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The Instant Pot Max promises faster cooking and more features

It’s difficult to remember a time when the Instant Pot wasn’t the most widely talked about kitchen appliance in your life, and now, it’s just showing off. At the International Home + Housewares Show in Chicago this week, the Instant Pot debuted its latest product — the Instant Pot Max. It promises to be the best pressure cooker yet, and it has some good reasons for making that claim.

While Instant Pot has been around since 2009, the company suddenly shot to fame last year when its impressive cooker somehow reached a critical mass of support in the U.S. and abroad (the company is actually headquartered in Canada). Suddenly, everyone was talking about the Instant Pot — it was the easiest way not only to make a delicious dinner of just about any cuisine, but also an effective way to make wine and perhaps brew beer, too. So now that there’s yet another Instant Pot on the market, you may just find yourself spending more time in the kitchen (but less time cooking) than ever before.

So how is the Max different from the existing Instant Pots on the market? First off, it promises to cook food more quickly thanks to its pressure level of 15 pounds per square inch (psi) — this means that it’s as powerful as your traditional stovetop pressure cooker, without the need for the stove. Seeing as other models have a maximum of 12 psi, the Max can cook food up to 15 percent faster. And don’t think that the Max will just hit 15 psi and then drop back down — the new Instant Pot is capable of holding its pressure levels. This differentiates it from other models on the market, many of which tend to have fluctuating pressure, making them slightly less effective.

When you’re finished pressure cooking, you won’t have to wait a long time for the pressure to release. Rather, the Instant Pot Max can be programmed to quickly decompress, or you can activate the “agitation feature” to stir your food while still in the pot.

With greater pressure, you should be able to use the Instant Pot Max for other purposes as well, including canning. The appliance has also added the ability to cook sous vide — a company spokesperson noted that certain models of the Max will let you heat water to a specific temperature, allowing you to cook food slowly and evenly for maximum control.

The Instant Pot Max will initially be released in a six-quart size, and should make its debut in May or June for around $200.

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