This article will be presenting two options of pressure cookers from brands you’ve likely heard of. The first pressure cookers we will be covering are from the tried and true Instant Pot brand. We’ll also be looking at a pressure cooker from a popular kitchen appliance brand, T-fal.
Before we get into the specific comparisons between the two, it is important to note one major difference in options. If you are familiar with electric pressure cookers you have likely heard of the Instant Pot brand. They offer several different pressure cookers with a range of sizes and options. When it comes to T-fal, they only have one offering of an electric pressure cooker, the T-fal CY505E.
First, I’ll go over Instant Pot and the various electric pressure cookers you have to choose from this brand. Next, I’ll go over the details of the T-fal electric pressure cooker. Finally, I’ll go over the main differences between the two, to help you choose the right pressure cooker for you.
Overview of the Instant Pot Brand
As I mentioned earlier Instant Pot offers their electric pressure cookers in a variety of sizes; 5-quart, 6-quart, and 8-quart. Amongst these sizes, they offer both high and low pressure cookers and high pressure only pressure cookers.
Three of the four high and low pressure cookers Instant Pot offers are from the IP-DUO family:
- IP-DUO30, 3-quart
- IP-DUO60, 6-quart
- IP-DUO80, 8-quart
These appliances aren’t just pressure cookers, they are seven function multicookers. Those functions being: slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, egg maker, yogurt maker, and can be used to sauté. To make using an Instant Pot simple, they come preinstalled with 14 different cooking presets.
The preset options, and any recipe you program manually will be monitored by a microprocessor, receiving pressure information from dual pressure sensors. The microprocessor uses this information to make adjustments to ensure your meal is cooked to perfection.
With an IP-DUO you can set a timer for your meal to begin cooking up to 24 hours later. Once your meal is finished cooking the pot will automatically switch to the keep warm function. You have the option of three different temperatures for the keep warm, so your meal is ready when you are.
With the IP-DUO you will find 10 built-in safety features to ensure that pressure stays at a safe level while cooking. Pressure will not build if the pot is not in safe working order.
The final high and low pressure cooker manufactured by Instant Pot is the IP-Smart Wifi. This is a 6-quart pressure cooker equipped with all of the same features as the IP-DUO line.
Instant Pot attempts to make use even easier by giving this pot the ability to pair with a wireless device via Bluetooth. Once connected, you can use the companion app to create, download, and program recipes in your pressure cooker.
This is a handy feature when it comes to recipes that may have different temperature or pressure settings throughout the cooking process. For example, if your recipe calls for high pressure cooking for some time, then switch to low for the remainder, you can program the pot to make these changes itself. You no longer have to manually program settings, then come back when it’s finished to program again.
Instant Pot also produces two high pressure only cookers under the IP-LUX series;
- IP-LUX50 – 5 Quart
- IP-LUX60 – 6 Quart
The IP-LUX series includes many of the same functions as the IP-DUO and IP-Smart, however there are some major differences.
Aside from the obvious inability to cook at low pressure, the IP-LUX only offers 10 presets. The IP-LUX pressure cookers also cannot be used to make yogurt.
The only other major difference between the IP-LUX models and the IP-DUO models is that the IP-LUX pressure cooker only have one pressure sensor. Because they don’t have a pressure sensor at both the top and the bottom of the cooking pot, there is the possibility of some inconsistency in the degree at which your meal is cooked.
As you can see you have a wide range of features to choose from.
So which is the best Instant Pot?
If you are new to the pressure cookers world, I would recommend to go with the most popular model - Instant Pot Duo.
Overview of the T-fal C505E pressure cooker
As I mentioned at the outset of this article, T-fal has only one electric pressure cooker, the T-fal CY505E Electric Pressure Cooker. It only comes in the 6-quart capacity.
The DIY option is a manual programming option, which allows the possibility of slow cooking. You can select time between 5 minutes for short pressure cooking and up to 12 hours for slow cooking. The available temperature range is from 105°F to 320°F.
The T-fal also comes with 25 smart cooking programs. These programs come with a set time and temperature, some of which allow you to make minor adjustments. For the most part these are meant to be used as is.
The T-fal also has a 24-hour delay timer and automatic keep warm function. It comes with several accessories, including a steam tray, measuring cup, spatula, trivet, tongs and recipe book.
Differences between Instant Pot and the T-fal
- The T-fal comes with a detachable cord to make storage safe and simple, while the Instant Pot has a rack to wrap the cord.
- Instant Pot DUO has dual pressure sensors.
- The T-fal comes with more preset cooking options (25) than the Instant Pot (10 or 14).
- Instant Pot offers Bluetooth connectivity for easy programming with the IP-Smart, and T-fal does not.
- Instant Pot has 10 built-in safety features, T-fal does not.
- Instant Pots use a microprocessor to monitor the cooking process while T-fal does not.
Which Pressure Cooker is Right for You?
The T-fal is a reasonably priced option with most features you would want in a pressure cooker. However, getting started won’t be simple, with the limited ability to change the 25 cooking programs to fit your recipes. The user manual is brief and is mostly pictures, so learning to operate this pressure cooker won’t be easy.
If you want a high-quality product that focuses on safety and ease of use, go with the Instant Pot. Be sure to choose an Instant Pot Duo or Duo Plus if you like the idea of the dual sensors, yogurt making, and option of high and low cooking.
Take it a step further with the Instant Pot Smart for the ability to easily program recipes.