Today I’m sharing the third of three pressure cooker reviews just in time for Mother’s Day. The Instant Pot company recently released two new Instant Pots and they sent me them to review! I reviewed the Instant Pot Duo Plus last month and today I’m excited to introduce to you the Instant Pot Ultra.
Instant Pot Ultra 60 Review
Steam Release Reset Button. I’m going to start with my favorite new feature on the Instant Pot Ultra – the new Steam Release Reset Button.On other Instant Pots, I don’t know how many times I’ve forgotten to move the steam release handle from the Venting position to the Sealing position before beginning to pressure cook. With this new design you’ll never forget to put it in the Sealing position again, because when you open or close the lid it resets to the Sealing position!
You no longer use the steam release handle to release the pressure. Instead you press the new Steam Release Reset Button. If you press the button firmly, it will lock in place, and you don’t need to hold it while the pressure releases.If however, you want to use a slower, intermittent pressure release, you can gently press on the button and it will release the steam in little bursts. I like to do this with things I’m worried about foaming like pasta.
The Instant Pot Company say the Steam Release Reset Button “ensures the safer handling of the steam release after cooking is completed.” But for me it’s the reset to the sealing position that makes this new design a winner.
The float valve sits up higher on the lid of the Ultra, so it’s easier to see when it drops and you can open the lid.
Central Dial. The biggest change with the Ultra is the new dial. You use the dial to select the cooking program, select the time, and make adjustments. You turn the dial and press to select a program, or make an adjustment to time or other settings. I prefer the push buttons on the Instant Pot Duo Plus to the new dial on the Ultra, but maybe with time I’ll become more proficient at using it and it won’t seem as tedious.
LCD Display with cooking progress indicator. Sometimes you wonder what’s going on in the pot. If you’re cooking a big pot of soup and it seems like it’s taking forever to come to pressure, it can leave you wondering if everything is working right. Now you can see on the LCD display the progress of the preheat, pressure cooking and when it’s finished cooking and is on the keep warm setting.
Ultra button that gives you more control over what you’re cooking; it even let’s you set the temperature. If you’re interested in Sous Vide cooking this will give you the precision you want.
Altitude Adjustment. If you live at a high altitude you need to increase your pressure cooking times. The Ultra lets you select your altitude, then after you’ve entered it, and it automatically increases the cook time for all of the programmed cooking times. Amy and Jacky did a great post on High Altitude pressure cooking if you’d like more information.
Laurie, a Pressure Cooking Today reader generously shared her experience using the Ultra at altitude:
I live at 9,000 ft in Colorado, and wanted to let you know that I appreciate your comments here and there throughout your website regarding high altitude adjustments.
After buying the Mueller Ultra Pot, which I felt was a good economic choice as a novice, I soon returned it, did a BUNCH more research and bought the Instant Pot Ultra. This is a much better choice at high elevation. Their “altitude adjustment” feature doesn’t do much for me–all it does is change the default time on the pre-programmed buttons, which I rarely use. Normally I follow recipes and enter times manually, and I still have to do the math myself. (They advertise that it “takes the guesswork out of recipe conversion. It does not!) What the Ultra DOES do, which is helpful for my situation, is that it remembers whatever changes I made for my previous use of the programmed buttons, so if I entered my own time it’ll be the same next time.
Other reasons the Ultra is helpful at high elevation: Just about everything gives me a choice of temperature and time. The SLOWCOOK function on HIGH keeps things at a pretty full, rolling boil. I rarely want that, but there are also MED and LOW settings to choose from, or I can set my own Custom temperature. Same with the SAUTE function. Everything evaporates off so fast here that I rarely want to keep it on the HIGH setting for very long, if at all. I keep the default set at MED, which works fine.
I have figured out that the HIGH Pressure setting, when added to my atmospheric pressure at 9,000 feet is about equivalent to a person using LOW Pressure at sea level. So, if ever a recipe calls for the LOW setting, I can use it on HIGH and keep their time allotment for the recipe. It works for me, but not many recipes call for the LOW setting.
New programs. As with the Instant Pot Duo Plus, the Ultra has a pressure cook button instead of the manual button, which helps eliminate the confusion. It also has the new sterilize, cake and egg programs.
There’s a lot of things to love about the new Ultra. I hope in the future all Instant Pots will have the new lid / pressure release design like the Ultra. It’s a great new innovation.
You’ll find the online Instant Pot Ultra manual here.
The Giveaway has ended.
Disclosure: I was sent an Instant Pot Ultra 60 to review, but all opinions expressed are always my own.
Here’s a chart that shows the available Instant Pot models.