In our fast-paced world, you need quick and tasty meals. Instant Pots save you time, significantly reduce cooking times, and eliminate the need to hover over your meal while it’s cooking.
With so many types of Instant Pots on the market, how do you decide which is best? We’ve done the research to help save you time in selecting an Instant Pot. Two of our favorites are the Instant Pot Duo and the Instant Pot Lux. Here, we compare the two models — Instant Pot Lux versus Duo — to help you pick the right Instant Pot to fit your needs. We’ve also rounded up the best Instant Pot deals available now, if you’re looking for a good discount.
Both the Duo and Lux look very similar at first glance. They are both cylindrically shaped multifunctional pressure cookers that are stainless steel coated, have black bases, and sport black and stainless steel lids. They both have durable, stainless steel inner pots, and they both come with similar accessories: A steaming rack, stirring spoon, condensation collection cup, and measuring cup. However, the steaming rack on the Duo has handles that make it much easier to insert and remove from the pot.
The displays on both devices look similar; however, you’ll notice the edges are more squared off on the Lux’s display, while they’re a bit more rounded on the Duo. The Lux and Duo have some different buttons as well (more on that later).
Both the Lux and Duo come in a Mini 3-quart version (ideal for families of two to three people or for side dishes), a 6-quart size (ideal for families of four to six people), and an 8-quart model (ideal for larger families of six people or more). You may also be able to find the Lux in a 5-quart option. The Lux also comes in different colors, including red, blue, stainless steel red, and stainless steel black; and you can choose different design options with the Lux, like floral patterns. The different colors and floral pattern are a bit more expensive than the traditional Lux.
Both pots have small side handles for easy carrying, but the side handles on each pot are slightly different. The Duo’s side handles have a rectangular portion cut out. This allows you to set the lid on the side of the pot while you’re stirring, checking your meal, or adding ingredients. The Lux’s side handles don’t have these rectangular cutouts, so there’s no place to store the lid on the device.
Pressure cooker lids have handles so you can securely open and close the pot. The Duo’s handle runs across the entire diameter of the lid, so you can use your whole hand to twist the lid securely into place. The Lux, however, has a slot handle on the lid that you can grip with only four fingers. It’s slightly less ergonomic, and a bit more difficult to secure the lid into place.
Instant pots and similar pressure cooking devices have a steam release valve that you secure into the “seal” position while pressure cooking and place into the “vent” position when you want to release the pressure or prevent pressure from accumulating. The steam release valves on the Lux and Duo are very different. The Duo’s valve has one vent and one seal position, while the Lux’s valve has two vent positions and one seal position centered between the two vent positions.
Features and functions
The major difference between the Instant Pot Duo and the Instant Pot Lux is that the Duo is a 7-in-1 cooker (Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steam, Sauté Machine, Yogurt Maker, and Warmer), and it has 14 cooking programs; but the Lux is a 6-in-1 cooker (Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Sauté Machine, Steamer, and Warmer) and has 12 cooking programs. The Duo also has a high- and low-pressure setting, while the Lux only has a high-pressure setting. Both pots have a third-generation microprocessor that monitors pressure and temperature and makes adjustments based on how much food you put in the pot.
Here are the 14 cooking programs you get with the Duo:
- Slow Cook
- Keep Warm
- Pressure Cook
Keep in mind that the 6-quart and 8-quart models have full functionality, but the Duo Mini is a condensed version. The Mini doesn’t some of the programs, like multigrain, poultry, or pasteurize buttons. You can check out our full review of the Instant Pot Duo here.
Here are the 12 cooking programs you get with the Lux:
- Pressure Cook
- Keep Warm
- Slow Cook
Like the Duo, the Mini version of the Lux doesn’t include all of the functions you get with the larger models. The Lux Mini doesn’t have a cake or multigrain function. You can still perform these functions using other buttons though.
Ease of use and performance
Both devices are very user-friendly and they both perform well. Small differences, like the handle design and steam release valve, make the Duo slightly easier to use.
In spite of the different cooking programs, we have yet to find anything we can cook in the Duo that we can’t cook in the Lux (or vice versa). Once you know what you’re doing, you can create virtually any Instant Pot recipe in either the Lux or the Duo as long as you have a large enough model for that specific recipe.
Which model is better?
Without taking the price into account, the Duo is the better model. It has more functionality and a few extra perks that make cooking faster and easier, like additional cooking programs, a better steaming rack, an easier-to-use lid and steam release valve, and a place to set the cover while cooking.
In cases where the price doesn’t matter, the Duo is frankly the better model. It has more functionality and a few extra perks that make cooking a walk in the park. The Duo’s “bonuses” include additional cooking programs, a better steaming rack, an easier-to-use lid and steam release mechanism, as well as a place to set the cover while cooking.
Most of the time, Duo products cost around $20 more than average Lux products. The base-model brushed steel 3-quart Lux comes in at $65, while the 3-quart Duo costs $80. You can expect to pay $80 for the 6-quart Lux product, while the 6-quart Duo is $100. Finally, the 8-quart Lux has a price tag of $110, and the 8-quart Duo will cost you around $140.
Duo has countless phenomenal bonus features, but both products are very close if you look closely at the cost. Nonetheless, we want to point out that the Duo will typically go on sale eventually, so be on the lookout. There are loads of yearly deals in shops across the country that you can check out that are sure to get you a great discount on Duo products. We urge you to purchase the Duo if you have the opportunity to snag a good deal.
For most of us, the price is a vital part of our buying deliberations, which is why we prefer Lux products. Their products offer the same functions as the Duo for a lower cost. Nevertheless, if you’re okay with shelling out an extra $15 to $30 (depending on what size model you want to purchase), we believe the Duo can improve the cooking process and make it a joy rather than a hassle.
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