The realm of cookers has never been so fascinating as it is today. We already had Dutch ovens, pressure cookers, and slow cookers, and then came the multipurpose Instant Pot. Now, there’s an Instant Dutch Oven, which is but also isn’t an Instant Pot, based on how you compare them.
An Instant Pot is a multipurpose cooker with up to 11 cooking modes. An Instant Dutch Oven is a combination of a traditional Dutch oven and a few features of an Instant Pot. Both Instant Dutch Oven and Instant Pot are impressively versatile and utilitarian.
Any Instant Dutch oven vs. Instant Pot assessment essentially boils down to their main features and comparative utility, versatility, and relevance for different recipes. In this article, I explain the theoretical and practical differences so that you can select a cooker as per your culinary needs.
The Similarities Between Instant Dutch Oven and Instant Pot
Here are the similarities between an Instant Dutch Oven and Instant Pot:
- Instant brands’ Dutch Oven and Pot operate at the same voltage, which is 120V*.
- These cookwares have the same heating element base made by the Instant brand.
- The two share three cooking modes, i.e., sear / saute, slow cook, and keep warm.
- Both cookware types have timers, including default, minimum, and maximum.
*The wattage requirement isn’t the same, though.
- The Instant Precision 6-Quart Dutch Oven and Instant Pot Crisp & Air Fryer 8-Quart Multi-Use Pressure Cooker require 1,500W.
- But the Instant Pot Duo Plus 6-Quart Multi-Use Pressure Cooker with Whisper-Quiet Steam Release V4 runs on 1,000W.
The Differences Between Instant Dutch Oven and Instant Pot
Here are the main differences between the features or specifications of an Instant Dutch Oven and an Instant Pot:
|Instant Dutch Oven||Instant Pot|
|Cast iron heavy-duty cooking pot||Stainless steel cooking pot|
|5 cooking modes||9 to 11 cooking modes|
|A dedicated braise mode||N/A (but there’s a workaround)|
|Manual cooking mode||N/A|
|Stovetop and oven compatibility||N/A|
|N/A (but there’s a workaround)||A dedicated soup/broth mode|
|N/A (but there’s a workaround)||Egg|
|Not a preprogrammed mode||Rice|
|Not a preprogrammed mode||Bean/grain|
|Not a preprogrammed mode||Porridge/oatmeal|
|Not available at the press of a button||Sterilize|
There are other differences, including the following:
- The Instant Dutch Oven has a higher maximum temperature* than the Instant Pot.
- There’s only one type of Instant Dutch Oven, whereas the Instant Pot has many models.
- Some Instant Pots also have an Air Fryer, a feature Instant Dutch Ovens don’t have.
Pros and Cons of Instant Dutch Oven
Instant Dutch Oven
- ELECTRIC DUTCH OVEN: Delivering gourmet results right on your countertop.
- 5-in-1 FUNCTIONALITY: Braise, slow cooking, sear or sauté, cooking pan, and warmer, making it the perfect wedding gift, new home gift, or bridal shower gift!
Let me highlight the most noteworthy advantages of an Instant Dutch Oven:
- The cast iron cooking pot and lid can be separated from the Instant base that houses the heating element to use the Dutch Oven as you would any traditional one.
- You can use the cast iron cooking pot on an electric or gas stovetop and in a regular oven.
- The base is much broader than an Instant Pot, thus allowing more direct contact with the food for even browning and cooking.
- The cast iron pot, with its broader base, conducts more heat uniformly compared to the slender stainless steel Instant Pots.
- The cast iron cooking pot and lid are dishwasher-safe, so cleaning isn’t a struggle.
- The Instant Dutch Oven is a precision slow cooker with saute, sear, braise, manual, and keep warm modes.
- The saute or sear and braise modes have default temperatures, so you have to only use the timer.
- The manual option has two modes (#1 and #2) with different default, min, and max time and temperature settings.
Here are the disadvantages of an Instant Dutch Oven versus an Instant Pot:
- The Instant Dutch Oven doesn’t have as many cooking modes as the Instant Pot, most importantly pressure cook and sous vide, but it can make bread.
- An Instant Dutch Oven doesn’t have an air fryer or a lid to use to make crisps, which a few Instant Pot models do.
- Instant Dutch Ovens are costlier than Instant Pots.
Pros and Cons of Instant Pot
Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1
- 7-IN-1 FUNCTIONALITY: Pressure cook, slow cook, rice cooker, yogurt maker, steamer, sauté pan, and food warmer.
- QUICK ONE-TOUCH COOKING: 13 customizable Smart Programs for pressure cooking ribs, soups, beans, rice, poultry, yogurt, desserts, and more. Steamer basket not included.
Instant Pots, including or excluding air fryers, have many advantages. However, I’ll restrict this assessment to the utilitarian comparison with Instant Dutch Oven.
- A 9-in-1 Instant Pot has 4 additional cooking modes than an Instant Dutch Oven, most notably the pressure cooker.
- An 11-in-1 Instant Pot has 6 more cooking modes, including an air fryer and steamer.
- Some Instant Pots have sous vide, broiler, dehydrator, roaster, and mini oven modes, none of which are available in the Instant Dutch Oven.
- Instant Pot air fryers have a maximum temperature setting of 450°F (232°C), albeit an Instant Dutch Oven can also easily attain that and higher on a stovetop or in an oven.
The latest Instant Pot Duo Plus has 4 tiny pads or teeth to firmly hold the stainless steel cooking pot in place.
If you’ve used an older model, you are probably familiar with the pot rotating or moving whenever you would try to stir the food while cooking. This upgrade is not related to the Instant Dutch Oven, but I appreciate the necessary change in the design and craftsmanship.
Now, let me dive into the disadvantages of Instant Pot compared to the Instant Dutch Oven:
- Instant Pot is not a Dutch oven, whether of the same company or the traditional variants.
- The slender base of the pot isn’t suitable for many recipes that demand Dutch ovens.
- The absence of a manual mode with temperature and timer settings limits the utility of an Instant Pot in the context of conventional cookware for stovetops and ovens.
Personally, if I’m making a rich stew of meats and veggies, I’ll use an Instant Dutch Oven. Most Instant Pots don’t facilitate the extent of evaporation and reduction of the water content that cast iron dutch ovens can deliver.
On the flip side, if I have to pressure cook something, the Instant Dutch Oven is a non-starter. In regards to slow cooking, both these types are great. That said, I may be a tad biased in favor of the Instant Dutch Oven because I prefer the liberty of also using it on stovetops and in an oven.