The Instant Pot people have just launched not one, not two but five new smart cookers. The new models include Instant's biggest ever air fryer, its quietest ever multi-cooker, a slow cooker, another new air fryer and a rice cooker too.
The star of the range, for me at least, is the Instant 13L Vortex Plus Air Fryer Oven. It's an air fryer and an oven and it has a rotisserie spit for when you feel like showing off, and according to Instant Brands you are "guaranteed perfectly cooked food". It's £119, and as the owner of a more expensive smart oven (a Sage one) I'd like to see how this compares not just in terms of performance but in how easy it is to clean.
The other star here is a new version of the faithful Instant Pot, the Instant Pot Duo Plus with WhisperQuiet. In all honesty I'm a bit bemused by this one because unless I'm air frying my existing Instant Pot is one of the quietest appliances in my kitchen. But nevertheless this model is Certified by QuietMark for its low-noise operation. Other than that it's a classic Instant Pot with a nice interface, 25 customisable programs and 5.7L capacity. The price is £129 and it's on sale now.
More cookers than you can fit in your kitchen
There's more where those two came from. The Instant Pot Superior Slow Cooker is the brand's take on the classic Crock-Pot, with 7L capacity and the ability to sauté as well as slow cook; and the Instant Rice Cooker + Steamer is a rice cooker that's also a slow cooker and steamer. They're £79 and £69 respectively and go on sale at the end of October.
Finally, there's a new Instant VersaZone air fryer. It's pretty much the same as before but now there's a clear window on the front so you can see how your chips are doing. It's a dual zone floor with 8.5L or 2x 4.25L independent cooking areas and it'll be £219 when it goes on sale on 30 October.
I'm a big fan of the Instant Pot, and I rate the Duo Crisp as one of the best air fryers I've ever used. But looking at this line-up I do wonder if Instant Brands is continuing to make the same mistakes that led to it going into administration in the US: releasing a ton of very similar and sometimes unnecessary products. After all, one of the key selling points of the OG Instant Pot was that it could replace stand-alone appliances such as slow cookers and rice cookers – but now Instant is making the very things it set out to replace.