanation what any of these mean, either.

      The success of Instant Pot lies with the care and detail the designers made to match the needs and health concerns of cooks in Canada and U.S. in their choice of programs, materials, features, testing plus their scrappy-but-effective customer service.

      Just throwing an electric pressure cooker together in the same factory as Instant Pot does not make Aicok comparable.

      Ciao,

      L

      P.S. Three Chinese factories make the majority of electric pressure cooker brands sold in the U.S.

  13. Thank you for your incredibly thorough review. I currently have a Fagor stovetop pressure cooker and have been considering taking the plunge and getting an electric one. I noticed in your chart above that the Smart can also do sous vide. Is it possible to use the 6-in-1 for sous vide as well? how about the 7-in-1 for sous vide? Thank you!!

    1. Hi Laura, the SMART won’t circulate the liquid but it will hold the temperature chosen through the SMART App (download it onto your phone or tablet before buying to see if it works). The 6-in-1 (aka LUX) or the 7-in-1 without the app (aka DUO) will only be able to hold one “sous vide” temperature using the “keep warm” setting. The SMART is really the million-in-1 because you can choose which temperature it should hold while the other models are limited by the temperatures programmed by the manufacturer (and they are almost all at pressure).

      Ciao,

      L

    2. As Laura hints there are compatibility issues with the SMART and some phones. Not sure but I suspect it has to do with the Bluetooth version the phone implements.

      The other factor for me is that Sous Vide rarely does an entire meal. That means you will be using another cooking tool as well. And if your PC is tied up doing Sous Vide, you won’t be using that.

      And remember some Sous Vide techniques can tie up the machine for three DAYS!

      Don’t get me wrong, I think Sous Vide is brilliant. I use it several times a week. But if you are even cooking steak at two different levels of “done” (You like rare… he likes well) you need sous vide machines running at two different temperatures.

      1. You can use the one machine. The trick is to cook the more done one first. For example, I like my steak @54ºC. Pam has sausages @63ºC. I heat the water bath to 63º and toss the sausages in. An hour or so later (they are usually cooking from frozen), I reset the temperature to 54º and toss some ice cubes in to lower it quickly. Then I toss the steak in. The sausages don’t cook anymore. The bath is effectively acting as a food warmer for them while it is cooking the steak.

        But potatoes need 85ºC. Either you are cooking all day, or you will use a separate process for them.

  14. Thank you, Laura and Greg, for your helpful responses. I never considered different food temperature preferences for cooking food sous vide. Greg, do you use your pressure cooker for sous vide or do you have a separate sous vide machine? Thank you!

    1. I have two Anova circulators. The old model without bluetooth or WiFi connectivity. Though if I was buying again, I would seriously consider a Joule from ChefSteps.
      I use them in a beer cooler for the insulation. This significantly reduces the electricity consumption.

      I ended up with two by accident. My first one stopped working while still in warranty. I contacted Anova about the problem. They asked for confirmation video of the problem, and while I was filming that it started working again. I told them, but they sent me a replacement anyway. The original hasn’t missed a beat since. Because I live on the other side of the world from them they told me to keep both.

      The circulator types are much more precise than the bath types as they stir the water. This eliminates hot spots. Also as they are just a heater and stirrer, they take up much less space in the cupboard. Not that mine is in there much. You have to supply your own pot though.

  15. I really appreciate your info about your sous vide circulators. I’ve been interested in getting one but wondered how much I would really use one and whether I could justify spending the money. I read the above review about the SMART and thought maybe getting one of these Instant pot electric pressure cookers could accomplish everything for me, from pressure cooking to sous vide. Thanks again for your helpful advice!

  16. Thanks for the great info as we delve in to pressure cooking.

    I’m looking for an electric cooker so I can set it to cook beans while I prepare other parts of the meal alongside it.

    I’m not sure I fully understand the value of the Breville automatic pressure release. Both pots turn the heat off at the end of cycle, correct? Does the pressure release prevent overcooking?

    1. Depending on what you are cooking, some things need to release pressure immediately. Others need a somewhat slower release. Still others need to lose pressure gradually. If you need to use one of the faster pressure release methods, then the Breville can do this for you automatically. That means it truly is “set and forget”. It has three different settings: 1. Natural, 2 AutoQuick, 3. Pulsed release. If you need to use quick release on an IP, you need to be present at the end of cooking time and release the valve yourself.

      The release method will be built into the recipe. If you use the method recommended by the recipe, the food will not be over cooked.

      In general delicate foods that may break up need slow release. It is also used for long cooking foods as that means the time you are using energy is shorter than the cooking time, saving you money. Fast cooking foods want quick release or, yes, they will overcook.

      I find the “Finished” beep on the Breville a little quiet. But I cannot miss the hiss of releasing steam.

    2. Hopefully you’ll use your pressure cooker for more than beans, but if that is the ONLY use then it’s true that the automatic release will not be useful. That’s because *specifically* when pressure cooking beans I recommend doing a natural release – which just means letting the cooker release the pressure naturally (this can take anywhere from 10-30 minutes depending on how full the cooker is). Although the Breville does not need to do anything auotmatic for this release, it does beep at you when the pressure is out. : )

      I know all of this sounds like we’re speaking in another language now – but in the end the choice is really about whether you’d rather just push a butotn and go, or research specific recipes from trusted sources to understand the cooking times and release methods.

      Ciao,

      L

  17. It’s the best thing since a slice of bread. I actually cooked a 8 lb Boston butt for pulled pork in 90 min and 5 lb of frozen chicken breast in 20 minutes. The meat is full of flavor and very moist. Ribs are fabulous also. I can’t wait to try more recipes in this thing. Anyone with a little common sense can use this thing with ease.

  18. My Instant Smart Pot was one of recalled units. Yesterday it sent sparks out the bottom and quit. Although I have had it for over a year, it has been used only foyrq times. It is now out of warranty. It should have lasted longer.

    1. Hi, Norman. Please could you be able to raise a ticket at support.instantpot.com? We’ll see if there is anything we can do for you. Thanks

  19. I purchase this cooker shortly after it came out. There was a recall and the manufacturer sent me a new cooker to replace the defective one. This one work fine for a couple of months. The problem with the Bluetooth is that your phone or tablet must remain within a short distance of the pressure cooker for the program to work properly. This rather defeats the set it and forget it aspect of a pressure cooker doesn’t it? When my unit shorted out I called and was told to send an email with pictures which I did. I got no reply. So I called again. And was told someone would contact me in a couple of days. I got an email that said please send pictures. So I sent the pictures again. It is now been three weeks since the last email was sent. I’ve had no reply from the company. The machine work fine when it worked. But now that is has failed I am on my own. I read some good reviews on the Breville. I will purchase one of those.

    1. Norman, please be insistent, write to them again. They’re a little disorganized but should eventually get back to you. I haven’t heard from any other readers coming back to tell me they had problems with their replacement or new-production SMART. I’m sorry you had a bad experience!

      Ciao,

      L

      1. Laura,
        Here is the latest. After several additional calls, I received the following reply.

        “Hi, Norman,

        Please be advised your Smart-60 was shipped, the FedEx tracking number is
        723137763081

        Any questions, please feel free to call or email back.

        Thank you,

        Instant Pot Company”

        As of today, (March 25, 2017), it has not arrived and FedEx has no record of it having been given them for shipment.

        I have given up and purchased a Breville.

        Ciao

        1. P.S. Their email was sent on March 17, 20417

          Norm

      2. March 27th update.

        This saga which began on February 2 has now reached a new level of absurdity. I called AGAIN and was given a new excuse. They now claim that when I was told it had been shipped, they had been out of stock since before the date of they claimed to have shipped it. However magically they just came in and it will be shipped today.

        At this point it dose not matter. I have purscased a Breville. I have their toaster oven, food processor, and my wife has their coffee grinder. Breville has a customer support department that actually gives SUPPORT.

        I hope my experience with this company is not typical of how they do business. But I will never buy another one of their products.

        Norm

        1. I forgot, we also have a Breville bread maker. All work as advertised.

        2. To those who have been following my attempts for the last month and a half to get some satisfaction from Instant Pot it has come to conclusion.

          Today a new unit arrived. To there credit they were kind enough to send a completely new unit, (cooking unit, power cord, stainless pot, trivet, gloves, measuring cup, rice paddel, ladel, condensation catcher, and lid) not just a replacement for the cooking unit itself.

          While I feel this matter could have been handeled in a more expeditius manner and with less effort on my part and saving me over a months frustration a having purchased a competitive Breville cooker, to be fair in the end the company did the right thing.

          The up side is they are both are top of the line units with different features allowing me to cook two things at once. As an example, Osso Buco (veal shanks) in the IP and Saffron Rice in the Breville, Kung Pao Chicken in one and Fried Rice in the other, so both elements of the meal are ready at the same time.

          Norm

  20. can i do a roast right from the freezer,it is store wrapped in freezer paper, or do i have to thaw first,if i can what temp do i set the instant pot on i have the 7 in one model IP-DU060 ENW .

  21. Hi! I don’t know if it’s too late to post on this blog. But I’m trying to figure out if I should buy the Smart or the new Ultra. How programmable is the new Ultra? The main reason I’m buying one is to make bone broth (I saw your video on making it with the smart!). Is it possible to program the Ultra to make bone broth? …or how hard or complicated would it be to make it in the newer Ultra? Thank you so much for any help!

    1. Stephanie, the main difference between the SMART and the Ultra is that with the SMART you HAVE to use the app (I would download and test it, first) BUT with that app you can program multiple programming iterations. For example, in my bone broth, I have the cooker gain and loose pressure a couple of times to purposely make it cloudy. With the SMART you can just push a button and the program will run lowering and raise the pressure. While with the ultra(as in the instructions for the DUO), you need to be there after each pressure session is done to start the new one. Now that’s just ONE way to make bone broth – it’s not the only one. But I feel it best illustrates the differences between these two models.

      https://www.hippressurecooking.com/pressure-cooker-bone-broth/

      Ciao,

      L

      1. Oh thank you so much! I borrowed my moms duo instapot and made bone broth in it the way you said. It turned out great! I may get the Bluetooth one simply with kids…I think it would just be easier to set it and go. :)

  22. Hi Stephine,

    I have an Istant Pot with the Bluetooth feature. I also have a Cuisen Art and Breville. My go to one is the Breville. One very nice feature is that it can be programed to either do a quick, pulse or slow lressure release when the cooking is funished, making it a srt it and forget it unit. The other two have either low or high pressure. The breville has from 1.5 psi to 12 in 1.5 increments. Much better control of pressure.

    The Bluetooth says it is set and forget but requires your phone be within a few feet of the cooker. So you can leave it as long as you leave your phone with the pot.

    Check out their reviews on this and other sites before your purchase. The IP is a fine unit. It is my back up but a very good one.

    One other issue. I had a short in my IP. It is noted in a post above. It took months and over 20 calls to resolve the problem. They did finally replace it, but by then I had purched the Breville.

    Contrast that with the following. I poured some chicken broth into my Breville. Not the cooking pot but the inside of the cooking area. I called Breville and told them of my dumb mistake and asked what, if anything, I could do to safely use it. They it was probubly unsafe and sent me a new unit at no charge and paid the shipping. This when the problem was mine, not theirs. IP took months and many many many calls to fix THEIR problem. Just a though.

    1. I forgot to mention the Breville replacement arrived in three days and with one phone call.

    2. Oh wow thanks for the info Norman! So I knew the Smart one has to start with your phone…but does your phone have to stay with it the whole cook time? I have a sousvide that is controlled by my phone, but once I set it, I could leave for hours and it follows whatever I programmed. Is that NOT the case with the Bluetooth IP? I have also looked into the Breville. But the only reason I don’t want that one is i prefer a stainless steel insert.

      1. I understand many prefer stainless. I find no problem with the Breville pot. But for those who want stainless, Breville has indicated they are considering it, but have no ETA.

        If I were to do it again I would not get the Bluetooth unit because of the afore mentioned limitations. There is another. I have an android device. None of the down loadable scripts will work. IP says they are aware of the problem and are working on it. They have been doing so since at least March of 2016 with no end in sight.

      2. Hi, Stephanie.

        You do not have to keep the phone close to the Instant Pot Smart cooker after you download and run the cooking script on the cooker. The entire script is on the cooker and can complete its full cycle independently.

        Laura has written many cooking scripts for her Instant Pot recipes. You can download and use them as they are. Or you can customize or create your own once you get the hang of programming the cooking process. You can see the actual script commands if you download Laura’s recipe scripts. It’s quite intuitive to understand how the cooking process is controlled. It’s no different from how you want to control the heating process of the stove top pressure cooker.

    3. Norman, you don’t need to leave your phone next to the SMART to keep the program going. When you start the program the phone app communicates everything the machine needs to know to start cooking.

      I’m really curious to read about how you’re using Breville’s twelve pressure settings. There really isn’t any information out there about what pressure is good for what – other than “high” and “low” pressure. So it would be great to hear about how you use it.

      Ciao,

      L

  23. Hi, Norman. I am very sorry that you didn’t receive a satisfactory response from the Instant Pot customer support in the timely manner. You have my personal apology for that experience. We strive to serve every Instant Pot customer as one of my own family members. Since the crunch time after the last holiday season, we have significantly ramped up our customer support center. The customers should not see any delay in receiving the best in class services from Instant Pot.

    Wrt the issue you experienced with your Android device, my apology again if we did not offer a good explanation. It was an unfortunate situation where there was a known technical glitch within the Android version 6.0 on a few brands of the phones (very small minority). This issue was subsequently resolved in the later revisions of Android 6.0+. We had been unsuccessful to find ways to work around this glitch. As a result, this unfortunately requires the user to upgrade the phone OS to a later Android revision. Our apology for not being able to provide an immediate solution to this issue.

    Yi Qin
    Instant Pot

  24. I just really wish they would come out with a Smart 80 so bad! That is the only thing I want. Of course with the new look and features.

    How has the front panel stood up with constant use? Is it fading or peeling any? Also do any of you use multi-pot inserts or seals for different foods or prep?

  25. Hi Laura,

    This morning, while putting it away, I dropped my 6-quart Instant Pot Duo and one of the handles broke off. I love my Instant Pot and in cold weather use it several times a week. I discovered that I can order a new base and was thinking that I would order the new Smart Instant Pot. Would the old lid and inner pot fit? Does the lid contain any of the programming components or can I just order the new base and be good to go?

    Thanks!

    1. Neal, Ooooh noooooo!

      The inner pots are interchangeable between models of the same size. I can’t confirm whether the DUO lid will fit on the SMART as I have an 8L duo and 6L smart out on the counter right now. If any reader has both of these, can you please comment to let Neal know if there’s a fit?

      Ciao,

      L

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