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Choosing the right Instant Pot can be incredibly difficult because there are so many models available. While it really comes down to what you want from your pressure cooker, even still that makes it hard because there are several models available for all your needs. Our Instant Pot Ultimate vs Ultra review is going to show you which of these is right for your specific needs.
Our Instant Pot Ultra vs Ultimate review will compare them based on appliances, smart programs, sizes, and any other differences we can find.
The best Instant Pot for your kitchen depends on your specific needs. Ultimate is best for air frying, dehydrating, and it offers more features overall. Ultra is more customizable and has many features that home cooks will love, but it does lack air frying.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Instant Pot?
There are many pros and cons to Instant Pot. While each model is different, we’re going to discuss common pros and cons between all of them. Be sure to consider which one is right for you, as some have features that are exclusive only to one or two models.
Instant Pot pros are that one-pot meals are easy to make. They also come with a variety of functions and features that allow you to pressure cook, air fry, broil, sautee, and much more. Some are even able to sterilize. They replace many common kitchen appliances, and easily fit on your countertop.
What about Instant Pot cons? Some of the older models required you to properly set the vent to ensure that they cook at the right time and temperature. While this is very well explained in the manual, it could be a little annoying sometimes. However, this is not common for newer models that are more automated. Perhaps the biggest disadvantage of Instant Pots is that there are so many features it could be hard to know which one to choose or which Instant Pot recipe to cook.
Instant Pot Ultra vs Ultimate: Appliances
Which Instant Pot has the most appliances? Every single Instant Pot model features many different appliances. None of them have just one feature. Even though they are called pressure cookers and resemble them, they also include many different functions and features that you can choose from the control panel.
So which Instant Pot is right for you? One of the first things you should look at is the appliances that are offered. As stated above, you would select these right from the control panel. Some of them are easy to mimic with manual settings, but we find it so much easier to just hit a button and let this machine do the work.
The Instant Pot Ultimate features and Instant Pot Ultra features include:
|Appliances||Instant Pot Ultra||Instant Pot Ultimate|
As you can see, there are many differences here. But what do they really boil down to? The main things you get with Ultra that you don’t get with Ultimate include sterilizing, cake making, and egg making.
What do you get with Ultimate that you don’t get with Ultra? We would say the main difference here is air frying, broiling, and dehydrating. This is because the Instant Pot Duo Crisp with Ultimate Lid offers air frying which is unusual for this brand. Even though air frying has become very popular, only select Instant Pots offer this feature.
It really comes down to whether you want air frying or an all-around multicooker. For those who want air frying, the Instant Pot Ultimate Lid is the right choice. Home cooks who prefer cooking a larger variety of meals while sacrificing the air frying might find the Instant Pot Ultra suits them better.
Instant Pot Ultimate vs Instant Pot Ultra: Smart Programs
Similar to the appliance buttons, the Instant Pot Smart Program features allow you to cook tasty meals with little effort. While there are manual settings that you can use, the Smart Programs set the time and temperature as needed for your meal. Which Instant Pot has the most Smart Programs?
Instant Pot Ultimate doesn’t have that many smart programs. They’re mostly based on the appliances themselves rather than common meals or ingredients. While it’s easy to use and you should be able to cook many meals with ease, you might be using manual settings more often.
Instant Pot Ultra comes with 16 Smart Programs. We found that 15 of these programs are very useful and used to make nearly any meal you can think of, but the really important one is that last 16th feature. This is the Ultra Smart Program. This one is highly customizable and can be changed according to your needs, which allows you to cook anything with ease no matter what meal you’re making.
While we found that the Instant Pot Crisp with Ultimate Lid offered more cooking features, Instant Pot Ultra definitely has more Smart Programs. This makes it a little easier to make meals, but the manual features allow you to cook anything as long as you know the right time and temperature.
Instant Pot Ultimate vs Ultra: Sizes
Another thing you want to check when buying a pressure cooker is the sizes. You want to make sure you’re getting a size large enough to cook all the food you need. You might also be curious about how much you can cook with the common sizes of Instant Pots.
If you don’t know what size Instant Pot you need, then you might end up either getting a very small unit thinking that it’s enough, or a very large one thinking that you need to make more than you really do. While neither of these are 3 quart pressure cookers, that would be good for individuals and couples.
The more popular size is the 6 quart pressure cooker and this can be used by couples for meal prepping, small-to-medium families, and even for small parties. There are also 8 quart pressure cookers. These are good for larger families, end for parties or extensive meal prepping.
The largest Instant Pot is the 10 quart model found with Instant Pot Duo Nova. Be sure to check out our review of this pressure cooker as it’s one of their most popular models around.
What size does Instant Pot Duo Crisp with Ultimate Lid come in? This model is currently only available in the 6.5 quart size. This is a very popular size as it can be used by couples and families.
What size does Instant Pot Ultra come in? You can get Instant Pot Ultra in 6 quart and 8 quart sizes. This is good for small to large families depending on which model you choose.
Ultra technically wins this category with one extra size, but we have to say that it’s functionally a tie because the 6 and 6.5 quart sizes would be the most popular.
What is the Difference Between Instant Pot Ultimate and Ultra?
Curious about what is the difference between Instant Pot Ultra and Ultimate? We found that while these are both great around any kitchen, they are for very different needs and populations. All it really comes down to what you need from your multicooker.
They have some similarities. They both come in the highly popular 6 quart size, with Ultimate clocking in at 6.5 quarts, and they also both include many different functions and features. Another benefit is that they’re both good at cooking a wide variety of ingredients.
There are also many differences between these two models. We found that the Ultimate Lid Duo Crisp was the better of the two. Not only does it include air frying, but you also get a dehydrator, a large pressure cooker, and all the features you would ever need.
Instant Pot Ultra is great for families and it has more features for cooking common ingredients. The Ultra smart program is also one of the best because it’s highly customizable.
Who is the winner between Instant Pot Ultimate vs Instant Pot Ultra? Both of these are great pressure cookers with a wide variety of features, we found Ultimate the better of the two. It cooks any ingredient you’d like, and it also includes an air fryer so you can make very crispy food with little fat. At the same time, Ultra is a great model for those who like cooking many different ingredients.