When buying new appliances, I always find myself trying to decide between the basic model that “gets the job done,” or the high-tech version with all the bells and whistles, which undoubtedly carries a higher price tag.
You may find yourself debating this same issue if you are in the market for a new pressure cooker. This article will help you make that decision as it relates to two Instant Pot products: the IP-DUO and the more high-tech IP-Smart.
While both products are quite similar, there are features that set them apart and establish the price difference. As such, I reviewed both products and compared the results. So, if you want to know which one is best for your needs and offers better value for your money, make sure to read until the end.
DUO vs Smart Comparison Table
Instant Pot DUO Review
The IP-DUO is a multi-cooker that functions as a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, yogurt maker, steamer, warmer and can be used for sautéing. The functions it provides could realistically replace several other small appliances you already own or save you from having to purchase additional kitchen appliances.
It cooks food 2 to 6 times faster than regular pots and uses up to 70% less energy in the process. Also, every dish you’ll prepare will be cooked according to the highest standards because the pot monitors pressure, temperature, and time. It adjusts each of these elements individually to create the perfect cooking environment that’s according to your selection.
Moreover, because the lid closes ergonomically, the flavors and nutrients are trapped inside the pot, so they remain in the food. So, whether you cook meat or potatoes, the result will be flavorful, delicious, and will have a perfect texture.
The IP-DUO pot is equipped with modern technologies and revolutionized the standard cooking methods. Due to the entire Instant Pot series, cooking is as easy as pressing a button and going on with your day!
With DUO, the buttons are arranged around an LCD display that lets users know about time, pressure, and other important settings. As such, you can use the 14 preset dishes, or you can customize the settings as needed. For instance, you have the option to cook at both high and low pressure or use the 24-hour delay timer.
Finally, the pot comes with a steam rack, a rice scooper, and measuring cup. Also, just like all other Instant Pot products (the Smart too), the DUO has ten built-in safeguards to protect against pressure related malfunctions.
- This is one of the most popular Instant Pot products on the market because it combines 7 amazing appliances in one elegant pot.
- Users can choose from 14 pre-programmed dishes, making cooking as simple as pressing a button.
- The materials used are food-grade and durable, but also easy to clean and dishwasher safe (for the accessories). Furthermore, there is no chemical coating so that nothing will affect the food’s integrity and safety.
- Nutrients and flavor are sealed in the pot, which is why food is delicious and perfectly textured. Also, the 3 ply bottom helps spread heat evenly, which is perfect for cooking.
- The pot is equipped with 3rd generation technology that monitors time, pressure, and temperature to achieve perfect results.
- The 10 safety mechanisms are implemented to prevent any accidents related to pressure and heat.
- Replaces 7 other appliances in the kitchen
- Durable and easy to clean materials
- Pre-programmed cooking options
- Good value for the money
- Frontal panel with buttons
- Keeps the flavor and nutrients in the food
- High and low-pressure settings
- 24-hour delay timer
- No integrated WiFi
- No cake baking module
- The power cable is a bit short
Instant Pot Smart Review
The IP-Smart WiFi comes only in 6qt size and has the same seven functionalities as the DUO plus the cake making module. Just like DUO, it uses the same high-quality materials, 12 pre-set temperatures, and has a 3 ply bottom that spreads the heat evenly.
So, why is it more expensive than IP-DUO?
Well, there are some features that make a difference, such as the 11+ safety features designed to keep users out of trouble and contain the smell, and there are only 13 pre-programmed dishes. But the one feature that takes cooking to a whole new level is the 2.4GHz WiFi connectivity!
The Smart pot comes with a user-friendly free app that provides access to over 1,000 pre-scripted recipes (which extends the pre-programmed dishes library), and lets users schedule, monitor, and adjust the progress of their meals from virtually anywhere.
Furthermore, you can connect with Alexa and control the pot with your voice. The app also sends alerts that inform you about the food’s progress and lets you share recipes with friends and family.
Of course, if you don’t want to use the app, you still have access to the frontal panel, where the instructions are at the press of a button. The Smart pot uses the same microprocessor technology as the DUO and monitors heat, pressure, and time to make sure your food is cooked in the best conditions.
Finally, the pot comes with accessories such as stainless steel steam rack with handles, soup spoon, measuring cup, rice paddle, and a condensation collector.
Quick note: Before the Smart WiFi, there was a version with Bluetooth, with features similar to the ones promoted by the IP-DUO. However, it had some problems with the connectivity and was replaced by the WiFi model.
- 8-in-1 electric pressure with 2.4 GHz WiFi connectivity and a free app that lets you control and monitor the progress of your cooking from a distance.
- 13 built-in smart programs that can be controlled using the buttons on the front panel or the app.
- Access to 1000+ recipes using the app or via Alexa
- Food-grade materials that are durable and easy to clean. Also, all the accessories are dishwasher safe.
- Designed using the latest 3rd generation technology with an embedded microprocessor that adjusts and monitors factors such as heat intensity, pressure, and time.
- 11+ carefully-designed safety mechanisms to avoid the most common errors that tend to happen with and around pressure cookers.
- Cool accessories that help you with preparing the ingredients and the cooking process
- High-end technology
- Front panel with buttons
- Durable and high-quality materials
- 4 GHz WiFi connectivity
- A free app that lets you track progress and send instructions
- Customizable settings
- Users can connect with Alexa
- 1000+ pre-programmed recipes
- A bit expensive
- Only comes in 6qt size
- The app needs some getting used to
- Set up can be a bit difficult
Which One Should I Buy?
There’s no denying that both products have amazing features, and any of them would improve your work in the kitchen. So, if you’re still on the fence towards which works best for your needs, here’s a bit of guidance:
Choose the DUO if…
- You want a product that’s highly appreciated by its users
- The budget is not too generous
- You don’t want a pot with all the tech bells and whistles
- You don’t think you’ll use the WiFi option
- You like being involved in the cooking process
Choose the Smart if…
- The idea of sending instructions to your pot via an app is exciting
- You like testing new technologies
- You like the idea of 1000+ recipes easy to access and implement
- The fact that you can share recipes via the app is interesting to you
- Your budget is a bit more generous
I’m sure most of us would love to live in the house of the future where you can control every object with your phone, but we still have a long way to get there. And, while the IP-Smart is a perfectly functional product, the WiFi option is more of a fancy feature than something most cooks would find useful.
Sure, it’s exciting and you may enjoy writing recipe scripts, but if you want the same features at a reasonable price, the IP-DUO would be a better choice. Most anything you want to cook with the IP-Smart you can do with the IP-DUO, it just may require slightly more effort for more complicated recipes.