CNET First Look
Instant Pot and Crock-Pot multicookers duke it outFind out which pressure multicooker is best, the Instant Pot or Crock-Pot Express.
[MUSIC] Say hello to the Instant Pot LUX 6-in-1 V3 and the Crock-Pot Express Crock Multi-Cooker. Both cost about $80. $70 To the crock pot and are extremely versatile kitchen countertop appliances. Which one should you buy? Both offer a hardy six quart capacity. Both can function as pressure cookers to speed up cooking times. And both appliances offer true one pot cooking too. They sear and saute, steam and slow cook the traditional way if you've got the time. There are some differences though. The instant pot has a stainless steel cooking chamber. That delivers more even heat and browns food better than the Crockpot Express. That translates to deeper and tastier flavors, especially when preparing meat dishes. Of course the inner pot is harder to keep clean than non-stick surfaces. Rice in particular tends to adhere to the bottom of the Pot. A little soaking in water will loosen debris, but it's still an extra step. Rice cooked by the Instant Pot tended to be a little mushy too and not as fluffy as [UNKNOWN]. You do have the option of buying a ceramic inner pot accessory with a non-stick surface. It's sold separately for an additional $20. By contrast the Crack Pot Express [UNKNOWN] [MUSIC] A non-stick cooking chamber, similar to what you see in electric rice cookers. As a result, the rice the Crock Pot made was softer, lighter, and fluffier than what the Instant Pot whips up. The drawback is, the Crock Pot doesn't develop quite as much flavor when saut��ing items for meat-centric dishes. The Instant Pot is more flexible than the Crock Pot Express, too. It has 12 cooking presets, compared to the Crock Pot's eight. Including with those are a few for creating specialty items like eggs, rice, porridge, even cake. There is a manual mode as well to tweak settings and experiment. The Crock-Pot's automatic cycles don't include a manual setting. The cooker's presets however handled more stable fair. The chili setting is particularly nice. The instant pot doesn't have a dedicated button for that. That's too bad too since it's such a popular food with multi cooker fans So, if you plan to play around with your recipes, even create a few of your own, then get the Instant Pot, especially if you're a meat lover that wants maximum flavor. If you're looking for a pressure cooker that can make chili and rice in a snap, then the Crock-pot Express will be your new kitchen buddy. [MUSIC]