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I never got an Instant Pot at the height of the craze because I was unsure about them and, honestly, I was intimidated by a pressure cooker.
I know I’m not alone. Everyone has at least heard of a pressure cooker exploding. I mean, there’s a ton of memes on the internet about it. The terrifying exploding pressure cooker is not the only scary bit to these machines. There have been horror stories of burns and scalds from the pot and the steam itself.
With all of these dangers, why would anyone want a pressure cooker?
Because they’re amazing at cooking huge pieces of meat quickly and providing a very tender result! The wonderful thing is that the Instant Pot company has put tremendous effort into bringing a few safety measures to the market with their pressure cooker. Most importantly, they took it off of the stove where the temperature was hard to regulate (which is what caused the explosions) and plugged it into the wall. While Instant Pot is the name most people associate with the electric pressure cooker- kinda like Kleenex are actually tissues-, there are quite a few brands that produce and sell a version. And now, Pampered Chef is among them!
The Pampered Chef Quick Cooker
Because the Instant Pot was the first to market, Pampered Chef was able to talk to people who had returned theirs and address common concerns. The Quick Cooker was an answer to concerns and feedback, and it was an answer for people like me who were scared! (Read all about it here) Since the Quick Cooker came out with the Fall 2018 line of new products, I’ve been asked what is the difference between the Quick Cooker and the Instant Pot. Since I didn’t have an Instant Pot, I relied heavily on other Consultant’s who did. I decided to change that and find out for myself! Kohl’s was having a sale on the Instant Pot Ultra, the comparable model to the Quick Cooker, so I snagged one. Let’s get on with the comparison, shall we?
Quick Cooker vs. Instant Pot: Looks & Functionality
As you can see, there is a slight difference in the actual outward appearance. They take up the same footprint on your counter and are the same height. Internal capacity is the same as well, with them both being 6 quarts. Instant Pot does have a version that is 8 quarts. While there are some name differences, the same food groups and functions are essentially the same. Both can slow cook as well as pressure cook, sear/saute and keep foods warm until you’re ready for them.
There are 3 major differences though. One of the things that alarmed me with the Instant Pot was all the warning labels that say not to touch the sides or the top because it’ll be very hot. While adults can see the logic behind that, littles with curious hands don’t see shiny metal and think “hot”. And how many times have you grabbed the handle of a pan on the stove and were surprised it was hot? We don’t always get it right as adults either. The Quick Cooker was designed with stay cool sides and top, so you could lick it if you wanted and not burn your tongue. I mean, I don’t really see why you’d want to lick it. But you bought it, so do what you will.
The handles of the Quick Cooker are positioned on the bottom to give you a stable place to hold your pressure cooker. It felt much more secure moving it around the kitchen full of pot roast than the handle on top of the Instant Pot did. Not a deal breaker. Just a nice feature to have.
The biggest change in safety is the location and functionality of the steam release valve. Lemme tell you. That steam release on the Instant Pot is TERRIFYING. It spits and sputters and it’s so close to your hand!! Even putting a kitchen towel over it was scary. You can see that the valve and the release are super close together.
The Quick Cooker changed that. There is much more distance between the valve and the release on the Quick Cooker. Also, the Quick Cooker has the steam coming up and hitting the flat part. This controls any sputtering of hot water. I had no fear (after the first time) of releasing the steam with the Quick Cooker. No matter which one you end up with, please still be conscientious of your hands, face and cupboards when releasing steam from either device.
Quick Cooker vs. Instant Pot: The Extras
There are always things that come with a new device, but not necessarily inside the box. In this case, the Instant Pot does come with a couple of plastic spoons. Honestly, they remind me of something from the Dollar Store. But, to their credit, they are included where they are not with the Quick Cooker. Both devices come with a nice cookbook/instruction manual so you can hit the ground running with your pressure cooker. There is a slight advantage here to the Pampered Chef Quick Cooker- it comes with a Consultant! When you purchase from your favorite Consultant (*cough cough*) you get knowledge and a 411 contact. If you aren’t sure how long to cook something, need a new recipe, are afraid something isn’t right, you can contact your Consultant for the 411. That same Consultant can facilitate an exchange if there is something wrong or help with warranty if something goes wrong in the future! The Kohl’s employees will not be doing that and even Amazon’s customer service has been slipping.
Mentioning Amazon, the price point is our next point of comparison. The Instant Pot Ultra is $189.99 at Kohl’s. The Quick Cooker is $240 through your Consultant. There is a pretty good price difference, that’s obvious. But what is hidden a little underneath the surface is sales and discounts. I actually picked up the Instant Pot in the pictures for $149.99 on sale. The Quick Cooker? As a Consultant, I actually got mine free. But even as a host you can get it half off or even free! See, that’s the beauty of Direct Sales. So the Quick Cooker could, at half off, cost just $120, making it less expensive than the Instant Pot.
Quick Cooker vs. Instant Pot: The Verdict
At the end of the day, these two products are quite similar and produce the same results. I personally prefer the Quick Cooker, not because I am a Consultant, but because the much improved steam release, cool touch sides and because I know the quality and standards that Pampered Chef brings to their products. Remember, Pampered Chef is a brand, just like Instant Pot. At some point in your life you’ve probably only looked at a certain brand of jeans because you love the way they make your butt look. They feel great, wear well and fit like a glove. So paying a few dollars more is worth it to you. It’s the same with the pressure cookers. Go with what you love and don’t feel guilty. We women like to do that to ourselves- allow ourselves to feel guilty about spending money on something. Even if it’s going to feed our families every single night of the week.
I’d also like to point out that if you already have an Instant Pot Ultra, I’m not suggesting you trash yours and buy the Pampered Chef one. It’s a fine machine and as long as you are careful of the few safety issues I talked about above, it’ll be great. I’m not out to change the minds of those already using and loving their Instant Pots. I’m just here to inform those who haven’t made a decision yet. And no matter which you end up going with, I do hope you’ll subscribe to my blog and get yourselves some new recipes for your pressure cooker! I’m quite infatuated with mine, so you’ll likely see an influx of recipes here for it ? I’ve also been talking a lot about it over in my Facebook group. Pop on over and join the conversation! Let me know below what you end up deciding!