How could I miss something so obvious?
That’s what I was asking myself - did I miss it? Good Housekeeping’s We Found a Pressure Cooker That’s Better Than the Instant Pot article - oh, that title - unleashed a flood of questions. GH prefers the Fagor Lux to the Instant Pot because in their testing, the Fagor “came up to pressure 15 minutes faster” than the Instant Pot.
Now, I compared the 8 quart versions of the two pots in my Review: Fagor Lux 8 Quart vs Instant Pot IP-DUO80 post, and I recommend the Instant Pot over the Fagor Lux in my What Pressure Cooker Should I Buy post - I like them both, and recommend them both, but I prefer the Instant Pot. For me, it’s more convenient to use, day to day.
But now I was questioning myself. Did I miss it? Is the Lux noticeably faster? I tend to be a “set it and forget it” cook with my electric pressure cookers. That’s one of my favorite features - lock the lid, set the time, and go worry about other things. The cooker will let me know when it is done. Maybe I didn’t notice something I should have…I never ran the two head to head, in a one-on-one pressure cooker smackdown.
Also, I own the 8 quart Fagor Lux, but I’ve been eyeing the Copper colored 6 quart Fagor Lux…and that’s the size of cooker that Good Housekeeping tested…and if I bought one, I’d get a new toy…in copper…so shiny…I must have it! Ahem. I mean, I have to test the cookers, in the name of science, and as a service to my readers, so I will sacrifice and buy a new pressure cooker.
When the 6 Quart Fagor Lux arrived, I set it up in my kitchen next to my loyal Instant Pot Duo, set my camera to time lapse mode, and started testing. Let’s go to the videotape:
Video: Fagor Lux vs Instant Pot - Time to Pressure Showdown (1:21)
Fagor Lux vs Instant Pot - Time to Pressure Showdown [YouTube.com]
Is that all?
As you can see in the video, the results were underwhelming. And, they repeated themselves - I ran tests with 2 cups, 4 cups, and 8 cups of cold water from the tap. Every time, the Lux and Duo came to pressure within seconds of each other. Sometimes the Lux finished first by a few seconds, like in the video. Sometimes the Duo finished first by a few seconds. Basically, they ran neck and neck, with no obvious winner. 1
I tried to run the same tests on my 8 quart cookers…and found out the lid on my 8 quart instant pot is having some issues. No matter how I adjust the pressure valve, the cooker is releasing steam before it comes up to pressure. (I have to follow my own advice, and get in touch with Instant Pot support for a fix). I’m not sure how much I can trust the results, but I had one test that worked for both cookers without lid issues. The Fagor 8 quart did come up to pressure faster, heating 4 cups of water. The Lux was up to pressure in 9 minutes; the Duo took 12 minutes - a 3 minute difference. That’s far from the 15 minutes faster that GH is promising.
I’m not seeing it
In summary, I did not get the same results as Good Housekeeping - I did not see a meaningful difference in the 6 quart cookers. Both the Fagor Lux and the Instant Pot Duo come up to pressure in about the same time for me.2
Buy the cooker you want
My favorite pressure cooker is the Instant Pot Duo 6 quart. Both the Fagor and the Instant Pot are great cookers, and I would be happy with either. But the Instant Pot has a few nice touches, like the stainless pot and lid holder integrated into the handles, that make it more convenient to use. It's still my recommended pressure cooker. (See the long-winded details in my What Pressure Cooker Should I Buy post.) If you prefer a nonstick pot, or can get a deal on the Fagor Lux 6 quart, grab it. It’s a good pressure cooker! Just don’t buy it expecting a huge jump in pressure cooking performance.
What do you think?
Questions? Anything I missed? Ask about it in the comments section below.
- What Pressure Cooker Should I Buy?
- Review: Fagor Lux 8 Quart vs Instant Pot IP-DUO80
- Longer Term Testing Notes: Instant Pot Duo60 vs Duo80 - Dad Cooks Dinner
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Hi Mike! Hope you can weigh in on this question. I bought my Fagor in 2015 having never heard of the IP. Yes, I live under a rock. Anyhoo, if I like an IP recipe, can I just make it in my Fagor or do I have to buy a IP? Many thanks for answering my silly question.
Mike Vrobel says
The recipes are interchangeable - the Fagor is a fine pressure cooker.
Aaron, you are correct.
The Instant Pot FAQ says: "Before the working pressure is reached you should see steam come out of the float valve for maybe 40 -70 seconds and then it will stop once the float valve seals itself. Soon the timer countdown will start on the display. There should be very little steam leakage after the countdown begins."
I'm not sure if this is what Mike is describing or if he has another issue. My 6 qt does it as they describe in the FAQ.
Aaron Friedman says
"No matter how I adjust the pressure valve, the cooker is releasing steam before it comes up to pressure." I have the 8 quart Instant Pot and I swear that I read in the manual that it will do that (for up to 2 minutes). I think that I remember it being in the FAQ section. Just an FYI.
Razzy 7 says
Glad you did this test, Mike. I love my IP DUO but would sure like to have an electric pressure cooker that would come to pressure as quickly as my stovetop PCs do. Perhaps though that's technologically impossible.
Marsh Lukens says
Your unbiased reviews are greatly appreciated and respected.
Thanks for "taking one for the team" and buying the other pot!
Mike Vrobel says