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Instant Pot Ultra review

The Instant Pot Ultra is a great choice for the experienced user, with ten cooking modes and improved personalization features.

Instant Pot Ultra review
(Image: © Amazon)

Our Verdict

If you’re looking for an optimized multi-cooking experience, the Instant Pot Ultra is a good investment, with ten modes and 16 programs.

For

  • Best for experienced home cooks.
  • The new 'Ultra' feature gives ultimate control to cooking processes.

Against

  • Lack of thorough instructions.
  • Most expensive Instant Pot Model.

The Instant Pot Ultra is the most versatile multi-cooker of its type, with three more modes than its predecessor. The model earns its name from the ‘Ultra’ controls, which allow detailed custom programming. It’s available in three different sizes (three, six, and eight quart), making it suitable for any home. Its dishwasher-safe inner pot and lid also make for it easy to clean after everyday use.

Compared to both the Instant Pot Duo Nova and the Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus, the Ultra is more complex in its operation and therefore more expensive. Check out our list of the best Instant Pots for more information on the variations between models.

Instant Pot Ultra: Features

The Instant Pot Ultra goes further than previous models to give authority to users, allowing for more exact and advanced cooking methods. By personalizing the ten different cooking modes available, from yogurt making to searing, the Instant Pot Ultra gives full control to the user on both pressure and non-pressure cooking settings. Along with specific pre-sets for certain foods and recipes, the Instant Pot Ultra also remembers your last program setting for its next use, enabling you to whip up your favorites in a flash.

Additional features that make this Instant Pot 'Ultra' in its function include a mode for soft, moist cakes and a pre-set that turns out boiled eggs perfectly each time. The ‘Delay Start Time’ feature enables a hands-free start to the cooking process, meaning your meal can be ready for when you walk through your front door. The 'Altitude Adjustment' feature makes smart changes to the cooking process according to the user's elevation, making it convenient to convert recipes at differing heights. If you've ever had to cook at a higher altitude you'll know why this matters.

Renewed safety features with the Instant Pot Ultra include the Quick Release button, allowing the steam from your dish to escape safely in much faster time, shaving off the 10-40 minutes you would usually need to wait for natural cooling. It also has a built-in progress indicator as part of the LED display, so users can have an eagle eye on all stages of the cooking process.

One capability the Instant Pot Ultra does not include is air frying; a mode exclusive to the range's Instant Pot Duo Crisp. The Instant Pot Ultra is designed to suit personal tastes, so if you’re not sure what those are just yet, the Instant Pot Duo Nova might be more suited to you. Overall, it's a very impressive feature set.

Instant Pot Ultra: Design and accessories

A defining feature of the Instant Pot Ultra is the large blue LED screen, lending space for the new progress tracking features of the device and compressing multiple buttons onto one interface.

The stainless steel exterior of the pot is fingerprint resistant, and the cooking pot, lid, and included steam rack are all dishwasher safe, making it extremely suitable for a family home. It's also easier to keep the unit clean.

Instant Pot Ultra: Performance and Size

As with the rest of the Instant Pot range, the Instant Pot Ultra is capable of cooking food up to 70% quicker than traditional slow or steam cooking methods. It comes in three, six, or eight- quart sizing, with the quart size reflecting in numbers how many people it will cater to, according to the brand. So if you are looking for a device to cater to large family functions of over eight, you should check out the Duo Nova, which goes up to a ten-quart size.

The Instant Pot Ultra in the six-quart option weighs 11.38 pounds, with a width of 12.5 inches and a height of 12.5 inches and has 1000 watts of power. The device has a 12 month warranty, as with the other Instant Pot models.

In terms of size, Instant Pots are generally a little smaller than other multicookers, and this is more compact than equivalents in the Ninja Foodi range for example. Still, you should absolutely measure your countertops before buying, especially the gap between counter and any floating cupboards above them.

Instant Pot Ultra review

(Image credit: Amazon)

Instant Pot Ultra: User Reviews

On Amazon, the Instant Pot Ultra is currently ranked in the top five for pressure cookers, with a 4.8 star rating from 30,850 ratings.

One user described the product as "worth every penny" due to its flexibility, adding that the LED panel "took the mystery out of the pressure cooking cycle". Many users comment on upgrading from other models for the bonus features of the Instant Pot Ultra, with one user saying it was "well worth it" for her to make this transition, praising the "sleeker interface" and "extra touch of class" in its design.

However, other users raised concerns about the information provided in the device’s manual, with one user describing it as having "limited instructions" and another stating it would be difficult to master the pot without the help of the internet. Another user voiced frustration with the "burn warning" mode of the Instant Pot Ultra whilst trying to replicate recipes made in other models of the same brand.

Should you buy the Instant Pot Ultra?

The Instant Pot Ultra is the obvious choice for the experienced home cook. Its features are designed to expand cooking capabilities with an array of modes and improved customization. It’s a worthwhile investment for those who would make the most of its ten modes regularly, and who appreciate the added complexity and versatility it brings. Though, those looking for a less intense multicooker may be swayed by the less expensive, more accessible Instant Pot Duo Nova to begin their Instant Pot journey instead. Sometimes simpler can be better when it comes to cooking, even with Instant Pot.

Molly Cleary

Molly is the Staff Writer for the Home Section at Top Ten Reviews, joining the team after finishing college. When she's not writing she enjoys baking and embroidery, as well as getting stuck into a good book.