Instant Pot Smart WiFi review: Wi-Fi arrives on the popular multicooker, but adds a little extra

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The Instant Pot range of multicookers are more popular than ever, and the new $ 150 Instant Pot Smart WiFi (£ 117, AU $ 206) is the most high-tech model yet. While Instant Pot has stuck with its popular 6-quart, 1000-watt design, it added Wi-Fi connectivity for remote control and integration with the Instant Pot app. Very similar to the Instant Pot Duo Plus series, the Instant Pot Smart WiFi is a bit more expensive and a bit smarter. Wi-Fi can bring peace of mind to anyone who’s hesitant to leave their multicooker unattended, but overall intelligence isn’t revolutionizing the way you’ll use your Instant Pot. If you don’t want to remotely view the status of your Instant Pot, you’ll be fine with a more affordable model.

The Instant Pot Smart WiFi adds wireless connectivity through the Instant Pot app.

Tyler Lizenby / CNET

The Instant Pot Smart WiFi retains all of the popular modes and features that customers know and love. The buttons for the Bean, Chili, Meat, Rice, Yogurt, and Cake programs are all there. You will also get sauté, pressure cook, steam and slow cook functions. There is no program button for eggs or button for sterilization, but otherwise this model looks a lot like the Duo Plus series. Instant pots comparison chart gives you a good idea of ​​the tradeoffs between each model. The Instant Pot Smart WiFi also comes with a tablespoon, rice spoon, and measuring cup.

Read more: Wi-Fi 6: Better, Faster Internet Is Coming This Year – Here’s Everything You Need To Know

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The Instant Pot app displays the time and program status of your connected cooker.

Screenshot by Molly Price / CNET

The great feature and all the interest of this new Instant Pot model is the addition of Wi-Fi. The addition of connectivity means that you can connect the Instant Pot Smart WiFi to your home’s 2.4 GHz wireless network. and the Instant Pot app. But what does that mean?

To get started, you can use the ‘Instant Start’ tab to select the program you want to run, make custom adjustments to settings such as pressure level and time, and start your range with a tap. There are also options to cancel cooking remotely, monitor the progress of your food, and receive notifications on your phone when cooking is complete. Other features of the app include a recipe section with hundreds of ideas and inspiration for dishes ranging from cheesecake to Indian curries. Browsing through these categories was my favorite part of the app experience.

The app has some issues. On the one hand, the temperature monitoring that Instant Pot offers with this model is not temperature monitoring at all. It’s a cute little thermometer icon with seemingly arbitrary markers. You won’t get actual temperature readings here. You will see the range mode, including whether it is preheating, baking or keeping warm. The only change you can make to your range once you have started a cycle is to cancel it. It would be nice to be able to add or subtract time.

Let’s go cook

Like any good appliance tester, I tested the Instant Pot with several basic dishes. We cooked brisket, rice, beans, chili and even seared two steaks in the Instant Pot Smart WiFi. Overall, all dishes are well cooked and gave tasty results. Some weren’t as good as others, but the functionality, everything worked to my satisfaction. Here is the recap:

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The beans in the Instant Pot Smart WiFi were tasty and moist, but a bit mushy.

Chris Monroe / CNET

Beans

We cooked 1 pound of dry, non-soaked black beans in the Instant Pot using the bean program. This defaults to a cooking time of 30 minutes. I filled the water just enough to cover the beans, a recommendation in the Instant Pot cooking times table. After half an hour of cooking, I waited 15 minutes before releasing the remaining pressure. The beans came out tasty, but slightly mushy. However, they held their shape and had just the right amount of fluid. I would not have hesitated to serve them as an accompaniment. So far, so good.

White rice

The rice was chewy, well cooked, and just sticky enough.

Chris Monroe / CNET

Rice

Rice is one of Instant Pot’s main attractions, and for good reason. Cooking long grain rice on a stovetop takes a long time. Rice in the Instant Pot is faster and easier. Do not bring water to a boil or take up space on your stove with steaming rice. I used a 1: 1 water to rice ratio, and after rinsing the rice four times under cold water, poured everything into the pot. The default rice setting was 12 minutes, and after 10 minutes of natural release I released the remaining pressure.

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