The popular Instant Pot Duo family is quite extensive, with plenty of cool products that improve the lives of amateur cooks and their families.
The pots are designed to fulfill certain needs, that vary from household to household, which is why it can be difficult to follow the similarities and differences.
For instance, one of the newest additions to the IP-DUO family is the DUO Plus, which packs quite a set of features. Now, since it’s one of the most advanced in the series, I think it’s fair to compare it to one of Instant Pot’s smartest multicookers, that has been on the market for some time now; the Instant Pot IP-Smart.
Below, you can read my review on both these pressure cookers, followed by a comparison of the two (with pros and cons). Finally, I’ll go over some ways for you to decide which pressure cooker would be the best new addition to your kitchen.
DUO Plus vs Smart Comparison Table
Instant Pot DUO Plus Review
The IP-DUO Plus is a set of three 9-in-1 multi-use programmable pressure cookers, available in different sizes:
- The 3qt for small families or single people
- The 6qt for medium-size families and the most popular model of the series (which I reviewed)
- The 8qt for large families and cooking in big quantities
While it is similar in size, shape and basic features to the IP-DUO model, there are some significant additions that make it a stand-alone pot.
First, it is a 9-in-1 multi-functional device that can take the place of nine other small kitchen appliances: pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, yogurt maker, sauté, steamer and warmer. The two new functions are egg cooker and sterilizer.
Second, the Plus60 is a six quart pressure cooker, with a stainless steel body, lid and inner cook pot. This pot now has 15 presets (as opposed to 14 presets), with the addition of a cake function. Furthermore, one of the new functions (sterilize) is multifunctional as well. Not only can the sterilize function be used for sterilization of utensils, but it can also be used to pasteurize milk.
Another new feature of the IP-DUO Plus60 is the quick adjustment feature. This allows the user to easily change time or pressure even if the pressure cooker has already entered the cooking phase.
The display on this pot leaves room for large, easier to read icons. It also indicates which level of pressure you are cooking at, whether you are heating or cooking, and what function you are currently using.
Instant Pot added one more feature to make using this cooker a breeze. This pressure cooker has what is called smart programs. Each of the programs remembers the previous three customizations you have made. This allows for easy recall of your cooking preferences.
One thing that didn’t change with this iteration of devices is the safety standards. Like all other Instant Pot pressure cookers, this one comes with the same 10 built-in safety features plus a few extra ones such as lid lock safety and overheat protection.
- It can replace up to 9 appliances in a regular kitchen, which helps users save space and reduce clutter.
- Besides the regular six functions available in the DUO series, the DUO Plus is also a sterilizer, cake maker, and an egg cooker.
- The control panel is equipped with 15 one-touch preset dishes that help speed up the selection and setting of the dish being prepared. This leads to up to 70% faster cooking times.
- Due to the materials used, the pot is easy to clean and doesn’t retain smells or colors. This makes it perfect for cooking all sorts of dishes without worrying about taste or flavor transfer from one dish to another.
- The accessories are dishwasher safe: inner pot, steam rack with handles, serving spoon, soup spoon, and measuring cup
- Over 11 built-in safety features, including overheat protection, safety lid lock, and more
- One pot for several different meals
- Comes in three sizes (3qt, 6qt, 8qt)
- 9 pre-set dishes in one pot
- 15 smart programs for cooking various dishes
- Easy to clean
- Large LCD display that offers cooking-related information
- One-touch buttons for ease of use
- 24-hour delay start feature
- The outer rim is a bit difficult to clean
- It has a learning curve
- The condensation collector could have been installed better
Instant Pot Smart Review
Unlike the DUO Plus, which is an improvement over its previous models, the Smart pot stands out as a truly unique product on this series. The feature that makes it so unique is the fact that it can connect with your iOS or Android devices via 2.4 GHz WiFi networks in order to send details and notifications or receive commands.
As such, you can be aware of your meal’s cooking progress even when you’re not in the kitchen and can change settings remotely! Furthermore, the app gives you access to a library of recipes (over 1000 delicious foods and more are being added by users on a daily basis) which you can share with family and friends.
Now, besides being one of the most technologically progressive and forward multicookers on the market, it is also part of the Instant Pot family. This means that it comes equipped with the right type of materials and systems to cook delicious dishes without cutting back on taste, flavor, or texture.
Furthermore, the pot is equipped with pre-set dishes that can be accessed via the frontal control panel. As such, you have options for cooking lentils, beans, chickpeas (without any pre-soaking needed), rice without the need to constantly monitor it, or various types of meats.
If you’re in the kitchen, the large LCD display offers the possibility to adjust settings, monitor the progress, and keep track of things like pressure levels or heat. The information is offered using 5 cooking status icons, which makes it easy to see and understand.
Just like most Instant Pot products, the Smart pot is equipped with Keep Warm function and 24-hour Delay Start with two delay start timers. As an added bonus, the pot can connect with Alexa devices, which means you can send voice instructions.
Furthermore, due to the use of advanced microprocessor technology, the Smart has three adjustable temperature settings for functions like sauté, simmering, slow cook, and keep warm. It can also remember the last 3 sets of settings, which makes the customization process quicker and a lot more fun.
- It can replace up to 8 different kitchen appliances and is equipped with 13 smart pre-programmed dishes.
- Equipped with microprocessor technology that monitors pressure, temperature, time, and sets the heating intensity to deliver ideal results for every dish.
- Durable materials that are easy to clean and maintain in time.
- It can connect with your phone via 2.4GHz WiFi and communicates with Alexa via voice commands.
- The Instant Pot app gives you access to over 1, 000 pre-programmed recipes and lets you check on the cooking progress from a distance.
- The accessories are dishwasher safe (stainless steel steam rack, rice paddle, soup spoon, measuring cup and condensation collector).
- Designed with the standard 10 safety mechanisms that are promoted by the Instant Pot products
- It supports 2.4GHz WiFi connectivity
- Can connect with Alexa
- Access to over 1,000 recipes
- The pot sends notifications on your phone
- You can monitor cooking progress remotely
- Durable materials and Instant Pot levels of quality
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Only available in the 6qt size
- A bit expensive
- The app needs a bit of getting used to
- There is a learning curve with the WiFi setting
Which One Should I Buy?
I must admit that, after reviewing these two amazing products, I understand why someone would have a tough time deciding. So, here’s my take on who should buy what:
Choose the DUO Plus if…
- You want a pot that can be used for sterilizing and pasteurizing
- The egg and cake making programs are important to you
- You like changing the settings even after the cooking has started
- The fact that it is available in three sizes is a plus to you
- You don’t like dealing with modern technology that may take a bit to learn
- You don’t find the WiFi connectivity feature useful
- You find the Smart a bit too expensive
Choose the Smart if…
- You like the idea of remotely monitoring the food
- The idea of a modern pot, that talks with Alexa, is fascinating
- You don’t mind the price difference
- You are open to learning how to use all its features
At the end of the day, the difference between the two pots is clear. The DUO Plus is a better model from a series that’s already extremely popular amongst users, while the Smart comes with technological bells and whistles that are not for everyone.
Furthermore, the DUO Plus ads a few extremely useful features such as the sterilizing function, cake program and egg program. These are all additions that can be appealing to any cook. On the other hand, the Smart lets users program their pot using their phone, while enjoying a movie on the couch, without having to shuffle through menus on the control panel.
So, if you value the idea of cooking from a distance, then the Smart pot may be the best option. However, if you enjoy getting involved in the cooking process and love the new functions, the DUO Plus may be for you.