You sent me a lot of requests for an Insignia pressure cooker review, so I looked into it.
Before we go any further, let me add that both Instant Pot and Insignia make kitchen appliances (for readers who are not familiar with the brands). As the main difference between brands, I’d say that IP is more focused on the electric pressure cookers niche, while Insignia took a broader approach (at a first glance, at least).
Now, the initial impression during the review was of deja-vu. As such, I decided to do an Instant Pot vs Insignia comparison instead. This way, you can see clearly which one’s more interesting (in my opinion) and why.
So, if you’re curious, keep reading!
Table of Contents
Instant Pot vs Insignia Comparison Table
Instant Pot Duo Review
The Duo series is the most popular out of all the Instant Pot products and comes with basic features and systems that are available in all the other IP products. As such, I will use the Instant Pot Duo (the 6-quart size) as a point of reference in this Instant Pot vs Insignia comparison.
Also, since I own a Duo-60 pot (60 is for 6-quart size), I can provide valuable insight on what it’s like to own and use the pot on a weekly basis.
First, the Duo is also known as the 7-in-1 series of electric pressure cookers because it replaces seven kitchen appliances. Or, in the scenario where you don’t have said appliances, it saves you the money you would’ve spent on them.
At first sight, all these devices look like electric pressure cookers, which is somehow accurate since they incorporate this function. But, there’s also a slow cooker, a food warmer, a yogurt maker, a steamer, a rice cooker, and a saute pan in there.
Now, I have to be honest - the pot is not small. And, if you get the 8-quart size, it’s quite bulky. Still, given its versatility, I think it’s worth sacrificing some counter space. Not to mention that it cooks food two to six times faster than a stove-top and you end up saving on the energy that’s regularly consumed with standard cooking.
As you can see from my review of the pot, there is a control panel with buttons and an LCD screen. This is used to tell the cooker what you want to be cooked and how. Still, if you’re just starting, I recommend trying tested recipes like plain rice or potatoes to get used to the features and understand the pressure cooking system.
I also recommend allowing the pot to work with the default settings that are already loaded via the Smart Programs (the Instant Pot Duo has 13 pre-set programs). And, once you get more comfortable around it, you can start playing with the settings and making more advanced dishes.
- Easy to understand and use
- 10 safety mechanisms
- You can cook faster and more complex dishes
- Available in three sizes (for all types of homes)
- Ideal for beginners (it has pre-programmed settings)
- Durable, food-grade materials
- Easy to clean and most elements are dishwasher safe
- It doesn’t have any fancy features that other IP series have
- There is a small learning curve
The Insignia brand covers a wide umbrella of products, among which there are several electric pressure cookers. The brand is not as dedicated to improving life in the kitchen as Instant Pot, but their multicooker does have some interesting features.
Just like Instant Pot, their best-seller is a 6-quart pressure cooker (the NS-MC60SS9 model) with a design similar to the Duo-60. The only noticeable differences are the non-stick Teflon inner pot (although you can buy a stainless steel one) and the front panel (that is slightly different).
The Insignia 6-quart design offers 14 pre-set programs (there’s also a cake program that’s missing from the IP), but otherwise, the settings are the same. There are three levels of pressure and temperature, Delay Start, and Keep Warm functions.
Depending on where you get it, there may be a slight price difference (the Instant Pot Duo may be a few bucks over the Insignia), but they’re pretty much similar. However, Insignia doesn’t have as many safety mechanisms in place. According to the user manual they provide, there is a lid lock, venting system, automatic pressure release, overheat protection, protection for the valve, and a gasket to seal the lid.
Also, Insignia doesn’t explore the possibilities of electric pressure cookers any further. They do have another model (the 8-quart design) but that’s it. In comparison, Instant Pot has several series of products designed to accommodate one-pot cooking using various modern technologies. They are also very focused on safety and reducing time spent in the kitchen without affecting the outcome.
- A bit less expensive than the IP Duo
- 3 pressure levels
- 14 preset functions
- Easy to use for cooking various recipes
- Cake program
- Stainless steel outer build
- Easy to clean
- It comes with a non-stick inner pot
- There is a learning curve
- Fewer protection mechanisms
- No dedicated yogurt setting
- The brand didn’t develop their electric pressure cookers any further
Which One Should I Buy?
I am trying to be impartial, but it’s a bit harder since both the products I used as a point of reference are so similar in features and build. Still, this is ultimately your decision, so here’s my final ruling:
Choose Instant Pot If…
- You want to work with some of the most popular and tested electric pressure cookers on the market
- Their focus on safety features puts your mind at ease
- You like the diversity their products can offer
- You want to be part of a solid online cooking community that provides support and advice
Choose Insignia If…
- Your budget is tight
- You want to experiment with electric cookers and you’re not ready to invest too much
- The lack of a dedicated setting for yogurt making doesn’t bother you
- You want a product that has similar functions as the IP Duo-60 but it’s at a slightly lower cost
Overall, all I can say is that both brands promote good products that deliver amazing results. While I may be slightly partial to the Instant Pot, my cooking tips do apply to other brands as well. So, make your choice and enjoy your electric pressure cooker to the best of its abilities!