Mid-April Instant Pot will release a total refresh of their most popular best-selling DUO, the DUO Plus! I’ve been playing with it for a month and wanted to share the new features with you.
The Good Stuff Is Still There
All of the functions and settings that made the DUO a success are still in the DUO Plus. So you can still make yogurt, slow cook, cook at high and low pressure and delay the cooking. Plus this model includes the new program buttons that first made their appearance in the LUX v3 – “Cake” and “Egg” pre-sets. Don’t get too excited – this multi cooker can’t bake, yet. The cake program is just a pre-set time and pressure to steam a cake (like this) – ditto for the Egg program (which you can make like this).
A popular request from those who have cooking programs that run late into the night, or wee hours of the morning, has been for the ability to turn off all the beeps that happen for every button that is punched in or the 10 beeps when the pressure cooker program is finished. While Instant Pot’s SMART can already do this, the DUO Plus will also have the ability to not disturb sleeping children, spouses or guests.
More Informative Display & Adjustments
The most visible change is that the display has completely changed both in color and with more information.
The red ’80s alarm-clock numbers are gone. Now the display is a blue/purple background with bright white numbers, icons, and letters. The top row of icons indicates whether: the heating element is on, a pressure cooking program is selected, “Keep Warm” has been chosen or if the sound is on/off.
All the information the cook needs to know is one place, and this also includes the pressure selected (High or Low) and which option is chosen for a given program (Less, Normal, More) – these used to be under the “Adjust” button.
Now the adjustments are made simply by pressing the program button multiple times. For example, if you press “Saute”” once the display illuminates the option as “Normal” which is the average saute’ temperature. Press “Saute'” again and the option is “More” which is better for searing. Press that button one more time for the “Less” option which is better for simmering.
New Sterilize Function
This function is more of a mystery than an innovation, to be honest. The instruction manual is scarce on details on how this works – except for a note that this function cannot be used to pressure can meat. So… what about green beans? What about high-acid foods? Should they be boiled or steamed? At this time there are no official guidelines on how to pressure steam high-acid foods vs. using a hot water bath.
Better Inner-bowl with Correct Max-fill Levels
We criticized Instant Pot, along with many other manufacturers, last year for only having the max-full line for non-pressure programs marked on their inner bowl – which is a safety issue. I was very pleased to see the inner bowl of this DUO refresh has the correct Max 2/3 and Max 1/2 full markings.
The Instant Pot DUO Plus will be available for purchase on Amazon around the middle of April – Instant Pot could not give us an exact date since it depends on Amazon puts it in the supply line. Meanwhile, keep an eye on this product listing to find out when it’s available for purchase and leave a comment , below, with any questions!
I purchased the 6 qt model online this morning. I want to thank Laura for her HIPPOT discount at instantpot.com.
I got the duo plus, rather than the duo, because I want the multiple sauté temperatures.
Yaaay, Bev! BTW, both the Duo and Duo Plus have three saute’ temperatures but they’re much easier to select from the Plus!
Thanks for that clarification. I didn’t see that function listed on the Duo product page, but is listed in the Duo Plus description. I had trouble downloading their comparison sheet early this morning.
I just tried that again and was able to read it this time. There in plain sight, it says that function is available on all their current models. Oh well, I must be supposed to have that model :-).
Dear Laura, Please include in your testing and reviews the Instant Pot EIGHT QUART Duo Plus 80 (or other 8 quart models in the future). I purchased this; as vegetarians, we we must stick to the 50% maximum fill for foamy foods (grains, legumes, etc.) so a 6 quart model only yields 3 qts of food, which isn’t enough.
We also have a 6 quart, purchased for a family member at college. The 8 quart takes much longer to come to pressure (up to 25 minutes) and longer for natural release, so your generally superb! recipes yield inaccurate results for the 8 quart model. This is disheartening, as I tell everyone who gets an IP to buy your book and consult your website to avoid protracted trial and error about timing.
(I will write a separate email seeking more specifics for a correction factor. But I wonder, would starting with sautee mode, and/or starting with kettle-boiled water, have a bad effect on recipe timing?)
In general, I am knocked out by how thoroughly tested your recipes are, and how knowledgeable you are about technical and culinary issues with electric pressure cookers. I not only recommend your work to new IP users above other authors, I have posted this on Amazon, and in NY Times comments when they talk about IPs.
Speranza, I use an 8quart Instant Pot for my daily cooking because they accidentally sent me one with European Voltage, once. Though the liner is a space-hog in the dishwasher. I also have 6 and 8 quarts of other brands that I use frequently. In my experience, the 8 quarts don’t operate or perform any differently than the 6qt when using the same recipe.
I’m wondering if the issue you are experiencing is not due to size but quantity? Are you, perhaps, doubling the recipes in the 8qt? Can you give me examples of what recipes didn’t work out in the 8qt? Generally, with a larger pressure cooker, people tend to double or triple my recipes and more liquid and food will have the cooker take longer to reach pressure.
I’m looking forward to hearing back to troubleshoot the issues you’re having with the 8qt.
P.S. Thanks for your support. I was really disappointed when the NY Times interviewed a pressure cooking expert who had never used an electric in their Instant Pot story, last year. Now, the NYT author of that article – who is already an accomplished cookbook author- has written her own electric pressure cooker cookbook. In the last year, major food bloggers have gotten into pressure cooking and they’re getting lots of attention. I honestly don’t think Hip Pressure Cooking will ever see the light of day in major media. It’s not easy to see your research work, techniques, and recipes used by others without any bit of credit.
I’ve learned to be OK with it and get off the “fame” treadmill and out of the hope factory- that stuff doesn’t last or make me happy. What does make me happy is hearing from cooks like you who have had a good experience, helping people and making them rockstars in their kitchen. ; ) And, of course, working with manufacturers behind the scenes to make a better, safer product.
I really appreciate your trust, support and recommendations. Thank you.
I am researching Insta Pot and I noticed that the Lux model has a poultry button but the Duo and Duo plus do not. Is there a reason? Does it matter?
Richard, take a look at my model comparison here. It’s called Instant Pot.
You can use the meat/stew button instead. The programs are just pre-programmed times that are often not appropriate for most poultry recipes – you would have to adjust it, anyway, as you would adjust any program.
In the Duo Plus manual. as well as the Duo manual, it says the minimum water requirement for pressure cooking is 18 oz. However in the cookbook, you specify 1.5 cups of water for “1-Minute Quinoa”. Are we able to use less than 18 oz of water for that recipe because of the short 1-minute pressure time? Os is that due to something else?
Bev, can you post a photo. I’ve never seen the manuals say 18oz. perhaps they have updated them with incorrect information. The minimum liquid requirement for your Instant Pot, and any electric pressure cooker, is 1 1/2 cups.
It will work in your Instant Pot. ; )
You can see it in their online manuals. The one for the Duo Plus is identical to the one that came in the box. On page 13 …
“2 Remove the inner pot from the pressure cooker. Add food and liquid into the inner pot as the recipe directs. If steaming, place the steam rack on the bottom of the inner pot first. Always add at least 2 cups (~18 fl oz / 500 mL) of liquid for minimum liquid requirement.”
Under “Cooking and Safety Tips” on page 22, the 5th bullet …
“Always add at least 18 fl oz. / 500 ml of water or other liquids so enough steam can be generated to cook under pressure. These include cooking sauces, wine, beer, stocks, juices of fruits and vegetables. Oils, oil-based sauces and thick cooking sauces do not have enough water content and will not account for the required liquid volume.”
A similar statement can be found in most of their other pressure cooker manuals:
Duo pages 13 and 22
Lux pages 13 and 21
Ultra pages 11 and 21
Hi Bev, thanks for your detailed response. Honestly, their manuals are a mess and I get mixed-messages from Instant Pot about the minimum liquid requirement – the CEO even told me 1 cup. Originally, the Instant Pots called for 2 of the “rice measuring cups” which are 180ml not two standard U.S. 8oz (250ml) measuring cups. So… whatever!!
One thing is for sure, I’ve tested all of my recipes in the Instant Pot using 1 1/2 cups of liquid and I can assure you that it works. In fact, that’s the “default minimum” for almost all electrics (I haven’t run into one where this doesn’t work… but you never know) – even the ones that say to use a minimum of 3 quarts of liquid will reach pressure with 1 1/2 cups. : )
Thanks :-). I’ll mark that in my manual, so that I don’t forget.
Laura, I’ve been reading your comments this morn. I was sent a 3qt intstant pot instead of a 6qt, from Bon Ton. They will refund the difference to my charge card so I’m thinking of keeping the 3qt and buying either the 6qt duo or duo plus. We’re vegan so this tool is super helpful! Wondering if I would be able to make VEGAN cakes in the duo plus.
Have you any experience making non-dairy yogurt in the 6qt duo or duo plus? I’m planning to explore this.
Wendy, I don’t have any experience with doing this. But I really like this lady’s videos because of her unique and original techniques and she has a nice tutorial on how to make coconut yogurt with yogurt starter:
Hello, thank you for this page. Did I read you have have promo code for the Instant POT? I am a mother to 4 boys and a husband. I also have my brother in law to feed to I am looking at the 8Qt Ultra. Your review said it seemed a bit sloppy. I have never used one before but I would really like one. I am having trouble between the Ultra and the smart. Does the Smart work with an Iphone?
Connie, the discount code is for their store. You can find it on the side-bar of this website. The SMART does work with an iphone but they are currently not for sale anymore. Looks like they’re waiting to launch a new one – no deets or dates on that. Sorry.
I am new to pressure cooking. I have been using a slow cooker for many good recipes and thought this might be a bit faster for those types of things: stews, soups, broth, one pot meals especially. I watched your videos and have read your reviews on the different models.
I purchased the Ultra IP yesterday thinking that the latest would be the best, but now having read the reviews, I wonder if I should take it back and switch to the Duo Plus for simplicity and clarity when doing recipes from yours or other books. (I noticed they often are based on the Duo model) I really want it to be clear and simple so that I use it a lot.
What are your thoughts? Bottom line, what is the benefit for a new user with the Ultra?
Do these models both have slow cooking options? Would I use my old recipes or would I need new ones because it works differently? Are there separate recipes available for the IP slow cooker?
PS: Other queries: Is there a grocery list of foods to buy on your site somewhere (I need gluten, dairy free and more) such as the right cuts of meat and the veges that do best in the pot?
I also noticed that you saute onion in the video but it was not included in the liquid amount like the carrots and yellow pepper was. Are onions exempt?
Lastly, I just purchased the combination of organic brown rice with wild rice . I notice a large difference in the liquid required for those two grains in the pot. What would I do there? It is less for the long grain brown and more for the wild. Which way would I go or will it work at all?
Also does long grain brown rice differ from the liquid and time of short grain brown rice? I did look at your list for rice but couldn’t clarify these questions.
Thank you for this site and all your work. It is interesting.
All the best.
Valerie, using the ULTRA should be fine – don’t worry you don’t have to exchange cookers. All the Instant Pot models have a Slow Cooking option, but it won’t work as well as your traditional slow cooker because the Instant Pot’s temperature is too low. I will have a Pressure Cooking School episode on using the Slow Cook function shortly and it should help you adjust your traditional slow cooker recipes to this program.
The ratio for pressure cooking all brown rice is the same – no matter the color or the grain shape/size. Since all the grains are still in the sheath there is no variation between types as in white rice (where starch content is variable).
I hope this answers all of your questions!
Just one query there about grocery list suggestions for the pressure cooker: ie cuts of meat that are best or maybe veges that work out the best.
Is there one somewhere or even just a list of meats or veges not to use?? A general rule perhaps?
Valerie, if you watch the pressure cooking school – I already give all of this information. If you want to skip right to the good parts….
Here’s the low-down on pressure cooking vegetables…
Here are the kinds of meat that do best in pressure cooking, and hacks for those that don’t do as well…
If you get a chance, watch the whole series. ; )
I’ve learned so much from your site–THANK YOU!! One thing I can’t figure out–don’t know if you mention it somewhere and I’ve missed it, but I can’t seem to find it anywhere else, either, so maybe I’m not searching well?–anyway… Is there more than one version of the Duo Plus? I just received a Duo V.3 for Mother’s Day. I’m really excited about it! But I’m also kind of thinking the Duo Plus looks pretty great and my husband agrees; said he somehow didn’t see the Duo Plus when researching, or did, but forgot about it, after being overwhelmed by so much info and so many reviews available on the internet. I’m finding the Duo Plus a couple of places for only $10 more than my hubby paid for the Duo V.3, but wondering if they’re the newest Duo Plus version, if there is more than one. If there’s not, it’s a moot point, of course.
Thank you for any light you can shine on this query!
Yes, there probably are more than one version of the Duo Plus – as Instant Pot typically likes to make improvements everytime they do a factory run.
The improvements between the DUO v3 and Plus are minimal (screen with cooking progress indicator) so I would enjoy the model you have now – I recommend both the DUO and DUO Plus over all of Instant Pot’s newer models. ; )
Hi Laura, thanks for this fabulous review! I’ve got the Duo 6 qt from 2016 and bought an extra bowl (insert) and silicone rings. Do you know if these would work in the new Duo Plus? Thanks in advance!
I am thinking about getting the duo plus from Amazon. How do I know if I’m getting the latest version? Thanks, David.
David, I think they’ve been making V3 for the last year (if they haven’t already gone to 4). Since Amazon regularly sells-out their Instant Pot stock is pretty fresh. : )
Do you think it’s worth getting the instant pot duo plus over just the Duo? I know it’s prettier & you can see on the panel what’s going on & the inner pot has better measurement markings. You can turn the sound off which I think you could do with the Duo & stop keep warm off after it’s started. Is there anything else I’ve missed? Thanks so much, Deborah.
The DUO Plus does not have the “Adjust” button, so instead of pushing “saute'” and then “adjust” to change the temperature (low, med, high), you just push the saute’ button on the duo plus until the temperature you need is selected.
Don’t forget to look at the comparison chart, if you haven’t already. But yea… the differences are not that compelling, so let your budget be the guide.
Hi Laura. I have read about everything on the internet on the IP I c could find. So far you seem the most knowledgeable person on pressure cookers I have found. I read everything I could find that you wrote. I am still a bit confused about going between the Duo Plus & the Ultra. Before I think I was trying to decide between the Duo & Duo Plus. You had some great things to say about the ultra but then some negatives. I was used to a Fagor 3-in-1 until some parts came missing. Loved it. Was going to get the Fagor I forgot the name which won the prize last year. They’re out for about 2 more months. I was attracted to the OP because I’m disabled & sit at a small table to cook & being able to put the lid in one of the slots was appealing. I’m not sure if you liked the ultra best or the Duo Plus. Cook’s illustrated said buy the 8 qt because you can’t fill it all the way. I don’t want to cook everyday. I know the 8 qt is huge, I would have to put it in one spot & not move it. Please help. Duo Plus or ultra? I ordered the parts for the Fagor today . 6 or 8 qt on the I P? Thanks so much. Don’t want to read anymore my eyes are going out! Thanks so much for your hard work! David.
I’ve been researching which brand of pressure cooker to purchase as this is my first. As many have said, it is very over whelming! My decision was made on IP as they were the only one that offered stainless steel vs non stick coating. Then the challenge of which version and just came across your site this morning. THANK YOU THANK YOU!! Originally thought 6 quart however wasn’t much difference in physical size for 8 quart. Are there issues making smaller quantity of food in a larger sized unit or does food come out better in smaller unit?
Actually, there is quite a difference in physical size between the 6 and 8 quart. However, if you have considerable counter space that shouldn’t be the deciding factor. No there’s not an issue in making a smaller quantity of food in an 8 quart, but the larger size pc will take longer to come to pressure. In my opinion, the 6 quart is the best size for most people. That’s been the standard size for years – from the time stovetop pressure cookers were the only option. The vast majority of recipes in pressure cooker cookbooks and on the Internet presume a 6-quart pressure cooker size. Truly, a lot of food can be made in a 6-quart pressure cooker typically with some leftovers. Unless you have a very large family or frequently would make huge quantities of soup, I’d recommend the 6 quart because I think it’s likely to meet your needs the majority of the time – and you’ll spend far less time waiting for the pot to come to pressure.
Hadn’t thought about the time for unit to reach pressure….great point. Given most recipes are 6 quart and this is my first unit and not familiar with pressure cooking (vs canning), probably would be best if I purchase the 6. If I need a larger quantity, can always purchase a spare inner pot and drop it in when first batch is completed. Thank you for your comments.
Good thinking, Jeanette. I think you will be satisfied with a 6 qt pc. You might indeed decide to get a second inner pot. Or at some point, you might decide as I just did, that a 3 qt pc would be useful for cooking a side dish while I was cooking the main dish. Perhaps potatoes to go with a beef stew or rice to go with an Asian or Indian main dish.
Hi Razzy, I am also trying to decide between the 6 and 8 qt right now. What would you consider a „very large family“? I have 4 kids and a husband, plus we often have guests over.
I feel like 6 qt might not cut it, especially since we make a lot of soups, stews, and curries around here, though I found your argument regarding pressure-reaching-time and recipe availability very compelling.
Any thoughts? I‘d appreciate any help in the decision-making!
Do you find the red light on the dou any easier or harder to read than the blue on the duo plus? Love your book & cooking school!
Thanks so much. Sinatra.