The Instant Pot Duo80 is one of those rice cookers that can do it all. While it may specialize in cooking your rice to perfection, it can do a whole lot more. It comes loaded with features including an impressive fourteen smart program options, a yogurt maker, a sauté and simmer setting and much more. So, if you’re looking for a rice cooker that comes loaded with all the bells and whistles you could ever want, give this model a second and third look.
Our Verdict: If you’re looking for a new, faster, efficient way to get dinner on the table, then say hello to the Instant Pot rice cooker. Its versatility is just one of the reasons it’s a big hit with cooks of all skill levels. A rice cooker that boasts it can do the job of seven other appliances, this model by Instant Pot can make stews, chili, yogurt, steamed veggies, rice, and much more. The only real drawback for some is the stainless steel pot. The pot itself does a great job in terms of sealing in the flavor and aroma and distributes heat efficiently, but since it doesn’t have a nonstick coating it can take a little more effort to scrub it clean.
The appliance’s smart technology will closely monitor the machine’s heat, pressure, and adjust the settings accordingly based on doneness. This is truly a hands-off machine that features an eight-quart capacity, so it’s perfect for larger families. For the price, you really can’t go wrong with a machine that can handle it all.
Overview and Features
If you’ve had trouble with achieving that fluffy jasmine rice texture when steaming or boiling rice, then this model has the features you’re looking for. When placed on the white rice setting, this machine will take over, monitoring the water level, doneness, temperature, and pressure, so you’re guaranteed to get rice that’s evenly cooked to perfection.
These days, with all of the advances in technology, it comes as no surprise that modern rice cookers can do more than cook rice, but this model is on a whole new level, offering a wider variety of features compared to other machines in this price range.
A rice cooker like the Duo80 will leave you speechless. If you’re new to using this type of appliance, then the settings, buttons, and many features may initially seem overwhelming, but once you read the user’s manual you’ll see just how intuitive the controls really are.
Fortunately, the user’s manual is well-written and easy to follow, so you should have no problem learning how to use the machine’s many features.
Aside from its variety of smart programs, which can do everything from bake chicken to making a fresh pot of stew or chili, it also comes with important safety certifications that will give any buyer peace of mind knowing that this model is totally safe, durable, and very reliable.
The inner pot has an eight-quart capacity and is made out of food-grade 304 stainless steel. There’s no nonstick coating, instead, the pot features a three-layer steel design. This can be seen as both a pro and con depending on how you look at it. The fact that the pot is made out of stainless steel means you’ll enjoy even heat distribution and a faster cooking time. Additionally, the fact that it’s made out of stainless steel also means that the pot will lock in aromas, nutrients, and flavors, so you won’t have to worry about the flavors of whatever dish you’re cooking above leaching into the rice. The stainless steel pot is also much more durable than nonstick pots, however, you can also expect to spend some time in the kitchen scrubbing out stuck-on food. If you need to grease the surface of the pot this can have an impact on cooking time, so you’ll also want to pay attention to cooking progress when you’re making something other than rice or yogurt.
Automatically, when you hear the term “smart technology “ you know you’re dealing with a modern machine that can blow any traditional rice cooker out of the water, and you’re not wrong.
As I mentioned earlier, this model comes loaded with a total of fourteen smart programs. Unlike competing rice cookers that will only give you the option of preparing different types of rice, this model can also prepare any dish up to seventy percent faster compared to cooking a dish in the oven or on the stovetop. This fact alone should be enough to get busy families to hit that buy now button.
The internal microprocessor will monitor the rice cooker’s cook times, temperature, and pressure and will adjust the heat intensity and cooking time in order to achieve the best results. This type of smart technology is what will prevent it from overheating and what also allows it to cook any dish to perfection. The microprocessor will use certain pressure and temperature parameters based on the type of cook function you choose, whether the machine is in slow cooker mode or on simmer. The machine itself underwent extensive testing to ensure that it was free from the same bugs that would cause lower-priced competing models to malfunction.
With many competing models of rice cookers, buyers expect a few setting options based on the type of rice they want to prepare. This machine offers that and more. If you’re adventurous and love making new dishes in the kitchen, then you’ll love making your own yogurt or a fresh pot of stew. If you don’t have much counter space to work with in the kitchen, this model can take the place of several kitchen appliances. In fact, it works as a pressure cooker, rice cooker, steamer, oven, slow cooker, and more. While it may have a bulky design, the fact that it’s a multifunctional appliance definitely makes it worthy of a permanent place on your counter.
This appliance is equipped with the following settings:
- Pressure cooker
- Keep warm
- Slow cook
This model is ULC and UL certified and comes equipped with a total of ten safety mechanisms that are designed to eliminate common errors. Many lower-priced rice makers tend to overheat since they lack smart technology temperature regulation features. Fortunately, this machine’s smart microprocessor is designed to closely monitor the internal temperature and the entire cooking process so you can rest assured that this is one the best Japanese rice cookers on the market and also one of the safest.
This package includes:
- Rice paddle
- Rice cooker
- Measuring cup
- Soup spoon
- Condensation collector
- Recipe book
- Steam rack with handles
This energy-efficient model uses seventy percent less energy than competing models, despite the fact that it can cook food at an accelerated rate.
The stay warm feature will keep your rice warm and ready to serve for up to twelve hours.
The twenty-four-hour timer will allow delayed cooking, a must-have feature for any busy family. Set the timer, fill the pot, and let the rice cooker handle the rest.
Advantages and Disadvantages
- Fourteen cooking programs
- Free extras
- Delay timer
- Stay warm feature
- Stainless steel pot
- Energy efficient
- ULC and UL certified
- Pot does not have a nonstick coating
Instant Pot Versus Aroma Housewares ARC-6106 Aroma Professional Rice Cooker
The Aroma Housewares rice cooker offers stay cool technology, a feature this model unfortunately lacks. This allows the rice cooker to remain cool throughout the duration of the cooking process, which makes it safer for use around small children. Like this Instant Pot model, the competition comes loaded with presets that will allow you to choose from a total of twelve cooking options. It also features a similar cooking capacity, but the controls aren’t quite as intuitive. While there are a number of presets to choose from, the cooking options are nowhere near as versatile as what this model offers. However, it’s available at a more affordable price, which can make it a better alternative for the family on a tight budget.
Conclusion and Rating
The DUO80 is in a class of its own. It comes with fourteen smart technology settings which basically means you can cook fourteen different types of dishes and the cooker’s microprocessor will closely monitor the dish throughout the cooking process and adjust the cooking time, pressure, and temperature, accordingly. Pretty impressive to say the least. Aside from the cooking programs it can cook any type of rice to perfection, comes with ten safety features, two safety certifications, and is equipped with a large eight-quart capacity stainless steel pot. Bottom line, this is one rice cooker any home cook can benefit from since it’s able to handle several different types of dishes, in addition to rice. I gave this model a rating of five out of five stars.
For a really great interview with the Insta-Pot inventor, you can read this article on Forbes.