Instant Pot Pro Review

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The Instant Pot Pro is new for 2021 and is a great high-end pressure cooker. It is a worthy replacement to the discontinued Duo Evo Plus, packed with user-favorite features that make it worth the cost.

An Instant Pot Pro in black stainless steel sitting in front of the black Instant Pot box it came in

We’ve taken the new Instant Pot Pro for a spin, and we’re here to tell you everything you need to know about the successor to the Duo Evo Plus!

This ended up being our longest review yet! Click the links below to jump to the sections you’re interested in:

To compare the Instant Pot Pro with other models, check out my Instant Pot buying-guide, then go in-depth with my other Instant Pot Reviews.

Bottom Line: The Instant Pot Pro is now my first-choice recommendation for a high-end pressure cooker, thanks to the flat-bottom cooking pot with handles, redesigned lid, large display, and favorite buttons.

Pinterest image promoting Instant Pot Pro 2021, with a close-up of the lid and a

WHAT IS THE INSTANT POT PRO?

The Instant Pot Pro is the latest model of electric pressure cooker made by Instant Pot. It is currently available in a 6-quart and 8-quart model. 

Like the Duo Evo Plus, the Pro has eight preset buttons on the sides, and a dial you can use to toggle through up to 28 customizable cooking programs. (Don’t get overwhelmed, though! The must-use buttons are the same as always: Pressure Cook and Sauté.)

WHAT YOU’LL LOVE ABOUT THE INSTANT POT PRO

The Instant Pot Pro has kept many of my favorite features from the Duo Evo Plus. As a quick recap, here are a few noteworthy features:

A top-down view into the Instant Pot Pro cooking pot.

REDESIGNED INNER COOKING POT

Unlike most pressure cookers on the market, the Pro’s stainless steel cooking pot has a flat bottom, handles, and can transfer to the stovetop or oven up to 450°F. (It also works on electric, ceramic, gas, and induction cooktops.)

I really love the handles! When you place the pot in the housing, the handles lock the cooking pot in place so it doesn’t move while you’re stirring. Plus, they give you a good grip on the pot when you remove it. 

LARGE DIGITAL DISPLAY

Even though they added favorite buttons to the console, the display is still clear, easy to read, and packed with information about what’s going on inside the cooking pot. This includes a progress bar that indicates where in the preheat/cooking/keep warm cycle you are. 

FAVORITE BUTTONS

One of my happy surprises on the Instant Pot Pro are the Favorite Buttons. If there are recipes you find yourself making over and over again, you can create your own preset.

Here’s how to save a Favorite on the Instant Pot Pro:

  1. Press the button, select your settings and cook times like you normally would. (For example, to make a white rice preset, press the Pressure Cook button, select Custom, make sure the pressure is on High, and set the cook time to 3 minutes.) 
  2. When everything is set, BUT BEFORE YOU PRESS START, press and hold the Fav button for 3 seconds to save. Then hit the Start button to get cooking.

To use a Favorite recipe, just touch the Fav button and don’t forget to hit Start. 

close-up of the Instant Pot Pro display, with the fav buttons and steam reminders clearly visible

VENT REMINDER

Another fun update on the Pro is the vent reminder option. With previous Instant Pot models, there’s a single beep when the cook time starts and a repeated beep when the cook time ends. 

With the vent reminder option, you can tell your Pro to beep once when the cook time starts, once when the cook time ends, and save the repeated beep for 5 or 10 minutes after the cook time has ended (5 or 10 minutes of natural pressure release time.) 

Our recipes often use a 10-minute natural pressure release followed by a quick release after pressure cooking, so this is a great new feature to remind you to come back and quickly release any remaining pressure after 5 or 10 minutes.

Or, you can just turn it off and the repeated beeps will happen right as the cook time ends, which is perfect when you need a quick release.

Note: You need to remember to select the vent reminder option before you hit the start button to begin the pressure cooking cycle.

SIMPLIFIED CENTER DIAL MENUS

The Duo Evo Plus had SOOO many options in the custom menus. The new Instant Pot Pro has streamlined them down to the most-used options, which I think is a really big usability improvement. 

They also started using Chicken instead of Poultry as the menu names. 

QUICK-VENTING PRESSURE COOKING LID

The Instant Pot Pro lid uses a switch to release the pressure, which keeps your hand further from the steam. In addition, it uses a steam release cover that makes the pressure release more gentle when you release the pressure. 

Also, the switch automatically resets to the sealing position when you open the lid. 

UPDATED USER MANUAL

This is the first time I’ve ever enjoyed reading through an Instant Pot manual. They have simplified the information to make it as helpful as possible and have taken a much more friendly tone throughout. (They’ve even peppered it with Julia Child quotes.)

It even includes a discussion on deglazing (aka adding a liquid after sauteeing, then scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pot. It adds a ton of flavor and helps users prevent a burn notice, so I’m thrilled to see it called out.)

And, yes, it actually comes in the box with the Instant Pot Pro. (Initially with the Evo, the manual was only available online.) 

My only quibble with the printed manual is that the Troubleshooting and Error codes are still only available in the online version. And right now, unfortunately, we can’t currently access the Pro user manual online—it redirects to the Pro Crisp. (In the Instant Pot FB group they link to the manual here.)

UPDATED MINIMUM LIQUID REQUIREMENT

One change to this manual from previous versions is that they specify the minimum cooking liquids for the 6-quart model is 1.5 cups of liquid. (Unless otherwise specified in the recipe.)

In our testing, we have not had any issues making recipes with only 1 cup or less of liquids, including this Chipotle Chicken and Berry Compote. (These recipes contain ingredients that release liquid as they cook.)

Instant Pot Pro steam release against a black background

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE PURCHASING THE INSTANT POT PRO

If you have used any of the previous models of Instant Pot, there are a few things you’ll need to get used to.

START BUTTON

Unlike most Instant Pot models, you have to press the start button to get the pressure cooker going. (The original Duo starts on its own after selecting the function and setting a time.) This will be great for new cooks, but it’s another button to remember if you’re used to a previous model.

ATTACHED CORD

The cord is not detachable like it is in most other Instant Pot models. (I like to detach my cords and store them in the pot to protect them.)

LIGHT ON ACCESSORIES

The Instant Pot no longer comes with the rice cup, a rice paddle, or a ladle. Honestly, I don’t know anyone who actually used the rice cup, but I did like the ladle.

While the sales page says the Pro Plus can cook up to 70% faster, keep in mind that 70% figure is compared to traditional cooking methods, not compared to previous Instant Pot models. In a side by side test with the classic Duo, the Pro did come to pressure 2 minutes faster when cooking my Instant Pot Spicy Chicken Soup.

WARRANTY

The Instant Pot Pro has a 1 year limited warranty. They have great customer service (I used it with a problem with my Evo), and they were quick to respond and helped me get the parts I needed. 

Don’t forget to register within 30 days of purchase to be eligible!

How Does the Instant Pot Pro Compare to the Duo Evo Plus?

It’s no secret that we’ve loved our Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus. The features are amazing: flat-bottomed pot, attached handles for easy removal, redesigned lid with easy steam release, and the well-designed large display! 

However, after a while using the Evo, we found it wasn’t perfect—we couldn’t saute at the highest setting and had some problems with the steam release valve. 

The Pro has kept the amazing innovations from the Evo and has added a few more nice-to-have features!

The new features for the Instant Pot Pro include

  • Five favorites buttons for frequently cooked meals
  • Reminder feature
  • Black stainless steel design
A close-up of the display of the black stainless steel Instant Pot Pro

WHAT ARE THE SPECS FOR THE INSTANT POT PRO PRESSURE COOKER?

The Instant Pot Pro uses a sensor to toggle between 10.2 and 11.6psi on High pressure and between 5.8 and 7.2psi on the Low pressure setting. (The low in these ranges is just slightly higher than older models which drop down to 9.3 and 4.6 respectively. In other words, quick-cooking foods may need a reduction in cook time.)

The 6-quart Pro is 1200 watts, 13 pounds, and 12.7″ L × 13″ W × 12.8″ H.

The 8-quart Pro is 1400 watts, 16 pounds, and 14.4″ L × 13.9″ W × 14.2″ H.

WHAT COMES WITH THE INSTANT POT PRO?

The Instant Pot Pro comes with one red and one clear silicone ring, which we generally separate for savory and sweet meals. 

It also comes with a redesigned low steam rack with handles that can fold over flat.

It is also compatible with all standard pressure cooking accessories, including the Quick Cool Tray that came out for the original Duo Evo Plus.

Interested in accessories? Check out my favorites in my Complete Instant Pot Accessories Guide.

Instant Pot Pro Cooking Cycle

WHAT ARE THE DEFAULT TIMES FOR THE PRESET BUTTONS?

I love that the online manual has been updated to include the default times for all of the preset cook buttons! 

Remember that these are just PRESET COOK TIMES based on averages. They do not guarantee that your food will be cooked through when the cook time finishes. Always use an instant-read thermometer to check, and add more time if necessary.

Pressure Cook

  • Custom: 10 minutes
  • Pasta: 1 minute
  • Soup: 30 minutes
  • Chicken: 10 minutes
  • Beef: 30 minutes
  • Beans: 20 minutes
  • Egg: 5 minutes
  • Sterilize: 10 minutes

Rice/Grain

  • Custom: 12 minutes*
  • Brown Rice: 30 minutes
  • White Rice: 12 minutes*
    * Cooks at Low Pressure

Steam

  • Custom Low (181F): 30 minutes
  • Custom High (212F): 30 minutes

Saute

  • Custom: 30 minutes
    5 temperature levels

Slow Cook

  • Custom:4 hours
  • Chicken 4 hours
  • Beef 6 hours
  • Soup 6 hours
  • Beans 8 hours

Sous Vide

  • Custom (140°F): 3 hours
  • Chicken (140°F): 2 hours
  • Beef (130°F): 2 hours
  • Egg (145°F): 30 minutes

Yogurt

  • Custom Low: 8 hours
  • Custom High: 30 minutes to 1 hour
  • Custom (133°F): 8 hours

Bake

  • Custom (350°F): 10 minutes
  • Cheesecake High: 45 minutes
  • Bread High: 40 minutes

Keep Warm

  • Custom: 144 to 194°F
  • Custom Low: 144°F
  • Custom High: 171°F
Instant Pot Pro in black stainless steel in a gray kitchen with white cabinets, with the pressure cooking lid resting in the lid fins

HOW TO TURN OFF THE SOUND ON THE INSTANT POT PRO

Right after you turn on the Pro and the display reads OFF, press the center dial until it beeps. Use the dial to switch between Unit and Sound, and press to select Sound. Twist the dial to switch the sound on and off. 

Press the Start button to save your selection.

Note that you can’t turn off the sound while a cooking function is enabled.

(When you use this trick to select the Unit key, you can change the temperature default from Fahrenheit to Celsius.

How to Cook with the Instant Pot Pro?

The recipes on Pressure Cooking Today cook at High Pressure. To make one of our recipes, press the Pressure Cook button, use the dial to select the Custom setting, then turn the dial to set the correct cook time. Hit the Start button, and watch the magic happen.

HOW TO USE THE YOGURT FUNCTION ON THE INSTANT POT PRO

Boil then Ferment Method: First, find a great recipe for Instant Pot yogurt

  1. Press the Yogurt button, then turn the knob to Boil (aka Pasteurize), then press Start.
  2. Near the end of the preheat setting, the display will flash Hot, then it will quickly switch to read Boil.
  3. Open the lid and use an Instant Read thermometer to see if the temperature has reached 180°F (if not, close the lid and start it again to reach that temp). (It will read END and will not automatically go to the Keep Warm setting.)
  4. Move the Inner pot to sink to cool down to 110°-115°.
  5. Add the starter and whisk in well.
  6. Move the inner pot back to the Instant Pot.
  7. Push the Cancel Button, then press the Yogurt button again. Turn the knob to read Temperature Low (Ferment) and select Start.
  8. After a brief preheat setting, Display will flash Hot then switch to 08:00 and begins the fermenting/incubation stage.
  9. Leave it to incubate for 8 hours and then move the inner pot (covered) to the fridge for a minimum of 4 hours then (without scraping the bottom of the inner pot) pour the yogurt into the strainer and place back into the fridge for 8 hours or more.
Close-up of the display of the black stainless steel exterior of the Instant Pot Pro

WHAT DO THE INSTANT POT PRO ERROR CODES MEAN?

There are six basic types of error codes you may see on your Instant Pot Pro.  The online manual provides possible issues and solutions for each of the error codes.

WHY DID I GET A BURN NOTICE ON THE INSTANT POT PRO?

Since the Instant Pot Pro cooks at 1200W, it runs a little hotter than its other 1000W models. 98% of the time, the difference in power doesn’t make a difference with the recipes. 

On rare occasions, it’s enough to trigger the Burn Notice

When the Instant Pot Pro reads OvHt / BURN / FOOD BURN, the first things to check are:

  1. the inner pot does not have enough liquid
  2. food deposits on the bottom of the inner pot may be preventing heat dissipation

If you’ve gotten the burn notice,

  • Remove the inner cooking pot from the base.
  • Check for debris inside the pressure cooker housing or on the outside of the stainless steel cooking pot. (Keep in mind that the cooker will be hot, so you may need to let it cool to thoroughly check.)
  • Then check the cooking pot. 
    • If just a little food has burned onto the bottom of the cooking pot, scoop the food into a separate bowl and scrape the burned parts away. Return the food to the cooking pot. At this point, you can add more liquid to the pressure cooking pot and try another pressure cooking cycle. Or you can transfer the pot to the stove or oven and stir while you finish cooking.
    • If a lot of food has burned on, you’ll be able to taste the burnt taste throughout and, unfortunately, you may have to discard the meal. Soak and scrub off the burned foods. Barkeepers friend is a useful cleaner to help remove stubborn stains. 

In the future, be sure to add more liquid to the pot and avoid ingredients containing thickeners like canned soups or prepackaged spaghetti sauces.

For lots more details, check out our in-depth discussion on the Instant Pot Burn Notice: What to Do and How to Avoid It in the Future.

OTHER INSTANT POT PRO ERROR CODES

Lid indicates that the lid is not correctly positioned. Simply open the lid and replace it, ensuring it is properly placed.

PrSE indicates that pressure has accumulated during a non-pressure cooking program. You will want to use the quick release vent to reduce pressure in the pot.

The remaining error codes are quite rare:

C1, C2, C6, C6H, C6L: These five errors don’t specify what exactly is wrong, just that your Instant Pot may have a faulty sensor and that you’ll need to contact customer support at 1-800-828-7280 or support @ instantpot.com.

C7 or NoPr indicates that the heat element has failed, there is not enough liquid, or the quick release switch is set to vent position. If you get the error after checking the vent release valve and checking to make sure there is the minimum amount of liquid required for pressure, you would need to contact Customer Support.

C8 indicates that you have placed the wrong inner pot in the housing. (This is useful if you have an older model of Instant Pot with the domed bottom pan.) The pots are not interchangeable. 

Note: The older Duo Evo Plus model showed the C8 error code while sauteing. Happily, the Instant Pot Pro seems to have fixed that problem and there’s no longer an error even on the highest saute settings.

(Note that this is NOT a sponsored post. I was not sent an Instant Pot Pro to review or giveaway. As always, my opinion is always my own.)

WHERE TO BUY THE INSTANT POT PRO

The 6-quart Instant Pot Pro is available from Amazon, Williams Sonoma, Target, and Kohls

The 8-quart Instant Pot Pro is currently available from Williams Sonoma and Amazon.

A note if you’re buying from Amazon: For some reason, the Pro is currently listed in the same listing as the Duo Plus. Be sure that you have the correct version selected and be aware that a lot of the reviews–especially the negative ones–are for the Duo Plus.

FOR MORE FROM PRESSURE COOKING TODAY

🥘 Browse our collection of the best pressure cooker / Instant Pot recipes.

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👥 Join our Electric Pressure Cooker Facebook Group. Our positive community of pressure cooking fans use all brands of electric pressure cookers, so it’s a great resource if you have questions about your particular brand.

🥧 If you’re interested in more than just Instant Pot recipes, follow us at Barbara Bakes. There we post amazing breakfasts, breads, and the best dessert recipes

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