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Do You Really Need the Instant Precision Dutch Oven?

This electric Dutch oven claims that it can replace a Dutch oven and a slow cooker. Can it?


Published Mar. 29, 2022.

See Everything We Tested

What You Need To Know

Recently, the manufacturer of the Instant Pot released the Instant Precision 6-quart Dutch Oven. We were drawn to the potential of this two-in-one appliance, which combines two products—a slow cooker and a Dutch oven—into a single unit. You can use the 6-quart enameled cast-iron Dutch oven on its own (on the stovetop or in the oven) or on an electric heating base that transforms it into a slow cooker, allowing you to cook in it without hovering over the stove to monitor your food. The base also offers precise temperature control that isn’t available with conventional slow cookers. The interface on the electric base has four different modes: sear/sauté; braise; slow cook; and manual, which lets you set the temperature in 1-degree increments from 204 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and cook for different lengths of time.

We were curious to see if the Precision Dutch Oven lived up to its claims. So we tested it as a Dutch oven and as a slow cooker, using it to sear, braise, slow-cook, and even bake.

What We Liked 

  • Performance: Everything we cooked in this pot came out nicely. It worked well as a standalone Dutch oven, making fluffy rice, flavorful Beef Burgundy, and bread with a decent crust. Once we figured out the right temperature settings (more on this later), it also excelled when used as a slow cooker with its electric base: Thai chicken with coconut curry sauce turned out moist and evenly cooked; classic pot roast was fork-tender. 
  • Cast-Iron Construction: Unlike the ceramic crocks that come with traditional slow cookers, the Precision Dutch Oven is made of cast iron, which can get really hot, making it great for searing proteins both on the stovetop and on the electric base. Better still, cast iron retains and radiates heat especially well, preventing the inconsistent cooking we've sometimes seen in conventional slow cookers. The pot was able to hold temperatures with little variation for up to 12 hours. 
  • Preheating Feature: The automatic preheating cycle, which takes about 4 minutes, raises the temperature of the pot before you start cooking. This feature works in tandem with the cast-iron construction to deliver consistent cooking results. 

What We Didn’t Like 

  • User Interface: The user interface isn’t the most intuitive. There’s only one slow-cook mode, and it’s not clear whether this mode is considered high or low, the two modes included with most traditional slow cookers. This means that you can’t easily follow existing slow-cooker recipes, so you may need to experiment a bit to get the best results. Additionally, you can’t adjust the temperature during cooking—instead, you’ll have to cancel the exist...

Everything We Tested

Good : 3 stars out of 3.Fair : 2 stars out of 3.Poor : 1 stars out of 3.
*All products reviewed by America’s Test Kitchen are independently chosen, researched, and reviewed by our editors. We buy products for testing at retail locations and do not accept unsolicited samples for testing. We list suggested sources for recommended products as a convenience to our readers but do not endorse specific retailers. When you choose to purchase our editorial recommendations from the links we provide, we may earn an affiliate commission. Prices are subject to change.
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The mission of America’s Test Kitchen Reviews is to find the best equipment and ingredients for the home cook through rigorous, hands-on testing. We stand behind our winners so much that we even put our seal of approval on them.

Valerie Sizhe Li

Valerie is an assistant editor for ATK Reviews. In addition to cooking, she loves skiing, traveling, and spending time outdoors.