The Max and Smart devices from Instant Pot are some of the most technologically advanced in the series. They both feature incredible settings and come at similar price points, which is why it can be tricky to decide which one would look best in your kitchen.
But don’t worry! After reading my Instant Pot Max vs Smart comparison and reviews for each product, I’m sure it will be easier to make an informed decision. And if not, make sure to check the last section of this article where I sketch the perfect user for each multicooker.
Table of Contents
Max vs Smart Comparison Table
Instant Pot Max Review
The Max multicooker was designed as a high-end smart pot that can take any kitchen to the next level. The pot features a large touchscreen front panel, a large display that offers real-time information on what’s happening inside, and lots of interesting features that most famous cooks would love at their disposal.
As such, if you want to show off your cooking skills without actually investing time and effort to acquire them, Max is the perfect Instant Pot for you!
First of all, it gives you the ability to use the full temperature spectrum, from fermentation to sous vide, to warming, and all the way up to sauté and searing. Second, you can use the pressure cooking module at 15psi, which is a revolutionary feature for an electric cooker (before the Max pot, the only way to achieve this pressure was with a stove-top pot).
This feature is important because it allows users to do home pressure canning. So, if you want to fill your pantry with healthy and delicious home-canned fruits, vegetables, and meats, this is the perfect Instant Pot product to try.
Furthermore, the multicooker also features NutriBoost technology, which guarantees the flavor and nutrients stay in the pot, with the food. As a result, all the meals you prepare will be delicious and perfectly balanced.
Due to the wide array of settings available, Max is an incredibly versatile cooking device. As such, it can be used as a pressure cooker, pressure canner, sous vide machine, slow cooker, rice cooker, sauté/searing pan, steamer, yogurt maker, food warmer, and more.
It’s also equipped to withstand wear and tear, and everything is designed to prevent any accidents. For instance, there are five different sensors that constantly monitor elements such as pressure, temperature, lid position, and valve status. There are also 13 safety features (including new automated venting and lid lock).
Finally, the pot only comes in the 6qt size and features the same design features and durable materials that made the Instant Pot series famous.
- Extremely versatile multicooker
- Large touchscreen control panel
- Display that provides information in real-time
- Automated steam release
- Lid lock safety feature
- Safety sensors that keep users safe
- Supports 15psi
- Perfect for gourmet meals
- Pressure builds up a bit slowly
- It takes a while to get used to the control panel
- It can be a bit expensive
- Only available in 6qt size
Instant Pot Smart Review
Instant Pot Smart also comes only in the 6qt size version, but it focuses more on integrating new technologies than on adding versatile cooking modes.
As such, the pot can replace around eight different kitchen appliances: a pressure cooker, a slow cooker, a rice/porridge cooker, a yogurt maker, a cake maker, a sauté or searing dish, a steamer, and a warmer.
While it may not have the same versatility as the Max, Smart WiFi benefits from the same high-end technology implemented in all Instant Pot products. For instance, it is capable of constantly monitoring the temperature and pressure while adjusting the heat and time to deliver the best possible results. Also, the inner steel pot is easy to clean and maintain and features as it features a non-stick surface.
Another feature that is different between the two pots is the front panel. If the Max features a touchscreen control panel with a large display, the Smart WiFi comes with buttons and a small display. However, the Smart pot also comes with 2.4GHz WiFi connectivity and a companion app that can be used to control it from a distance.
The app offers information on the status of the food being cooked, can be used to modify settings, provides access to over 1000 recipes, allows users to share recipes, and sends you notifications. Also, the pot can connect with Alexa, which provides users with voice controls.
When it comes to safety and durability, the IP-Smart implements the same features available across all Instant Pot devices (10 safety mechanisms and high-end food-grade stainless steel). Overall, it is a high-tech multicooker that can take users to the next level of smart cooking.
- It can replace up to eight appliances in the kitchen
- Features 2.4GHz WiFi connectivity
- A user-friendly app that lets you control the pot from a distance
- Connectivity with Alexa
- Access to 1000+ recipes
- The front panel is easy to use and understand
- Durable materials and dishwasher-safe accessories
- Only comes in 6qt size
- A bit on the expensive side
- The WiFi feature is a bit overrated
- It takes a while for the pressure to build
Which One Should I Buy?
While some Instant Pot products are difficult to set apart, these two are clearly created with two different audiences in mind. Here’s my take on each of these two pots:
Choose the Max if...
- You enjoy making at-home canning
- You like having more control over settings
- The large touchscreen & display are appealing
- You enjoy having some automated features (such as the lid and steam release valve)
- You want to be more involved in the cooking process
- Gourmet meals are something you want to try
Choose the Smart if...
- You prefer to monitor your pot from a distance
- The idea of a pot with integrated WiFi is exciting
- You want your pot to have a dedicated cake mode
- You prefer a control panel with buttons
- Sharing recipes with friends and family make you feel part of a community
When you draw the line, it’s clear that one multicooker is more versatile and destined for people who enjoy spending time around the kitchen, while the other is more for the tech-savvy among us. However, given their similar price point, you may want to choose the Max product.
It is easier to adapt to a wide array of recipes and comes with more settings and features. On the other hand, if the WiFi feature is important, then you should go with the Smart pot.