In this review I’ll reveal what the new functions do and solve the riddle about why some people can’t sear meat with their instant pop ULTRA.
The new key feature of this model is the ultra setting which gives you the ability to pre program the cooker with any cooking time any temperature or one of two pressures. The uses for this level of control isn’t obvious until you realize how it turns this 10-in-one cooker into a two-in-one cooker that’s because in addition to sauteing, slow cooking, rice cooking, pressure cooking, yogurt making, steaming, sterilizing, and keeping warm the ultra feature will let you set the right temperature.
For example scald milk or melt chocolate the spin-and-tap interface works for both newbies and oldies the newbies can just choose the program they want and then press the start button while a whole new world opens up for the cook who wants to drill down into the options is it a cake cooker well this is actually a program and not a function you can place a container containing cake or cheesecake batter in the pressure cooker on a steamer basket on a rack with water in the base and the cake will be steamed with pressure and ditto with the eggs you’re steaming them at a preset time and pressure which you can actually already do in any pressure cooker without a dedicated button the sterilize function is a bit of a puzzler.
Unfortunately instant pot doesn’t provide any information on how this function is supposed to be used and couldn’t provide data, guidelines, or research on how they came up with the ultras recommended sterilization processing times this feature is either poorly named in that it doesn’t actually sterilize or poorly explained At this time I can’t recommend using it but check on the written review to see if there’s any updates on this. The self closing pressure valve solves the problem of cooks forgetting to close it before pressure cooking – me too! but it’s clunky and it’s difficult for anyone who wants to keep that valve open for local teams steaming and reducing. Something fishy is going on with the saute setting and to be fair instant pot s said I had a defective unit that it displays one temperature but cooks at another lower than spec default temperature making it difficult to brown meat. I’m letting you know anyway because
I suspect this saute display bug might affect other cookers. I saw this mentioned in a Consumer Reports review in instant pots Facebook group and in an amazon review. So let’s get to the good parts the new cooking progress indicator communicates a lot of information and also keeps the cooks expectations in check because it doesn’t just tell you it’s preheating it shows you how much closer it’s getting to the target temperature it doesn’t just blink that it’s cooking it shows you how close you are to the end and it doesn’t just show you that cooking is finished it clearly shows that the temperature is still high inside the cooker while the contents are cooling down. All of this is critical information to have and share with spouses, children, and any guests hungrily nipping at your ankles for dinner. I absolutely love that I could customize the cooking time temperature or pressure whether I want the cooking to be delayed and whether I want to keep warm to turn on all at once all in the same place
Previous instant pop models and other brands have these options all over the control panel and you have to remember to set them all before cooking starts and you have to do it quickly or cooking will start without them. The GOOD still outweighs the drawbacks of the ultra the fun interface customizable settings and cooking progress indicator on the ultra are another leap forward in the Electric
Take a look at the instant pot ultra at Amazon below.