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The Instant Pot has a bright display that is easily visible across the room. It also has a simple interface for setting it. It has a removable sleeve for easy cleaning and the part in contact with the water is stainless steel. It also has a long cord.
Performance wise it holds the temperature very steady and has a time, which many low-cost circulator don't. It is also manufactured by a well-respected brand of kitchen appliances.
Only the Anova Precision Cooker (800 watt version) heats water more slowly than the Instant Pot. A big interface issue is that when you pause the cooking with the power button it resets the time and temperature so you have to re-enter it every time.
The spacing between the min and max water levels is really small at 2.625", which is about an inch smaller than the Anovas and nearly 4 inches less than the Joule. It does have a nice clamp, but there is no screw to hold the sleeve in place so it has to be at the top, which some poeple find limits their height options. These combined together means you need to stay on top of evaporation to prevent the machine from turning off during medium to long cooks.
We have mixed feeling about the Instant Pot. When it first came out it was regularly selling for $80 to $90, which made it a Top Pick of ours for budget-conscious people. However, they have since raised the price, and it is now often more expensive than one or both of the Anova Precision Cookers which we find to be better machines, which makes it hard to recommend unless the price drops again.
If it sounds right for you, buy one today!
Have you used the Instant Pot Accu SV800 Sous Vide Immersion Circulator? Let us know what you thought of it!