Instant Pot Ultra Review (2022) Programmable Instapot Pressure Cooker

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Instant Pot Ultra Pressure Cooker, Stainless Steel/Black
Instant Pot Ultra Pressure Cooker, Stainless Steel/Black

The Instant Pot Ultra, a.k.a. Instant Ultra or simply IP Ultra, is a fantastic multifunctional kitchen appliance, to say the least. Essentially, it’s one device with the skillset of 10 other machines.

Additionally, compared to other pressure cookers, the steam release valve is separate from the vent making it safer to operate.

And those are just the tip of the iceberg.

Just so you know, the Instant Pot Ultra is the protege of our fourth best multicooker from the brand, Instant Pot Max. It features the same touch interface and minimalist turn dial.

Despite being an older model, it has more to offer than its more up-to-date sibling. It’s available in three sizes, plus its 6-quart variant is fully compatible with the air fryer attachment.

3 Qt Instant Pot Ultra

6 Qt Instant Pot Ultra

8 Qt Instant Pot Ultra

Instant Pot Ultra 3 quartInstant Pot Ultra 6 quartInstant Pot Ultra 8 Quart
$$$$$
a.k.a. IP Ultra 30 / IP Ultra Minia.k.a. IP Ultra 60a.k.a. IP Ultra 80
N/ACompatible with the Air Fryer AccessoryN/A
14 smart programs16 smart programs16 smart programs
700-watt1000-watt1200-watt
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If you googled “Instant Pot Ultra Air Fryer,” that’s no other than the Instant Pot Ultra 60. However, please note that you still have to buy the Air Fryer accessory as it’s not included with your purchase.

Your other options are the Instant Pot Pro Crisp or the Instant Pot Duo Crisp. These models offer the air fryer lid as a complimentary attachment, or shall I say it’s already included in the pricing.

For now, let’s carry on with the pros and cons of Ultra Instant Pot.

PROS

  • Affordable
  • Sleek looking design with LCD screen
  • 10-in-1 Kitchen Appliance
  • Faster cooking and energy efficient
  • Customizable settings, including altitude
  • 16 smart programs
  • Air fryer lid compatible
  • Cooking progress indicator
  • Safer steam release
  • Dishwasher safe lid and pot for quick cleanup
  • Durable stainless steel pot
  • Delay cooking + keep warm
  • BPA-free
  • 1-year warranty

CONS

  • Requires significant space on your countertop
  • Sautéing in IP isn’t the most convenient
  • Selecting your desired function is cumbersome (using the dial)
  • Older model

What can you cook in the Instapot Ultra?

It’s no secret that the Instant Pot Ultra is a multifunctional electric pressure cooker with 16 smart programs. So, to keep things simple, let’s divide the functions into three: main, specific, and non-cooking.

Let’s start with the main ones:

Pressure Cook

Pressure Cooked Meat

Pressure cooking is the primary purpose of Instant Pot Ultra or any multi-cooker for that matter. By having so, you can explore new recipes and effortlessly achieve tender and juicy results.

What can you cook: pot roast, pulled pork, chicken curry, chili, mashed potatoes, etc.

Just like pressure cooking, slow cooking results in tender and juicy meals. And compared to the latter, it produces better flavors, especially with stew. The catch, however, is that it takes a bit of time, approximately 10 hours.

What can you cook: Beef stew, cobbler, pulled pork, curry, etc.

Slow Cook

slow cooked pot roast

Sear/Sauté

Seared Beef

For slow or pressure cooker recipes that require some searing, this is a life-saver. You see, with this function, you can directly sauté in this Instapot. In other words, you’ll have less stuff to clean later on.

The steam function is pretty straightforward. You’ll likely use this program to produce perfectly cooked veggies or deliciously moist fish.

Steam

steamed vegetables

Rice

Rice

Since Instant Pot Ultra uses pressure to cook rice, it’ll be quicker than regular ones and traditional methods.

With that said, this equipment can definitely replace your standalone rice cooker.

IMHO, this is the best function of Instant Pot 10-in-1. Essentially, you can modify the pressure, temperature, duration (with a maximum of 99 hours and 50 mins), etc.

As a result, you can use it for a personalized program beyond what’s available—such as sous vide.

Ultra

vacuum sealed proteins for sous vide

As for the non-cooking functions, there’s the warmer and sterilizer.

The Keep Warm setting is excellent, and at this point, a crucial feature for all cookers. By having so, you’ll have warm meals even an hour later after it’s finished cooking.

Warmer

Warm Food

Sterilizer

baby bottle sterilizer

For new parents, you’ll find this operation advantageous and more budget-friendly. Instead of buying a separate baby bottle sterilizer, simply use the Instapot Ultra that already has a sterilize function. Most importantly, it can do more kitchen stuff than a standalone sterilizer.

On a slightly different note:

I separated the specific programs as their use limits to about 1-2 types of recipes. Here they are:

Broth
Soup/Broth
slow cooked stew
Meat/Stew
chili
Bean/Chili
porridge with blueberry and walnuts
Porridge
uncooked multigrain
Multigrain
steamed lava cake
Cake
boiled eggs halved
Egg
yogurt
Yogurt

Better yet:

The machine saves your previously used settings on each function. For instance, let’s say you made the Perfect Chili last week using the Bean/Chili program. Then, you’ll make it again today. Assuming that you didn’t modify the said program, you’ll still have the settings from last week’s Perfect Chili. So, all you need is to add the ingredients, press the Bean/Chili button, and let the IP handle the rest.

In short, the Instant Pot 10 in 1 Multi-Cooker allows you to quickly achieve consistent results for the same presets.  

Now, let’s move on to its ease of use.

Is Instant Pot Ultra easy to use?

The IP Ultra features somewhat tricky controls—it isn’t hard, yet it’s also not that straightforward for beginners. To be more precise, it has a score of 8 out of 10 in terms of usability. 

That said, you need to check out this how-to video demo from the brand first.

Here’s the catch:

The dial and multiple functions are like a double-edged sword. Picture this, when choosing a particular program, you may have to turn the dial several times before reaching your desired setting. 

Therefore, having individual buttons for the programs would be easier. Similarly, the dial fares better on adjusting number-type data such as duration, temperature, and elevation. In fact, the newer Instant Pot Max hallmarks these exact suggestions, plus its touchscreen. 

That being said, this is simply a minor drawback. Better yet, you won’t even notice it after using Instapot Ultra several times.

And for the bright side of the so-called double-edge:

You have a total of 16 smart programs, nine of which are made for everyday recipes. Consequently, they already have a pre-programmed setting (yet customizable). In a nutshell, you can simply place the ingredients, select the program, and let the magic happen.

Instant Pot pressure release valve

As if that’s not enough:

The best scorer of Instant Pot Ultra has to be the steam release valve. The machine separates the valve and the vent, making it safer and more accessible than older versions and other brands.

On a different note, the Ultra Instant Pot cleans easily, albeit it’s the same for most Instant Multi-Cookers. Better yet, the lid and inner pot are dishwasher safe. So, at least you always have that option when you don’t feel like handwashing.

Here’s a how-to clean video demo from the brand:

What makes Instant Pot Ultra better than other multi-cookers?

As advertised, the Instant Ultra is a programmable pressure cooker. Simply put, you can make recipes beyond the available programs, especially using the “ultra” function. 

Instant Pot Ultra control panel

First off, you can customize the program’s pressure and duration, given that all recipes aren’t the same. Better yet? You can also adjust the temperature for non-pressure functions. That being said, these are already common in the multi-cooker world.

But wait, here’s the best part:

You can also adjust the settings—volume, altitude, and temperature unit. In other words, you don’t have to look for conversions as you can directly place the recipe’s temperature in either Celsius or Fahrenheit. 

On top of that:

The Instant Pot Ultra also boasts a delay cook function—perfect for anyone busy. Primarily, you can set the schedule on when it should cook, and in the meantime, you can do other tasks.

Note: When utilizing this feature, ensure that the components stay at their safe temperatures.

See the 10-in-1 Instant Pot Ultra in Action

Don’t take my word for it, here’s a short video demonstration from the brand.

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The Instant Pot Ultra is a multipurpose 10-in-1 kitchen appliance with 16 customizable smart programs for an easier job. Plus, it’s available in mini 3-quart, 6-quart, or hefty 8-quart depending on your needs. Best of all, the vent and steam release valve are apart, making it safer to operate.

What accessories can I get with the Instapot Ultra?

There are four extra accessories I highly recommend you get along with your Instant Pot Ultra:

  • Extra Inner Pot – Sometimes, you have to use the Instant Pot for more than one dish. So, by having an extra pot, you’ll have an easier time since you can prepare the next dish while the first one cooks.
  • Transparent Lid – If you’re going to slow cook, this is absolutely handy as you can see the contents without removing the lid.
  • Steam basket – Since the included steam rack isn’t ideal for tiny ingredients, getting a small-holed steam basket is necessary for IP Ultra.
  • Extra Sealing Rings – Some flavors or odors stick to the silicone ring. As a result, having extra for both powerful and mild recipes is indeed helpful.

Instant Pot Ultra Air Fryer Lid

Instant Pot Ultra Air Fryer Lid

Model # 140-3003-01

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Getting this optional accessory will add six more capabilities to your muticooker—air fry, broil, bake, roast, reheat, and dehydrate.

Here’s how it works:

If you want to learn more about this amazing accessory, you can check out our full review here.

*only compatible with selected 6-qt Instant Pots

*Product Images and Videos Courtesy of Instant Brands

Technical Specifications

TypePressure Cooker / Multi-Cooker / Slow Cooker
Brand/SeriesInstant Pot by Instant Brands
Model #Ultra Mini / Ultra 30 (3-quart), Instant Pot Ultra 60 (6-quart), Instant Pot Ultra 80 (6-quart)
Price$$
Rating4.5 out of 5
Pressure (Max)11.6 psi
Wattage700w, 1000w, 1200w respectively
Functions10-in-1: Pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice/porridge cooker, yogurt maker, cake maker, egg cooker, sauté/searing, steamer, warmer, and sterilizer
PotStainless Steel
CapacityUltra Mini: 3 quarts (946 mL)
Ultra 60: 6 quarts (5.7 L)
Ultra 80: 8 quarts (7.6 L)
Dishwasher safeYes
BPA FreeYes, since the Inner Pot is stainless steel
ColorStainless Steel/Black
Dimensions (LxWxH)3-quart Ultra Mini: 11.4 x 10.5 x 11.2 inches (29 x 25.5 x 28.5 cm)
6-quart Ultra 60: 13 x 12.2 x 12.6 inches (33 x 31 x 32 cm)
8-quart Ultra 80: 14.8 x 13.5 x 14.2 inches (37.6 x 33.8 x 36.1 cm)
Cord Length~3 ft. (91.4 cm)
ApplicationHome and Personal Use
Warranty1 Year
Related ProductsInstant Pot Max, Instant Pot Pro Plus, Instant Pot Pro Crisp, Instant Pot Pro, Star Wars Instant Pot, Instant Pot Duo Plus 80, Instant Pot Duo

Is the Instant Pot Ultra worth it?

The 10-in-1 Instant Pot Ultra Pressure Cooker is a fantastic option for anyone looking into a quality multi-cooker (despite being an older model). Not to mention, it doesn’t cost that much. so you can’t really lose with a multifunctional Instant Pot.

If you’re after a newer version, however, check out the Instant Pot Max instead.

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