Instant Pot Ultra Review

Instant Pot Review: Instant Pot Ultra 6Qt 10-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker. Complete with pros cons, specifications, photos, and should I buy recommendations.

Instant Pot Ultra 6 Qt 10-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker is one of the latest Instant Pot Models. A sleek & geeky addition to the Instant Pot family.

Not only is the Instant Pot Ultra super nice looking, it is also one of the most feature-packed & customizable electric pressure cooker the market has ever released!!

We enjoyed testing the new Instant Pot Plus DUO60, and we’re even more thrilled to get our hands all over this Instant Pot Ultra. We’ve been eagerly waiting to share this Instant Pot Review with you! 😀

Instant Pot Ultra Electric Pressure Cooker Review Highlights


  • New lid & newly designed steam release system
  • Sleek design with only 2 buttons and a pushable dial
  • Customizable temperature setting for advanced users
  • Brand new Ultra Mode + 3 new cooking programs
  • Improved packaging + new easier-to-understand manual 😉
  • Improved stainless steel inner pot markings
  • Reliable product at great price & value
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Instant Pot Ultra 6 Qt 10-in-1 Multi- Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice...
  • Instant Pot Ultra electric pressure cooker is the next generation in kitchen Appliances. A...
  • New features: altitude adjustment, cooking indicator, and a steam release reset button....
Instant Pot Review: Instant Pot Ultra 6Qt 10-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker. Complete with pros cons, specifications, photos, and should I buy recommendations.
Did I mention it is sleek looking? 🙂

1. Instant Pot Ultra New Lid & Steam Release Design


1.1 Automatic Sealing System

Kiss goodbye to the old venting system!

For older Instant Pot Models, you turn the Venting Knob to Sealing Position to seal the Instant Pot; then turn the Venting Knob from Sealing Position to Venting Position to release steam.

Say hello to the brand new steam sealing & release system!

The Instant Pot engineers must have put in quite a bit of work to implement this feature.

What’s different? The Instant Pot Ultra’s Steam Release Valve will now seal automatically when you close & secure the lid on the Instant Pot (Quick Release button up = sealed).

No more forgetting to seal the pot! Sounds awesome?

Let’s discuss more if it’s a good or bad feature at the end of the section.

Instant Pot Ultra Quick Release Button or Steam Release Reset Button
Turning the Quick Release Button

You can also slightly turn the Quick Release button counter-clockwise until it pops up to seal the Steam Release Valve.

To release pressure or to perform a Quick Release, simply press down the separate Quick Release button until it clicks and locks into Venting position (as shown in photo below).

Press it all the way down for a full blast steam release or you can press it down slightly to release just a little pressure. The steam release control is literally at the tip of your finger. 🙂

1.2 Tilted Steam Release Valve

Did you notice the Steam Release Valve tilting slightly at an angle? It actually tilts AWAY to ensure the steam is releasing at an angle away from you. A super nice touch!

Instant Pot Ultra Quick Release Button or Steam Release Reset Button

Plus, you know it’s a higher end model when it has chrome handle that’s similar to higher-end vehicles. 😛

1.3 Automatic Sealing Steam Release Valve – Yay or Nay? 

There are both pros and cons to this automatic sealing system.

Pro: For users that often forget to turn the Venting Knob to Sealing position, this is a great feature! It means one less step to remember.

Con: If you try to close the lid while the liquid in Instant Pot is boiling, you may have to press down the Quick Release button for it to close. This locking mechanism is activated due to the machine’s safety feature.

2. User Interface & New Dial Button


2.1 New User Interface’s User-Friendliness

The Instant Pot Ultra looks a lot cleaner with the large LCD Display and only three pushable keys: Start button, Cancel button, and a pushable dial.

However, compared to previous Instant Pot Models, this drastic change seems like a step backward in terms of user-friendliness.

Why? Because with this design, we can’t quickly adjust from one program to another.

Instant Pot Review: Instant Pot Ultra 6Qt 10-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker. Complete with pros cons, specifications, photos, and should I buy recommendations.

Example: Instead of pressing a pushable Saute button, we now have to scroll through the program list with the dial button to select the Saute program. Then, if we want to switch from the Saute program to Pressure Cook program, we will have to press Cancel button, then scroll through the program list until we reach the Pressure Cook program with the dial button.

It takes more time to navigate and adjust from one program to another. Unfortunately, it disrupts the flow of cooking quite a bit. We hope the next version will address this issue.

In our opinion, the Instant Pot Ultra will be much more convenient with Pushable program buttons and +, – buttons.

2.2 New Progress Indicator

The user interface now shows a lot more information with a graph that indicates what stage the pressure cooker is in (as shown in above photo). That’s a super nice interface!

Instant Pot Ultra Review: new Progress Indicator on LCD display screen

2.3 Pressure Cook Program

Just like the Instant Pot Plus DUO60, Instant Pot Ultra has renamed the Manual button/function to “Pressure Cook” Program. This is definitely a welcomed change!

2.4 Sound ON/OFF

Instant Pot Company is great at listening to customers’ feedback. Just like the Instant Pot Duo Plus 60, you can now turn the sound on/off. This is a great little additional feature, especially for users with babies or sensitive fur kids.

3. New Cooking Programs


They have introduced the brand new Ultra Mode + 3 new cooking programs: Cake, Egg, Sterilize.

*The following details & descriptions are from the Instant Pot Manual.

Ultra Mode

The Ultra Mode provides full control of pressure and non-pressure cooking conditions.

  • Time Range: 0 – 99 hrs 50 mins
  • Temperature for Non-Pressure Cooking Programs: Low, Medium, High, Custom (we’ll further discuss this in the next section)

Instant Pot Review: Instant Pot Ultra 6Qt 10-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker. Complete with pros cons, specifications, photos, and should I buy recommendations.

Sterilize

*Note: The Ultra has not been tested by USDA for food safety in pressure canning. This program can open a can of worms if users try to use it to replace a pressure canner. We would recommend using this program to sterilize utensils only.

4. Temperature Customization


4.1 Custom Temperature Mode

Besides selecting Low, Medium, or High temperature settings, the Instant Pot Ultra allows you to select your own temperature setting in the following modes:

  • Ultra Mode & Slow Cook Mode – 104°F – 208°F / 40°C – 97.8°C
  • Keep Warm Mode – 104°F – 194°F  / 40°C – 90°C
  • Yogurt Mode – 104°F – 176°F / 40°C – 80°C
  • Saute Mode – 104°F – 338°F / 40°C – 170°C

This is such a powerful feature! It opens up the possibilities of what you can do with this electric pressure cooker (such as Sous Vide).

Instant Pot Ultra Temperature Customization function

4.2 Poor-man Sous Vide Function Experiment

We were so excited to test how well the Instant Pot Ultra can Sous Vide using the Ultra Mode!!

Test: We set the Instant Pot Ultra to 160°F for a 2 hours duration with the Ultra Mode.

Instant Pot Ultra Sous Vide Experiment Results

Experiment Results: 

  • As you can see, the Instant Pot Ultra was able to hold the temperature to +/- 3°F of the targeted temperature.
  • At 5:16 PM, the Instant Pot Ultra started beeping and told us the water has reached 160°F. We measured the temperature and to our surprise, it was only 141.7°F. It took the Instant Pot Ultra another 32 minutes to reach 158.2°F and another 8 minutes to reach 159.2°F (Peak Temperature).

We collected the data from 8 different tests from 140°F – 160°F and the results were very similar. It took additional 37 minutes to reach 139.8°F when we set the targeted temperature to 140°F.

Experiment Summary:

Here are some tips to keep in mind before using the Instant Pot Ultra as a Sous Vide machine.

1) Measure Temperature: To avoid undercooking, stir the water and use a food thermometer to make sure it has reached the targeted temperature before placing the food in the Instant Pot Ultra.

2) Adjust Targeted Temperature: You will probably want to set the temperature 1 – 2 °F higher than your targeted temperature.

  • Example: If your targeted temperature is 140°F, set the Instant Pot Ultra to 141 – 142 °F

3) Place Vacuum Sealed Food Directly at the Bottom: Since the water does not circulate like an immersion circulator, the temperature is about 4°F lower (very critical with the Sous Vide Method) when food is placed on a rack. So, be sure to place the vacuum sealed food directly at the bottom.

5. What’s in the Box?


First, let’s check out the box design! ooh~ ahh~

Instant Pot Ultra Electric Pressure Cooker Review Unboxing

We like this new colorful design – definitely a step up from the old Instant Pot’s white cardboard box design.

Makes Instant Pot even more attractive as a gift! 😉 


5.1 In-Box Accessories

The Instant Pot Ultra comes with a Steamer Rack, Rice Paddle, Soup Scoop, Rice Measuring Cup, Condensation Collector, Quick Reference Guide, Recipe Book, and the Newly Designed Manual.

Instant Pot Ultra Electric Pressure Cooker Review: In-box Instant Pot Accessories

The new manual looks so much nicer and it is also easier to read (and understand)! ?

Instant Pot Ultra Electric Pressure Cooker Review: Newly designed Instant Pot Ultra Manual

The manual is written in English, French, and Spanish.


5.2 Inner Pot Update

We’re so glad the Instant Pot Company listened to the feedback and changed the inner markings!

Instant Pot Ultra updated stainless steel inner pot inner markings

The new inner pot has markings for US Quart, Liters, and pressure cooking safety limit.

6. Instant Pot Ultra Review Conclusion


As food lovers who love to experiment with food, cooking, and kitchen gadgets, we thoroughly enjoyed testing the new Instant Pot Ultra.

From the packaging to the new look, new design, and new features, it’s an exciting new electric pressure cooker that cooks well. We especially love the flexibility and versatility of the customization.

Though there are a few areas that require some fine-tuning, the Instant Pot Company is definitely heading the right direction.

7. Should I Buy Instant Pot Ultra?


Here comes the most important question: “Should I buy Instant Pot Ultra?”

Our Recommendations:

  • New Instant Pot Users: If you’re a techie who likes to experiment with cooking & enjoys the flexibility of customization, this is an all-around awesome & versatile kitchen gadget to cook with! If not, we’d highly recommend Instant Pot DUO Plus 60 – the most user-friendly electric pressure cooker in the current Instant Pot product line.
  • Current Instant Pot Users: If you are looking for a second Instant Pot to interchange or help cook different dishes at the same time, we’d highly recommend Instant Pot DUO Plus 60. But if you’re looking for an upgrade with more advanced usage, Instant Pot Ultra will be a great addition.
  • Buy as a Gift: From the packaging to the sleek clean design, this would make an awesome gift for family and friends who love to cook & play around with kitchen gadgets.

8. Instant Pot Ultra Specifications & Features

Manufacturer  Double Insight Inc. DBA (Instant Pot Company)
Type  Electric Pressure Cooker
Model  Ultra-6
Working Pressure  High Pressure (10.2 – 11.6 psi) & Low Pressure (5.8 – 7.2 psi)
Functions  Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Saute/Browning, Yogurt Maker, Steamer, Warmer, Cake Maker, Egg Cooker, Sterilizer
Cooking Programs  Rice, Soup/Broth, Meat/Stew, Bean/Chili, Multigrain, Porridge, Cake, Egg, Sterilize, Steam, Saute, Slow Cook, Yogurt, Pressure Cook, Warm, Ultra
Safety Mechanisms  11 UL Certified Proven Safety Mechanisms
Power Supply  120V ~ 60Hz
Power  1000 watts
Dimensions  12.6 x 12.2 x 13 inches
Power Supply Cord  0.6m – 0.9m, detached, 3-prong grounding plug
Weight  15.7 lbs (7.12 kg)
Volume  6 Quarts
Inner Pot  3-ply Bottom Food Grade 304 (18/8) Stainless Steel
Accessories  Steamer Rack, Rice Paddle, Soup Scoop, Rice Measuring Cup, Condensation Collector
Warranty  1-Year Limited Manufacturer Warranty

 

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 Disclaimer: Thanks Instant Pot Company for providing this Instant Pot Ultra sample unit for us due to our partnership. This Instant Pot Review was initiated by us, and all opinions, photos, and test results are ours alone.
Instant Pot Review: Instant Pot Ultra 6Qt 10-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker hands on review with photos and recommendations.
Food Lovers in our 30s who worked directly with Instant Pot CEO, Manufacturers, and 35+ Restaurants. Culinary Families & Food Magazine Publishers.
  1. I’m still struggling as a new instant pot owner (with an ultra). Most recipes are written for the duo. My current recipe for pulled pork says, “Press Slow Cook, leave the vent open, and cook on ‘More’ for 8 hours.” What I don’t know is what is the equivalent of “More” on the ultra? Should I cook it on low, medium, or high slow cook? Do you have a more detailed list of differences between duo settings and ultra settings for novice users like me? Any advice would be much appreciated!

    1. Hi Nora,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      For slow cooking, you will want to use the High/more setting.

      Please take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  2. Hello and have a few questions . I bought this unit and only used it 2 handfuls of times . When pressure cooking is the button on the lid to far right suppose to be pushed down or stay up . Ironically my meals have turned out great but the directions do not say when you start pressure cooking is the button pushed in or should be out . I know when you lock the lid the silver button pushes in . Please let me know . Decided to get the top model and it has been a learning curve . Maybe should have started with the duo 60 first . My son got it for me for me a year ago and just started using it in the summer . I have read so many glowing reviews on this item . A great investment but need some clarity . Is there a video tutorial that walks you step by step on this model . Thankyou

    1. Hi Phyllis,

      Hope you had a wonderful New Year & Christmas 🙂
      Thank you for your question. The black button on the lid is the venting knob. On the ultra you don’t have to touch that button until you want to release the pressure.

      Happy New Year & please take care
      Jacky

  3. The recipe I was using said to “pressure or manually” cook. I could not find a “manual” option. Am I missing something?

    1. Hi Denise,

      Hope you had a wonderful New Year & Christmas 🙂
      The manual button has been renamed to pressure cook in recent models.

      Happy New Year & please take care
      Jacky

  4. I have a new Ultra and for the most part enjoy it. But one question: how can one restart the “keep warm” function, if it has been cancelled to do something else like saute? I’ve kludged the ultra setting into cooking for a minute but would love an easier way. Thanks!

    1. Hi Tuuli,

      Hope you had a wonderful Christmas Holiday 🙂 Thank you for your question.

      There is a Warm function on the Ultra and you can activate the keep warm function by using that function.

      Please take care & have a wonderful weekend
      Jacky

  5. Do you always use the “cake” function for BREAD AND CAKES?
    Most recipes don’t say. They just say the pressure.

    1. Hi Steve,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      All our recipes use the Pressure Cook button or manual button (including our cheesecake recipes).

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  6. Hi Amy & Jacky. I hate to ask another question, you are so patient. I got the Duo plus 8 qt I believe it’s the most user friendly. It’s my first pot, I live alone & can’t cook everyday. Need leftovers. Should I send it back & get the 6 qt or do you think the 8 qt won’t be too heavy if I leave it in one spot? Thanks so much, Deb.

    1. Hi Deborah,

      I would say keep the 8 quart as leaving it in one spot will not be too heavy.

      You can have plenty of leftover and freezer meals with the larger size 🙂

      take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  7. Everytime I ask if it would be better to buy the ultra over the Duo Plus it seems to go around in a circle. The ultra has some better features but the Duo is more user friendly. Is it that much more user friendly? I’ve never tried either one before so would it be a better choice for someone who has never used an instant pot? Knowing what you know if you never used one before would you pick the ultra or Duo Plus? I just get confused instead of figuring out which one to pick. Thanks. This is my last try. Deborah.

    1. Hi Deborah,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      If I had to choose one, it will be the DUO Plus.

      It is cheaper, more user friendly, and can do almost everything the Ultra can do.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  8. I have an Ultra Instant Pot – 6 qt. and love it! How do you use the ‘Egg’ function? I would love to have poached eggs for Egg Benedict. All the recipes I have found online recommend using the ‘Steam’ function to poach eggs. Can you explain the difference between the egg function and steam function for cooking eggs?

    1. Hi Judy,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      The steam function heats at full power continuously, so the Instant Pot Company recommends to use steamer rack to lift the food away from the bottom of the pot to prevent burning.

      The egg function is a preset programming button

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  9. When making yogurt the ultra doesn’t reach the 180 degrees during the boil stage. I have to repeat boil about 3 time. I’ve tried the sauté setting also to get the temp up but it burned the yogurt. I had to throw it all out. I am using 1 gallon of milk. THis is very frustrating and takes a long time constantly checking the temperature. Any suggestions?

  10. simplicity at ‘s best: can frozen meats, bone in or out, specifically chicken, be used in stews and soups with my Instant Pot Duo Plus?

    1. Hi Dee,

      Thank you for your question 🙂

      Frozen meat can be used in soup or stew as long as they are fully submerged in the cooking liquid.

      Happy New Year to you and your family!!
      Jacky

  11. Most cookbooks I have looked into use the”poultry” button. Since there is no poultry setting on the Ultra, what is the setting to substitute?

  12. Although I haven’t used it yet, the new interface seems more intuitive on the Ultra than on previous models. The one comment that I read is that the saute function should be right below the pressure cook since you use them together much of the time. The next model should be a combo of the Ultra and Smart. WiFi and Bluetooth combined with the new Ultra features and design: screen, pressure relief valve, Sous Vide, temp adjustment, etc. An app with recipes connected wirelessly would make it perfect for busy people.

  13. I’ve had my Ultra since its release on Sur La Table, so I’ve been using it for months. I wish I would have had this review then it would have been a lot easier however since then I have figured all of this out, through trial and error grrrrr!, exactly what this review lays out. Thank you for your time and effort and tasty recipes!!!

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