The Instant Pot is without doubt one of the most successful pressure cookers in the electronic pressure cooker industry. In this article, we are going to compare it to the comparatively much lesser known Bella electric pressure cooker and see how they measure up against one other.
What is all the more special about this comparison is that while the Bella electric pressure cooker has just one model, the Instant Pot offers not only several models but also several series which have several models in each of them. Frankly, a whole article would fall short for perfectly explaining all the models of Instant Pot. However, we will look at those features of each model which gives it its very own identity.
Before we begin it’s also worth noting that the Bella pressure cooker is significantly less expensive than even the cheapest Instant Pot which makes it an amazing value proposition.
The Instant Pot: Several series and several models in each series: A brief introduction to model-wise features
The Instant Pot is the bestseller that dominates the electronic pressure cooker market at the present. There are several series of pressure cookers under the brand name of Instant Pot. These series, in turn, have specific models in them.
In April 2017 Instant Pot even expanded their line with the addition of two new models, the Instant Pot Plus60 and the Instant Pot Ultra although the Instant Pot LUX V3 is really the closest competitor to the Bella in terms of function and price. You can see current pricing on the LUX V3 here.
Let us now look at the main features now:
[Note: There is a great way to understand it without reading everything. The IP in model names stands for Instant Pot. The next three letters such as LUX or DUO stand for functionalities. The next two numbers stand for volume in quarts. And finally the V-(digit) at the end stands for the version number. For example IP-DUO50 V1 means the first version of the Instant Pot DUO which has a volume of 5 quarts.]
1. The Instant Pot LUX series:
The Instant Pot LUX series has two models: The IP-LUX60 and the IP-LUX50.
The main specifications of the IP-LUX50 are:
- 12 in built programs.
- 5.28 Quart volume.
- Wattage of 900.
The main specifications of the IP-LUX60 are:
- 14 in built programs.
- 6.33 Quart volume.
- Wattage of 1000.
2. The Instant Pot DUO series:
There are three main models in the Instant Pot DUO series: IP-DUO50, DUO60, DUO80. All these three machines have a few things in common:
- The feature to make yogurt.
- Dual pressure settings.
The rest of their features are slightly different. The main specifications of them individually are:
The main specifications of the IP-DUO50 are:
- A volume of 5 quart.
- Wattage of 900.
The main specifications of the IP-DUO60 are:
- A volume of 6 quarts.
- Wattage of 1000.
The main specifications of the IP-DUO80 are:
- A volume of 8 quarts.
- A wattage of 1200.
For the most part the DUO pressure cookers are the base model for the Smart featured below and the the newer Plus60 which ads a few more features. I frequently recommend families buy the larger 8-quart model to cook bigger one-pot meals. You can see pricing on the larger DUO80 right here.
3. The Instant Pot Smart:
This is a single model series. The Instant Pot Smart is one of the latest Instant Pot products. Although it’s more expensive this electric pressure cooker is one of the most advanced out there, justification for the price tag.
In fact, the official website describes it as:
This is Instant Pot’s latest model. This cooker is a million-in-1 multi cooker, it can do everything the LUX and DUO can plus, a more informative screen with larger numbers, and a programmable app that connects to the cooker via Bluetooth. The Smart app lets you dictate specific temperatures and duration of your recipes in unlimited sequences.
The main features of this pot are:
- It is a million-in-1 multi cooker. An unique product in the realm of pressure cookers till date.
- Can do everything that Instant Pot pressure cookers have to offer.
- It operates on a smart app and has an unique display that makes it really easy to use.
If you love the idea of pre-programming your own recipes to use over and over again then check pricing on the IP-Smart here and see if it’s in your budget. Remember, don’t buy it necessarily for the Bluetooth function, buy it for the ability to program your own recipes, the ones you actually make all the time.
4. The Instant Pot DUO PLUS:
This is another single model series. The DUO plus has the same specifications as the DUO. In this model the control display has been updated and made better by far making it easier to see, read, and use. Additionally one new feature has been added. That feature is:
- A new “sterilize” function in addition to “egg” and “cake” programs.
I think the DUO-Plus is a good idea to consider if you want the best but don’t want to pay a premium for extra features you don’t plan on using very often if ever… like sous-vide!
Click here to see current pricing on the DUO Plus60.
The comparatively unknown Bella Electric Pressure Cooker
The prime features that the Bella Electronic Pressure Cooker offers are as follows:
- It has 10 preset functions for you to easily choose from.
- It has a slow cooker mode as well.
- This cooker is a beautifully automated and extremely versatile cooker that can perfectly cook anything from ribs and chicken to soups and deserts at a single touch.
- This pressure cooker has a volume of about 6 or 8 quarts depending on the model.
- This cooker has an electricity consumption of about 1000 to 1100 watts depending on the model.
- This pressure cooker has been priced really sensibly and is one of the most affordable pressure cookers available.
The Bella Electric Pressure cooker has two models with a volumes of 6 and 8 quarts and wattage of 1000 and 1100 quarts respectively. All the functions are the same in these two pressure cookers.
You should also note that the price on the Bella cookers are extremely affordable making it the best entry level cooker on the market in my opinion. Click here to see current pricing on the 6-quart Bella.
The main differences between The Instant Pot and the Bella Electronic Pressure Cooker
There are several differences that make these set these two, frankly, in different leagues altogether! The main differences are as follows:
- The Instant Pot models offer more preset functions than the Bella Electronic Pressure Cooker. If you are looking for more functionality, the Instant Pot is the clear option.
- The Instant Pot is famous for being able to make yogurt. This is where only the Instant pot can be hailed as the winner.
- The Bella pressure cooker has a volume of about 6 quarts while the Instant pot offers anywhere from between 5 to 8 quarts depending on the model of choice.
- The Instant Pot SMART offers a smart app that is not present in case of Bella Electronic Pressure Cooker.
- However, from an economic point of view, it can easily be seen that the Bella Electronic Pressure Cooker costs much lesser than the Instant Pot models even if we set the most expensive models of Instant Pot like the SMART and Ultra aside.
- The power consumption of the two, judging by size, is quite similar, although the Instant pot does have two lower volume models than the Bella (The IP-LUX50 and the IP-DUO50) which have a lesser power consumption than Bella.
The Verdict: Which one should you choose over the other?
The final choice always rests with the specific needs that you have in mind. It is the same in this case as well. However, we can look at the most probably choices in respect to some common situations:
- If you’re looking for functionality (be it in terms of preset features or even just yogurt making), the instant pot is clearly the choice for you.
- If you are looking for a bigger pressure cooker than the usual 6 quarts, then the IP-DUO80 is the answer for you.
- If you look at it from an economic perspective, the Bella electronic pressure cooker is the winner because of its low entry level price.
So, finally, keep in mind that the pressure cooker you buy serves all your needs perfectly. Compare models, read a lot, and finally take the right step.