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Instant Pot makes many different models. We actually reviewed all of them in our article: Which Instant Pot is Best? We thought it’d be useful to take two of the strongest pressure cookers in their lineup and put them head to head to see which is best for your kitchen. Today we’re going to compare Instant Pot Ultra vs Duo Evo Plus.
Both of these are premium pressure cookers that will help you cook all the tasty recipes you can imagine. We’re going to compare these based on appliances, smart programs and presets, accessories, and then we’ll break down any final differences we can think of.
Read on to see which is the best with Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus vs Ultra.
Instant Pot Ultra vs Duo Evo Plus: Appliances
For those who aren’t aware, let me tell you about how versatile every Instant Pot is. While they are known as electric pressure cookers, the truth is that multicooker is a better word. Every model comes with multiple appliances, which makes them ideal for any kitchen.
Nearly every Instant Pot comes with settings for pressure cooking, slow cooking, steaming, and sauteing, but these are premium models. You can expect far more with these two models, but the truth is that picking a winner is tough since these are similar.
So, which one has more appliances between Instant Pot Ultra vs Evo Plus? The full list of appliances is as follows:
|Appliances||Instant Pot Ultra||Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus|
As you can see, they are nearly identical. There are only two differences between them near the bottom of the list. Ultra comes with egg cooker and sterilizer functions while Duo Evo Plus comes with stock pot and sous vide functions.
If we’re playing a numbers game, then this is a tie. Even if we go into functionality, it’s very difficult and this is a subjective comparison.
Personally, I think the egg cooker function is OK. It’s useful if you make lots of eggs (or if you’re getting ready for Easter!), but the feature can be replicated with one of the other functions. However, the sterilizer function is incredibly useful. This is especially true if you are a parent, love canning, and so on.
On the other hand, the Duo Evo Plus has two useful functions for making great meals. Both the stock pot and sous vide functions help in the kitchen, especially if you love making soups, stews, or sous vide cooking in general.
It’s very, very close, but I think the Duo Evo Plus is just a tiny bit more useful. But, if you don’t care about sous vide cooking, then they are pretty much neck and neck.
Smart Programs and Presets
If you thought that choosing a winner with the appliances was hard, then just wait until you get through this section.
First of all, what are Instant Pot smart programs and presets? Also, what’s the difference between them?
We usually don’t make a big deal about when comparing pressure cookers, but we really need to here because both are diametrically opposed in this regard.
Instant Pot smart programs are settings that allow the microprocessor to guide the cooking process. This means that the computer might change the time, temperature, or other factors as needed to ensure the recipe is perfect. The changes are usually minimal, but they can make a big difference.
Instant Pot presets are similar, but they are a little more rigid. You have lots of settings and options that you can customize (especially with the Duo Evo Plus), but the multicooker will tend to follow the instructions until time is up and the recipe is finished.
Which one is better? It depends on your perspective. Using that microprocessor with smart programs is great, but those who love control might prefer presets as you determine when the recipe is best, not the computer.
Now you might be wondering why we made this distinction. It’s because one model comes with lots of smart programs while another has a tremendous number of presets.
Normally we would compare these head to head, but that’s a little hard here.
The Ultra comes with 16 smart programs for everything from soups and rice to cakes and sauteing. It also comes with the Ultra smart program, which gives you lots of control over the cooking process.
On the other hand, the Duo Evo Plus has 48 customizable presets, and it’s one of the biggest selling points of this kitchen appliance.
This gives you tremendous control over the cooking process. Plus, who doesn’t want 48 different presets that they can change depending on their preferences and tastes?
So, where does that leave us? Which one is better with Duo Evo Plus vs Ultra?
If you prefer the microprocessor taking some control, then Ultra is better. If you want more control and want lots of presets that you can change very easily, then the Duo Evo Plus is better.
Once again, it’s subjective and very hard to choose one clear winner. That being said, you also don’t lose with either of them. Both are handy in the kitchen.
Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus vs Ultra: Sizes
Instant Pots come in multiple sizes depending on your needs. Some people get pressure cookers just for themselves, others to feed the entire family, and some want to host parties or large gatherings.
So, which Instant Pot size is best for you? Also, which sizes can you choose from with Ultra and Duo Evo Plus?
Both of these cover the most popular sizes, but one has an additional size that some might find useful.
The most popular sizes are the 6 quart and 8 quart Instant Pots. The 6 quart is probably the most popular overall as this is enough for a family, weekly meal prepping, and even for small parties. The 8 quart is ideal for larger families or those who like parties or hosting during the holidays.
There’s also the humble 3 quart Instant Pot. This isn’t quite as popular as the other ones, but it might be best if you’re cooking for yourself and maybe one other person. Plus, it’s more affordable, which allows you to save some money while still enjoying many premium features.
The sizes you can choose from are as follows:
Instant Pot Ultra Sizes
- Instant Pot Ultra 3 qt
- Instant Pot Ultra 6 qt
- Instant Pot Ultra 8 qt
Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus Sizes
- Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus 6 qt
- Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus 8 qt
As you can see, there’s one small difference here (no pun intended). Both of these come in 6 quart and 8 quart sizes, but only the Ultra comes in 3 quart.
While this means that the Ultra technically wins here, once again it’s not by a huge margin. The 3 quart isn’t the most popular size and it only fulfills the needs of certain customers. Most people prefer one of the other sizes.
Ultra is the winner, but in reality both will likely serve your needs when it comes to capacity.
Instant Pot Ultra vs Duo Evo Plus: Accessories
We’ll be honest, Instant Pot is known for having lots of appliances and functions shoved into their pressure cookers, but their accessories are a little lacking. Some appliances come with tons of accessories, enough to fill your whole kitchen. Most Instant Pots only come with a few.
That’s OK, you’re getting so much with the multicooker itself that it more than makes up for it. That being said, do you get different Instant Pot accessories with these models?
Yes, you do.
The Instant Pot Ultra accessories include a steam rack, serving spoon, and soup spoon. This makes it very easy to steam vegetables or any other items, and the spoons are large, durable, and make it easy to get food out of the cooker when it’s all done.
What about the Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus accessories? You also get a steam rack along with an extra sealing ring and an EasyGrip handle pot.
We normally don’t cover the pot when comparing these models because most of them are the same. They are stainless steel pots that are durable and great at cooking food (plus, you don’t have to worry about a nonstick coating peeling off and into your food).
But the Duo Evo Plus’s pot is different. The EasyGrip handles make it much easier to remove the pot. This is ideal when the pot’s full, but you want to bring it over to a counter or table. It’s almost hard to believe that all the other Instant Pots don’t come with these handles.
Once again, the accessories are so-so with these pressure cookers, but we really love the EasyGrip handles with Duo Evo Plus. That aside, the other accessories are very similar between these two models.
What’s the Difference Between Instant Pot Ultra and Duo Evo Plus?
In this section we’re going to cover all the differences so far along with others that may not have fit elsewhere on this list. The truth is that the differences between these models, in terms of quality, are very small. They’re both premium models, but they excel in somewhat different ways.
If you’re curious about how others fared, then check out the other reviews in this series:
- Ultra vs Duo Evo Plus
- Ultra vs Duo Mini
- Ultra vs Duo Plus
- Ultra vs Max
- Ultra vs Duo
- Ultra vs Duo Crisp
- Ultra vs Smart WiFi
- Ultra vs Lux
When it came to appliances, both Duo Evo Plus and Ultra excelled in offering many options. We think that Duo Evo Plus was a little better with the stock pot and sous vide functions, but Ultra’s egg cooker and sanitizer are great functions as well.
In terms of smart programs and presets, these two couldn’t be more opposite. Ultra has lots of smart programs (and even one named after itself) that lets the microprocessor do lots of the cooking for you. If you want a little more control, then the Duo Evo Plus’s 48 customizable presets might be better for you.
With sizes, Ultra technically wins by offering a 3 quart model, but both offered a 6 quart and 8 quart version.
Then we come to accessories. Duo Evo plus won with the EasyGrip handles, but otherwise the two were very similar.
Are there any other differences? There are two with the Duo Evo Plus and they concern the lid and pot. The pot (along with the handles) also has a flat bottom that can be used with the stove. Both models offer the EasySeal lid (which seals automatically, which is very convenient), but only the Plus Duo Evo has a Quick Cool lid.
These pressure cookers are basically neck and neck, so which one is best? We think the biggest difference, and the major thing that will guide your buying decision, is the difference between smart programs and presets. If you prefer the pressure cooker to do most of the work while making the tastiest meals ever, then Ultra is right for you.
If you would rather have a little more control over the process, then the presets with the Duo Evo Plus might be more your speed. Plus, this comes with the EasyGrip handles, Quick Cool lid, and a few other unique features.
You’ll win with either, so just consider the major features that matter to you and you’ll find the right one for your needs.
Instant Pot Buying Guide
- Appliances: Every Instant Pot has lots of appliances stuffed into it and we couldn’t be happier. While all of them have pressure cooker, slow cooker, steamer, and so on, some have special appliances, like sous vide cooking, air fryer, or broiling.
- Smart Programs/Presets: Every model comes with smart programs and presets. This makes it easier to cook all the delicious meals you can think of. Typically more is better, but look into what programs you’re getting.
- Sizes: If you’re looking for either a 6 or 8 quart pressure cooker, then both of the models on this list (and most Insta Pots) will fulfill your needs. However, if you’re looking for a specialized size like 3 quart or 10 quart, then you need to really look at the different models.
- Extra Features: Getting extra features is amazing, especially because it makes the pressure cooker better and more versatile. Both of these come with the EasySeal lid, but only the Duo Evo Plus comes with the EasyGrip handles.
- Accessories: This brand isn’t known for their accessories, but it’s always good to see what you’re getting with your electric multicooker. Choose accessories that increase the versatility, such as steam racks.