The Instant Pot Rio, released in 2023, has an updated, slimmer profile along with many favorite features we’ve seen in the Duo models, including a quieter steam release lid and an anti-spin pot. Read our full review to find out if it’ll be a good fit for your kitchen.
Well, here we are a DECADE after the Instant Pot Duo was released. To celebrate, Instant Brands has released a 10th anniversary 6-quart pressure cooker called the Instant Pot RIO.
We’ve been cooking in the Rio for a couple weeks, and we’ll tell you everything you need to know before you buy as well as how to get started cooking in it!
DO YOU RECOMMEND THE INSTANT POT RIO?
The RIO is definitely a product I’d recommend. It includes some of my favorite features from past Instant Pot models, like the non-spin pot and a separate steam release valve and switch, while also keeping the price down by incorporating a matte black plastic exterior and a basic LCD screen.
Purchase the Instant Pot Rio at Amazon.
Everything you need to know about the Instant Pot RIO
These posts can get quite long, so I’ve included links to the main headings below. Feel free to read it in order or jump right to what you’re most excited to know!
And, as always, leave us a comment if you have any questions we haven’t already covered!
If you’re a visual learner, you can check out our How to Use the Instant Pot RIO video on YouTube.
In this video, we break down how to clean, assemble, and start cooking in the new Instant Pot Rio.
What is the Instant Pot Rio?
In case you’re wondering, RIO is an acronym for Revolutionary. Innovative. One-Pot Wonder.
The RIO is the newest Instant Pot pressure cooker/multi-cooker that can
- pressure cook
- slow cook, and
- make yogurt.
(All of the other buttons simply run pre-set pressure cooking times; they’re not novel cooking functions.)
The Instant Pot Rio comes in a 6-quart size and a 7.5 Wide size, which I’ll photograph and post soon.
My Theories on the Name Change
Update: My hopes for name-based model lines were dashed the moment I started using the Rio Wide Plus, which has much more in common with the Whisper Quiet Duo Plus than this 6-quart Rio model.
Instant Pot looks like they might be starting to do something I’ve been wanting for years: streamlining their products into clear, name-based offerings that give consumers an idea of what they can do.
The RIO Line (Rio and Rio Wide) offers the core functions that made the Instant Pot famous: (1) a high pressure setting that quickly gets meals on the table and (2) sauté and keep warm settings that make it easier to cook a whole meal in one pot.
The PRO Line (Pro, Pro Plus, and Pro Crisp) offers increased functionality at a higher price point. This line features a black stainless steel exterior with a large display and dial. It also offers several additional cooking functions (like sous vide) and .
The CRISP Line (Duo Crisp, Duo Crisp with Ultimate Lid, and Pro Crisp) offer air fryer functionality alongside the traditional multicooker functions. These models all incorporate a large lid with a heating element and fan.
Pros & Cons: What You Need to Know Before You Buy an Instant Pot Rio
Like I said above, the Rio keeps some of my favorite features from previous Instant Pot models, and sacrifices other things in order to remain at a lower price point.
- Redesigned exterior, which is a matte black plastic instead of a shiny stainless steel.
- Instant Pot kept the redesigned lid from other Duo models.
- I love that the float valve is visible and accessible from the outside of the lid.
- They incorporated lights that indicate where the Rio is in the cooking cycle (Preheat, Cook, and Warm). They’re not as robust as other models, but they’re still effective.
- Intuitive, easy-to-read button layout with a start button.
- It only cooks at high pressure, not high and low pressure like the Duo and Pro models can.
- No sous vide setting.
- The smaller cook time display isn’t as detailed or as easy to read at a glance as other models (like the Pro or the Duo Plus).
- Only comes with a trivet and a single sealing ring, unlike other models.
Detailed Breakdown of the Instant Pot Rio’s Features
While the most obvious changes are cosmetic, the Rio has been thoughtfully designed to keep some of my favorite features without breaking the bank.
New Streamlined Exterior
The Instant Pot Rio has a redesigned exterior that makes it seem slimmer on your countertop, even though it only shaved off about an inch from the total width of the Duo.
When I first unboxed it, it seemed so narrow on the bottom that I couldn’t believe it could fit the same version of the pressure cooking pot. However, I shouldn’t have worried—the Rio fits the same 6-quart cooking pots and accessories that fit in previous versions of the Duo.
The exterior of the Rio is a matte black plastic that is easy to wipe clean after cooking, unlike previous models’ stainless steel exteriors.
Newer Lid Design
I’m happy to report that the Rio keeps the lid design they switched to with the Duo Nova. While not quite as fancy as lid on the newest Duo Plus model, it still offers the separate pressure release switch and the lid fins that fit right onto the housing to keep the lid out of the way after pressure cooking.
It also leaves the float valve visible and easily accessible from the outside, which is can be useful for foods that foam. (For example, some readers have had issues with their Duo Crisp with Ultimate Lid, where the lid has had some debris interfere with the float valve dropping. Since it’s inaccessible from the outside, people have been unable to open the lid.)
Stainless Steel Pot
I’m thrilled that this model includes a stainless steel pot.
Another new for 2023 model, the Instant Pot Easy (review coming soon), has a stainless steel exterior but comes with a nonstick pot. While the nonstick is useful for making certain foods like rice and puddings, I vastly prefer the stainless steel pot for browning meats.
The display on the Instant Pot Rio has been updated and simplified. This model uses a number of indicator lights to let you know where it is in its cook cycle.
The LCD display is much smaller, with just the cook time visible.
Instant Pot Rio Measurements & Specs
The 6-quart Instant Pot Rio is 13.2″ long × 12.2″ wide × 12.5″ high.
This model operates at 1000 watts and 120V ~60Hz. Its working pressure is 80kPa.
You can find your exact model number on the silver sticker on the back of the product.
What Comes with the Instapot RIO?
The RIO comes with a stainless steel inner cooking pot, one silicone gasket, and a stainless steel steam rack with handles.
The Instant Pot Rio is compatible with all standard 6-quart pressure cooking accessories.
I always recommend having multiple sealing rings (one for sweet and another for savory), so I would definitely buy another set to keep on hand.
User Manual Information
One item of note: As of July 2023, the Instant Pot Rio user manual still refers to the machine as a “Duo” and refers to a “Troubleshooting” section that isn’t included. However, the manual is easy to read and contains correct diagrams of the updated control panel and lid.
Overall, the manuals included with the newer Instant Pot models are so much easier to read than their manuals were a decade ago! The instructions walk you through the basic steps for all of the preset buttons as well as set up and cleaning.
Here are some highlights for the most popular settings:
- Pressure Cook: High pressure only
- Sauté: High, Medium, and Low temperatures.
- Slow Cook: High, Medium, and Low temperatures; see page 27 for full instructions. (Specific temperatures not provided.)
- Yogurt: High, Medium, and Low temperatures, see page 28 for full instructions.*
- Keep Warm: page 30
How to turn the sound On and Off in an Instant Pot Rio: Plug in the Rio, then press and hold Delay Start and Keep Warm until you see the display change to SOFF or S On. (It feels like a while, but it’s about 10 seconds.)
The sound will remain off or on even after unplugging. (Note that safety alerts for things like the Burn Notice will still sound even if the other sounds are turned off.)
Instant Brands currently offers a 1-year limited warranty on the Instant Pot RIO. Click here to view the Rio’s product registration page.
To qualify for the warranty, you need to register your product within 30 days.
If you need to reach out for product support or repairs, you can do so by phone at 800-828-7280 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ve had really good customer service when we reached out by email in the past.
I’ve never tried it, but you can also visit their website to create a support ticket online.
How to Cook with the Instant Pot Rio
Nearly every recipe on our site use just the Pressure Cook and Sauté buttons. Here’s everything you need to know to use these buttons and get cooking in your new Instant Pot Rio!
HOW TO PRESSURE COOK
- If cooking for the first time, wipe the Rio's housing (inside and outside) with a very damp cloth and wash the inner cooking pot with dish soap and water.
- Make sure that the silicone gasket is fully secured on the lid.
- Add food as directed in your recipe (including a clear liquid), then lock the lid in place. To lock the lid, find the little arrow on the center front of the lid, and align it with the little line on the housing that's part just above and to the right of the control panel. Place the lid down evenly, then use the lid handle to turn the lid to the left to lock it.
(Note: When open, the lid fins will be offset from then handles and when it locks in place the fins will be directly over the handles.)
- Touch the Pressure Cook button in the upper left of the control panel, then use the time arrows to set the cook time to the time specified in the recipe.
- Press the Start button. (Note that if you go more than a few seconds before pressing Start, your unit will revert to reading "Ready" and you'll need to repeat all of the steps.)
The display will read "On" and the little light to the left of the Preheat indicator will turn on while the Rio is heating up and building pressure.
After the float valve has risen up to seal off the pressure cooker, it will need another minute or two for the unit to reach the correct cooking temperture. Once this happens, the little light to switch over to the Cook indicator and the display time will begin to count down.
- After your cook time ends, the indicator light will switch to Warm and the display timer will automatically begin to count up from 0:00. At this point, your recipe will specify whether to use a quick or natural pressure release.
If you're using a natural release, allow the unit to count up for the number of minutes specified in the recipe, then finish with a quick release.
If you're using a quick release, use the switch on top of the lid to switch down to Vent to release the pressure.
- After all of the pressure is released, the float valve will drop and you can unlock the lid by turning it to the right to match the little gray part. When you remove the lid, make sure to open it away from your face to avoid the steam.
HOW TO SAUTÉ
Note that the Sauté function will not work if the lid is on, so make sure to keep it off.
- Touch the Sauté button on the lower left. If you wish to change the time or the temperature, use the Temperature arrows to select a Low, Medium, or High saute temperature and the Time arrows to adjust the default saute time up or down.
(I rarely adjust the time or temperature. and just press cancel when I'm done sautéing. For searing meat, I'd select higher level. For sautéing vegetables, I'd select the middle level.)
- Press the Start button, and the unit will begin to heat the bottom of the pressure cooking pot. (Again, remember that if you forget to press Start, your unit will revert to "Ready" and you'll need to repeat the steps.)
- The pot will read Hot when it's ready for you to add your ingredients.
In most cases, when you sauté, wait until the pot heats to your desired temperature before adding the oil or other ingredients. (My exception is when sautéing with butter, I will generally let the pot preheat a bit and then add the butter so that it is fully melted by the time the pot comes to temperature.)
Just like cooking on an electric stovetop, you can lower the temperature or lift the stainless cooking pot if the food is cooking faster than you'd like.
- Make sure to hit Cancel when you've finished the saute portion of your cooking.
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Why did I get the Burn Notice on the Instant Pot Rio?
⚠️ For 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.
When the Instant Pot RIO makes three quick beeps and scrolls FOOD BURN in the time display, you need to find out what’s going on in the inner cooking pot.
Here are the first questions I ask myself:
- Is the inner pot inside the housing?
- Does the inner pot have enough liquid?
- Are any food deposits stuck to the bottom of the inner pot?
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 into the sink or another bowl. 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, avoid ingredients containing thickeners (like canned soups or prepackaged spaghetti sauces), and do not stir layered ingredients when specified in the recipe (check out our Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs as an example).
Still have Instant Pot questions?
Leave us a comment below or send us an email and we’ll get you the information you need!
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