May 29

Sous Vide VS Instant Pot | Culinary Benefits Compared in Detail


Author: Gisele Perez and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

In recent years, cooking enthusiasts have been presented with a plethora of options when it comes to kitchen appliances, including the sous vide and instant pot.

When deciding which appliance to invest in, it can be challenging since both have their unique features and produce great food.

Sous vide vs instant pot; we will explore their differences, their advantages, and drawbacks in this guide so you should have a better understanding of each.

Key Takeaways

  • Sous vide and instant pot are two different types of cooking appliances with distinct features.
  • Sous vide is a slow cooker that takes hours to cook food, while an instant pot takes minutes to cook food.
  • An instant pot can reach higher temperatures than the sous vide cooking method
  • The instant pot is a multi-cooker with several functions unlike the sous vide cooking method
  • Sous vide produces tasty and delicious meals because the food does not come into contact with water, unlike with an instant pot.

What Is An Instant Pot And How Does It Work?

It is a Multi Cooker

The instant pot is a versatile kitchen appliance that can perform the functions of multiple appliances, including a pressure cooker, instant pot, slow cooker, rice cooker, yogurt maker, and more.

Has Safety Features

It uses pressure cooking technology to cook food quickly and efficiently, reducing cooking times by up to 70%. The instant pot also features safety mechanisms, such as a safe-locking lid and automatic pressure control, to prevent accidents.

Has an Inner Pot that is Dishwasher Safe

 It typically comes with an inner pot for cooking food and an outer pot for housing the heating elements and controls. With its wide range of cooking capabilities and ease of use, the instant pot has become a favorite among busy cooks and food enthusiasts.

An instant pot in the kitchen

What Is Sous Vide And How Does It Work?

Sous vide is a cooking technique where food is sealed in sous vide bags and cooked in a temperature-controlled water bath.

The process involves removing the air from the bag and sealing it to ensure even cooking and flavor retention. The temperature and time are set on the sous vide circulator, which also maintains a constant and circulating water temperature.

It is a Slow Cooker

The low temperature of mostly 130 degrees Celsius and long cooking time, typically around 3 to 4 hours, ensure that the food is evenly cooked and retains its moisture, resulting in a tender and juicy texture.

Sous vide is a popular technique among chefs and home cooks for its precise and consistent results.

Sous vide steak closeup

Sous Vide Vs Instant Pot

Cooking Time

One of the main differences between sous vide and the instant pot is the time it takes to cook food. Cooking sous vide is a slow and time-consuming process that can take hours to cook a meal, whereas an Instant Pot can cook food in a matter of minutes.

This makes the Instant Pot an excellent option for busy people who want to cook quickly and efficiently. However, if you have the time and patience, cooking sous vide can produce amazing results that are worth the wait.

Ease of Use

In terms of ease of use, the instant pot is generally easier to use than the sous vide cooker. Brands such as instant pot max and instant pot duo have a range of pre-programmed cooking functions, which makes it easy to use for people who are new to cooking.

The sous vide immersion circulator, on the other hand, requires a bit more skill and preparation to use. You need to vacuum-seal the food, set the temperature and cooking time, and then wait for the food to cook.

Images of instant pot and sous vide cooking methods


Let us discuss the cost of these two appliances. An instant pot is generally less expensive than a sous vide machine. An instant pot can cost anywhere from $50 to $300, depending on the model and features.

In contrast, sous vide circulator plus its water bath can cost anywhere from $100 to $500 or more. However, if you are a serious cook who wants to achieve restaurant-quality results at home, sous vide machines may be a worthwhile investment.

Cooking Temperature

Another main difference between these two appliances is the temperature at which they cook food.

An instant pot cooks food with high temperatures of up to 250 degrees Celsius, while sous vide machine cooks at lower temperatures of around 130 degrees Celsius.


Instant Pot

Instant pots have several cooking functions, making them ideal for anyone who wants to cook multiple dishes with a single appliance.

With an instant pot, you can pressure cook, sauté, slow cook, make yogurt, rice, and steam food, among other functions.

Sous Vide Function

Sous vide, on the other hand, has only one function, which is to cook food sous vide. While it may not offer as many cooking functions as an instant pot, the sous vide excels in cooking meals to perfection, with the food retaining its natural taste and texture.

Images of instant pot and sous vide cooking process

Tasty and Perfectly Cooked Food

When it comes to taste, the sous vide method produces delicious and flavorful meals. The slow-cooking process allows the food to cook in its juices, retaining its natural flavor and texture.

Also, since the food is cooked in a vacuum-sealed bag, it is not in direct contact with water, ensuring that the food's flavor is not diluted. In contrast, instant pot food comes in contact with water or other liquids, which can affect the food's taste and texture.

Also, the high temperature used in instant pot cooking can sometimes result in overcooked or dry food, which can compromise the taste and texture of the dish.

Types of Meals Cooked

When it comes to the types of meals that you can cook, both appliances have their strengths. The instant pot is ideal for cooking beans, vegetables, stews, soups, casseroles, rice, making yogurt, and even baking cakes, and even more.

In contrast, the sous vide machine is best for cooking meats, fish, and vegetables.

Plates with meat and vegetables


Can You Use An Instant Pot As A Sous Vide?

Yes, an instant pot with sous vide function can be used for sous vide cooking because it will be able to circulate water and maintain a consistent temperature. However, an instant pot without this feature cannot be used as a sous vide cooker.

Do All Instant Pots Have the Sous Vide Function?

No, not all instant pots have the sous vide function.  While some instant pot models do have sous vide functions, not all of them do.

The sous vide function is typically found in higher-end models, so it's important to check the features of the specific model you're considering before making a purchase if sous vide cooking is important to you.

About the author

Gisele Perez

When not giving in-home, hands-on cooking classes, or developing recipes, Gisele "cooks" wonderful posts for us. She writes about various topics related to cooking appliances and cooking methods.


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