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Instant Pot is a leading name in the world of multi-cookers, but how did its Duo Evo Plus 10-in-1 model compare with others on the market? Read our full review
The first thing we notice about the Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus is its impressively large blue-tinged screen, which illuminates brightly and clearly the moment you switch it on. Presets include pressure cook, rice cook, slow cook, yogurt, steam, sous vide, sauté, cake and stock pot. There’s also a food warmer that you can switch on and off during cooking.
We love the robust handle on the lid, which enabled us to slide the cooker out of the packaging with ease. It has a fairly bulky body but is about average for a multi-cooker and, because it offers so much functionality, it’s the kind of gadget most people would keep permanently on the worktop. To free up space, you could remove the cord and store it separately.
A steam rack and extra condensation collector are included with the 5.7L cooking pot. There’s an additional sealing ring that you can use for sweet dishes, too, but we had trouble attaching this as the fit is incredibly snug.
The intuitiveness of the controls allowed us to get stuck into using the Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus almost straight away. Functions are controlled via the buttons on the panel, or you can select other options on the screen using the dial.
The wide silicone handles on either side take the fuss and risk out of lifting the hot pot from the base – much simpler than fiddling around with oven gloves.
The float valve also locks into seal mode automatically when you secure the lid, which removes the hassle of having to lock it yourself. Just be sure to remember to release it again if cooking something that doesn’t require pressure.
We loved being able to adjust the heat levels when sautéing, which is something not offered by most of the multi-cookers we tested. The only gripe we had was that the pot spun in the base while stirring – annoying, but not a game changer.
We began with a beef stew recipe and set the pressure cook function on high for 30 minutes. Both the gravy and veg had the textures we were hoping for, but the meat was disappointingly tough and chewy. This may be because the chunks of beef were larger, so needed longer to cook.
Slow cooking was also slightly troublesome as the gadget seemed to stick on preheat for almost an hour, before eventually settling into cook mode (advice online suggests resetting the appliance if this happens). The outcome of our chicken korma was a mixed bag, producing dry chicken but a pleasantly thick and creamy sauce.
We also tested the cake-maker function with our gluten-free lemon drizzle cake recipe. We poured the batter straight into the pot, which sadly didn’t work – the cake was almost raw on top and in the centre even after 50 minutes of baking, while the underside was burnt and stuck to the base. It may be that this function performs better when using a separate cake tin rather than the pot (we didn’t test this method).
The cooking pot is made from stainless steel and dishwasher safe. However, drying is more difficult with pools of water collecting around the rim and lid.
As with the other multi-cookers we tested, this model comes wrapped in non-recyclable plastic packaging, including separate wrapping around the pot, cord and extra attachments, which seemed wasteful and unnecessary.
Regarding energy-efficiency, the Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus performed well, costing just 3.91p to pressure cook on high for 30 minutes (based on a variable tariff of 31.8p/kWh). This makes it the joint-cheapest model in our multi-cooker tests.
The large, bright screen is a fantastic addition to the classic multi-cooker design. Its adjustable heat levels and low running costs are also big wins. While our cooking results weren’t as positive as we’d hoped, a trial-and-error process may just be what’s needed for a few of the presets. Overall, Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus is a powerful, sophisticated piece of kit with solid user-friendly credentials.
Dimensions (cm): 33 x 32 x 33
Materials: stainless steel
Guarantee: one year
All costs-to-run calculations were done against the variable tariff at the time of testing (31.8p/kWh), which may have since changed – read more on the current energy price guarantee rates.
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